‘Tis the season … for colds and flu, that is. Our house is recovering from a doozy of a bug right now, and I got the worst of it. It’s been a full week, and my appetite is still all but nonexistent.
Strange how foods from childhood creep back into your consciousness when you’re sick. For me, one of the only foods I’ve been able to think about for the past week (without wanting to hurl) is Campbell’s chicken noodle soup. Briny, salty, comforting.
I had a different recipe planned for today, but it was going to involve some work this weekend … and an evil little stomach bug had different plans for me. But you don’t want to know anything more about that.
I was actually going to save this Thai Green Curry Lentil Soup for March. Even though it’s not really all that green, with its green lentils and green curry, I thought it would still be perfect for the holiday that’s all about green – St. Patrick’s Day. But I’ve been eager to share it with you for awhile now, so this ended up being a great excuse.
If you owned a Vietnamese pho restaurant, what would you name it? Around here, we have “What the Pho?”, “Pho Shizzle,” and then there’s just straight-up “Pho King.” I guess if I opened a pho (pronounced “fuh”) place, I’d have a hard time resisting getting punny, too. Maybe I’d call mine “Pho the Love of All That is Good and Holy.”
Orrrr … yeah. Maybe I’ll just make vegetarian pho from scratch at home now and then, and that’ll be plenty good enough.
We celebrated my daughter’s second (!!!) (?!!) birthday party recently, and I have a confession to make. I bought the cake at Costco.
I also bought the cookies, the hummus, and the crackers from Costco. And a huge bag of baby carrots. So easy.
See, I’m discovering a weird side effect of being a food blogger. The busier I get at this blogging job of mine – the job that is the result of my passion for making home-cooked meals, photographing them, and sharing the recipes – the less homemade actual food I have time to make for my family. Or, yeah, for birthday parties.
That’s one of the reasons I’m vowing to keep it simpler in the new year – both here and in life.
I feel terrible about this, and I really don’t even remember how it happened, but somewhere along the way our almost-two-year-old daughter picked up a little phrase.
“I want beer!”
Not just “I want beer.” But “I. Want. BEEEER!”
You know, I have to admit, I’ve always been a little torn on black bean soup. Yes – it almost always tastes delicious, but as far as aesthetics go? Let’s just say it’s not the most attractive soup out there. It can tend toward … sludge-looking tendencies. Delicious sludge, but sludge nonetheless.
So I decided to make a black bean soup recipe with a little more oomph to it and a little less sludge. I pureed it like your traditional black bean soup, but then I add some whole beans and a couple of cups of brown rice at the end. Prettier! Though … okay, fine, still a little sludgy.
I’m writing this post on Sunday evening as we watch the Oscars. Forty-five minutes or so in, my takeaways are this:
1) My ears say Stewie is hosting. My eyes see something different. So very confused.
2) The “We Saw Your Boobs” song. Surprisingly catchy. I give it a … C. (Sorry, that’s the breast pun I could muster.)
3) Paul Rudd was completely stoned, right? No matter. Still my celebrity boyfriend.
4) Jaws speech cut-off music?! Ha. Pure awesome.
5) Jessica Chastain. Just, gasp.
The truth is, I’ve always loved movies, but in 2012, I saw exactly two in the theater: “This is 40″ and “Argo.” The former isn’t anywhere near the Oscars, and rightfully so – it was terrible. The latter, Argo? Both my guy and I loved it. And because it’s pretty much the only movie we’re really familiar with, we’re cheering it on.
I don’t want to whine about the weather, I really don’t. I mean, I don’t necessarily have to live in Washington State. It’s a free country. And these dreary, gray winters are the price we pay for stellar spring days, glorious summers, and amazing autumns.
But if I were to whine, I would mention that winters here stink, and I am in desperate need of a little sun, a lot of light, and the feel of warm sun on my skin. Ugh. Desperate need.
The weather here in the Seattle area has been so, so strange. Just over a week ago, a dense fog descended upon us, and didn’t lift until yesterday. Apparently, it’s called a “fog storm.” Really, it just made me feel like I was living inside a horror movie for seven days. Without the blood, gore, stupid dialogue, and tense jumpy moments, thank goodness.
Naturally, living in pea soup made me want to make pea soup. I think out of the box like that.
They say having a baby changes everything. And it’s true. Having a baby changes EVERYTHING. But not just capital-letter EVERYTHING. It also changes lowercase everything. Every little thing.
Case in point: a recent morning in which I, while congratulating myself for being oh-so on the ball, started prepping dinner before the sun even dared show its face. And because of my beloved, wonderful one-year-old (and, okay, the demanding cat), a soup that used to take me easily less than 30 minutes to assemble ended up taking me exactly three hours and fifteen minutes from first swipe with the peeler just to being ready to simmer.
Food bloggers as a lot tend to wax super-duper poetic about every single recipe they post. I mean, if they don’t love what they’re sharing, they probably wouldn’t blog it to begin with, right?
I sort of thought I’d avoid all the family ailments that come along with having a toddler, because our little one isn’t in daycare at the moment. Ha! I was so naive, in so many ways. So many many ways. Turns out thatstory times and music classes and Target all have lots of those lovely little germs and our little girl is picking them up right and left. Therefore my guy and I are subsequently picking them up right and left.
Total comfort in a bowl. That’s what this winter vegetable chowder is all about.
And we’ve needed a little dose of comfort food around here, because day after day has been seriously dreary. Pelting rain, sharp gusts, charcoal clouds, rivers filled to the brim.
Mmm … soup. Loved, cherished, maybe even a little admired, and made very, very often around here once autumn comes around. It’s something that lends itself well to our mixed-diet kitchen: so many amazing soups start out already vegetarian, and so many more just need a little stock swap – a hearty, rich vegetable stock in place of chicken or beef broth. And then perhaps a little meat on top or simmered with half the batch for a few minutes at the end.
Gosh, I really love Pinterest. I really want to say I unapologetically love Pinterest but I guess I feel maybe a little ashamed that I’m so into it.
But hey … better to pin Pure Deliciousness rather than eat it, right? At least, calorie-wise??
Awhile back I pinned this gorgeous image of Red Lentil Coconut Soup from a wonderful blog called Scaling Back. I love the soup pot. I love the bowls. I love the lentils scattered about. Wonderful photo, and the soup? Yum.