Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Season "Likes"

Yes, they are centered around food.

Quite possibly my favorite fruit ever, these are a limited season, get them while they last kind of fruit. (Go, get some now!) I can't imagine a better snack or way to end a holiday meal, or any meal, than with these little fruits delivering a burst of tart sweetness. Except maybe chocolate... but these are definitely better for you!
Back in high school, the height of our soccer season was in the dead of winter, which happens to be clementine season. My friend Lauren and I would buy crates upon crates of these delicious fruits to help us pass the long cold hours of school bus tournament travel and the inevitable bench sitting. Ever since then, the taste and smell of clementines bring me back to the feeling of the crisp winter wind on my face and the friendship Lauren and I shared battling through the competition to varsity, with crates of clementines (and boxes of Wheat Thins) there to soothe our souls.

Cold weather/"what's in my pantry?" stews:
Coming home from clinic, hungry and tired and needing something to get my mind off the day; the "what do I have in my pantry today" dinners can be some of my best culinary inventions. The rhythm of chopping, the swirling of the spoon in the pot, and the periodic taste test help relax and soothe me. This past week - a spicy lentil chili of sorts:
(For 2 meals)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
-saute the above in olive oil until fragrant and soft (this is one of my favorite smells in the kitchen!)
-slice 2-3 links of sausage and add to onion mixture. Cook until sausage begins to brown (could use bacon, any other meat, or leave out)
-add 1 cup of lentils and 2 cups of your choice of broth. (you can add more broth now or later if you want it really soupy)
Cover pot and let simmer about 30 minutes or until lentils are cooked.
Add 2 cups of spinach leaves right before turning heat off and stir until they are withered.

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