Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I had the "luck o' the Irish" to share this recipe on a favorite blog of mine, Ma Nouvelle Mode.  It seems appropriate to share it here today in case you missed the guest post.

This ol' blog world has many green beverages, green snacks, and green desserts this time of year.  I wanted to give you something out of the norm but still delicious.  Please warm up with this soup and have a fantastic St. Patrick's Day!

Green Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart vegetable broth or stock
1 large (about 9-ounce) russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 pounds any mixed greens, like spinach, Swiss chard, bok choy, etc., torn into pieces
2 tablespoons dry sherry or dry white wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Packaged crispy onions for garnish, optional

In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Increase temperature to high, add vegetable broth and potato, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.

Stir beans and greens into pot.  Continue to simmer 5 to 10 minutes more, until potato is fork-tender and greens are wilted.  Pour soup into blender container, in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth.  Return soup to pot and stir in sherry, salt, and pepper, and warm through.  Serve in bowls with parsley and/or crispy onions sprinkled on top, if desired.  Makes 8 (1-cup) servings, 2 points plus for Weight Watchers or 125 calories each.

Note:  Like many soups and stews, if you have the time to make it a day ahead, the flavors will meld together and the soup will be even tastier.

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Secret

It's time to let you in on a little secret.  Time .  is  .  getting  .  away  .  from  .  me.  With a (fairly) new job and an upcoming wedding in our family, my time is filled with a myriad of mind boggling details.  Dinner these days is comprised of old standbys and quick combinations of things laying around the kitchen.  My passion for recipe development is sadly on hold as I put other things first.

I will be sharing with you less often.  Please use the tried and true recipes you have seen on these pages up till now and know that I'll return when time permits.  I have grown to love those of you who loyally come along side me and enjoy my recipes.  Thank you many times over.

I leave you for now with a creamy pudding recipe.  Oranges sat on my patio table, having fallen off our windblown tree. They made me dream of orange for breakfast, orange for lunch, and orange for dinner.  And then for dessert,  I dreamed up this pudding to use orange again.

With this recipe, you will have the richest, sweetest pudding - and you won't need to open a box to make it!  Even better, there will be no guilt in indulging.  Be sure to lick every bit off your spoon.

Chocolate Orange Pudding

2 cups plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, divided
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest (use a microplane if you have one)
Pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fresh berries for garnish, optional

Pour 2 cups almond milk into medium saucepan and place over medium low heat.  In small bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, orange zest, and salt.  Add remaining 3 tablespoons almond milk and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

When bubbles form around edge of saucepan and milk is hot, whisk in sugar mixture.  Raise heat to medium and cook, whisking often, until boiling and thick.  It should take about 20 minutes.  Pour into 5 small bowls and cover with plastic wrap that touches pudding to prevent skin from forming. 

Place in refrigerator to chill and finish thickening.  Before serving, garnish with berries if desired.  Makes 5 servings, 2 points plus for Weight Watchers or 111 calories each.