lighten up



The doors of winter finally opened up and swooped in this Monday; the last day of Christmas break. 

And  so with this good healthy shake of Winter returned our "normal routines" and goings on.

I loathe laundry, but get a strange warm home-y satisfaction from hanging quilts out on our clothes line.

The fact that it was snowing did not stop me.

Sheets go in the washing machine, quilts go on the line: that is just the way I roll.


The shaking off of all those bits and "dust faeries" that get trapped and embedded in my quilts  are released in a swirl of breezes and cold freshness.

light and fresh


The return of yoga mama.  

This picture also marks my first "selfie" photo contribution of a flickr group I joined at the New Year hosted by the blog urban muser

A fun group full of creative people.

The first day back to school marks four out of six members of this household heading out the door, dressed in warm woolen accessories, and unenthusiastic faces.

And though I do my yoga early before the house rises, it is not until we are back on "school time", that I can rouse myself from those snug flannel sheets each morning at 6:15 to grope around in the dark for my cold spandex sports bra, the first t-shirt I find on the floor, and one of two pairs of exercise pants I own.

Twenty minutes with Rodney Yee's Power Yoga works wonder on my pale winter body, that tries to morph into some sort of albino sloth each January to April.

Mental alertness, a rejuvenated spirit, flexibility and a stronger body stave off my winter blues symptoms that slowly overtake me, like a nasty sneaking little weasel for so many of these past long winters.


A health nut's version of a bloody mary:

Vitamin C powder dissolved in a cup full of Pomegranate-Cranberry juice, in a wine glass, because all drinks taste better in a nice wine glass.

This light drink (but all natural; NO splenda and/or aspartame for me) with the super feel good winter vitamin is my attempt to lighten the germ assault damage during the winter.

New creative pursuits to lighten my craft over- load :






My second daughter wanted to "get into beading", and so Santa obliged.

We all delved into her self contained kit after dinner a few nights ago and enjoyed some simple but pretty beading.

 Big -messy- time- consuming- crafty- projects where I pull and use like nineteen different materials and techniques are on suspension.


Ok this recipe is neither light nor simple; I confess.

But I enjoyed preparing this French soup, and loved slurping it down several hours later.

Now tell me:

When was the last time your dinner ingredient list included: parsnips, leeks, pearl onions, bacon, and chicken drumsticks, with a good healthy dose of white wine?

Its called Coq au Riesling

From the provence of Alsace in France (where ever the heck that is)

and was taken from an old  Victoria Magazine.

I tweaked it a lot because I don't know what a Dutch Oven is.  I just know I don't own one, and so I had to cook up my chicken first. 


Step One:

Cook up some chicken drumsticks(we used 7) with salt, pepper and olive oil, about 45 mins at 300 degrees

Step Two: (lots of veggies you or I probably never bought before)

 cut up a large washed leek into strips (they look like bulb bamboo )

peel and coarsely chop up a parsnips (they look like blond carrots)

remove a fennel bulb core and chop up the rest coarsely (I don't know what they look like because I forgot to buy one)

chop up three garlic bulbs

peel and cut in half 6-8 white pearl onions


Step 3:

When the chicken legs only have 10 minutes left, put a large stock pot on medium heat and cook up about 6-8 pieces of thick center cut bacon (mmm…bacon)

when its deliciously crunchy take them out and put on a brown bag or paper towel.

Dump out all but about 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat

Step 4:

Take out the chicken legs

Turn heat on low

Put legs in the remaining bacon oil (careful its gonna spit at ya, and could possibly blind a small child)

Cook each side about 5 minutes

Then take chicken out of stockpot  and put on plate

Step 5:

Put those wierd veggies that took way too much time to chop up in the left over oil, and stir on low heat.

Add a handfull of flour

Stir well; getting the bits up until its smooth and pasty (5 minutes?)


Step 6:

Add 2 cups of your favorite white wine, and if you don't have a fav the recipe calls for Reisling (a type of white, do not pay more than ten dollars)

Then add 3 cups of chicken broth and two bullion chicken cubes

Step 7: ( I told you it was not a short recipe)

Add some fresh or dried thyme, and one bay leaf

Break up the bacon strips into big crumbles and de-bone the chicken legs.

Put them both into the pot and cover and cook on low for about 30-45 minutes; depending on how hungry you are.

Take out the bay leaf, and if you are gonna try to pan this off to children, most of the leek strips too, cuz that will freak them out.


add 1 cup of heavy cream and cracked pepper


Awesome with ripped off hunks of fresh bread for dunking.


It was the best soup I have had in a long time.

Very provincial and hearty!


Here is to lighten up and French Recipes



5 thoughts on “lighten up

  1. A Dutch oven’s just a big, heavy soup pot, basically. It works for browning meat before adding soup ingredients and is nice for letting a soup cook all day. But it’s definitely not a necessity. (Mine was a gift.)
    Glad you’re finding ways to bring in the (imaginary) sunshine. I get Winter blues too. This year I’m running in sub-freezing temperatures to give myself a shot of energy. 🙂


  2. I love this post. You had me smiling as I read your about your body trying to morph into an albino sloth… hee hee!! I hear you!! I haven’t done yoga in a while and your description and that darn fantastic self-portrait are inspiring me to get out my yoga tapes!! I haven’t tried Rodney’s power yoga, but I have his AM yoga and like it. It’s nice and gentle which I need to get started but I get tired of it after a while. Is the power yoga pretty intense, or can a semi-beginner with a healing foot handle it? I would love your opinion. I’ve also been loading up on a daily dose of Vit.C drink (mixed with some aloe..yuck), and love your idea of drinking it in a wine glass! Thanks for inspiring me!!!


  3. Good for you on the yoga. I am feeling quite slothy myself these days and I have no excuse because there is no snow out these doors. That recipe looks quite yummy, perfect for cold weather.
    Btw, didn’t get your message about History of Love until just the other day, sorry! I will be happy to swap with you!


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