I just finished reading Maya Angelou's newest book/cookbook. I am a huge fan of her writing, poetry, and cookbooks. One of my favorites is her book Hallelujah! The Welcome Table.

In this, her newest book, she shares recipes and philosophies related to her eating habits. Her dedication says it simply:

I dedicate the ambitious intent of this book to those who would love to eat and love to lose weight at the same time.

Who doesn't want to do that?

This past week my dear friend and niece posted this quote on her facebook page:

"Scientific truth may be put quite briefly; eat moderately, having an ordinary diet and don't worry." ~ Sir Robert Hutchison, Newcastle Medical Journal (1932)

This would agree with the intent of the cookbook Great Food All Day Long by Ms. Angelou. It has been the intent of this blog to promote eating in a conscious and moderate way, using ordinary ingredients, and to enjoy the act of eating with the people you love. I have not been able to accomplish the 'don't worry' part, but we do try very hard to eat moderately and in a conservative and healthy way. One of the things Maya wrote in her book was that if a diner ate only a small portion of food, and then waited 20 minutes, they would find that they were satisfied. This is true, she says, if the food is delicious, and full of flavor. She began to eat this way, eating a small amount throughout the day every 3 hours or so, and noticed that he clothes began to get loose. She was losing weight and it was a result of this kind of eating.

I'm not necessarily promoting this but I do agree that eating really 'good' food, that is not only delicious but good for you will satisfy you more than eating some diet guru's idea of a 'diet' meal. We are getting ready to redo our kitchen and when we do, one of my first purchases is going to be new dishware. I'm buying small dishes. It's hard to control portions when the dish is 8-10 inches across.

My intent in writing this blog post was to remind us all to eat an ordinary diet with moderation and not to worry. It is what it is...

Tonight we had a homemade chicken vegetable stew. I threw in a small handfull of noodles to soak up some of the broth and used carrots, celery, onion, and cabbage along with chicken breast and herbs. One mug of soup was highly satisfying along with a whole wheat muffin with a drizzle of honey.  This muffin recipe is easy and delicious if you want to give it a try. I added raisins this time and you can also add chopped nuts. They are delicious plain as well!

 1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 c. sour milk (i used buttermilk)
1/2 c. oil (i used applesauce)
This makes 12 muffins. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until edges brown and a tap on the top of a muffin pops back!
Add 1 c. dried fruit or some chopped nuts if you want



I love Chinese food. P.F.Chang's is my favorite restaurant. I always get hot n sour soup when I eat in a Chinese restaurant and Chang's is some of the best I've had. The recipe for the soup is always daunting and there are so many ingredients that I have never given it a try at home. It's just easier to drive by the restaurant and take some home!
Sriracha chile paste, sesame oil, rice vinegar, firm tofu, scallions, dried shitakes, black fungus, soy sauce, bamboo shoots, and dried lilybuds

This week I saw a post on one of my facebook group pages with a recipe for the soup and an explanation about the ingredients so I decided to give it a try! The post explained that you need to have 'lilybuds' to make it authentic, so we went to the Asian grocery and bought some! I knew that the long black strands that were always in my hot n sour soup were something a bit unusual. Who knew they were flowers!

The soup is not hard to make, but it does take time. The result, though, is worth the effort. We all thought it was delicious and tasted every bit as good as what we've had at  PF Chang's.  I'll make it again, but I don't think it will be a soup I make often. It's more of a special treat than something I would cook on a normal basis.

In a couple of weeks, we are having a dinner with friends. It's called "Soup Night" and all the couples bring a homemade soup and we sample all the soups and then vote on our favorite with a prize going to the winning soup. Since we are hosting, my soup won't be in on the voting which is fine. I'm pretty sure I'll make this soup. I hope the others like the flavors of hot n sour.

If anyone wants this recipe, you'll have to let me know. I'll post it if there is interest, but, since it's involved, I'm not going to bother unless there is someone who will actually like to give it a try.