Collard Greens, Cornmeal, and Sausage Soup (Sopa de Fob)

I have a firm rule- no gifts from clients. However, this year a client had the idea we would all make recipe cards and everyone would exchange them in group.  I couldn’t argue with this idea as everyone seemed on board and it truly cost more time than money. I also found it a great sharing experience for them to open up and share in a safe environment. The recipe I ended up getting appeared to be a family heirloom. As I read the ingredients, I thought this was invented by a woman with a creative mind and who cooked without measuring.  Turning the card over was a note that read “Welcome to the family”. This is a recipe I will cherish and make a part of my family. Not just because it warms my bones and makes my kitchen smell amazing, but also because it warms my heart.

  • 12 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 bulbs of garlic
  • 1 half jalapeno (optional  a half bell pepper will do)
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • kielbasa sausage, cut  thick slices (Andouille sausage would be a great substitute)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz. collard greens, stemmed and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of Herbfarm
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced

Instructions

Preparation: Collard greens involve a bit of prep work. First unroll them and then cut them as close as you can to the stem. Give them a quick ice bath and rinse them, then rinse them again (grit is not your friend). Place them in the food processor for a quick mince.

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Heat cornmeal in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook, swirling pan constantly, until lightly toasted and fragrant, about three to four minutes. This is a culinary challenge if there ever was one. I kept looking at it and shaking my pan not wanting to burn it as it’s already naturally golden. The key to knowing its toasted is twofold- one, it will turn a  deep golden brown and, two, it smells like corn bread. Transfer cornmeal to a bowl; set aside.

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Heat oil in skillet and add minced onions , garlic and  sausages; cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a 6-qt. pot over high heat. Whisk in reserved cornmeal. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking often, until cornmeal is tender, about 40 minutes. Stir in reserved sausages and collards and cook, stirring occasionally, until collards wilt, 15 minutes. Place eggs in a medium bowl and add one cup cornmeal mixture; whisking into soup  until you see smooth ribbons of eggs (yes this is another culinary challenge your “ribbons” should look like the ones below). Return mixture to pot and stir until incorporated; cook for one minute more and season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup  into bowls and garnish with scallions. Serve hot.

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DIY Aromatherapy

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I walked into my sister’s bathroom and saw the row of essential oils and asked, “Trying something new?” She educated me on oils,  and diffusers a reed diffuser is composed of a bottle or vase partially filled with aromatic oil and reeds. The oil “wicks” up the reeds, causing the exposed ends of the reeds to dissipate the aroma into the air. I  also learned Essential oils are one of the best-smelling, naturally antibacterial options for homemade cleaning recipes.

It’s easy to make your own aromatic diffuser  I found recipes on this page will show you endless ways how. I will say I didn’t like how they used 1-2 parts High Proof Vodka (or Everclear) or Perfumer’s Alcohol. So, I substituted it with almond oil as my sister vouched for it. If you’re curious, here’s the rest of my shopping list

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I also found other great ways to use my oils

Scented Tealight Candles : Turn a tea light into a scented candle. Just Remove metal holder from each candle add a two to three drops of essential oil of your choice to the candle holder and place candle in holder.

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Smelling Salts : Essential oils can turn a Epsom salt into an amazing smelling salt  just add a few drops to Epsom salt shake and  place in cute container. Then sprinkle  in tub as neededuntitled.png

How are you using essential oils.zen-frog-22

 

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She is Not Your Contractor, She is Your Sister! -The BIG reveal

“Which direction looks better? “she, asked before I could answer she said, “That’s rhetorical!”

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You can have it cheap, fast, or good (Pick any two). It’s so true, as rarely, if ever, do you get the luxury of getting all three at one time when ordering or requesting any product or service. If you have been able to accomplish this, I’d love to hear from you. “Hiring” my sister I opted for cheap and good.

Disclaimer, when I say cheap I don’t mean I didn’t pay her. I asked her how much she wanted and she just ignored me. Everybody wants to be appreciated and heard, so over the month it took to complete this project I gifted her with an amazing rug she had been wanting but thought too pricey (floor for a floor), many purchases of good chocolate and homemade lunches, and got to share beautiful conversation, laughter, and tears and snuggle time as we watched Netflixs Luke Cage and Stranger Things. Though I digress, I cannot even begin to put into words how much love and labor she put into my space. Instead, I hope these photos are worth a thousand words. If you have a question about a method or what tool was used, please leave me a comment or send me an email.

