Monday, December 31, 2012

no bird shall die in vain

when I'm cookin' him! Our Christmas turkey has been roasted, sauteed, tossed, pulled and eaten for days. Here are some ideas for leftover turkey. 
A modern Cobb with turkey, avocado, cherry tomatoes, carrot, sautéed zucchini, and roasted potatoes. Topped with green onions and a dijon balsamic vinaigrette.
turkey a la king

1 cup turkey, roughly chopped/pulled
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 jar diced pimento, drained
1 small yellow onion, diced
3/4 to 1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter (for roux)
2 tablespoons butter (for sautéing)
1 puff pastry sheet or 4 shells
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup Cream Sherry
1 egg, slightly beaten
3-4 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Sauté onions until translucent in butter. Add mushrooms and saute until lightly golden, add pepper and pimento and continue to cook for a few more minutes. When all vegetables are lightly softened, set aside. In a Dutch oven, add 3 tablespoons butter. When butter is melted, add 3 tablespoons flour and whisk to make roux. Slowly add milk, continuing to stir. Stir in all milk - ensure sauce is smooth. Add turkey and vegetables into creamy mixture. Remove Dutch oven from heat add sherry (or a bit more if you like). Return to medium heat and stir well for a few minutes. Remove from heat again, add beaten egg yolk and stir constantly to avoid the egg from cooking quickly. Return to heat and add generous amount of S&P.
While you are preparing the a la king mixture - follow the directions on the puff pastry. Either slice a sheet into circles or rectangles or place frozen shells on cookie sheet. When puff pastry is done, carefully separate so you have a top and bottom piece. Before serving, mix in parsley and serve in warm pastry shells.
Spicy Turkey, White Bean & Swiss Chard Soup inspired by Closet Kitchen

2-3 cups turkey (pulled or chopped - I pulsed the turkey slightly in the food processor)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can white beans, rinsed
1 bunch swiss chard, rough chopped or torn
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 red pepper flakes
1 Parmesan rind
chicken or turkey stock|
1 handful parsley
Parmesan chunk
S&P to taste

Heat the oil in a stock pot or large Dutch oven, add onion and saute until tender, add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Add turkey, celery, carrots, tomatoes, white beans, swiss chard, oregano, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes. Mix well and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add Parmesan rind and stock to cover all ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and Parmesan rind. Season with S&P. Serve with chopped parsley and grated Parm.
This made about 2 and a half quarts of soup - we are set for the winter chill!
I am now headed off to begin our New Year's Eve dinner - a jazzy salad and seafood entree. Hope it's good!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

the hap-hap-happiest season of all

How does Christmas always go so fast? A week of eating, drinking, cooking and enjoying time with family - what a great holiday! I really need to get better at taking more photos - but here are a few that made it (and some recipes).
Adapted from Martha Stewart's recipe - what is Christmas morning without Bloody Mary's?
4 cups tomato juice
juice of 1 large lemons
1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 heaping tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
vodka, to taste
lemon wedges, for serving
celery sticks, for serving and munching
Mix ingredients well and pour 1 part vodka and 3 parts Bloody Mary mix over ice in a shaker. Shake well. Pour into glasses. Squeeze a wedge of lemon over drink (do not subsequently stir or shake drink), discard used wedge. Garnish with a large stick of celery and a large lemon wedge.

The first night my parents were here, we had Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon with a zesty French salad. The vinaigrette was adapted from La Bonne Soupe in New York City.
2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 shallot, finely minced
1/3 cup good white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup EVOO
S&P to taste

Christmas Eve hors d'oeuvre - Bosc pears wrapped in prosciutto ham with some balsamic Blaze (reduced balsamic vinegar) underneath. This recipe is from A Cozy Kitchen
great blog.

