To All the Momma’s Out There

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

I was wondering what I should write about this week.  And then I remembered.  It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday.  This time of year always brings with it a great many feelings.  Gratitude is one.  I am so grateful for my mom and to be a mother.

My poor mom had to put up with a wild child.  I was a free spirit who demanded attention (and possibly still does).  When I think about how tired I am, I think about all the mothers before me and around me.  I want to give a group hug to all the mothers out there.  Here’s to you!

My mom would always share this story about being in a Rose’s Department Store.  I began running away from her and she couldn’t catch me.  I was running around and around those circular clothes racks.  My mom asked a gentleman to grab hold of me so that she could catch me.  The gentleman told her “children will be children” and walked away.  I think she wanted to hurt that gentleman more than she wanted to hurt me at that moment.

My third little princess was a screamer.  She would scream at the top of her lungs when I told her no.  She would then throw herself onto the floor and it was always a real scene.  If her head could have spun around, it would have.  I swear I thought she was possessed.  My friends, to this day, will say “remember when Gabby used to have those fits?”  Uh, yeah, I lived them.  And gratitude comes to mind again… I am so glad she has outgrown them.

My grandmother, who is German, used to always make a wonderful german potato salad.  She has Alzheimer’s disease now and I am not really sure if she remembers me or her potato salad recipe.  Today I want to share a similar recipe to hers.  She used to put sweet pickles in her recipe, but I do not.  I never have liked those sweet pickles.  Granny’s mom died when she was three years old.  Gratitude comes to me again.  I am 39 years old, and I have gotten to share many years and memories with these wonderful women.

Southern Potato Salad

Ingredients

12 Medium Red Potatoes, boiled whole with skin on

5 Hard Boiled Eggs, diced

1 Medium Purple Onion, diced

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

3/4 cup of Hellmann’s Mayonnaise

1/2 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

You will first medium dice your boiled potatoes.  You will know the potatoes are done when a fork goes through easily.  This takes about 10-15 minutes.  In a large bowl, mix potatoes, eggs, onion, mustard, mayo, parsley, salt and pepper.  If your salad looks a little dry, add a couple more tablespoons of the mayo.  It’s as easy as that.  In the summer, I love this side dish with a grilled hamburger and corn on the cob, just like my mother.

As I finish up, I am remembering those sweet chubby hands of all three of my girls when they were little. I am feeling gratitude again, for the memories of yesterday and those to come.  And most importantly, I am thankful for the honor of being a mother and for my own Momma.  I love you!

Cheer’s to every mother!  And a very happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

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Granny and Grandaddy with My Mom and Aunti Chrissy


Me, Mom, Allie and Em

Me, Mom, Allie and Em

 

 

 

 

 

Hats Off to the Bluegrass

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Mint Julep


I’ve been nostalgic about Kentucky this week. Partly because I’ve never been gone this long. But also it’s the way the mid-morning sun nestles on the leaves outside my window. I’ve seen the sun perch like this before on old trees back in Louisville. I’m reminded of brisk, silver cast walks to school and sweaty, sunny walks home, with the relief and excitement of a summer almost ripe. The sun has a particular way of shimmering just so at the dawn of May, and that can only mean one thing: it’s Derby week in the Bluegrass.

I can see my Dad at the kitchen table with his racing form, handicapping the horses. Today’s copy of The Courier Journal—filled with thoroughbred facts and hat histories– resting close by. The local news anchors chattering about specialty cuisines, fashion, and celebrity sightings. Like many, my Dad doesn’t attend the derby anymore, but you don’t have to actually go to feel the spirit of the city. It’s alive, and you can pick up on its pulse from anywhere. The season kicks off with a spectacular fireworks display, a hot air balloon race, and includes a marathon, a parade, and the Belle of Louisville swaying down the Ohio in the Great Steam Boat Race.

If ever there’s a time to feel the spirit of Louisville, it’s now. I bet even the weatherman has a pep in his step. The forecast for the first Saturday in May (because yes, I’ve checked) shows sunny and in the 70’s. This means a dry racetrack, oddly patterned sunburns, and copious amounts of mint juleps. I can see Louisville grinning all the way from Georgia. Cheers!

