Home » Hello 2013. I’m glad you made it. I have big plans for you. Now let’s have soup.

Hello 2013. I’m glad you made it. I have big plans for you. Now let’s have soup.

It’s a new year. A clean slate.

So, eyes front soldier.

I can tell you what there will not be. In my life or on this site. There will be no checking over my shoulder to see what I should have done. No looking in the mirror and wondering why. No questioning my choices. No, as MammaCakes woud say, should-a, would-a, could-a ‘s. It’s all about the path ahead. It is time to look forward. To think about where I am going.

And where I am going is somewhere pretty darn awesome (I hope).

We are all stories in the end, so make it a good one, eh? - Quote from Doctor Who

You see, I have plans. Oodles of them.

Create more.

I am an artist. A creator of images and of things. When my health started to get away from me, I lost interest in making. Creative recipes were a struggle. I stopped finding joy behind the camera lens. Knitting stopped being a soul-soother. Design became a chore. I got lost in myself, and in 2013, I am getting my groove back.

I have felt it start already, and now I just want to keep going. My life will have more art, photography, writing, and, of course, more recipes.

Live better.

I have always thought of myself as a generally good person. One who is kind and genuine. But, I made some poor choices in the past year. I unintentionally used words in a way that was hurtful. I lied to my friends and pushed them away so that they wouldn’t see me suffer. I ignored them so that they would forget about me, because I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me. It is also the year in my adult life where I have given so very little of myself to those less fortunate.

I am going to use words with intention. I am going to give back and volunteer. I am going to learn how to be a friend again. I am going to treat my body with respect and feed it things that it needs (more carrots and kale, with a cupcake for good measure).

Dream bigger.

Last year saw a great deal of my dreams come true. I am working at my dream job. I wrote an ebook. I spoke at a blogging conference. I attended 2 conferences in my field and started writing blog posts for the company I work for.

This year, I am not going to be afraid to dream about things that I might have found unattainable in the past. I am going to get a book published (maybe not this year, but I am going to start working towards that). I am going to be internet famous. Well, maybe not famous but certainly influential. I am going to turn FrannyCakes into a brand and a business.

Fight harder.

I have spent the last 3 years in a battle for my body. In 2012, I started losing the strength to fight. Every treatment has promised incredible relief and failed to deliver.

This year there is going to be at leasnt one knock-down drag-out fight. I am going to be the victor. Because, damn it, it’s my body and I want it back. I am going to fight to keep the friends who are worth keeping.

I am going to fight, for the right, to paaaartyyyyyyy! (Figuratively that is).

In short, this year is all about positivity. Positive thoughts, forward movement, growth.

word of the year: positivity

Who’s in?

Ok glad to hear it. Now, let’s start the year off right and maintain some resolutions. Like living better (or eating better) with a healthy yet richly satisfying winter soup.

red lentil carrot soup

Gluten-Free Carrot & Red Lentil Soup

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Total time: 45 mins
Serves: 4
Soup is a hug for the soul, and carrots and lentils are packed with nutrients that do a body good. This soup is adapted from Tartine Gourmande : Recipes for an Inspired Life by Beatrice Peltre. It can be easily made vegan by omitting the butter and using olive oil or Earth Balance buttery sticks in it’s place
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small (or half of one large) vidalia or walla-walla onion
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups (300 grams) sliced carrots
  • 4 cups (950 mL) water
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) unsweetened coconut milk
  • Lime juice, optional garnish
  • Cilantro, optional garnish
  • Coconut milk, optional garnish
  1. Thinly slice the onions and shallots and mince the garlic.
  2. Blanch, peel and seed the tomato.
  3. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the olive oil along with the onions, shallots, cumin and thyme. Cook while stirring for 3-4 minutes, when the mixture begins to be fragrant. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Next, add the tomato and tomato paste, continuing to stir and cook until the tomato is softened (about 2 to 3 more minutes).
  5. Add the carrots, lentil, water and bay leaf. Season with salt & pepper (do not be afraid to salt the soup! I sprinkle a generous pinch of sea salt at this stage).
  6. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. You are ready to go when the carrots and lentils are soft.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup either with an immersion blender or by transferring it to a blender or food processor.
  8. If you used a blender or food processor, return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk.
  9. Reheat the soup and adjust the seasoning.
  10. Divide the soup into 4 bowls and garnish with lime juice, cilantro and a swirl of coconut milk (optional – this soup is good without these, but they do make the soup pop).



  1. While reading this, I stopped to smile… several times. It’s going to be one heck of a year. I can feel it. And the soup sounds lovely as well. I’ve been in a soup mood lately, can’t get enough of it and the husband would dig this one, thanks for sharing. (the soup and your plans for the year — you go!)

  2. Lizza says:

    Love your ideas/plans, and I absolutely LOVE carrot soup! I was actually thinking of making soup today…maybe I will make this this week.

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