We have lemons this year!
It’s been a while. The dwarf Meyer lemon tree I bought at the farmers market in the Bay almost 5 years ago has been through a lot. Pots on a balcony then in a backyard, mild Bay temps, hot Central Valley temps…
But it’s been in the ground for at least a year now, and it seems happy. If you can define happy by about 40 lemons.
I always pass those multi-bean mixes when I’m perusing the bulk bin section at the supermarket. I’m tempted to buy them, but then I wonder how all those different varieties will cook together. I make enough beans and lentils to know that cooking times and textures vary.
Honestly, it’s taken me a long time to figure it all out and keep track of what results in the perfect bean in my book. No reason to ruin the good thing I’ve got going.
But last week, there I was again, staring at the mother of all bean mixes – 13 bean and lentil mix.
I know what you might be thinking. Another butternut squash soup recipe? Aren’t there enough of those?
Honestly, I was thinking the same then when I started making this.
I love winter squash soup this time of year, but I’ll be the first to admit that I get bored of the flavor. I stepped it up by adding scotch bonnet pepper a long while back, but I wasn’t in the mood for that. I also didn’t want it to become sweet. Savory butternut squash soups are the best, in my opinion.
I finally settled on brown butter.
This broccoli cashew soup is blended until creamy and garnished with curry chickpeas and cashews.
It’s pretty plain and simple how most of my recipes come about. I just like to experiment.
When there is a new ingredient that is all the rage or an old one that is being used in a new way, I simply want to see how it might work in some of my old favorites.
The ingredient of choice for the past little while has been cashews. You’ve probably seen how they can be turned into a creamy sauce. They are also being used to make a cheese-like product. It’s pretty fascinating if you are into that sort of thing. And I am.
A while back I made some creamed corn with cashew and recently I decided to see how the blended nuts would be in a broccoli cashew soup.
I’ve never been a huge fan of chilled soups, but lately they’ve had my full attention. A couple weeks ago I tried a new chilled cucumber soup, and this past week I was inspired to start working on this tomatillo soup.
I expect it probably has a lot to do with the heat, but I promised I wouldn’t spend all summer talking about that.
Let’s focus on the soup.
I feel a bit of urgency to get this post published so I’ll make it quick. I know it’s still spring in most of the country, but around here, it’s starting to heat up. Now, I’m a person who can eat soup any time of year, but I know a lot of people who consider it the kind of comfort food reserved for cooler days. So before you jump both feet into summer salads, there is this quick pozole, or pork hominy soup, that you should definitely try.
It’s that time of year again. Resolutions, goals, promises and changes consume us all as we move into a brand new year. I like to give the holidays my full, undivided attention, so it usually takes me a week or two into January before I’m ready to start thinking ahead.
Just like the past four years, I’m continuing Chris Brogan’s practice of selecting My Three Words to guide my year. I like this method so much more than resolutions and goal setting. At the core, it really is a type of resolution and goal setting, but choosing the words has this unique way of being general so that it can apply to many areas of your life while also giving focus.
Soon, we’ll be frantically running out to the supermarket to get overlooked ingredients. Soon, we’ll forget what it’s like to shop during the holidays and find ourselves elbowing our way to a check-out line. Soon, we’ll be waiting in line at the post office (something we swore we’d never do again) to get gifts mailed before the last possible hour.
Soon, no matter how hard we try to stay in control, things are going to get crazy.
I love the holiday season, crazy or not. So I say bring it on! As long as I have some lights sparkling in the living room and cookies in the oven at some point throughout the season, I’ll take it.
From the Vietnamese bread and fillings to tangy pickled vegetables, you can create your own restaurant-style sandwich at home with the help of The Banh Mi Handbook and this Hanoi Grilled Chicken.
I read about the Vietnamese Banh Mi long before I ever had the opportunity to take my first bite. I knew about the soft, but crusty bread, the numerous meat fillings, pickled veggies, hot peppers and the finishing touch of cilantro.
Often when you know this much about a food before you try it, you set yourself up for disappointment. Not so with this sandwich. I had built up in my head what the combination of those flavors would be, and it was better than I anticipated.
I’m not picky about my banh mi. I like the classic version I can grab for $3.50 when passing through Oakland’s Chinatown just as much as I like the fancy version for $10 filled with local, pastured lemongrass chicken that I get at food trucks.
There is an art to it though, don’t you think? It’s not something that I had considered making at home because, while it seems easy, man is it hard to get those flavors right.
I love the little cans of chipotles in adobo. I do. But every time I buy one I’m reminded that they may be the reason that phrases like – a little goes a long way – were created. I can never seem to find use for more than one pepper out of the can at a time.
My point being, I have another chipotle recipe to share. So here’s to hoping you like things spicy!