Friday, January 18, 2013

Yummy Goodness

Snow was in the forecast last night and feeling a bit under the weather, and in hopes to wake to a white blanket of snow, I decided to make my favorite comfort food. Chicken Mulligatawny Soup.

Red lentils are a favorite of mine, especially in the winter. They are rich in protein, fiber and minerals, with a cup providing nearly 40% of your daily recommended protein.

Red lentils contain a significant amount of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. They help to lower cholesterol, stabilize blood-sugar and provide vitamins, minerals and protein, with no fat and hardly any calories. Soluble fiber dissolves forming a gel substance that helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber helps to promote the movement of food through your digestive system, helping prevent or treat things like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis, etc. They also contain folate, a B-vitamin that helps produce and maintain new cells, as well as to lower the level of the amino acid homocysteine, which inn high levels increases your risk of heart attack and magnesium which is vital to many of the body's functions. What's not to like about these!

 This is my version that has evolved from several recipes, so my measurements are a bit vague.

Chop one large onion and 2-3 carrots and saute in olive oil. Chop into bite sized pieces 1.5-2# of chicken (I used organic chicken thighs) and add to pan, along with 5-6 cloves chopped garlic and 3-4 tbsp minced ginger. Stir this around and cook over medium low heat. Add a couple tbsp of cumin, coriander, turmeric, red pepper flakes (to your taste) and some s&p. Mix and let cook a few minutes then add 2-3 cups of red lentils and 6-7 cups of chicken stock (I used organic better than broth and water). Let this simmer for about 30 minutes. If it is too thick add some water. Taste and adjust seasonings. This makes a very hearty soup and a one dish meal. It is really good with chopped cilantro on top, but it was to wet out for me to run to the garden to pick it! This can easily be made as a vegetarian soup by omitting the chicken and chicken stock and adding butternut squash or sweet potatoes, coconut milk, greens, etc. It is a great base for a comfort soup with all kinds of ingredients.

I like to make a lot at once, and am letting it's healing goodness work on this sore throat today, while I stay home a sketch out some new jewelry ideas.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Sterling silver with a pottery cabochon and garnets
Finally I am back in the studio full time! I had my sketch book with me over the holidays and it seems that I want to stay on the botanical theme. I am also finding that I want to add lots of texture, and that is not new for me either. This piece is based on mums and is hammer textured and finished with a patina. So same theme, but totally new piece!

I am still working on shows for 2013, some applications are not yet available. First show will be at the end of March in Hickory: Catawba Valley Pottery Festival. I have slots open for home shows, so if you'd like to earn some jewelry credit, give me a call and let's plan a party.

I hope to be a better blogger and photographer this year. And to not find any more abandoned animals. On Dec 2 I found two abandoned pups not far from our home one night. They were about 13 weeks old. It took a little while, but we found a good home for one and decided to keep the other. I had totally forgotten what having a puppy is like, and this one doesn't seem to be grasping the concept of not peeing or pooping in the garage or house. She is adorable, Bacchus our dog seems to like her and she adores him and loves the cats too. Wes named her Gracie. All my pictures of her are on my phone. So picture to follow.

Happy New Year All!