Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sopa de Lima :D

One of my favourite things I had on my honeymoon with my love was "sopa de lima", a traditional Mexican soup that was often served as the appetizer to the main course. It's a very simple soup; with the most exotic feature being the afore-mentioned "limas" (or a type of sweet lime found in Mexico, and other parts of Latin and South America). I couldn't find any here, so the first time I tried to recreate this soup, I used the little mini limes in the supermarket (limas aren't big like our limes). Bad mistake!! Those cute, little limes are very bitter, especially once the soup has simmered for awhile. Regular limes, as ripe as possible (therefore sweeter) are your best choice (in my experience, that is!).
I also find that boiling my own, fresh, chicken stock makes for a) a tastier soup, and b) more authentic taste. I often make this soup after we’ve finished off a chicken; when there’s little meat left on the bones, but enough to make this soup ;P

So, take your chicken bones/carcass and boil in 4-6 cups of water for 30-45 minutes. This should create a lovely broth that easily is manipulated into “Sopa de Lima”!

SOPA DE LIMA (a la Robyn Cabrera) ;P

Chicken bones, with some meat (equivalent to bones from 1 small chicken)
6 cups water
Boil for 45 minutes

Remove bones carefully (I use a sieve and clean rubber gloves to help me with this)
Add 2-3 TBSP chicken bouillon if desired (I like Victorian Epicure brand).
1 tsp crushed, dried, red chili peppers (more if you like ;)
Salt to taste
½ tsp pepper
1 onion, thinly sliced and cut into 2 inch pieces.
2 cloves garlic, pressed or smashed
1 lime, cut into 8 pieces (do not peel!), squeeze them quick then pop them in.
½ cup unpacked cilantro, chopped coarsely (or finely, if you like it that way).

Let simmer for 10-15 minutes. This is the taste test time. I often find that I add “Cinco Pepper Blend” from Victorian Epicure and some Mexican habanera sauce before serving, but both Isaac and I love spicy food. Also, you may need more salt (dependant on what kind of bouillon you used). I use Redman’s red mineral salt, so I often use a tiny bit more then the recipe suggests as a) it’s good for you and b) it’s not as salty as sea or table salt.

Break corn tortilla chips into soup immediately before serving.


I hope you enjoy this as much as we do!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The moments in between

So, most of you know now (hopefully!) that Isaac and I will become parents in about 6 months. This news, when we found out in January was both exciting, amazing, and, well, a teensy bit scary! I felt like I should hold off telling people till I'd ended the first trimester, however hard that was. Of course we did tell immediate family and some close friends, as we definitely needed to "spill the beans" to someone!!! ;P

Morning sickness (or all day long sickness, as it was for me) was a stage that I seem to have finally passed out of in the past two weeks and THANK YOU GOD!! It is miserable to be cheerful and "un-pregnant" to most people when you feel like throwing up constantly and overall pretty gross :(

Oh the joys of having your nose run away from you and act like it's someone else's. Someone else's who is quite weird. Your fridge, after a complete scrubbing down, STILL smells like a dirty toilet (upon which discovery sends you into irrational tears), flowers often smell like the strongest, sometimes worst perfume ever invented, and simple things like baking bread can make you feel like your nose has grown in 10x it's smelling capabilities inside a brewery. Fun? No. Exciting and adventure-causing? Yes. Many times I felt pushed to tears or laughter over the ridiculousness of my new sense of smell. I am glad to say, I usually laughed.

I still hold my breath when I open the fridge or freezer. I still hate the smell of toothpaste. And my dearly beloved Indian food is no longer on our menu. That being said, I don't feel sick all the time, and THAT, my friends, is worth all the breath-holding I need to do!!

This week I've made some lovely dishes. I forgot to take pictures of the Morrocan stew, but it was glorious!! Filled with celery, carrots, figs, chicken, tomatoes and potatoes. YUMMMMMY IN MY TUMMY.

On Sunday, Isaac and I walked to Safeway to get our remaining ingredients for gluten-free quiche. It began to rain gently on us as we started for home, but I was so enchanted to see RAIN and not SNOW that I was blissfully unaware of the cold wind and wetness descending upon us. It was so fun to smell that smell of rain and really feel like Spring is here, even if it's in baby steps! The crust was made from various gluten-free flours, mostly potato starch and rice flour and butter. Isaac actually put it together and I rolled it out with our "make do" rolling pin. We really do need to get a "real" one...but our "unwine" bottle really works splendidly until we do :) Lots of eggs, almond milk, turkey bacon, mushrooms, onions, asparagus and spinach made up the amazingly yummy filling and of course I topped it with goat's milk feta before popping it in the oven.

I've meant to bake quiche ever since we got married, but kept putting it off. Then, morning sickness arrived, and I lost my appetite and couldn't cook hardly at all. My sweetest of sweet husbands made such progress in his cooking and baking during those bothersome weeks and I am SO proud of him!! We were both very rewarded in our dual job in making said quiche as he claimed it was the tastiest he's ever eaten. It was mighty fine, if I do say so myself.

What's your favourite egg recipe?

I've been doing extremely well in keeping almost all sugars at bay. I do allow myself fruit juice sweetened jam, mayonaise and ketchup (little amounts), but that's about all! I am very proud of myself. I so do NOT want to get gestational diabetes...and with my family history and my own personal issues with my pancreas/high blood sugar, I need to really get on this, cravings or no cravings!

My only wish is that I didn't find the process of cooking so smelly. Raw vegetables, raw meat, beans, etc. all make me feel a little sea sick. It's frustrating to have so many ideas and yet so little desire to accomplish them. Any advice would be much appreciated.

As for my 212 in 2012, I've tried to write down/think about it at least once a week so I can try to keep it going. It has been very hard to stay focused, but I really meant everything I wrote back in the beginning of January...little did I know our little treasure was already beginning to grow!

It feels so good to update and have everyone in "the know" of our special secret. Here's to life's moments...the ones in between all the famous ones like birthdays, Christmas, and Easter. The everyday moments of life that really make it worth while.

Love to you all,