Category Archives: Information

Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Turmeric

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Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Turmeric

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It is COLD in the Northeast USA now and I find that cooking with the WARM spices like curries, turmeric, cayenne keep the bodily  “fires” burning from the inside out for a feeling of warmth and comfort. One of my favorite fast and easy recipes for inner heat and delicious eating is this one. There are many variations on this with an added ingredient here or there but this one so far is the one that works for me, allowing for culinary creativity as I am so inspired.

The price of cauliflower varies widely. Yesterday at Belmont’s it was $4.99 for a head, and $2.99 a head at Shaw’s. Both beautifully fresh and white. Shop wisely and economically!

Although a white vegetable, cauliflower is nutrient rich and the powerful brown/red/orange spices in curry (turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne etc) are warming to the body and digestion, protective and anti-tumor as well. This recipe is a winner…good to prepare ahead and take to a potluck also, serving warm or hot.

Basic ingredients:

1 head cauliflower, cut into flowerettes, olive oil, curry powder and preferred extra spices like turmeric, cinnamon, cumin. IMG_8742

Extra ingredients as desired:

tahini, honey, a good chutney (I use Major Grey’s)

Preparation:

1. Cut cauliflower into flowerettes, place in a large bowl and drizzle with  a tablespoon + of olive oil, tossing to coat well. Sprinkle with curry powder to coat as desired and add a sprinkle of one of the extra spices if preferred. I do ot have a measurement here but go by eye, to color the vegetable. Just remember: you can always ADD but you cannot SUBTRACT an ingredient…be discerning…a little at a time. Sprinkle with a little salt (fingertip-taste…do not overdo!) Toss to coat everything evenly.

IMG_87412. Place on a cooking pan. Bake/Roast at 400 degrees for 15 -20 minutes depending on your oven… turn the flowerettes after that time and bake/roast until done…I like them to turn a slight golden color but do not burn!

3. Serve as is, adjusting for flavor   OR….

4. MY Special touches:

~ when in the serving bowl, I add a teeny bit of honey to taste

~ when in the serving bowl, I add a teeny bit of tahini to coat very lightly

~ when in the personal dish, I add a little bit of mango/raisin chutney if desired

This recipe is open for adjusting to your personal taste and preferences but I assure you, it is delicious and won’t last long in the serving bowl.

Stay warm, inside and out!

From Christine, The Cook

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A delicious life has many ingredients! Check my other blogs..

For inspiration: http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com

For music/the arts: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For the power to create a good life: http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

 

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Recipe List! Update!

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Eat

 

Hi there! Now you can find what’s on this blog more easily. Click on the “Recipe List” page in the header  or link below  to find something good to prepare!

 

https://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com/recipe-list/

 

There is also a new  page  for cooking  stories and memoirs

https://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com/memoirs/

From Christine, the Cook  (organizing this blog. Now to clean and organize the fridge)

220727_10151282433958396_866733424_o Other wonderful blogs of mine:

Music and Piano:  http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

Law of Attraction:  http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

Inspiration and Beauty: http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com

 


“Hot” wines/ “Cool” Wines and Tender Tummies

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Wine

Ah, yes, I do love wine. And in my country neighborhood we have an elegant wine store (called “package stores” here in New England) with an awesome array of the finest wines from around the world, and extremely knowledgeable owners who wax poetic over the virtues of their inventory. Friendly wine tastings too on Friday afternoons with customers chatting and sipping and enticed by the deliciousness to carry home at least one, if not several, bottles of their favorite new (expensive-but-worth-it) variety.

But alas! I of delicate digestion over the past several years have had to limit my choices of such delights and choose lighter fermentations. One of the situations for me has been the noticeable difference between “hot” and “cool” wines based on the percentage of alcohol in the wine. Tho I am no wine connoisseur, it seems that vintners have been brewing up higher percentages of alcoholic content in their vats of grappa..sometimes as high as 14.9 % altho  12.9%-13,9% seems about average now but is literally too “HOT” for me and irritating to my digestion causing discomfort.

If the alcohol content is too low, the wine is too sweet, too many calories and like juice…too “cool”.  Yet I love to choose a lovely  glass goblet, and pour the wine into it, swirling it around and inhaling the fragrance, sipping slowly and savoring a beverage as ancient as the gods…

WineSometimes I think I love a glass of wine because of the beauty of the goblet and the way the shape of the  glass feels in my hand and against my lips.

