You have to try this soup! Rustic Spinach and Cornmeal. So easy, so amazing. It's from the October 2010 Bon Appetit. I served it to 9 one night during the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a Caprese Salad (Tomato and Mozzarella) and hearty Triscuit crackers on the side. Loved, loved, loved.
Paul and I did this last Sunday morning. This week, Paul did it all on his own.
At nearly 11 months, Nora seems to be weaning herself off of the bottle. She really likes to see table food and wants to eat it even if we don't let her.
Paul loves cooked oatmeal in the winter. He usually cooks up a big batch Sunday morning and eats on it the rest of the week. This year, Paul is willing to share. He doesn't get to add salt if he shares with Nora. It tastes great with just cinnamon, raisins, dates, and dried apricots.
This salad has pretty much been served at Christmas dinners all my life. I have no idea where the tradition came from, but it is my grandmother's favorite thing.
In truth, the concept is sweet and meaningful. There's a beautiful gold candle set up in a golden stand with fire gently flickering and wax dripping down the sides. Translated: a half of a banana inside the hole of a slice of pineapple. A marachino cherry mimics a flame and drips its juices like candle wax.
Recipe for Candle Salad
8 lettuce leaves (iceberg preferred)
4 bananas, halved
8 slices canned pineapple
8 marachino cherries
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheeese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
8 flat plates
Place one lettuce leaf in the center of the plate. Put one slice of pineapple on top of the leaf. Trim the cut side of the banana so it balances in the hole of the pineapple. Put a toothpick in the top of the banana with about 1/4 of an inch sticking up. Attach the cherry on top of the banana with the toothpick.
A few years ago, I learned from The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet that it is possible to mix and mash white and sweet potatoes. No, the nutritionist in me had never thought of it before. Keep in mind that I had only ever had sweet potatoes with cinnamon and sugar and didn't realize there was more to their value. I've since learned to love sweet potatoes.
This is actually a Martin Thanksgiving tradition, but since Thanksgiving and Christmas often share the same menu items, grapefruit and pomegranates would work then, too. And I love the jewel-red color of the pomegranate seeds. Also, the cold weather in Florida makes the grapefruit harvest toward Christmas sweeter.
I have a friend in Germany whose father teaches English to seniors. He has asked that I post simple stories about a traditional Christmas menu as a way to teach English and a little about American culture at the same time.
I would say that our traditional Christmas dinner menu is very similar to our traditional Thanksgiving menu because they are about one month apart from each other, and therefore are in the same season with the same fresh produce.
There's an old saying: The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. But the following story elaborates.
Yesterday (Dec. 11, 2010), our pastor was talking about Jesus showing love. At Prayer Meeting (we call it House of Prayer) last week, he had asked people to anonymously write on cards how they had been shown love that week. Here's one of the responses:
My mom makes me a sandwich every day. She just started putting fruit in my lunch.
The thing to remember about a cookie exchange is that it's completely voluntary. Naturally, a few people in our mommy group opted out because they: a) Had recently had a baby and didn't have kitchen-time on their schedules yet. b) Were still trying to lose the baby weight and didn't want the temptation. c) Have no talent/no desire for baking.
Tomorrow is the Mommy Group Christmas Party and Cookie Exchange. I decided to make the consistently popular caramel squares that my mother-in-law seems to serve at every event. (And no one is ever sorry.) Instead of typing and handing out copies of the recipe, I just decided to put it on here. Cause I suspect most people are like me and have their recipe collection on their computers instead of in binders.
Recipe for Caramel Squares
Larger recipe credit: Marsha Bloom
Make a crumb crust with:
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/4 C brown sugar
3/4 t baking soda
1 1/2 C oats
1/2 t salt-scant
3/4 C butter melted (I seemed to need a touch more butter.)
In microwave bowl melt 1 pkg-Kraft caramels (My mother-in-law says about 38.) in 7 T Cream -75ml.
Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam. Press half of crust mixture into pan.
1 1/2 C chocolate chips
1 1/2 C chopped nuts
caramels-don't get too close to the edges
other 1/2 crumb crust-press slightly unto caramels mixture
We got in at midnight last night from a 48 hour trip to Louisiana. My grandfather's baby sister passed away unexpectedly last week, and although it was nice seeing family I rarely see, I have been quite upset over the situation.
Luckily, I have little time to focus on sadness. This is finals week for the class I'm teaching. Plus, I have a special request series for EatLikeaRabbit.net that needs work to be posted next week. Then, there's Nora's swimming lessons and our little mommy-group holiday get together.
Good thing you don't follow me for the sales and deals. My father-in-law says the PF Chang's deal isn't on. Guess I should have checked my sources better. Sorry.
This is a lesson to me in organization, budgeting, and foodie-ism all in one. Keep the email inbox as empty as possible, but keep the ones from the restaurants you like the best, and you just might get a great deal.
