Tag Archives: delicious

Breakfast Soup

It is perfectly fine to have soup for breakfast.  I am the (self-appointed) soup queen and I know these things.  Here is a picture of my butternut squash soup all ready to be pressure cooked.

IMG_3268

Here’s the list of ingredients:

One small chopped yellow onion, minced garlic, fresh minced ginger sautéed in olive oil;  one butternut squash, 2 carrots, 2 apples, 2 little old shrivelled up turnips you need to get rid of (optional), cinnamon, vegetable seasoning, about 4 cups vegetable broth, salt and pepper.

The reason I have listed these first is because usually you can tell from the ingredients whether you have a chance in hell of liking the results, and there is nothing more annoying than scrolling down a page chock full of photos of every conceivable step in the process until finally there’s a bar at the bottom that says click here to go directly to recipe.  Wow.  Too late, I hate you.

I know what a potato looks like before and after it’s peeled and chopped.  There is really no reason for you to chronicle its demise, thanks anyway.  The way to stay sane while researching a recipe is to click the link, copy the URL and then open up your Paprika ap.  There you download, save and create.  Poof, done.  Minimum amounts of grief and cursing.

My Instant Pot category on Paprika is growing daily with recipes I want to try.  There’s a lot of prep work involved and usually a big mess of peelings and seeds and cups and bowls before getting to the Instant part.  Some degree of kitchen chaos is normal for me no matter what I’m making, but with the Instant Pot,  how fast things cook and how tasty everything turns out is SO worth it.  Normally I would never attempt to prepare soup for breakfast but the instant pot makes it possible.  Also a touch of eccentricity helps.  Why does breakfast have to be all eggy and boring, hey?  Ever asked yourself that?  Me neither until just now.

IMG_3269

Voilà, the end result after 9 minutes on manual, normal pressure release for 25 minutes because I was doing something else and forgot about it (10 or 15 minutes is probably fine), quick pressure release and then everything smushed up with an immersion  blender.  I did some swirly things on the top so you can see how lovely and thick it is, and added some freshly ground pepper.  Because people are always adding stuff to the top of soup and that’s all I’ve got.  I suppose I could dig out some parsley, but come on, parsley for breakfast?  I don’t think so.  It’s important to draw the line somewhere.

I’m not a big fan of squash but this is delicious.

Advertisements

Just Jazzy 254

Jazzy Does 100 Days of Happiness 41

Happiness is the taste of French Vanilla, wondering how the French always manage to make everything more decadently delicious.
Happiness is enjoying the taste of French Vanilla, or a good French wine, wondering how the French always manage to make everything just a little more decadent and sweetly delicious.

Delicious

My least favourite apples to eat raw are the ones with the misnomer “Delicious”.  The same guy who named them also named Greenland.  It’s a trick.  W professes to like them, but we’ve had a bunch of them sitting in our fruit bowl for a long time although other types have come and gone.  They are always the last to get picked so I’m putting them out of their misery.  Time to use them up before they reach the throwing into the compost bin point of no return.

image

Just look at how sun-shiny my kitchen is this morning!  I love this apple stabbing gut removing tool and eat a lot of apples because it is so much fun to use.  It does require some skill getting it to go straight through from the stem to the bottom.  Sometimes an apple will have to be double stabbed from the bottom up to get rid of the entire core.  Or maybe it’s just me who encounters this problem and can’t gut an apple in a straight line.

imageAfter the delightful gouging part comes the tedious peeling process, but not everything can be fun.  It always seems a shame to me to throw out all that fibre and all those nutrients but the time I made this and included the apple skins was not my proudest moment and less than a roaring success.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

imageWhew.  That’s a lot of slicing and dicing.  In my serious quest to go mostly gluten and sugar free I opted to sprinkle Truvia here instead of refined white sugar.  Please refrain from telling me that this stuff will kill me faster than sugar will, because I don’t care.

imageThis is my crumble mixture, consisting of soft butter, half a cup of rice flour, the last of the brown sugar in a shrivelled up bag that’s been in the cupboard forever, probably about a quarter cup, because I don’t think this crumbly topping would work without it.  And some gluten free steel cut oats.  I have no experience with steel cut anything, don’t know what it means or how it’s done, but the wheat free thing on the label totally sucked me in so that I bought them and have been wondering ever since what to do with the stupid stuff, besides make porridge which is pretty disgusting.  I’m a big fan of having baking supplies hanging around where I can see them and hoping they will guilt me in to actually making something.  So that worked, I guess. I didn’t measure it, but let’s guess about half a cup.  I also threw in some cinnamon.

