Sunday, November 29, 2009

No Leftovers Here

On Friday, while the rest of America (and maybe some of the rest of the world) was trying to figure out how to concoct the perfect sandwich from the previous day's Thanksgiving leftovers, I was trying to find something that would appeal to my cold-starved body. There was no turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, or veggies to reheat. Most of all, there was also no extra slice of pie to eat for breakfast.

A few weeks ago, I had seen Aida Mollenkamp on The Food Network doing a show all about eggs. One dish she made was basically a twist on a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll, the deli hangover staple. My brain decided that this Egg in a Hole Grilled Cheese was just the kind of food that my body was ready to tackle after several days of chicken soup and cold medicine.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...in Bed

That's the sickbed, to be specific. There's only one thing worse than being all alone on a holiday weekend. Being sick and alone on a holiday weekend. That really stinks. For the past couple of days, I've been fighting off some nasty bug. So, I decided to pull the plug on my trip to see my family in Virginia for Thanksgiving.

This means no turkey, no stuffing, no Dad's mashed potatoes, no pie, and none of the other treats that go along with that day. Oh, yeah, and no family either, which is a shame as some of my relatives whom I haven't seen in a while were going to be at my folks' house. Instead, I got to eat chicken soup, lots of soup, along with cold medicine and fluids.

A few months ago, when there were still lots of summer vegetables at the Greenmarket, I made a batch of one of my favorite soups to keep on hand. Peter Gordon's Spicy Red Lentil, Coriander & Coconut Soup with Chicken Dumplings* is definitely not your grandmother's chicken soup. Heck, it's not my mother's or my grandmother's chicken soup.




Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

Several years ago, I mentioned in a post that I really thought that Thanksgiving dinner (or really any great autumn menu) should start with pumpkin soup. A have a very good friend and recipe-testing buddy to thank for finding this one on line many years ago. It's become my standby soup to make once the weather gets that cool-crisp fall feeling in the air. The benefits are that it makes quite a bit and that it freezes really well. I usually end up making maybe a couple of batches each cold weather season to keep on hand.

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons is definitely in the keeper file. Originally, my friend and I made this with Cheddar Pumpkins that we got at our Greenmarket. A four pound-ish pumpkin will give you the eight cups of chopped vegetable needed for the recipe. This year, however, the pumpkins were either on the too big or too little side the weekend I was craving this recipe. Instead, I actually followed the directions (shock, I know) and made it with the butternut squash-acorn squash combo.

While the flavor was slightly different than that of the soup made with a Cheddar Pumpkin, it definitely mimicked a French soupe au poitron a bit more closely than a recipe made with the former. This is based upon my distant memory of having had it once a while ago when I was in France. Served in a modest portion, this dish would make an elegant (with the croutons, which I omitted here) and not-too-heavy starter. This is also a great excuse to whip out the immersion blender to avoid all the fiddling of pouring hot liquid into a regular standing blender.

I put my vote forward as I did in my post about pumpkin muffins (click on the "pumpkin" category of recipes on the left to find it) to ban the overly-spiced, gluey pie that is usually found on tables across the land and to serve something a bit more interesting, and maybe in this case, something perhaps slightly more authentic, at the Thanksgiving table. As I'm one of the folks who will be pulling dinner together this year at my parents' house, I might actually get my own way.

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sometimes I get so angry I have to come home and BAKE

It was one of those days at work. Actually, it's been one of those weeks. Hey, really, who am I kidding, it's been one of those years. I should probably be able to measure it by the number of times I've come home and just decided to start baking something on the spur of the moment, much like I did tonight.

The frustration has to go somewhere, and I can't work out like I was a few months ago due to an injury. Rehab is incredibly slow, so there's just no place for the extra energy to go. So, tonight, it went into trying out two recipes that I'd pulled from my food magazine binge this weekend.


Olive Magazine had a recipe for Fluffy Apple Muffins. I'm always on the lookout for good, simple breakfast recipes. This one ended up having nice flavor. I think that next time I'll try pears instead of apples, as they are also in season at the moment, and because I now have a whole carton of buttermilk to use up. My only negative comment is that the parchment paper in the muffin tin seemed unnecessarily fussy to me.

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