Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lots of Cooking!

In a nutshell, the rest of Belgium was amazing. We ate great fries in Brugge (and Antwerp), great waffles, and had an INCREDIBLE meal at a lovely restaurant in Brussels. We are SO sad to be home.

But, since I haven't started classes yet, we've had some opportunity for cooking. Here's what we've made:


It's the time of year where soup is divine. Plus, I find it an excellent lunch. So we've made the following soups:
  • Vegetable Soup - a big, big pot. I used it as a basis for a really lovely minestrone soup (which is quickly becoming something I'm REALLY good at)
  • Egg Drop Soup - with lots of spinach. Really, a lovely treat
  • Alma's Cooked Water Soup - From a Lidia Bastianich cook book. Basically, water and chard. Then, you use the broth to poach eggs for a great meal. It's a keeper, and will likely be better at the end of summer when chard is actually in season...

Along with the egg drop soup we made a stir fry of our own creation, with lots of veg. Super tasty and really simple


I tried a Vegetarian Times Israeli Couscous salad that turned out great. It had couscous, saffron, tomatoes, leeks, fennel, arugula and a sauce from veg broth. Again, might have been better when leeks are in season (although I LOVE winter, I hate the lack of great produce), but still, a real winner. We might make it with less couscous and more veg (or a protein source? Chickpeas!!) in the future.


Last night we made another VT recipe for chili with dark ale. I guess Belgium got to us?? It was simple - black beans, corn, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, cumin, onion, garlic, red pepper and beer (we used Brooklyn Brewery's Dark Chocolate Stout, since we have it) and let it get super thick. It was good, but a bit too bitter for me. (Darn sweet tooth!)


Last weekend my sister was in town and we invited our cousin to join us and her boyfriend for dinner. We had 2 bottles of wine, really good bread and cheese (thanks cus!), salad (thanks again cus!), minestrone and "make your own pizza." That was a hit! We had sauteed veg (mushrooms, onions, peppers), lots of seasonings and cheese. It was a hit! A really great thing to do for dinner.

Tonight is a bean casserole. The beans have been soaking and I'm excited to start cooking it. Next week, food prep will be mostly on the weekends since I start class again.

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