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Cardboard + Crudité…

The holidays were a blur segueing into January with little reprieve from our busy schedules, not to mention we were moving! I know, we just got to our New York apartment in March but our landlord was selling his place so that meant while you were enjoying your holidays, I was searching for new apartments between my husbands busy travel schedule and holiday parties… ugh!

With all of this, comes crazy stress so my culinary juices were pretty dried up and frankly I’d drink just about any bottle of wine that was around because shopping for that “great bottle” was simply too much of a bother. Procrastination was rampant as the mountain of cardboard and packing paper plagued me from across the room. Two weeks out the packing started and the daunting task of what stays and what goes began. I made one last trip to dean & deluca for some green juice and veggies to energize our efforts without sacrificing the gourmet experience.

Two recipes for your disaster day, I mean moving day, that are going to rock your world next time you move and all you need is one pot, a microwave and some paper picnic ware. Light a candle and pop some champagne cause it’s packing time!

One Pot Veg Soup:

1 head of cauliflower

1 white onion

1 clove garlic

1 bay leaf

Himalayan Salt

Fresh cracked pepper

Water

Olive oil

Grab that large dutch oven one last time before packing the kitchen… drizzle some olive oil in the bottom and crank up the heat to medium. Chop the onions into bits and smash the garlic (take out your frustrations of packing on this onion/garlic if you like…it’s going to all get pulverized later) Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, pinch of salt/pepper to the pot and cover with a parchment lid (make like a 6 year old and cut out a pretty circle same size as your pot with a hole in the middle) Sweat them until they are soft and clear, about 10 minutes or so, just make sure they don’t color. Discard the parchment lid and bay leaf…Clean the head of cauliflower and remove the green bits. Pop the whole head into the pot and pour in a cup or so of water. Cover with the lid to steam for 15 minutes. Add the rest of the water and boil it until the cauliflower is tender and falling apart. Now get your immersion blender (or regular blender) and blend all of this to a beautiful silky smooth soup. Serve it in whatever dishes are not packed with a hunk of baguette and a drizzle of olive oil. Save the rest for the next couple of nights, it will beat the hell out of take-out!

Serve it with the Raventos Brut Rose, http://www.klwines.com/detail.asp?sku=1062060 no corkscrew needed and at under $20 a bottle you can’t go wrong.

Crudite Salad (It will save your life)

1 small bag of baby carrots

1 bunch of celery

1 avocado

1 bunch of radishes

1 bunch of grapes

1 box of cheery tomatoes

1 cucumber

1 package of hummus

Now the french have it right, this “salad” is my lifesaver when life is getting a bit overwhelming and I just need to eat “something” but really don’t want to skimp on my healthy eating habits. It’s all finger friendly, great for kids too. You can change up the veggies to suit your own tastes or seasons but this is what we have been living on while wallowing in our sea of boxes.

Wash all the veggies unless they are already washed of course. Cut up any that need it like the cucumbers or avocado. (Asparagus is another good one, just snap the woody ends off and enjoy raw) Open the package of hummus…take the slices of avocado and  drizzle  with olive oil, salt and pepper. Gobble up the veggies with the hummus and treat yourself to some grapes in the end. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated while packing…I promise it will all be over soon!

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