Detox-ober

From the vineyards of Cassis in Provence, France, to wineries of Santa Barbara, California, I tasted more fabulous rosé this summer than a Master Sommelier. Bottle after bottle, with an ocean or mountain or city view, shared with friends and family well into the night. I never regret those glasses raised in laughter and love.

But traveling meant there were plenty of meals on the go. Days when chips and m&m’s were lunch or maybe a second lunch. Eating in airports or roadsides where the selection wasn’t a healthy one. There were plenty of fabulous restaurant dinners too. Extraordinary plates of homemade pasta and fresh breads, local fish or eggs, burgers on the grill, corn with butter and peaches over ice cream. Oh, and pies, custards, and tarts. (I was in France, after all). Food highlighted my days, without regard to calories or consequence; I often dined quite splendidly, as evidenced by my scale.

Detox-ober came in the nick of time. Clothes ill-fitting, energy level flatlining, and little desire to run up any of the hills my crazy life demands me to surmount; acting like it was a breeze to keep hiking when in actuality walking through the motions winded me. I owed myself a breather, so, as I do every fall when I find myself in this exact same transitional place from summer fun back to work, I closed the liquor cabinet, stopped eating out, and focused on revitalizing the core of me.

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Breakfast of Champions

Even on the busiest of mornings, I make time for breakfast. Sometimes while standing, while multi-tasking through rushed pre-work tasks, but eaten all the same. And not because it’s proven to be the most important meal of the day, or any such trendy sense, I just love all the options of breakfast.

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What better start than citrus? The dreary winter is elevated greatly when Florida Sunshine arrives on your doorstep fresh from the growers or grabbed from your supermarket bins, it matters not. Just smell the sweet burst of flavor and savor every juicy bite. Of course, although distant cousins to their summer relatives, we are grateful for the berries available in February, and chop those up for the breakfast muesli.

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A quick bowl of granola, with a splash of our homemade almond milk makes a delicious start for my Monday–Friday work-day. Make it yourself, or buy local. While EVERY town has a great granola maker, Nutty Steph’s is certainly the best for us.

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But then, oh then, a Saturday and then a blessed Sunday rolls along and yes, then, we take the time to pull out the pots and pans and make an event out of this first meal of the day. Whatever you do, where ever you live, find honest to god, real farm-fresh eggs, like from a coop that has a few chickens pecking around the dirt; crack open one of those and you will never again return to a store-bought egg without a struggle. Fortunately, we have loads of choices here in rural Vermont. We can even get a dozen for $3.00 from the guy across the road. But our all time favorite, with the brightest orange yoke, are Axel’s Eggs. Just wow.

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While 2 of those are dropped into boiling water for 3 minutes the toast goes down. Yes, we also have a plethora of extraordinary bakers here in Vermont, but are most fond of Elmore Mountain Bread. Gluten be damned when it comes to eating a thick slice of this wood-fired stone-ground joy on a weekend brunch. Spread real butter and local raw honey liberally, of course. Why not make this meal celebratory?

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Can you start the day without a proper cup of tea? Jeez, I hope not. A five minute steep of Fortnum & Mason’s Royal Blend will be sublime, but a dark cuppa of Barry’s Gold Blend isn’t bad either. Regardless, don’t drink tea out of bag unless the world is near its end and you are desperate. A splash of organic whole milk is yet another worthwhile weekend treat.

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Get your timing down and all is ready to be plated together to be savored while conversing with your favorite consorts. Leisurely.

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Slow down. Chew. Sip. Share all your best dreams. You’ve got the whole day ahead of you, and a full belly. What can’t you do?

 

Make America Delicious Again

Despite what most journalists and bloggers are writing about on this busy week, I’m focusing on food, yes delicious food. I guess getting ready for the Women’s March just makes me hungry. And not only hungry, but longing for smells and tastes that bring comfort and nostalgia along with warm and satisfying feelings that are so so so very needed during this time of upheaval and uncertainty. How about you? Spending more time in your kitchen than usual? Is there anything that brings your household together more than tomato sauce simmering for the afternoon?

 

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Fast Foodies

I am one of the lucky ones. I live with someone who treats me to fabulously yummy meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. We eat mostly vegetarian, but sometimes fish or the occasional poultry or red meat are added, and sometimes strictly vegan; regardless, we eat with health in mind. We keep it local, mostly, and organic, mostly, and gluten free, mostly, but always delicious. Now don’t get me wrong, we often have little time to whip up mid-week gourmet dinners. We work full-time, arrive home dog-tired after long-days, and are hungry. So, we try to keep what might be the answer to what’s for dinner? on hand and simple to put together.

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getting dirty

Watching this brew boil can’t you just smell the richness? Dark and earthy tones filling our kitchen using only the most conservative amount of ground beans. But wait, I can hear you say, Nine Cent Girl doesn’t drink coffee. To which I would reply, oh yes, on occasion I have. Most memorably, in Paris at Les Deux Magots and in London’s Cubana. Both times I could not resist. Both times were divine. But on average, I stick to black tea, and when I can, a cup of homemade chai. That is until, quite by accident, I stumbled onto a chai made dirty with, yes, you guessed it, a shot of espresso. An accident made into practice now. So, when we have absolutely nothing planned for a lazy Sunday beyond making our brunch last until tea time, we get dirty in the afternoon.

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Spring Dressing

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Looking for a quick and tasty dressing for your spring salad? The following recipe is guaranteed to satisfy anyone wanting to top those delicate greens showing up in our grocery stores. Right now I can’t get enough of parsley, sunflower and pea shoots, young spinach and early strawberries on my plate. Along with this fabulous dressing, composed of honey, lemon and flax seed oil, you will have created something sensational!

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good eating

Truth be told I have no love of complicated cooking, but luckily for me, I live with someone who does. When we shop she reaches for new delights while I go for the basics. She questions, how might I cook that differently, while I stick with what I know. I lack imagination when it comes to the culinary arts but she can even make scrambled eggs taste like a gourmet delight. From what I’ve noticed, fresh herbs are often in her mix.

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