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Sunday, August 6, 2017

I know... get past the soups, man!

So, I'm posting another soup- mainly because the dessert I wanted to post last week well- it didn't turn out! Experiments sometimes... oh... what's the word? FAIL? Sure.. we'll say it! It was supposed to be a faux ice cream made from mashed up bananas, and I had some fresh Washington cherries, some chocolate. Was aiming for a banana version of Cherry Garcia got brown, and froze too hard to be able to get out of the plastic container... I'll research some other methods, I'll figure something out.

I'm trying to stay slender, but build muscle,  especially now that I've started PaSaRyu karate! (Dream to start since I was a kid!) So, other than salads, I've mainly been cooking pots of soups- something for my lunches at work, filling, healthy. One soup I LOVE, absolutely love, is split pea with ham and bacon. While it's really a winter soup, I went ahead to make some anyway because I know it's full of protein, veggies, and, well- it does have BACON, right??? But in this case, in order to make it a little healthier, I used bacon I've already cooked. This cuts down on the oil/fat and salt in the overall recipe, of which there's plenty from the smoked ham hocks!. Additionally, I only used a cup of chicken stock (homemade) and 5 cups of water- again, some flavor, less salt and fewer calories. Save a few calories, and there.

So, while you may not think it's a good summer dish, keep this on hand for fall and winter then! I won't be offended! But, just give it a try, I think you'll be surprised.

Split Pea Soup with Ham and Bacon


  • 2 C each of chopped celery, onion and carrots
  • 2 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 2 smoked ham hocks
  • 1 lb of split peas
  • 1 - 2 C of chicken stock or broth
  • 4 - 5 C of water
  • 1 t Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1-1/2 T of thyme
  • 1 T pepper
  • Salt to taste

  1. Cook chopped bacon for about 2 minutes over medium high heat.  
  2. Add celery, onion, carrot, thyme, and sweat just until the onions become translucent on the edges- about 4 minutes.
        4. Remove veggies from pot into a large bowl, and set aside. 

        5. Add chicken stock or broth, water, and ham hocks and bring to a low boil.

        6. Add split peas to the pot.

      7. Reduce heat to a strong simmer, and allow to cook for 45 minutes. After that time, start to mash a majority of the peas against the side of the pot, making it more of a thicker, creamy texture, than watery.

       8. Return the veggies to the pot, and continue to cook for 6-10 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your carrots- but remember, you will likely reheat some of this! So, don't over cook the carrots!

      9. Start breaking up the ham hocks. You can competely remove them to do so, but remove some of the skin and fat, and definitely the large bones- it's all done its duty, made its sacrifice for the good of your belly!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Has it REALLY been THAT LONG?!?!?!

Man, life throws you into the ocean sometimes, and I've been trying to survive the rising and falling seas for a couple years now! It seems I've landed ashore, safe and sound, battered, bruised, wiser, and with a new resolve.

It's with that thought in mind I'm going to share a very simple recipe for a soup. YES, A SOUP IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER! There's reasons... let me explain!

So, in the past year, I made my way from Everett, Washington (north of Seattle), to Erie Pennsylvania (my home town, to visit cousins and friends for several weeks), to Cleveland, Ohio where things didn't quite go right, to Sumter, South Carolina (and spend time with my family of origin), and finally landed in Concord, North Carolina, north east of Charlotte NC. (NOTE: NO! I will not become a Carolina Panthers fan! GO HAWKS!)

In all of this travel, I made it a mission to get back into shape and work out again- things I really love. Also, to get back to cooking smart, healthy, and feeding my belly, soul, and this blog! And hopefully my friends as a result! You know- no one leaves my house hungry, and "the food don't suck here!"

So, the dogs and I walked, and walked, and walked- sometimes over 11 miles a day! We went to the dog parks, we took my aunt Bonnie to the dog park with us! Great dog therapy, and it turned out she went from taking her rollator-walker and only moving for about 5 minutes, twice during the visit, to taking a cane, usually leaving it by the picnic tables, and throwing the ball for the dogs! They loved it of course!

One of the first visits.