Sunday, January 31, 2010

Carrot Soup

I found a 5lb bag of organic carrots on sale for $3 last week and snatched that deal right up. My husband tells me I'm crazy, but I swear I will cook wonderful things with those roots before they spoil. I swear it!

My first creation is from Laurel Robertson's The New Laurel's Kitchen

Carrot Soup
Makes 8 cups
  • 5 medium-large carrots
  • 2 small potatoes (or 1 large)
  • 1 bunch leeks (or 1 large onion)
  • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry tarragon leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
Cut carrots in 1" chunks, quarter the potatoes, and place both in a 2-quart sauce pan. Add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender. Remove and discard potato peels.
Meanwhile, wash leeks thoroughly and chop them coarsley. If they are very muddy, chop them first and rinse well in a sieve after chopping. Saute in butter along with the tarragon. Use blender or food processor to puree the vegetables in batches, adding the milk, stock, and salt. Return soup to pot; add pepper and wine, and reheat.

My concern/confusion about this recipe:
I covered the carrots and potatoes and cooked them. But then, though it says to discard the potatoes peels, it doesn't actually tell you to drain the water. I was faced with a dilemma. Toss the carrot/potato water and then add new milk and stock and heat or keep the water and add the milk and stock to it OR keep the water, add the milk and don't add any additional stock because that would be too liquidy.

I chose door number three. I kept the water in which I'd boiled the roots, added everything to that pot, and then used an immersion blender to blenderize the carrots and potatoes and onions. And it worked really well! I'm not sure my soup turned out just as it was intended to, but I (and my husband and my daughter) were happy with the results. Mmmm, carrots.

P.S.  Is it ridiculous that I don't take pictures of anything I cook for this blog? I just keep forgetting...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Most Eggcellent Sandwich!

A quick and easy recipe, and my first from the ├╝ber famous Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron.

Egg Salad Spread

Mix a crumbled hard-cooked egg with 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise and a tablespoon of any or all of the following: diced celery or onion, fresh parsley, tofu, and mashed beans.

I used an egg, Miracle Whip, and a tablespoon of canned (drained and rinsed) white kidney beans, smushed them together, spread the mixture on wheat bread, and cut the sandwich into small pieces.

Uli turned up her nose at the food initially, no doubt due to the unfamiliarity of the meal (she's had bread, she's had hardboiled eggs, but I'd rarely, if ever, given her an actual sandwich before). But once she got over her suspicion (I put the sandwich pieces on my own plate, which she loves to steal food from) she gobbled it up. A success!

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From what I've gathered, everyone who has had a baby in the last ten years has received Yaron's book at her shower. Perhaps because I asked for mostly recycled, resale-store items for my shower (I recommend it!) I missed-out on that trend, but ended up buying the book myself after hearing so much about it. And I will say it has a LOT (a lot a lot a lot) of information packed into it.

More that just recipes, Yaron includes growth charts, nutrition 101, food prep and sanitation tips, pro-pasteurization rants, storage/freezing ideas, and a conservative food introduction schedule. Filled with recipes appropriate for both the new-to-solids infant as well as the adults who live with her, nevertheless much of the book (about 1/3) consists of household tips ranging from the already well known (how to make cleaners from vinegar and baking soda) to the truly bizarre (make your own "pesticide" by spraying dead bugs on your plants' leaves--you hunt for dead bugs, grind them up in your blender with some water, strain, and put in a spray bottle. This apparently freaks other bugs out and they'll leave your plants alone).

We'll see. Reading Super Baby Food kinda makes my head hurt (seriously, each page is crammed full--the page I just opened to as an example has 12 recipes on it (not including variations), but it does seem to be a wealth of information (if not a tad to obsessive about pasturization). I'll flip through and cook a few more things and we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gingered Squash

No silly puns for this recipe. Just tasty goodness from [The New] Laurel's Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Caroly Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal.

Sandy's Gingered Squash

3 cups hot, cooked, mashed winter squash
1 1/2 tsp butter
pinch salt
2 Tbls finely minced fresh ginger
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbls honey

Mix all ingredients, adjusting the amount of lemon and honey as required for balance. (It will depend on how sweet your squash is).

Makes about 3 cups, or 4 to 6 servings.

Photo care of Spork and Knife


This was an extremely simple recipe to make. However, I regret to say that I made it quickly one afternoon because I had a squash that wasn't going to last much longer and as it turned out that evening my family and I ended up going out to eat at a restaurant with my in-laws. And then we ate things at home on future nights that the sweet squash wouldn't complement. And then it was Christmas. And then it was New Year's. And now the squash really really needs to be tossed from the fridge, even though it was "Food-Saver-ed."

So no family reactions to this recipe because they didn't, in fact, eat any of it. But I did (several spoonfulls) and it was lovely.

I will certainly make this dish again. On a night when we are not going out to a restaurant. ;-)