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Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse

Many people have traditional holiday dishes they prepare year after year with no thought of deviation.  I don’t fall into that group of people because;  A) I’m not traditional and B) every holiday throughout the year is an opportunity to try something new and Christmas […]

No Knead Fougasse

No Knead Fougasse

[shareprints gallery_id=”4992″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”large” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]In French cuisine, Fougasse is a type of bread typically associated with the Provençe region but also found in other areas of France.  Fougasse is the French word for focaccia, a […]

Sausage Soup

Sausage Soup

[shareprints gallery_id=”4984″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]It’s been an unusually warm December, who’s complaining, right?  Thank you El Niño, us Minnesotan’s are enjoying your wave of warmth!  But while the milder-than-usual winter weather is anathema to skiers and snowboarders, it doesn’t phase this amateur chef cooking up a storm in her kitchen!

Today we’re talking soup.  Sausage Soup.  A weird name for soup if you ask me.  I was recently introduced to Sausage Soup while visiting New England where we had lunch at a restaurant called Bertucci’s.  Between the soup and the crusty bread, I fell madly in love and knew it was something I was going to have to create in my own kitchen.  Well after hearing me rave so much about this soup, my colleague found a copy-cat recipe for me on Pinterest.  How in the world did we ever survive in life without Pinterest?

Let’s get started and oh by the way, this recipe was adapted from bertuccisathome.blogspot.com

My Favorite Season – Fall

My Favorite Season – Fall

When the summer sun fades and crisp autumn temperatures creep up on us, I intentionally seek out activities where I can walk hand-in-hand with nature.  It’s the season where I seem to become more active.  Or maybe it’s just that I know my days are […]

Kicked Up Shrimp

Kicked Up Shrimp

In an effort do eat-down the stockpile of food in my pantry, I whipped together this shrimp dish that has so many possibilities!  Let’s get to it…

Kitchen Cupboard Evacuation Plan

Kitchen Cupboard Evacuation Plan

With my daughter and her family moving in for a short time, I’ve been busy trying to deplete my cupboards like it’s a Red Cross evacuation.  I need to make space for the usual children’s school lunch items and basic snack favorites to satisfy those hungry little tummies.  I’m not exactly sure what those snacks will be, but I do know it’s most likely not anything I currently have in my pantry and cupboards.

In the process of this evacuation I encountered several items that were purchased with a purpose in mind.  Like yellow split peas.  I’m sure they were intended for soup of some sort, perhaps something Moroccan?  Being I had smoked a chicken, I quickly turned them into a delicious smoky chicken split pea soup.

The mission continued as I came to the realization I have enough in my pantry to feed the entire county. Stocking up for Y2K clearly has stayed with me, in fact, I have items that expired in 2000!  For those that haven’t expired, I need to come up with a plan to eat down my pantry.  How can one person have so much food?  Am I a food hoarder?  I don’t think so but I do have a food obsession of some sort, actually I like to think of it as a passion rather than an obsession.

There really is some cool stuff in my pantry too, like chocolate cups.  These are screaming a French theme dinner party.[shareprints gallery_id=”4922″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Or these petite appetizer bowls.  Perhaps intended for Superbowl Sunday?  They would be yummy filled with tarragon chicken salad.[shareprints gallery_id=”4926″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Check out these adorable cookie and cake decorating sugars?  I see cupcakes in The Hurricane and Little Mister’s future![shareprints gallery_id=”4928″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]I discovered a couple of boxes of Lipton Onion a Soup mix.  I could probably use these in braised beef or pork roast now that comfort food season is just around the corner.

Long grain white rice, sushi rice, jasmine rice, brown rice, wild rice, spelt, Israeli couscous,quinoa….carbolicious, if I do say so myself.  The recipe development could be never-ending with all this rice and “hotdish” season.