 

 

Well, in life we can’t always have things the way we think we would have liked…but then again maybe something comes along that is just perfect for where we are. That “perfect” glass of wine for me is a delightful pink vino verde from

Portugal, the label, Casal Garcia, ALC 10% but with the teeniest fizz making it fun and very digestible. Also the price is right for casual imbibing.. $6.99 a 750ml bottle.Vinho Verde This wine is always disappearing from the shelves, constantly re-ordered and replaced so I must not be the only non-elite connoisseur around town.

Lifting a glass of “cool” wine to you in the first days of the coolth of Autumn!

From Christine, the Cook

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*****There are many things to savor in life!!

Please check my inspirational blogs:

http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com  (beautiful photos and ponderings)     AND

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com (for music people and pianists)

 

 

 

Memoirs: The Treasured Spatula

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Memoirs: The Treasured Spatula

IMG_8154 For many of us who love to cook, our kitchen tools hold stories for many years. Some of those tools…utensils, pots, pans, and cookbooks come and go as we come and go ourselves to different houses and places,  moving into and through different phases (and crazes) of our lives experimenting with the new along the way. One thing that stays the same probably is that no matter where we go, we most likely always have a “kitchen”…either our own or someone else’s and the things we use in that room can be very personal and important in the success of our creative culinary efforts.

I remember my very first cookbook given to me by a college friend at my wedding shower: A hardbound copy of Betty Crocker’s “Dinner for Two”, which at that time sounded very romantic…visions of long, lingering dinners by candlelight with my new husband. (Well the book had a picture of a table set for two with flowers and candles and very easy and basic recipes  taking little time to prepare as it was assumed that the kitchen time had to be divided between itself and that other important newly-wed room). Cookbook That book served us well for the first year or so, making me feel very accomplished and grown-up. (I married quite young..)

 

I just looked up that cookbook this morning on Amazon. It seems that it has increased in value over the years as one can order a used copy for $41.36 and a NEW copy (they still print it? Copywrite 1964) for $992.28! And that .28 doesn’t go towards the shipping! Do people still give that as a wedding shower gift????

How many sets of “the perfect”pots and pans have come and gone? Blenders, food processors, toaster ovens, potholders of different patterns, towels and wipers, sets of dishes, crockpots of various sizes, innumerable Tupperware pieces (many with missing lids), wine stoppers with the artsy top decoration broken off, fizzle makers, wooden spoons, glass measuring cups with chips…? They have come and gone and been replaced and the cooking goes on.

Except… Except for each long-time, long-term cook, there are one to several kitchen tools that can NEVER be replaced! A culinary tool or utensil that has been with us from the beginning.  A kitchen companion hat has been with us through all our travels..the different houses and kitchens and life situations ongoing… one without which we could quite possibly never cook another meal again successfully.

It, for us, has the patina and magic of the years, the familiar feel and unique shape that has been used in all kinds of situations and which is irreplaceable for our creations and the comfort of familiarity that is necessary for our grounding!

Sounds silly? Once is a great while over the years panic set in when for one of those crazy un known reasons, my special utensil disappeared…diving deep into a drawer hidden by other less saavy tools. I would feel myself go white…WHERE IS MY SPATULA??????

Not just any spatula. THIS spatula that has been with me from the beginning, a wedding gift as part of a set of cooking utensils from our friend Mike Corn. The rest of the set has gone…but this…THIS spatula has always been with me and it is special. The weight of it, the feel of it, the sturdiness of it and most importantly the unique and unusual slight tilt to the blade of it that allowed me to work certain flips and stirring in the pot that other ordinary totally straight edge spatulas wouldn’t do.

Spatulas are very different from each other. How often I have been SO frustrated when visiting others and needing a spatula for something I would be cooking as a guest, I would be fighting with a soft and floppy blade or a thick plastic blade that pushed food around the pan rather than slide under to pick it up or flip it over. “I can’t cook with this thing!!” I would groan. “I should have packed and brought MY SPATULA with me!!”, but never thought about it, packing eye makup, slippers and my vitamins instead.

Well, this is a cooking blog and our cooking is FILLED with the nourishing ingredients of MEMORIES, making the act of preparing food very personal and intimate. No recipe today, but I invite you to think about the treasured utensils that have been with you forever and which help you to create your best culinary magic. Thank them for their good service!

My special spatula has been with me for 46 years now, can you believe. I would be lost without it. The friend, Mike, who gave it has passed on many years ago..but I wouldlove to have him know that his gift is still here and treasured.

What is your favorite cooking utensil?

