Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yummy Recipes - Turkey Italian Sausage & Kale Soup

On a dreary, rainy day a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make some homemade soup (I've been making soup more and more lately in hopes that I can force fall to arrive quicker). Again, this recipe comes from my favorite cooking blog For the Love of Cooking, with a slight alteration to make it paleo-friendly. It turned out really tasty, and I can't wait to make it again.

Turkey Italian Sausage & Kale Soup

2 tsp olive oil
4 turkey Italian sausage, removed from casings
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp fennel seed, crushed
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp oregano
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
4 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of beef broth
1 cup of zucchini, julienned (original recipes calls for any type of pasta)
2 1/2 cups of kale, ribs cut away and chopped into small pieces

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the turkey sausage removed from casings, onion and carrots to the pot. Season with spices and sea salt and pepper, to taste. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until the sausage is cooked and the onion and carrots are tender. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 60 seconds. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and beef broth. Cook for 30 minutes.

Add the zucchini and the kale. Cook the soup for an additional 10 minutes; taste and re-season if necessary. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My mistake, you're not a serial killer after all

Recently, I was filling up our company Mercedes-Benz with gas in preparation for an airport transfer. I was standing at the pump waiting, when a guy in a black truck pulled up to the pump on the opposite side of mine. I quickly noticed that this wife-beater-wearing, inked-up guy was staring in my direction. Not just the normal quick-glance-to-see-who-is around-you, but long, hard stares.

I started to feel really uncomfortable. It was getting close to dark. I was alone. I left the pump briefly and grabbed my keys out of my purse on the passenger's seat, just in case I needed to push the panic button. Then he started to walk in my direction. My thumb was hovering over the panic button, ready to push at any second. But he kept walking and went inside to pay the cashier.

He came back (a little too quickly), staring my way the whole time. Then, when he was closest to me, he said, "That's a really nice car you have there."

"Oh," I said, "thanks!" and gave him a smile.

Then I felt REALLY foolish. He was staring at the CAR the whole time, not me.

Was I being paranoid? Probably.

Was I stereotyping this poor guy whose many tatts probably included an "I love Mom" tattoo? Perhaps.

I mean, you can't blame the guy, it IS a beautiful car ...

In fact, I get A LOT of compliments on this car. From drive-thru bank tellers to random people at gas stations who might also be serial killers. I always just smile and say "thanks," but I kind of WANT to say, "We only own it because it's a company car. We're not rich, just regular middle-class folks like you. Plus, we bought it used and got a really good deal on it." But I keep my mouth shut, because if I unloaded all of that on a stranger, they would surely look at me like I was crazy.

Nevertheless, I often feel that others are stereotyping me as a rich you-know-what when they see me driving this car. Just like I stereotyped the creepy guy at the gas station who ended up being nice. Hmmm, interesting!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Best of the Wurst

Imagine my surprise while flipping through my new Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine yesterday (thanks to my mother-in-law for getting me the subscription for my birthday!) when I came across this:

That's right, our small town of New Braunfels made a national magazine! I'm not that surprised, Wurstfest IS the best thing about fall.

We love Wurstfest so much that four years ago, after our wedding getaway from our reception, we stopped by Wurstfest. We spontaneously made the decision to go after driving away and realizing that we weren't done celebrating just yet. We drove up with the cans and streamers still trailing from our car, me still dressed in my wedding dress and Kent still wearing his tux.

When we walked up to the ticket window, the guy said, "That'll be $16."

I looked down at my dress, then help up my hands, shrugged and replied, "No pockets!"

He took a closer look at us and asked, "Did you two really just get married?"

"Sure did!" we answered.

Then he let us in for free, plus gave us about 20 free drink tickets.

It was super crowded as it usually is on the second-to-last-night of the ten-day-salute-to-sausage. Random people were asking to take their picture with us, the drunk people were yelling at us, "Dont do it!!!" and we ran into a few people that we knew.

We made our way to the "big tent" where a band was playing. Someone in charge spotted us, and pulled us up on stage. The lead singer proceeded to announce to the entire audience of a couple thousand people that we had just gotten married, and that the band wanted to play us a special song. So we danced on stage to Elvis' Love Me Tender. In a way, this song now has more meaning to us than the first dance song that we chose for ourselves.

Sadly, we don't have even one photo from our little adventure. I ended up getting the bottom of my wedding dress really dirty. My mom wasn't too happy about that, but we had a blast!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Yummy Recipes - Moo Shu Pork

Lettuce leaves are a great alternative to taco shells for paleo-eaters! The stuffing possiblities are endless ...

Thanks to Pam over at For the Love of Cooking for this great recipe.

Moo Shu Pork

1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
3 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, more if needed (I used olive oil)
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. coleslaw mix (I used broccoli slaw)
3-4 green onions, sliced
Lettuce leaves
Sriracha sauce (optional)

Whisk the hoisin sauce, vinegar, minced garlic, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Add the pork and marinate for 10-30 minutes prior to cooking.

Heat 1/2 Tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the pork and marinade once the pan is hot along with 2-3 Tbsp. of water. Stir-fry until the pork is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a plate then cover with a tin foil tent. Add the additional 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil to the pan then add the mushrooms once the pan is hot. Stir-fry the mushrooms until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the coleslaw mix, pork and half of the green onions; stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, if needed. Serve the stir-fry in the lettuce leaves and sprinkle the tops with the remaining green onions and sriracha sauce (optional - only if you like it spicy!). Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010