As like most of you, one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to eat healthier. To live a healthier lifestyle. This is an ongoing attempt in life that most times I succeed, passing the test with flying colors. Then other times I fail miserably. This year, however, is not the diet resolution but the better lifestyle change. 2011 will be full of learning. We plan on joining a CSA, shop at as many local farmers markets as possible, depend less and less on traditional groceries, learn how to can these fine vegetables so we can bask in their aroma through the winter, start a small garden at home focusing on herbs for cooking and canning the fine CSA veggies in, as well as finding healthier alternative recipes for some of our favorite foods. And what a better time to start than on New Year’s Eve. In the south the Southern New Year tradition is to eat as many Black-Eyed Peas and Collard Greens as possible to assure you a year full of luck and prosperity. I remember my grandmother Iris and mother serving this traditional meal to me on new year’s day on many a new year’s day. Except the traditional, southern style of cooking these yummy legumes and greens is with ham hocks and fatback. I have sought out, tried and succeeded in finding healthier alternatives that I encourage you to try with your friends and family this coming New Year’s. May you all have a happy, healthy, lucky and prosperous new year! Cheers!
Black Eyed Pea Salad
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans black-eyed peas or dried peas soaked overnight and cooked till tender
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, toss together black-eyed peas, tomato, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, celery, and parsley.
- In a small bowl, mix balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss into the vegetables. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours, or overnight.
Vegetarian “Southern Style” Collard Greens
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound collard greens, chopped
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and butter. Saute the onions until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the red pepper flakes and garlic, cook another minute. Add collard greens and cook another minute. Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until greens are tender, about 40 minutes. Add tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
The big buzz all around is the southeast and the snow. It really is beautiful and exciting. It is the first white christmas in North Carolina since 1947. Definitely something to be celebrated. It isn’t just snowing here in the western part of the State but even further to the east where snow is rare. It will be around for a few more days then back to the usual 30’s and 40’s. So take the time to bundle up and play outside. In the snow!
And finally Winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow. ~Roy Bean
This sweet kitty, Indie. Wherever I am, there she is.
I married into the tradition of dining by candlelight with family and sometimes friends on Christmas Eve. This elegant yet full of laughs event is is great. We take the time to spruce up the house and dress up a bit, drink wine and fellowship amongst ourselves. This year my husband and I are hosting the dinner. Traditionally, also, my brother-in-law and his wife travel abroad during the holidays. As planned, we would do Christmas Eve dinner with the 4 adults and child, no Greg and Jennifer. However, this morning as we were sipping on our cup of Joe suddenly the dogs got roused and started barking. If you guessed, yes, Greg and Jennifer surprised the family and will be joining us for the evening. What a sweet gift. Especially for a mother! (My mother in-law) So we will be joining in merry fellowship this evening, candles, wine and good food prepped!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit with a very dear friend of mine. Our lives have weaved together and apart and back together going on 15 + years. Nothing like a holiday and a baby to bring two old souls back together! She has a 2 month old little charmer named Huxley Wild (Wild is his middle name). He slept and snuggled my entire visit but it was so sweet to be in his presence. Ashley is a writer and author of a series of books called Homemade Living. She also has a fantastic blog that I follow. I encourage you to take a look too, small measures. It was wonderful to catch up. We couldn’t stop talking, so much that I was walking out the door starting new conversations! She gifted me with some fantastic Homemade Jam and Apple Butter! We have already sampled them both this morning! Tis the season to be merry! I love my friends!
I love stars! I love standing in the dark looking up to a crisp sky with a chill in the air. I love cards that have stars on them. I love driving through downtown just to look at the greatest window display that is nothing but glowing stars. And tonight, I am going to make a point to bundle up, go outside and look at the stars. The sky is clear, the air is cool. We get to witness a Lunar Eclipse. I hope that you will strive to step outside, look at the stars and bask in the amazement of the astrological movements.