Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cauliflower and Leek Soup

As part of my to-do list to cook new things I've been concentrating on soups.  Last year I did a great job of trying new soups almost each week.  This year I haven't been as good at planning ahead and shopping for ingredients so I've just been making meals out of what I happened to have in the pantry and freezer.   Yesterday I had a head of cauliflower sitting in the fridge with no plan so I pulled out one of my soup cookbooks and found a recipe that I had tried and enjoyed last year.  After a stop at the grocery for a couple of leeks I did this wonderful cauliflower and leek soup.  I like it much better than broccoli soup, which I made last week, and it really is a filling dish for a cold winter day.   Also note that my husband hates cauliflower and he actually didn't know that this is made with cauliflower as the main ingredient.

Caulliflower and Leek soup

2-4 T of butter
2 large leeks
1 large head of cauliflower
4 cups chicken broth
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup parmesean cheese (divided in half)
1/4 cup greek yougurt
Pepper to taste (don't need much salt as the broth, cheese, and butter are salty.
Parsley to garnish

Chop the leeks, including the green stems up until they get tough.  I keep peeling back the outer stems to get to the softer inside parts.
Saute leeks in butter until soft - about 5 -  7 minutes.
Add cauliflower florets, chicken broth and cayenne pepper and cook until cauliflower is soft - about 20 minutes.
Use an immersion bender to blend to a creamy consistency.  You can also use a food processor or blender to blend in batches.
Stir in 1/4 cup parmesean cheese and the yougurt.
Heat thoroughy.

Serve with a hefty garnish of parsley and a sprinkle of parmesean cheese.

This can be made ahead, frozen, reheated.  It's very forgiving.  With a nice crusty bread it makes a great winter dinner.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Every now and then I look on my sidebar and see the things that I've noted as "Things I want to do" and my "DIY projects" list.  I put those up there a few years ago and very little has moved off the lists.  It's not that I've done nothing for the last couple of years but not all those things hit the top of my priority list. 

Here are the updated lists:. 

Things I want to do

  • Knit something more complicated than "cast-on, knit, knit, knit, cast-off"    I have managed some some nice scarfs with color work, and a bit of lace, and some things that look much more impressive than they are hard to knit so I'm declaring this a success.  I have a long way to go in my knit and crochet skills and my next goal will be to make a sweater (not a baby sweater as I can do that in my sleep but a sweater for me!)
  • learn finance (again)  Actually this is my father's goal for me and I am totally hopeless at this.
  • Cook new and interesting things  I do this in bits and spurts but I have expanded our menu selections (not always for the best!) and I have a wonderful bunch of new soup recipes to try
  • Practice piano
  • Photography class (again)
  • Yoga classes  I just wish the gym had more yoga classes but I think that the pilates and other stretch classes should count toward this.  I particularly like the Sunday morning yoga instructor and just wish I could go to that class more often.  It's at the same time as my dad's Sunday brunch time at my house so unless he's out of town I always miss it  :-(

DIY projects

  • Frame sailing picture   I do have the frame catalog for these two items but I haven't adjusted myself to how expensive framing is.  Even the do-it-yourself frames are expensive and the last thing I framed took me forever and I think I wore out the patience of the nice people at the frame workshop.  These are two huge and odd shaped pictures so I don't even want to show my face at the workshop with these projects.
  • Frame Sedona poster
  • Wash windows - after yellow pollen season - And I can't cross this off because they got washed but they need it again! 
  • Paint bedroom Done!  and a lovely shade of tan  (actually called Mushroom Bisque) with (not yet finished) white trim.  The bedroom is getting complete do-over.  Charlie made a built-in cabinet under the bay window for some extra storage so I could get rid of a dresser that was crowding the room.  Next on the to-do list is to finish the trim paint, put up crown mouldings, and hang the curtains!  So in crossing off one thing I've added three more!

Friday, January 03, 2014

One of my favorite people just announced she's no longer going to maintain her blog.  I do thank her that she posted her announcement and didn't just leave me hanging and worrying as I have for some other blogs that I read and then had them just stop. 

This blog, bushafullofgrace.typepad.com, was very special to me, it was actually the first blog I really followed and connected with, and I've always wished we could have connected IRL (in real life - I'm starting to understand some of the new text lingo).  He life had its ups and downs, and rounds and rounds but she kept it "real", as we said in the 60's.  It was not sugar coated, or turned into a sarcastic rant, or made into a TV sitcom.  It was her life, her family, her happiness, her troubles.  She kept me grounded reminding me that we have to see the beauty where we find it, we have to accept the pain along with the joy, and we are never going to make the right decision every time. 

I think this may portend the end of the blog era.  People are moving to Facebook where there is more immediate feedback and more pithy writing, but I was looking for the story, the person, the commentary, the personality, that I found in her blog. 

So, Marianne, so long, I'll miss you.  You know where to find me. Stay in touch.