Category Archives: Post A Day 2011

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter…

“Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.”  Margaret Kennedy

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Tom Yum Soup...

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Vary Your Soup Spices and Flavors...

What are your favorite ways to stay warm in winter? During the winter time, we turn not only to warm clothing, well stocked fireplaces and heated homes, but also to comfort foods that nourish our insides and keep us warm and well fed. I love winter clothing; coats, boots, knit hats and gloves but better yet, I love hot soups. I enjoy eating a wide range of soups during the cold season and the best part is that we can also toss whatever left over vegetables and grain we have in our fridge in a pot, buy fresh vegetables and tofu which I do often, add some vegetable or chicken stock, and make a delicious quick soup. For this post, I’d love to share some of my favorite soups and, if possible, provide you with recipes to make them. Above is Tom Yum Soup.

Tom Yum Soup via AllRecipes.com
Prep Time:10 Min, Cook Time:40 Min, Ready In:1 Hr 10 Min, Serves: 4 -6 servings
Ingredients: 1/2 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
12 mushrooms, halved
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
4 cups water
2 lemon grass
4 kaffir lime leaves
4 slices galangal
4 chile padi (bird’s eye chiles)
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon hot chile paste
1 tablespoon tom yum soup paste (optional)
Directions: Trim lemongrass and cut into matchstick size pieces.
To make stock: Add the shrimp heads and shells to water, then cook for 20 minutes. Turn the fire off. Soak the heads and shells for further 20 minutes before discarding. Trim lemongrass and cut into matchstick size pieces. Add stock, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chili padi, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili paste to a pot and bring to a boil. After boiling for 5 minutes, add shrimps and both mushrooms. Cook for further 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

“It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without soup or bread in it.” M. F. K. Fisher

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Chicken Noodle Soup...

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Toss Your favorite Vegetables in a Soup...

Chicken soups come in all forms and people create their own recipes for them too. I love Matzo Ball Soup with vegetables and chicken stock with some chicken in it. Soups are great when we are not feeling well. I find that when I have a cold or begin to feel under the weather, a spicy soup like Tom Yum, a Mixed Vegetable,  Chicken Noodle, or Chicken with Matzo ball soup does the trick in helping my immune system recuperate. Even though the pictures above are of a Chicken Noodle Soup, and a hearty  Vegetable Soup, I have shared a Spicy Chicken soup recipe below. You can modify it by using fewer spices and skipping the sour cream…. What I love about soups is that we don’t have to be rigid with recipes, we can adapt and adjust them accordingly. Also, I use fresh not canned vegetables and we can swap items on the recipe lists. Do you have a favorite soup recipe? Don’t forget to check out one of my top favorite soups: The Carrot with Cashews & Ginger Soup… More Below. ;-)

Spicy Chicken soup via All Recipes.com
Prep Time: 15 Min Cook Time:30 Min Ready In:45 Min, Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients: 2 quarts water
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon onion powder
5 cubes chicken bouillon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (16 ounce) cans chili beans, undrained
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
Directions: In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken, reserve broth. Shred chicken.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, corn, chili beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups broth. Simmer 30 minutes.

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Musings: On Driving…

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” George Carlin

Musings: On Driving... Maserati convertible...

“Sometimes, when I drive across the desert in the middle of the night, with no other cars around, I start imagining: What if there were no civilization out there? No cities, no factories, no people? And then I think: No people or factories? Then who made this car? And this highway? And I get so confused I have to stick my head out the window into the driving rain—unless there’s lightning, because I could get struck on the head by a bolt.” Jack Handey

Do you enjoy driving? What was your first car, your dream car, and earliest memory of driving? I love driving as I find it, especially highway driving, meditative. My first car was a Mitsubishi Galant and my dream car is the Maserati convertible you’re looking at above. Ever since the first time I got in a car, started the ignition and hit the accelerator, I’ve loved cars. I learned how to drive from a funny old guy who taught me that the best kind of driving is when you stay away from nutty drivers; ignore them and change lanes if possible. I did that a lot in California but not as much in NY. What I also learned in California was their amazing car culture of washing and polishing your car regularly, giving her a pretty name, and all that… I’m back in NY but have held onto that lesson. Yep, I did it all but fell short of pimping my car like they used to do on that TV show – Pimp My Ride… I still dream about driving a souped up, pimped up, tricked out car… but I think it will remain a fantasy.

“Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home, wondering why the hell you went.” John Updike

Musings: On Driving... Mercedes S Klasse...

“What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? -it’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” Jack Kerouac

The Mercedes S Class above is my second favorite car, although I have to admit that I love the Mercedes convertible better; especially now that my kids are grown…  Anyhow, I find highway driving relaxing and enjoy getting in my car and driving off to chill out. I’ve driven for 8 straight hours and would do it again… Something about the rush you get. I know this might sound crazy to people who don’t enjoy it, but it’s true that driving can be a way to relax as long as we don’t start imagining ourselves as Indy500 race car drivers. Sure, you may try and the highway cops would love to meet you. Local driving, on the other hand,  is an entirely different story.

Unfortunately, I fall into the category of people George Carlin is referring to in his quote above. I live in an area where people drive a lot and some of them shouldn’t be on the road. The drivers that scare me most are the ones who hit their brakes for no reason; sort of like a nervous condition. Then there are those who drive at 15mph at a 25mph zone and you wonder if they are lost or need glasses. Then we have the tailgaters, speeders and the honkers. I don’t like tailgaters and sometimes I’ll slow down to encourage them to switch lanes or get lost… Once, I was driving in LA and a tailgater switched lanes to follow me twice. I waved my cellphone at him indicating that I was about to call the cops; he took off = the creep! More below… ;-) Congrats to Beyonce and Jay-Z on the birth of baby girl – Ivy Blue Carter! :-)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch…

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” Henry David Thoreau

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch... A launch of mega-lights at Watch The Throne Show...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch... a pyrotechnic launch...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch... launching a light show...

My selections for this week’s photo challenge might be a bit of/launch of a stretch, but if I’m taking a dictionary interpretation to heart, I’m on point in showcasing the phenomenal launch of a light show we enjoyed at Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s Watch The Throne concert… I haven’t written about it yet or uploaded my pictures because I’ve spent the last month trying to find a diplomatic way to talk about the annoying stuff; weed-smoking, jive-talking, booze drinking, cigarette smoke in your face experience that dented what was a fantastic show by two of rap music‘s geniuses… No, the annoying stuff was not from the super talented Jay-Z and Kanye, but by some of their VIP friends/guests, even some familiar faces that I won’t be naming. Sorry… All this while security stood around and acted dumb and blind. But more on that shit stuff later or on another day! For now, come back for more launch shots later! ;-)

Launch: to throw forward: hurl b: to release, catapult, or send off (a self-propelled object) a: to set (a boat or ship) afloat b : to give (a person) a start c (1) : to put into operation or set in motion : initiate, introduce (2) : to get off to a good start d : to load into a computer’s memory and run Merriam Webster Dictionary

“The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade spaceship and already quarreling about where they are going next.” William Faulkner

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch... Now this fire launch was impressive!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch... Kanye framed by smoke and clouds...

Weekly Photo Challenge: Launch... More lights launched

Anyway, I don’t want to launch into a tirade over an event that was meant to be entertaining, however, that part was exasperating nonetheless. As you can see from the photos, it was an amazing show but… As my family and some of my friends said to me, what did you expect, chocolate kisses and orange juice? :lol: They had a point there but at a concert it is not so easy to move. Next time, I’ll cast my net where the water is deep; I’ll get a different set of tickets and sit elsewhere. Enough about that and time to launch into a new song. I’ll still do a write up and share my concert photos sometime this year… More on LAUNCH below! ;-)

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