Traditional Christmas Eve cheese sampler (clockwise from the top), Black Creek sharp cheddar, Rogue Creamery Gorgonzola, Murray's Drunken Goat cheese. Served with grapes, berries and Harry & David Pepper Jelly. We also had Whole Foods smoked gouda and caramelized onion dip (so good).
The main event - 16 pounder, stuffed with Mary's Famous Stuffing.
Mary's Stuffing
loaf of white sandwich bread (I tend to use the store brand - most generic white bread possible), torn into small pieces and dried for about a day
1-2 yellow onions, diced
4 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 tablespoons marjoram
2-3 tablespoons sage
2-3 tablespoons thyme
about 1/2 cup of fresh parsley finely chopped
S&P to taste
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Place stuffing inside turkey - you will have some leftover that can be baked in the oven in a covered dish (about 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees). Fresh herbs are the preference (but we actually used dried).
The Master Chefs
Only Mary and Bill could be photographed as Vance was at the hospital, Billy was inhaling the brie with current jam, and I was still in my pajamas (at 8:30 p.m.). Merry Christmas to all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

o' tannenbaum

Last night was the first time Vance and I trimmed the tree together - in our house, as family. Vance hadn't decorated a Christmas tree in about 15 years, he was a quick study though. Note, last year's tiny Emerson Pine, decorated while Vance slept on a post-call day.
Our first "big tree."
While we decorated and danced to Christmas music, I enjoyed a scotch 'n soda and Vance had a Manhattan. Traditional cocktails for a night of tradition. Our Christmas cocktail glasses were a gift from  my parents last year. 1950's rocks glasses - I love these! Manhattan for Vance - 3/4 whiskey (Seagrams 7 or other), 1/4 sweet vermouth, dash of bitters. Shake and serve over ice with a cherry. My beverage - Johnny Walker Red with some club soda - twist of lemon.
In keeping with the classic theme, we had turkey Tetrazzini - very tasty. 
12 oz egg noodles
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup cream
14.5 oz chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey
1 cup peas
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (divided into 1/3 and 1/3 cups)
1/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
ground nutmeg 
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375°F. Start heating salted water for the pasta.  Cook the mushrooms in about 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat, stirring, until all of the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, 5-10 minutes. Set aside. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. If water boiling, add pasta. Follow the package directions and cook until al dente. While the pasta is cooking continue on with the recipe. Into the saucepan with the butter and flour, slowly whisk in the milk, cream, broth, and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, for about 5 to 8 minutes. When the pasta is ready, drain it. In a large bowl combine the pasta, the sauce, the mushrooms, the turkey, and the peas. Stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan and the 1/3 cup of Swiss cheese. Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Grate about 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg if using, to taste. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 3-quart casserole.  In a small bowl combine well the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and the bread crumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits. Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle rack of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.
Happy Monday all.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

a family affair

I was originally going to title this blog "a German invasion," as Vance's family is either all German or all German wannabes (read - the Polish brother-in-law, Peter), but I thought that may be in poor taste. Now that we are true home-owning adults, Vance's family members gathered in Nashville last week. Traveling from the four corners of Pennsylvania, the Hamor-Vicinski Clan helped us welcome in December with good drinks, great story telling, laughter and some tasty food.
The patriarch, Pap, and eldest grandson.
My mom suggested I try a recipe from the Kitchen Shoppe in Carlisle, PA. She attended a class there a few weeks ago and raved about a roasted pork with sauce and a zucchini gratin. In hindsight, trying a new recipe that involves over four ingredients, with a full (hungry) house is not the most stress-free option, but it did turn out quite nicely! Everyone seemed to enjoy the food, and well all enjoyed the drinks.
The pork begins with a EVOO and mustard-based rub.
mustard and fennel rub 
Pork loin, about 5 lbs
2 tablespoons EVOO
4 teaspoons dijon mustard
4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
3 cups chicken stock
Mix all ingredients and rub all over pork loin. Place pork in roasting pan. Pour 3 cups of chicken stock over the pork. Place in preheated oven (400 degrees). Roast for roughly 1 1/4 hours or until cooked through. Cover in tin foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before slicing thin.
2 shallots minced
3 tablespoons flour (I used Wondra)
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock (2 cups reserved to add sauce if needed)
2 teaspoons dijon 
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/4 cup green peppercorns (in brine, drained)
1/4 cup sun dried tomato pesto
2 tablespoons red current jelly
1/4 cup heavy cream
Pour the liquid from the roasted pork into a gravy separator (scraping up the pan bits), reserving about 1/4 cup of fat. If you don't have that much just add some melted butter. Pour fat/butter into a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the shallots until tender, add flour and whisk for a few minutes until sauce begins to slightly thicken. Stir in wine and scrape the pan, making sure to get up the brown bits. Whisk in roughly 3 cups of pan juices/chicken stock. Add mustards, peppercorns, and tomato pesto. Stir continuously and bring to a boil. Whisk in jelly and cream and remove from heat. Slice pork and serve with warm sauce.
A creamy, sweet and savory sauce really gives this pork the punch. The Gruyere and zucchini gratin was equally as pleasing (and a bit less labor intensive). 
Roasted small potatoes with sour cream and chives rounded out our side dishes.
I picked up about 4 bags of small potatoes from Trader Joe's. Clean them up a bit with a peeler and boil for roughly 10-12 minutes until almost done. Remove and toss with EVOO, S&P. Finish by roasting in the oven at about 375 for 10 minutes until skins are crispy.
On Saturday, we went to The Carter House in Franklin.
KK and Peter
The Clarbaugh's - Holiday 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

