It’s winter. Officially. Feet of snow, freezing temps, and we have months to go before Spring arrives and melts the dreariness away. So, what better time to plan a vacation? Spring break! I have my Step 3 (out of 3) boards on April 6. It’s my last test before I become a fully-licensed physician! I am taking the day off beforehand, and we’re pondering taking the rest of the week afterward, for a long weekend away somewhere. By April in the rest of the US, the snow has melted and Spring has sprung. In Erie, we typically still have snowfall until May- lucky us 😉 It’s a good time to get out!
I’m also trying to plan something special for Valentine’s Day Weekend (since the actual V-day itself will be overshadowed this year by Chris’ Match); it’s our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple! I really love Valentine’s Day- in all its cheesy glory! I know there are those who hate Valentine’s Day, because it’s materialistic, or because we shouldn’t need just one day to show love to those we love…and I get that. But I still love it, all the pink & hearts & CHOCOLATE. I’m thinking about maybe some dark chocolate dipped strawberries, oranges, and Chris’ fave- chocolate dipped grapes! The SD does have a recipe for a flourless chocolate cake which I think I am going to need to make…and my birthday (sorta) is at the end of February (there actually isn’t a 29th this year…that’s why “sorta.”).
We are nearing a month on the SD, and my reward for staying on the diet one month was supposed to be getting my hair done in Pittsburgh. I switched it with the 3rd week of the diet rewards because I had to be in Pittsburgh to get my hair done, and I am on call this weekend, making it impossible to go there for the actual 4th weekend. So, my I had my hair done last weekend, and this weekend (technically the 3 week reward), I am looking forward to new makeup brushes (the ones I am using are in desperate need of replacement). I think for the rest of the months, I will do rewards only at the midpoint and end of each month. February is easy, since the midpoint is Valentine’s Day, and the end of the month is my birthday, so I think I’m probably covered for February! With so much to look forward to, I am hoping the winter feels brighter this year!
Also, we got the Sonoma Diet Cookbook in the mail today! It’s the old one, and it’s out of print now (the new one comes out in May). We are systematically going to work our way through all of the recipes; probably it will take 2-3 months. It’s not a huge cookbook, but the contents look delicious, and it’s organized by meals, which makes planning very easy. Flipping through it, I noticed that the “breakfast” section is a tad skimpy, and it’s only filled with egg breakfasts. Hopefully the New SD Cookbook in May will have more variety in that section! It has lots of good soups & lunch things, and tons of dinner options, complete with sides and wine pairings!
We made the Sonoma Minestrone Soup with Pesto- and it’s really good! I have this thing, though, when I make soup…I make too much! So we froze half of it, for later!
Sonoma Minestrone Soup with Pesto
1 clove of garlic
1 small onion
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1/4 c. chopped carrots
1/4 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped eggplant
1/2 c. zucchini
2 c. chopped kale
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannelinni beans, drained
1/2 c. brown short-grain rice
2 c. chicken stock
1 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp. pesto
In a medium to large saucepan, coat the bottom of the pan with oil & turn on medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery, and carrots; saute for 5 minutes (should be caramelized). Add eggplant, zucchini, and kale; saute about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans, rice, chicken stock, oregano, salt, pepper, and pesto; stir. Bring to a boil and then cover & simmer for 1 hour. Before serving, taste for salt & pepper, and sprinkle parmesan cheese over a bowlful!