Friday, January 5, 2018
I’ve been following Heidi Swanson adventures with the instant pot, and she has a few really good recipes, like the Indian simmer sauce, a spicy based for other dishes. The cauliflower chickpea korma is also epic. I made my own channa massala, but with canned chickpeas, and it takes only 15min on the stove top. It would be a great candidate for the instant pot.
Besides snow adventures, I spend a lot of time on my couch these days, on the computer or knitting, or reading (Bruce Springsteen's biography), cats curled up next to me. The Maine version of hygge, or cabin magic. Winter. It can only be another 2-3 months!
Thursday, December 21, 2017
It is looking a lot like Christmas these days. Most of the work week has wound down. We have plenty of snow and it is so cold that it stays and is crunchy under my winter boots when I take a stroll. The Christmas tree has been up since Thanksgiving, and I have still no idea of what to cook this year. It feels like the cooking extravaganza of Thanksgiving has just passed.
All I want for Christmas this year is a little downtime, and pampering.
Friday, October 27, 2017
These days I am back to cooking soups, such a good dish for fall, lots of vegetables, but warm. Currently, I prefer simple soups, like parsnip soup or chickpea soup. Nothing fancy with many, many ingredients, but a soup with one star: the main ingredient. Chickpea soup needs a bit more finesse than parsnip soup, which already has the distinct flavor and aroma of parsnips, but chickpeas can be more bland. The basic ingredients of this soup support the chickpeas and the turmeric and coconut milk give it a wonderful kick without overpowering the chickpeas. An elegant, everyday soup.
Creamy Chickpea Coconut Soup
(serves 3-4 as an appetizer)
- 1/2 sweet onion, peeled, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and grated
- 1/2 TB olive oil
- 1 medium sized potato, peeled, cubed
- a thin slice of celeriac, peeled and diced
- about 2 cans of garbanzo beans, rinsed or 3 cups of cooked chickpeas (+ extra for texture)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- half can of coconut milk
- 750ml of chicken bouillon
- fresh ground pepper
- 2 TB nutritional yeast
- dried thyme
Saute the onion, garlic, potato, celeriac until the onion is translucent (ca. 2-3min)
Add the chickpeas, bay leaf, turmeric and the broth. Stir, close with a lid, and simmer for 30min.
Puree with an immersion blender.
Add ground pepper, nutritional yeast, thyme and the coconut milk. Stir again, and heat through.
Ass more cooked chickpeas for texture.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
At the farmers market I bought parsnips, which are large and inexpensive this time of the year. I love them roasted, but this year I felt more like soup. I also picked up a large celeriac for those fall and winter soups to come. Celeriac looks like a large potato, dense and hard, and it’s taste is intense, so less is more to flavor soups, but it saves me buying celery stalks. A few parsnips, a slice of celeriac, and a potato, and a perfect parsnips soup is easily ready.
Parsnip Celeriac Soup
- 2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1/2 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 TB butter
- 1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 slices of celeriac, peeled, and cut into small cubes (ca. 3-4oz)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 quart of vegetable or chicken broth
- Heat the butter in a medium sized pot, and melt it. Add the chopped onion, and saute under stirring until translucent.
- Add the parsnip, potato, and celeriac, and saute under stirring for another 3 min.
- Add the broth, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, turn the heat low, and simmer for 30min.
- Remove the bay leaf, and use an immersion blender to puree the soup.
- Serve with crusty bread, parmesan cheese or some cream or sour cream.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
With fall comes one of my favorite times of the year: apple picking. I got there on the first day when self picking opened and a batch of Paulareds is waiting for apple cake, apple cider and and just apple eating. I debated if I should continue on to Belfast or New Balance, since New Balance had a 40% off sale. Left turn or right turn? not that I need anymore shoes.. I decided to the take the backroads of Maine, following my trusty, yet slightly outdated car navigation system to guide me to Skowhegan.
I find it fun to travel the backroads of Maine, far off the beaten path from tourist through roads, which are wider and with better pavement. The backroads are crooked, curvy and winding and remind me of streets in Europe. Beautiful farmhouses are hidden there along the backroads, wide grounds around the houses, manicured with tractor lawn mowers, definitely not push lawn mowers, people not wanting to be found and not caring to be public. I followed along the private roads, and ending up on a main road again, right into Skowhegan. I got some fantastically fitting running shoes, and called it good. I was hungry at this point, and for the first time, just stopped there, in Skowhegan, stepping in this peculiar bar that hangs right over the big towering dam like structure that seems to dominate Skowhegan. There must have been must industry once that needed so much power, but these days the only interesting thing seemed to be the New Balance Factory and outlet that brought me back.
I sat there, hanging precariously about 60 ft above the waters, with a crowd of other bar goers on a Saturday evening, and it was not half bad. The backroads can take you to interesting places, not just in Maine, in life, too.