Saturday, March 16, 2013

Roast Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes, and Black Bean Soup...Ready, Set, Go





Morning Sunrise over Houston, Texas


Ready. Set. Go.  Unfortunately, that means that here in the south, Spring Break week is winding down.  And what a gorgeous, spectacular week it was with turquoise blue skies, sweeping winds, and hints of spring tucked away everywhere and trying to make a show of it.






R. and I were certainly ready to close the books on those french direct object pronouns and the essay on Versailles.  He has finally completed all of the readings and assignments on "Metamorphosis".  Happy to put that tale behind us.

It was no burden for us to continue on with his history lessons so we continued on through the break.  We both enjoy history and have maps, globes, and google at our finger tips as we travel through time.  Right now, European countries as well as the U.S. are racing against each other to dominate India and Africa.  Absolute plundering of natural resources as well as native people.






It is amusing to me how many "life lessons" we cover as we go through history together.  Greed, excess, hubris, and insensitivity play leading roles in the leaders of our world history...and these characteristics often lead to the same end...war, domination, plunder, and ruin.

M. was home for the week, full of stories about college life.  It is immensely satisfying as a parent to see your child go out in the world and stand up on two feet.  Personally, I found the years of being "mom" as well as "teacher" satisfying for the most part.  I am completely content to  be only "mom" from now on.  It is truly much needed stress off my shoulders especially after the academic load of the high school years.





We relaxed, relaxed, and then relaxed some more.  I really don't know where the time went but the week was a much needed break for all of us.  

The movie "Picture Perfect" was a surprise winner of the week.  M. was talking about this movie, giggling, and repeating  the many "one liners".  When I saw the previews, however, my heart sank.  I thought it looked like a cheap, tacky, 2-star flick.  Surprisingly, I loved it.  It had its cheezy, overly sexed stereotypical college characters but the music sung by the acapella groups was fabulous and the slapstick humor...just made us laugh.  I haven't laughed so loud at a movie in awhile... and it felt really good.




Also, I started the series "Call the Midwife" over the break.  What a wonderful documentary series chronicling the life of women in the 1950's in relation to midwifery. 

I absolutely loved the peek into the kitchens, fashion, relationships, and history of this time period.  Aren't we all fortunate to have had our babies in the 20th century.  I'll be happily anticipating the start of Season 2 at the end of this month.















So there was a fair amount of cooking happening in the kitchen over the week.  Patrick baked the sweets and I stirred the savory, it seems.  Now, we're all scrambling to get life back in order as we face returning to a school schedule, college, and work routines again.

I love to start the week off with a big pot of soup.  We can easily eat soup for dinners halfway through the week before we reach the bottom of the pot.  

On my way home from Austin, I stopped at one of my favorite little markets.  I find that often I come home with a handful of Texas finds that make their way into our menu for the week.






This drive, I came home with handfuls of pecans, a wonderful jar of fig preserves, and a circle of soft goat's cheese.  

One of my favorite indulgences while I am cooking is to nibble on simple goodies while preparing a meal.  A few cuts of french bread, a smear of goat's cheese with cracked pecans make for a small feast while sauteing onions or roasting tomatoes.  






I am still nursing along little glasses of my Valentine's Day present from P.  A small of glass of Glayva from Scotland is a divine sipper to go along with a little plate of sweet and savory bruschetta.




So here we go.  Ready. Set. Go.  School, work, and activities all swing into full gear soon.  Soup is on the stove once again to warm our bellies each evening.  We're grateful for the glorious spring weather we had this week.  

I managed to bring home a few more pots of thyme and mint.  I've noticed the bluebells are filling the fields, buttercups are gently swaying in the breeze, and sweet and sassy Indian paintbrush is squeezing in along the roads.


Polly was thrilled to have her beloved M. home to play with her.  But, I'm afraid Chester gets a bit jealous so there was lots of frisky bantering and chasing about that went on during the week.

Have a wonderful week, get a pot of soup on, and smell the spring air that is coming!



Naughty Polly...full of mischief this week

















45 comments:

  1. love the pictures and the rustic background :)
    xx

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  2. Your photo of the Texas sunrise is absolutely amazing!! A very lovely post, Sarah, and a wonderfully delicious looking meal! Have a great day!!

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  3. I don't know how you do it, but your images and words never fail to inspire me to cook and to dream...

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    Replies
    1. That's just it Teri, I am certainly a dreamer all right!

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  4. Luscious meal! I love "Call the Midwife"!

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  5. Oh those salted and then roasted tomatoes! And the glass of Glayva with the pecans! You have such a touch with the camera, but as a fellow blogger my emotions fluctuate wildly between absolute joy and intense jealousy as I scroll through your posts!
    We saw all the episodes of Call the Midwife and it left us yearning for more.

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    1. I don't know how I missed "Call the Midwife". I just love it! Two more weeks...

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  6. the soup looks just wonderful! but the snack and special drink just might have stolen the show..or post..haha. Yum!

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    1. Goat's Cheese, figs, and french bread...repeat every day for me. I would never get tired of it.

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  7. That looks like such a delicious recipe :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  8. You transform cooking into art. Always a culinary joy!!!

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  9. What a joyful week! And I've heard so many good things about Call the Midwife -- I can't wait to check it out.

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    Replies
    1. It's definitely a woman's movie. My husband and son just turned ashen and then left the room!

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  10. Just the thing for a cold winter's night. Your photography is stunning.

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  11. Glad it was a great SB for you guys, we don't have kiddos so it was a usual work week. Love the recipe and the photos are amazing! I just saw your reply to a tweet I sent you almost a month ago, sorry! I sent you some replies just a bit ago. You must go to Round Top/Warrenton for Antiqueweekend.com that actually lasts a couple of weeks. We are going on Saturday the 30th for the day. Let me know if you have any questions!! You must experience it!!

