What's Cooking.

March 21, 2011

This week my in laws are here, so we are making all sorts of things.

Big old pot of Minestrone with Garlic Bread
Caldo Verde (B's family is Portuguese after all!)
Rhubarb Chutney
Whole Wheat Cherry Scones
Potato, Leek and Green Garlic Soup (a riff on Alice Waters' recipe)
Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and Gouda (again!)
Asparagus, Red Pepper and Spinach Salad with Goat Cheese
Vegetable Korma and brown rice
Cinnamon-Rhubarb Muffins

What about you?  Anything yummy?

For Japan With Love.

March 18, 2011

Please donate.  This tragedy has affected someone just like me (and you).  They need our help more than ever.


March 16, 2011

I'm sure I am not alone right now when I say it is difficult to keep a positive outlook given recent events around the world.  The devastation in Japan and the looming nuclear catastrophe has been keeping me wide awake at night.  There really are no words.....  And then hearing about sweet Maddie's passing on Sunday night... well, life feels particularly cruel right now.  Sorry to be such a downer, but I don't know how to talk about much else.  I did see this poem this morning on Sarah's blog, and something about it really resonated with me.  Maybe it can help you in some tiny way too.

"After the Winter" by Claude McKay
Some day, when trees have shed their leaves
And against the morning’s white
The shivering birds beneath the eaves
Have sheltered for the night,
We’ll turn our faces southward, love,
Toward the summer isle
Where bamboos spire to shafted grove
And wide-mouthed orchids smile.

And we will seek the quiet hill
Where towers the cotton tree,
And leaps the laughing crystal rill,
And works the droning bee.
And we will build a cottage there
Beside an open glade,
With black-ribbed blue-bells blowing near,
And ferns that never fade.

image credit

What's Cooking.

March 8, 2011

{quinoa salad}
I'm going to think of this as a riff on Meal Planning Mondays....here are some things I have cooking this week (or have already been cooked).  Not sure exactly which nights or days they will be served, but they will be enjoyed at some point, of that I am certain.  :-)

Stout and Cheddar Meatloaf with Mushrooms and Bacon (making this right now for the first time and I just know it's going to be awesome)
(Bloomsdale) Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Goat Cheese
French Onion Soup
Whole Grain Bread
Cream Biscuits with the first strawberries of the season
Homemade Yogurt (my first time!  it was a success! anyone else do this?)
Roasted Rhubarb (I've been seriously obsessing over this recipe)
Oven-Fried Drumsticks (for the kids)
Roasted Fingerlings
Clean-out-the-fridge Vegetable Barley Soup
"The Baked Brownie" (per Alice Q's recommendation)
Quinoa Salad with Apples, Walnuts, Dried Cranberries, and Gouda
Citrus and Avocado Salad
Pickled Carrots
Aperol Cocktails (and yes, I realize I am heavily influenced by Molly this week, but come on, who isn't?!)

What She Wore.

March 1, 2011

Little E and I have so much fun on the days the big kids are both in school.  It is so nice to enjoy any of your kids one-on-one.  She is quite the talker these days, trying to impress me with her new words.  Today, everything is "Yeah."  Yesterday, she said "Hands!" and held them up right in front of me.  The other day, "Banana," and pointed to one.  She is also becoming quite the car seat dancer, just like her sister.  Everything is starting to click and she couldn't be happier about it.  Neither could I.

I know I have said this before, so forgive me.  But the greatest thing about a third baby (for me, anyway), is the ability to really be in the moment with her.  I so don't sweat the small stuff and everything she does could not delight me more.  Not sleeping at night?  She'll get there.  Spits out avocado every time I give it to her?  Oh well.  Eating Joe's O's off the floor again?  Here, let me help you with that, Little E.  Can you tell I love my baby girl?  ;-)

dress and leggings, tea
shoes, elephantito
amber necklace, nova natural
wooden book, nova natural
jack in the box, target
owl doll, bla bla

Tomato Fennel Soup.

You guys.  This soup.  It is AMAZING.  You all love the tomato basil soup from Nordstrom Cafe, right?  I have to order it every time I go.  I like everything there (even the other soups!), but I always have to start with a cup of the tomato.  You too, right?

Well, I was in one of my rather thrifty use-what-we-have-before-going-to-Trader-Joe's moments and decided to try my own version (I have made their recipe before and it is delicious too).  No basil was on hand, so I adjusted the flavors and you know what?  I like this even better.  The basil can get a little tiresome and fennel?  Well, I just love fennel.

And yes, this is the perfect soup to serve alongside a grilled cheese on a stormy day.  With a fire in the fireplace.  And some peanut butter cookies baking in the oven.  Just sayin'.

My Tomato Fennel Soup

2 T. olive oil
2 T. butter
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 small fennel bulb, chopped
2 (or so) cloves garlic, minced
2 28 oz. cans good tomatoes
1/2 c. water
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 c. cream (or so)

Saute onions, carrots and fennel in butter and olive oil over medium heat in large Dutch oven.  Stir often.   You don't want color on the vegetables, just to soften them a bit.  After 5 minutes or so, add the garlic and cook for about one minute (don't burn the garlic!).  Add the tomatoes and their liquid along with the water and thyme.  Simmer gently for about a half hour or so, to blend the flavors.  In batches, puree in a blender (or use an immersion blender).  Add cream and salt and pepper to taste and reheat gently.

Take that Nordy's!!
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