Hot and Sour Soup

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Hot and sour soup is one of those dishes that makes me firmly believe that food truly is medicine. Hot and sour soup has become my go-to comfort food whenever anyone in my house has a cold or is just feeling run down. The soup’s thick, silky texture feels great on a sore throat, and its heat and sour bite seem to cut through congestion and warm you from the inside.

Most recipes for hot and sour soup contain a hefty dose of soy sauce, which is usually made with wheat.  I am gluten free so  my homemade version relies on easy-to-find ingredients that you should be able to find in most  grocery stores, and comes together pretty quickly, because the last thing I want to do when nursing a bad cold is stand at the stove for hours on end!

Mr W. seems to caught the bug that is going around so I figured it was the perfect time to make a batch of our favorite belly warming soup and share the recipe with you.

Gluten Free, Soy Free Hot and Sour Soup

Ingredients
8 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth  (I buy Aldi’s organic brand)                               3 Tbsp arrowroot starch
3-4 scallions, sliced (green and white parts)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I’ve used button and baby shitakes but use any variety you like)                                                                                                                                                          1 (8-oz.) can bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed(optional)
3 T coconut aminos

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 T Siracha or other hot sauce (I like my soup pretty spicy so you may want to start with 1 teaspoon and add more as desired)
1 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
2 t toasted sesame oil (if you don’t already have this in your pantry it’s worth the investment. It really adds flavor!)
2 eggs, scrambled

Directions

  1. Set aside 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth for later use.
  2. Add the remaining 7 1/2 cups broth, mushrooms, bamboo shoots (if using), rice wine vinegar, coconut aminos, ginger and chili garlic sauce to a stockpot and stir to combine.  Heat over medium-high heat until the soup reaches a simmer.
  3. While the soup is heating, whisk together the 1/2 cup of broth(that you had set aside) and arrowroot starch in a small bowl until completely smooth.  Once the soup has reached a simmer, stir in the  arrowroot starch mixture and stir for 1 minute or so until the soup has thickened.
  4. Continue stirring the soup in a circular motion, then drizzle in the eggs in a thin stream (while still stirring the soup) to create egg ribbons.  Stir in half of the green onions, and sesame oil.  Then season the soup with salt and black pepper (or white pepper) to taste.  If you’d like a more “sour” soup, feel free to add in another tablespoon or two of rice wine vinegar as well.  Or if you’d like a spicier soup, add in more hot sauce.
  5. Serve immediately, garnished with the extra green onions.

* I actually prefer using a pinch of white pepper in this soup instead of black pepper.  But in case you’ve never used it, be careful — it has a much stronger and different flavor than black pepper!  So start with less, and then you can always add more.  🙂

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you give it a try I’d love to hear how you like it.

** If you’re not Gluten free you can use soy sauce in place of the coconut aminos.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you give it a try I’d love to hear how you like it.

Burr Oak State Park

On Saturday my friend Anna and I met at one of the state parks for the annual winter hike hosted by the Buckeye Trail Association.100_0369

There were four choices of hikes, an 8 mile, 5 mile, 3 mile and a 1 mile. Anna and I chose the 5 mile. We hung out at the tail end of the group, took lots of pictures and chatted with one of the guides. He has land in the area and has some great plans for it. You could tell he is passionate about his plans for the future.

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Despite it being winter the scenery is still beautiful.

And we saw many beautiful and interesting things.100_0361100_0365100_0367

I really enjoyed our hike, even though the terrain was a bit rough and I stumbled a few times along the trail, but no worries I didn’t hurt my self. I did learn one thing though,

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these boots despite the fact that they are called hiking boots are definitely not meant for hiking and I am now on the hunt for a better pair of boots. All in all though  it was a good day and I look forward to another hiking adventure with Anna.

Icy world

Wow I hadn’t realized it’s been awhile since I’ve written but I’ve been busy creating and I tend to lose track of time when that happens.

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Anyway today we woke up to an icy wonderland and the kids once again had no school however none of them seem to want to venture out in the ice. As for me I braved it 100_0334[1]then managed to slide down the hill on my backside and inadvertently snapped a pic as I went for the ride. Nothing was hurt but my pride and I managed to get back up without any troubles.

I was then able to get a few pictures of the beautiful icy world outside.

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What’s it look like in your part of the world?

Art share

 

Once in awhile I like to pretend I am an artist. Creating these goddesses is not only fun but also therapeutic. I tend to suffer from knowing my self worth and believing in myself but with each goddess I create I find a little more of me and know that I am worthy of self love.

 


I think that each one I create portrays a new side of myself that I am only just discovering.

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I hope you enjoyed my art share as much as I enjoyed creating these dolls and sharing them with you.

Making Coconut Milk

I’m sure that this is nothing new since there are tons of blogs out there that probably have already shown you how to make coconut milk but this is what I did this morning and figured I’d share anyway.

Coconut milk really is very easy to make with only two simple ingredients, water and shredded coconut. I used four cups of water and two cups of coconut flakes.

I blended them up in my Nutri- Bullet- I love this thing BTW. I use it a lot. I will have to share one of my favorite smoothie recipes soon.

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I use a cotton flour sack towel to strain mine in since I don’t have a nut bag or cheese cloth. These towels work perfect for me. No fancy tools needed here.

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Squeeze as much of the water out as you can.100_0319

I save the pulp,100_0320

and put it in a freezer bag for later use. I will probably dehydrate this to make into flour. No since letting it go to waste.100_0321Then I just pour the milk into a mason jar and into the fridge it will go. It lasts about a week if I’m not drinking my smoothies everyday then it lasts me 4 days.100_0323

See how super simple that was. Took me all of maybe 15 minutes to make.

Making apple cider vinegar

Today I am attempting to make apple cider vinegar. I have wanted to try it for awhile now but haven’t gotten around to it but I’ve watched several YouTube videos and checked several blogs and I think I’m ready to do it.  Since we have around 8 to 10 inches of snow after Monday’s snow stormed dumped  more on top of what we got the weekend before, I haven’t got much else needing done outside so why not give it a try.100_0287

I chopped up two cups of apples, got my filtered water ready, poured in 4 cups and added 1 cup of cane sugar.100_0289

Stirred it all up and poured another 4 cups of water on top of the apples and sugar.100_0290

Then I added 2 tablespoons of AVC with the mother to the mix to help it ferment a bit faster.100_0292

I put a weight on top of the apples to keep them under the water. I read that it’s supposed to help prevent mold by keeping them under the water so we will see.100_0293

And then I covered the mix with a towel  instead of a lid to let it breath and release the gases as it ferments. I just have to remember to stir it up every couple of days. That will be the hard part since my memory isn’t always the best.100_0295

Keeping my fingers crossed that this works since it’s my first time trying it. I will try to post an update on it once a week until it’s ready in 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Snow Day

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Friday night into Saturday morning we got hit with a snow storm that dropped around 5 to 6 inches of snow.100_0274We managed to get dug out, not that we actually went anywhere but it had to be done so we could get out if needed.100_0272While out exploring I took a tumble but thankfully it was a soft landing. So I decided to head back inside and work on some art. Not that I had anything better to do, well I did have other things but they aren’t nearly as much fun as my art.

20180114_061603I am working on creating a series of cards to sell at the local artwork that is held monthly.  I call these ones “Hippie Chicks”  I want to get copies made so I can keep the originals. 20180111_121106This little guy was the first one I created and started the idea of the “Hippie Chicks”. However he already found his way to a new home and was a hit.

I hope you stick around because I have so much more art to share and one of my New Years goals is to get myself and my art out there in the world.