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Archive for June, 2009

Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Summer = hot. (And water = wet.) But I’m still on my soup jag, though the compulsion might be lessening a bit, so I decided that a cold soup might be in order. I also had on hand a bag of carrots that was beginning to cross the line to where they’d be less than satisfyingly crunchy, so what better use could they have than as the base of a chilled, creamy bowl of gorgeous orange-colored soup?

Carrot-Parsnip Soup
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Cookbooks: a video post


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Sammy Says

I saw the new Nature Valley Nut Clusters at the grocery store today, and I thought they’d perhaps be good on oatmeal. Bought them, brought them home, and my older son found them and wanted to try them immediately.

He liked doing this quite a bit, though I think he got a bit mixed up about the difference between a review and a commercial. 😉 He’d love to do it again, so I may try to get his opinion – Live! From our kitchen! – on any new products or recipes on which he cares to give his opinion.

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Help: ID these sweets!

Over the past year, whenever we’ve had to go to the music store that rented us our son’s violin, I’ve always gazed longingly at Bombay Sweets next door. I love Indian food, and I’ve never had much opportunity to explore the dessert side of the cuisine, but despite the proximity of the restaurant and store to the music store, there simply was never a good time for me to dash in and experiment.

Well, the violin went back to the store today (long story there), and I knew that I might not have another chance soon, so I crossed my fingers, took both my kids’ hands firmly in mine, and crossed the street to check it out.

We wound up with this assortment:
Indian sweets

I’m really happy with our little initial collection, from the few tastes I’ve had, but…well, what with Sam’s excited jumping and discussion of the sweets, and Gabe’s refusal to stand still, and my subsequent inability to take in the heavy accent of the woman behind the counter, I’m at a loss to know exactly what we got. I know the orange things on the right are either Jalebi or Jaangiri, but I don’t know that there’s a way to differentiate between the two visually (they’re variations of each other with subtly different ingredients). As for the others, I have no real idea, despite my Googling.

Anybody want to help me out?

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Baked Spaghetti Squash

Mr. Spaghetti Squash!

“Hello, friends! I’m Mr. Spaghetti Squash! And the lady in front of me clearly has either too much free time, or else children who will need to be coaxed into trying new things! Ahem!”

Oh, noez!

“This…may end badly for me.”
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Roasted Portobellos

While I was making the Broccoli Polenta, I was also thawing some pork chops, feeling very “meh” about them. In the meantime, though, I got an email from a friend who said she was in the process of making a tofu and shiitake stir-fry, and suddenly my mind flew to the baby bellos I had in my own possession. Now, those appealed much more! The Veganomicon to the rescue, yet again!

(Can I just take a moment here to say that I am completely won over by this cookbook? If you had been debating getting it, do it. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or omnivorous, understand that when it comes to delicious vegetable presentations, vegetarians and vegans have it going on!)
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Broccoli Polenta

Somehow (I blame sinister alien experiments), I wound up with a metric ton of broccoli in my fridge. I toyed with cooking and pureeing it, then hiding it in things, but my kids actually are willing to eat broccoli straight up, so that seemed like a waste of time. The Veganomicon has a nice recipe that called for four chopped cups of the stuff, though – instant winner!
Broccoli Polenta
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Iron Cupcake!

Oh, now this is just cool. Cupcake baking contests? In my neck of the woods?! Sign me up!

Well, eventually. 😉 Sadly, the next competition (Challenge: Booze!) falls on the first night of Sam’s Bible school. Oh, well; July will come. I don’t know how innovative a baker I can be, compared to some of these guys, though; seriously, I am now dying to try the Jalapeno Popper cupcakes!

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Chilaquiles

Eric ends up eating in the cafeteria at work a lot, and it’s not the most healthful of cuisine. (Understatement.) We do try to pack his lunches, but he very much prefers meals with variety and more “oomph” than your garden-variety cold sandwich with cut veggies or fruit. Well, who doesn’t? But prepping complicated lunches often requires more time and energy than I have in a typical morning, so there’s been a struggle. I decided to look for strong casseroles and stew dishes that would provide tons of leftovers and that would stand up well to fridging or freezing; then I could store them in serving-sized quantities, ready for handing off to him in the mornings.

Enter…chilaquiles.
Chilaquiles
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