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Mint Julep

Ingredients

KY Bourbon

Simple Syrup (equal parts water and sugar, boiled ’til the sugar dissolves)

Ice

Fresh mint leaves

Coarse sugar (optional)

Directions:

Put the leaves in the bottom of the glass (or shaker) and pour an oz. of the simple syrup in. Muddle the leaves. If you don’t have a muddling tool, improvise. I used a spoon to mash the leaves down. Add in the ice, then Bourbon to taste. Mix. To jazz it up, put some sugar around the rim. 

The Doctor Is In!

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Arugula with Walnuts, Grapefruit, Goat’s Milk Blue Cheese and Lime Dressing


Today we received some wonderful news!  My dear client, Becky,  that I have been working with for a year in January has gotten her lab results back from her cardiologist.  Our goal was to lower her cholesterol without having to take medication.  Her LDL Cholesterol was a high 156 and is now a low 126!  When people have high LDL thier arteries build up with plaque causing higher risk of a heart attack.  So on top of this great news, Becky also learned that she had no plaque build up in her arteries!  She took control before the build up.  Way to go Becky!

One way Becky wanted to tackle her high cholesterol was to eat healthier, which is why she called me.  We worked together to find the right things that she enjoyed eating but with a healthy twist.  I began making her breakfast, lunch, dinners and snacks.  I had her eat a breakfast of healthy granola, greek yogurt and fresh berries or smoothies.   I made salads with sockeye salmon or lean meats for lunches that she could bring into work.  Dinners ranged from Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with olives and capers to Asian Stir Fry’s with as many fresh vegetables as possible.

This is such great news for all of us looking to take control of our lives with out the quick fix of a pill.  Now, I won’t go ranting about my personal opinion of drugs, because I have taken my fair share.  However, I will say, the magic pill isn’t always the answer and, we as individuals have to decide what is best for ourselves.  In my humble opinion, it does take time and giving yourself that is most important.  This is not the easy way out.  This takes dedication and patients to see great results.  Good news though!  There are no strange side effects of eating healthy other than looking at yourself in the mirror wondering who the stud is staring back!

Becky and I continue to work together to keep her happy, healthy and out of the Doctors office.  I have added new clients this year that would like help with their diets, too.  We all want to feel good and that starts with eating and sleeping well.  If we are on a mental journey of wellness, it is super hard to focus when our belly hurts!   I encourage all of you to start your journey to wellness and reach out to someone who can help you on the path.   G&H would be thrilled to help you with your meals!  It is super easy.  Many of us don’t have time to plan, shop and cook.  Some of us just don’t want to do the planning, shopping or cooking!  Either way is ok!  That is what I am here for.  And, you get to continue on with your life but in a healthier way.  And, selfishly, I get to fulfill my desire to help others with something I know a little bit about!

Today I am sharing one of the most simplest of salads but so beautiful and delightful.  I like it because it is simple to make and beautiful to see but mostly because it is mouthwateringly fresh in the mouth.

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Grapefruit Segments

 

Arugula with Walnuts, Grapefruit, Blue Cheese and Lime Dressing

Ingredients

1 large bunch Arugula

1-2 Pink or Yellow Grapefruits (or both) cut into segments with out skin or peel

Handful of Walnuts

3 ounces Maytag’s Goat’s Milk Blue Cheese

1 Lime Juiced

1/4 cup Good Olive Oil

pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Mix Lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Set the dressing aside.  Assemble a nice pile of your arugula on a plate.  Then sprinkle some walnuts, blue cheese and segments of grapefruiton top.  Drizzle your dressing over the salad when you are ready to serve.  Now, that is simple, fresh and delicious!  Just the way G&H likes it.

We are all on different journeys in our lifetime.  Life can be terribly difficult and wonderfully satisfying all in the same week.  One thing we all need though is food.  Here’s to taking control and living and eating wholeheartedly!  la vie est belle!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, So Graceful

Well, I have gracefully done it again.  As I peck away at my computer, cast around my right hand, I am feeling a little more optimistic than yesterday.  I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my right hand.  I cant even say I was having a wild and crazy night of table dancing.  No lifting, no cutting or chopping, no wrapping, no writing, no pony-tail making, no yoga, no stirring, no use with this right hand for 6 weeks.  As the Doctor says, I am lucky the bones didn’t shift.  If they do, I need surgery to pin them together. That sounds promising…

I have got to think outside of the box and I have to learn to ask for help.  I think I am pretty good with the first but terrible with the later.  I despise feeling like a burden on anyone.  And right now, this hand is burdening me.  I have had to think a lot of what I am grateful for… yes, the bones didn’t shift and I don’t have or know of anyone with Ebola.

