chowder. drunken roasts and daring greatly

4 Oct

OK. SO I REALLY should be writing a paper right now, on infancy cognition and object permanence, but taking a break for the blog seems like such a much better idea! I mean how many observation papers do we have to write? They all seem to encompass the same points. Drilling it into us I guess so we can be the best child care providers ever since we go into therapy, teaching, etc. Anyways.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Brene Brown, from Teddy Roosevelt’s 1910 speech

These last two weeks I’ve not only dived head first back into working with the lovely gals and school, but into Brene Brown’s book, DARING GREATLY. This book is changing my life. You should read it! It’s changing my life. Really. Everyone goes through ups and downs in life, but it’s always nice to know that someone is there with you along for the ride. Brene is great at that. She makes you re-realize (is that a word!?) that you are human; and lately, since turning 30, I have been on a gratitude journey about realizing that I am lucky to be here, human, loveable and everything happens for a reason. BECAUSE it really does.

I have a couple days off of work so I’ve been doing some discovering in the kitchen again. I feel at home when I am cooking, just like I do when I go to yoga class (thank you CorePowerYoga). Soup has really been my thing the last few months. Don’t ask me why. I’m known as the “cupcake queen” by my family, but for some reason I’ve become the soup nazi. That’s all.

SPICY ROASTED CORN CHOWDER WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH

Ingredients:

  • 5 slices applewood-smoked bacon
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 1 pound butternut squash, cubed into small piece
  • 1 pound frozen roasted baby corn kernels, thawed (Trader Joe’s)
  • 2 1/4 cups half and half
  • 1 quart chicken stock (homemade if possible or organic/free range)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh savory herd
  • 1 tablespoon Trader Joe’s taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • more salt and pepper to taste

In a dutch oven, or large pot, chop and add your bacon to medium/high heat. Cook the bacon until crisp. Take the bacon out of the pot, leaving the lovely bacon fat and drain on paper towels. Chop your onion and add the chopped onion and half of the cubed butternut squash. NOTE: Trader Joe’s, Whole foods, lots of places now sell butternut squash already cut and prepped, this is GREAT! Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, chopped thyme and savory and cook the veggies for about 10 minutes or less until soft.

In your blender, while the veg cooks, add 1.5 cups of the corn and 1 cup of the half and half to your blender NOTE: you can use coconut milk if you do not eat dairy, it’ll be just as yummy. Place the corn and milk in your blender and blend until fairly smooth. Add the rest of your milk, a little salt and pepper and blend. Pour into your pot over your veggies. Mix together. Next, add the chicken stock, taco seasoning, parsley, the rest of the squash and simmer. The simmering will thicken the soup a little and cook the rest of the squash. Add your bacon back to the soup. NOTE: If you do not like spicy, this soup would be just as lovely without the taco seasoning. ALSO, if you want extra flavors, you can add black beans, sweet potato, anything goes really. This is a Fall soup with a southwestern twist!

Ladle into bowls, top with sliced of fresh avocado, tortilla strips, whatever you’d like! The avocado is nice because it adds a little cooling element. ENJOY!

POT ROAST WITH ROOT VEGGIES AND CABERNET

  • 5 lbs of beef roast (I got mine at Trader Joe’s…I know, not grass fed, but good on a budget and it was a GREAT cut of meat)
  • 3 cups cabernet (feel free to DRINK the rest of the bottle)
  • 1/2 a bag of baby carrots
  • red or yukon gold potatoes, halved
  • 1 onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh savory herb
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Wash, prep and cut your veggies. In your crock pot, add a layer of onion, potato, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Next add your beef roast, then top with the rest of the veggies. The amount of veg you use will depend on the size of your crock pot, so section those out accordingly. Pour the wine, salt, pepper, and savory herb in.

Cook in low for about 6 or so hours. Honestly, you could leave this go while you’re at work and come home to dinner! Your house will smell lovely! The roast is done when it is able to be broken up with a fork. Plate up and eat! The potatoes are good with a little added salt, pepper and a small knob of grassfed butter (Kerrygold). The lovely sauce and juice from the meat can also be made into a gravy by take about 2 cups of it and adding it to a sauce pan. If not gluten free, add a tablespoon regular flour and mix until thickened, add salt and pepper to taste. IF gluten free, add a tablespoon or more, until thickened, of coconut flour, salt and pepper to taste and then pour your gravy over your meal! YUM!

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