wordinista: (Sure it's a word)
A while back, the produce market I frequent had a "calico bean soup blend" that looked intriguing (I'm a sucker for things multicolored, hush).  So, on a whim I bought some.  Now, while the label does clealy list all the beans-and-things in the mix (red lentils, green lentils, baby lima, navy beans, small red beans, blackeye peas, yellow split peas, green split peas, and pearled barley), I'm sort of at a loss as to how to actually make anything of this. 

Now, I DO know that beans need to be rinsed and soaked, but I'm not sure how long this particular blend would need to be soaked for.  Ideally I'd like to make this in the crock-pot, but I have long since determined that I am more or less crock-pot challenged and without a Very Clear Recipe, bad things happen.

That said, I have a pretty spiffy recipe for split pea soup (but it calls for smoked ham hocks which are [a] unnerving for a wuss like me to cook with, because, hello, FEET and [b] difficult to find around here).  However, I can probably tweak the recipe accordingly.

MY QUESTION TO YOU, DEAR F-LIST IS THIS:  Anyone got a good slow-cooker recipe for calico bean soup?  I have searched the recipe databases of teh internets and am coming up with ... not a whole lot, really.  Additionally, if you've got a good split pea soup recipe that you think might work well with what I've got, I'm all ears. 

And on that note, if you've got ANY slow-cooker recipes, I'd love to hear 'em.  I've got a great cookbook, but the prep for most of the recipes is ... kind of time consuming, which, IMHO, sort of defeats the purpose of using a slow-cooker to begin with.
wordinista: (Bakingfetish)
In case anyone, for whatever reason, might be remotely curious, the following is a list of symptoms for hypothyroidism.

  • Fatigue
  • Sluggishness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Pale, dry skin
  • A puffy face
  • Hoarse voice
  • An elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heavier than normal menstrual periods
  • Brittle fingernails and hair
  • Depression

A... number of these apply to me these days. So you know what?


I took a NAP.


And I am making COOKIES*.

Am so tired of being tired and cold and feeling constantly like I'm depriving myself.

*Cranberry Oatmeal, and I'm feeling generous so I'mma share the recipe!

Recipe behind zee cut! )
wordinista: (Default)
Butternut Squash Soup
From Williams-Sonoma's "Food Made Fast" Collection: Slow Cooker (Yes, I... see the problem with the title too.)

4 TB unsalted butter
1 Yellow onion, chopped (I like Vidalia)
2-inch (5 cm) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Butternut Squash (about 4 lb [2 kg] total weight), peeled and cut into chunks
1 TB brown sugar
Salt and ground white pepper (I used a 5 peppercorn blend, and did not burst into flames of blasphemy)
4 cups (32 fl. oz/ 1 L) vegetable broth
1/2 cup (4 oz/ 125 g) sour cream
Fresh chives or flat leaf parsley

Saute the vegetables
In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and saute until softened -- about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg and saute until fragrant,about 1 minute longer.

Cook the soup
Put the squash chunks in the slow cooker and sprinkle with the brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. Pour the contents of the frying pan over the squash and add the broth. Cover and cook on the high-heat setting for 3 hours, or the low-heat setting for 6 hours.

Finish the soup
Using a blender or food processor (I got to break out my handy-dandy cordless hand blender for this!), working in batches, process the squash mixture to a smooth puree. Return the soup to the slow-cooker to keep warm until serving. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, garnish with a dollop of the sou cream and the chives, and serve.

(I'll type up the ratatouille recipe a little later...)
wordinista: (Kyou Fortitude)

I have such a wild crush on Tyler Florence, y'all don't even know.  A good-looking man who can cook?  Hoomama.

I just tried his Tom Yum Goong recipe today, because I'd had it once at Old Town Thai in Alexandria, like, six years ago, and couldn't remember what it was called. I do remember that, when I first had it, I'd been nursing a cold, and nothing had ever, ever made me feel so good.  (No, wait.  I lie.  I had quite possibly the best Kung Pao Chicken evar at a place called The Opium Den in Oxford.  Again, I was sick, and it was exactly what I needed. Haven't found a place since that does it that well.)  Anyway, thanks to teh intarwebz, I discovered a site where the menu was scanned in, and I could start looking for TYG recipes.  Because, really.  Chicken soup's got nothing on a hot and sour soup when it comes to clearing out the sinuses.

So, I found the recipe, printed it out, and went tromping around town for ingredients.  I'd nearly given up on the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, until I tried our local Asian market even though I didn't remember them carrying produce -- guess what?  They do!  The little old lady who runs the shop (or, at least, I'm pretty sure she does, as she's ALWAYS in there when I go in) asked if I had the recipe with me.  I didn't, but she happened to have a little Thai cookbook hidden behind the counter, and when she whipped it out, I was relieved to see that the recipes were nearly identical.  She also informed me that she carries galangal, but I'd already bought fresh ginger, so I figure I'll try the recipe next time with galangal instead.

And now I am basking in the joy of spicy, lemongrassy, soupy goodness.  And my sinuses are omg, so happy.  And it tastes exactly how I remember it tasting when I had it at Old Town Thai, which I consider to be an excellent sign.

...I think I have a new comfort food.  Right up there with made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese. :)

wordinista: (Question-mark Bunneh)

I'm going nuts.  I'm trying to convert a recipe from metric, and I've got just about everything but the flour converted.

The recipe calls for 150g of flour.  One conversion calculator puts this at about 5 oz (which is just over half a cup), while another one puts it at about 1 and a quarter cups.  Obviously this is a big difference, and as I've already screwed up the recipe twice, I want to make sure I've got all the measurements right before I do it a third time.

Actually, here's the recipe:

Nigella Lawson's snow-topped spice cake... )

So, please, anyone?  I only want to make this one more time.  Please?  Help the poor American with her questionable math skillz (statistics grade notwithstanding)?

EDIT: I just found this site called "The Metric Kitchen," that's a great resource: http://www.jsward.com/cooking/conversion.shtml -- and it backs up the 1 1/4 Cup measurement for flour. Off to give this recipe a third try. Tally-ho!


wordinista: (Default)

April 2011

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