Monday, February 25, 2013

The Case of Pumpkin Pie Soup and A PURSE TO DIE FOR (E-book Version) is Free on Amazon March 1-4!

Last fall when Karl and I went to a soup festival, I fell in love with a pumpkin pie soup. Kind of like going to a music festival and falling in love with a drummer...but not quite.

I created my own Pumpkin Pie Soup at home based on my Carrot Ginger Soup Reincarnated recipe. I used butternut squash instead of carrots (no fresh pumpkin this time of year in Black Currant Bay), eliminated the lemon juice, substituted pumpkin pie spices for the original spices and sweetened the dish with a little more honey. Then I garnished with Whipped Evaporated 2% Milk and minced roasted pumpkin seeds. 

Yes, it's possible to whip evaporated milk just like whipping cream and it's the coolest thing! Freeze evaporated milk in a bowl for half an hour or so. Whip and when it's almost forming peaks, whip in a little sugar and vanilla.

Pumpkin Pie Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1-1/2 lb pumpkin, chopped
19-oz can chick peas, rinsed
6 cups water
6 rounded tsps (for 6 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
3 tbsps honey
salt
pepper
Whipped Evaporated 2% Milk
roasted pumpkin seeds, minced

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 5 min. Add the pumpkin pie spices and sauté 30 sec. Add the pumpkin, chick peas, water, vegetable bouillon powder and honey and simmer, covered, for 30 min.

Purée (wear an oven mitt and press down firmly on the blender lid because hot liquids erupt).

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Garnish with the Whipped Evaporated 2% Milk and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4.


YOURS, BECKI GREEN. TO LEAVE ME (AND CYNTHIA) A MESSAGE, CLICK ON THE COMMENT BUTTON BELOW.

Friday, February 15, 2013

"Elementary, my dear Watson" and The Case of Nachos with Tomato Black Bean Salsa

Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. Karl and I watch Elementary. The tagline is New Holmes. New Watson. New York. Jonny Lee Miller stars as a quirky, modern Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock's cocaine and morphine use in the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle stories is cleverly updapted in this new series.

In both the original stories and in Elementary, Sherlock makes stunning conclusions based on careful observation. A fabulous gig for actor Jonny Lee. I bet he hates that everyone brings up the fact that he was Angelina Jolie's first husband. Juicy tidbit nonetheless, don't you think?

Lucy Liu co-stars as faithful Dr. Watson. She plays her part with strength and subtlety to the point I'm inclined to consider her the breakout star of the show.

Then there's Aidan Quinn, my sister's movie star crush. Anne told me once that if she ever had a son, she'd name him Aidan. Here he plays Captain Toby Gregson of the NYPD.

I'm sure the name Moriarty rings a bell. Irene Adler? Do you remember that Conan Doyle's Sherlock played the violin? You'll notice these references woven into the current tale and you'll be very, very pleased because they're Elementary.

If a solid hour of vicarious crime solving gives you the munchies, may I suggest you make yourself a plate of nachos? Home-made nachos totally eclipse restaurant/bar nachos. Why? Because just like in the case of the TV remote, you're in charge!

  • You can ensure that even the bottom layer has plenty of the good stuff.
  • Black olives? Diced avocado? Diced mango? It's fine to fool around with toppings.
  • You can bake your nachos just enough so that the cheese melts or you can leave them in the oven until the edges of the chips toast a dark golden brown.
  • Make your nachos snack-size or meal-size as you wish.
  • You ensure the quality and the freshness of every single ingredient on your plate.

Here's a basic recipe to start you off.    

Nachos with Tomato Black Bean Salsa

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
19-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 red onion (approximately 1/2-cup volume), chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup lime juice
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt
380-g-bag tortilla chips (Tostitos Restaurant Style are nice)
200 g Monterey Jack cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Combine the tomatoes, black beans, red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, cumin seeds and salt to taste.

Spread a layer of tortilla chips on 4 oven-proof plates. Distribute half the salsa on top. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Cover with another layer of chips, then salsa, then cheese.

Bake for 15 min.

Serves 4.


YOURS, BECKI GREEN. TO LEAVE ME (AND CYNTHIA) A MESSAGE, CLICK ON THE COMMENT BUTTON BELOW.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Case of Roasted Winter Vegetables and Wishing You a Happy Valentine's Day!

Here's my winter challenge. The sun sets so early that when I make dinner it's already too dark to take photos in natural light, and the fact is I've been avoiding flash food photography. So this afternoon, I prepped enough vegetables for my sweetheart and me, took photos (including this one), then stored everything in the refrigerator until closer to suppertime.

Now to dream up a menu that includes something as simple to prepare and as appetising as Roasted Winter Vegetables for February 14th. Must serve chocolate for dessert!

Roasted Winter Vegetables
 
24 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
4 carrots, sliced on a diagonal
14 baby red potatoes, halved
1 medium red onion, cut in wedges
vegetable seasoning
4 tbsps olive oil
4 tbsps lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400ºF.
 
Place the Brussels sprouts, carrots, baby red potatoes and onion on a 9” X 13” pan. Drizzle with the olive oil, and generously sprinkle with vegetable seasoning. Toss to coat the vegetables.
 
Roast for 40 min.
 
Remove from oven and toss with the lemon juice.
 
Serves 4.


YOURS, BECKI GREEN. TO LEAVE ME (AND CYNTHIA) A MESSAGE, CLICK ON THE COMMENT BUTTON BELOW.