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Wine Bean Soup

March 4, 2014

The best way to do this is to cook beans ahead of time and freeze em. Also have your roomies’ friends leave behind wine.
You can leave the wine out of this.

Sautee in oil in the bottom of your soup pot, waiting until the previous ingredient is softened a bit before adding the next one:

2 lg carrots, sliced pretty thinly
1/2 onion, diced
2+ tb garlic, minced

don’t burn your garlic.

Add: 
1 1/2 c tomato puree (or puree 8 roma tomatoes)
1 can corn (can be reg or creamed)
2-3 cups beans (cooked) (kidney, pinto)
1-2 c water (it will boil down so add more than you want)
simmer this.
then add 
1/2 c wine
black pepper, salt
1/4 ts cloves (ground) * don’t over do it.

 

Eat, ‘fridge or freeze. Great with fluffy biscuits.

Taste often as you spice.
Simmer until thoroughly heated, cook down until thicker. Basically, cook til done. You’ll know.
The alcohol should be cooked off before it is done.

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Oat Chocolate Nut Cookies

March 4, 2014

6 TB butter, soft
3/4 C sugar
1 egg
1/2- 3/4 ts vanilla (pure!)
1/4 c water
—–
1/4 ts baking soda
1/4 ts salt
3/4 ts cinnamon
1 1/2 c oats
1/2 c flour
—–
1/4 c chocolate chips
1/3-1/2 c chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, pistachios… whatever ya want)* measured after chopped

if the nuts are salted, rinse them off.

 

350 F. 
You know how this goes.
Cream sugar and butter. Add egg. Beat. Add vanilla, water.
Stir in dry ingredients bit by bit. Add accessories (chocolate and nuts!).

Bake ~15-17 minutes. 
Can refrigerate dough beforehand.

These are delicious. This recipe is a half batch, yielding only about 2 pans. Easily doubled or quadrupled of course.

Two glimpses of what I’m working on

March 11, 2013

Photo on 2013-03-11 at 00.39

(As though I don’t own/operate a real camera; ha, these are webcam pictures.)

A New Endeavor

January 7, 2013

I’ve been sitting on an idea for a long time and have finally acquired both the resources and time to realize it. Here is a sneak peek:

Image

Humanity, equality, righteousness, knowledge, awareness… and crafts and ethics.
Coming soon!

Zucchini-Tomato Soup! and quick fish

December 28, 2012

Guess what? It got cold here! It’s snowing up in Dallas and snowed in Kentucky earlier. I hear it’s been storming in Michigan and Snohio. Here it hit a cool 34 F! That is bitter for us coastals.  Soup is good when it’s cold, and when it is a pretty quick recipe, and when you have company, especially when the company likes the color red! I’ve been keeping zucchini on hand when I’m home because my sister and I seem to use it in a lot of our go-to recipes, so I happily had 6 fat little Mexican Tatuma squashes. They are lighter green than what is normally called zucchini, but they function the same. The Mexican squashes have a more… melodic, enticing scent.

Um.

Confession: I made a mess with this. Kept trying to ventilate the blender because I wasn’t using the proper cap, but when I tipped the top up, soup would spew out angrily- the lava would lurch toward my holiday apron and cling to anything white it could reach. Then after, when I was scraping the thick bits off with a spatula, gingerly maneuvering the hot pitcher with my wet hands, I lost grip and dropped the whole thing in to the bowl of soup! It looked like a beer-rita. Or a blender-version of the sinking Titanic. Much tomato soup was displaced onto the white cabinets and floor. 😦 Please be more careful. Or let the soup cool. Or ask your older brother to do the blending and spatula-ing. Or use the proper blender lid. So many suggestions. Hmmph. Haha

Zucchini-Tomato Soup
adapted from Joy the Baker

6 Tatuma squashes or reg. Zucchini* (do not skin!)
4-5 carrots, peeled
4-5 celery stalks
Olive oil

2 cloves garlic

Red pepper, dried
Basil, dried
Rosemary, fresh (can use dried)

2 cans (~15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (~15 oz) tomato sauce

3 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 cup water

Chop all (well-washed) veggies into 1/2″ – 1/4″ pieces. Heat oil in large stock pot. Pour in all the veggies. Sautee, stirring often for about 10 mins or until zucchini is soft. Mince cloves of garlic. Add garlic and red pepper to the pot. Stir, of course. Pour in tomatoes, sauce, broth and water. Stir it up! Bring to a simmer (med-high heat) and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Turn off heat when carrots are soft. Let cool a few minutes. Scoop appropriate amounts into your blender and puree the veggies. Be careful when blending hot things! Allow for a vent (but be sure it won’t let soup spill out). Make sure that your blender (if glass) is not undergoing a dramatic temperature change. Keep the blender in a warm place or temper it w/hot water, so that the glass does not shatter.
Pour smooth soup into a fresh pot or serving bowl. Repeat blending steps until all the soup is pureed smoothly.