Onward we march!

Lets work on the yummy biscuit recipe I brought back from France.  First of all, 100 grams is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon, so that isn’t correct on Petit Pavot Biscuit.  What is correct is that the cheese, flour and butter are equal measurements.

I used 2 egg yolks with 2 cups butter, 2 cups cake flour and 2 cups parmesan cheese and a tablespoon poppy seeds.  They are very flakey. The taste, however, is still just as delicious here in the states as it was in France. I may add another egg yolk to see if they will hold together a bit better.

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Since I am handicap at the moment, instead of mixing with my hands, I put the flour, frozen butter, and cheese in a food processor and blended until course.  I then blended in the egg yolk into the same bowl.  I laid it all out on a floured surface and pressed into a flat disk about an a half-inch thick.  I sprinkled the poppy seeds over the dough while pressing.  Lastly, I cookie cut out circles and baked for 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown.  These would be so good with bacon or ham pieces in them…just say’n.

Take very good care of yourselves and be careful until next time we chat!  It is dangerous out there!  Cheers!

 

Petit Pavot Biscuit

IMG_5670It is 2:30am here in France.  I can not tell if it is the late night petite café or the excitement I am having over the most glorious dinner that I have eaten.  We traveled about 30 minutes outside of Vaison-la-Romaine to a small town called St. Cecile Les Vignes.  After a couple of wrong turns my school mate from Patricia’s cooking class safely drove us to the wonderful restaurant Campange Vignes Gourmandises.

I would like to first say, a woman, who I believe is the chef’s wife, was the most kind French woman I have met thus far.  As we all know, my french is terrible.  Her English wasn’t perfect but she took the time to explain to me what she thought was the best thing on the menu when I asked her what she thought I should get.  I agreed with her choice and got the lamb for my main course.  It was by far the best and most perfectly cooked lamb I have ever put into my mouth.  I am still trying to figure out how exactly he made it so moist and also added those delicious roasted garlic and vegetables.  The kind woman said the lamb was from the region and I am sure that it played a role in the freshness that the meat gave.  It was divine.

What also struck me as devine were these perfect little, what I will call, Small Poppy Seed Biscuits.  They were brought out at the beginning of our meal with some olives.  These little biscuits where what I think all southerners are trying to perfect when we make biscuits.  They were the size of a quarter, they were moist with butter and sharp with parmesan cheese, and light with the right touch of kneading.  These same words rang true from last week’s eating while in California’s gardens.  Was I still in heaven?  I think so, just on the other side of heaven’s earth.

At the end of the meal, I couldn’t help myself.  I had to ask for the recipe and if not, could I have a bag of those little biscuits to take back to my apartment?  To my astonishment, the chef was obliged to give me the recipe.  He had no more biscuits, of course, for me to take home, because why would any be left?  They were that good.

I must share this with all of my devoted readers.  How can I keep something this good to myself?   I haven’t made them, as I am still traveling but how hard can it be?  Just remember to use fresh ingredients and the best butter and cheese that you can find.   I’ll let you know how mine comes out when I return.  When I do get this down, they will most definitely be on the menu!  

Ingredients

1oog parmesan

100g flour

100g salted butter

25g poppy seeds (could also use sesame seeds)

1 egg yolk

Directions

Mix the first four ingredients by hand and when incorporated, mix in your egg yolk.  Make little balls with the dough and place in an oven that has been preheated to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Simple and delicious just the way we like things.

At the end of the meal, I did ask for my petit café with dessert.  Note to self, the french do NOT take their coffee with dessert.  That comes afterwards, making yet another course.

Bon Appetit!

Gratitude and Comfort

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Grits with White Cheddar, Ham, and Jalapeño

There has been a shift in weather the last couple of days.  It is cooler, almost as if autumn is coming.  Changes in the weather can bring about different feelings.   Smells can bring on feelings.  Food and taste can bring a memory to us that was long forgotten.

Sometimes these memories and feelings are joyful, wonderful and all things good.  I get so excited with spring because warmer weather is coming after a cold winter.  At other times, it can be a trigger of anticipation and anxiety.  Sometimes, it can even bring on both positive and negative emotions.

I have felt peaceful and anxious, fearful and excited, stong and weak, grateful and selfish.  How can we feel so many different things at one time?   I don’t know but we do and it can come on as a tsunami.   School starts in less than a week.  Is summer really already over?

