Roasted Red Peppers Garlic

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I can’t quite find a title to do this recipe justice. This is just a recipe that is so simple, but so damn delicious, that you will get excited every time you make it!

4-5 large red bell peppers
1/2 olive oil or sunflower oil
2 tbsps red wine vinegar
5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Dash of salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

1. Roast the bell peppers. I do this in the oven on broil, but this can be done on the grill as well. You are going to roast the bells until they are blackened.
2. While the peppers are roasting, chop your garlic and set aside.
3. Remove blackened peppers and place in bowl and cover with a towel. Allow the peppers to cool. Covering the peppers with a towel will allow the peppers to steam and the skins will be easier to remove.
4. Skin the peppers and remove the seeds.
5. Cut or tear the peppers lengthwise and place in a large bowl.
6. Mix in garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Serve peppers warm or cold with a nice crusty baguette.

Bon Appetit

Soup du jour

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Soup, is where it’s at! And I do soup, very well!

I love how a good soup can warm you up on a cold day. I also appreciate, how soup has healing properties for your soul! I consider soup the ultimate in comfort food, but without the caloric devastation of comfort food (for the most part anyway).

I make several types of soup on a regular rotation: potato soup, vegetarian tortilla soup, vegetarian chili, pea soup, and vegetarian Italian wedding soup.

The soup up today, Vegetarian Italian Wedding Soup. I do use chicken stock for the base, but you could easily substitute with vegetable stock.

8 cups chicken stock
Bunch of chopped kale
Bag of baby spinach
Can fire roasted tomatoes
3 large chopped carrots
1 bag gardein vegetarian “meatballs”
1 cup Israeli couscous
1/4c olive oil
Tbsp garlic powder
Salt and black pepper to taste

Place all ingredients except for meatballs and couscous into a large heavy pan. Allow to cook on medium flame until kale and carrots are soft. Add couscous and meatballs and simmer soup for about 10 mins. Serve soup with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper.

Bon appetit

You sleep, I sleep, we all sleep….

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetI co-sleep, and not just with my husband. We also sleep with little Miss Willow. I’ve tried to put her in her own bed. Honestly! I’ve tried. Willow possesses a dog’s penchant for smelling all the things, because if I’m even 6 inches away from her…. she sets out to find me. If she doesn’t find me within that six inch window…. screaming commences! So, in order for us to get any semblance of sleep, she sleeps snuggled up to me, every nap, and every night.

For this co-sleeping habit that we have created, we have seen a number of side-eyes. For example, the pediatrician has been asking us where Willow sleeps since week one. I give her the same answer every time…… in our bed. At first, I was able to ward off the side-eye with the “she sleeps in a ‘co-sleeper’ in our bed” affirmation. This seemed to quell the fears of the doctor, at least until the 6 month check up, at which point, the doctor informed me that Willow may be “too big” for the co-sleeper. Ha! I had successfully fooled the doctor! Willow slept in the co-sleeper about 5% of the time! Lying to professionals about my parenting skills and being successful at it…. ✔️! At the 9 month check up, that is were the side-eye came in, as well as the soft lecture disguised as a genuine concern for my sleep speech…. “you would get more sleep if Willow slept alone in her crib.” Followed by, “you really should lay her down ‘alone’ and pat her back to sleep so she learns how to fall asleep without you”……. yup, I screwing my kid up for sure! Hopefully at the 12 month check up, the pediatrician won’t alert child protective services on us for the continued habitual co-sleeping we are doing. Wait until she hears that we don’t do CIO (cry it out)!

It isn’t that I am following a particular style of parenting. I’m just following my instincts and the instincts of Willow. Willow and I are simpatico. We live and breathe each other. I know her needs and wants, probably better than she does. And because I get her, she feels safest with me. She looks to me every time she does something new for reassurance. When she is scared, tired, hungry, or just needs snuggles, she seeks me out, and I am right there to give her what she needs. So why would it be any different when she sleeps? I know that some experts say that co-sleeping breeds bad habits. But is it really a bad habit to want closeness when you sleep? Why are we so inclined to push little souls away from us when they are too little to understand that we will still hear them and tend to their needs (even though they are left all alone)…. yet we retreat to our bed with our spouses? I don’t know, it just seems backwards to me.

So co-sleeping it is! For us anyway. It is what seems to work for us…. it is our jam. At some point in time, Willow won’t be reaching for me at every step, she won’t look to me for reassurance, she won’t seek out my scent….. so for now, and for the near future, I will be where she needs me to be, right next to her within smelling distance.

Ricotta Be Kidding Me

Fresh Ricotta CheeseI’m about to give you something that will change your life! No need to thank me, just enjoy!

I’ve spent my entire life buying H U G E amounts of ricotta cheese. Seriously! Ricotta cheese is a staple in my home. It has a variety of uses, on toast with jam, in a pasta bake, soups, pizza, and the list goes on. What I never realized was, making fresh ricotta is probably just as easy as boiling a pot of water….. I know, it doesn’t seem possible! But, friends, I am not feeding you a load of bullshit, I’m feeding you ricotta!

Now, ricotta is traditionally twice cooked….. but we aren’t going to do this here, simply because it really isn’t necessary. I’m only going to tell you to cook the cheese ONCE! And folks, this is life changing…. so much so, that you may never buy the store bought version again, E V E R!

Here is what you will need for approximately 16oz of fresh ricotta:

8 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3 tsps cheese salt (although, if you don’t have this, table or coarse salt will do)
Juice from 3 lemons

Wait! I must be forgetting something?! Nope! Four ingredients folks! Just 4!

Now, put all of the ingredients into a large, heavy pan and bring the contents to a rolling boil. Allow the concoction to boil a couple of minutes (don’t stir) and then remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool down slightly.

Next, line a wire strainer with cheesecloth. Scoop the mixture (don’t pour as this will break up the curds) into the strainer and allow the cheese to drain. Once the cheese has cooled down, twist the cheesecloth closed (like a pouch) and tie close. Place the cheese in the strainer and put it in the fridge. You can use the cheese the same day, or within a couple of days. Enjoy!