Back to basics

At the start of the new year, getting back to basics has many meanings. Refocusing on health and diet, refocusing my blogging objectives, and refocusing my well being with friends and family are central topics for me. My health certainly is in my mind these days. A few too many days of vacation and a few too many times of not quizzing waitstaff has made me feel awful. I forget that I’m not invincible and the sly crumbs of gluten have knocked my flat on my back for several days. I can only associate it with jetlag, a head old, and pure exhaustion wrapped into one. As I’ve eaten cleanly (ie. at home) for two days already I’m counting on feeling better tomorrow. There’s too much to be done to go down the black hole if gluten for too long. And yes, it does make me re-access my eating and focus on food. Maybe I shouldn’t be so excited over eating out, maybe not eating toasted GF bread else where is the way too go. I’m not saying I’ll be perfect but this week has been a wake up call as to honing my dining out interrogations.

So as we are snuggled up today in below freezing weather that has over taken most of the country, I’ve thrown together a soup to sit by the fire and sip while playing a game on my iPad. Yes, I’m addicted to hidden object games-don’t judge. It’s based on a Cook’s Illustrated recipe but as you’ll learn I always throw my own twist on things-much to the chagrin of Meyer.

Broccoli Cheddar soup with roasted garlic mustard.

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All I can say is wow the Vitamix makes it awesomely smooth!

Ok. Time to rest by the fire and think more on those other topics. Family, blogging, health the important things of 2014.

Xx,
Violet

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Soup supper Sunday

A dark winter night is the perfect time for a soup dinner. A hearty soup with sides of cheese, bread, and salad.

Meyer may complain of my inability to follow a recipe but soup is primal. Throw a bit of veggies, onion, and some bones in a pot, add water, salt and time. Voila! Dinner is ready.

Chicken soup is an obvious choice. A whole chicken, carrots, onions, parsley, and in my mother’s opinion some frozen corn. It’s easy and usually the ingredients are already in my kitchen. My mouth is watering.

However, this winter I’m ready to explore other options: a cut of pork with some hominy in a spicy Latin stew. I remember eating pozole for the first time in NYC in a little diner near Columbus circle. The soft texture and deep flavor complimented the spicy soup so well.

Or some oxtail in a deep tomato base with some wild rice. Hearty, almost stew like maybe This time I’ll add some thyme and mushrooms.

It’s a long dark winter so the soup will flow freely.

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Holiday cocktails

Holidays are a trying time. Even when you love your family dearly, staying with them in one house for a week (or even a few days) can be stressful. I’ve found afternoon cocktail hour to brighten everyone’s mood.

Simple is better in my opinion-pull out a bottle of bourbon, some soda water, and if you’re lucky a syrupy fruity concoction. I’ve been playing around with my vitamix recently.

This week I puréed tangerines and water, then poured it into a pot with a rare ton of sugar. A half hour later, voila a syrup! I added a but of vinegar to counter the sweetness and help preserve it a bit longer in the fridge.

For tonight’s mixing, I added about two table spoons of syrup to an ounce of Elijha Criag Bourbon, a handful of ice cubes, and a splash of water. As my mother exclaimed, Delicious!

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