Monday, November 22, 2010

About time... break this "blogging break"

Yes, the time is NOW!

Wow, life sure has been a whirl wind of various activities, some of which include, work, shopping, furnishing an apartment, exploring, learning a new language, laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping some more, socializing, relaxing, etc. etc.

Now the holidays are upon us yet again! Life goes on. It get busy. Things need to get done.  <----That's where I tend to fail....I am not very good at "getting things done". Sure, they
eventually get done, but on my time, on my schedule, and alas....that schedule does not work in a marriage. Hey, we all need to learn right? I guess this stems from being raised an only know, that "Only Child Syndrome" Yeah, I have some it, not all of it, but some of it. My parents did a great job at it...they really did....but I still have an issue with getting things done in a timely manner.

I will admit that I am a fan of the "I'll do it later" club, as well as the "I don't feel like it". I also shy away from things that are unfamiliar or "scary" whatever that means!

This is my time to kick myself in the rear! I am going to make an active effort to, like Nike says, "JUST DO IT!!" It really is that simple...S.I.M.P.L.E.

"What if I fail?" that little voice asks me...

Well then, you TRIED....that's more than doing, so much more!

I once read in a book that you "...Try, fail, try again, fail harder." I would like to add that after you fail the second time, you do....WHAT?
TRY AGAIN!! Every time that I am presented with a task that needs to be done, but I feel that little "voice" rise up inside me, I am going to silence that voice and think instead...How soon can I get it done? How can I make it fun? Who else does it effect? Its easy, and you'll learn! Just get it done!

So, so simple, yet for some, like me, so very, very hard!! (fyi = check out all the comma usage in that sentence!)

I am learning a lot, growing a lot, I will fail a lot, but I will get up an try again. Shake off the failure, and MOVE ON!

Whew! Are ya still with me! Thank you, it felt good to get that off my shoulders...

Now, onto a RECIPE!!! I have not posted one it quite some time. This is one that I made for my parents while back home in MN this past October. I wanted to make soup. Something hardy, yet light, filling yet I decided on
THIS recipe from Ezra Pound Cake for inspiration and slightly modified it to our tastes. It turned out to be wonderful! Just what we were looking for!

~Papa Al Pomodoro~
1/2 c. olive oil
 2 med. yellow onions, chopped
1 med. red onion, chopped
3 lg. carrots, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 lg. Ciabatta loaf, crust removed and cubed
2 28oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. dry red wine
1 c. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 c. grated fresh Parmesan
Salt & Pepper
1 lg. Ciabatta loaf, cubed
4 oz. thick cut pancetta, chopped
20-30 whole basil leaves
5-6 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, fennel, and galic and cook over medium-low heat for 10 min. until tender. Add the ciabatta cubes and cook for 5 min. more.
Place the tomatoes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process just until coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the chicken stock, red wine, basil, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 1/2 tsp. pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and allow to simmer, partially covered for 45 min.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 F. For the topping, place the ciabatta cubes (2nd loaf), pancetta, and basil in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to coat. Spread on a sheet pan large enough to hold all ingredients in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 min. until all the ingredients are crisp and browned. 
Stir the soup to incorporate all ingredients and stir in the Parmesan and taste for seasoning. Add more salt  and/or pepper if necessary. Serve the soup hot. Garnish with the baked bread/pancetta/basil mixture. 

This was a very plesant soup for the evening! I stared it in the late afternoon and used the cooking time to have hor d'oeuvres and mingle/visit. A wonderful caesar salad was also served with this soup and my mother made apple squares for dessert! (Reminder: I need to get that recipe from her!) 

Caramelized Onions w/ Goats Cheese on Naan


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