I’m sorry this post is coming to you so late. My excuses are work, game night, and changing of the roommates. However comma but, I have done some delightful cooking. Sadly, there are no pictures because I am the worst. Please enjoy.
So, this cooking and baking from the last few weeks includes, but is not limited to curried squash soup, purple cauliflower soup, fluffy pumpkin cookies, a
red purple velvet cake, harvest soup, the real rosemary applesauce, and ciabatta bread. Fall really makes me want to create food. I have to admit, former roommate Ellie made the curried squash and purple cauliflower soups. All I really did for those was taste them throughout the cooking process and eat them later. Both were very delicious, and I don’t have the recipes. However, I will discuss them a little more in depth below.
Curried squash soup: This soup had butternut squash, red lentils, onions, carrots, some tomato pureee, curry and some other ingredients I cannot recall at present. When we first made this soup, we left everything chunky, which is not my preference. Regardless, the soup was delicious and flavorful. Because both former roommate Ellie and I are Italian, we have very little control over the amount of food we produce. We have an innate drive to feed everyone, so we always end up with SO MUCH FOOD. There was so much soup left over, but don’t you fret your pretty little head, because I turned it into other food, aka Carolyne pretends she can make Indian inspired foods. That experiment consisted of me blending the soup, putting chunks of chicken breast in it, and pouring it over basamati rice. Delicious. Just thinking of it makes me want to eat some now, even if it is 10:30 PM.
Purple cauliflower soup: Ellie bought this beautiful purple cauliflower from the farmers market and decided it would become soup. We conjectured a very pretty soup with vibrant purple color. What we got was dingy lavender color, but a damn delicious soup. I’m not entirely sure what Ellie did to create this soup, as it was nearly finished when I got home from work this past Tuesday. Again, we had so much soup leftover, mainly because the cauliflower was ginormous. It was about the size of a beach ball. I happily at the rest of the soup all week.
Fluffy pumpkin cookies: This was my contribution to Tuesday’s meal. These cookies are like warm, plush pockets of pumpkiny goodness. I liked them best just out of the oven and sans cream cheese frosting, which could be a little overpowering. Ellie made the frosting because she’s better at it, and I’m not big into frosting. I like my cookies naked.
Red Purple velvet cake: It all started when my good friend, Wesley, became an employee of my company, and thusly had to move up to the middle of nowhere Upstate New York and become my current roommate. I firmly believe that most occasions deserve cake or cookies or any baked good, really, so naturally Wesley received an “employment cake” of his choosing. He decided on a red velvet cake. Now, Anne, I must divulge a secret; I’m terrible at making red velvet cakes/cupcakes. I don’t know what it is about this cake, but we are not agreeable. I think a part of it is that this cake requires that I have abnormal amounts of red food coloring on hand, which I infrequently do not. This excursion was no different. I had an ounce bottle and one of the little gnome-like bottles of red food coloring, which was not enough to equal two full ounces, so I decided to use blue food coloring, which produced a beautifully rich aubergine cake. I also have to say that I am not fond of eating red velvet because of all the food coloring. I don’t care that food dyes might give me cancer because SO MANY THINGS in this world can give me cancer, but I feel like such a large amount of food coloring alters the taste of the cake. I made cream cheese frosting to go with the cake, and it was okay — not as good as Ellie’s, but not terrible. Ultimately, Wesley liked the cake. The cake did get better as the week went on. Maybe it just needed to sit?
Harvest soup: Anne, I definitely messed this one up. I was loosely using this recipe, but was throwing in whatever else I had in my kitchen that needed to be used. (Please note that everything but the broth, pepper, and olive oil came from my local farmers market — even the celery.) I had a leek that needed to be used, so I put it in the soup, and it killed the soup. I’ve done that with leeks before. I think because they have a slightly onion-y taste, they can be used liked onions, but that is not true at all. At. All. So, then I had a giant pot of soup that didn’t taste great, but I could not bear to throw it out, so I pondered my options. I decided to add a sweet potato and some more salt and pepper and an obscene amount of curry and pour it over rice like the curried squash soup earlier in this post. Note: the curry made this SO MUCH BETTER! I threw some cubed chicken breast in it, too.
Rosemary applesauce: I did it right this time. The fresh rosemary made all the difference; it dries out during the cooking, so the flavor is infused into the apples. It’s actually a pretty good applesauce. I think I need to make some pork medallions or pork chops as a vehicle for this applesauce, and I tried putting it on my morning oatmeal. Note: This applesauce is not meant to be poured over oatmeal. That was most certainly not a breakfast of champions.
Ciabatta bread: Ah, bread. The only bread I feel I’ve successfully made is your no-knead bread, which is great toasted with cream cheese. However, I’ve been trying my hand at ciabatta for quite a while. Ciabatta is a nice Italian peasant bread with a hard crust. It doesn’t help that I’m using a vague recipe from my mother, which is apparently the Italian way to cook/bake. The moral of this story is my bread isn’t as good as my mom’s, even if it is perfectly okay.
So, my dear Anne, I will try to do a better job at keeping you updated in my culinary adventures, especially as we go into the holiday season. I am so very excited about all the holiday baking I’m planning to do.
Luff and stuff,