Peruvian Chicken Vegetable Quinoa Soup

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Three weeks ago, high on adrenaline and eager to drive far, far away from the hellish heat of Texas, I posted here about my upcoming road trip.  I have a retraction to make, as  I was so excited to drive to Colorado and New Mexico with my son, that I may have glorified the whole travel by car thing.  This ugly realization set in on day two of our journey after an unfortunately loud Amber Alert was automatically texted to my phone at 2:30 IN THE MORNING, jolting my sensitive baby and me out of a deep sleep.  I’m all for being notified of children that have been abducted, but REALLY–how am I going to be able to help from my bed in the middle of the night?!  What followed was a few hours of tossing and turning, listening to my child talk to himself and call out to me over and over again until I made the brilliant decision to check out of the hotel super early and just get on down the road.  Only problem was I had left my suitcase sitting in the lobby and didn’t notice it was missing until we were an hour down said road.

It was at this exact moment that I decided to start drinking coffee (and not even the good stuff!) again after a three month hiatus.  Let me tell you what really helped keep me alert (and therefore, alive) though.   It was my tiny bottle of peppermint essential oil that I had decided to grab on my way out the door at the last minute.   I inhaled it like a delinquent teenager addicted to glue sniffing and also dabbed it onto my temples and the nape of my neck.  Boy, did it burn.  But that icy-cool burning sensation kept me awake!  And like a dutiful public servant, I left a trail of minty freshness at every disgusting rest stop along the way.  Despite the extreme fatigue, though, overall it was a gorgeous drive and when Spotify wasn’t being spotty, we happily zoomed along to one heck of a playlist. Continue reading

Provençal Chicken Thighs

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Ever since I was a precocious little girl in North Carolina with big pouffy pigtails, I have been completely obsessed with food and cooking. While the other neighborhood kids were racing bicycles, I would be nestled in my “pioneer fort” deep within the bushes of our residential front yard stirring a pot of twigs and dirt. With one eye looking over my shoulder for anyone who might threaten my mission, I would harness the sun’s rays and intently produce smoldering leaves with my magnifying glass. Pure six-year-old exhilaration, friends!

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