I committed the cardinal sin of Vibram Five Fingers (VFFs) today.
I ran 2 1/2 miles my first time wearing them.
I know. You are supposed to start out slow. Walk some. Run for under 5 minutes. Get your legs used to it. And I had every intention of doing that. I was going to head outside to walk in the beautiful weather and I opened up our shoe closet to grab my running shoes and the Husband’s Vibrams sang to me. We wear roughly the same shoe size and I thought I’d just try them out. I started walking and felt great. So I tried a little running and then I just couldn’t stop. I felt amazing. Strong and natural. Finally, around 2 miles in, I could feel the shoes starting to pinch my toes, so I headed back.
But it was amazing! Nothing hurt. It felt so incredibly natural.
I’m sure I’ll regret it tomorrow and be incredibly sore, but it just felt so good! I was originally told I couldn’t wear VFFs because of my long toes, but I think if I just go a half size up from my Husband’s, we might be in business. Although I do worry about them being too big in the heel.
They sure did feel good to take off, though. After the run (and snaking out of the VFFs), I did what I call the Basic Body Routine. Which is a set of three exercises when I don’t have the time (or interest) to do a full strength routine. Two sets each of push-ups, squats and bicycle crunches. Just enough to remind the major muscle group that I care. Stretched and then hit the showers. It felt great to sweat again. You may have noticed that I hadn’t worked out since last Monday. Nice to be back in the saddle.
After my shower, I refueled with a Mason jar full of skim milk, spiked with a few tablespoons of half and half (just so I could get some all-important recovery fats).
Let’s talk about cauliflower soup.
When someone says “cauliflower soup” it probably sounds like something an evil lunch lady would serve to poor elementary school kids as a torture device. I would have thought this, too. But my world was changed in 2008 when I was fortunate enough to be a bridesmaid for my sister-in-law (my husband’s brother’s wife, got that?).
After a fantastic, but exhausting, day of the ceremony, schmoozing, and photography, we landed at the reception to a nice warm bowl of beige at the head table. I had heard mention of this cauliflower soup throughout the weekend, but thought for sure it must be sheer folly. For no bride would serve cauliflower soup at her wedding! Especially not one as elegant as Kim. BUT SHE DID. And I’m glad she did. (I, on the other hand, was supremely classy and served BBQ on trash can lids at my wedding. Another post for another time.)
The soup was creamy and cozy and smooth AND elegant. So comforting on a throat that was sore from talking and mingling so much. I immediately grabbed the Bride and told her how amazing it was. The soup was a thing of glory. So special, that after a few too many tequila shots, on the ride back to our beds on the aptly named “party bus,” my thoughts immediately went to how good a food the soup would be for a hangover.
And obviously it was so impactful that I’m writing a blog entry about it 2 1/2 years later.
When I made mac and cheese with cauliflower last week, I remembered the infamous cauliflower soup and was suddenly sparked to remake it. I did some Google research and landed on The Pioneer Woman’s recipe. It looked amazing and creamy and delicious. It also looked decidedly more PW style than BTHR. A stick of butter, 2 cups of whole milk, a cup of half-and-half and a (heaping) cup of sour cream? While it may fit into my “everything in moderation” rule, it certainly didn’t fit into my desire to have an everyday cauliflower soup. And I just couldn’t, in good conscience, make that recipe while wearing a SparkPeople shirt.
So thanks for the inspiration Ree, but I went rogue.
Wedding Cauliflower Soup
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
2 medium stalks celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
4 c. broth (chicken or veggie)
3/4 c. half and half
1/4 c. sour cream
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil and butter in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium-low heat. Cook onion, carrots, celery and garlic until just slightly tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley and cauliflower. Cover and let steam for 10 minutes. Uncover, add broth, bring to a boil and simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until all veggies are very tender (think mushy). Remove from heat, add half and half and sour cream. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth and frothy. Salt and pepper to taste.
Just like the Pioneer Woman, we are starting with a mirepoix. Which is the fancy French word for the combo of aromatic veggies used to flavor a lot of French cusine.
Once your veggies are tender, throw in a nice handful of parsley. Don’t be shy. We need flava!
Pulverize one head of cauliflower. Go ahead, it is going to be put through the immersion blender anyway. We aren’t making a veggie tray here. The smaller the chunks, the quicker you have soup.
Into the pot. Cover and let cook over low for 10-15 minutes.
Uncover. Add your broth. Bring to a boil, reduce a simmer and cook, cook, cook. You want this cauliflower to be everything you don’t want it to be normally. Super mushy! To get a creamy soup, you need mushy cauliflower. It took mine abut 15 minutes to get there.
Once mush-i-fied. Turn off the heat and add your half and half and sour cream.
And then go at it with your immersion blender. Seriously, go to town. Do a dance. Shake your grove thing.
Once it is perfectly smooth and frothy, ladle into a bowl, top with a dollop of sour cream and some cheese and bask in the yum.
This was pretty close to what I remember from the wedding, but I’m gonna bet the cream levels were a little bit closer to the Pioneer Woman’s recipe. That’s okay. I’ll take a slightly less creamy version so I don’t totally negate my run that I’m sure I’ll regret tomorrow.
On a big woohoo! note, my husband did some real housekeeping today (he did the laundry and vacuumed, what a man) and I did some blog housekeeping today. The improved, updated and organized recipes section should be much easier to find and navigate. I also added some new questions to the Q + A, including the gem “Where do you get your little spoons?”
Good night friends!