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    1. Oh my Nancy! Round Top sounds so incredible it makes my head spin just thinking about it. I will definitely look it up and peek at your video as well. This could be really, really dangerous!

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  12. Thank goodness I'm not the only one who nibbles while cooking the evening meal :) I keep telling myself that I need to stop but I doubt that's going to happen any time soon.

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    1. Sipping on a little "toddy" for me is part of the joy of being in the kitchen. I don't know how that treat got started but I sure do enjoy it!

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  13. That was a great catch up on what has been happening. How fabulous that the weather cooperated and I loved the picture you painted with the bluebells and buttercups. We are still warm here but ever so slightly I can feel the difference in the air as we slide downwards towards winter.
    History is a great teacher but most people don't learn anything from it, unfortunately.

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    1. Suzanne...I try to imagine what is like to have the seasons reversed from here. It is really hard to imagine! Perhaps I'll experience it someday. Oh, and bluebell photos are coming soon....

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  14. Lovely post and gorgeous photos: they have a certain warmth and coziness about them, brings out the feeling of home!

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  15. It really sounds like you had a fantastic week off. I can't wait to take mine soon. Thanks for the tip on "Picture Perfect" and "Call the Midwife", I'm going to look them up. Oh yeah, the soup looks delicious! Thanks for sharing Sarah:)

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  16. Ah, Texas, one of the only places where Spring Break truly means spring! Sounds like a wonderful wonderful week.

    No spring nor a break up here, although I did see some bulbs today that have begun sprouting despite all the snow. I was impressed!

    So here we go. Ready, set, spring! :)

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    1. Emma, I agree. I remember living in Michigan and New York and being wrapped up in coats for Mother's Day in May. We'll probably have the air on by then. Truth be told, though, I miss the cold and the snow...

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  17. My favorite shot is the roasted tomatoes! So gorgeous ...
    I love all the shots from your life though. I am glad M. is doing well on her own.

    Hope you got my email and I hope I did not confuse you a bunch on things to do in my hometown :)

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    1. I'm coming to visit Ilke's Kitchen soon. I sure wish I had more time to research Istanbul in greater depth. I definitely got your email and I cannot wait to pick it apart and discover your incredible hometown.

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  18. That's quite a tasty looking dish and a nice change from regular black bean soup. Noticed you added Italian spices. Would chopped, fresh cilantro conflict? Love cilantro. Usually I make BB Soup with canned or fresh tomatoes, coriander and cumin topped with sour cream, lots of chopped cilantro and raw onions for an nice crunch. Hadn't thought of using roasted tomatoes. Beautiful photos as always, you have an excellent eye for light and shadow. So glad you and your family had a relaxing time together. Got a kick out of Molly and Chester vying for attention :)

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    1. Oh, I think cilantro would be even better than the Italian herbs that I used! I love cilantro but unfortunately I am the only one in the family who is fond of it. I usually make it with canned tomatoes too but I had these beautiful fresh ones handy and I just HAD to roast them. Soups in our kitchen are truly a matter of what are the ingredients sitting around that can all be thrown in a pot together!

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  19. The soup looks delicious- I love the look of that dark caramelized chicken! Glad your spring break was relaxing!

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  20. Call the Midwife is very next in my queue. Now I am even more excited!

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  21. So true Sarah - one only has to read history to realize that it's all been done before and that the seven deadly sins have brought out the worse in humanity time and again but we never seem to learn. I will say - history makes me sad.

    On the other hand your gorgeous soup and beautiful simple way to serve with some lovely roasted chicken makes me very happy indeed! What a beautiful soup and I love the insight into the tender moments of life with your family.

    hugs!
    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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    1. It is difficult with a 16 year old not to come to an overall pessimistic outlook when going through one war after another and then another. It does, however, help to understand current events today and realize that it is history rolling along into the future.

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  22. I'd love a glass of that to sip on as well while enjoying some delicious nibbles!

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  23. Fabulous, as always, Sarah! Your photography is so lovely & dreamy!

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  24. Hi Sarah, your blog is gorgeous. Love your photography skill, your pictures are superb. This roast chicken look finger licking good, love the charred part. :))
    Thank you for sharing.

    Have a nice week ahead.

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  25. What a spectacular soup! Unfortunately, there is still snow on the ground...but a bowl of your soup could cheer me up! I bet it was fun having a full house. My youngest will be back home again this weekend for Easter...I have to make our traditional fudge lamb for him :)

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    1. You have my curiosity peaked for sure..fudge lamb. I'm going to have to stop by to see what your youngest will be enjoying! M. is coming home too...but it will be a super quick weekend.

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  26. Nice meal :) I've just watched a trailer for a serie of "Call the Midwife", looks so good! Thanks for a tip :)

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    1. Oh, I really did get hooked. All of the tidbits about the time period are so captivating. So many affects of WWI are woven throughout this time period.

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  27. these photos are absolutely stunning. I was completely taken in by them. they tell a story that should be told!

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  28. Beautiful !!!
    Sarah many many congrats on babble top 10, just saw ur name there n rushed here. ...
    You totally deserve it n your blog make many heart smile... beautiful!

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  29. I can't wait for season 2 of Call the Midwife... this weekend!

    Your photography is getting more and more incredible every time I visit.
    Wouldn't they make the most beautiful cookbook???

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  31. The roast chicken looks perfect - the ideal comfort food! And I love the 2 shots of the tomatoes, they're just gorgeous!

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