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January 2008 Issue
by Ronda L. Halpin
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I am the sort that has spent a lot of time scoffing at New Year's resolutions. If changes are desired, why wait until a new year to take action? Why not make the changes you need to improve your life, no matter what the calendar says?

However, as 2007 drew to a close, I found myself thinking of ways to make 2008 a stellar year and it occurred to me that there are ways that resolutions can help in that regard. Rather than pick any one particular theme or objective, I found myself fascinated with a simple goal that, if followed, will give me a great year and a way to relive it!

The idea is very simple. Every day, I want to end the day having done at least one thing I'm proud of doing. It doesn't have to be Earth-shattering or show-stopping. It merely needs to be something that I am glad to have accomplished.

Think about the power of that. If every day you wake up with that goal and go to sleep having accomplished it, how truly life enriching that can be. Now, consider keeping track of those things. Whether it be in a blog or a notebook or a word processor file ... it doesn't really matter. Just keep a record. It doesn't need to be a long treatise or the like. A sentence or two will be enough to help you remember.

Then, a year later, look back at your year ... your accomplishments. Wow. Look at everything you did and enjoyed and created in 2008. What a great way to inspire a great year.

Of course, many people have more specific goals for 2008. Whether you are trying to quit smoking, lose some weight or learn a new language ... I wish you luck with your goals and hope that reaching them helps make 2008 a stellar year for you. Here's a great recipe to be proud of sharing with your family and loved ones. Happy New Year!

 

Bouillabaisse

  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 1 T. hot water
  • 2 qts. fish stock
  • 2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 leek, white section only, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, ends trimmed, finely chopped
  • 12 oz. firm white fish fillet (such as cod), cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 24 (about 8 oz.) green king prawns, peeled leaving tails intact, deveined
  • 24 (about 1.5 lbs.) black mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. loosely packed coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 small baguette, sliced, to serve
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Combine the saffron and hot water in a small bowl and set aside to infuse. Place the stock, tomato, leek, carrot and celery in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the saffron mixture to the tomato mixture and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the fish, prawns and mussels to the soup and cook, covered, for a further 2-3 minutes or until the seafood is just cooked and the mussels open. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup among serving bowls and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with the baguette for sopping up the juices.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes
 



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