Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Since that first post, I had my apartment recarpeted because of a flood resulting in the great pleasure of Spring cleaning just in time for Fall. Sadly, we also lost our pet sending us into an unexpected emotional swing and then, behold the Holidays were upon us.

During the "move", my kitchen was packed to the gills with stuff rendering it useless for a couple of days but also the realization that you can get allot of stuff into a tiny apartment kitchen. This led me down one of those funny "memory paths"...you know the kind that you come back from & think "how did get I get there?"...one of those...

My apartment kitchen is a one-butt kitchen. It can be a two butt-er in a pinch, but I'm really most comfortable alone in this particular kitchen...which is a shame, because I really do love preparing a meal with a friend (or more).

I have classified kitchens this way for a very long time. I suppose my love for cooking led me here...along with my love for cooking with friends. In the numerous times I have been on the hunt for a new kitchen (in a plethora of moves...but that's another story), I have evaluated the appeal based on how many butts could comfortably prepare a meal together in that kitchen.

My current kitchen is the smallest...no complaints though...it does open up to my family room making it quite pleasant. My largest was what I fondly refer to as the 12 butt-er. It was my favorite & holds many great memories (the sweetest being a baking day with Nana Ellen & Rachel). There was also a very special Valentine dinner prepared there with the Celestes, Parkinsons, Combests & the former "us"...8 butts cooking at once...& a beautiful meal it turned out to be :)

That's all for memory lane today...

I prepared a really scrumptious soup last night. It was a cool crisp evening so I had to pull together something warm & cozy. This is what I had on hand & the savory comfort it turned into:

Mushroom & Swiss Chard Soup

1/2 yellow onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
32 oz organic free-range chicken broth
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked chickpeas (or 1 can organic chickpeas, drained)
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems cut away & greens roughly chopped (can sub kale)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper (depending on personal taste)

In a large Dutch oven, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute until they are cooked down and very soft. Add broth, seasonings, and chard. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes. Add chickpeas and prepared rice. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Bon Appetit,


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Because I Was Talking About Pepitas on Facebook...

I'm one of those. I always have been. Sharing with friends, family, & sometimes complete strangers what I have had for breakfast...or what I am going to have for dinner. Because I haven't just had oatmeal...I had a warm bowl of fresh oatmeal lightly sweetened with agave, a hint of cinnamon, tart cherries, golden raisins, chopped walnuts & pepitas.

Which is why you find me here. This was my Facebook status a few days ago from whence a couple of questions from friends were sparked..."what is pepitas," "where do you find them,"...& these questions made me happy. Because I know pepitas. And I want to tell my friends about them. Strange little passion of mine this is...but it is mine...& so I will pursue it.

Pepita: The small green seed from inside the white hull of a pumpkin seed. A good source of protein, iron, essential minerals & omega 3. Eat it raw or toasted in oatmeal, in a salad, mixed with granola, or even added to a sweet or savory salsa for fish or chicken. You can usually find them in the bulk section of whole food markets which makes buying a quantity you need easy. Keep them in the freezer for freshness.

I have so many foodie facts & ideas I want to share with you. I hope you will join me on this delightful little journey of mine!

Bon Appetit,