Fall in New England

Fall is upon us and being a true New Englander, I must say that I love stepping outside to crisp cool air. The signs of fall, bring back memories of being tucked in under comforters, of time spent with friends and family and feeling loved. Nothing, makes me think of fall more then a deliciously prepared soup. A thick hearty soup has a way of warming me up on a chilly fall day and bringing me comfort.

Here is a recipe that’s sure to become a staple in your home.

sancocho2

This soup, is a traditional Caribbean soup and though it may be called by a different name, in different islands, in Dominican Republic, where I am from, it is called Sancocho. Sancocho’s can be made with different choices of meet or with beans. The one we will make today is one made with chicken and root vegetables such as yucca and potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

sancocho

How to Prepare

Peel, wash and cut all vegetables into medium sized pieces

In a pot add enough water and place all vegetables and all seasoning. Do not add the meat.

Now we boil the vegetables and seasonings. Wash and season the chicken,  then put it to cook in a pan and reserve it for later.

When the vegetables are tender, remove the squash started to puree it and then add it back to the pot. When this process is finished, add the stewed chicken with all its juices. Cover the pot and let cook for an additional 15 minutes more.

After the fifteen minutes have passed, it is up to you to decide whether to remove or leave the onions and peppers.  I have been known to leave them in, but my preference is to remove them. Visually it makes the dish look better.

Now it’s time for the TASTING. Here you will check if it needs salt, or needs more flavoring. This can be fixed by adding more Salt and a Chicken Bouillon. Flavoring can also be fixed by adding more herbs such as long coriander, oregano or thyme.

This soup is meant to be of a thick consistency. A happy medium between a traditional chicken soup and a stew. Once it has achieved this consistency, it is ready to eat!

Sancocho’s are traditionally eaten with a side dish of white rice and a slice of avocado. I normally like eating it with rice and a lime wedge, to squeeze into the soup right before eating, and for those who tend to love soup a slight bit spicier, a dash of hot sauce seems to do it for me.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe as much as I do, and that with time this too becomes a staple in your home.

From my home to yours, enjoy!

RH&L

Dating…I do, but I don’t

Dating had always been a fun experience for me. The whole ritual of getting dress, dinner meals, pretty flowers and the opportunity to sit down with a guy just for the sole purpose of getting to know each other, was exciting to me. But today, after years of focusing on my daughter and her needs, I find dating to be quite intimidating and to be frank, quite tiresome. Though in my mind, I believe that it would be EXCITING to dress up and spend an evening with a nice guy, I then start thinking of what this all really entails.

For one, I have to actually find something to wear. Let me repeat, I have to actually find something to wrap around this body mine. Something that will make me feel pumped for the date and invincible, because at 33 and after one child, my energies are quite depleted. I find that though I want to head out there into the dating world, and I want it to be as fun as it once was, I am not interested in all the little things that really get in the way of my purpose for dating; to find the right person and get married.

At this point in my life, I don’t want to hide the things that are not so pretty, I don’t want to pull out the spanx or pick at my food and take dainty bites. I don’t want to talk about the weather and I certaintly don’t care discuss the statuses on any sports team. I want to have an honest conversation about life, politics and religion. I need “him” to know that I enjoy food (and at times break out a little tune of happiness), that I am curvy for a reason. I want to discuss his standing on faith and his relationship with God. I want to find out if he has a career or a job, and I need him to understand that I have an opinion on just about everything. Most of all I need “him” to know that I have a daughter and she..is.. my WORLD.

This doesn’t mean that I don’t want the pleasantries that come with dating, but I mean –  can we be real and honest?

Anyone out there feel the same? Anyone with experiences to share?

RH&L

 

 

 

 

Running…I Call Thee Nemesis

 

So here’s the skinny, I just had a birthday and though I am happy and blessed to have  another year, I am feeling disappointed with my health all around. I know that something needs to change, and I want to start thirty-three with good healthy habits. I have already started eating better, and being a weekday vegan (we’ll touch base on another post) has made drastic improvements in my health and how I feel. But, I know that I need to include more physical activity in my life and my goal this year is to conquer running outside. Well.. conquer running.

Okay, the news of the hour (not  much news to those who know me), I HATE running. I hate all of it! I hate the sweating profusely and the being out of breath. I hate, and I can vouch for all plus size girls out there, knowing that as I am attempting to run, my body is moving in all sorts of directions. That alone is reason enough to break out in sweat. BUT, I have decided, for the sake of my health, to ignore all these reasons (some might call excuses..but whatever!) to run. My first step towards this goal is to learn how to run.

captureThere is this cool app called C25K and its meant to get you from being a “couch potato” to running a 5k. This is all supposed to happen within six weeks. I have heard great things about it and so I am hopeful and excited to begin. I’ll keep you posted on my progress, wish me luck!!

Click on the image to check put the app.

 

Anyone else building a better “YOU”? Any tips? Please share.