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There was something different about my oatmeal yesterday.

If you can tell what it is, you spend too much time looking at pictures of oatmeal.

Why yes, I did add two tablespoons of Bob’s Red Mill 7 Grain Hot Cereal. I’ve actually had the stuff in my freezer for months. I tried it on it’s own and it’s sort of disgusting (sorry Bob), but it adds a level of complexity to plain old rolled oats. (My stone ground stuff was too slow for my belly this am.)

Complex oatmeal. Again, if that’s not new to you, you spend too much time thinking about oatmeal.

Properly fortified, I bundled up in a manner you might expect from someone living at a much higher latitude.

Like, Juno.

What? It was cold.

We met a cardboard pig who was particularly enthusiastic about renting out this house. The girls were equally enthusiastic about trying to kill it with their patented barking-from-afar method.

Everyone’s favorite time is bathtime. And by everyone, I mean no one. I had to bribe them with cookies just to get close enough to take these pictures because they were both so pissed at me.

Side note: I have to wash Cloey first, because if I put Maida in the sink Cloey knows what’s coming and hides under the bed. If I put Cloey in the sink Maida stands around watching until it’s her turn. She’s stupid. It’s endearing.

Part of the whole South Beach thing is eschewing processed grains. I like processed grains, but I’m taking baby steps. Instead of my beloved sourdough I bought this whole wheat bread. I have no idea what Eco-Grain means. I’m guessing it means that the grains grow out of the ground. Probably. What I do know is that it was on sale and also that even baby steps are hard and stupid and I miss my white bread.

Whole wheat bread, cranberry chutney, turkey, Tillamook cheddar + broiler =

Melty deliciousness. As far as I’m concerned all cheese should be melted cheese. Except when you’re bringing it home from the grocery store. Because that could get messy.

Crockett is sick, sadly. He’s all *cough cough* *wheeze wheeze*. My sick boy makes me sad, so I went over to make him some creamy tomato soup and grilled cheese.

Simple creamy tomato soup

Serves 2 generously

1/3 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
1 Tbs butter
1 29 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
1 Tbs (or more) dried basil *
1 Tbs sugar (optional)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)
1/2 cup – 1 cup water or stock
Half and half or heavy cream
Salt
Pepper

It’s that easy. Saut√© the onion in the butter until it’s soft but before it’s started to brown. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the basil and 1/2 tsp or more of salt, the sugar, and the wine and let it bubble away for 10 or fifteen minutes. Add the stock or water.
Here’s where I went wrong. I blended (using my handy dandy hand blender) for awhile, but not long enough. It had pieces of chunky onion and I hate that. Crockett seemed to like it though.
After you’ve blended, add your half and half. I specifically did not include a measurement because this is a personal preference. We probably had a quarter cup in the pot and I poured an additional tablespoon over Crockett’s bowl – you could go up to a cup without being ridiculous. Warm through and serve.
*About the basil – I dried my basil myself a month ago. If yours is older, feel free to use more. Basil is delicious. If you have fresh, I wouldn’t use it on this soup – dried works just fine.

A recipe for this would just embarrass both of us. Basically, take some thinly sliced white bread (WHAT, I had whole wheat with lunch), and butter the outside. Stick as much brie as you think you can handle in the middle.  Put in a pan until brown.

Stick in your soup.

Feel better, even if you weren’t feeling ill in the first place.

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