Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I am

I am – immersed in sewing. I had sort of put it on the back burner and for some reason its been calling my name recently. I made a cute little itty-bitty dress for a 3 year old and next I am making Palazzo pants for myself. Cant wait to finish and wear them.

I am thinking – about the budget cuts that our school district is facing and how there are no GOOD solutions to heavy problems like this. Its unfortunate that the economic effects are tricking down and threatening to cut services in our kids schools, teachers, sports clubs all the things that make up an enriching environment have to be trimmed to bare minimum given the lack of funding.

I am feeling - weird because today I had to help my teen pick out courses for HIGH School . I feel like I just blinked and my baby is in high school. Where have the years gone.

I am looking outside my window – and I see grey skies and rain drops. Looking forward to the sun shining later in the week.

I am readingThe Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel by Garth Stein. Its written from the perspective of a dog and is about his race car driver and is sort of about how to deal with life when it rains.

Flower car lady - Have a happy and colorful day

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

I've been sort of trying to make the shift towards healthier food choices that I would like to eat without feeling like I am on a diet. When I think of diet food I think of food that leaves your taste buds and stomach unsatisfied. With a attempt to reverse that I am focused on experimenting a few dishes that are made with all natural healthy ingredients that taste amazing and just happen to good for you.
My first attempt is at Tomato basil soup, our local grocery store sells this fresh in their soup selection and its heavenly but with every bite you can taste the calories so I was looking to make a home made version of the same.
A quick google search later I settled on a version by Barefoot Contessa Roasted Tomato Basil soup ,click on link for the original recipe that was the inspiration for this dish.
If you happen to have a crock pot then use it like I did to keep the soup brewing without having to watch it all the time. If you don't have slow cooker just simmer the soup for 30 minutes on the stove top.

What you need to pick up from the grocery -
8-10 Plum Tomatoes, 1 bunch of basil, 28oz can of plum tomatoes, 1quart chicken stock (home made is great)

What you need from your pantry -
6 cloves of garlic, red pepper flakes , olive oil, butter, salt & pepper, (optional -Agave syrup,milk)

1) Cut plum tomatoes in half, garlic cloves in half place in roasting pan and drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil. Convection roast at 375 for 40 minutes.

2) Saute onions and chopped garlic in olive oil and butter . Add red pepper flakes.

3) Add 28oz can of whole peeled plum tomatoes and chopped basil into onion mixture. Season with salt and pepper

4) Transfer the onion/tomato mixture , roasted tomatoes and chicken stock into the crock pot. Let the whole thing simmer on low setting, I set it for 4 hours.

5) Use immersion blender and puree the soup until its finer. As a final extra step I passed the whole chunky soup thru a course food mill to give a soup an much smoother consistency.

When the soup was done it was a little too acidic for my taste so I added 1/4 cup of milk and a tsp of Agave syrup ( substitute sugar if you don't have that) and heat on low until ready to eat. Serve with a garnish of basil, 3-4 croutons and optional dash of grated cheese.

Enjoy on a cold rainy day with the ones you love. If you have any other slow cooker or healthy tasty recipes feel free to share .

Flower car lady - Have a happy and colorful day