Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Rambling Christmas Thoughts with a Couple of Links for Good Food

Cheap Eat Challenge, Part 2: Watch as our family of 6 eats on less than $10/day.

Last night, I was moving fast on the train to Christmas burn-out (must have missed the Polar Express). Fortunately for me, I had to take my son's friend home to his parents, who are good friends of ours as well. They asked how I was doing and got an earful (sorry guys) and they're not even the first friends I've cornered this month with my grumpiness (sorry other friends). Truth is, I've definitely been a little off this season--angry at too much traffic and too many sweets and too little something else, but what exactly it was I couldn't have told you. The nice thing about last night is that I put my finger on a few things--both those missing and those in over-abundance.

I'll spare you the full essay. Suffice it to say that one of the things missing this year has been time alone with my family or even time alone with my thoughts. Also, we've had too many sweets.

Which is part of the reason today I give you just a couple of links. Take them if you need them, leave them if you don't. I'll be sitting on the couch, reading a bit of the Christmas story.

Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix from Hezzi-D:

For those of you who aren't yet sweeted out, this is an AWESOME homemade mix. Also, even if you personally are sweeted out, this makes a great gift. It's nice because even if those you love might be sweeted out (you never know who will be and who's bummed nobody's brought anything by yet this year), they can get to this later.

One note: I made this with chocolate chips. You should use a real block of chocolate if you can because it melts better into the milk. Chips are supposedly made to hold their shape a bit better so they hold up in cookies and the like. If all you've got are chocolate chips, don't despair. When you make the actual hot chocolate, heat until boiling--oh not crazy boiling or anything, but watch for a few bubbles to break the surface (as you stir). In this way, it gets hot enough to break down those chocolate chips and your drink will be creamy and good. Darn good. 

101 Cookbook's Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Let's hear it for the vegans, shall we? This is really really good. And good for you. And did I mention really really good. I like it in a nice thick, simmered down, dal-like form. And if you do have farro to pour it over, well, that's just something else. I simplified the instructions a wee bit and may get that adaptation posted later this week. We'll see.

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