This is just a brief post to let you all know I’m still alive and kicking. I had a jam-packed summer and I can’t believe it’s over already. I had the chance to work for a couple of months as a prep cook/pastry cook for one of my favorite restaurants (more on that later), and I visited the UK for two weeks in July (again, more on that later).
At the moment I am spending my days as a student teacher in an 8th grade English classroom. My mornings are early, my days are long, and blogging, unfortunately, has been put on the back burner, so-to-speak.
It’s all about quick and delicious (and customizable) weeknight dinners for busy people…more specifically, Huevos Rancheros! Who doesn’t love that? Yum!
I love going to the grocery store; I do it several times a week, if only for a few things. I know, I know, it is poor planning on my part, but I enjoy weaving through the aisles, checking out new and interesting ingredients I may have missed during my previous visit. I recall going to the grocery store with my dad when I was small. He would take a list with everything we needed but inevitably, we’d return home with something he wanted. I remember riding in the cart or walking alongside my dad down every aisle in the grocery store. He’d take his time, selecting a bottle of this, or a jar of that, turning it over in his hands, considering its use, before returning it to the shelf or placing it in our cart. Mom never really knew what he’d bring home. Sometimes it was a jar of pickled herring, sometimes it was a new mustard, and sometimes it was a package of cookies he’d open on the drive home for the two of us to sample.
Guys, I’m sick. I caught a beast of a cold earlier this week and I am one grumpy Sara. I’m achy, I’ve been sneezing, and if I’d known this was coming, I’d have purchased stock in tissues. I’ve been spending a lot of time in bed, but I’m awake now and before I head back to the warmth of my blankets, I wanted to share this recipe with you. This soup won’t cure your cold, but it’ll sure make you feel better.
If you’re anything like me, you tend to overindulge during the holiday season – we’re not even to New Year’s, yet – and then regret it later. I know that after rich, decadent meals and equally sinful desserts, all I want is a Big Salad, à la Elaine Benes. My body craves vegetables, leafy greens, and no meat whatsoever. Let me introduce to you the Green Soup.
Thanksgiving has to be one of my most favorite holidays. Even though it was a week ago, I’m still dreaming of the sausage stuffing made by my friend, Holly. The delicious smell of roasted fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts with garlic and rosemary still lingers in my kitchen. The turkey…oh, the turkey! Pieced out and slow-roasted to a golden brown – pure heaven! We also enjoyed a boozy version of cranberry relish spiked with vodka and Grand Mariner, and a lovely kale caesar salad that has become a specialty of my friend, Pat.
The table was set with my great grandmother’s china.
I’m a list-maker. Phew, I said it. It’s out there. I feel so much better now. Yes, I make lists. I come from a long line of list-makers. My mother makes lists, my grandmother makes lists, my aunts make them…you get it. Lists are in our blood. Before I knew it, I was addicted to the satisfaction I got from crossing a big, fat line through each item on the list. Each line meant a tiny victory for me. Some lists are simple and fun, like what is needed at the grocery store. Other lists, however, might as well be Mount Everest: the endless list of books I want to read, places I want to travel, home improvement projects, general life goals. You know, lists that remind me of what little progress I’ve made. Lists that mock me and, in turn, get moved from the top of the stack to the back of a drawer.
Guys, for the last five weeks I have been involved in a practicum experience as part of my degree; I have been working with a wonderful English teacher and her 8th graders every morning and Friday was my last day. I absolutely loved my experience and the conclusion was bittersweet. I was sad to say goodbye to the students I worked with, but I was happy to be able to get back in the kitchen and start blogging again.
As you all know, I love roast chicken. I posted about it a couple of years ago, but I wanted to revisit it. This time, I chose to keep it even simpler; no veggies, no herbs, no roasting pan, no nonsense. Just a chicken, some kosher salt and black pepper, and a skillet.