[shareprints gallery_id=”4932″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Mustard, mustard and more mustard.  The only thing missing is brats, beer and some hot guys in lederhosen serving them.  Octoberfest at the homecienda![shareprints gallery_id=”4930″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Pappardelle noodles, mmmmmm, and the aroma of Beef Daube….[shareprints gallery_id=”4933″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Rice noodles….Pad Thai anyone?  The Cupboard Evacuation is sure to stir me in the direction of creating a few good recipes.  I imagine the rice noodles with a New Orleans twist, like tossing together Cajun seasoning, red, green and yellow sweet peppers, these dried peppers and call it Noodles on the Bayou.[shareprints gallery_id=”4944″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Cajun Shore lunch would make a great coating on deep-fried chicken tenders tossed in buffalo sauce….which would help put a dent in the 3 bottles of hot sauce I have in my pantry.[shareprints gallery_id=”4934″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]I have tea for every health ailment and health benefit under the sun![shareprints gallery_id=”4946″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]Being somewhat conservative (when it comes to wasting anyway) I’ve decided to focus on using what I have in my pantry over the next several weeks.  In the process of this evacuation I learned that all this stocking up just isn’t necessary.  I’m sure I had good intentions with many items but somehow time got away from those well intended purchases.

I have plenty of non-perishable mainstays too that will always have a space in my pantry like kidney beans, black beans, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato juice and diced tomatoes along with my beloved coconut milk and red curry sauce which I turned into a fish stew for dinner.  These are all frequently used items so you can never have enough of any of them. [shareprints gallery_id=”4937″ gallery_type=”slider” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]
On the other hand I also got to face the music on some poor purchases like lemon extract and orange extract.  Not being a baker, I have no clue of their intent and am reminded of what not to buy in the future. Hmmmm, I wonder if it was to flavor vodka?  Who knows![shareprints gallery_id=”4936″ gallery_type=”masonry” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]I find it quite strange that I treat my refrigerator differently.  You would think it would be bursting at the seals with all kinds of open jars of contents used once.  But honestly when I open a jar I make sure I use it all up fairly quickly.  Like roasted tomatoes, easy to use up on a salad or in an egg bake.  I did purchase a 1/2 lb brick of tamarind that’s been in there since Easter….all I needed was a tablespoon, oops!

I’m challenging myself to use one item a day to eat down the over-stock of food in my cupboards and in the process I’ll create new recipes.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?  If they turn out well, I’ll be sure to share them on my blog.

Could your pantry use a good clean-out?  I challenge you to a Cupboard Evacuation!  Please feel free to comment on your findings and what you plan on doing with them.

I’m off to figure out what to do with all this tamarind…thank goodness for Google!

Lynn

 

Vintage Cookbooks

Vintage Cookbooks

I’ve been in the process of cleaning out closets lately as I make room for my daughter, her hub and children who will be moving in with me while their new home is being built.  The panic of chaos I’m about to undergo prompted the urge organize before Lynn […]

Life on the Road

Life on the Road

I hear from my friends all the time, wow, you sure travel a lot.  Do you like that?  You go to some neat places, I see your photos on Facebook. As a matter of fact, I do enjoy traveling for my job and yes, it […]

Smoked Chicken and Corn Soup

Smoked Chicken and Corn Soup

I love the convenience of a one-dish meal simmering on my stovetop.  And yes, even though we’re in the heat of summer, that doesn’t stop me from making a pot of soup.  Over the weekend I smoked a chicken knowing I’d have leftovers to create a savory soup during the week.  Now don’t let the smoked chicken scare you, this recipe can be easily created with a store bought, fully cooked rotisserie chicken.  In my kitchen the key word you need to learn is “improvise” and there’s plenty of room for that in this recipe.  The flavor and textures of this soup were out of this world, I guarantee you’ll love the mild smoky flavor.

Baked Egg Galettes

Baked Egg Galettes

[shareprints gallery_id=”4760″ gallery_type=”squares” gallery_position=”pos_center” gallery_width=”width_100″ image_size=”medium” image_padding=”0″ theme=”dark” image_hover=”false” lightbox_type=”slide” titles=”true” captions=”true” descriptions=”true” comments=”true” sharing=”true”]My favorite part of the weekend is waking up on Sunday morning and making breakfast or brunch if I have guests coming, like I did today.  I enjoy hanging out in […]