I had a party last weekend to celebrate 1 year of G&H being in business full-time.  I had no idea how fantastic owning a business would be but I had an intuition that said “do it”.  I am so grateful for all of my clients,  clients that have become close friends, old friends and new friends.  I am also grateful for the courage that I found to take this delightful and sometimes difficult journey.   I am grateful to those who have worked with me.  It can sometimes be too quiet in the kitchen.  I love shooting the shit and solving the worlds problems while chopping and dicing.  But most importantly, I want to thank those people who are so dear to my heart.  My Gabby Goose who just walk outside with her baby doll and came right up to me while I was typing away, to give me a kiss.  She knows I am working and to not bother me while I am writing so she doesn’t say a word.  She just kisses me to remind me she loves me, and what I am doing all of this for.  I am grateful for my older daughters who know me well enough to ask if I need help when they see me running around frantically to make sure every detail is perfect for a party.   Emma reminded me the other day that I was a good mom.  Those words coming from a 13 year old’s mouth makes you stop whatever it is you’re doing.  There is always room for improvement, which she has reminded me of, but not that day.  Allie, my oldest, who always laughs with me (or at me) when I get too serious.  It reminds me life is too short to take things too seriously.  I am grateful for my parents and brother who stand by me when things aren’t as easy as I would like them to be.  With every adventure, comes stumbling blocks.   My Dad loves telling the story of me touching a hot stove eye right after he told me not to do it because it was hot.  I do like to discover things on my own.  I am grateful for those few best girlfriends that like to enjoy wine, test my food, have belly laughs and maybe do a little venting.  I am super grateful for my best friend.  He knew right away that I was a creative and passionate person when we first met.  Passion can be a wonderful thing when life is going well, but challenging when things aren’t going the way I think they should.   At least, that is what he said.  🙂

I am so grateful for all of you.  You see things in me that I have yet to discover and it gives me such encouragement!  I have picked some awesome people to surround myself.  Thank you!

On that note, I would like to share a little comfort food recipe.  Grits are comfort food in the south. These aren’t the instant grits that are sold in super markets up north.  These are the stone ground corn grits that we are lucky enough to have in our southern markets.

Grits with White Cheddar, and Ham topped with Fresh Jalapeño Pepper

Ingredients

4 cups water

2 cups stone ground yellow or white corn grits

1 cup heavy cream

1 stick butter

1 cup shredded white sharp cheddar

1 cup chopped ham

salt and pepper

1 jalapeno ~seeded and diced

 

Directions

Begin by boiling your water.  When the water is boiling add a teaspoon of salt and your grits.  Stir occasionally to keep the grits from becoming clumpy or sticking to the bottom.  When the grits have absorbed all the water, add the heavy cream, butter, cheese and ham.   Once the cheese and butter have melted and are incorporated add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately and top with jalapeño.   If your grits become to thick, just add a little more cream or milk.

This is a great recipe for breakfast, brunch or dinner.   I hope it brings you great comfort no matter what feelings you may be feeling today.  And whatever those feelings are, I hope you know that you are loved.  I love you.  And thank YOU for reading my silly, serious, and sometimes savory words.  I am very grateful.  Cheers!

 

 

 

Taking the Wheel

Summertime Black Bean Salad

Summertime Black Bean Salad

I was just thinking how I haven’t had the time to sit out back in the morning, sip my coffee, do a little blogging, and get creative, which are some of the things I cherish and enjoy most and keep me balance with the daily “to do’s”.  I can see myself withering if I haven’t had a moment of creativity.  Lately, I have been doing things at full speed, not taking the time to really enjoy what I have been doing.  And then, I read the wonderful words from “My Daily Om” written by Madison Taylor. This is what she said so beautifully.

It’s easy to go through this fast-paced world feeling as if you are being dragged through your weeks on the back of a wild horse. Many of us go from one thing to another until we end up back at home in the evening with just enough time to wind down and go to sleep, waking up the next morning to begin the wild ride once more. While this can be exhilarating for certain periods of time, a life lived entirely in this fashion can be exhausting, and more important, it places us in the passenger’s seat when really we are the ones who should be driving. When we get caught up in our packed schedule and our many obligations, weeks can go by without us doing one spontaneous thing or taking time to look at the bigger picture of our lives. Without these breaks, we run the risk of going through our precious days on a runaway train. Taking time to view the bigger picture, asking ourselves if we are happy with the course we are on and making adjustments, puts us back in the driver’s seat where we belong. When we take responsibility for charting our own course in life, we may well go in an entirely different direction from the one laid out for us by society and familial expectations. This can be uncomfortable in the short term, but in the long term it is much worse to imagine living this precious life without ever taking the wheel and navigating our own course. Of course, time spent examining the big picture could lead us to see that we are happy with the road we are on, but we would like more time with family or more free time to do whatever we want at the moment. Even if we want more extreme changes, the way to begin is to get off the road for long enough to catch our breath and remember who we are and what we truly want. Once we do that, we can take the wheel with confidence, driving the speed we want to go in the direction that is right for us.

