Today I made homemade chicken broth. For the first time, I might add! It always seemed like such a hassle in my mind, but oh my word, it is so simple! You throw some ingredients in a pot and forget about it! I don't like being wasteful, so every time you roast a chicken (or turkey), make broth the next day!! Click here for my recipe!
2 days ago I attempted to make real authentic Thai curry. From a cookbook. Against my better judgment ( and nose!). I make curry about once a month, Gabbi style, American style, with no recipe, just my creative imagination. And it always tastes pretty dang good.
I followed this recipe out of a THAI cookbook, and I STILL CRINGE when I think of the taste. Do people not taste their own cooking before they write a cookbook? I don't understand. Dear God it was awful.
I remember thinking halfway through the recipe that something wasn't right ( I cook a lot by smell). Maybe it was too much fresh ginger? I'm not really sure, but it tasted horribly bitter, with no chance of trying to save it. Like taking a huge swig of milk and waiting for your tastebuds to realize it has gone sour. I had to toss the whole thing and start over. I didn't want to waste all the veggies, so I stuck 'em in a strainer and washed them by HAND to get the terrible flavor off. Did I mention I'm terribly stubborn and was DETERMINED to make this meal wonderful? I kept going despite the fact now I was pissed and in a horrible mood. Bad food makes me cranky. Plus the hour and a half I had spent making the bad food, just to have to start over.
But in the end, it turned out yummy!
Here's the general recipe:
Big 'ol bowl of fresh veggies (thinly sliced carrots, fresh green beans, zucchini, mushrooms)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves, minced
Few tablespoons olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons curry powder, more to taste
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 cup or so chicken broth
1 cup or so coconut milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Little extra coconut milk
Salt/Pepper, to taste
Fresh cilantro & basil, to top
In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Throw onions and garlic in there sautéing until soft/slightly browned. Add curry powder & give it a good stir. Add all veggies, tossing to combine with onions. Cook for a few minutes then add coconut cream, chicken broth, and coconut milk. Stir well, then taste. Add salt & pepper to taste. Add more curry powder to taste. Heck, toss a little cayenne in there if you like it spicier. It's all about what flavor YOU like. I just keep adding stuff till it tastes good! And if it sucks, start over! :)
To thicken a little, whisk 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a bowl with a little chicken broth until smooth then add to curry. Mix well, then cover and let it simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring every once in while. Serve over rice and toss some fresh cilantro & basil on top. YUM!
I don't think I have ever explained how I got started cooking. Let's just say when I got married 2 years ago I could make pizza, toast, and some pretty basic pasta. Somehow inside I wanted to be able to make a beautiful and tasty meal for my husband that was ready when he got home from work, but did not know where to begin. I was afraid to cook for him, because I thought he was a picky eater. It took a lot of trial and error.
I remember the first time I attempted making chicken pot pie from scratch. I got off work early, went to the grocery store, and had such high hopes and aspirations for this meal. I was going to "WOW" my husband when he came home. Well....that is not what happened. It took me over 2 hours (not sure why or what I was doing) to prep everything and get it in the oven. Then I made the mistake of putting it in too small of a pie dish and no pan or foil underneath to protect it in case of spills. I was cleaning up and doing dishes when the fire alarm went off in our house. I turned around and black smoke was BILLOWING out of the oven. I cautiously opened the oven afraid of what I was going to see. My pot pie had exploded over and was about to catch on fire at the bottom of my oven. All I could think was "shit, shit, shit!!!!!!" I was running around trying to open doors, turn the oven off, stop the fire alarm, get the pot pie out of the oven..... I was freaking out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Luckily, no flames came forth and I turned everything off in time. I opened the front door and noticed that the neighbors kids were watching out their window and had seen the whole thing. Awesome. I wanted to punch the wall. I almost did. Instead of my husband walking into a clean, organized home with the smell of a home cooked meal filling his senses, he walked into a home reaking of smoke and me curled up on our bed crying. We got pizza that night.
SO......if I figured out how to cook, so can you! And in the end, I found out that I absolutely LOVE it!!!! I got over my fear of cooking and found a hobby and passion that I enjoy and am good at. I started reading cookbooks cover to cover and watching the show, "Take Home Chef" with Curtis Stone. Everything I learned I learned from watching and reading. I even have a great chef friend who has complemented my knowledge of cooking. FOOD IS MY PASSION.