roasted to perfection

On Saturday night, I had a lovely Thanksgiving Dinner Take Two at my friends Jill & Ethan's home. Jill made a delicious dinner pie with turkey, stuffing and mashed potato (topped with cranberry chutney), and we followed it up with her dad's chocolate icebox pie - amazing!
I brought some roasted vegetables; a good addition to the meal. Recipe courtesy of Giada.
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium carrots, cut into 1 1/2-inch thick circles
1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1/2 pound), halved
4 cups red bliss potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
3 medium parsnips (about1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
1 cup sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
generous amount of sea salt (to your taste)
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss all vegetables in a bowl with EVOO and herbs. Pam an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet pan.
Spread the vegetables evenly on a large baking sheet. Place on middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Occasionally rotate vegetables to ensure they don't get too well done in one area.
These are quite good - and healthy.

Friday, November 23, 2012

the reality of a new holiday

Thanksgiving used to mean packing up the car and driving to my aunt and uncle's house in New York. Musicals in New York City on Black Friday. Radio Music Hall's Christmas Spectacular soundtrack blaring through the stereo all weekend. As time moved on, Thanksgiving shifted to dinners in Hershey. In years past, Billy and I would leave DC together and arrive at Mom and Dad's to be spoiled with good food, drinks and a warm fire.
The strangest part of getting married and moving away - is holidays. Last year, I spent Thanksgiving in India. Amazing as it was, it was sad to be away from my family. This year was a quiet dinner for Vance and me, before he headed off to the hospital. Thanksgiving has changed - but some, scratch that, most, of the food has stayed the same.
Enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, before Vance's overnight shift at the hospital.
The traditional Clark (now Clarbaugh) Thanksgiving includes an array of dishes. Last night's selection included herbed roasted turkey breast, creamed onions, candied sweet potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, cranberry sauce, stuffing and gravy. As holidays change locations, company and traditions - one of the hardest parts to adjust to (for me) is new food. Vance loves brussel sprouts, so this year, my families' beloved Le Sueur peas got bumped for some roasted sprouts.
This year, I really took to heart the importance of (well-executed) short cuts. The Le Sueur peas will wait patiently until Christmas this year, but a few other easy sides were tested last night. Fresh Market's Traditional stuffing mix was quite good. I added some diced onion, celery, apple and toasted walnuts. My mom's cranberry sauce is so tasty and the easiest thing to make over the holidays.

Mary's Cranberry Sauce (note - recipes below are via my mom - thanks Mom!)
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
about 1/3 to 1/2 cup Port wine
Turn the cranberry sauce out on a dinner plate and mush with a fork until smooth. Pour into a sauce pan and add port wine. Simmer over medium heat to cook off the alcohol. Chill and serve with turkey.

Creamed Onions
1 bag pearl onions (typically come in a mesh bag in the onion section) 
 (small and white)
roughly a cup to 2 cups of milk (2% or whole)
2-3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter
nutmeg for topping
Peal the onions - this is a pain, but worth it in the end. You may wish to Google different technique suggestions. I suggest drinking white wine while you peel. Boil onions for about 20 minutes, drain very well on paper towels. Onions must be dry!
In a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour into the butter and whisk until a roux is formed. Once the roux is formed - slowly add in milk, continuing to whisk. When cream mixture is smooth and hot, incorporate onions, fold them lightly into the sauce. Pour onions into a serving dish and top with some fresh grated nutmeg.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
small sweet potatoes (cook more quickly) - for the two of us, I used about four
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Peel and half potatoes (don't cut lengthwise), boil until almost done - probably 12-15 minutes. Drain and slice into 1/2 inch round slices. In a large sauté pan, melt the butter. Assemble the potatoes in the pan and begin to cook over medium heat. After lightly sautéing for a few minutes, sprinkle half of the brown sugar all over potatoes. This begins the "candying" process. Allow to cook for a few more minutes and carefully flip potatoes - sprinkle remaining sugar. Flip one more time ensuring all sugar has melted. These are sticky goodness! 

