Monday, February 28, 2011

Warm-up with Tortilla Soup


1 tsp or more olive oil
1 medium onion diced 
6 cloves garlic, pressed
2 large jalapenos, seeds removed, minced
1/2 tsp or to taste, coarse sea salt
1- 28 oz can Muir Glen crushed fire roasted tomatoes (*must*)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
12 cups chicken stock**
meat from one chicken (optional)
freshly chopped cilantro (garnish)

Heat oil in heavy 5+ quart pan. Add onions, garlic and jalapenos. Saute for 10 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add tomatoes, seasonings and salt. Simmer until all ingredients blend together, approximately 20 minutes. Add shredded meat from one chicken, followed by citrus juice and simmer for 5-10 minutes longer. Rest soup on low heat for about 15 minutes to blend flavors, no simmering. 

Serve over baked corn tortilla strips (optional) and add cilantro garnish (recommended). This soup isn't thick, but definitely has a lot of body to it.

** Chicken Broth. This soup is excellent with homemade broth. To accompany flavors for this soup I used water, one fresh chicken, carrots, onion, celery, bay leaves (2), TBS oregano, sea salt. (remove veggies and bay leaves from broth when done - for flavoring only)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Solo Valentine for Dear Teacher

Hand cut card in cellphone sleeve with 
torn tissue, button fixtures & silky floral ric-rac.
I love
this creative process and how it literally pours forth.
This Valentine's day I produced only one beauty.
Yet no love was lost on the purchased versions. 
Instead, those find me and turn into a year long collection - 
just waiting for the next Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Hello Valentine's Day!

I'm ready to have a great day and you're not even here yet. What a fun weekend I've had buying little presents for my family and actually having a real date with my husband. We had a lovely meal and then ended up in the bookstore. Romantic? Well, if you consider the bookstore is the location of our first time going out with each other, I would say "YES". Sometimes just getting to be yourself in a time frame that is unrushed and in a mutually inspiring setting, without being right next to each other is romantic.

Tonight I made a delicious homemade caesar salad dressing tossed with romaine, of course. I tried a new flourless and almost butterless chocolate souffle recipe, which was too large of a serving much for me - never thought I'd say that! I only had three ramekins, but the recipe called for four. Next time I'd like to add a little vanilla and heap them with whipped cream or fresh sliced strawberries. I also served broiled grass fed beef steaks with roasted garlic. Wow.

A surprise treat bag is waiting for "J" on the front door. He'll see it as he heads out the door early in the a.m. Yes, a romantic card, chocolate, Caribou coffee gift card, a bag of trail mix and some bath salts ... sure thing, it's all packed with a big kiss.

I'm off to wrap some presents for "E" on my very clean and organized art table and I am so excited. I love to wrap.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Red Lentil Soup Sarah Style

Warm your heart. Feed your soul. Eat with great delight. Feel the difference. Support local tended foods and use organic when possible.

5-6 fat carrots
4-leafy thick celery stalks
1-cup dried red lentils
1-bulb roasted garlic
4-cups chicken stock or H2O
1-28 oz can Muir Glen organic
 fire roasted tomatoes
1-2 bay leaves 
fresh cilantro
olive oil

roast garlic, it really brings out the flavor and is much deeper tasting in this delicate yet hearty winter soup. set garlic on baking dish. roast at 425 degrees until tender - 15 minutes or so. cool slightly. chop. save. 

in a Dutch oven saute 1/2 - 1 onion in olive oil or other healthy oil. add carrots and celery when onion softens. drop in 1-2 bay leaves. lightly steam veggies as they saute, by placing lid on Dutch oven. as veggies begin to turn bright orange and green, add in the dried lentils. let them get nice and hot, stirring them around in the pan. hot lentils soak up the liquid well and cook faster - taste better. 

pour 4 cups of water or 4 cups organic chicken stock over the veggie/legume mixture. re-place lid. cook longer until lentils start to soften. at this point open one can of (Muir Glen) fire roasted crushed tomatoes - time to add the garlic.

let everything simmer until the lentils soften and tomatoes blend in - approx 25- 30 minutes. add sea salt to taste. if soup gets thicker than you like, add a little more water or chicken stock, but not too much. expect a thicker consistency due to lentils. serve with fresh chopped cilantro. 

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