21 November 2010

Salad in Season

The plot. I am assigned to bring salad for a dinner with two friends.

I headed to the farmers' market on Saturday with pretty low hopes for finding salad greens. And my hopes were met. Only arugula and kale. Hmmmm . . . I tasted and was offered a deal for two bags. I picked up a bag of each plus some radishes and broccoli. A bit letdown, I was.

At the grocery store later, I found some beautiful red pears, green onions, a bit of bleu cheese, and pecans (for pie, but I thought I could steal some for salad).

Assembly time. The stems of the arugula and kale came off, and the leaves torn a little. I threw these into my shallow blue bowl with fancy rim. Next, a layer of thin radish slices and broccoli florets. Finally a swirl of pear slices and sprinkling of toasted pecans, chopped up a little. I waited to add bleu cheese until I was sure my friends would like it.

Dressing. This I got from my friend Barbara. Simple. Not the healthiest, but delicious and all-purpose. Two parts mayonnaise (I use "lite") to one part each of sugar and vinegar. Yum! I added a bit of freshly-ground black pepper too.

And don't you know. That salad was a hit. And I'm seriously thinking about re-creating it right now . . .

14 November 2010

Pumpkin French Toast

With a shift in my schedule at work, I've been enjoying a bit more morning time at home and have been happily breakfasting some of those mornings. Last week I tried this creation--adding pumpkin puree to a french toast batter. I layered some bread in a dish, poured over the stuff, let it soak a bit, then microwaved for six minutes. I finished it off under the oven broiler (a little longer than I should have!) for a toasty top. This was truly delicious with my pumpkin caramel sauce and whipped topping all over it! Mmmmm . . . Next time, I think I'll up the spices and put even more pumpkin in. Only problem is, I don't really know how much I added the first time. =)

11 November 2010

Broccoli Soup

Don't think I haven't been cooking just because I've been lax about posting here. I have so many little pieces of paper with scribbled notes and lots of photos floating around. Making time to grab hold of the right notes and the right pictures together just hasn't been at the top of my "To Do" list recently. My list from this morning--for example--included: calling a massage studio, cleaning my bathroom, putting canning jars away, and collecting money from a few people. But it said nothing about blogging (or laundry, which desperately needed putting away--see how that was past tense? I actually did that even though it hadn't made the list!).

Well, this isn't a blog about my life. It's about cooking. And I was able to find the scrap of paper that goes along with these pictures, so here you have it . . .

Creamy Curry Broccoli Soup

3 cloves garlic, smashed open
1/2 onion, chopped
glug of olive oil for sauteeing
1 TBSP butter (or just use more olive oil if you want vegan)
2 chicken and one vegetable bouillion cube (or all veg again)
4 cups water
5 cups broccoli pieces (I use stems too, since it will get pureed)
1/2 tsp. green curry paste

Method: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil/butter until soft. Add remaining ingredients and simmer until broccoli is tender. Process in blender or food processor until smooth. YUM!

Here's a picture of the curry paste I used. I suppose you could use red or yellow paste too with similar results. Sorry it's a bit blurry.

Cook's Word: I love pureed soups! So easy to throw everything in a pot and not worry about chopping just so since it'll all get whizzed to oblivion anyway--and I love the way the flavors meld when you blend a soup! I definitely like adding curry paste to this to make it a bit more interesting than a classic broccoli cream soup, and I'm thinking of doing this with pumpkin too. Beware, it gets hotter each day!

Special thanks to Mr. Froggy for helping to stir the soup!