Envisioning a Wonderful 2015

It’s New Year’s Eve!  I am thinking about this past year feeling extremely grateful for everyone and everything.  I am getting really excited about 2015 too.  There are so many new things coming up personally and professionally.  As I think about upcoming events, like moving from my home of 10 years, I am super excited about the next kitchen that I will move into.  I am envisioning a wonderful new workspace and living space for 2015.  It isn’t big or extravagant.  It is simple, warm and charming with lovely patinas.  I am envisioning happy healthy clients living their dreams with Grits and Honey’s help.  As the New Year approaches, I feel more excited about all the wonderful things that are on the horizon.

As I read through different cookbooks, like David Lebovitz’s  My Paris Kitchen, I feel so inspired to try new recipes and play with different spices.  I feel so heartened that I am on the right path of living and eating well.  I love these little inspirations and I want to sway those around me to go get inspired!  Let’s do it together.  I don’t want to make this another year gone by with dreams undone.  Let’s begin living those dreams even if it is just one simple one.  And let’s gently remind eachother when we find ourselves off track.

This past week, I decided to eat healthier before the 1st of the year so that I could get a head start on feeling good.  I also just felt like crap from all the sugar, booze and family drama I had been consuming to get through the holidays.  I find that I go through peaks and valleys of healthy eating.  The valleys are a little less and maybe that is why they affect me so greatly.  When I do eat crap, I can really feel it.  I don’t really believe in diets though.  I believe in lifestyle changes.  Life style changes won’t happen by feeling restricted or deprived.  At least, it doesn’t work for me.  Sometimes I want a little family drama and booze.

But back to being healthy…let’s take Guacamole.  An avocado is rich in so many vitamins, minerals and healthy fat.  I am hesitant to include the “fat” in the sentence because of the stigma that comes with it.  Do you know how important that fat is?  Most importantly, we need fat to live.  I am not talking about saturated fat.  I am talking about good fats from avocados, almonds, salmon, etc.  The kind of fat that makes your skin look good, lower cholesterol and improve your thinking.  Some of you already know this, but there are so many that are misinformed about food.  That topic is for another blog.

Back to the Guacamole. This snack is so easy to make, delicious, healthy, and simple.  4 ingredients plus your veggies to use for dipping.

Ingredients

2 Avocados

1/2 fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

salt to taste

Directions

You have two choices on direction. 1)add all ingredients into a food processor and blitz or 2) chop up your garlic finely then mix in other ingredients by mashing the avocado and lemon juice into the garlic.  The later direction will make your guacamole a little more chunky but both are delicious.

You could leave the dip as is or if you have other ingredients you want to use, throw in that cilantro, jalapeño, tomato, or cayenne pepper.  Go crazy, or not, depending on your mood.  There is a time and place for both.

Dont always use it as a dip for corn chips!  Use it for dipping carrots, celery, or raw zucchini.  This is a great healthy filling snack or appetizer for yourself and the family.

Envision making more of this in 2015 and it will happen.  Envision yourself as healthy, happy and living your dreams and it will come true, sometimes with a better outcome than you had imagined.  Happy New Year and here’s to making and living our dreams!  Cheers!

 

 

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Home Stretches

IMG_9283Only 20 days left in 2014!  We are definitely in the home stretch to 2015.  This has been an amazing year on so many accounts!  G&H continues to thrive and even soar to greater heights than I could have ever imagined.  We are super excited to have been invited to cater the holiday party for the Inman Park Neighborhood this year.  This is such a great neighborhood and it will no doubt be a fabulous event.  There is a lot yet to be done to prepare for the party, so I feel pretty crazy to be sitting down for a moment to type a blog, but HEY- I love it.  And I am not sure who is crazier- me, as writer, or you as reader!

So, we have loads of crapola to do before the new year.  Most of us are sweating bullets to get’r done and frustrated as hell at those who seem to have it all together.  Guess what?  This season, too, will pass, and we will get through it.  Some of us more gracefully than others, some of us with more joy than toys under the tree, and some of us with not one gift to give or receive!  But, all is well!  It will be January before we know it and St. Nick will be gone and the credit card debt will stick around for the next six months!  Ha!  See the silver lining?

Ok- so I really do like the Christmas season.  The part I love the most is having people over to the house to spend the day eating some of the most delicious foods, drinking fabulous wine, and laughing together (mainly at each other).

I take Christmas day to cook a wonderful but simple meal, that I usually prepare for clients, but don’t always do for my family.  I want to show my love by cooking something special and they are thrilled with gourmet food.  For starters, we always have Candied Nuts lying around to nibble on.  These yummies can last weeks if they are kept in a sealed jar, for those who pre-plan and make (or call G&H) ahead of time.  As a main course, I usually make Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding with Beef Tenderloin and a lovely bed of fresh green lettuce leaves and for dessert, Chocolate Whiskey Cake or a Creme Brulé!  I don’t fuss over any of it and that is what makes the experience so enjoyable.  There really is no pressure because it is more about the time together (and time off) than anything else.

It is true, the host sets the tone of the party.  If you are frazzled, everyone else will feel that energy and run for the door.  I have been in both the driver seat and the passenger seat of that experience and I would choose to never experience either again.  UNCOMFORTABLE.  So, if you find yourself there, breath deep and think of a way to move away from that…quickly.  Call Chinese food if you need to.

Ingredients

Beef Tenderloin

Kosher Salt

Black Pepper

Meat Thermometer

 

Directions

The trick to the Beef Tenderloin is a good meat thermometer.  Have I written that before?  Well, it deserves to be written twice if I have said it already.  Go get a good meat thermometer.  It will make your kitchen life so much easier which in turn makes everyone’s life easier.  Stick the thermometer in the thickest area and forget about it.  You can tell it rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, and well done.  Most Maverick thermometers have the temperature already calibrated into those 5 categories.  So, you just pick which you like and it does the rest.  There is also no trick to the tenderloin.  It only needs salt and pepper and should go into the oven at room temp.  No, it needs nothing whatsoever more.  Don’t make it more complicated than it already is around this time of year.  Just let the tenderloin sit out for an hour then add the salt and pepper all over.  Stick that thermometer in and let her tell you when she is done.  Some people sear their tenderloin before putting it in the oven but that isn’t necessary either.  The oven can be set at 300 degrees fahrenheit.   Let your tenderloin sit for some time afterwards (even an hour) before slicing to keep all those fantastic juices in the meat, not running out on the plate.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year!  It has been such a pleasure cooking for and with you this year.  Here’s to many more!  Cheers!