The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

Fashion Foul and Purple Cabbage Soup

Joy and rapture wrapped into that time of the month, not that time of the month, magazine in the mail time! Yesterday Food & Wine arrived and a few days before that Real Simple was nestled into our little mail cubby. Plus, we went to Target and picked up some Lindt chocolate with sea salt, my new obsession. It’s affordable, a few miles away at my local store and since it’s dark chocolate, I say “better” for me while being lower in calories than some of my other favorite chocolates. I love realizing temporary happiness can be found in things like this. I am going to look over the magazines and might get back to you about them but I don’t want to ruin anyone’s experience.

I was feeling pretty happy with these simple items until I had to find something dressy to wear for a trip to see some mucho expensive diseased exotic wood in Minneapolis on Friday afternoon. Our friend Kim, knowing how interested we’d be to see this, scheduled a meeting for us to gaze upon the headquarters and the fantastic view from the highest building in the city. This is going to be memorable and spectacular!

Back to finding something nice for the occasion, I guess my cleansing of the closets was not such a great thing because I really have nothing to wear which used to be something I said without validity and is now true. What happened to me? I used to be the one with something for every occasion, something classically sophisticated and yet updated (so I thought) and now I will look like a slob.

I am exaggerating and am not that worried about Friday, it’s more that I have fallen by the wayside when it comes to fashion. I had a way of finding budget-friendly clothing and receiving compliments for it but I’m out of my element in Minnesota…I think it involves a lack of places to go that provide budget-friendly stylish clothing and to go anywhere is a madhouse of overcrowded stores which drives me crazy. Things are all over the floor, people that dress “cooler” surround the area (and throw knowing glances) and I am positive that the stores have different styles of merchandise than when I was in Indiana. I wouldn’t call it a more forward-thinking fashion…I’m not really sure what I would call it but I know that it’s not me and on those rare days I go out, I don’t return with anything except kitchen gadgets.

I realize it could sound odd to say this about Minnesota but we shop in the Twin Cities area so it’s a large location and not small-town USA. I would expect to find something for everyone but nope. I am from a small town, I know the options. I am shopping bound when I go home for Christmas; Fort Wayne is calling my name.

I settled for an outfit that will work but is not really something I would normally choose. I took an hour trying things on and then attempted to find something for Greg. He happens to have more formal clothing than I because we spent quite a bit of money a few years back when he was interviewing. I don’t know how but I ruined his favorite (and mine) dress pants by placing stain remover on an area he had already stained. I guess that means he ruined them first. Typical for both of us- this is why we can’t have nice things.

I am also doing what I call the “holiday cleanse” which I scoff at because cleanses don’t accomplish much of anything and for me, it’s more about mindstate. I am eating lower calorie meals before the holidays so that I give myself permission to eat what I want, which I think is ridiculous but seems to work placebo style. A week or two before the holidays, I make a big pot of soup. This year I chose cabbage soup which I fill up on whenever I wish. I rely on herbs and spice to keep me coming back because let’s face it, who doesn’t like flavor that keeps you wanting more? Otherwise, cabbage soup is boring to me.

Purple Cabbage Soup

Purple Cabbage Soup
Serves 8-10

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 small head of cabbage (purple/red or green), chopped into bite sized pieces
2 tsp dill (or more)
1 tsp oregano
any herb you like
dash of cayenne pepper-optional
6-8 cups chicken or veggie broth (low sodium works well)

Place a large pot over medium heat and add oil. Sauté the onion and carrots for 7 minutes or so until softened and then add the garlic. Next, add the tomatoes, cabbage, herbs/spice and salt/pepper, cook for 5 or so minutes until cabbage wilts slightly. Add the broth and simmer for at least 30 minutes over low heat. If you want to feel fuller longer, you could add some cooked chicken or turkey pieces and/or canned beans (rinsed and drained).