Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011.10.20 - Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup

The Seattle rains have started, so it felt like a good week for soup.  I hadn't made much with pumpkin yet this season (besides adding it to Chewie's special dog food mix of chicken + brown rice + pumpkin + yogurt), so this soup sounded appealing.  I served it with a wheat bread loaf from Trader Joe's some cheese, and a bagged spinach salad.  D brought us some awesome hazelnut chocolate from Germany, which has the very metal sounding name of HASELNUSS.

Curried Pumpkin Apple Soup

This had a tad too much curry powder in it for my taste, but it was a very good and hearty soup.  And extremely easy to make, and make ahead.  I did not find that the suggestion of sour cream topping added much, since the soup is already "creamy" to begin with.  Using canned pumpkin in an interesting variation in something I'd typically make with butternut squash.

2011.10.13 - Breakfast Bake, Yogurt Brulee

Since I eat the same thing for breakfast every day (greek yogurt with some jam) and am normally not hungry enough in the morning to eat a big breakfast, I love doing breakfast for dinner nights!  I believe I saw this breakfast bake floating around on Pinterest and thought it looked amazing.  Trying bi bim bap has been opening me up to "runny" eggs, so I was intrigued by the egg preparation in this dish.

Bacon, Tomato, and Cheddar Breakfast Bake

This dish has a LOT of cheese.  An embarrassing and shocking amount of cheese.  It was also REALLY good.  Coincidence? :)  I am normally not a fan of sourdough, but that flavor worked really well with the other ingredients.  Because of my inexperience with not completely cooked eggs, I did unfortunately end up overcooking this.  The egg yolks were almost rubbery :(  Oh well, will know better for next time.

Modifications: I left the bacon on the side and used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock to make it vegetarian. 

Yogurt Brulee

The idea of this intrigued me when I first read about it.  Creme brulee, but with yogurt??  I don't have a kitchen torch, so I did the best I could under the broiler (which ended up in a mediocre sugar crust).  I used raspberries and a bit of honey on the bottom.  You would think that hot greek yogurt would taste odd, but this was actually pretty good.  Next time I think I'd use vanilla sugar or mix some vanilla into the yogurt.

2011.09.22 - Spaghetti with Cabbage and Breadcrumbs, Caprese Salad, Red Wine Chocolate Cake

In my journeys on the internet, I see a fair amount of pasta + breadcrumbs recipes, but I've never made one before.  I had some leftover cabbage in the fridge and was intrigued by this recipe, so I went for it.  I served it with a basic tomatoes + mozzarella + basil + balsamic caprese and an awesome chocolate cake for dessert.

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs

Making your own breadcrumbs for this elevates the breadcrumbs from adding crunch to being a delivery system for more butter.  Sauteing the cabbage completely mellowed out its flavor and the butter and cheese made a great coating for the pasta.  Everyone was surprised by how much they liked this dish.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Like Deb says in the recipe, I'd never heard of putting red wine in chocolate cake.  It was a really interesting addition and made for a very rich cake.  As much as I liked the cake, I think the marscarpone whipped cream was the real surprise here -- SO GOOD.  I should never make regular whipped cream again.

2011.09.15 - Tortilla Soup, Lemon Sorbet with Prosecco

This dinner was also a going away party for K, who moved down to the sunnier climes of California.  When I think of California and food, I think of avocados and wine country, so I found a dish and dessert that would incorporate each.

Tortilla Soup

This soup was very fresh tasting and delicious and feels healthy with all the vegetables. 

Modifications: The recipe is for a vegan soup, which I didn't follow in a couple ways.  Instead of vegetable broth, I used homemade chicken stock (recipe from Urban Pantry).  I omitted the garlic, chili pepper, and chia seeds (I don't think I could cook with those -- ch ch ch chia is too ingrained in my mind).  And I served with real cheese, not vegan cheese.

Lemon Sorbet with Prosecco

Not much is simpler than this.  Scoop of sorbet with some prosecco poured over top.  Since I served soup for dinner and only have about 10 bowls, having a collection of jam jars saved me from running out of bowls for dessert :)