Saturday, June 28, 2014


A good friend of mine went to law school in Minneapolis, and I went to visit her several times while she was there. I was living in upstate NY at the time so the snow and cold weren't toooo shocking to me. As two young women who grew up in Arizona, we were experiencing real snow and winter for the first time in our 20s, and we were always on the phone with each other comparing the weather. We came to the conclusion that Minnesota is colder, but upstate NY is snowier.

Anyways, on my visits I always enjoyed seeing that strong Scandinavian heritage peeking through in the modern day. Garrison Keillor is only exaggerating a little bit when he tells those Lake Wobegon stories. So much of the country feels the same. When you get off an airplane in so many cities, it's hard to tell where you have landed. In Minneapolis, it was fun to hear about a "hot dish" a "parking ramp" and I especially loved the word, "oofta." I'm not a Minnesotan, but I believe it roughly translates to "uggh."

This is all background for one morning last week. The baby woke me up at 5:00 AM and just wouldn't go back to sleep. I decided we might as well head down stairs and get our morning started. With each step, the temperature dropped colder and colder. I was so cold when I got into the kitchen, I exclaimed, "Oofta, we need to do something to warm up this house." (Which was funny because I hadn't thought about my Minneapolis visits for a great while - I guess the cold took me back.) It was in the 40s outside, and not much warmer inside because we had left the kitchen window open (in our defense - it had been hot only the day before). I decided to turn on the oven. With my foggy brain I just thought of turning on the oven to use as a heat source, but then quickly decided that would be a waste of gas, so decided to throw in a couple sweet potatoes. After we warmed up a bit, I decided to put the baby in her high chair and roll it into the kitchen. I dug around in the fridge to realize that we were low on our breakfast staples - we had one egg, no yogurt, no milk, no bacon. Things weren't looking too good. Luckily I found some leftovers to start feeding baby girl, and I started cooking. I still wasn't warm all the way through, so I started by making some soup. I had broth and leftover chicken added some zucchini, onions and carrots.  While it was cooking, I prepped vegetables for lunch and dinner, and felt I had gotten a lot done by the time our toddler and my husband got up to start their day.

The results were an unconventional breakfast, but great for warming you up whatever the time of day.... or season. Sometimes simple is the best.

Chicken, zucchini and carrot soup with freshly baked sweet potato and butter and hot tea.

Chicken, Zucchini and Carrot Soup

1 T butter
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 Quart Chicken Broth
2 C chicken, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t thyme

Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onion and carrots and cook until the onions begin to soften. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook until the zucchini is tender. Enjoy.

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