Appetizers and Snacks · Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian

twisted gazpacho

This is easy, refreshing, and delicious.  It’s another Michael Chiarello recipe, modified a bit.  It got twisted with a splash of tequila.  Just a splash.  I swear.

Twisted Gazpacho

  • 2 cans (11.5 ounces each) tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fennel, fine dice
  • 1 cup cucumber(1 medium), seeded and peeled, fine dice
  • 1/2 cup red onion(1 small), fine dice
  • 1/2 cup celery(2 stalks), fine dice
  • 1 pint sweet 100 or other small cherry tomatoes, stemmed and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons italian parsley, fine chop
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, fine chop
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons jalapeño pepper, seeded, fine mince
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • splash of tequila (that’s the twisted part)
In a bowl, combine tomato juice, lemon juice, fennel, cucumber, red onion, celery, tomatoes, parsley, basil and sherry vinegar.
Add olive oil to a small sauté pan along with minced garlic over medium heat, stirring until lightly browned.  Add minced jalapeño and cook, stirring for 15 seconds.  Add wine and cook until reduced by half.  Stir mixture into the gazpacho and chill for 1-2 hours.
Spoon mixture into small martini glasses and serve at once.  Add a splash of tequila, if you dare.

Nice fireworks.

Another one.

Another good one.

Healthy · Recipes · Soup

Donna’s delicious Italian soup

Donna’s been making this delicious Italian soup a lot lately.  It’s inspired by a Weight Watcher recipe.  She added the cannelini beans to make it a whopping 2 points per serving (that’s not much for you non-Weight Watchers).  It’s got a ton of flavor with the addition of the pepper flakes, garlic, and herbs.  I adjusted the recipe to use the greens I received in my CSA box.  You can also change up the herbs according to what you’ve got as well.

Me and Donna are both into Weight Watcher’s, but to say that we were traumitized by the new points system would be an understatement.  Basically Weight Watchers screwed us on our wine points.  Yeah, we get to eat a lot more vegetables and fruit, so what.  After miles of walks on the boardwalk at the beach on our lunch break, we finally realized that there was a whole lot of food we were avoiding just to have points for wine.  So we decided to cut back on the wine.  I just want to emphasize the cut back part of that last sentence, not eliminate all together.  It’s a win-win situation…drink the wine but less of it, and eat more.

Donna’s Italian Soup

  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • small piece of parmgianno-reggiano rind
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 2 zucchini, small dice
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, small dice
  • 1 fennel bulb, small dice
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 bunches of spinach, escarole, colard greens, or chard (I used the colard greens and chard)
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • fennel leaves, choppped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmigiano-reggiano shavings for garnish

The ingredients…

Add the broth, parmigiano-reggiano rind, garlic, onion, zucchini, bell peppers, fennel and pepper flakes to a large soup pot set over medium heat.

Skim zee skum…

Add the greens.  Cover and cook until vegetables and greens are tender.

Add the fresh herbs.

And you’ve got Donna’s declicious Italian soup.

The cleaning continues… This time it was the closet in the green room.  You might be asking yourself  “where is the green room”?  It’s the room with all of the tiki furniture.  It’s red now, but it used to be green.  It will always be green to us.  Okay, just go with it.

Sunshine found an abundance of cameras in the green room closet.  There’s a nice Power Shot S3-IS up for grabs.  Free, works fine.  Who wants it?

Recipes · Soup · Vegetarian

cannellini bean soup

Sometimes I like spending all day in the kitchen.  Sometimes a plan doesn’t work out the way you think it will.

I got my CSA box full of greens, and assumed most of them would work well in a cannellini bean soup.  I was wrong.  I didn’t know what most of the greens were, and as it turned out, most were too bitter and over powered the flavors in the soup.  So I just fished out most of the greens and ended up with delicious soup anyway, a little less green than originally planned.

You can make this with canned beans and chicken or vegetable broth from a box, or water.  This soup would probably take a whopping 20 minutes to cook.  But I really wanted freshly cooked beans, and happened to have bones from a roasted chicken in the freezer, so mine took a bit more time.

Cannellini bean soup

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh oregano, minced
  • 2 leeks, halved, 1/2″ thick slice (use white part only)
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 28 ounce can whole san marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • Rind of parmigianno-reggiano
  • Chicken stock, or vegetable stock, or water
  • Fresh greens of your choice (I’ll stick with spinach next time)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Soak beans overnight, covered.  The next day, rinse and drain beans.  Add enough water to cover beans by 1″ in a crockpot, and cook on the low setting until just tender.  This took about 4 hours for me, but it will depend on how fresh your beans are.

Heat olive oil in a deep pan.  Saute garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes until fragant.  Add leeks, oregano, celery and carrots and saute for 5 minutes longer.  Add hand crushed tomatoes, broth, beans and parmigianno-reggiano rind, and continue to cook for 15 minutes.  Add chopped spinach until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove rind from soup.  Serve with a snow flurry of parmesan.

I made my chicken stock by covering the chicken carcass with water.  Add a quartered onion (skin on), a couple of carrots, halved, pepper corns, bay leaf, and carrot tops or Italian parsley.  Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.  I usually use my crock pot.

Paige is ready for Halloween, thanks to Grandma Sherry.  Are you?