Serve while warm. Keeps in fridge, tightly covered, 3-4 days. DELICIOUS.

The biggest difference is that Joy’s version adds 2 cups of whole milk to the pureed product. I preferred the soup to be lighter and healthier- and dairy-less.I did not want it to be a bisque.
*(If using reg. zucchini, maybe 4-5 zucchinis? Tatuma are ~6″ long, ~3″ diameter at their widest point)

Quick Delicious Fish

5-6 White fish filets like flounder, frozen or thawed (each ~4-5″ in length; ~3-4″ wide; ~3/4″ thick)
liberal TBs of Olive oil
1-2 cloves Minced garlic
1 TB or more Dried Oregano
~3 inch sprig of Rosemary (or dried), crushed or minced

Oven at 350 F. In frying pan, heat oil. Add garlic, stir around. Stick fish in pan for a few minutes.
Remove fish from pan one by one, rub with salt and oregano, and lay in casserole dish or 9″ x 13″ pan (lined with foil for easy clean-up). Pour oil and garlic over all fish, making sure to evenly distribute garlic. Lift fishes to allow oil underneath (to prevent sticking and for even flavor). Sprinkle rosemary over all. Bake 11-13 minutes.  Dish will be soupy with oil & fish juice. Perhaps serve over rice to savor!

Yayayay! The soup was delicious- tomato-y and full-bodied, just a tiny bit spicy and tasting a bit Southwestern- and made the whole house smell terrific. Can’t wait to eat some tomorrow. It would be fine without pureeing it, really. I wanted that thick, smooth texture, however.

To accompany the soup, I was planning on making chicken, but… it was mostly frozen still and it was getting late. Threw the fish together on the fly! Lo and behold it was actually veryyyy tasty!

The fish may be a repeat, but as my home-mate at my own residence is a vegetarian, I know that soup will be made again when I am back up “north”.

Lovely. Please eat this. It’s so good.

Hearth hurrays,
L.

Spice Cookies for a Holiday Fête

December 27, 2012

What do you bring to a holiday party? Is there one recipe you always turn to, a tasty long-time favorite or known crowd pleaser?

I don’t have a trademark recipe or even one particular favorite recipe to bring to gatherings, perhaps because I haven’t been around long enough to establish one. Or maybe I just haven’t found one surefire party pastry… a pastry, or other sort of delectable dish.

Whatever the reason, the invitation I received was a delightful reason to brainstorm and research holiday flavors.

My primary contribution this season was a step in learning more about true Southern cookery. I’m one-hunnerd percent Texan, but neither of my parents are from anywhere even slightly near anywhere Southern or Southwestern. However, Texan and Southern cooking are part of my life, and I feel that it would be a little ridiculous not to learn the local arts. So, my first step is these “Crackly Top Spice Cookies” on page 372 of Camille Glenn’s The Heritage of Southern Cooking.

 

Crackly-Top Spice Cookies (Camille Glenn)

3/4 c butter, cubed, soft
1 c light brown sugar (“not too firmly packed”)
1 egg
1/4 c molasses
2 1/4 c sifted flour
1/2 ts salt
1 ts ground ginger
1 1/2 ts ground cinnamon
1/4 ts ground cloves
1/4 ts baking soda

Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Beat in egg and molasses. Sift together dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry to wet a little at a time. Mix well but do not overbeat. Refrigerate about an hour so dough is easier to handle. (Or don’t and cook immediately.)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Form dough into ~60 balls, roll or toss them in white sugar before placing them on greased pan. Flatten with a glass or fingers. “Sprinkle one drop of water in the center of each cookie.”
Bake 10-12 minutes.

Mrs. Glenn adds that these cookies travel well. Keep that in mind for post packages or road trips. (I can think of a couple folks to send these off with.)

(You may notice that my cookies did not turn out very crackly-topped. I’m curious about why they aren’t, but I doubt that detail could provide enough improvement for me to bother figuring it out.)
This recipe is definitely marked “REP(EAT ME)!”.

By the way, I read about this today.

Happy Holidays, y’all!

Chickpeas & Zucchini over Greens

December 27, 2012

Wanna see something pathetic?

ImageRedeeming qualities of this picture: dat food is delicious… well, that’s the only point of redemption. It’s not even a good picture.

Pan-fried chickpeas and zucchini on a bed of fresh greens and tomatoes.
To pan-fry the vegetables: olive oil in pan. Heat. Pour in can of drained chickpeas. Shake salt liberally over peas. Cook medium-low heat until exterior of peas is crunchy and roasted. Repeat process with zucchini sliced uniformly.

Easy! Dinner or lunch in only a few minutes. Always keep canned chickpeas on hand.

Try not to dump them all over your computer. :/

Love, L.

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