I am going to take the wheel today.  I will smell the gardenias blooming out my front door.  I will sit a minute longer with my coffee.  I will dance with my daughters while the music is playing in the background.  I will take a moment to smell each fresh herb I am chopping.  AND, I am going to get creative with a new dish!  Yum, I just tasted it.Fresh Veggies

I had some time this early morning before the girls woke up to go to the market to see and buy whatever fresh veggies struck me as inspiring.  I don’t always have the time to do this because my menus somewhat stay the same and time doesn’t always allow it.  This is what I came up with.

Ingredients

2 Fresh Corn on the Cob  (I found some beautiful white and yellow mixed)

1 bunch of cilantro chopped

1/2 purple onion diced

3 cloves garlic minced

1 avocado diced

1 orange bell pepper diced

1 jalapeño pepper finely diced

1 pint cherry tomatoes cut into quarters

2 cans organic black beans drained and rinsed

1 fresh lime

Directions

In a medium sauce pan, boil some water and add your corn on the cob to cook for 5 minutes.  When the corn is done, remove them from the water and let them cool so that you can cut the kernels from the cob. In a large bowl mix cooked corn, cilantro, onion, garlic, avocado, bell pepper, jalapeño, tomatoes, black beans, and fresh lime juice.  Let this mixture sit out at room temperature for an hour or refrigerate for a few hours to let all the flavors mix.  This can be eaten as a salad or a side to grilled fish.  Either way, the dish is excellent and another perfect dish for the summer.  With every bite, your mouth will sing.

My father always taught us when cooking to see how many colors you can get on your plate.  I think we have accomplished the rainbow with this one.

“It is in our idleness, in our dreams, that the submerged truth sometimes comes to the top.”  -Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf knew the importance of dreaming and creativeness in the midst of the mundane.  I know I have written about it a 1000 times but I have to be reminded 1000 times that I have the wheel to my own life.  Here’s to driving, creativity and a damn good summer salad!  Cheer’s!

Egg White, Spinach, Mushroom and Gruyère Quiche

Egg White Quiche with Spinach Mushrooms and Gruyere

Egg White Quiche with Spinach Mushrooms and Gruyère

This month is already beaming with surprises.  I love this time of year so much!  There are celebrations everywhere.  Graduations, outdoor festivals, weddings, and bridal showers are all on the calendar for this month and I will be sure to share them with you.   Spring is in full bloom!

As I sit outside typing away, I feel a breeze that is just lightly brushing my skin and the sun is warming my core.  A day like today calls for brunch outdoors with friends and family.  I have the best Quiche recipe for you and your loved ones to enjoy.  It will not disappoint. This is easy to throw together, healthy for our bodies and your guests will love it.  It is delicious to they eyes and mouth.  Feel free to mix in different vegetables.  Just use the same egg and milk ratio.

This filling can be used for 8 smaller Quiche or one large Quiche.   I am using a store-bought pie dough.  There is a time and place for making pie shells but not today!  It is too beautiful outside to be stuck in the kitchen cooking all day.

Ingredients

8 ounces chopped mushrooms

1 small shallot minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

6 large egg whites

1/2 cup milk

1 cup grated Gruyère cheese plus extra for sprinkling on the top

1 Pie shell

 

Directions

Warm your olive oil in a saute pan and add the mushrooms and shallots.  Saute until the mushrooms are soft and then add the garlic and spinach.  Remove from the heat after a minute and the spinach is wilted.  Let this completely cool.  In a separate large bowl, mix your egg whites, milk, cup of Gruyère cheese and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.   Add your cooled mushroom and spinach mixture to the eggs.  Pour your filling into the pie shell or shells and sprinkle the top with your remaining cheese.  Bake the smaller Quiche for 20-25 minutes and the larger Quiche for 35-40 minutes or until the egg is cooked through but don’t overcook the eggs.

