I didn’t forget about Power Food Fridays, I just, well, haven’t posted one in awhile . . . I think it’s been over a year. Maybe two.
Okay, so I’m not the most consistent person you’ll ever meet. But I’m trying to turn that around.
Anyway, onto business . . .
Beets are a serious power food. I mean, look at their color! Usually, the more colorful a fruit or vegetable is, the higher in nutrients it is.
They boast beta-carotene, folate, Vitamin C, iron, and fiber. Don’t you just feel good about yourself when you eat them? I love them in just about anyway that you can serve them: roasted, juiced, canned, pickled, sliced, and in cake. Yeah, I pretty much love beets. They might even be my favorite vegetable. What do you think about beets? Are you a lover or a hater? What about your kids?
I should probably call this post “How to Make Macerated Balsamic Strawberries,” but I’m not a fan of the word macerated.
Yeah, because I’m just that mature.
I’m posting these to go with the Eton Mess I posted yesterday, but I’m a huge fan of balsamic strawberries anyway, whether I’m eating them alone, on top of a Pavlova (which is, let’s be honest, just a tidier version of Eton Mess), in a strawberry shortcake, or my favorite way: on top of vanilla ice cream.
I’m what people consider an Anglophile (don’t you hate words that end in -phile?). I love Downton Abbey . . . Ben Barnes . . . Charlie Hunnam, all recent super hero casting choices . . . I love the English countryside, and how beautiful it is to see one solitary tree on a hillside meadow dotted with white sheep. I love C.S. Lewis and fairytales. I love Bath; I love Jane Austen novels. I know that if I could start my life over again, I would spend at least a year or two in Oxford after I graduated from college, just in case some ruddy cheeked footballing graduate student wanted to fall in love with me and start a family.
This recipe is for any of you who are like me. It’s very simple, it originated at the school attended by Prince William and Lord Grantham , and it’s absolutely delicious. Or perhaps I should say brilliant.
Here’s just a quick soup I came up with when I happened to have basil on my counter and I needed to get rid of some sweet potatoes. It has a great balance of sweet and savory, and I love that I didn’t need to add any kind of stock—the flavor was great without it. The sweet potato rounds out the acidity of the tomatoes, and can be the main star of the soup, or just play a supporting role.
I have been wanting to eat one of these babies for over a decade.
When I was in Elementary school, a girl in my class brought in meringues her mother had made. They were white on the outside, but when you bit into them, you found M&Ms hidden inside. My nine-year-old self could not believe how amazing they were.
I made my chocolate meringue kisses ages ago to be like those M&M meringues, but these white ones are a simpler version. They’re just about as simple as you can get, but the possibilities are endless. You can mix in candies, pipe them into different shapes, swirl in colors, or flavors . . . you can do just about anything.
I need to drum up some serious positive thinking, ‘cuz I just came down with something and right now I feel like a blunt awl is tunneling into the left side of my skull.
Positive thought #1: Good thing I made this chicken soup for the kids last week. They had all taken the week off from school, with their little faces glued to shows like Kickin’ It and Good Luck Charlie, so they could get rid of this fever and sore throat they all had. They never ate (drank, whatever you insist on saying) the soup, so now I still have a big pot of it for me.
Positive thought #2: On Saturday night, when I was watching a movie with some friends, I started aching all over my body and shivering. I knew had caught what my kids had. Oddly enough, I kind of like fevers—they mean I have a provable illness and can take time off and no one will judge me—but the headaches that come with them . . . they’re maddening. (In case you missed the positive thought in there, it was the bit about taking time off.)
Positive thought #3: The people at Muir Glen sent me samples of their amazing tomatoes awhile ago, and I used them for the soup. And I’ll totally be talking about them again soon.
Positive thought #4: I awoke this morning to find my friend Jon shoveling my walkway at 7:15. I have good friends.
It is now two weeks after New Years, and I think we can safely say the holidays are over. I tend to come up with an excuse every day in January that conveniently pushes back the end of the holidays and my resolution to eat healthy and get fit. But it is best to ease into things, right?
I know this recipe is a little more suited to about two weeks ago, but I just could not get myself to bake this holiday season. What was that all about? I’ve had butter sitting on my counter for weeks so I could make it into something that required it to be at room temperature, and I just haven’t done anything.
Will someone please tell me now why I haven’t dropped ten pounds for demonstrating such restraint?
This is the same poundcake I showed you about four years ago, only this time I added chopped cranberries and orange zest. You can add it to your list of treats to make next December, or you can just make it as one last homage to the passing holiday. And then start your diet . . . tomorrow.
I also learned a little trick!! Every time I make this cake at high altitude, it always sinks. But a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d change the kind of flour I used, just to see if there would be a difference. I tried making it with bread flour, thinking the extra gluten would help give the cake the structure it was lacking, and guess what! It worked!!
I’m sure you’ve been just as busy as I have been, but here’s just a quick something-or-other to add to your Christmas cookie boxes. They’re like eating pure evil.