Friday, January 22, 2010

Surviving January

I placed a big order from Penzeys Spices before Christmas. I have been ordering from them for a long time, and love looking around their store in Richmond. I wanted to share what a better deal it is when you get the 4oz. bag as opposed to the 1/2 cup jar. You get twice the amount of spice for the same price. Just put it in your old jar!

Of course that's only for spices I use a lot of, frequently. Otherwise, a great idea is to go to the bulk food section of your local Whole Foods. Yesterday I needed some ground coriander and what I had on hand seemed quite old because I don't use it very often. At Whole Foods I was able to buy a couple of teaspoons for about 16 cents. Much better than buying a new bottle which could loose it's flavor before I used it again.

I'm still making lots of soups with this weather and when we had a real cold snap recently I took advantage of having the wood stove burning continually by simmering some Chili on it!

I made some mushroom soup this week which was the best I've ever made. It's a little rich but worth it!
Give it a try. It's definitely guest worthy.
Mushroom Soup
I used three different kinds of fresh mushrooms.(shitake, baby bellos, button) What ever kinds you can find fresh, use three packages.
Heat 1 stick of unsalted butter in a soup pot with 2 leeks chopped up and cleaned. Saute about 15 min.
Add the sliced up mushrooms and cook 10 more minutes.
Add 1/4 cup flour, cook 1 min.
Add 1 cup white wine, cook 1 min.
Add about 4 cups stock. I used chicken, you could use mushroom or vegetable stock.
Add 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 min.
Add 1 cup half and half and 1 cup heavy cream
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
Eat warm with fresh bread!!

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