Vegetable Chicken Soup with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

This week, being conscious of our expanding diets, I visited the farmers’ market to pick up carrots, leeks, fingerling potatoes, zucchini and basil. The local grocery store yielded a few out of season tomatoes. The taste will probably be pale, but I’ll add a bit of balsamic vinegar to sweeten them back to their sweet destiny. I’ve been consciously avoiding starches and sugar; justifying my consummation of a cornucopia worth of food. Below is a recipe for Veggie Chicken soup. It’s light and tasty until heavy Thursday arrives.

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Oatmeal Goes Fancy

Oatmeal brings back memories of trying to convince my mother to add more brown sugar to my bowl. Of the different types of oatmeal: steel cut, rolled, or instant, my preference for rolled oats remains the same. It’s the coarser texture created when cooked in water, but most people enjoy their oats cooked in milk for a creamy consistency. In recent years, oatmeal brands have introduced instant varieties with artificial flavorings. Here’s a few instant and natural ideas that are healthier than the store-brought flavors. May your day have a sweet start.

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Granny’s Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

There are many Sweet Potato Pie recipes using corn syrup. I don’t remember my grandmother and father using that super sweetener. However, I remember plenty of brown sugar. I made this for our Christmas dessert this year, and I understood I had big shoes to fill. Apparently, the boyfriend’s mother makes the best Sweet Potato Pie. I called on my dream team, the Dad and the Granny, to help me with this recipe. Even when I forgot a couple ingredients after I placed the pies in the oven, I called my Granny for reinforcements. Thank goodness she saved the day, and it was great talking with her as the pies were baking in the oven. Of course, I would never ask the boyfriend who does  it better. I tell myself, I must stay humble. Oh, humble pie, I sweet you.

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Slow Cooker: Chicken Stew (a Twist of the Coq au Vin classic)

A Sunday quick meal. In the a.m., brown the chicken and add to a slow cooker. Simmer wine in the same skillet as the chicken and pour into slow cooker. Dump the rest of the ingredients in a slow cooker. Enjoy a warm Fall day of football, museums, visiting friends, coffee shop, working, talking, shopping, laughing and partying. Come back in the p.m. Quickly make a salad. Open a bottle of wine. Remove lid from slow cooker. Serve yourself a hearty stew. Be in bed in the early p.m. Wake up to a good work week tomorrow a.m.

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Almond Salty Butter Cookies

Salted Almond Butter Cookies

Nuts and salt are appropriate flavors for a bloody Saturday boxing match. I found this recipe from a New York Times article last year. It’s an elegant bar treat served somewhere in France. We’ll watch a fortunate soul receive millions of dollars with blood dripping out of his nose. I will sympathize with his agony by eating a few of these salty sweets. What a bloody joy.

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