Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beef and Vegetable soup

Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
   2      lbs           beef shank -- cut in pieces
   3      quarts        water
   1      large         onion -- diced
   1      T             salt
     1/2  t             thyme
     1/2  cup           split peas
   6      medium        carrots, peeled -- sliced in 1" pieces
   3      medium        tomatoes, peeled -- seeded/chop coarsley
   1 1/2  cups          whole kernel corn -- fresh or frozen
   8      small         onions
   1      large         potato -- peeled/cubed
   1      cup           fresh spinach -- chopped
   1      cup           fresh green beans, broken -- in small pieces
   1      cup           fresh green peas
   1      cup           fresh lima beans
   1      cup           tomato ketchup
   2      T             fresh parsley chopped

-Arrange the pieces of beef shank in the bottom of a large kettle.  Cover with the water:
-add the diced onion, salt, and thyme, and bring to a boil.
-Skim the fat from the surface of the soup and when no more appears, ad
d the split peas, cover the kettle and simmer over low heat for 4 hours.  Remove the shank bones. 
-Cut the meat off the bones and return to the kettle.  Discard bones. 
-Add the rest of the vegetables to the soup mixture,cover and simmer an additional 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  Adjust the seasoning.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Miso Soup!

Miso Soup Recipe

Miso Choice: This time around I used an organic white miso, but I'd encourage you to experiment with a range of misos.
3 ounces dried soba noodles
2 - 4 tablespoons miso paste (to taste)
2 - 3 ounces firm tofu (2 handfuls), chopped into 1/3-inch cubes
a handful of watercress or spinach, well washed and stems trimmed
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
a small handful of cilantro
a pinch of red pepper flakes
Cook the soba noodles in salted water, drain, run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.
In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour a bit of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste - so it thins out a bit (this step is to avoid clumping). Stir this back into the pot. Taste, and then add more (the same way) a bit at a time until it is to your liking. Also, some miso pastes are less-salty than others, so you may need to add a bit of salt here. Add the tofu, remove from the heat, and let it sit for just a minute or so.
Split the noodles between two (or three) bowls, and pour the miso broth and tofu over them. Add some watercress, green onions, cilantro, and red pepper flakes to each bowl and enjoy.

Saturday, August 28, 2010



  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 3 cups chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups chopped pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mango
  • 2 pieces lemon peel
  • 2 pieces lime peel
  • 2 pieces orange peel
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish


Saute the ginger in a medium pot over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes (no oil is necessary.) Add 2 cups strawberries, 1 cup pineapple, 3/4 cup mango and the lemon, lime and orange peels; cook for another 2 minutes. Add water, sugar and fruit juices and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from the heat. Allow mixture to cool slightly and then transfer in batches to a blender or food processor. Puree and strain into a large bowl. Add remaining 1 cup strawberries, 1 cup pineapple, 3/4 cup mango and blueberries. Stir to combine, cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Serve with mint sprigs for garnish.

Minestone Soup

  • Prepare all of your vegetables, slice carrots, peel and cube potatoes, snap ends off grean beans.

  • In a large pot heat olive oil. Add garlic, carrots, green beans, potatoes. Mix in tomatoe paste, kidney beans, water, vegetable broth and italian seasoning. Cook and stir on medium heat for 15 minutes.

  • Add macaroni and cook for 15 more minutes or until noodles and vegetables are tender. Enjoy!

  • Things You'll Need:

    • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
    • 5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 5 carrots, chopped
    • half pound of fresh green beans
    • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
    • 4 cloves of diced garlic
    • 1 (6 ounce) can of tomato paste
    • 1 (15 ounce) can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 (14 ounce) can of vegetable broth
    • 2 cups of water
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon pepper
    • 2 tablespoons of italian seasoning (can be found in the spices section, includes

    Soup Snack

    Sweet Potato Patties, I'll never let you go

    Hey hey kiddos, quick and dirty tonight...tomorrow is my first day of work at my new job, after all. :) 

    The topic? Sweet Potatoes. The taste? Phenomenal. The picture? Less than extraordinary. (Sorry, still don't have my camera charger -- I took this picture with my iphone.)

    A few nights ago I made mashed sweet potatoes to go with our dinner of French Onion soup, roasted chicken withmeyer lemons, and a green salad. I baked the two huge sweet potatoes and then mashed them, skins on, with a dab of wildflower honey, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper. They were wonderfully savory and complimented the tangy chicken perfectly. 

    Last night, however, dinner was a bit different. I roasted a slab of salmon in the oven (seasoned with fresh oregano and more meyer lemon) (I would have grilled it, but wouldn't you know that our deck is being ripped out because of water and termite damage and we can't walk out to the grill for fear of collapsing the fragile remnants of our once beautiful deck. Don't ask.), blanched some green beans, and reheated the left-over French Onion soup. 

    I wanted to use the left-over mashed sweet potatoes also, but I didn't want to simply reheat them. Instead, I unearthed an old recipe from my memories of helping my parents cook as a child. My mom and dad both loved potato patties (fried circles of day-old mashed potatoes, mixed with diced onions, and salt and pepper) and I loved to help them shape the potato mixture into patties. Plus, dipping the (crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside) potato patties into ketchup was highly entertaining to my as a kid. I haven't had them in years. 

    I created the below recipe based on that memory -- our dinner guests and I gobbled them up. Hope you give them a try, they are really, really worth it!

    Sweet Potato Patties

    (Sorry, all ingredients are approximations -- this sort of recipe I do by feel)


    -- leftover mashed sweet potatoes, skins on (approximately 3 cups)
    -- flour (approximately 3/4 cup)
    --eggs (two)
    --nutmeg (1/2 teaspoon *freshly* grated)
    --cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon ground)
    --ginger (1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated)
    -- salt and pepper
    --honey (one teaspoon, but only if the mashed sweet potatoes don't already have honey added)

    -- neutral oil, such as canola, for frying


    1) Combine all ingredients, except the oil, with your hands. Be sure to add the flour bit by bit (you may not use it all). The mixture should be thick and tacky like playdough. If it is too wet, add more flour, if it is too dry, add a bit of water or an extra egg white.

    2) Heat oil in large cast iron frying pan (enough oil to go 1/4 inch up the side of the pan) until sizzling. A drop of water should dance on the surface.

    3) Form golf ball sized balls of sweet potato mixture, and flatten them to about 1/2 thick

    4) Slide the patties into the oil, making sure the pan isn't too crowded. When one side is browned, flip the patty and fry the other side until golden. 

    5) Remove the patties from the oil and place them on a plate covered with a layer of paper towels. 

    6) Fry the patties in batches until all of the mixture is used. 

    7) Blot the excess oil from any patties and serve hot. 


    Be sure to use fresh oil -- rancid or stale oil will ruin these. Also, the freshly grated nutmeg is very important, pre-ground will not be nearly as good. Additionally, the patties should have a crunchy exterior and a smooth, creamy interior. Finally, you should be able to taste the interplay of the salt/sweet/spice flavors. 

    We served these for dinner, but our plan is to reheat the left-overs in the oven and serve them for breakfast with maple syrup. I'll let you know how it goes! 

    Basil Marceaux, disgraceful American

    I mean cmon, look at the way he talks
    Watch it, just WATCH it.


    We've seen photos of the Nintendo 3DS, sure. Here are some close-ups of the upcoming 3D-glasses-free device.
    You can see buttons and slots and holes. It's like you are pressing your face right up against it.
    The Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's next generation of portable handheld gaming consoles, was made official this past spring. It was first shown at the 2010 E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles.

    The Nintendo 3DS is expected to be out before April 2011.