There really is no need to have a pie shell if you are looking to leave out a few extra calories.  You can cook the filling in a glass pie dish but it will not take as long!

Serve this with your favorite fruits and a mimosa.  Here is to more beautiful days to come and healthy eating.  Cheers!

 

Worthy of a Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

My dear friend came over for dinner last night.  We sat outside, had a bottle of white wine and a wonderful dinner of Healthy Chicken Pot Pie that I had frozen earlier in the week.  She is in a hard place and I understand it because I have been there too.  She feels unworthy of happiness.

What could be better than some wonderful soul food to heal us on a soul level?

Ingredients

2 tablespoons real unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

cup chopped carrots

cup chopped celery

8 ounces chopped mushrooms

3 tablespoons flour

1.5 cups home-made chicken broth

1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast or tenders

salt and pepper to taste

1 disc Martha’s Perfect Pate Brisee

Directions

Saute your onion, celery, and carrot in your butter and oil.  The oil will help the butter from burning but also keep the delicious buttery taste without adding another tablespoon of it.  When the vegetables are soft, add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two until cooked through.   Then add the garlic.  Don’t burn the garlic!  Simmer for a minute and then add the flour.  Cook this mixture for another minute before adding the broth and whisking at the same time to incorporate.  If your mixture seems to thick or thin, add broth or subtract broth according to your own desire.  Lastly, mix in cooked chicken and salt and pepper to taste.  After everything is incorporated, pour your mixture into a pie pan and top with your Pate Brisee.  By only adding a pie topping, you are cutting out half those calories but you will never notice.  Promise!  Bake your Chicken Pot Pie for 30-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  This also freezes well.  So, double the recipe and make two.  One for a night with a friend and another for a week night when there is no time for cooking.  Don’t thaw the Chicken Pot Pie when taking it out of the freezer and cook it for about 30 minutes longer or until your crust is golden.

This post is on a little more personal basis of health.  I had been struggling with feeling worthy for a long time.  I am not even sure when this misconception began for me.  I was talking to my dear friend and healer, R. Brian Keith, and he said something that has been on my mind and so poignant that I wanted to share it with you because it is so true.

As I sat in Brian’s office, I told him how I could see this “destination” of worthiness.   I said, “I feel so close.  I feel like I can see it, touch it, smell it.  I want to grab hold of it.  But I can’t quite grasp it.”  And that is when Brian said to me, “Mandy, worthiness is a state of being.”  It isn’t a destination, it is a “state of being”.

Worthiness could mean so many things to so many people.  Am I worthy of a loving partner? Worthy of a job I enjoy?  Worthy of being paid well?  Worthy of food on the table?  Worthy of health?  Worthy of money?  Worthy of dreaming?  The list goes on.

My joy has always come from my daughters.  My joy also comes from cooking and entertaining.  When I can bring that to someone’s home, it gives me great satisfaction.  I can do things physically that heal me, like running, yoga, and cooking with healthy ingredients.  But all of this isn’t enough if I don’t feel worthy of it.  

I also thought that I could reach this “destination” at a certain timeline.  I felt like, if I do this, I will feel this.  If I don’t do this, I won’t feel that.  If I do too much of this, I will feel terrible!  Well, I don’t think there is a timeline anymore.  Because, if so, I have totally missed the boat.  I think that is what is meant by the saying “the journey of life”.   It’s not the destination.

I am not sure why I didn’t feel worthy.  I don’t think any one person has made me feel unworthy.  I think I had been in a “state of being” and that had brought people into my life to confirm my own negative thoughts.  Even those that have come into my life and thought of me as an admirable person had been ignored because I didn’t believe it.  I don’t believe myself unworthy anymore, because it just isn’t true.

I wanted to share this with you because I talk about getting healthy with the foods that we ingest.  However, as we all know, this is only a small part of our journey to living a healthy lifestyle.  And we want to do this because it helps us to feel really good on this journey of life.  But, no matter how may healthy grains, or healthy fruits and vegetables we eat, if we don’t believe in ourselves as worthy, admirable, and loved individuals, we will never be healthy.

I say today, remind yourself how worthwhile you are and remind those that are dear to you, too.  A simple way of doing this is by sharing Chicken Pot Pie with those you love.  You are a beautiful being.  You have to believe it before anyone else can tell you how lovely you are to them.  Believe it.  That is the “state of being”.  It feels really, really good when you do.   Cheers!