imageHere we are all oven ready.  I hope these hard little oat nuggets soften up…..

imageThe oven does it’s magic for about 40 minutes at 350.  The top is browned and the fruit is soft.  And it smells good. W thinks it will be great with ice cream.  We don’t have any ice cream.  Living with me involves learning to live with disappointment.  And the steel cut oats have stubbornly resisted the cooking process and remain hard and crunchy.  I’ll just pretend I planned it that way.  The apples will still be delicious.  There are some things it’s hard to mess up.

Cookery Advice for the Cooking Impaired

Timer
Timer (Photo credit: bargainmoose)

All the delightful cooking/baking/recipe-laden posts out there which should have an uplifting and inspirational effect on me are just not doing that.  Instead they’re making me feel mildly despondent and vaguely depressed.  Similar feelings of inadequacy wash over me when I flip through a cookbook full of glossy pictures of perfect end results, supposedly attainable by someone like me.  Of course that ‘someone like me’ would have to be able to follow directions and use the proper ingredients and not take short cuts.  Or suffer from delusions.

There are a few recipe books in my house which I rarely open.  And yet, there are many things I make that are nutritious and edible.  Some of them are even delicious.  People have asked me for my recipes.  Perhaps they were just being kind.  It doesn’t matter.  My point is, you’d think that after over 50 years of doing stuff in a kitchen I’d be a great source of information and have collected a lot of family heirloom type recipes and have a few priceless and wise cooking tips to share.

Well, I’ve let my sister be the keeper of the recipes since I never follow them anyway.  But I do have tips.  All gleaned from my culinary experiences of learning things the hard way.  And not being an expert on something has certainly never stopped me from sharing advice.  So here it is.

1.  Do not change your mind about what you’re making halfway through the process.  Once I was putting together a lazy cabbage rolls concoction in the crock pot and suddenly didn’t feel like eating rice so I left it out and threw in some beans and things instead, hoping to change the whole thing into chili.  The results were interesting.  But hard to describe.

2.  Set the kitchen timer.  Stay within hearing distance of the timer.  Do not second guess the timer.  The timer was invented so that you would be less likely to end up with results which are black – never a good cooking color.

3.  Keep the oven clean.  If you paid for the self-cleaning feature, you really should learn how to use it.  The next thing you bake does not have to smell like a smoky version of the last thing you roasted to death.

4.  Never skimp on wine, regardless of what you’re making.  Be sure to consume a sufficient amount of it.  I’ve found a good ratio to be 1 part recipe to 3 parts self.  An empty bottle should be your ultimate goal.

5.  Serve your guests copious amounts of alcohol before the main course.  And during, and after.  This ups the odds that they will thoroughly enjoy whatever you serve them and have no idea later what it was.

6.  If you are following a recipe, right to the end, good for you!  Just keep in mind that substitution of ingredients should not be based solely on color.  All orange things are not created equal.

7.  Give yourself a break and stop trying to make Aunt Edna’s mustard pickle relish exactly the way she did it.  Try to accept the fact that it is never going to be the same, and you are doomed to failure.  Unless you have some kind of obsessive compulsive glutton for punishment personality disorder, in which case I suppose no one can stop you, so carry on.

8.  If you don’t know how to skin a hazelnut, there is no shame in googling it to find out.  Although perhaps your basic problem has less to do with HOW,  and more to do with WHY you need to know that.

9.  Clean as you go.  This cannot be stressed enough, especially if something monumental like A Big Holiday Dinner is in the works.  The worst cooking experience I ever had was when my kids were small and we invited some other families over for a big meal and it took me all day to prepare everything,  less than half an hour for them to eat it all, and all bloody night to clean up the mess.  So wash things as you use them and put them away.  Especially those sharp knives.

Mongolian Beef with rice and noodles
Mongolian Beef with rice and noodles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

10.  Have fun.  Be creative.  Try new things.  Keep that recycle compost bin ever at the ready.  It can swallow up a lot of failed attempts even when you can’t.  Toss things in a slow cooker and hope for the best.  When all else fails, take-out chinese is just around the corner waiting to soothe your battle weary culinary soul.