Monthly Archives: May 2018

5 for Friday: 5 More Soups

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It’s been a couple months, but I did try 5 more soups from The Soup Cleanse Cookbook. You can read about this cookbook here. It’s more about what you are putting into your body on a daily basis than any real type of crazy cleanse.

Here is what I learned and an account of what soups I’d make again (or not):

Recipes I’ve tried from each category:

  • Purees
    • Butternut Turmeric – This one called for roasting a whole butternut squash. To save time, I bought this big bag of frozen cubed butternut squash from Costco.
    • Turns out I didn’t quite need this much. 🙂  Just one package inside was enough:
    • This is nice warming soup to sip on a cold winter or early spring morning.
  • Beans & Lentils
    • Chickpea Stew Last post, when I didn’t remember the Lentil & Kale Stew, it was because I didn’t eat it yet! (I did this time around and it was good, though not great.) Instead, I had the Chickpea Stew Last time. I do remember that I didn’t like that we pureed some of the chickpeas and it gave it a gritty texture.
    • Here is a photo of the Lentil & Kale Stew, which could have been a bit more flavorful:
  • Sweeter Spoonfuls
    • Creamy Cocoa with Sweet Potatoes – Here is a recipe that illustrates how forgiving these recipes are. I had 4 recipes this week that called for either cubed butternut squash or sweet potato. When I was half-way through one of my soups, I realized I put in the wrong one! Oh well. So I don’t know what actually went into this one, I’m thinking butternut squash. But I loved it. This was always always a treat in the morning or after work. And the the black rice at the bottom was such a nice addition.
  • Stews
    • Winter Root Vegetable Stew – The author raves about this recipe and I have loved all the stews so far, but something about this one didn’t jive with me. It was a little… sweet? I could argue it was the sweet potato, because I really don’t like them very much because of their sweetness; but who knows if it was the butternut squash that went into this stew instead? The celeriac was much more difficult to find than I thought. I really thought I’ve bought this in the past without any trouble. It took me 4 tries and my final destination was Byerly’s.
    • BRIGHT SIDE – I didn’t use all of the collard greens that went into this dish. So instead, I used them as a bed in place of rice in this Saucy Moroccan Chicken dish. Greens FTW!
  • Restorative Broths
    • Pumpkin and Mushrooms with Star Anise Broth – If you remember, Centeno’s broths are not strained, so you get all of the nutritional goodness of the veggies used to simmer the broth. They also are filling and warming in the evening when you think you may need a snack. This soup recommended pumpkin, kabocha or butternut squash (probably because they are all hearty) and I believe this is the one (along with the Creamy Cocoa soup above) that I accidentally swapped the butternut and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes seemed to disintegrate a little bit… and while I absolutely love fresh mushrooms, they tended to get a rubbery texture on reheating. I found myself sipping this as a true broth and not chewing on or eating the vegetables.

All in all, some success… But I may hang my hat up on souping until the chill of the fall now that spring and summer is finally here!

Cheers~
Carrie

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5 for Friday: What I’ve Been Reading (Not Doing!)

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Whoa! Where did the time go?! Well, a lot has been going on; but before I dive in, I wanted to share this last list of books I found in my drafts. I sure do have some catching up to do!

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This is probably my most diverse reading list yet. Okay, so there might be two cookbooks in here, but we’ve also got fiction, nonfiction, audio and a… play?!

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Weeknight Cooking for Two
by Kenzie Swanhart (nonfiction, cookbook) – worth a read

I love that all of these recipes serve just two people and have only 5-ish ingredients. I now own the cookbook and have flagged a dozen recipes, but I have yet to make one single dish. I’m still in the market for the best, flavorful tomato soup. So the Creamy Tomato Soup will be up first to bat.

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Overwhelmed:
Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time

by Brigid Schulte (nonfiction, audio) – worth a listen/read

If you are a mom, especially a busy mom… or one that feels guilty about anything for any reason, you should read this book. Don’t have time to read it? You should listen to it.

But this book isn’t all about motherhood, it’s about life… and work-life balance and our busy culture in America. There were times when this book made me downright mad. Because I listened to the audio, there was no way I could flag all of the pieces I wanted to.

But I love the perspectives and the bright spots. And there are good chunks of information at the end on what can be changed to ensure a more happy, fulfilling and less crazy-busy life!

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These is My Words:
The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine 1881-1901

by Nancy E. Turner (fiction) – must listen/read

I believe this book was on a list of books that all women should read. I honestly thought it was a true story until I got about a quarter through the book when U thought that it couldn’t be and had to look it up! It’s not entirely true, but inspired by diaries from one woman’s ancestors.

Think Oregon Trail, but in the Old Southwest. Arizona Territory to be exact. Covered wagons? Check. Snake bites? Check. Dysentery? Check. Only it’s So. Much. More.

I absolutely loved it and since the only way I could listen was via the downloaded audio on my phone, it kept my earbuds in and me cleaning up a storm! I’m thoroughly interested in listening to Sarah’s Quilt so I can remain in Sarah’s world for a while longer. (Not that I would have been able to successfully live in her world by any means!)

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Les Belles Soeurs
by Michel Tremblay (play, fiction) – SKIP

I don’t think I’ve ever read a play before… except maybe Romeo and Juliet in high school? Still, I think the written form of this script was lost on me, perhaps the English translation, too, since this was orginally written in Qubecois French in the 60s. I found the piece because it ended up on a list of Quebecois books before we went to Canada. I also read Tremblay’s The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant, which I didn’t really love either.

The women in this play were just nasty to each other and I didn’t really get anything out of the story. I had to look up other reviews on good reads to see if I really missed something. Those reviews are definitely mixed!

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Great Bowls of Food
by Robin Asbell (nonfiction, cookbook) – Skip

I am a sucker for a good bowl as shown here, here, here, here, here, and here. For me, it’s like healthy comfort food. What I did like about this book is that I discovered a few sauces to add to my bowl repertoire, such as the Creamy Goat Cheese and Tomato Sauce. What I didn’t like was that all of the bowls made four servings and weren’t always easily scale-able down to one. I also would have preferred the ingredient lists to be broken down a bit. You know, when a recipes shows “for the sauce” or for the “roasted vegetables” or when there are different pieces of the dish made separately, which often happens in bowl meals. I think that would have made them seem less overwhelming. I do think I may put the Cure a Cold Brothy Bowl in the rotation though, if I should have enough energy (and all the ingredients on hand!)

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Have you ever read a play??

Cheers~
Carrie