Christine, the Cook 

Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie (Quiche)

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The Gardener’s Community Cookbook- Victoria Wise

As promised, following yesterday’s post “Foodie Flops-Behind the Scenes on Cooking Blog”  here is the delicious recipe for Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie from the Smith and Hawkins Community Cookbook compiled and written by Victoria Wise. The book is a delightful collection of tales and  favorite recipes from various gardeners and farmer’s market people using the generous bounty of the earth and summer’s harvest. This recipe can be found in the book on page #172. As I had mentioned in the original article above, this book was a special overstock deal for $2.99  at JOB LOT many years ago and I bought extra copies of this treasure to give as gifts to friends. I hope you can still find it on Amazon or ebay  ( or in your library system) It was published in 1999.

This is a wonderful recipe! Just remember to make the pie crust first!

Tomato, Basil and Cheese Pie

Ingredients:  One 10 inch pie crust…3 large tomatoes, sliced 1/8 in thick…salt…1 cup firmly packed basil leaves…1/2 cup small curd cottage cheese…2 large eggs…1/2 coarsely grated or chopped mozzarella cheese…1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese…dried garlic powder and dried sweet marjoram (optional, my addition)…olive oil to brush on top

Prepare

1. Prepare crust, set aside (I baked it slightly first to harden it just a bit)

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (I had to lower it to 350 degrees as my countertop oven was running too hot)

3. Lightly sprinkle tomato slice with salt, both sides. Set aside on paper towels top and bottom to absorb the liquid. Pat dry before using.

4.Place basil, cottage cheese and eggs in a blender (I used my nutribullet) and blend until well combined. Add the mozzarella, parmesan, a little salt and pepper, a sprinkle of the optional garlic powder and or the sweet marjoram..just a sprinkle..) and continue blending until mixed,

5. Assemble pie: Pat tomato slices dry, line bottom of pie pan with the crust with the end pieces of the tomato slices, spoon cheese mixture over the tomato slices, arrange the remainder of the tomato slices on top of the cheese/basil mixture. Brush top layer with olive oil. Place in heated oven.

6. Bake until edges of crust are crispy and golden (watch for burning and lower temp if necessary) and the cheese mixture is firm enough for an knife inserted in the center comes out clean…about 50-60 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm, at room temperature or cover and refrigerate to serve later or the next day.

This is also a hit at pot lucks! Disappears fast! (Make two- one for everyone, one for you!)

Enjoy!  (And remember, even if it looks like mine did in the Foodie Goof post…it is still delicious!)

Happy Eating from Christine, The Cook

ps. If you’d also like Food for Your Soul and Nature’s Beauty check my Greening Spirit Blog as well

http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com

 

 

Simply Sensuous Spicy Indian Stew: cold weather heat!

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It is cold and damp here on the New England coast..the kind of cold and damp that gets up under your clothes and makes your nose feel chilled, even when indoors! Altho I use spices in my cooking all year long (sprinkling cayenne on many things for inner heat and good digestion), in this season certain spices used judiciously and consciously in cooking have the added benefits of increasing circulation,  stimulating good digestion, and protecting you from colds and winter-related maladies.

We are lucky where I live to be home to the the ORIGINAL Job Lot store and New England has a number of them now with wonderful good food products not found in market chains, and priced less than if found in specialty food shops. One of the culinary treasures I have found at Job Lot is this line of Indian cooking sauces, and this one, “Rich Cashew and Cumin” is one of my favorites. I have created a delicious warming, grounding SENSUOUS chicken stew and am loving to share it here with you. Mind you, Indian foods are often HOT and this is quite spicy…but it is wonderful and certainly a nourishing source of energy and comfort on a cold night!

Ingredients:

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1 lb. organic chicken breast, 1 jar Kitchens of India Rich Cashew and Cumin Cooking Sauce, 2-3 organic carrots, peeled and sliced thin, 1-2 parsnips peel/sliced thin, 1/2 -1 med onion, preferably sweet, chopped, 1-2 stalks celery sliced, 1 cup medium brown rice,  ( condiment toppings, optional as desired one or all: golden rasins/shredded coconut/mango chutney)

Preparation:

Dice chicken in cubes.  Sir and lighly brown in olive oil and butter. IMG_7030

Add sliced vegetables, stir and saute with chicken for several minutes till vegetables are just slightly softened, add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes to release flavours..IMG_7031

Add a small amount of golden raisins.

Add cooking sauce over all, and a little water or chicken broth if necessary. Cover, cook gently until vegetables are softened (not mushy). Taste..adjust for salt (you will NOT need pepper).

Serve: Serve this over cooked brown (or white) rice, top with one or all: golden raisins, shredded coconut, a good chutney. For a beverage: Indian lassi or kefir.

ENJOY!  (Tastes even better a day or two later!)

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NOTE: You are invited to check my latest post on the Greening Spirit Site: “Oak Maiden” http://thegreeningspirit.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/oak-maiden/