Saturday, October 20, 2012

Christopher Kimball Does Not Approve of This French Onion Soup

No such thing as a pretty picture of French onion soup. Okay, there is, just not here.
When you come home cranky and tired late on a Friday, and your partner arrives soon after, having consumed nothing but a G&T and bar snacks, what better recipe for domestic bliss than caramelizing onions for 45 minutes before you can even think about starting to cook?

There were tears, but only from cutting onions.

The CSA had sent us a bag of onions each of the previous two weeks, so we reprised Ray's French onion soup. Changes this time

  • Instead of 2-3 onions, we used ALL THE ONIONS (maybe 12 smallish onions, some with spoiled parts removed)
  • Chicken bouillon cubes instead of beef stock (all we had)
  • Cider instead of brandy (Ben saw us sweating the onions and brought me a bottle from the fridge, so it was in my hand and half-drunk while cooking)
  • Hunk of rosemary lopped off the top of my plant instead of proper bouquet garni
A pretty good easy fall dinner. Don't skip broiling the bread and cheese on top!

P.S. He would disapprove of the way we cook around here, but I sort of loved the New York Times Magazine piece on Christopher Kimball and Cook's Illustrated last week: Cooking Isn't Creative and It Isn't Easy.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mushroom Surprise

You might remember our feisty mushroom growing kit from last winter. By tossing the mycelium block into a plastic storage bin and feeding it new coffee grounds (thanks, Johnny D's!), we managed to grow a couple more mushroom crops over the spring and summer.

When we moved, the block was pretty spent, so I stuck it in a cabinet and forgot about it. (It's the "Teresa's creepy science projects" cabinet: mushrooms on top and worms on the bottom.)

Fast forward four or five weeks, and we noticed that the cabinet was slightly ajar.

Here's what it looked like inside. Yum! Jack fried them up for dinner.

P.S. There is a lid on the plastic container. The mushrooms figured out how to get out through where it hinges.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Foodie Penpals: September

September was my second month as part of Foodie Penpals, a blogger food swap organized by The Lean Green Bean. You send a package of foodie treats (spending limit $15) to a food blogger or food blog reader (mine was a lactose-free selection for April in Montgomery, Alabama), and someone else sends one to you.

My penpal was Katie from Knoxville, Tennessee, who writes Fitness, Food and Photography. I came home to her box on a Friday after a long week at work, and it's possible that I immediately opened the sweet potato chips and ate them in bed while reading comic books. (The BBQ habanero almonds, on the other hand, I spirited away to work, where I wouldn't have to share them.)

I'd told Katie that we'd just moved, and she very sweetly sent some spices and staples to stock our new cabinets. The most on-topic for this blog is the Weber Kick'n Chicken seasoning, which she promised was good on grilled vegetables as well as meat, and which we've already enjoyed on potatoes and pasta and in a CSA-leftovers cabbage and carrot stir-fry.

The most mind-blowing item was the Biscoff spread, which I gather is a Foodie Penpals thing (Katie says she was introduced to it by one of her penpals, and I've seen it on a few other blogs). It is a sweet spread made of cookies. Speculoos (spicy ginger cookies), to be precise. So you can take your cookies and spread them on toast or pretzels or other cookies, because nothing isn't better with cookies spread on it. (If you're feeling decadent, you can use the Nutella, too.)