chicken quinoa soup


I need to drum up some serious positive thinking, ‘cuz I just came down with something and right now I feel like a blunt awl is tunneling into the left side of my skull.

Positive thought #1: Good thing I made this chicken soup for the kids last week. They had all taken the week off from school, with their little faces glued to shows like Kickin’ It and Good Luck Charlie, so they could get rid of this fever and sore throat they all had. They never ate (drank, whatever you insist on saying) the soup, so now I still have a big pot of it for me.

Positive thought #2: On Saturday night, when I was watching a movie with some friends, I started aching all over my body and shivering. I knew had caught what my kids had. Oddly enough, I kind of like fevers—they mean I have a provable illness and can take time off and no one will judge me—but the headaches that come with them . . . they’re maddening. (In case you missed the positive thought in there, it was the bit about taking time off.)

Positive thought #3: The people at Muir Glen sent me samples of their amazing tomatoes awhile ago, and I used them for the soup. And I’ll totally be talking about them again soon.

Positive thought #4: I awoke this morning to find my friend Jon shoveling my walkway at 7:15. I have good friends.

book review: the case of the deadly desperados


Could there be a better opening line for a book?

Awhile ago, we received this book in the mail, and I had my oldest son read it. He blazed right through it, so I asked him to tell you all what he thought.

SRR: The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence is an intriguing page turner. It starts with P.K. Pinkerton, a 12-year-old boy, living in Temperance, Nevada in 1862. He comes home to find both his foster parents lying in blood on the floor. His foster mother’s dying words reveal they were killed by a gang of desperados looking for a medicine bag, which she had successfully concealed in the floorboards.

banana bread protein shake


It is now two weeks after New Years, and I think we can safely say the holidays are over. I tend to come up with an excuse every day in January that conveniently pushes back the end of the holidays and my resolution to eat healthy and get fit. But it is best to ease into things, right?

cranberry orange cream cheese pound cake


I know this recipe is a little more suited to about two weeks ago, but I just could not get myself to bake this holiday season. What was that all about? I’ve had butter sitting on my counter for weeks so I could make it into something that required it to be at room temperature, and I just haven’t done anything.

Will someone please tell me now why I haven’t dropped ten pounds for demonstrating such restraint?

This is the same poundcake I showed you about four years ago, only this time I added chopped cranberries and orange zest. You can add it to your list of treats to make next December, or you can just make it as one last homage to the passing holiday. And then start your diet . . . tomorrow.

I also learned a little trick!! Every time I make this cake at high altitude, it always sinks. But a couple weeks ago, I thought I’d change the kind of flour I used, just to see if there would be a difference. I tried making it with bread flour, thinking the extra gluten would help give the cake the structure it was lacking, and guess what! It worked!!


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