Soups are wonderful. You can put anything in them. It's a great way to use up samples of something. Like the little cup of corn leftover from last week. I was really craving a potato soup this week. I imagined the finished product much different from the way it turned out, but Paul didn't complain. After I reevaluated my seasonings, I was happier, too. Below is the corrected recipe.
I do want to point out that you could have just as much fun with chopped onions and garlic instead of the dehydrated powders. Use what you've got!
Recipe Potato Vegetable Soup
2.5-3 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed and chopped bite-sized (smaller cooks faster)
2 cups or half bag frozen baby broccoli florets (again, smaller cooks faster)
1 c corn, cooked
3 cups milk, more if desired
1/2 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 T herbed salt
2 T McKay's vegetarian Chicken broth powder
Parsley to taste
2 cups cheese, shredded (optional)
1 slice jalapeno, optional
Parsley to taste
In large pot, boil potatoes about 15 minutes. Add broccoli and return to a boil for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and broccoli is cooked. Turn off heat. Drain the potatoes reserving 1 cup of water to keep the potatoes from sticking to the pot.
Return pot back to burner. Stir in corn and pepper. In food processor, blend two cups cooked potatoes (some broccoli, too) and return to pot. Add milk and seasonings. Reheat. Add milk for additional thinning, but remember to taste for seasoning. Top with grated cheese.
Makes 8-10 servings depending on appetizer or main course.
We dined out in Nashville at The Wild Cow, a vegetarian restaurant that came well recommended. Crazy name aside, this restaurant has a pretty good menu and a decent steady flow of patrons. We had quite a hard time choosing items from the two page menu. There's also a great kid's menu that I kind of wanted to order off of myself.
It's Nora's first Christmas. I wanted a tree, but we knew we couldn't have a large one with all of our breakable ornaments as she is mobile and curious. We chose a table top tree, and she's yet to notice it. I'd be pretty happy if it stayed like that for about a week.
Ever sat down in your house completely overwhelmed by the disaster? What about looking in your fridge and groaning because it's full to the brim, but you don't have a clue what to make out of all of that? Yep, that's about how my day started. The plus side? I managed to bring a batch of sweet rolls to a friend down the street who had a baby while I was still working and didn't have the time to share in the joy. They had to freeze over the holiday weekend.
A big thank you to my father-in-law for forwarding me this great story from the NY Times that appeals to me as a medical professional, as a mother, and of course as a budget-friendly vegetarian blogger.
Although it's past the peak season for pumpkins and squash--as is evident by the increased prices for the fresh produce--people often associate pumpkin with the Thanksgiving holiday. I know I do. We won't be having pumpkin pie at our Thanksgiving dinner (contrary to tradition) but I've collected a few ideas for adding pumpkin to our meals throughout the week.
As you know from my Thanksgiving Day menu post, we will start the day with a 5k walk at the Turkey Trot. Our goal for the day was to not spend the day in the kitchen. Moreover, I didn't want to make my mom who can't attend the walk feel like she has to do all the work herself. So, let's just go over the menu items, how easy they are to prepare, and whist day-of requirements there are.
What does this picture have to do with Thanksgiving? Well, this light dinner we ate a few weeks back reminds me that that's about what I normally eat. I don't have to have an overflowing plate Thanksgiving Day just because it's a holiday. I hope I remember that next week. . .
OK, the moment many of us (including myself) have been waiting for: Our Menu Plan for Turkey-Day 2010.
Thanksgiving will be hosted at our house this year. Err, maybe not since it's the smallest. But it will be hosted near my home none-the-less. I may be a tad late. . .OK, really late. . .getting the menu together, but it's time I do a little research about Thanksgiving dishes for vegetarians. I'll be sharing what I've found. Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions, please pass them on!
OK, as expected, this wrap just didn't go too well. I guess there wasn't anything sticky enough to keep it all inside and it fell completely apart. Frown.So much for cleanliness. But the smile was right back on my face again when my husband said it would have been great just as a salad. The next time, it was a salad. And he was right!
This may seem a little late to post such things, but in Florida it's been warm enough to still yield in some really nice "late, late summer" crops.
Recipe for Cucumber Tomato Salad
2 Large Wraps, warmed
1 1/3 Tablespoons chives, tightly packed
1 teaspoon herb salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
2 Campari tomatoes, quartered
2 thin slices of onion, separated
In a measuring device, like a tumbler, mix chives, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. In a bowl, combine the veggies and pour the dressing over top. Stir carefully and serve in or on the wraps.
The black bean burger recipe from Parents Magazine was so fabulous, I figured the recommended switch to chickpeas or garbanzo beans would also be a success. After all, we love the falafel recipe from a previous issue of the magazine.
Recipe for Dilled Yogurt Dressing
2 (heaping) Tablespoons plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon herb salt
Whisk together ingredients. Pour over and have extra on the side of wraps and salads. I have been using an herb salt we acquired on one of our trips. I'm sure regular table salt would work just fine.