Bonjour les amis! It’s another winter wonderland here in the Midwest so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to practice some of the allusive ‘self-care’ we all talk about but never really get around to doing.
So I started my day with coffee and kitty cuddles. Made an egg scramble using some fancy bacon (pancetta). Watched some cooking shows and the snow finish up (for the afternoon anyhow.) I practiced a little French (I’m determined to learn at least basic French before we visit in 2020). I went and had an hour-long massage. I came home and had a lunch of some of my favorite foods (olives and cheese). I took a long bath (complete with hair and face masks) and then started a new (to me) show on Netflix (Chef’s Table). I just finished dinner-it wasn’t anything fancy but I sure do love a good bowl of ham and beans. I’ll finish the night with some tea and more kitty cuddles (I don’t necessarily have a say in this-they are clingy since I’m the only human home).
A lot of this is simple stuff but it’s all recognizing the importance of taking time to do the things that recharge us. Even if it’s something as small as just using a fancy fun food for breakfast rather than what may be quickest-it all adds up helps to lower our stress levels.
Being kind to ourselves can feel so selfish and contrary to the other roles we play in life-but it is just as necessary as breathing. If we don’t stop and check in with ourselves things start to fall apart. Personally, I know that if I don’t take time to refresh I become more irritable and develop a negative outlook on pretty much everything. My first sign? I start to get road rage-and then I know something is up and it’s time for some TLC.
So this evening I encourage you to take a moment and check in with yourself. When was the last time you did something to recharge? No matter how small it may be-I hope you do something over the next few days to remind yourself how much you love you. Here’s some general ideas to get your imagination flowing (and more information on self-care), if you need it:
Want to read more on self-care? Check out this A-Z guide!
And if you’re curious about my amazing culinary skills:
- Pancetta, cubed (1/8 cup maybe?)
- Eggs, 2
- Buttermilk, splash (I have some on hand but I did add an extra layer of yum)
- Everything seasoning, a few cranks
- Optional, but necessary for me-some sort of cheese (today it was Gruyere), however the hell much you want
- Maybe a dash of Tapatio at the end
- Beat eggs, buttermilk, and seasoning until just combined and set aside
- Heat pancetta over medium heat until crisp and some fat has rendered
- Turn heat down to low and add eggs
- Move eggs in a figure 8 (I learned this from some chef who learned it from another chef. Also he said to do this in a non stick pan but I did not. Also, he’d probably not approve of anything I did here and frankly, I don’t care, my eggs are tasty.) until cooked to your desire (personally, I have to have my eggs a little drier than what others may enjoy) be light with the eggs!
Ham and Beans
This isn’t a fancy dish by any means, but it reminds me of my childhood. You can serve with cornbread for the real deal, but I chose not to make any today.
- Ham bone from Christmas Ham (it should still have some pretty significant ham on it, too)
- A bag of Great Northern Beans
- Chicken Stock from chicken last week, 3 cups
- Ham Soup Base, however much you want. You like salty? Add a lot.
- Soak beans in a bowl water for 30ish minutes, pick off floaters. Drain beans into a colander and rinse with water again. Use a big bowl-beans swell.
- Add beans back to the bowl and this time, add chicken stock. Cover with something if you have cats and set aside for like…hours. I was cooking my beans in an Instant Pot so technically, I didn’t have to wait but I did. Build flavors and also because I was lazy?
- Add beans, soup base, ham bone (mine was still frozen when I added it) and another cup or so of water. This really depends on how much your beans have soaked up and how soupy you like your ham and beans
- Instant Pot-set on manual for 45 minutes, natural release (unless you want kind of still in tact beans, then manual release)
- On the stove top-you’re going to need to add more water and boil for a couple hours (really I suggest you look up another recipe at this point, I’m just telling you what I did here-I haven’t tested it on the stove top)
- Shred off the ham from the bone, discard the bone and any clumps of fat
- For the love of all things, let this cool for a moment (or risk the pain of a burnt mouth. I’m telling you this from experience.)
Also, if you need a massage and you’re in the area, I highly suggest BodyWorks Associates (I see Sara Curtis and I love her). The owner is in the Massage Hall of Fame and sits on the National Board of Massage Therapy (aka, he’s a VIP). He trains his staff to a really intense caliber and I just think the world of this group. Massage Therapy isn’t always the best feeling in the moment but I can turn my neck completely for the first time in months!!