It's that time of year when we start frantically making our own resolutions or rolling our eyes at other people's resolutions. I'm in the making resolutions camp and proud of it. The darkest day is over, but cold wet days are ahead if you live in the Pacific Northwest. What better way to while away the hours than to eat, wait - no - make resolutions. (It is a better alternative to eating myself into an senseless, grumpy hibernation.) So here are mine:

  • Get back into an exercise routine including yoga class once a week and a cardio class once a week. Get on that bike and get out walking.
  • Cut out straight-up sugars (no packaged, primarily sugar-based treats such as candy bars, pudding, cookies, cake etc.) Save sugar for fruit, and the occasional delicacy (like a homemade gift of a treat or a bubble tea here and there). 
  • Get the garden plans going and get that garden growing this year!
  • Continue to be in bed by 10 on week nights (notice I did not say "go to bed by 10"... that ends up being 11).
  • Budget better for self care including massages every few months and acupuncture once a month. 
  • Plan my next trip to Peru. 
There are a few big surprises in store for this year too that I can't share yet.... So, that's it for now. A few resolutions will have to remain private. 


Oh The Places We'll Go... With Leftovers

I made Chicken Chipotle Chowder Wednesday night (Chupe de Pollo con Chipotle) - one of my old favorites! It's a rich, spicy soup that can work in summer or winter. That said, it is not a week night soup like it is advertised and you will heat up your kitchen. I have Wednesdays off and it's swap night with my neighbor. I wanted to make something special for them as they are always spoiling us with all sorts of homemade treats so spending a few hours cooking was worth it.

The chicken in the recipe gets boiled and simmered with garlic, onions, carrots, celery, oregano and cumin together in chicken broth. It makes for a savory and moist meat addition. I decided this time around to add extra chicken as the chicken breasts are boiled whole in the broth.

With the extra chicken I made an "enchilada bake" that turned out to be an elaborate dip more than a casserole. I'm not complaining though. I cleaned out my fridge and I got several dinners and more to share with the neighbors. I shredded the chicken for the bake, added some whipping cream to each layer, more cumin, cilantro, black beans and black olives. Then I drizzled on fresh homemade annatto oil, which if you haven't tried this before you should. Annatto oil makes a fabulously sensual oil, the color of cadmium red. If you can't find annatto, the prolific Penzy's Spices carries it - it arrives along with directions on how to make the oil. I'm christening the recipe now "enchilada dip."