Another great find was William Sonoma's Turkey Gravy. This gravy is thick and delicious and you simply cut it with milk - super quick and easier than making pan gravy. Instead of a selection of wine last night, we opted for Martinelli's Sparkling Cider - Vance needed to keep his wits about him. Now, after he left for work, I took a rocks glass and had a vodka 'n cider over ice - even better.
We've always had full-turkeys, but for just the two of us, I wanted a turkey breast. The breasts are all white meat and cook at a fraction of the time.
Granted, the turkey breasts don't make for the photo-op of the year, but this herb roasted breast was delicious. We will be having turkey sandwiches for days!
You can't write a Thanksgiving post and not share a bit of what you are thankful for this year, so here I go. Not just family, but an incredibly flexible family, who travel over the US to see us. Old friendships that are even better now, then they were when we were 8, 16 or 22 years old. New friends that amaze me because they so quickly feel like old friends. A house that we continue to make a home each day. More and more memories with Vance - thank goodness for Instagram to capture it all!

Monday, November 5, 2012

a Sunday of (new) favorites

There are some things I don't ever really cook. A big one is pancakes. I don't love pancakes (not the way, say, my brother does), and Vance and I are really egg people on weekend mornings. This Sunday, though, we woke up and before I was even out of bed, I had the urge to make pancakes. That is so odd.
Easy apple, walnut & cinnamon pancakes.
Bisquick! That is why these are easy apple, walnut and cinnamon pancakes. Prepare Bisquick mix as box notes and set aside. In the food processor combine:
2 medium peeled apples (quartered)
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pulse until mixed (but not all the way to mush). Mix with 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts. In a well-buttered pan, pour pancake batter. Assemble a small scoop of apple mixture into pancake and drizzle a little more batter on top. When bubbles form at edges, flip. Top with butter and syrup - oh goodness - so good.

These recipes don't go together at all, but they were both enjoyed on Sunday and are quick and easy.
This makes a large portion that could easily feed four or five.
Chicken Tikka Masala via Slow Cooker
9 skinless boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 cup yogurt
4 tablespoons butter
1 whole jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, diced
4 tablespoons butter
1 whole large onion, peeled and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Kosher salt 
3 tablespoons garam masala 
1 piece fresh ginger, about 2-3 Inches, peeled and grated
4 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon raw or white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1-½ cup heavy cream
Cut the boneless, skinless chicken thighs into 1- 1.5 inch pieces. Sprinkle the coriander, cumin, cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper over the chicken, then stir in the yogurt until all the pieces are evenly coated. Cover lightly and let sit for 10 minutes before proceeding. Melt 1 tablespoon the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Raise the heat to medium high and quickly brown about 1/4 of the chicken. Transfer browned chicken to the slow cooker as it is finished, using 1 tablespoon of butter per batch, and repeat until the chicken is all in the slow-cooker. 
Prepare the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno and kosher salt, then stir. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to lightly brown around the edges. Stir in the garam masala and ginger and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute) before raising the heat to high and adding the crushed tomatoes and raw sugar. Stir well, scraping the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil. Pour over the chicken in the slow-cooker. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until the chicken is very tender. Use a fork or whisk to stir the cornstarch into the heavy cream until smooth. Pour into the slow-cooker and stir gently until the colour is even. Replace the lid and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Serve over hot Jasmine or Basmati rice with naan. I also steamed some spinach so we had a bit green.
Happy cooking all.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

CMAs and spaghetti squash

Do you every get really excited to cook something for the first time? Although spaghetti squash has been all the rage since low carb became the thing years ago, I hadn't made it until this week. Well. Wow. It is good, so good. The CMAs with all my favs and a good dinner. That was a nice Thursday!
Pecorino Roasted Spaghetti Squash & Italian Tilapia with Sauteed Vegetables
1 medium/large spaghetti squash
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup  Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 degree. Slice squash lengthwise (carefully - it is hard to get through the skin). Scoop out seeds. Coat flesh with EVOO and season with S&P well. Roast (flesh-side up) for roughly 50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 20 or 30 minutes. Using a fork, shred squash in long threads. In a large saute pan, add 2 garlic cloves of garlic, minced in about 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Add squash and coat well. After squash is hot all the way through, remove from heat and sprinkle cheese and parsley throughout, mix well.

