Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

After two weeks of flailing around, dinner-wise, it's time to get back to a bit of a plan. Not that a banana and some candy canes can't make a perfectly lovely dinner, but enough's enough. I got lots of fun cooking-y-type stuff for Christmas, and I'm sure I'll show some of it when I get around to it. But I've spent the morning with some cookbooks and cooking magazines, and I think I'm ready to be ambitious and plan again. And a New Year's resolution (I just came up with it about half an hour ago) I'll try this year is to actually cook from more of my cookbooks. I love to read them and dream, but when it comes to choosing actual recipes, I fall back on whatever cooking magazine just arrived, or I'll search back in this blog for an old recipe. So I'm trying to actually use some of my gorgeous cookbooks. We'll see how I do!

It's going to be a combination lazy/busy day -- we're staying close to home, but we plan to put away decorations, get ducks in a row before the big work week hits, etc. So easy dinner:

Vegetable and beef soup: I don't have a recipe for this, but this is what I'm thinking I'll do: Brown a beef soup bone. Remove it. Saute some sliced onion, garlic, carrot, celery, parsnip, mushrooms (not all at once, but add one at a time). Add the soup bone again. Add a can of stewed tomatoes, some water to cover everything over, and boil. After it boils, reduce it to a simmer and let it go. At some point, add some diced potatoes. A little while before it's done, add some frozen peas. I'll season along the way with salt and pepper, perhaps add a bay leaf. This might also need some red wine or Worcestershire sauce. Remove bone at the end, pull off any meat that's still attached to it, and stir it into soup.

We'll have salad and baguette with this.

This is from one of my lovely new Christmas gifts: Nigella Kitchen, by Nigella Lawson:

Sunshine Soup (Roast two yellow bell peppers in the oven with a bit of oil, set aside. Bring a quart of veggie broth to a boil, add about 3 1/2 cups of frozen corn, let simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove about 1 cup of the corn. Add peppers to pan, use stick blender to mix it all in, add cup of corn back to soup. Season with salt and pepper.)

Salad and bread too!

This is from an older cookbook, that I love to read but have been a bit intimidated by: Adventures of an Italian Food Lover by Faith Heller Willinger.

Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches: Grate some fontina cheese, mix with an egg yolk and some pepper. Spread the mixture on bread, top with a slice of ham, then other slice of bread. Brush bread with olive oil and grill.

Stewed peppers with balsamic vinegar: In a large pot, add a chopped onion, 2 chopped cloves of garlic, and a chopped carrot with some olive oil. Cook until onions are soft. Add 2 - 3 sliced red bell peppers, half a cup of tomato pulp (chopped, peeled and seeded tomato), a bit of parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for up to 20 minutes, adding some water if it gets dry. Put in a serving dish and cool for a bit. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.


Roasted cauliflower

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