It’s a snow day. I don’t currently have a paying job–this isn’t to say I don’t work– but I’m still thrilled to think I needn’t go anywhere and perhaps could be excused from accomplishing anything. Too many years of kids in the house or teaching makes me stand up and cheer when the school closings begin. Usually I spend the day in the kitchen with a big pot of soup bubbling away –and I’m about to do that after I’m done with the blog– but today a little perking dream took life.
This week marks Colorado’s 140th birthday…and the Olathe Sweet Corn Festival! In honor of those happy occasions, a soup based on our famous Olathe (pronounced o-LAY-tha) sweet corn seemed right for dinner. While I make lots of soup come cold weather, I do still make it in the summer–just not quite as often. Continue reading
It’s just beginning to warm up in Colorado Springs, but I’m already balking at long-cooking times and big plates of hot food.
Blooming milkweed with swallowtail in my yard. Read about it here.
Or maybe it’s time for Dave, my trusty sous and husband, to cook on the grill and give me a break.
To cook for friends is fun. I adore it. To cook for family is something more. Enjoying my extended brood, even for breakfast, is a highlight in my week. Last Thursday, my eldest son Sean and his wife Jami, along with grandchildren Rhyan and Piper, had a few appointments in our city and I said, “Why don’t you come beforehand and have breakfast with us?” It mean they got up at odarkearly, but there weren’t too many complaints and Grandma was happy to have the challenge of a wheat, egg, dairy, peanut, and pineapple-free meal to cook. Continue reading
Yesterday as I thought about what dinner might bring, I kept going back to some salmon fillets I had squirreled away in the freezer. The weather had warmed up — no snow except on the Peak — and grilling was back online. Note sun on the lentils….
There was also a pound of fat asparagus waiting for its dip in the olive oil bath before grilling (contrary to popular opinion thicker asparagus has more taste than the skinny variety), but as good as all that sounded, I thought there was something missing. A bed for the protein to rest in, so to speak. We were hungry, for goodness sake. We needed something that would make for another night’s meal all by itself or for a couple of lunches, but that would cushion the blow of the salmon on the plate. Continue reading
There’s little better pot of gold in the fridge than a lentil salad. Make that curried lentil salad and we’re nudging platinum; you’re rich! Full of protein (add rice for a complete protein), fiber, color, texture, and nutrients, it’s a hefty and quick supper that translates into a week’s lunches at home or work as it travels so perfectly well. Tuck it into a pita or a tortilla. Warm a big spoonful and eat with scrambled eggs; it will love you all the more. See below.
Lentils are that perfect landscape upon which almost anything can be planted, grown, and harvested. They’re a warming winter soup or a trusty spring salad. They’re a platter for big hunks of protein when need be.
I occasionally buy too many vegetables because I’m crazy about them. That’s pretty close to how it is. While I like fruit, I love vegetables. I really like meat; I adore fish. But vegetables just do something for me. It has often occurred to me that I’m so attracted to them because they exist in infinite variety, colors, shapes, tastes, textures, sizes, and even styles–think Thai or Japanese eggplant and see below…
Meat comes in brown.
Mid-winter, the perverse cook in me always has a hankering for a grilled burger and potato salad. Mid-summer, I crave chili. Given the weather in Colorado, I often am able to fulfill my deepest wishes right down to the sun or cold wind to go along with the meal. It isn’t a real oddity to see 65 degrees in January or 45 in July. It happens. Somehow out-of-season dishes occasionally rear their pesky heads.
The other day wasn’t so terribly warm, but it wasn’t cold either. In fact, I was making tomato soup and just wanted something real to go with it. A couple leeks languished in the fridge next to some waning baby zucchini; a big paper box of mushrooms nearly cried foul from the crisper.
What was a girl to do?
A quick bang of the cupboards–a favorite occupation– showed up a few packages of Minnesota wild rice* and, while wild rice has a truly indefinite shelf life (no joke), it sounded fine, just fine. While I wasn’t quite sure how the meal would come together, I trusted in the spirit of the rice* and began to cook. I was sure that by the time it was done — it takes nearly an hour–I would have figured out dinner. I was right. Try this luscious bowlful, which just happens to be both vegetarian and gluten-free, and is also simply altered for a vegan version. (See bold green notes for vegan version.) Continue reading
Done in under a half hour, this lusty (I almost said perky, but perky it isn’t) soup just about jumped out of the pot, put its arms around me, and begged me to eat it. Wonderful for the I-ate-too-many-chocolates post-holiday cooking time, you can skip the fresh basil, if you still haven’t gotten to the store, and add Herbes de Provence or a combination of dried oregano and basil. Easily vegan and gluten-free (with a few changes or lack of a garnish), this meal will heat everyone up despite the weather. It’s sunny, but snowy … Continue reading