2012 Highlights and…Zuppa!

Hi everyone.  I know, I know its been way. too. long.

I can’t believe I am writing 2013 on our rent check this week.  This year has really flown by.  As I look back on 2012 I realize it was rich.  It was full.  It was lived.  I think its a good exercise to look back over your year to see what you’ve really accomplished, how your life has been enriched because the world flies by and we often forget. Even as I write this recap I realize there is so much more I could say about what 2012 held, but there just isn’t space here for all of it.  It makes me grateful for sure.

In 2012…

I solidified new friendships that have become so dear to me, spending incredible time with them cross country skiing, cooking, knitting, reading and talking together.

I enjoyed watching my oldest compete in Odyssey of the Mind, and Lego Robotics and my youngest kick it in soccer.

I continued to enjoy teaching riding lessons to children with disabilities at Camp Manitou-Lin and leading a fun camp week in the summer.

I learned so much while teaching cooking classes at the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan this year and look forward to continuing this year while making some amazing new friends.

I planted a garden at our little humble abode that produced sweet, gorgeous tomatoes and bountiful zucchini and basil and I enjoyed every morsel.

I ran a 5K after being beat to death by the Fifth Third River Bank Run last year.  I learned to take the pressure off myself when it comes to running and exercise.

I traveled up north more times than I can count with my family enjoying the summer fully with family and friends.

And then…. I started nursing school and passed my first semester.  This was by far the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life – I liken it to joining the army and spending 8 weeks in basic training being “broken down”.  But I made it.  I learned a lot about myself and how I need to succeed going forward.

And now I sit here in week three of a 5 week break from school, cooking, baking, and most importantly enjoying my family before school starts up again.

One thing I really have learned this year is that I have to take the pressure of myself over all to be all and do all (all the time).  My personality likes go go go and I love learning new things and accomplishing a ton, but nursing school so far has taught me that I just can’t do it all or at least I need more help.

So I have cooked homemade less, I have allowed my kids to eat more convenience meals and been okay with it.  I have lightened up a bit.  But I still want to cook delicious and nutritious meals as much as I can.

One way I have accomplished this when I am really busy is by cooking big pots of steaming soup.  Soup is love.  And this soup is vegan love!  It was so delicious I couldn’t believe it and my husband declared it a big winner.  There’s nothing fancy or hard about this – most of the amazing flavor comes from the spices in the soy-rizo which I buy at Trader Joes (when I can get there).

Please forgive this picture – it was taken on my iphone because my husband had the camera with him.  :)   I’m learning  so much about photography too! I hope you will try this soup at home… and I hope you will continue to follow me in 2013 – I hope for more wonderful recipes and storie to share!

Recipe ~ Tammy’s Zuppa
by Tammy Boyd

3 tablespoons EVOO
1 tablespoons earth balance butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped leaves and all
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped in bite-sized pieces
1 package Trader Joe’s soy-rizo or other good quality brand
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups good quality vegetable broth
1 cup almond milk
2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all water pressed out

Melt the EVOO and butter in a large skillet on med high heat.  Add onion and celery sauteing until onions are translucent. Add garlic, salt, pepper, potatoes and soy-rizo, sauteing another 2 or 3 minutes until soy-rizo begins to brown.  Sprinkle with flour and stir, cooking for 1 minutes.  Slowly pour in vegetable broth stirring vigorously to dissolve the flour.  Let simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.  Add almond milk and spinach.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

What new things did you accomplish last year?  Do you make resolutions or goals for the new year?  Please share!

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.luek Julie Luek

    Mmmm I love soups and this one looks scrumptious. All the best to you in the coming year. I have missed your blogging but balance in life is key– especially as you pursue school and love on those sweet boys of yours. All the best to you in the coming year.