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Friday, November 16, 2012

Chris Mann wows with Roads Album

I have been eagerly anticipating an album from Chris Mann for some time now - ever since Sweetpea and I were taken with his charm, thoughtfulness, and oh yeah - that amazing voice at BlogHer 2009.  There we were, unexpectedly together in Chicago as my babysitter had changed plans at the last minute. Sweetpea was a few months past two years old, and I was every bit of eight months pregnant.  I'm sure we made an interesting couple at the parties each evening, but we were having too much fun to care - especially at the people's party, when we were goofing off and dancing the night away with Anissa Mayhew and a few other newly aquainted friends from my online world. Chris was kind enough to invite Sweetpea up on stage and she loved every second of her time in the spotlight. I'm not sure she really remembers the experience now that several years have passed, but she still loves to hear the story, and to listen to Chris sing.

We were both excited when One2One Network sent us the new album, Roads, to review. And I'm happy to say that it was every bit what we had hoped it would be.  Showcasing Chris's fabulous voice and staying true to the sound you heard on The Voice, Roads will leave you wanting more (songs, that is). And for those of you who truly do want more, there is a Christmas Album that I'm sure is fabulous as well!

To preview four songs from Roads, follow this link.  Roads can be purchased on iTunes and Amazon.  I was supplied with a copy of the album for review.  As always, all opinions are my own.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Turnips with a twist - Love me some greens!

I love that we are still picking turnips from our garden in November. When cooking with the turnips, don't overlook the greens - they are a nutritional powerhouse and are very tasty when cooked up the right way! For years I've been cooking any and all greens coarsely chopped and boiled in chicken broth. Just as they finish cooking, I freshly grate some nutmeg into the mix and serve.
As the weather gets colder, the turnip greens are getting a little extra bite, so I added a few splashes of Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar to the chicken broth.  The added tang paired well with the stronger taste of the late season greens, and added a nice flavor without being overpowering. With no sugar, preservatives or calories, it's a great way to add flavor and feel good about it!
I love these greens as is, but they are also wonderful in other things like soups and casseroles.  An extra big batch means there are leftovers to sneak into other dishes... Next week I'll share my "let's keep us all healthy!" chicken and veggie soup, with turnip greens as one of the star veggies.
Tangy Turnip Greens
1 large batch of greens - about 4 turnips worth
Olive oil to coat your pan
1 - 2 cups of chicken or other broth
dash of nutmeg, freshly grated is preferred
Coarsely chop your greens and rinse them well. (I find this is the best way to get rid of any dirt or grit that might have followed you in the house!) Don't worry to much about draining them thoroughly, as you're going to be boiling them anyway...toss them in the pan with a little olive oil and allow the greens to wilt for a few minutes. If necessary, add any remaining greens as the wilting begins.  Now add the broth and vinegar. Cook until tender, then grate a bit of nutmeg over the top. Serve warm, and save leftovers to add to soups, casseroles and the like!
*disclaimer* I was provided with Nakano vinegar to test in my favorite recipes and compensated for my time. As always, all opinions are my own, and I only recommend products that I use and love. 

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