I haven't written since April. Wow! Time flies by so quickly, and so many things can happen in a short amount of time. There is a good (well, in my case, not so good), reason for my absence. In July, I got food poisoning at a restaurant in Seattle from a burger, and was in the hospital for a week. E.Coli, specifically, and let me tell you, it was the worst sickness I have ever experienced.
My favorite thing in the world, food, turned into my body's greatest enemy. I (and the morphine every hour) fought for my life and ended up winning. It started out just like any stomach flu might. That's what I thought I had. But after being up all night with a stabbing, cutting pain over my entire abdomen, I woke my husband up sobbing to take me to urgent care. And I'm not a wussy girl! I can tough most things out. But this…..nope.
Of course, there are hundreds of things to rule out when getting a diagnosis, and of course, it takes several hours. At urgent care I was given morphine to ease the pain. What had started out as just diarrhea (excuse me, but there's no other word) turned to straight blood, and the doctors got concerned. This was no ordinary flu. So I was taken upstairs to get an x-ray of my stomach. What they found? Inflamed intestines. It could be anything. They listed off so many horrible sounding things I probably would have been terrified, but I was high on morphine, so not much phased me. I spent a day and a night at Urgent Care while they sent my "stools" to a lab. I woke up every 1/2 hour to go to the bathroom. Not a fun night.
The next morning, they decided to send me to the hospital because they still did not know what was wrong with me. I arrived there and got checked into a room, and waited politely for a doctor. He came in, gave his spiel, and left, not accomplishing much. I asked the nurse for more morphine, as the pain was starting to come back. She said she had to wait for the doctor to approve it. I waited 4 hours. By the time she came back I was bawling because the pain was so bad. She didn't make that mistake again, thank God! Anyways…..2 days later they got the labs back telling me I had E.Coli. I honestly did not know how serious it was. Thank goodness my husband never once told me I might die. He stood strong for both of us.
I sat in that hospital for one week and watched enough of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" for a lifetime. Anyone seen the episode where they "adopt" a homeless guy and pay for him to get fake teeth? Maybe it was the morphine….maybe not…..but I laughed so hard, and it freaking hurt to laugh! When I was released from the hospital, my husband and friend Eric came and took me home. I'm pretty sure the nurse pushing me to the car in a wheelchair hit on me….really dude? I look like death and am leaving the hospital IN A WHEELCHAIR and your hitting on me???? At least I got to take my hospital socks home, those things are awesome!
And also….I shit the bed. Straight up shit the bed in the hospital. Of course it was when my husband was sleeping in the chair next to me. I remember waking up and thinking….oh no…..this isn't happening! I even tried to call the nurse and have her help me get cleaned up before Patrick woke up. But no…he woke up and witnessed the whole thing. Unfortunately I would say our relationship has gone to the next level…
I am just now (4 months later) able to eat most foods again, although many still hurt my stomach. I am still unable to eat tomatoes, dried fruit, caffeine, and anything remotely spicy. But that is improvement! I lived off of bananas, yogurt, avocados, & white rice for about a month. I never want to eat another banana. EVER!
Full recovery may take up to 6 months. I will spare you all the gruesome details but wanted to write a quick post to say that I am cooking again and planning on adding some new and delicious recipes soon!!! I have been cooking up a storm to make up for lost time, so keep posted! And leave me comments, I love hearing from people!
This is a super food that I want to recognize and recommend loudly!!!! It is a nutritional powerhouse!
You can use kale in salads, soups, smoothies, juicing, sandwiches, side dishes....
I usually buy a large bag at Costco, put half fresh in the fridge, and freeze the other half in ziploc bags. Frozen kale is perfect to use in fruit smoothies. Have trouble keeping it fresh? Put 1 paper towel square in the bag with it and it will help keep it fresh longer....the science behind that? I have no idea, I just know that it works! I use this for spinach also.....
Still not sure about kale? Do some research. Look up the health benefits of kale and find out for yourself!
I am all for fun home remedies that actually work! This one was given to me from my coworker and I love it! I make it once a week and apply it in the shower.
