Friday, November 13, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup
This is a very flexible soup. Have a bigger squash? Not enough stock, like things sweeter or spicer? Remember, you can adjust this to YOUR taste. This is a place to start.
P.S. Since this is all vegetables except for possibly chicken stock and milk, it is safe to taste at ANY time (as long as you blow on the spoon).
2 lbs squash
Heat your soup pot with oil over med-high heat (about 3 – 4 min). Once hot, add the onions and a little salt. Adjust the heat and keep stirring until the onions begin to brown and get aromatic. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the rest of the dry spices. Stir well.
Add in squash, honey and half the stock. Stir until things are evenly distributed. TIME TO BLEND!
If you have a stick blender, break it out and get it going. Use the rest of the stock to get everything blended smooth. (Well, I like smooth, you can leave it chunky).
TASTE! Time to adjust the taste to your liking! (Salt, cayenne, and honey)
Or blend in batches in a regular blender.
When you serve – finish with a good stir of a milk (see above), a little more stock, and/or a drizzle of a good fruity oil.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Just like we are all more beautiful swimming in the waves at the beach, we are all better cooks at the farmers market. The air smells like food... REAL food. Food that has barely had time to realize it's not still planted, or whatever.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
By law, I, and the owner of a given store are most likely Equally American. When I go abroad why can't I be American too? Why can't MY version of "American" be proclaimed as loudly as the one, "I-am-embarrassed-about."
Why can't it be, "Why Yes, I am an American! I'm just embarrassed that the other version is too." After all we are admonished from grouping and prejudging members of other nations, religious groups, races, etc... why do we do this to ourselves?
And further... as embarrassing as some of the activities of other Americans are, doesn't the fact that they are known of and exist, Prove what an open society we have? Even the stuff we don't like about our country is out there for all to see. No society is ever neat and tidy, some are just presented that way. Anytime you look into the glory days of any past "perfection" anywhere or when, the white washed misery always seeps out. That, after all, is why these periods never last. And because it is often misery that forces change... that is why the transition is always so chaotic and painful.
So, next time I put my passport in my bag, no more of this trying to pass over that I am an American (Most non-Americans can tell anyway. To be honest, we DO have a way about us.) Be proud of what you are... including the seething mess left at home. It is our mess after all. And we have the power to change it. The Naive Hopefulness that marks us, has changed the world an awful lot.
We also have the power to enjoy Tamarind Lhassi with Cayenne and Caramelized Shallot Bengeit with a Jalapeno Remoulade. For I know of NO WHERE ELSE where we can crisscross cultures so thoroughly - or tastily.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I will never ever ever have one of those spare, deserted... and well... easy to find stuff in fridges. Too much
marmalade and "better than boullion" and left over cole slaw, salad dressing, olives, salsa (3 kinds I think), simple syrup, maple syrup, and 1/4 rack of ribs for BBQ quesadillas, the sauce of course, seaweed, 3 kinds of juice, thawing tortillas... Well, you can see for yourself!
And don't get me started on what a crazy cat circus my pantry is.
Let's just say it is not unusual to find 5 kinds of rice. I have a
really good reason for every single one. Really!
My husband proposed I stop experimenting on dinner (and them), but the thought of no BBQ quesadillas caused a direction change.
My consolation? Having everything on hand for scratch baked ginger shortbread and green tea.
2 sticks (1 lb) butter - room temp... creamed together (in a mixer) with
Slowly pour the dry stuff (flour etc.) into the creamed butter and sugar. Then the chopped ginger goes in. Stop as soon as stirred in. Cover and chill 30 min.
Preheat oven to 35o˚F. Grease 2 cookie sheets, or line with silicone mats/parchment paper.
Divide dough in half. Form each into rectangles about 1/3" (1 cm) thick. Use a metal spatula to cut into long thin rectangles (dimensions are up to you). Spread them about 1 inch apart. Bake about 12 minutes. When they are light brown around the bottom edge pull them out and let them cool.
If you want cookies that are even more rectangular, re-chill another 30 min and put them straight into the hot oven out of the fridge. They will have less chance to spread.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Who at the FDA thinks making food guidelines MORE complicated is going to help people eat better?
They are updated every 5 years. They come with a multi-page press release. There are 41 key guidelines – only 23 of which most people have to worry about. But if you fall into a “special population” there are 18 more to wade through.
41! Forty-One!? Most people (including me) cannot easily name 41 of anything in a single category.
And the dietary guidelines are notably difficult to find. As I am browsing the MyPyramid.com website that is purportedly where one goes to learn about the US Government’s nutrition guidelines, I keep clicking on links that say 2005 Nutrition Guidelines. They only get me to pages that tell me things about the 2005 Nutrition Guidelines, but do not provide me access. If I were looking this up out of general curiosity, instead of to prove a point. I would give up by now.
Why am I digging for food guidelines? I think they are needlessly complicated – and I want to see them for sure. And yes they ARE.
The first set of guideline reads:
Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods an beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt and alcohol.
Meet recommended intakes within energy needs by adopting a balanced eating pattern, such as the USDA food guide or the DASH Eating Plan.
Which leaves the average reader wondering things like: What is a “nutrient-dense” food? What do they mean by “within and among the basic food groups?” What are the basic food groups? Are there advanced ones?
Ahhh! What are saturated fats? Where are trans fats – why are they so bad? What’s the difference between added sugars and regular ones? Are other sugars OK? Are people adding alcohol to my food?
Recommended intakes? Who’s recommending? Intake? Like eating? An eating pattern? Can I just have lunch? Wait, the Eating Plan… what about an eating pattern? Which one is better?
These guidelines leave one with research to do, but not a clue about what to do at the next meal!I need a snack to clear my head. I'm not sure if it will be good for me, but at this point, I don't care.