Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sweet and Spicy Peanut Soup

You can always count on an Ellie Krieger recipe to be healthy. In fact, her cookbooks have the nutritional breakdown of each recipe which is a bonus. This is especially helpful when I have spent the morning celebrating the Bar Mitzvah of a friend and the feast after the services was just too tempting. My husband insists that calories consumed on the Shabbat, the Sabbath, don't count. I'll hedge my bets on that one.

So, after a morning of indulging, I went easy in the evening. I made Sweet and Spicy Soup, also known as Nutty Sweet Potato Soup.  The recipe can be found in The Food You Crave (p. 77) or here.  It's a lovely, filling, but mildly flavored soup. Maybe the ginger I added was beyond it's freshest and fullest flavor. Next time, I'll use fresher ginger.
I don't always add garnishes to soups, but I would recommend adding the scallions at the end. They added a lovely crunch and piquancy that enhanced the soup. 

This week is I Heart Cooking Clubs' monthly pot luck. Which means, if you go here, you will find a treasure of different recipes and blogs.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Roast Vegetable Salad

Our featured chef this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs is Jamie Oliver, a famous chef, cookbook author and food activist. That said, this is the first time I have made one of his recipes.  I chose roast vegetable salad.  Ten years ago, I learned that roasting or grilling any vegetable was a sure way to cooking success.  So what could go wrong with a roast salad, especially one that features tomatoes, peppers, red onion and garlic?  The dressing itself is a delicious mix of paprika, lemon and capers and will work with any number of vegetable dishes.
The prep is really simple. You don't even have to peel the onions. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and sea salt. (Lucky me, a friend had just sent me a gift of sea salt) You place the tray of veggies in the oven and roast them until they are blackened.
Once the veggies are ready, all that's left to do is add the dressing. As it turns out, I had mixed success. This was not because the recipe is bad; it is really good. It was because I had a surplus of baby bell peppers at home and no regular sized ones. The baby peppers blackened rather too thoroughly as it turns out. Once I scraped away the blackened parts there were only seeds and stems left...well, maybe there was a nibble or two left out of all the peppers. The garlic cloves were also mostly hardened. Obviously, next time I will pay more attention keeping every ingredient a uniform size and add the garlic cloves later.
The other change that I made was not to add any additional olive oil to the dressing. That worked out fine as there was enough oil left over from the roasting. Despite, my faux pas I will be making this again. It was full of bright flavor and a snap to make. 

I found this recipe at It is a very generous site loaded with tempting recipes. I liked his rating system; Super Easy, Not Too Tricky and Showing Off. The roasted salad was rated Not Too Tricky.  Actually, if you pay attention to how you cut the veggies, it is really quite easy.

There are quite a few delicious-looking Jamie Oliver recipes at IHCC. Why don't you check them out?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Maple Glazed Walnuts

"It's In Your Hands" is this week's theme at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC).  Any food that doesn't require a fork, spoon, chopstick or other implement is fair game.  Because it's the last day of my winter break and our girls are home, I've decided to go really easy this week. 

Maple Glazed Walnuts require only 3 ingredients, easily found if not already in your cupboard. My only hesitation was pouring maple syrup into an unoiled skillet. I was afraid it might be impossible to wash off.  Turns out that frequent stirring while cooking and quickly soaking the pan once you're finished cooking makes for easy cleaning.

The recipe can be found in The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger or here.  The walnuts are crunchy and sweet, but not too sweet. They are also addictive.
 To see other tasty hand-held treats look here.