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Friday, February 22, 2013

Cheating on Winter Pea Soup

This soup held a lot of promise, after all, cheating on winter sounds like a good idea at this time of year.  All those birds I've been hearing in the morning also sounds like 'cheating on winter'.  Maybe they want to cheat, too, and get started early on the construction of their spring homes.

I certainly loved the few ingredients:  onions, butter, chicken broth, peas, and romaine lettuce, along with salt/pepper, creme fraiche or sour cream and bacon bits. As promised by Dorie, I whipped this soup up in about 15 minutes.  My immersion blender seemed to be working hard to puree everything, and though I have my Vitamix in the corner of my kitchen, I chose to keep blending in the pan.  When I read about the pea skins remaining after this process (immersion vs. regular blending), I thought that maybe it wouldn't be a big deal. Especially after coming home from my hour long Jazzercise class (my replacement class for the one that no longer runs at work), and deciding dinner would be this soup and only 15 minutes cook time.  Jazzercise is a lot of fun; if you haven't tried it, it's an hour of fun dance moves guaranteed to get your heart rate up and sweat flowing!  But I love it.  I took it about 25 years ago (yes, it has been around that long!) and loved it.  So when I found a local class about 20 minutes away, I joined.  I am in my 4th week.  Not a class for faint of heart.  To my surprise and delight, there are many women my age (50+) and older, and younger, so it's a very mixed group.  I am happy to see mature ladies taking care of themselves and in such numbers!
So I wasn't worried about a few pea skins at around 8pm, when I decided to plate up the soup for Husband and me.  Son wouldn't eat this pea soup; he prefers the Chunky Pea Soup with Ham (it is good, I admit).
I loved the vibrant green color!  That in itself was 'cheating on winter'!

The flavor was decent though I thought some herbs would have brightened it even more.  And I did find the pea skins to be quite annoying.  If I make it again, it will have to be blended in the Vitamix blender.

Check out this and other great Dorie recipes at

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Squash and Brussels Sprouts

Brown Sugar Squash and Brussels Sprouts en Papillote 1/31/13

In my house, only Husband and I will eat brussel sprouts and squash, Son will not touch either.
Instead of using foil packets to house the cubed butternut squash, I halved Brussels sprouts, and cubed and peeled the apples, and decided to roast them in one large pan. Tossed with olive oil, brown sugar (though I didn’t think the extra sweetness was called for), salt and pepper, they went into the 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.
It wasn’t a bad tasting dish, but I wasn’t thrilled with it either. I’ve made both vegetables other ways and found my own version brought out their respective flavors much better. Husband liked it well enough, though.
My versions: I bake butternut squash with sweet corn with butter and maple syrup as a side dish for Thanksgiving. My favorite way to prepare brussels sprouts is simple to microwave them with a tablespoon or two of bacon fat. Heavenly (in my opinion)!
I cooked it, we ate it, probably not to be seen on my table in this version again.