Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’
To those who celebrate Thanksgiving here in the States, I wish you a fantastic holiday full of family and/or close friends, laughter and love, relaxation (football for many)….and a huge plate of yummy food
Just a quick post today and no recipe but I wanted to take a moment to be thankful for a few of the many blessings in my life:
- My supportive husband, my loving parents and my family – without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today
- My health – from having the energy to get out of bed everyday to the ability to run/walk and taste/see - this is something I often take for granted
- Change and new seasons of life - with changes come growth and I am ready to be challenged (although it is scary!)
- Laughter, smiles, nature and the outdoors – all things that breathe new life and renew my energy
- Music, books and art – outlets that enable my creativity, various emotions and provide a little escape from the day to day
- Tears, mistakes, disappointments and challenges – without the downs, I wouldn’t appreciate the ups and these things only make me stronger
- All of YOU - my fabulous readers and visitors – you all have rekindled my passion for cooking and photography and given me an outlet and a voice my food craziness (or creativity), I am forever grateful!!!!
A few more silly/material things things I am thankful for include:
- nut/seed butters, chocolate, squash and chia seeds
- my camera
- my running shoes, pajama pants and headbands
- sticky notes, my blender and chapstick
- the color blue (especially sky blue, it simply makes me happy)
A couple things that may seem strange but totally make sense when you think about it:
- Dirty dishes in the sink - because this means I have food to eat
- Dog/cat furr – as much as this drives me crazy, it’s a daily reminder that I have pets that demonstrate unconditional love and they like to snuggle
- Papers piling up – no fun but it’s a reminder that I have a job
- My elbow scar from my car accident (I will have to share this story one day) - a constant reminder of how precious life is and that I having a loving Father who watches over me. Also, that appearances aren’t what matters, it’s what’s in your heart that counts
What are you thankful for?
Ok, I didn’t mean to get totally sappy on you but did want to take some time to appreciate the little things that are so often overlooked or forgotten…wishing you all the happiest of holidays!
Now off to a gluten free high tea
When I opened my email Friday morning from Sonia at The Healthy Foodie, I was absolutely tickled and honored that she nominated me as one of five fellow bloggers to keep the “7 Links Challenge” alive. It’s like a long email chain for the blogging realm – fun!
I’d like to start off by saying that this Thursday marks my 4th month of blogging, and I’ve loved every second of it. Thank you so much to those reading this blog, inspiring me to create new dishes, experiment (with definite flops) in the kitchen and rekindling my love for photography. I love you all!
Here are the Ground Rules:
- Blogger is nominated to take the challenge
- Blogger publishes his/her 7 links on his/her blog – 1 link for each category.
- Blogger nominates up to 5 more bloggers to take part.
- These bloggers publish their 7 links and nominate another 5 more bloggers
The categories are:
- Your most beautiful post
- Your most popular post
- Your most controversial post
- Your most helpful post
- A post who’s success surprised you
- A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
- The post you are most proud of
1. Most Beautiful
Hmmm, this is difficult one – the rules do not state what constitutes most beautiful but if I had to pick one based on the food alone, I’d have to say my Baked Beet Chips – nothing fancy but the beet themselves are the real star! I give the credit to the natural beauty of the root vegetable (not my photography), I love the circles and the deep, bright colors A close second would be my ice cream cake ball bombes…but I already used that for #7.
2. Most Popular
The post that has received the most hits is the Banana Buddy Shake – I gotta give props to my mom, this is just proof that mom’s definitely know what they are talking about It’s a simple but delicious smoothie recipe that appeals to a large crowd…and also proof that peanut butter and banana go sooo incredibly well together!
3. Most Controversial
I avoid controversy like the plague (okay that’s a little dramatic) but I am not one to start a conversation with the intention to create a heated discussion. That being said, the post that best fits this category would be the one that generated the most discussion/emails, which was my Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Fries – yes, crispy and there isn’t any oil needed!
Thank you Sonia for challenging me!
Now to keep the 7 Links Challenge alive, I nominate the following bloggers to take the challenge
I’ve been doing quite a bit of baking lately (recipes to come, get ready!)- testing out and eating much more dessert and chocolate than I usually do. You could say I have the “baking bug”, which I don’t want to call a bad thing, but I foresee a bit more green in the days ahead. Don’t get me wrong, I love sweets but I’ve been going a little overboard and I need to restore a little balance– let’s just leave it at cookies, fudge, more cake balls, layer cake, and a new ice cream concoction I am trying to nail down. Too much? : )
Which leads me to my post today, a Simple Summer Pea Soup — refreshing and light, this chilled soup is perfect for a warm summer day or when you need something green and healthy. I whipped up a quick batch this morning and stuck it in the fridge so it would be nice and cool for my lunch today!
I love the simplicity of this dish but feel free to add more herbs or spices to your liking (sub fresh mint for the rosemary). You could also sprinkle soup with grated parmesan or drizzle with olive oil, or you could add 1/2 cup heavy cream for a richer soup. I like the texture of the skins of the peas but go ahead and strain the soup after blending if you want it really smooth. This soup could be served chilled or warmed (my preference is cold) but either would be good. Serve with crusty bread, crackers or parmesan toast for a light meal.
Simple Summer Pea Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
1 small sweet onion, chopped (a cup or so)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried rosemary, chopped/crushed, optional
3 cups fresh or frozen green peas (I used frozen for convenience but fresh is ideal!)
1 3/4 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (for vegetarian option), depending on how thick you want soup
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream, plain yogurt or creme fraiche for serving, optional (omit for vegan)
1. Heat butter or oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and rosemary (if using) and cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add peas to the pan and stir, cook for one minute until peas are no longer frozen. If using fresh peas, you can add to pan and stir briefly.
3. In a large blender or food processor, add pea/onion mixture and broth and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. *If you want to strain the mixture to avoid the skins, use a mesh strainer at this time.
4. If you want a cold soup, either pour into bowls and place in fridge or if you prefer a warm soup, add blended mixture back to saucepan and heat. Before serving, drizzle sour cream, yogurt or cream fraiche, if desired.