Live life with intention and 2012 will be no accident.



noun : a determination to act in a certain way

Synonyms:  aim, ambition, dream, plan, purpose

Antonym : accidental

January is a time to take self inventory, there is no way around it.  You can try to avoid making New Year’s resolutions, but I know there is a small voice inside all of us that wants to talk about where we are today and compare it to where we were last year.   All too often,  that voice is our own, reminding us of the broken promises we made to ourselves.  To avoid the disappointment of what didn’t happen,  I like to start the year making a list of all of the good things,  the things I am most proud of…

  • I’m no longer waiting in the “eager anticipation” of 2011I’m living my life with an unstoppable INTENTION.
  • I found Louise, ignited my creativity, re-branded myself,  and VA VA VOOM- Geez Louise!  stepped out in stilettos.
  • I gave my self permission to be me, always overdressed, fancy, and flower in my hair feminine .  Chef knife in one hand and red lipstick in the other.
  • I fell in love with a potato named Spuddy.  Working with Spuddy reminded me to always have fun and not take myself so seriously.
  • I also cooked a ham for the first time (don’t ask) and loved it!
  • Got my eyebrows done for the first time in my life.   I’m going to have great eyebrows in 2012!
  • So what’s my New Year’s resolution?  Life life with intention, dream, plan, and have purpose… There are no accidents.
  • Oh, and eat more Kale…

Black eyed peas are often cooked for prosperity in the new year and since I had the ham bone I intentionally saved it just for this stew.

~Happy New Year!

Black-eyed pea stew with ham
Serves 4-6
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 large carrots – peeled and cut into small dice
3 large celery stalks – cut into small dice
1 medium white or yellow onion – rough chop
1 red bell pepper – cut into small dice
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
2 cloves of garlic – minced
2 teaspoons of fresh or dried thyme
4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 bay leaf
1 11 oz container of Melissa’s , no soak black-eyed peas
Left over ham bone with some meat attached
2 hand fulls of kale- rinsed and chopped
kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • In a large soup/stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add the carrots, celery,onion, and red pepper to the pot – season with salt and pepper and sweat over low/medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Add in the garlic, thyme and bay leaf.
  • Add in the broth, water, and black eyed peas- stir to combine.
  • Add in the ham bone and simmer for about 30 minutes or until beans are soft and tender.
  • Carefully remove the ham bone and shred the ham back into the stew.
  • Add in two handfuls of kale.
  • Simmer kale just until it wilts and softens.
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm
9 comments… add one
  • Tori @ January 5, 2012, 10:37 pm

    Fabulous! I’m a big fan of the “flower in hair” mentality. Though I must say, I’m shocked you’ve never cooked a ham before. I won’t ask, but I am intrigued… 🙂 Happy new year! xoxo

  • Kim January 5, 2012, 11:44 pm

    You’re so right. As much as I didn’t want to make a list of resolutions, I’m doing it anyway! This is THE year I plan to knock out stuff on my bucket list. It WILL happen. I just have to go for it, much like you did last year. Congrats on all of your accomplishments in 2011. 2012 is going to be great for you!!!!


  • the actor's diet January 6, 2012, 2:03 am

    what an inspiring (and yummy) post!

  • Simply Tia January 6, 2012, 11:47 am

    I will be bookmarking this for when I get a ham next month!!! This looks hearty and delicious!

  • Lana January 6, 2012, 11:12 pm

    I like the old you, but I LOVE the new you, especially in those fabulous dresses:) And you wear the red lipstick so well!
    This soup sounds wonderful, but I am not too keen on black-eyed peas (it’s the only legume I don’t care for). I am sure the gods of prosperity would not frown at me for substituting them:)
    I wish you and your beautiful family a Happy New Year! See you soon:)

  • sippitysup January 7, 2012, 5:47 pm

    Hey. Eat more kale is my resolution. GREG

  • Chef Louise Mellor June 15, 2013, 6:51 pm


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