Thursday, November 19, 2009

Baked Acorn Squash

Happy fall!

This is one of my favorite dinners ever. It's slow to cook, but worth it. This is how I usually do it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Corn Chowder

Corn chowder is one of my favorite soups. I don't like clam chowder, but is there really anyone who doesn't like corn?

Most creamy soups call for just that - cream. I'm not about to invest in a container of cream, since I rarely make anything that would require it. Luckily, SparkRecipes usually has me covered on the low-fat replacement recipes.

This was, unfortunately, the best photo I got. And unlike most low-fat recipes, I found this kind of ... thin. So maybe substitutions aren't always good. In the background, you can see a fried egg ready to be dropped in by my husband. Maybe that's the way to go.

The climate at our new house is much, much different from Long Beach. We're 2.5 miles from the ocean instead of seven, and it makes a huge difference! I expect the winter to get pretty chilly and damp, so you can expect more soups from my kitchen.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Salmon & Polenta

A random, quick weeknight dinner:

(George Foreman) Grilled salmon. Plain ol' polenta (there's usually a recipe on the cornmeal canister - think mashed potatoes, except corn). And black beans.

I love black beans. They're fine plain, but they're very versatile. Here, I added onions, canned chopped tomatoes, and cayenne pepper. In a pan, cook the onions and spices in a little olive oil until they're soft. Then add the tomatoes and black beans, and just heat them up.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Avgolemono Soup

We had dinner at Daphne's not that long ago, as I was coming down with my most recent cold. Their lemon chicken soup sounded like the perfect thing for my oncoming illness. And it was! It was light, and not too acidic. I'd recommend it even if you're feeling great.

And then I was sick. And it was too hard to go out and get it, but all I could think about was how good the steamy lemon would be. So my dear husband took the recipe and made it for me. And it was just as good, if not better!

The thing is, my husband measures. Carefully. And follows instructions. I absolutely refuse to cook like that.

The night I chose to make it, though, made things very interesting.

It seems like almost every day, in the later afternoon, the wind picks up for a few hours. On this particular day, it picked up with a vengeance. We went for a short run, and it was like getting sandblasted. By the time we got home my eyes were tearing and my nose was stuffed. The whole time there were sirens up and down the streets, and I couldn't help but think it was because of downed power lines...

I set straight to work on dinner, and at that point a hot, clearing soup could not have sounded better. And then ...

Our power went out. Yes, that is me, cooking on the gas stove, in my running clothes and a headlamp. Is this why people prefer gas to electric stoves? Fortunately I had the stove's glow and was standing in front of the drawer with the matches when the power went out; my husband was back in the cavern of our closet collecting laundry. Yikes.

Thankfully, the soup wasn't interrupted at all. First off, I didn't have any chicken broth. So I substituted eight cups water. I couldn't find chicken soup base and instead got bouillon, and yes, I know these aren't interchangeable. But you can imagine how rich broth and bouillon might be! I'm not a fan of cooked celery (or celery at all, for that matter), so I just cut up more carrots. I had lemon juice instead of full cut lemons, and used only a couple of egg yolks. There always seem to be extra yolks when you bake a lot.

Rather than rice, I cooked up a cup of barley. There are so many interesting grains available! Barley seemed like a safe and easy one to branch out. I thought it was fantastic addition, and insanely filling.

If you think eight cups of liquid plus everything else seems like a lot, you're right. The recipe makes a lot, and easily got us through the whole week!