It was a beautiful weekend in Des Moines. It was sunny and in the low 70s. Perfect for playing outside. We visited a park every day. This afternoon we went on a family bike ride to a park for a picnic and play time. Audrey was so excited she didn’t want to take off her helmet to eat. Elliot, meanwhile, refused to eat any food. He was not happy that we made him eat a few bites of chicken before he could run off to the playground.
Tonight, once the kids were tucked in, I got started on dinner for John and me – Pasta e Fagioli. I found the recipe in the latest issue of Cooks Country. Until I read the recipe the only think I knew about pasta fazool is that it was mentioned in the song That’s Amore. This soup is hearty and complex. John even liked it.
The soup is not pretty. I skipped the pancetta and chicken broth and used vegetable broth instead. I found that looking at knitting patterns while eating this soup was a perfect accompaniment. John preferred to pair the soup with buttered toast. To each their own.
I intended to have an ice cream sundae for dessert, as earlier in the day I made some of my Grandma Runchey’s hot fudge sauce. Sadly, I am too full from soup, so the ice cream will have to wait until tomorrow.
If you are craving a deep chocolate sauce on your ice cream I recommend this recipe. If you are looking for something chocolatey you can have a spoonful of when you have an intense craving for chocolate, I can also recommend this recipe. I use butter instead of oleo, because margarine isn’t my jam.
Well over 20 years ago my sister Mary-Claire gave me a cookbook with family recipes in it. She must have been in Jr. High at the time. I love that I get to see her writing when I make a recipe from the cookbook.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I hope your week is filled with delicious food and beautiful weather. Let’s make this week a good one.
Welcome to September. It doesn’t feel like fall yet, but after all of the running around we did this summer I’m ready to settle back into a routine. Being busy all summer and not wanting to cook in the heat has led to an unused kitchen and a vegetable deficient diet. I want to get back to cooking and eating healthy again. I’ve decided that September will be Souptember in our house. I’m committed to making soup at least once a week. I love soup. No one else in my family does. At the end of this month they will either be converted or I will have had soup for lunch every day. I’m OK with either outcome.
I made one of my favorite soups today: Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup. This spicy soup is filling and reheats well. It does not look pretty, but it tastes pretty great.
The recipe is from Rachel Ray’s Veggie Meals. It takes less than a half hour to put together, which means I can throw it together even when I’m in a time crunch.
Pumpkin and Black Bean Soup
1 T vegetable oil
1 T butter
1 chopped onion
1 can vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 can black beans
1 can pumpkin puree
1/2 c heavy cream (I use half and half)
1 1/2 t curry powder
2 t ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
Melt butter into oil over medium heat. Sautee onion until soft. Add broth, black beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, add cream and spices. Simmer 5 minutes, or until you can convince your kids to come to the table.
I hope you had a Souper Sunday.
Last weekend, over bland oatmeal at the hotel breakfast, Kathleen and I were waxing poetic about instant oatmeal packets. Sure, they are gluey and loaded with sugar, but in my memory they are amazing.
I wanted to make something that recreated that flavor, but with less sugar and more real food. So this morning I made easy peaches and cream oatmeal.
1 c water
1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c frozen peach slices
1/4 t cinnamon
2 t brown sugar
1 T half and half or milk or milk substitute
Put water, oats, frozen peaches, and cinnamon in a pan and bring to a simmer. Once the peaches have softened a bit use kitchen shears to cut them into smaller pieces. I suppose you could take them out and do that with a knife, but I found it easier to cut them up in the pot as they simmered away. When the oatmeal is done (I think it is supposed to be 3 minutes, but I usually cook them until the eggs are done or the table is set and it turns out fine), stir in sugar and half and half.
These are as good as the oatmeal that I remember, and they contain a full serving of fruit. The sugar can be adjusted based on your mood or the sweetness of the fruit you are using. I like that I always have these ingredients on hand, so I can whip it up whenever the mood strikes. I’ll be making it again soon, as Audrey is suddenly a big fan of oatmeal.