Another interesting and tasty treat from earlier this week were corn arepas. I had arepas for the first in the airport (of all places) on my way back from Minnesota last week. Arepas are corn-like pancakes and we enjoyed ours with cumin sauteed peppers and black beans. Arepas are found in Colombian and Venezuelan cooking.
1.5 cups yellow cornmeal, finely ground
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup fresh sweet corn kernels, or frozen kernels, thawed
1/4 cup chopped scallion
3 teaspoons dried cilantro
1 small serrano or jalapeño chili, seeded and minced, optional
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
Cooked black beans or vegetables and sour cream and salsa for topping

Place cornmeal in a large bowl with salt and cheese. Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until steam rises, then add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and stir into cornmeal mixture until a thick batter is formed. Fold in the corn kernels, scallion, cilantro and chili if using. Let batter rest until it thickens into a soft dough, about 15 minutes. Gently pour the batter into the (well-oiled) saute pan, as you would pancakes. You can fit about three arepas in the pan at a time. Fry for roughly 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes on other side. Drain arepas on a paper towel and top with sauteed vegetables, beans, salsa and sour cream. Yum! I think these would be also be delicious with a fried egg on top for a South American breakfast flare.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

traumatic eating

As mentioned, Vance is on his trauma surgery rotation (for a lucky 6 weeks instead of the standard 5 - okay there. I have complained). In an effort to make up for A.) his lack of sleep and proper diet this month B.) my absence due to a great deal of travel and C.) my neurotic need to make sure he is well-fed, I cooked (a lot) this weekend. It was traumatic eating, and quite good.
Saturday night kicked off with cocktails and an copy-cat attempt of Trader Joe's Spicy Black Bean dip. Black bean dip doesn't photograph well, but here is the run down.
1 15 oz can black beans, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons water
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon honey
1 clove garlic
1 small jalapeno, roughly chopped (from our garden!)
S&P to taste
3-4 dashes of Chipotle Tabasco 
Enjoy with tortillas, pita chips or crudite. So tasty!
For dinner...Salmon Pesto Pasta
Bow tie pasta, pesto mixed with some heavy cream, roasted cherry tomatoes and small fillet of salmon, roasted and flaked. Toss with S&P and enjoy!
Sunday brunch at home...12 South Benny.
Whole grain English muffins, toasted with sauteed yellow and red bell peppers with green onions. Top with fried egg over easy and hollandaise (via blender). A bit of parsley and done. 
I don't want this post to make anyone think I take Hollandaise sauce lightly. Assembling any eggs Benedict can be stressful, but I must be slightly improving because I only snapped at Vance once while preparing brunch this morning. 
Lastly, comforting Sunday dinner, Jamaican Pumpkin Soup and grilled cheese, brie and honey panini.
This soup is adapted from Breads 'n Cheese of Hershey's famous recipe. Nothing beats consuming a bowl of this spicy soup, while I sit in Breads 'n Cheese and get caught up on life in Hershey. This soup reminds me of home, and of course when I made it, it didn't taste the same as it does at 
B'n C. I tried to tweak it a bit!
2 cans packed pumpkin
1 and a half boxes of vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch of green onions, diced
4 yams, peeled, quartered and boiled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (depending on how much spice you like)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Generous S&P (according to your taste)
Combine all and simmer for about an hour or more. Test a few times to ensure it's seasoned as you like.
Our paninis were on rosemary and olive oil bread with a triple cream (brie-like) cheese, thinly sliced pear and a drizzle of honey. Butter outside of bread, assemble sandwich and grill in a pan until golden. Oh jeez is this good. Happy eating all - how is the weekend over? All we did is eat.