Saturday, October 20, 2007

Just a little tart

My cold is gone and with it seems to have gone any energy or creative spark.

I am finding it hard to even get really pissed off about anything the past few days.

That should tell you how lousy I was feeling.

I took a sick day Thursday. I tried not to need it, but I worked sick Tuesday and Wednesday and just needed the mental break and the break from driving 37 miles each way on the freeway.

Today is Saturday, but it is my Friday. Maybe my spark will return this weekend.

I am stamping tomorrow and have to make cards and dessert for that tonight. Maybe that will get me going.

I have some ideas for cards, but nothing is set.

For dessert I think I will make individual apple galettes. Which is a fancy way of saying apple tarts. But without a tart pan.

Basically it is puff pastry crust with crushed nuts, fruit and jam.

I have made this Martha version in the past. It calls for plums, which are good. I also have made this recipe using peaches. Yummy.

For tomorrow I want to make apple and I don't want to make the dough.

So I am combining it with this simpler version using apples and frozen puff pastry dough.

I think I still want to use the nuts that the Martha recipe calls for. They add another layer of flavor and texture that I like. And the jam is a nice touch.

My plan to finish this is to make homemade whipped cream with just a bit of almond extract. It adds a little hint of flavor and a great aroma.

I will let you know how they turn out and if I can remember, I will post my own version of the recipe. That way I can also remember how I made them in case I want to make them again some time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mmmmmmmm... soup...

Even though it was almost 9 by the time I got home from work and gassing up the car last night (and I was still feeling low-energy from the cold), I went ahead and made the creamy red pepper soup.

And I am really glad I did.

This is a great soup because it is quite easy and can be made vegetarian with no trouble at all. And despite the name, it is dairy-free except the mascarpone cheese garnish.

I swapped the chicken broth for veggie broth.

I also skipped the crouton and mascarpone cheese this time. I have had it in there before and it is great. But I save those extra touches for company.

Because this is a great dinner party soup.

For myself, if I want extra creaminess I will stir a bit of sour cream into my bowl of soup. If not, the soup is still very tasty.

I messed up this time and only bought half the amount of peppers called for, but the soup is still good. I think I just taste the carrot more than normal. Which is fine, I love carrots.

Oh, with the peppers, make sure you get the kind packed in water, not vinegar.

I also decided to try freezing it and see how it does after that. Some things don't reheat well from a freeze.

This soup was not one of those things. I just had some for my lunch and it was fabulous.
So if you make some, make extra.

This is a nice alternative to tomato soup and would be great with a side of grilled cheese sandwich or a little salad.

Sorry no pictures. By the time I thought about it last night I had eaten my bowl and packed up the leftovers for freezing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Feeling puny

I am not sure when it happened, but I think I caught a cold.
The weather has been hot and cold here lately. We get a sunny day, then a dreary day.
We get a day that starts out warm and turns cold in the afternoon.
It plays havoc with me.
I did manage to make the potato-leek soup yesterday afternoon before I lost all energy and headed for the couch.
I did not make the red pepper. It is a simple soup. If I feel up to it, I might make it tonight after work.
Yes, work. I could call in sick, but I don't feel sick enough to not work. Besides, it gets tougher and tougher to call in with the smaller group we have now.
So I only call in now if I am in dire straits. A sore throat and runny nose are not dire straits.

Anyway, last night I also managed to get the rest of the shelf liner in. That trip to Target was not so bad. In addition to the shelf liner I managed to get out of there with just one pair of pajama pants (I like the men's flannels) and two lightweight cotton hoodies.
For me, in Target, that is great. I also managed to get enough shelf liner this time so I don't have to go back.

I brought more stuff back into the kitchen, so the spare room is slowly reemerging. I can see the top of the bed again.
Well, at least the parts of it that are not covered by the clean laundry pile. That is the other thing I did yesterday. I washed clothes.

I don't mind the sorting part and getting them into the machine. But man I hate putting away laundry. I think that is just about my least favorite chore.

OK. I have about an hour before I have to get ready for work. I am heading back to the couch with my cup of tea. The laundry isn't going anywhere.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I love a rainy night

I woke up today to find that it had rained overnight.
It is still gray and gloomy out and I love that.
It makes me want to make soup. So I think I will. Potato-leek or red pepper? Maybe both and then, with salads and bread, I won't have to cook all week.
I am a big fan of soup. I can eat soup in pretty much any weather. I am one of those crazy people who even like soup in the summer.
But I really only like to make it when the weather (what we get of it here) starts to turn cool and gray.
A nice pot of soup bubbling on the stove makes things feel cozy.

Yesterday was a nice, clear but cool day.
I went to the farmers market on the Peninsula with my sister and her baby.
We just wandered a bit, bought a couple little things (leeks for my soup and a sourdough round, yum!). Then we got some teriyaki and rice at one of the stands and had lunch.
It was a nice relaxing day.
And I got to spend some time with my nephew.
I know I am biased, but that boy is just too cute.

Last time they were over, George ran as soon as he saw the baby toddling toward him.
It wasn't that long ago, but long enough that the baby was just getting used to the whole toddling business. So he wasn't very fast.

This time he was quicker and he was able to catch up to George.

George definitely was not sure what to make of the tiny person coming toward him, arms outstretched.
But the fat cat was actually pretty good about the whole thing, even when the baby leaned over and pressed right on George's big belly.

There were only a couple hissing incidents and no sign at all of George baring his claws or acting like he might bite.

The rest of my weekend (today) will be more kitchen organizing. I need to get more shelf liner.
Which is a dangerous thought since it involves a trip to Target, my favorite place to impulse buy.
Then I want to get that soup going and get the rest of the stuff out of the guest room and back in the kitchen.
I was going to paint the baseboards before attaching them, but with the wet weather, I think I may wait until next weekend.

There you go, probably more than you needed to know.