This year I thought summer was never going to end. Not sure if it was the temperature or the move, but Fall was welcomed with opened arms. With the arrival of the change of seasons, there is always a changing of the guards in my house. Closets are rotated form sundresses to over sized bulky sweaters. Sandals are packed up and boots are lined up. The fridge rotates from peaches to squash. Even my craving seem to change from simple to hearty. One of the many crushes I have on fall would be making big pots of soup. Nothing beats the slurp of hot soup on a cold day.
My mom always would make a big pot of stew on the weekend for us to enjoy whenever we got hungry. The trick is the finishing touch. She would add pesto and sour cream to each bowl. Not only does it add amazing flavor, but the presentation is gorgeous. Bon Appetite!
- 2 pounds stew beef (optional for Veggies)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 bay leaves
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- salt and pepper
- 3 large carrots, sliced
- 1 packet frozen veggie medley
- 2 potatoes peeled, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- sour cream
- 2 tablespoons Happy Hemp
- Brown meat in hot oil.
- Add in onions, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and garlic to meat. Continue to brown for about 10 minutes.
- Add in rest of veggies to the above mix. Add water to the top of the mixture and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Check every 20 min. Stir and water as needed.
- Place soup in bowl. Add a spoonful of pesto and dollop of sour cream on top of soup. Sprinkle Happy Hemp on top.
You have probably passed by Flor de Calabaza (squash blossoms) and thought pretty, but what do you do with them?
These vibrant little blossoms are not only eye catching, but they are yummy too. Quesdaillas are one of my favorite ways to enjoy them.
First step is to pinch off the base and wash. lay flat on a paper towel and lightly pat dry.
Chop up and set aside.
Second step is to tear up the Queso Oaxaca or use Monterey Jack grated.
Next, place a skillet on medium heat. Place corn or flour tortilla in middle.
Sprinkle on top of the cheese the flor’s. Last but not least evenly spread out the Happy Hemp on top.
Once the cheese has melted (about 3 min) flip and repeat.
Plate and add your favorite toppings. Avocado, salsa, sour cream or pico de gallo.
Why have I not thought of this before?
If there were ever a perfect food ménage à trois… here it is!
Apples lathered in peanut butter and then rolled in Happy Hemp. BAM…Seriously!
Wednesday is that pivotal day in the week before I start sliding into the weekend. The difference between my Wednesday and my Thursday are quite different….
- Wednesday I work out
- Thursday I pig out.
- Wednesday I have a quite night at home
- Thursday I go out with my friends.
- Wednesday healthy
- Thursday not so healthy
So until tomorrow comes… a salad it is!!
- 1/4 Cup toasted almonds
- 2 Tablespoons Happy Hemp
- 1 Cup mixed greens washed
- 1/2 Avocado sliced
- Olive oil
- Add everything into a bowl and lightly drizzle olive oil and balsamic. Toss
- Salt to taste and serve.
Today is Dios de los Mertos (Day of the Dead) otherwise known as All Saints Day. I had the privilege to experience this beautiful holiday when I lived in Mexico up close and personal.
Day of the Dead in Mexico has nothing to do with Halloween in the United States. The two get confused and rightfully so. Day of the Dead is full of skulls, cemeteries and the dead, but it is not what you think!! This beautiful holiday is about remembering loved ones and honoring their lives.
First the house or the area around the grave must be cleaned. The offerings placed on the altar for Dia de los Muertos often consist of a wash bowl, basin, razors, soap and other items the traveling spirit can use to clean-up after the long journey. Pictures of the deceased are also placed on the altar as well as personal belongings for each person and any other offerings the deceased may enjoy such as a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of tequila. Candles are used to help light the way for the spirits as well as other decorative items such as papel picado (tissue paper cut-outs) wreaths, crosses and flowers. Certain Dia de los Muertos dishes are also placed on the altar to help feed and nourish the traveling souls. Some of these offerings also double as the four main elements of nature…earth, wind, water, and fire. These are represented by movable or light-weight items such as tissue paper cut-outs (wind,) a bowl of water, candles (fire) and food (earth.)
Families preparing an altar for a loved one.
My favorite and the most popular “Dia de los Muertos” ofrenda is sugar skulls. Sugar skulls are a traditional folk art from Central and Southern Mexico used to celebrate Day of the Dead. Mounds of colorful sugar skulls are sold by vendors in the village open air markets during the week preceding Day of the Dead. The skulls are made of a sugar mixture that has been pressed into molds and then dried. The dried sugar skulls are decorated with icing and sometimes non-edible items such as colored foil, feathers or sequins. The skulls are placed on the offerings as a sweet for the loved one to enjoy.
I invite you to remember a loved one who has passed today. Today I honor my great grandmother Haruyo. She was born in Japan in 1896 and was the mother of 9 children. I had a very close relationship with her even though she did not speak English. She spoke to me with her golden heart. She was the kindest most compassionate person I have ever met. She would teach me how to dance the traditional Japanese dances. We would put on kimono’s and she would show me how to hold my hands just so. We would dance to honor the sun and the rain who would then nourish the crops that would feed us. She would look at me and we would both break into unstoppable giggles. She watches over me daily and quietly guides my heart to truth.