Sweet Potato Coconut Thai Curried Soup: Gluten Free and Vegan

March 22, 2011
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I love sweet potatoes. Maybe it comes from growing up in New England, where sweet potato and squash dishes of all kinds are peppered throughout my childhood and my memories. I’ll eat them mashed and baked into a sweet casserole, just roasted plain in the oven, made into chips, fries; pretty much any way you can serve them, I’m fairly sure I will enjoy them. I know sweet potato isn’t a squash, but I often place it in the same category as squashes when it comes to flavors – the warm almost sweetness that caramelizes ever so slightly upon cooking lends it to working so well in many dishes where squash would normally be the star.


Four Hour French Onion Soup, Vegetarian and Gluten Free

January 11, 2011
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My mother taught me to make French onion soup. Now that I have seen the light, I’m sorry Mom but you got it all wrong. Your onions don’t caramelize for four hours. It’s your recipe’s one fatal flaw. I love your soup and making it the way you taught me, really I do. But now I know better, and next time I come home I’ll make this for you, and you’ll understand :)

I was greeted with onion soup as the beginning of our four-course of dinner on our first night in Spiez (canton Bern), Switzerland after our Christmas holiday in Venezia, Italia. After four days straight of rain, two of which included flooding, it was nice to dry off a bit and warm up with a fresh onion soup.


Roasted Tomato Soup and/or Sauce from Scratch

December 23, 2010
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After our first course of Christmas dinner, the picture above was exactly what I had in mind. Fresh, thick, bright red roasted tomato soup, with strong hints of garlic, garnished with basil and parmesan. The kind that warms the soul when the rain is batting against the windows, and each step outside is a slop! slop! in the slushy puddles splattering all over your new jeans – it’s easy to catch a chill then, and a warm soup was just the cure to take away some of the grumpies of the long Wintery week.

In a desperate attempt to call back the gods of Summer to return upon us with sunshine and warm temperatures, I enthusiastically purchased just about every bio (organic) fresh vegetable I could find in the store that weekend. I found myself with a couple dozen tomatoes and thought, even if it isn’t Summer outside, maybe we can direct a few of those last rays of sunshine hidden from us by the ever threatening clouds, and have them warm our stomachs if nothing else by preparing a fresh soup. Sorry Winter Solstice, as cool as you were with an eclipse and all, I still miss my sunshine.


Clam Chowder, Gluten Free

October 24, 2010
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Growing up in New England, clam chowder is total comfort food for me. There was this place on the shore that served New England style chowder in sourdough bread bowls… oh sweet heaven. The first time I took my husband to New England to see my old “stomping grounds”, I showed him my favorite things growing up, many of which involved food. What can I say, foods are strongly linked to memories. I had already decided at that point (and so had he) in our dating that we were meant to be. Aww, we were grad students, young and in love….


Daring Cooks #18: Rolled & Stuffed (Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thit)

October 13, 2010
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Wow can you believe Daring Cooks is on to their 18th challenge already?? It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were all attempting ricotta gnocchi for the first time… Well here we are, one and a half years in. So far I’ve had a lot of fun with this group. Some challenges have been better than others, but you’ll have that with just about any blogging group. My favorite challenges so far up to this point have been the paella and sushi challenges. Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food. If you can’t tell from the photo above, I didn’t stuff grape leaves. In fact, neither grape leaves nor Middle Eastern cuisine were anywhere related to what I chose to do. But I did stuff and roll leaves. Instead I made Vietnamese cabbage roll soup, also known as Canh Bap Cai Cuon Thit.


Gazpacho Blanco

August 20, 2010
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Gazpacho has always been one of my summer loves. Just take ripe summer produce, throw in the processor, purée and enjoy. I committed the ultimate gazpacho sin when I first made it on my own, using *gasp!* canned tomatoes, but I was a poor grad student and it wasn’t summertime – I will say now never do that, ever. Wait for beautiful fresh tomatoes, it’s worth it. Gazpacho is often my choice when I go out to eat as well – there is just something so refreshing about the blend of cucumbers and tomatoes together, that even when it’s so hot out that you feel like you’re going to start melting like that ice cream cone the kid walking down the street is enjoying, you can take a few loud slurps with the spoon and instantly cool off a few degrees (and when it’s that icky out no one minds a few loud slurps anyways).