Wait, make that “Tortellini-Are-Little-Puffs-of-Heaven and Italian Sausage Stew.” Kind of a long name, though. I’ll work on it.
It’s been a very soup-y fall for me, for a couple of reasons. 1)Fall just seems to need soup. I don’t know what it is but for some reason, fall is a soup season. 2)Soup recipes make a lot and it’s great for pouring leftovers into a jar and taking it work a couple days for lunch. 3)I rarely made soup before last year because I was convinced I was a failure at it. I’m not nearly as nervous now. Clearly if I can do, any idiot can. But I repeat myself.
Sunday was a busy day. I got out of bed–and that was an effort, let me tell you–and made breakfast, prepared bread dough, did the week’s grocery shopping, found out my Twitter account was hacked (again, apologies to all involved), roasted chicken, made stock, made soup and still managed to watch Squid Invasion on Netflix streaming and thoroughly freak myself out.
But the important thing here is the soup. It’s my cheesy, chunky comfort stew. I originally made it for Paul and Josh last week for dinner. Paul and I had a very good trade going: if I made dinner, he would bring cinnamon pie for dessert. (I freaking love cinnamon pie and Paul makes it brilliantly.) And since I knew I was going to want to have a really large piece of pie for dessert, I figured I would make something for dinner that was simple (cause I was tired), quick (cause I was short on time), vegetarian (because Paul is not of the meat-eating persuasion) and filling without being super heavy (cause pie). Oh and delicious, of course, because that’s how I roll. Continue reading
An awesome little episode of I’d Rather Eat In with a local guest chef making Thai Tom Yum Soup. I’d never even heard of this soup before. But now I’m drooling a little bit, I’ll be honest.
Something awesome transpired here Saturday night. Josh and I hosted the inaugural Melties, a semi-formal grilled cheese dinner party.
Let me say that part again. A semi formal grilled cheese dinner party.
You know, as many times as I say it, it never sounds less awesome. All around, it’s probably one of my better ideas. I highly suggest that each and every one of you conduct your own Melties as soon as you can.
Let’s start with the invitation.
A few of our grilled cheese lovin’ friends received the following invitations in the mail (real invitations on real paper sent through snail mail. Retro, I know):
One of the questions I get asked on a regular basis is—how do you do it? And no, they’re not asking me how I remain so effervescently awesome–it’s clearly obvious that’s a trade secret. No, they’re asking me, “How do you put a meal together? And not a meal from a recipe you’ve searched for and pored over and planned out and executed with ninja-like precision (speaking of, there are at least 5 ninjas in this article. But you can’t see them). No, a meal from just whatever you have on hand. How do you do that?”
It occurs to me that somewhere along the line, cooking became some sort of mysterious alchemy to a disturbingly large amount of people. Food goes in one way, and deliciousness—or for some, vast amounts of thick black smoke–come out the other. What happens in between is a mystery. But it really doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to go down the long, dark path to Frozen Foodland most nights, or make the same safe spaghetti and meatball dish every single night. Not that I’m hating on meatballs–I love meatballs, some of my best friends are meatballs–or anything like that. But of all the things in the world to fear, making dinner shouldn’t be one of them. You don’t always have to have a plan. It works to just toss in what you have. Continue reading
Oh, Internet. How I’ve missed you.
Let me tell you, I’ve had quite a week. The first week of May is always a terrible one for me, at least for the last few years. It is actually the busiest week of my entire year. Those of you who know me in the “Real World” (I’m in Season 27, how about you?) know that by day, I masquerade as my alter-ego, the instructional technology consultant. Or the academic technologist. Or the learning consultant. Or whatever version of that title I happen to respond to on any given day. Anyway, I work for a university and during the first week of May, myself and dozens of others like me (we are legion), put on a campus-wide conference and offer workshops on various technological and pedagogical issues and solutions to faculty and staff. It’s fun. It’s enlightening. And it is tiring as hell.
I have so much respect for classroom teachers, such as the delightful Patti from Palate of Patti. It’s exhausting to be up in front of 30 people, trying to teach something most of them consider to be completely alien to them while simultaneously trying to engage both the quick learner and the slightly slower to catch up, whilst still minding your time limits. And doing it for hours. During a normal week, my voice is strained.
But this week was even better. Because I got the flu the Saturday before. So that’s great, y’know. Losing my voice, being exhausted. Having to do all the regular duties of my job on top of giving 4 workshops, assisting 2 others and helping to host several large social events and on top of that, the cherry to my sundae of doom, as it were, feeling like complete an utter crap despite sleeping ten to twelve hours a night because I could not stay awake.
Good times. Continue reading
Ah, Michigan in the spring. This week was day after day of 65 degree weather with full sun and, thanks to Daylight Savings Time, nice long lit evenings. We grilled. We lounged. We ate out at cafe sidewalks. We…did yardwork. It was beautiful. It was gorgeous. It was—short lived. Today’s forecast? Rain and a high of 44. Tomorrow? Gulp. Snow. Sigh.
So even though I’m positively itching (that might be the bug bites from the yardwork) to hop on the grilling bandwagon and get my yippy-ki-yay on, I went back to my cold-weather friend, the slowcooker, and decided to try a new recipe…for goulash.
Am I the only person who, when they hear the word “goulash,” immediately thinks of Gargamel from the Smurfs? No, you do it too? Ok, good. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a proper “goulash,” which is a stew usually made of beef, onions, vegetables, and paprika. Interestingly, Wikipedia tells me that the word stems from the Hungarian word for cattle herdsmen. Ha! It’s like Hungarian Cowboy Stew. Continue reading
This post is brought to you by the letters “Y,” “U,” “M,” “M,” and “Y.” And the number 3. Let’s use those in a sentence. “This meal is 3 kinds of yummy.” Good!
This may actually be my favorite of the experiments so far. Granted, there have only been 5–so far—but this is still one of my top ones. My fabulous cousin Carmen picked this Puerto Rican chicken and rice stew to try out; I made it as dinner for Josh and myself tonight and bundled up a bunch to take her for lunch. This dish is not only tasty, it’s informative. It’s taught me at least 3 yummy things.
1. There’s such a thing as “annatto oil,” which is made by infusing oil with achiote seeds . It’s used to flavor and color foods in South American cooking. I didn’t actually use it here. I used olive oil. But good to know it’s possible. Continue reading