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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Contributions to New Year Resolutions

It feels like just yesterday I asked the Village Shoes girls to write down their resolutions for 2012 so I can post a blog about 'em. I'd like to announce that I did a HORRIBLE job keeping my resolutions last year of eating healthier and saving money to travel. Like, it didn't happen. At all. In fact, I think my diet has worsened. I'm pretty sure I mostly ate pizza this year, but whatever. It tastes good. So, this year I think I'm going to set some fail-proof resolutions...

  • Convert Oxygen into Carbon Dioxide regularly.
  • Order more veggies on my pizza instead of just extra cheese and pepperoni.
  • Save money. (Actually try this year.)
Pretty realistic, right? I think my 2013 resolutions are going to be a cinch!

The other ladies at Village Shoes took a more serious approach to choosing theirs...

  • Go to bed earlier.
  • Drink more water.
  • Make more time for singing.
  • Save money out of each paycheck and stop using credit cards.
  • Move out of my little, tiny house into a more spacious home.
  • Edit my possessions...clothing, media, junk!
  • Continue to heal my body and make my health my first priority.
  • Enjoy life more and have more fun. Do things that bring about joy.
  • Meditate on a daily basis to bring about peace and relaxation in my life.
  • Reacquaint myself with music. (Flute and piano)
  • Become a better tango dancer.
  • Get into better shape.

So, what do you resolve to do differently in 2013? How do you plan on spending New Year's Eve? Whether you plan on having a quiet night in, or intend to rage hard with friends, have a fantastic time! Wear your favorite shoes. Kiss the one you love. Dance in the street. Play your favorite song. Embrace the new beginning.

Lastly, to our wonderful customers, thank you so much for your support this year!

post by Amanda

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Somebody Make Me: Broccoli Gouda Soup

Brrrrrr! On a chilly day like today, I'm pretty sure all anybody wants is to sit somewhere cozy and enjoy a delicious bowl of soup. I stumbled upon this recipe on TasteSpotting.com and thought I'd do everyone a solid and share!

Use a fairly young gouda, aged no more than a year, to keep the soup from becoming grainy.

for the soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 to 3 broccoli heads (about 12 ounces), florets only
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup orzo pasta (I used orzo corn pasta)
salt and pepper to taste
for the veloute
3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour (or 2 tablespoons coconut flour)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 cup gouda, grated
1/2 cup melting cheese, such as fontina, sliced into small cubes (or grated, if it can withstand the grater)


Prepare the soup:  Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium until shimmering. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and saute until soft. Stir in the broccoli and heat for several minutes, until the florets turn bright green. Raise the heat to medium-high and add 3 cups of a vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, stir in the orzo, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer.

Prepare the veloute:  Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium. Stir in the flour to create a thin paste. Begin adding the 1 cup of vegetable stock, a little at a time, stirring all the while to incorporate and smooth out the flour paste. Continue heating until the sauce thickens and is creamy. Add the Worcestershire sauce and the mustard, combining well with the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese. Stir until melted and completely incorporated into the sauce.

Use an immersion blender to smooth out the soup to your desired consistency. (I like to leave some large bits of broccoli florets for texture.) Pour in the veloute and stir well to combine. Taste, and add salt and pepper to suit.

Prep Time: 15 minutes      
Cook time: 20 minutes       
Yield: 4 generous servings
Looks pretty yummy, right? Now all I need is a hot guy to make this for me and then be totally down to snuggle after, while I'm in the midst of a food coma. Any makers and takers?

post by Amanda
photos and recipe courtesy of SoupAddict.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Unique Holiday Cookie Recipes

Plan on baking treats to gift to friends and family this month? It might be time to set aside your famous chocolate chip cookie recipe and give one of these unusual recipes a go...

Black Pepper and Balsamic Cookies

"Eat them with fresh strawberries for a perfect blend of flavors."

 Mexican Hot Chocolate Cookies

"It's the addition of ground chile that lends it its name -- and moves it into the adult cookie jar."

 Italian Polenta Cookies

"Use imported polenta, which is available in most Italian markets and specialty-food stores."

 Rosemary and Pignoli Cookies

"The cookie dough can be made and formed into logs ahead of time and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Thaw in refrigerator when ready to bake."

Savory Parmesan Shortbread Rounds

"Serving suggestion: with pre-dinner drinks or on a salami platter."

Jalapeno Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

"When you first bite into these, you won't taste the jalapeƱo, but after a few more bites and after you finish swallowing, you'll feel some heat linger around. It's a pretty neat feeling and taste."

 Dark Chocolate Avocado Cookies (gluten and dairy free!)

"Now if you just can’t stand the idea of chocolate cookies tasting like avocado, don’t worry! You can’t taste it."

 Lemon Cilantro Cookies

"There’s a lot of cilantro in them, but it doesn’t really over power the cookies, it’s very subtle."

 Rosemary Lime Cookies (vegan, gluten & dairy free)

"The rosemary and lime in this cookie are wonderful together. Lime takes center stage and rosemary is just a subtle accent."

Curry Coriander Shorties

"The most intriguing and delicious recipe for cookies I've seen in ages!"

Pretty interesting, right? I'm dying to try some of the more savory recipes like the Parmesan Shortbread Rounds and the Lemon Cilantro cookies. What cookie recipes do you have in your arsenal that never fail to wow?

post by Amanda

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas for Me...I Mean...Her

Not quite sure what to get your girlfriend, wife, sister, or mother this holiday season besides a gift certificate from Village Shoes? I found some goodies for you that will appeal to most women and won't break the bank.

These made to order Barkboard Chalkboards would be a unique & lovely addition to any home. $68
This Lilac Rouge lip and cheek stain by Isa's Restoratives is handcrafted in Brooklyn, NY using herbs that are prepared in small batches of 100 proof vodka. I find that stains provide more of a natural color than any lipstick, gloss, or blush. $22
Khrio's Dandi boot would give a fun, western flare to any outfit. The dark green suede serves as a neutral and would look fantastic with all of the rich colors that we have in our fall and winter wardrobes. $199

How cute are these Daisy Eyelet Gloves? I think any girly girl will find that the fun pop of color and the playful flowers will serve as a reminder that Spring is hiding just around the corner. $78

What applies for the men when it comes to Smartwool, goes for the ladies too: Nobody complains about receiving anything from Smartwool as a gift.

Be subtle about your affection with these Secret Message Lanterns by Baba Souk. The engraving of "U light me up" is available in English or in French. See these babies in action! $18
The rDot by Yogi Toes is supposed to be a step up from the block you typically use "...because the rDot rolls, the practitioner must engage stabilizer muscles which helps develop strength and balance and prevents over-reliance on the prop." If turned on its side, it serves as a normal block as well. The rDot would be a cool new tool for that special yogi in your life. $17

Now, can't you picture some ladies in your life that would love some of these items? Actually, better yet, can't you picture yourself with some of these items?

post by Amanda