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Every one of us has a mini spa right in our own bathroom: a long soak in the tub with a healing herbal oil added, a warm shower with an invigorating body scrub, or a simple facial. It’s all waiting for us. It’s all up to us. No excuses. – calendar page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Designing a Bathroom on a Budget

Does owning a mirror 3 feet by 3 feet make you vain ?!?!

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Standing in Urban Outfitter I called Abby, “How much is too much for a mirror?”

She laughed and said, “You’re spiraling, and if you called me you know it’s too much- but send me a photo.”

I sent her the photo and she texted back “Maybe, but I know you could furnish your whole space for that.” Challenge accepted.

Paint: With the room empty I decided to paint half the walls a soothing grey (Valspar Frappe 6003-1B) $21.88 upgrade 

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Mirror: I  need a new one my 3×3 foot mirror was to large for the space. Unable to make up my mind I bought several (please ask  the cashier about the store return policy and save your receipts) and called my sister to make the decision. That woman’s got an eye like Candice Olson and Joanna Gains. upgrade  $30.64

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Shelving: I comb the Ikea as-is department and created these shelves the first week we bought our home. I love the concept, but never was in love with the cheap particle board or plain Jane brackets. I found these cute ones with just enough frill.  upgrade$20.66

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Toilet: my spouse bought it as a surprise. I REALLY wanted to write a snarky post just about this lovely   Dual Flush Toilet . I, however, have learned never to look a gift horse in the mouth. It also reinforces why I love my spouse. He is Mr. Practical and handy installing new toilets, brackets, sinks, hooks for my robe and pj’s and art work. The love is in the details.

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Artwork: If you follow my blog  you know my spirit animal is the monkey and you know I am a lover of newsprint. So, needless to say, this piece spoke to me and this Ikea frame screamed glamour. upgrade $24.08

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Luxuries: It is no secret Abby and I visit Street of Dreams every year. Three years ago I snagged this spa boutique idea ( Adorn Glass Hurricanes ) for soaps, loafs, and bath bombs.  Year  after that was  the Sonia Drum Stool, but this year it was this gold mirrored tray (it also comes as a cute  butler table). I also believe a bath can not be complete without a good candle  or amazing soap

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Totally $109.74 If I missed something, or you have a questions about anything , please let me know!  

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Bathroom Deconstructed : beautiful, blessed nightmare

Did you ever stop to think about the women who have gone before you, who have been called all sorts of names, who have paved the way for you to have opportunities you have today? -Being grateful feels so good.

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My sister sent me a text “I am starting on your bathroom Sunday, so get to work” I stood in my bathroom, cut on my running playlist, and went to work muttering “$900 -$1,400 demo my ass.” Here are demo tips that worked for me.

Tools: Have all tools at the ready. Nothing is worse than starting the demo and having to go get a tool. It just breaks your groove.

Templates: Take your time and cut out templates. They will be handy when you have to cut new tile for your heater vent, toilet, and sink.

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Wall mirror :I thank the previous homeowners by adhering the 3 feet by three feet mirrior with brackets. It made it a breeze to remove. If your glass mirror has no visible framework holding it to the wall is actually held in place with a strong adhesive. This makes it a bit difficult to remove it from the wall and sadly I am not the best person to advise you.

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Follow your gut: I googled how to remove linoleum and/or vinyl  from a vanity and it was ALWAYS demoing the whole damn vanity. I wanted to save my vanity, as it is sturdy and in great condition. So here is how to remove just the damn linoleum and/or vinyl  . With a sharp box cutter, start at one corner by cutting the glue and sealant loose. Once it’s loose, go a little deeper with a paint scraper and unfasten more of the glue then peel back. Wear safety goggles and a long sleeve shirt as laminate will pop and shred.

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Trim: I seriously used the same method as I did above. The people who built our home were awesome as they marked the measurements on the wall. If your measurements are not on the wall, mark them on the back of your trim it will make it easier to remember where the pieces go.

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Sink: Cut the water off first, then cut the sealant around the sink and pull it up through the sink hole and disconnect the water lines. This is way easier than getting under your sink laying on your back with a flash light.

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Flooring: Locate a section of the floor with no glue underneath. Start removing  linoleum and/or vinyl  flooring right here, using a box cutter to cut the material  Pull up linoleum and/or vinyl  gently. Where you encounter resistance from the glue, use a scraper tool (or even a kitchen spatula) to get the strip loose. In places where the glue is especially tenacious, you can use a hammer-and-chisel combination to chip at the hardened adhesive.

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If I missed something, or you have a questions about anything , please let me know!  

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