Sunday, June 23, 2013

Family Recipe: Fried Peanuts

"Adventure is out there!"

My grandpa is one of the sweetest people alive. Doesn’t he remind you of the guy from UP in this picture?

I absolutely adore this pic, which was taken on my visit last weekend to the assisted living where he lives in San Antonio. I spent four days with my grandpa sitting on his balcony drinking wine, eating big wonderful breakfasts, and watching him tease the other residents by pretending he was going to run them over with his scooter. They shook their walkers back at him threateningly, then they laughed together. My gramps is kind of hilarious, and a joy to be around.

(me, grandpa, melanie, and joe (cat) on the balcony drinking wine)

One thing I distinctly remember from my childhood was my grandpa making these awesome fried peanuts. We made them together on the last day of my trip. He said they are a family recipe passed down from my late grandmother’s father. I won’t even try to pretend that they’re healthy, but some things are worth spoiling your diet over <3

1 container raw peanuts (spanish are best)
2 cups canola oil (or enough to cover peanuts in saucepan)
sea salt


Step 1: Bring canola oil to a boil in small saucepan. Add peanuts and boil 5-15 minutes, until they are golden brown (or darker, depending on your preference).

Step 2: With a straining spoon, remove peanuts from the sauce pan and place on paper towels to dry. Immediately shake salt liberally over peanuts.

Step 3: Wait for peanuts to cool (I like to eat them warm), then enjoy!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Succulent Split Pea Soup

"Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice." - Robert Frost

A lot of people consider soup to be a winter food, or just for when you're sick, but I think soup is a perfect summer food!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, you say. Hot soup? In the summer? Blasphamy! 

But hear me out.

Like many people, I feel summer clothes aren't always...forgiving. Tank tops, shorts, bikinis, Oh my! As a result, I generally eat "better" in the summer. Smaller portions, lighter foods, you get the idea. About mid-September I let my hibernation fat begin to build again, but in May it is all about healthy food choices. Soup is typically a great choice if you are wanting to eat slimmer.

Also, soup is a lighter meal, which makes it more compatible with the outdoor lifestyle than typical "summer foods." For example, have you ever tried to play beach volleyball after a large hamburger and hearty helping of potato salad? I'm cramping up just thinking about it. But eat a bowl of soup for lunch instead and you're ready to run in less than an hour.

So, hopefully these two arguments will make you rethink some of your soup prejudices. Besides, everything is worth trying at least once. (At least that's what I tell myself every time I convince myself to attempt another doomed craft on pinterest).

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1 cup chicken broth
1 cup baby carrots
2 cups water
1-2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon diced garlic
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 lb ham (shredded or diced)
1 package split peas (drained and rinsed)
salt and pepper to taste


Step 1: Add garlic, baby carrots, and grapeseed oil to a medium to large pot. Saute for 5-10 minutes. 

Step 2: To the pot add chicken broth, water, onion powder, ham, and split peas. The water should be covering all contents. If not, add more water. 

Step 3: Bring to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes. Simmer and cover for 2 hours. Stir every 20 minutes or so, adding water when needed. Peas will eventually liquify, and add water based on how thick you want your soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4-6.