Detox Time

Detox SoupThe week has been an eventful busy one.  Grits and Honey is now insured.  There is a sense of peace that comes with knowing that if anything ever happened we have a back up plan.  I know for me, this is what keeps me up at night (along with other thoughts).  Hopefully, I will be sleeping a little more soundly.

Grits and Honey now has a new Shared Kitchen space in Decatur, GA.  as well.  When I am a personal chef for a client at their home, I have free will to cook there.  But when I go deliver lunches, I need a health inspected facility to cook.   It feels really empowering to be checking it all off the list.

On top of all this paperwork, my autumn allergies have kicked in.  I am running on about 80%.  It is a feeling of not necessarily needing to crawl in bed but just not feeling great throughout the day.  And if one more thing gets put on my plate, I may look like a crazed woman screaming NO!  I am not feeling my happy go lucky self with these allergies and I don’t like it.

One of my favorite things to do when I feel this way is to make this Detox Soup.  I found this recipe through my friend and author  Cindy Marshall Oakey who suggested it from Dr. Mark Hyman.   It is more of a broth or tea actually.  My favorite part of making the soup is going to the farmers market for the organic ingredients of dandelion greens, seaweed, kale, turnip, beets, ginger, garlic, parsley, diakon radish, carrots, celery,  winter squash, etc.  The beautiful and non stressful thing about buying the ingredients is that if something isn’t there just move on.  Get what you can or what you like.  I personally like to add more ginger but others don’t.

At home, I put all those ingredients in a pot of water and simmer it for an hour or two.  Then, strain the broth into containers to save in the freezer or refrigerate.  Throughout the day, you can warm up your broth or tea.  My cells seem to just soak up all the vitamins and minerals.

As we change seasons into the cooler months, this is a perfect soup to keep the chill away and those pesky colds that keep us from running on full steam.  This is that full octane gas for our car.  Try it out!  I think you’ll enjoy it but I know you’ll feel better because of it.

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I am no Detective!

I have never been a good detective.  I have been known to be a little clumsy.  I was searching a particular someone when my cursor scrolled over the “Add as Friend” button.   If I take my finger off the key pad and so much as whisper, the button seems to be hit.  I have done this accidentally to someone before that I didn’t know.   This time, I knew the person and it could have been ugly if they had known, not to mention extremely embarrassing on my part.  What would have happened to my image?  Ha!  My stomach hit the floor and my heart sank into the empty cavity.  I cautiously looked to see if  the “friend request sent” was highlighted.  It was not.  I carefully scrolled around the safari page to click it off.  Oh, dear God thank you!  Lesson learned.  I am not a good detective.  I am clumsy.  And I have NO business stalking anyone.  Back to the kitchen I go…

Wrapped Italian Sandwich

One luncheon I catered this week I made my Italian Sandwiches.  They have fresh pesto, fresh mozzarella, and Italian meats.  These are wonderful to make ahead for a day at the park.  Adding the Italian Panzanella as a side and the Brownies with Ganache Icing for dessert is the perfect combination.  I do love a this meal for a picnic with the girls, although, we have been having daily rain this summer here in Atlanta.  It does make a good lunch at the office, too.

I am excited to say, the luncheon went wonderfully, and I am going to be catering for them again.  I really should stick with what I am good at doing.   Here’s to more picnics and less stalking on FB!

Just A Little Closer To Perfection

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones

I’ve heard that no one is perfect.  I believe that saying as well, but it doesn’t stop me from reaching for the stars.  It also doesn’t stop me from judging people who don’t seem to give a hoot about things that I may deem important.  We are all different, we all have different wants and desires but that doesn’t mean I have to like your BLANK and you don’t have to like my BLANK.  We can be respectful of people’s BLANK, but I don’t have to like it, agree with it or anything else with it.  And that goes both ways.

I have been working on my scones and biscuits for a very long time.  The butter has to be the right chilled temperature, the dough can not be handled or mixed too much, and the simple amount of sugar and salt have to be added.    I like to use a Cuisinart to blend my flour and frozen butter, to use my hands less because the body temperature from your hands melt the butter.  The dance is a delicate one.  I like to use fresh blueberries as well, so you can’t mix them in too roughly or they will all squash.   There are millions of biscuit and scone recipes out there but you have to practice.  Again, like life…

I love this dance in the kitchen.  I love this dance of life.  I believe anyone can be loving, doing, dreaming of their own accord.  It takes all kinds to make a beautiful masterpiece.  But notice I said loving, doing, dreaming.  If we aren’t doing those things then what are we adding to our universe?  For to many years I was adding hatred, frustration, and anger.  Some of it was passed down from the women before me and some of it was of my own.  I am a woman.  I am raising three beautiful powerful, smart women.  They don’t need to learn my lessons of life.  They will have enough of their own lessons.   Sitting numb and immovable is not a choice for me anymore.  This is where my judgments come into play.  I dislike seeing people go through life thinking that they can not achieve their authentic perfection.  My belief is that you can but you have to actually try.  The pain of feeling change seems to be far less than actually living a lifetime of it.

