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Friday, December 20, 2013

Egg Drop Soup - Fast!

So last Wednesday... No, let me back up. Last Sunday, we attended a birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza, which is just a place you take your kids so they can run around while you get a headache. But there's also skee ball so it's got that going for it. Anyways, Alex had fun and we got to see friends, so that was fine and dandy.

Then, the Wednesday after, Todd came down with an absolutely horrendous cold. Thanks Peter Piper! Now, let me tell you, when this man gets sick, he is KO'd for approximately 48 hours and then he's fine. Just... Fine. He gets the aches and pains, the sore throat, the coughing. He gets to skip congestion because I guess he's God's gift to man, but I digress. This time, though... THIS TIME, man, he's been knocked over for, what, 9 days? Judging by his snoring this morning, I'm just going to go ahead and round that up to 10. A 10 day cold, AKA the flu.

He hasn't been this sick since the end of our honeymoon, when he got sick from smoking a cigar in our hotel room in Rome, head hanging out the window in the wintery evening, people gazing and just generally looking like a tourist on their last day in Rome. I DON'T WANT TO MISS A THING. The next day we were at Ostia Antica IN THE RAIN and he's running around like a puppy on chuck wagon day, hiding in old caves where cults gathered and checking out ancient public toilets with running water. Then the next day we're on a 10 hour flight and his sinuses just like, oh I don't know, explode or something. I'll never forget the angry red streaks down his face and throat, where he had tried in vain to rub the pressure out. Oh, that flight ran out of drinking water halfway through. GOOD TIMES.

SO ANYWAYS. That cold/flu was bad and this one has proved to be just as formidable. I pronounce that word en francais in my head whenever I use it. FOR-MI-DAHBL. I thought I was in the clear, too. He came down with it last Wednesday, and I didn't get the oh shit feeling until we woke up at 3:40am THIS Wednesday morning to Alex having a pee accident and I realized my throat was on fire and my limbs were filling with the pin-prickly aches of doom. Oh good. It's heee-eeere!

I was absolutely out on Wednesday, which also happened to be my mumblethirtyfourthmumble birthday. And, good mother that I am, since Todd had to do some work, I just set Alex up to watch Curious George all morning while I burrowed into a nest of blankets and pillows on the living room sofa marathoning episodes of Arrow which is good and bad and awesome and stupid and EVERYONE keeps landing in the hospital, it's great.

I sucked down ibuprofin and bowls of broth brought to you by Better Than Bouillon and that night, after Alexandra threw up three times and finally got put to bed after she was in the all clear zone, Todd made me my birthday dinner which was linguine with crab in spicy white wine sauce which was as delicious as it sounds, especially when you pair it with ginger ale. Then I writhed around in agony on his lap while he watched episodes of Breaking Bad.

Later at midnight Alex woke up with a 102 degree fever so we gave her medicine and all piled into bed so we could all writhe around in agony together because we are family. Thursday morning, I piled her into a nest of pillows and blankets to marathon Curious George which is good and bad and awesome and stupid and EVERYONE keeps trusting this goddamn monkey with shit like TRIPS TO THE GODDAMN MOON, it's great.

I wanted protein that morning (Alex had toast and apples, because hey vomit), but also knew that chicken broth was my best bet at recovery. So I did a lightning quick google search and found one of the simplest yet tastiest soup recipes in my life. And I wanted to share it with you! And also share my agony. My misery. My child's pain and suffering. Todd's servitude to his sick girls. But mostly, and I'm being completely honest here, my agony. My misery.

Here was my countercurse for yesterday's agony. Yesterday's misery.

Egg Drop Soup
serves two

4 cups chicken broth (I used Better Than Bouillon)
salt and pepper to taste
sesame oil (optional but you should do it)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
fresh scallions, sliced (I used chives)
soy sauce (optional but you should do it)

So just boil your broth. Once it's boiling, add the salt, pepper and few drops of sesame oil. Let boil another minute or so. Next, sloooowly pour in your eggs, stirring rapidly in a clockwise motion. Once they're in, ladle your soup into bowls and garnish with the scallions or chives. Add a few drops of soy sauce to deepen the flavor, and you're in like Flynn.

The recipe I found online suggested you could add a slurry of cornstartch to the broth before adding your eggs in order to thicken it. I contemplated doing so but ultimately did the original as is, and I'm glad I did. There's something refreshing about enjoying a soup with so few ingredients. And, hey there, if you use Better Than Bouillon, there's the added benefit of knowing that 8 oz of this soup has only 50 calories, give or take.

So, there's the reward for listening to me bitch about illness. SOUP.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Low-Carb Caprese Bites

I absolutely hate how blurry this photograph is, but I was in between making a pie and a soup for a luncheon and was in a hurry. It was the only one I took so this is all I have, but since we're so close to Christmas, the colors really are perfect for a light, healthy appetizer for a holiday party. Plus they're quick and easy to make, so long as you have nice, big basil leaves to use. I ran out and actually had to utilize a sloppier method of pinning two leaves per toothpick, so instead of the 24 I wanted to make, I settled for 18.

Low-Carb Caprese Bites
makes 24

1 tub mini mozzarella balls from Trader Joe's
1 1lb package Mini Pearl tomatoes from Trader Joe's
24 large, rinsed basil leaves
24 toothpicks (obviously)
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

So, I'm sure this is pretty self-explanatory. Pierce the basil leaf, then the cheese, then the tomato, and the basil leaf again to make a cute little boat. Repeat 23 times. Add a little sprig or two of basil, you know, for flair. For pizzazz.

Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve. Mix your vinegar and oil well, then using a spoon, drizzle the dressing over your little basil boats. Presto!

These were really yummy and a welcome alternative to heavy cheeses or pates or dips you typically encounter this time of year. And I originally wanted to call them No-Carb, but since there is a WHOPPING .47g of carbohydrates in a cherry tomato, I didn't want to lie to my audience.