Posted in Recipes

Curried Apple, Squash, Sweet Potato Soup

I have always enjoyed the cookbook, “Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home,” so when Susan and I were at the town library recently and she pointed out to me a new cookbook, “Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates,” I said we had the check this out. And we did and I made this delicious curried, apple, squash, sweet potato soup!

Ingredients
Soup
2 cups chopped onions
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon salt
6 cups peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped butternut squash* (I oven-roasted this before adding to soup.)
2 cups peeled, cored and coarsely chopped apples
2 cups peeled and coarsely chopped sweet potatoes* (I oven-roasted this before adding to soup.)
4 cups water
* About 3 pounds of butternut squash and just less than 2 pounds of sweet potatoes will yield the right amount for this recipe.
Topping
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 ounces fresh spinach or mustard greens, rinsed and chopped
 
Directions
In a large nonreactive soup pot (it needs to be big), sauté the onions in the butter or oil until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.  In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until aromatic and lightly browned.  Cool for a few minutes and grind to a powder (I used a coffee grinder). Add the ground spices, salt, squash, apples, sweet potato, and water to the onions.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, until all of the ingredients are thoroughly cooked and tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, sauté the garlic in the oil for about 1 minute on medium heat, stirring constantly, until soft and just golden. Add the greens and sauté on high heat until the water evaporates and the greens wilt.  Remove from the heat and set aside.
Purée the soup in small batches in a blender until smooth, adding about 1/4 cup of water if the soup is thicker than you’d like.  When ready to serve, gently reheat, ladle into shallow bowls, and top each serving with some of the sautéed greens.
I served the soup with this homemade bread with sage.


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Posted in Recipes

Quiche–A Thanksgiving Tradition

Thanksgiving prepations for Susan and me begin a few weeks before the holiday.

We put our tree up early so our grandchildren can see it on Thanksgiving as we don’t see them on Christmas.

Here I am doing some menu-planning for the week.

And here is Sock Monkey guarding the grandchildren’s presents.

The grandchildren come over for breakfast, along with our daughter and son-and-law. We give them their Christmas gifts—clothes that they can wear on Christmas day. I have to give credit where credit is due; Susan buys all the Christmas gifts. She often consults with me about style and size.

Here’s Matthew opening his gift.

We watch the Macy’s Parade and the Westminster Dog show before they leave for dinner at Mike’s moms and we head to Connecticut for dinner at our niece and nephews home. This is the real tradition—all of this along with breakfast. Here’s the menu:

Here’s Emily wearing her new winter jacket; I love this photo.

Before I forget, I want to tell you about the gratitude pumpkin. That’s right—a gratitude pumpkin. Not a real pumpkin but a pumpkin made of 8 strips of orange paper. On each strip you write one thing you are grateful for. Susan and I made them in our 4th grade Bridges Together class. Then stable it together to form a pumpkin. Voila!

My writing (hand-writing that is) is not so good. This is what I wrote:

  • I am thankful for our grandchildren
  •  I am thankful for my wife, Susan
  •  I am thankful for my brother and sisters
  •  I am thankful for my friends
  •  I am thankful for my son & daughter
  •  I am thankful for our dog, Freddy
  •  I am thankful for our beautiful home
  •  I am thankful for my health (Not so sure if I am thankful for the kidney stones. After one operation I am drinking so much water I feel like the main character in John Irving’s “The Water-Method Man.” Who knows what 2020 has in store for me.)

So what about the quiche?

I hardly ever make a crust for my quiche. Why bother? And crustless means less calories for those like me who are working to lose weight! A goal for 2020 for sure.

You can add almost anything to this quiche: onion, bacon, sausage, spinach, peppers. In this quiche I added leek, mushrooms, and tomato.

Preheat oven to 375F

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup half & half and 1 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 2 cups diced butternut squash, oven-roasted at 400 for 30 minutes
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach
  • pinch of nutmeg or allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Grease a 10″ pie plate.

Roast butternut squash for about 30 minutes and then set aside to cool.