1 teaspoon organic ground coffee
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon organic virgin coconut oil
Mix sugar and coffee w/ coconut oil to make a thick, grainy paste. Gently rub/massage it onto skin and face.
Rinse off w/warm water, ending with a splash of cold (to shrink pores). Pat skin dry.
**Tub will be slippery due to the coconut oil; wash shower out right away so coffee doesn't stain it.
I did a little research on the health effects of coffee on the skin:
And of course coconut oil:
And that is just a few....... !!!!!!!
Just thought I would post a couple quick healthy breakfast tips that I have been thinking about lately! A few ideas to help steer clear of sugary cereals, donuts, muffins, etc. You know what I'm talking about! For some reason, breakfast is the hardest meal for me to eat healthy. I don't like mornings, I don't have a lot of time, and I want to "grab and go." SO.....here's what I have been eating lately in the AM and it has been giving me an extra energy boost throughout the day:
Sometimes silence is much louder than the words we speak out loud. I can hear resentment, bitterness, anger, and confusion so loudly in a room where issues are festering I feel like my heart will burst. I don't understand why the thick cloud can't be broken with words....words saying what is already in the air...words getting out what is being thought and getting it over with. I don't understand why it can't be brought out in the open and dealt with. I don't understand why the fact that healing will come after isn't taken into consideration. Instead it just hovers over the room like a poison slowly soaking in. I hate it. It makes me angry. It makes me feel sick to my stomach.
It is in my past. With my blood relatives. With old friends who aren't truly friends. My past that often times tries to sneak into the present and bring me down, even make me feel inadequate as a human being. But I must remember I have overcome this disease myself, although I am frequently caught in the midst of it taking root in others. I refuse to let it sink into my heart. I will not let it win.
I am free. Freedom is my choice. It is life to my soul. My freedom cannot be taken away from others. I will wear it forever. If anyone tries to come in and take it, I will shut them down. There is no room in my life for negative people who don't have my back. I fight not only for myself, but for my future children, for my family. I will not let the past dictate my life, my future, or my happiness. I have grown thick skin that has weathered numerous storms, chaos, confusion, anger, lies, manipulation, control.....I have conquered the ugliness and come forth stronger, wiser, more beautiful, determined, and unwavering. I am free.
I had the chance at lunch today to enjoy some wonderful sunshine (rare at this time of year in rainy Washington). It cheered up my spirits and refreshed my soul. I love a good moment to myself, and inspired by the warm sun I began writing, writing...writing. I wrote until the scrap paper I found in my purse could hold no more words. I did not think about what I was writing or try to make sense of it. This is what came from my heart today:
Freedom doesn't come without a price. There's no way around it, you have to go through fire. The end result isn't as precious when you haven't given up everything to obtain it or haven't fought until you have nothing left. It means losing people closest to you or fighting to keep them alive. It's always the moment when you are about to give up when breakthrough comes most unexpectedly. The main thing is to not give in or give up, but to stay strong until the bitter end and victory will come.
The truth will always come out if you hold on for it.
Evil people will not always succeed, morning will always break even the darkest of nights, and justice will prevail. Take heart and continue on.
As I was driving to work this morning I had an inspiration for this post. A challenge for all you ladies out there. I was thinking about how much gossip and needless talk goes on everyday out of my own mouth and others around me, so here's a challenge for you to work on this month:
Don't say anything that tears down, hurts, discourages, makes fun of, or is something that would make you feel bad if you knew a person or friend was saying it about you. (Even if it's true, be the bigger person and leave it alone.)
Well that's hard enough work right there, but take it a step further. If someone tries to say something to you that falls in the category listed above; gather your courage and stop it. Just refuse to enter in or start worthless talk. Don't even listen to it. We as women have big mouths, and it isn't pleasing to God or anyone else. It can be a slow poison that makes us incredibly ugly on the inside and the outside. I once heard someone say that you know it's gossip if one person's words change your opinion of who they are talking about. My own husband challenges me in this area all the time. Just last week, I brought up a topic that wasn't necessary to talk about, and he said to me: "Gabbi, that sounds like gossip." I immediately shut my mouth and changed the subject. I knew deep down that's exactly what it was: ugly gossip.
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. "
"A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends." Proverbs 16:28
"If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless." James 1:26
"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak."
"To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people." Titus 3:2