Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Whoa, I just started a blog!

Hello readers of my brand new blog. Welcome! So, some of my friends have been suggesting to me for years that I should start a blog. Namely my friend Mahesh, but since him there have been several more blog pushers (most recently my new found friend, Leah. You can check her super cute and crafty blog out here: http://mommyinthemountains.wordpress.com/). So, I thought to myself "self, why NOT start a blog?" And here I am starting a blog. I have been known to be a fan of blogs...I like to peruse them when I am looking for entertainment or searching for new dinner ideas. Perhaps people will peruse mine for the same reasons. We will see! I read that when starting a blog, one should stick to a certain topic or theme. I thought theme schmeme, who cares what I write about. It is MY blog! I can write about 20 different topics if I choose to! This blog will probably include all of the randomness that is my life: foster care, being an insta-mom (this goes along with the former), vegan/vegetarian cooking, and probably some smatterings and sprinklings of various other topics.

I am terrible at taking pictures which could possibly be to my detriment seeing as I will be posting pictures of the food I make. Shannon and I bought this, what we thought at the time, a very nice camera. What I discovered from this purchase was that it is best to either buy the $100 or $150 handheld camera that you can snap a picture in an instant, or pony up and buy the $1,000 camera that has a crazy assortment of lenses you can attach to the camera. Do not buy the in between. That is what we did. Our $250 Fuji camera is bulky, not user friendly,  and has terrible picture quality. I am hoping it will serve its purpose during the early days of this blog until some picture-lovin' person purchases it from Craigslist and we can get a regular ol' handheld camera like the old days. Essentially what I am trying to say here is this is a preemptive apology for the poor picture quality of soon to come food shots!

I will end tonight's first post with my "leaving for a trip and need to clean out the refrigerator" soup recipe. I shall dub it:

Crisper Soup with Corn Dumplings
Serves 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil (or water if you want to cut out the fat)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
3-4 collard green leaves or any greens you have in the fridge
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon Earth Balance butter
1/4 cup almond, soy or rice milk
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
Jalapenos are a great addition if you like your dumplings spicy!

To prepare soup, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and potato and saute about seven minutes, until onions are translucent. Add garlic and bay leaves; saute for another minute until fragrant. Add water, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes, greens and beans; simmer for 20-25 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients; return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves.

To prepare dumplings, sift together flour and the next 4 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles a course meal. Add milk and corn; stir until moist.

Bring soup to a boil. Drop dumpling dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into the soup to form four dumplings. Cover, reduce heat, and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until dumplings are firm. Do not boil or the dumplings will fall apart into the soup.

This recipe makes the perfect amount of soup for 2 people. There is something incredibly gratifying about the fact that there is another dumpling waiting in the pot for you when  you are ready for seconds! Oh, and we forgot to take pictures before we dove right in, but as I am sure you can imagine, soup is soup. Enjoy!


  1. OMG! I am so excited to read it as it all unfolds! Awesome! Soup sounds yummy.
    PS: We have kind of a shitty camera too, what can ya do...sigh. Have a great trip.

  2. Hey, I remember this soup. It was good. (or at least I remember having some spicy soup with dumplings at your house)

    I like our middle of the road camera, lumix TS2. It is shockproof and waterproof, records video. It's pretty cool.

    Cooked anything new lately? I'm about to hit the baked goods pretty hard for a couple of days. Then January 2 I'm starting a 12 week office weight loss competition and I have to at least try. So it looks like I'll be going raw again.