Turn Down For What

On Saturday morning I woke to a serious crick in my neck. Matthew too. Over our morning Joe's, we joked about growing old not-so-gracefully. Yikes. As we squeamishly shrugged at the notion we asked one another, what did we do last night? It's bad enough I have to color my hair every eight weeks but now add specter pains to the mix? Such nonsense is for the birds. We chalked up our pain to perhaps sleeping in an awkward position. The AC cranked at a chilly 64 probably didn't stand us in good steed either. I am also sure that the anise flavored French aperitifs at the end of the night weren't working for anyone's cause and certainly not mine. Oy vey. Throughout the weekend I milked the tight shoulder and neck to the tilt, which yielded umpteen massages from Matthew. I think that we have it down to a science now. He puts on one of his Alaska shows and sits in his chair whilst I sit on the floor in front of him. Multitasking at its best. Matthew learns how to skin a moose and Elizabeth scores a blissful massage. #winning

I am newly besotted with a girl and her blog, Inspiralized. Its owner, Ali, left her corporate job in 2013 to pursue her love of spreading the word on healthy cooking to the masses. Talk about grabbing the bull by its horns. Carpe diem. It's no secret that this young lady has a real passion for her trade. In a very short amount of time, she has become the reigning authority on cooking with a spiralizer. You know, creating noodles from vegetables and fruits. You can eat them raw or cooked. Either way, you may never reach for flour made pasta again. Trip to Firenze excluded of course. Tucked into the overall message is her personal journey to get fit. She chronicles progress documented with the most spectacular photographs demonstrating strong pins and serious guns. I think many of us can identify with the yen to transform our bodies. I certainly can. If you want to see a bevy of food porn caliber mouth watering photographs, a capturing smile, amazing kicks (I want her high top Nikes), great recipes from her cookbook and an enviable assortment of killer workout clothes, I encourage you to take a peek at her blog. Quite simply, Ali looks like a gal with whom you should be friends and her verve for life is contagious. While page clicking through her blog on Sunday morning (someone was snoring next to me), I decided it was time for a spiralizer. Gwyneth even recently wrote about preparing pasta with none of the guilt in her article, Screw Everything. I have been keeping a Williams Sonoma coupon for a rainy day and I purchased my very own. I am excited to create a new era of meals in our kitchen. It arrives tomorrow so stay tuned. #inspiralized

My neck and shoulder are still killing me. Yoga yesterday morning was no picnic and I had to forewarn my instructor that I would not be 100% attractively positioned a cause of my malady. I am sure today will be no different. Touch wood, I am usually fit as a fiddle and so this neck and shoulder business is a pain in the tuchus. I almost had a pickle on the road as I discovered when making a left turn that I cannot turn my head over my shoulder to the right. As such, I decided it best to park the car, stay home and do work in the kitchen. The 4th of July is upon us and nothing like a bit of low key eating to prepare for it. I love the 4th of July. I have fond memories of bicycle parades around Clearhaven Circle in Dallas, pimping out our bikes with streamers, neighborhood cookouts, watermelon off the rind, sugar cookies in the shape of Texas and Dad's jumping in the pools with their clothes on. Three years ago, Matthew and I went to Myrtle Beach. A first for me and also a last, not regrettably. Check out the pic with me wearing my adult braces, yikes. Two years ago Matthew and I traveled to Boca. It was so hot that the ocean was like bath temperature and we enjoyed the most spellbinding fireworks over the Atlantic. Last year, my family was in town for a wedding of a dear friend out on Lake Norman. It was a nice prelude to the Breyer's trip across the Baltic Sea three weeks later. This year, we will be in Pawley's Island with Matthew's family and I simply cannot wait. 

In preparation for our family vacation and yours truly in a swimsuit, I will be eating soup all week. In addition to the gazpacho I made this past weekend, I have prepared a summer vegetable soup with fresh corn and green beans, acorn squash and spinach soup as well as the below. I had a head of kale that needed manipulation and here you have it. This flavorful soup is a cinch to pull together and beyond satisfying. I added the chicken as Matthew likes his meat. I think most males do. I fear that our days of Meatless Mondays are long gone. This being said, you can absolutely go strictly vegetarian too and maybe thrown in some corn. Guess who won't be swimming this holiday season? Yours truly, despite growing up swimming in the waters of South Africa, I don't fancy sharks. Happy Birthday America.

Chicken, Kale and Chick Pea Soup


3 garlic cloves
3 inch knob of ginger - peeled
1 white onion
1 cup of fresh basil
1 lb ground chicken
1 can of chick peas
4 carrots
1 head of Tuscan kale
1 lemon - finely sliced
6 cups organic low sodium chicken stock
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 TBS kosher salt
20 grinds of pepper

Do Your Thing

1. In a Cuisinart or food processor, pulse your garlic, ginger, white onion and basil until diced. Set aside. Rinse out your food processor and now pulse your carrots and Tuscan kale until finely diced. Set aside.

2. In a large pot heat the oil over medium heat and add your garlic, ginger, white onion and basil. Stir for a few minutes until cooked through. Now add the ground chicken. Sauté until brown. This should take approximately 10 minutes. Now add the chick peas, carrots and kale. Give everything a big stir and cook for approximately another 10 minutes. Now add your kosher salt and cracked pepper. Stir again. 

3. Pour in the chicken stock. Add the lemon slices. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer. Put a lid on it and let it ride for 30 minutes. Season to taste and voila. Serve with crusty bread or dusted with parmesan, pecorino or goat cheese.

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