Thursday, April 30, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper and Leek Soup

Did you know that unlike the soccer team, the tennis team either practices or has a match every single weekday? Every one. I was really happy when Kay took the spring season of soccer off to try tennis instead. Her soccer practices were at 5 or 5:30 which was a mess with our dinner time and we had to travel to other towns every weekend for the games. Tennis on the other hand, practices right after school at her school which is seconds from our house and they have a bus that takes them to and from the matches. This was all really good news until I got the schedule. Every night is a bit much!

So obviously our dinners have been a little crazy and weird because I'm not very motivated to make a full meal when none of us are eating together. I did manage to pull this soup together one night though and it went over pretty well. It is based off of something that I saw on Delicious TV but that I didn't write down. This might be her exact recipe or it might be nothing at all like it! But this is at least what I remember it to be!

Roasted Red Pepper and Leek Soup

4 cups chopped leeks (about 1 large leek)

1 jar roasted red peppers (or about 5 peppers)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

Saute the leeks in olive oil over medium heat until softened. Add the peppers and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the broth and bring it to a boil. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.

Puree the soup either in a blender or with an immersion blender. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with a sprinkling of coarse salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Kay: This soup was OK. I like creamy soups like this.

Mom (Dana): Our weather is bouncing all over the place and this soup was light enough that it was enjoyable on the 80 degree days as well as the 40 degree ones.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

Kay and I have both been on spring break this week. Normally this is a fun week, especially when her birthday falls in the middle of it like it did this year. Unfortunately for Kay, she also had to get two teeth pulled, go to the eye doctor and to the orthodontist! Plus the weather was terrible up until yesterday. To make up for this though she is having 3 birthday celebrations including a slumber party this weekend so don't feel too sorry for her.

On her birthday, I let her pick the meal. I was positive she would pick gnocchi but in a surprise move she picked fettuccine alfredo instead. Everyone seems to like this and it is my friend Lisa's favorite out of all my recipes. It is not at all healthy though! Obviously it is pretty much pure dairy so I ate a frozen dinner instead but Bill and Kay enjoyed it.

Fettuccine Alfredo

12 oz fettuccine
1/2 cup margarine
1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh parsley

Cook the fettuccine according to the package directions.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the margarine. Gradually stir in the cheese and then the cream. Stir until well blended. Continue heating sauce, stirring constantly until it boils.

Combine the noodles, sauce and parsley.

Kay: I like the fettuccine a lot. I would rather have the parsley only on top instead of mixed in though. For my birthday my parents gave me a Wii and then I got money from my relatives so I bought some games yesterday.

Mom (Dana): This always looks like a disaster but it does eventually come together. If the cheese is really gloppy, a whisk helps.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Soda Bread

A while ago, my mom was telling me that she saw soda bread in the store and was tempted to buy it but didn't. Then a few days later she saw it on Martha Stewart. She had never tried it before which I find shocking because I've been making it for years. I had planned to make some for them but then we got sick and lost about a month of our lives but now we are better. So Kay and I made some bread Friday night and then we all got up early and took it down to their house for breakfast.

Most recipes I've seen for soda bread call for raisins but my dad hates dried fruit so we used mini chocolate chips instead. You can also use nuts or a combination of all of them. You can also use herbs instead of the cinnamon and put Parmesan on top instead of sugar and serve it with dinner. It is really flexible.

Soda Bread

In a large bowl, mix:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

Cut in 1/2 cup margarine.

Stir in 1/3 cup chocolate chips, raisins, or nuts.

In a medium bowl, mix:
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Let set 5 minutes. Then add in one egg or two egg whites.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Knead lightly to bring the batter together. It will be dry.

Form the dough into a round and place it on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut an X into the top of the loaf and brush it with soy milk. Sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes.

Kay: I don't like raisins so I was glad we used chocolate chips instead. This was fun to make. I like kneading.

Mom (Dana): This is a very dry bread. The first bite is always a little bland to me but the flavor develops as you eat it.
If you don't have white whole wheat flour, you can use 4 cups of all purpose instead.