Another one for the books, folks. :) Enjoy! J’s online.
Monthly Archives: October 2010
The leaves are changing – I thought it was Fall.
We celebrated my dad’s birthday with an epic party at our apartment last weekend, complete with casseroles, Alex’s famous ribs, and tasty libations. I’m pretty sure his birthday is in late October.
I have been at my job for over two months now. It’s been fantastic – I’m learning new things daily, feeling appreciated, and am able to see myself here for quite some time. Didn’t I start in August?
Daylight Savings Time ends in a week and a half. That usually happens in November, right?
I’ve got lots of plans for knitting Christmas presents – by my calculations, they need to be ready in [gasp] less than two months. Oops.
But certainly September and October haven’t come and gone with the wind. Certainly it’s not almost November, with promises of barer trees and cooler air. It can’t be time yet to see frosty clouds with every outdoor breath and to actually use that wool hat I’m almost (finally) finished making. I thought it was Fall, but it can’t be, right?
It’s 85 degrees outside. The heat is teasing me, confusing me even more. Maybe it is still summer, it’s whispering. Maybe those last two months didn’t fly by, leaving no evidence but a date on the calendar page and a slew of unfinished projects. But on Friday, when we’re back to slightly cooler temperatures, I’ll remember. I thought it was Fall, and it is.
Now, though, I’m noticing. And I think I’ll keep it up.
Raja would be so embarrassed if he knew this was online. ;) Isn’t he cute?
J’s online. Happy weekend!
The age-old dilemma. What to do with the eggplant. Sounds obvious, right? Eggplant parmesan. That was my plan, at least, when I bought three organic eggplant at the farmer’s market a couple of weeks ago. But then, Al threw a [ridiculously delicious] wrench in my plans when he whipped up a delicious spaghetti with meat sauce early that week. Not that it would be the end of the world to eat the two in one five-day span, but after eating one pasta dish with red sauce, I went on a search for another eggplant recipe on which to use my purple purchase.
What I came across was a sign. A true sign. On the very day that I was searching for new eggplant recipes, Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted this. Eggplant SOUP. And you KNOW how I love soup. And if you don’t know, what I mean by that is that I love soup A LOT. As in, it may or may not be my favorite part of Fall and Winter. Is that weird?
Anyway, I decided to make eggplant soup. In the end, I used Deb’s recipe as a starting place, and ended up with a giant pot of this:
And here’s the best part – it was awesome! It had a really distinct and unique flavor, unlike any soup I’ve cooked before, and we all (me, Alex, and our friend who joined us for the taste test – aka dinner) loved it. Alex cooked some spicy Italian sausage to add to his bowl, and we topped it with feta because we didn’t have any goat cheese on hand. In case you want to try it yourself and think I’m a total wacko because mine looks nothing like the smooth and silky-looking batch over at Smitten Kitchen, here’s what’s different.
1. I didn’t use roasted tomatoes. I don’t like the texture of chunks of tomatoes, so I used a small can of Muir Glen tomato sauce.
2. I didn’t blend the whole soup. I like my soups to be more stewy and super hearty so I used my teeny chopper to get things a little more paste-like but left everything pretty in pretty substantial globs. (My terminology is very precise here, in case you haven’t noticed. Teeeeeehehe.)
3. I skipped the cream.
4. I added leeks – mostly just because I felt like it.
5. I also added barley – which adds protein without many calories and sodium. Because of this, I also had to add water (on top of the chicken broth the recipe calls for) in order to make it soupy enough.
There you have it! I think everything else was pretty by-the-book – except that when I make soup I rarely follow exact measurements (unless the soup is supposed to be super-creamy or cheesy, then it’s important to do so). Anyway, it’s soup season. I hope you don’t mind me rambling on about these concoctions – because I’ve already printed off a slew of new recipes to try this year. Woo hoooo!
And so, the eggplant dilemma has been solved, at our house at least. Further suggestions for widening my eggplant repertoire are welcomed. :)
“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it.”
-Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
We bought Alex’s wedding band this weekend. He’s going to be my husband in less than 8 months.
I think I have to take back what I said earlier this year about not liking salads with fruit in them.
Why? (I know you’re asking yourself now.)
Because I’ve fallen in love with another.
Based on the Field Greens salad from here (which I had at dinner with my mom last week), I’ve been chowing down on a delicious salad with fresh lettuce/spring mix, bosc pears, candied walnuts, feta cheese, and dijon balsamic vinaigrette. I know, it’s almost exactly like my summer strawberry salad, except there are pears instead of strawberries and walnuts instead of pecans. But this one is, I think, even better. Here’s why.
Basically, it’s less sweet. While strawberries are most certainly delicious, they can be quite sweet. And, I’ve always loved pears anyway. Plus I enjoy the texture of pears better – they’re a little more firm, you know? Also, I found a new recipe for making the candied nuts. This one calls for only sugar (no butter) and they’re actually way less sweet that way. Sounds weird, I know. As for the dressing, I had a tiny bit of Kraft light balsamic left in our bottle here. I poured roughly two parts balsamic vinegar and one part olive oil in with the barely there store-bought kind, and added probably two tablespoons at least of dijon mustard. With a little shake-a-roo, you’ve got a delicious and creamy dijon balsamic.
I forgot to take a picture, and I’m sorry for that. Come back soon anyway? :)
Happy Wednesday. Go make a salad. xo