And that is todays sermon from me!  My father passed down preaching to me,  and his father passed it down to him.   My Grandfather was an actual Baptist preacher from a small town in Georgia.

Once, my father wrote the Beatitudes on a white wall that my brother and I would erase until my dad finally wrote it in permanent marker.  We still laugh about how mad my dad would get when we erased his inspirational thoughts.  Teens…

This dance of life is daily getting me, to what I believe is my flawed perfection.  And I am super glad to say, it may not look pretty, but I am dancing.  I wish you, a happy authentic dance!

I Want My Oompa Loompa Now!

Brownie with Ganache Icing

I think I may be the most impatient person in the world sometimes.  It is definitely a serious handicap of mine.  If I could use impatience and jealousy as if in the game of golf, I think I could make some serious birdies.  Now, I am making myself confused with all this golf talk.

I made a dinner the other night for a family of four who had just moved into their new home.  They had emailed on Friday for dinner on Sunday.  I said “of course”.  I was making extra for them to last through the week but I really like the family so I wouldn’t have said no even though it was a smaller meal.  I had the Mac and Cheese taken care of, could make the Panzanella easily, Brownies with Ganache Icing were no problem, but I usually call my friend Eric for the pulled pork.  He is the master of that and he has won many competitions.   I know when to hire out…  Well, Eric was out of town camping with his daughters all weekend.  I had to make the pulled pork.

I had everything working beautifully Sunday with the gorgeous pork shoulder butt cooking on low heat.  I went for a run and went about my day.  Around 3:30pm, I noticed the temperature not budging on the pork.  It had “Stalled”.  I had never heard of this but I guess when the pork gets to a certain temp it can stall because of the evaporation, which can last up to 7 hours!!!  Can you say serious catering melt down?

I cranked the heat up after 2 hours of watching the temperature not budge.  It was like watching boiling water never boil.  It was maddening.

This happens in the kitchen every once in a while- where the excitement comes to a full time high and tears can ensue.  I did succeed in getting dinner to the family only 10 minutes late, but not with out freaking out on my girls.  Allie had tossed around the brownies with a huff just because I asked her to help me out for a second to load the car.  I am sure I resembled the girl from The Exorcist.  This was nothing that a serious tickle session and left over Brownies with Ganache Icing could not help to make amends.

Here’s to jumping hurdles and landing on two feet with out sounding too much like Veruca Salt.

Teacher’s Luncheon

I am thrilled to write that I was asked to cater for 100 of the finest teachers and staff in Atlanta, GA at Inman Middle School.  How do they do it with all those raging hormones?  Thank goodness we all have our very own talents.  Some people like to educate 20 something twelve year olds and some of us like to be in the kitchen, alone.

This morning I woke up as usual at 5:45am to meet my running partners.  Afterwards, I got right to making the sandwiches.  I had to run to Whole Foods to get some more of their mini Ciabatta loafs for the Italian Pressed Sandwiches.  Well, Whole Foods doesn’t open until 8am and it was only 7:15am.  I ran back to my kitchen space to do some other things while I waited for it to open.  I then gave myself a nice cut on my index finger with a serrated knife.  I almost passed out when I saw it bleeding but pulled myself together and continued on with the meal.  I ran back to Whole Foods to get the bread and rushed back to the kitchen.  As I was finishing up and packing my car to transport the food, Gabby and Emma began fighting.  Oh, my!  Is this really happening?

Yes, it is- and I love every minute of it.  Smiling today, especially with my cuts and bruises.  And the best part, no one knew!

Stack of plates

Velouté

I am not looking forward to school starting back next week.  In fact, I think I may be a little sad about it.  I just want to hold those little people in my life and keep them from getting older.  Time is flying.  We have had such a wonderful summer together.  I was just reading an article by Debbie Ford.  She was talking about fear, and instead of running from it, one would turn to face it.  For example, if I fear my children growing up too fast and not having as much fun now that school is starting, I will face my fear by adding fun events to our calendar during the school year.  Just because school is starting doesn’t mean the fun has to stop.  It may be a little harder to squeeze it on the calendar but I want to do it.

I wrote about the French Mother Sauce- Béchamel.  Today I am writing about Velouté.

Velouté

I was sounding out this sauce in all the wrong ways with my country southern accent when I first discovered this sauce.  You pronounce it və-lu’te, not ve-loot!!  – which is what I was doing.

For this sauce, you start out with a rueequal parts butter and flour.  Cook it for a few minutes but don’t brown the butter and flour.  Instead of adding milk like in a Bèchamel, you add warm chicken stock.  Mmmm- just delicious.  Add this sauce over pasta, over chicken breasts, or in a puff pastry like the Beggars Purses.  It can also be used as a thickener in soups.

So, as school starts back, so do the seasons of warm soups follow behind.  Cheers to a another wonderful school year!