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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Soup for a ski day...and some great news!

Kevin and I got some great news today...our sweet little Yorkie, Bridget, recently had surgery to remove a worrisome 'string' of tumors. We thought it was an impacted teat at first..common in Yorkies who have not been bred...but she also has not been spayed. She will be 11 years old on February 1, so this was a very bad age for her to start having some 'be-bees' near her teats.
She also had 8 teeth removed- Yorkies also have really lousy teeth in some lines, so it was a pretty major surgery for the poor girl!
She has been recovering very nicely- only had pain meds for a couple of days and didn't need the anti-inflamatory meds for more than a week...she has been back to herself the past few days, so we were pretty hopeful!
Today, she had her stitches out (and her nails trimmed) and the doctor told us that all of the tumors removed from several different locations are benign! We are so happy- usually (75% of the time) it's cancerous, so this was GREAT news!  Now, she's gonna get a haircut and a bath...


We've also been skiing a lot, which is why I have been neglecting my blog a little bit!

After buying lunch on the mountain ONCE at $30 for soup and garlic fries for two...we decided we needed to bring a lunch with us! We have been packing up a nice little lunch of whole wheat wraps, veggies, cheese sticks and fruit...oh, and since Kevin is usually the Designated Driver, I bring my sweet little Platypus for a nice glass of wine for a break or lunch. (Kevin does his apres-ski at home...it's only 25 minutes down the mountain)

We bought a nice Thermos brand ROCK to bring some soup once in a while- it hasn't been really, really, cold, yet, on the mountain, but we seriously love soup for lunch! The Rock keeps the soup HOT HOT for hours so it's really nice to bring something tasty, homemade and hot for lunch.


It looks like it's snowing up there right now, so we are hoping to go skiing tomorrow. We are bringing this soup with us!

I've posted about this before...it's my FAVORITE soup. I made an adaptation today with the type of chorizo I used.

I went to Centro Market today and bought both Spanish Chorizo and Salvadoran Chorizo
 to use in the soup. Normally I used a cooked Spanish Chorizo, but I thought it would be good to use a fresh sausage! The Salvadoran is very mild- and I usually use a pretty spicy sausage, but let me tell you, this soup turned out fantastic!

Kale and Chorizo Soup

1 lb. of chorizo, casings removed (you can also use italian sausage- spicy or mild)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
2 medium russet potatoes, chopped
2 cups of chopped fresh kale
1 can of drained and rinsed beans (I used cannelini beans)
1 can of diced tomatoes ( I used a 12 ounce home canned tomatoes- you can use 16 ounces)
1 quart of chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces.

Add the chili flakes (if used) onions and potatoes and stir with the sausage. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.


Add the garlic and stir. Add the kale and stir.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the kale is wilted. Stir and add the beans, tomatoes and chicken stock.

Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook until the potatoes are cooked through.
Add salt and pepper to taste.




YUM!
Now, we are doing the snow dance!!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What a Way to Start the New Year!

I have finally done it!

I am very pleased and proud that I have had a major breakthrough accomplishment on January 1, 2014.
Oh, I've tried many recipes from others, but I have finally come up with the

PERFECT HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING.

I feel like David Allen Coe .Yes, you have to click on the link to get this reference if you don't listen to country music...but it's worth it. Listen to the whole thing.

Kevin and I are able to start using our ski pass starting tomorrow. We've been on a 'value pass blackout' since December 25...which is fine by me. I got to miss out on all the people on Christmas Vacation crowding up my mountain.

We are planning our lunch menus (We don't buy food on the mountain- holy smoke, we'd be broke!)  and discovered that we've used up the last batch of homemade French dressing and Ranch Dressing, so I decided to experiment with our favorite dip for celery, carrots and sugar snap peas.  (We don't use bottled dressings anymore, either)

After trying many, many recipes, I hit upon this perfect combination.
It probably helped that I recently ordered toasted onion powder from The Spice House . This is the only place I buy spices. Thanks, Alton Brown.

PERFECT Ranch Dressing

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use non-fat)
1/2 cup sour cream (I use low fat)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon each:
toasted onion powder
garlic powder
kosher salt
dill weed (NOT SEED)
freshly grated black pepper

Mix together well and pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Let it rest for about an hour. Shake well before using. This keeps for about a week...if it lasts that long.

It has a lovely tang! If you really like the bottled Hidden Valley Ranch stuff, you can add a teaspoon of sugar, but I really like the flavor of this combination. It's also a little thick, so it's great as either a dip or as a salad dressing.


You're welcome.

Happy New Year!