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Soup follow up + meatballs

Yesterday, I had soup issues.

It was far too hot last night to try to deal, so I got leftover pasta & meatballs from the deli counter – and somehow my local grocery store managed to almost exactly reproduce the flavor of Chef Boyardee.

Anyway, the weather broke overnight (now the high is only 90, and not nearly as humid), so I did some tinkering. Orzo was a brilliant suggestion, unfortunately I didn’t have any and my brain had already substituted Arborio rice for orzo, so rice went in instead of rice-shaped pasta.

I also added some ketchup and a dash of cayenne because ketchup is just like tomato paste, except with sugar and vinegar, and those sounds like things that might perk up the flavor, too.

I’ll be testing that hypothesis tonight.

So now I just have the following perishables in my fridge:
1/8 of a head of cabbage
1 zucchini
and some stock.

I reboiled the stock, so it’s good for another week in the fridge.

I’m thinking that carrots, zucchini, and cabbage would make a pretty nice thai stir fry with Prik Khing paste. And then I think I’d put that over noodles instead of rice because I have a box of noodles I want to finish up.

Meanwhile, I bought a package of ground turkey because it was less than $2/lb (my requirement for buying meat). So I seasoned it with the last of my roasted garlic, some worcestershire sauce, ground thyme, ground nutmeg, and ground white pepper. I debated putting some crushed mustard seed in because Penzey’s has that listed as an ingredient in their Bratwurst seasoning I’ve been meaning to try – but I chickened out of putting it in.

So, took that and made up hamburger patties, wrapped them in waxed paper, and put them in the freezer in freezer bags.

After I had filled two bags (10 patties), I added some bread crumbs and a little more than half of a scrambled egg, and made meatballs. The finished meatballs almost all fit into a little pint container. I was forced to eat the stragglers. *MMmmmm*

Oh noes – Wimpy Soup!

I made a Soupe au Pistou this weekend to be my dinner-that-would-only-require-a-microwave-since-it-is-icky-hot-here for the entire week.

Only it it weak. Limpid. A bit lacking in flavor and body.

And I suspect it’s because the recipe I was working from required tomato paste, and I left it out because 1) I had none, and 2) there are many pistou recipes that don’t call for tomato paste.

That’s not something you can add after the fact, is it?

What else can I do to give my soup some character?

Suggestions from comments: cook the tomato paste in some bacon grease and add it, throw in some orzo, a dollop of sriracha, Pasta, some herbs, cornstarch

What to serve at tea – Coronation Chicken, Roasted Tomatoes in Parmesan Cups, Stir Fry in Wonton Cups

A friend of mine at work is getting married. So when word came around that there might be a bridal shower, I mentioned that I studied little tea sandwiches in college.

…sadly, this is not much of an exaggeration.

So I am contributing at least part of the food.

Here be menu planning
Limiting conditions:

  • I don’t want to give anyone food poisoning
  • *maybe* a microwave for heating things
  • Everything should come out in one go and appear effortless
  • Guest of honor does not like seafood

Coronation chicken (maybe with sultanas) in parkerhouse rolls with a bit of lettuce
– pre-bought rolls
– container with chicken
– stuff at work

Roasted tomatoes with basil & feta in parmesan cups
make parmesan cups ahead of time, cool, and just put in a plastic bag to transport
– roast tomatoes that morning so they don’t have a chill from the refrigerator and that should be warm enough

Veggie (& Chicken?) stir-fry in wonton cups
– again, make cups ahead and bring in a bag – no not trip on the way to work
– microwave stir fry and fill cups – with as little liquid as possible because that makes for a nasty surprise

[Redacted]’s bacon horseradish dip on triskets
– pretty container that can just be opened and put on a serving tray

And maybe some real little sandwiches, but I don’t have much patience for them.
I think I like this web page for that, and the likeliest suspects are:

  • Cucumber sandwiches
  • Pepper Cheese sandwiches
  • and possibly my own egg salad recipe

Looting and Pillaging – Macy’s going out of business

After staying up until dawn reading Harry Potter fanfiction a few nights last week, by Friday everyone who talked to me was noticing that I was starting to come down with a cold – man, did I sound raspy and sexy.

Sadly, that meant canceling my lovely plans in New York because while I might not have yet been sick, I was pretty sure that a 2.5 hour bus ride, partying until late, and then a 2.5 hour bus ride back, might have put me over the edge.

Instead, I spent some time socializing with the cats I have been sitting on while their owner has been at Pennsic.

And then around 3:30ish on Saturday, I got a call from my mother that one of the department stores at a local mall was closing one of its two locations there – and things were on clearance. So we met up at the mall for some looting and pillaging before dinner.

I found two lovely large bowls, and I went for the one with a pretty color and a slightly sturdier feel. Turns out it’s designed by Calvin Klein – not sure that would have been a factor in its favor, if I had noticed before I bought it. Anyway, here is the lovely thing. $12 My mother has custody of it for now because I’m not sure where to store it. I’ve started thinking that I should start putting together a dowry for myself when I marry a larger house.

And then there were some small dishes that go perfectly with my black bowls from Target. I grabbed 9 little ingredient/dipping sauce and 5 of the little square plates you see in the bottom left of the picture here. The little bowls nestle nicely in the corner of the square plates, and I am having a craving to have people over for small plates… especially now that I have steamer baskets and a hankering for massive quantities of dim sum (I blame Vancouver).

Right – so who wants to enable me some time by coming over for a dinner made out of appetizers?

food front

It has been too hot to cook, so I made soup/stew at night over the weekend and have been making that last.

I had half a cabbage and (what I thought was) a spaghetti squash in my produce drawer, so I came up with a daring plan to try to make another soup/stew with the two of those, some ham, and chicken stock.

When I went to cut up the squash, however, it turned out to be a random asian melon.

It made a rather wonderful breakfast, but it was a surprise.