Posts made in November, 2015

Soup is back in style

Posted by on Nov 30, 2015 in Soup | 1 comment

Cooler temperatures have arrived with Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror.  Potato Leek Soup sprung out of necessity by way of sweater weather.  One side dish that failed to make it to our over abundantly adorned dinner table was leek and artichoke bread pudding.  It seemed a tad redundant alongside a big stuffed bird.

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Consequently, the leeks slept in-- while I played matchmaker.  Timeless and easy, sliced sautéed leeks softened in butter; then patiently hitched up with buttery yellow Yukon Gold potatoes, stock, and herbs.  In no time, my French orphans met their popular Canadian potato cousins and thickened into a satisfying creamy food family of their own.

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Begin by trimming the leeks discarding the dark woody tops. Then slice lengthwise and rinse thoroughly; gritty sand hides in between thin layers of the mild onion.

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Slice the clean leeks and sauté them in butter with a hefty pinch of salt,

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sweating low and slow without browning (covering the leeks helps this along, but give them attention).

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Add diced potatoes and broth along with dried and fresh herbs plus more salt.

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Turn up the heat; bring the soup to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

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Finish the soup by discarding the hard herbs and thicken, using an immersion blender or carefully in a stand-up blender to a consistency of your liking; chunky or smooth. Now, season the soup with salt and freshly ground pepper to suit your taste.  If it’s too thick you can easily thin it with more broth or milk or cream. (Ours needed nothing at all).

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Dress it up with parsley and keep it, classic or go big and plop on a dollop of sour cream or crème fraiche…

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Keep this recipe tucked into the pocket of your crimson Christmas jacket with its velvety ermine trim; it's perfect with a cold turkey sandwich splashed with iconic cranberry sauce.

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This Girl

Posted by on Nov 27, 2015 in New | 2 comments

Happy Birthday to our beautiful daughter -in-love, Britton!

We celebrate you; the way you live gratitude.

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To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant,

to enact gratitude is generous and noble,

but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.

-- Johannes A. Gaertner 

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Be Thankful

Posted by on Nov 25, 2015 in New | 0 comments

Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don't know something. For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations; because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge; because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you're tired and weary. It means you've made a difference.

It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are also thankful for the setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.

-- Unknown

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"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing.

Give thanks in all circumstances;

for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 -- NRSV

Happy Thanksgiving from our family (and Luke too).

♥ ♥ ♥

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A Thanksgiving Tart

Posted by on Nov 23, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 2 comments

For this reason, there aren’t too many fussy or trendy side dishes on our Thanksgiving table, and that is because MP and I have been married for nearly 45 years;

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and the family is fairly opinionated about traditional classic sides held close to heart.

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On the other hand, each year I jazz up a fresh dish just in case; like this make ahead roasted vegetable tart.

The crust is the same one I use for a single sweet pie.  The recipe link is here.

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The only change is omitting the sugar and lining a fluted tart pan.  But, a regular pie dish can be used too.  Chill the crust for 30 minutes at least.

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Line the tart shell with parchment paper and pie weights and bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until set.

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Remove the parchment and weights and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until golden. Let cool.

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Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable filling.  Drizzle a little olive oil over a foil-lined baking sheet.  In a medium bowl, toss the bell pepper and onion with olive oil; place them on the baking sheet.  Continue by repeating with the zucchini and tomatoes, then the eggplant keeping the vegetables confined to their own areas (they will roast differently). Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.  Roast the vegetables at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, toss the vegetables which are beginning to caramelize and release from the foil easily.

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Return the baking sheet to the oven for an additional 10 minutes and check again.

When the vegetables are roasted and tender, slide them from the foil into the prepared tart shell. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.  Drizzle the tart with one tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar and grated cheese.  Return it to the oven and heat through (just until the cheese melts; 2-3 minutes).  Remove the tart from the pan to a serving platter; sprinkle soft, fresh herbs over the tart.

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This elegant (and vegetarian) savory, flaky tart filled with roasted vegetables reminiscent of a ratatouille is versatile enough to be an appetizer, first course or a side; plus a perfect portable dish eaten warm or even at room temperature.

O'so delicious and not one offended turkey at the table!

Roasted Vegetable Tart

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-baked 9-inch tart shell
  • 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper—cored, seeded and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4 inch wedges
  • 1 medium-large Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup grated Fontina cheese
  • Freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • Freshly chopped basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. One 9- inch pastry fitted into a tart pan.
  2. Chill the crust for 30 minutes at least.
  3. Line the tart shell with parchment paper and pie weights and bake in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, until set. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for about 10 minutes longer, until golden. Let cool.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable filling. Drizzle a little olive oil over a foil lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl, toss the bell pepper and onion with olive oil; place them on the baking sheet. Continue by repeating with the zucchini and tomatoes, then the eggplant keeping the vegetables confined to their own areas (they will roast differently). Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, toss the vegetables which are beginning to caramelize and loosen from the foil easily. Return the baking sheet to the oven for an additional 10 minutes and check again. When the vegetables are roasted and tender, slide them from the foil into the prepared tart shell. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Drizzle the tart with one tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar and grated cheese. Return it to the oven and heat through (just until the cheese melts; 2-3 minutes). Remove the tart from the pan to a serving platter; sprinkle soft, fresh herbs over the tart.
  5. Serves 8
  6. © Copyright 2015 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  7. All Rights Reserved
  8. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/a-thanksgiving-tart/

 

 

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Amaryllae

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in New | 0 comments

Keeping a thankful journal is a chunk of my homework for our winter break—just two details each day.  Looking around, whether down the street or across our globe, that assignment is real simple.  The tally resides in the secretary, slotted with her cubby desk-mate titled, OneThousand Gifts, yet incomplete.  Nonetheless, poof-- troubles come and woes collapse over me.

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Bravely, vibrant gorgeous, show-stopping amaryllis (Amaryllae as MP refers to my irregular plural of winter flowering bulbs) saturated with velvet shine and furtive flair greet me as if distresses were extinct.

Later, on my zillionth trek to the garage I stopped for an instant; sunlight held me upright with grace.

I heard him say, “Everything‘s Gonna Be Alright.”

Father God, I am thankful for clean drinking water and your handiwork unfurling like a scarlet velveteen amaryllis rotating toward the Son.

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I will sing to the Lord, for he is good to me. Psalm 13:6 --NLT

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