thanksgiving 2008
November 30, 2008, 5:50 am
Filed under: Cooking/Food, just life | Tags: , ,

Sights and smell of the holiday season which has just begun.

Thanksgiving brunch with Ivy, lots of good coffee, cooking with Amy and Nevo and Tosca (who is camera shy), mashed potatoes, green bean casserole–Alton Brown style, Thanksgiving Dinner at Jackie’s (forgot my camera), more cooking the next day with Amy, cranberry orange relish, orange glazed yams, brussels sprouts, tree lighting–all done with spritely christmas music.  I love this time of the year.


ain’t it a pretty night
November 16, 2008, 11:19 pm
Filed under: Cooking/Food | Tags: , , ,


You know how Post-It was an accidental invention and that some of the best creations in history were results of trials and mishaps? My dinner tonight was almost that, except I dare not call it the best in history. Perhaps it is the best in my soup-making history.

The dinner choices on this cool, tranquil Sunday night were either Indian or Italian–frozen dinners which fill my freezer.  Hidden behind the prepared frosty goodness were veggies–spinach, corn, peas. Suddenly, vegetable soup sounded perfect.  The only fresh vegetable I had on hand was my recent new favorite, brussels sprouts. No, I didn’t grow up with my parents forcing me to eat the vociferous green, so I never developed an aversion to it.  In fact, after reading about its bounty health benefits, and seeing them handsomely displayed at Whole Foods, I had to try them.

I chopped up some onions and garlic, threw the brussels sprouts, frozen corn, spinach, and peas into a pot and started sauteeing, not knowing what to do next.  Then I found a bottle of Bitton brand Rosemary, Thyme, & Vanilla Oil that my dear friend Amy, whose effortless but delectable soups I often crave (and whose spice cabinet is inspiring!), gave me recently. The label on the bottle said that it’ll be an excellent soup so in the pot it went.  I opened up my measly spice drawer and randomly picked out some dried thyme, coriander, and black pepper (a must for me) to go into the soup.

As the soup simmered away, all the frozen vegetables began to liquefy except for the thewy brussels sprouts. Even for me who likes brussel sprouts, the soups was not looking particularly appetizing.  Some visual changes had to be done.  In went the hand held blender.

The soup turned out to be excellent!  I had a nice soup, bread, prosciutto and cheese dinner with my roommate. It’s an accidental success that needs some tweaking and improving.

Brussels Sprouts Veggie Soup

1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 medium size onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach

5 heads of brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved

2 tbs. olive oil

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tbs Bitton Rosemary, Thyme & Vanilla Oil

2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth

2 cups vegetable broth (or double chicken broth)

salt & pepper to taste

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil on medium low heat until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add in brussels sprouts for a couple of minutes, then add in spinach, corn, and peas.  Season with coriander, thyme, and flavored oil.  Add in broth, turn heat on high.  Once soup comes to a boil, turn heat down to low and simmer for 7 minutes until vegetables are soft.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Turn heat off, use hand held blender to puree soup, or ladle soup mixture into conventional blender in batches.  Be careful of hot liquids.

Serve with bread and cheese.  Serves 4.