Crack eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add half & half and heavy cream, salt and pepper, and nutmeg, and beat thoroughly. Then add your vegetables and cheese.  Mix well. Pour the mixture into your prepared pie plate. I added a few sliced mushroom to half of this because our grandson loves mushrooms. Who knew!

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35–45 minutes. Maybe 50 minutes if your prefer a crusty top!

Allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

One last tradition. We always listen to Alice’s Restaurant on Thanksgiving Eve or Day!

So, what are some of our family traditions? Name at least three and I will send you a Christmas Card!

I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

 

 

Posted in Recipes

Spinach and Ricotta Meatloaf

I have made hundreds of meatloaves over the years, each probably a little different than the previous one. Last night’s was exceptional. Spinach and Ricotta Meatloaf.

I didn’t follow a recipe for this. Honest. I made it up as I went along. And as I said, I have made hundreds of meatloaves over the years. Read about one here and here

But to the best of my memory, I combined:

1 1/4 pound ground meat
1 beaten egg
1 cup of milk soaked homemade rye bread pieces
1 cup store-bought bread crumbs
1/2 + cup ricotta
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
2+ cups chopped baby spinach
1 carrot grated
1 stalk celery diced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

I put sliced tomatoes on top instead of ketchup because why not 🙂

I baked at 350 for about an hour. Served with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. And roasted broccolini.

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.

 

Posted in Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Cod In Miso Broth

Light. Comforting. Satisfying. Delicious. Japanese-like.

Cooked in one skillet (if you don’t add red lentils).

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons canola or other neutral-tasting oil
  • 5  shiitake mushroom caps,  sliced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, dark-green parts reserved for optional garnish
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons peeled, finely minced fresh ginger root
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste
  • Two 6-ounce pieces of cod
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup cooked red lentils (my addition)
Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are browned. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the scallion whites, garlic and ginger; cook for about 30 seconds, stirring, until fragrant.

Add 2 3/4 cups of the water to the skillet and bring to barely a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. While the water is heating, whisk the miso paste with the remaining 1/4 cup water in a liquid measuring cup until dissolved, then whisk that mixture into the skillet.

Season the fish with the salt and pepper, then place in the skillet. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes over low to medium-low heat, maintaining a gentle bubbling, until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is fairly firm.

To serve, place one piece of fish in each wide, shallow bowl. (Before I did this, I spooned the cooked red lentils into each bowl.) Stir the sauteed mushrooms and the spinach into the liquid in the skillet, then remove from the heat. Pour the broth with spinach and mushrooms around the fish in each bowl. Garnish with the scallion greens, if using.

Serves 2. Recipe based on one from Ellie Krieger.

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.

 

Posted in Color Photography, Documentary Photography, Food Photography, Inspiration, Recipes

Pasta alla Louise

Yesterday, January 8, was Susan’s birthday.

I gave her a choice of four different meals for dinner: pasta and spinach, meatballs and rice, meatloaf, or hamburgers. She chose pasta.

The recipe is based on one I found online called “5 Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta.”

I call this recipe “Pasta alla Louise.” Why Louise? Because that is Susan’s middle name. And Pasta alla Louise sounds more pasta-poetic than Pasta alla Susan!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz uncooked pasta (I used Rienzi Glutten-free Penne Rigate)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil (My addition)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I didn’t used garlic. See Note below.)
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (My addition)
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (My addition)
  • 5-6 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (My addition)
  • Note: 3-4 roasted tomatoes (My addition. I roasted tomatoes this past summer in olive oil, lots of garlic, rosemary, thyme and oregano. I then bagged them and froze, 3-4 per bag. I have about 30 bags in the freezer!)

Directions:

  1. Add the pasta to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Set pasta aside.
  2. Using a large pan or wok, melt the butter over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the red pepper flakes and onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the roasted tomatoes, pasta and spinach. Gently toss and cook until spinach leaves are wilted. Add in some of the reserved pasta water and chicken stock. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese and toss until combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  3. Pour pasta into a large bowl. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Here is a photo of it cooking in my All-Clad pan:

If you are looking for beautiful portrait, wedding, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.  Photography and Prints meant to last a lifetime! For more details about having an amazing and fun photo experience, please contact me.