Since winter hit, all I have been wanting is warming and filling foods. It makes sense seeing as its way too cold for Texas right now. Im not whining Im just saying. Its cold. But the thing that beats any cold weather is a nice cup of thick, decadent, dark chocolaty hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is always an iconic and simple thing that is done on winter days but a lot of people do it where the hot chocolate is all runny and liquidy and I do not like it like that. I like it when its so thick that the last little bit sticks to the bottom of the cup like syrup.
Archive | December, 2012
Warm, comforting, loving, beautiful. Those are the words that describe my Mom’s chicken soup. Now this is her recipe but I must say I made a slight change in the recipe, because back then we of course made it with noodles. But why add noodles to such a hearty and incredibly healthy dish. Oh wait I did, but I went with zucchini noodles. Which in my opinion are actually better taste wise in this. They give the soup a bit of extra freshness that matches the beautiful flavor of the dish incredibly well. Plus zucchini noodles are really fun to make if you have a spiral vegetable slicer. I love mine so much and I use the heck out of it.
One thing I have always looked forward to on Christmas when I was really little was the Christmas thumbprint cookies from the family cookbook. My grandma Jessie would make them and send them to me express shipping so I got them right on Christmas day even though we lived far. They would only be in transit for about a day so they were quite fresh, and the second you open the box you’re just overwhelmed with the scent of buttery, crumbly goodness. The distinct scent note that I really notice is the warm smell of velvety butter radiating off of the cookie, and then that hint of sweetness from the crumbly shortbread and then finished with the smell of toasted pecans that wrapped this beautiful cookie.
So I went down to Gramen Farm, the same farm I spoke about in my last post, expecting to get a nice piece of tenderloin but instead got a loin tip. Which is a cut of beef that I hadn’t heard of until then. Now,one of my all time favorite types of meat is beef. I don’t eat it too often so, like I said I usually stick to what I like and know such as tenderloin, but I decided to stray from my typical buy and went ahead grabbed a bigger piece of meat to roast.
And I’m sure that the cut of meat could be subbed with other cuts if you don’t like or do not want to use loin tip such as tenderloin, rump roast, etc. But the cooking times and temperatures may slightly change depending on what cut of meat you choose if you choose a different cut of meat than the one I chose.
I went to a farm to get some good old fashioned farm fresh grass fed beef for dinner. One thing I am super careful with is the meat that I get. The thing I pay most attention to, is that the meat is antibiotic free, and added hormone free. If it isn’t, it will not enter my mouth. That’s why getting your meat from a farm is super great because you have a direct link from your food source, that way you get all your information and you can physically speak with the farmer. Which is not only reassuring but pretty cool.
You can probably tell by now that I am way into the Holidays if you have been watching my Facebook and Twitter. Like hardcore biker gang into the holidays. Well maybe not that hardcore, or hardcore at all for that matter, but when it comes to Holidays, Christmas time is my favorite time of the year. The cold that is bone chilling yet somewhat comforting at the same time because you’re anticipating the sweet aroma of cinnamon and that woody ash scent of fresh burning wood all intertwined with the warm welcome of your home.
That extra tick in your heart that gives spring in your step knowing that its getting closer to relaxation by a warm fire or with your family and conversing about past experiences with smiles lighting up the room at different intervals. I guess what I’m trying to say is, in general, everyone is just happier. I could go on forever with the wonders of the winter holidays and relaxation, but what I’m really looking forward to is, of course the beautiful food. And with me being who I am I just have to keep it as healthy as I possibly can.
If there was one place in the world that I could pick to go and relax and enjoy wonderful food right now, it would have to be France. People sometimes wonder why the French are so healthy. When you really look at it, it really does make sense. While they do eat their morning croissants and all those naughty sugary treats on occasion, they still remain healthy. Well its not a mystery, I can promise you that. Lets take a look at it. A typical French person may have a croissant in the morning but its usually only one croissant and a coffee and that’s it.
Someone once was talking to me about how they needed to start eating less chocolate, to which my response was “why?!” Chocolate is incredibly healthy its full of antioxidants,lowers blood pressure, can reduce cravings,improves vision, gives energy and increases mood due to the Theobromine in it. I could go on and on about how amazing it is for us, we are talking a lot of stuff here, chocolate is basically the freaking superhero of desserts, in my opinion. Now I’m not talking about the sugar laden bricks of plastic most of us are familiar with but I’m talking real, wholesome chocolate. Made with simple all natural ingredients, none of that fake stuff that sits like a brick in your stomach for however long.
Some of the best flavors I have ever put together in the kitchen usually are when I’m on the run. Whether I’m running late for something or I’m running out of time to make dinner. Regardless if I’m in a hurry for some reason things just tend to end up really nicely. Most of the time that is. I think it might be because I think about it too much when I’m trying to create a recipe. Sometimes I force myself to sort of just make things taste delicious. But if I just go with the flow and stay unafraid of any flavors, its usually pretty successful.