Yes, pomegranate in the background…
It’s National Homemade Soup Day! And there are always plenty of ideas and flavors for soup…
I love soup. It’s not the first time nor the last time I will say that on this blog. I enjoy eating different soups as much as I enjoy making soup. I like that it’s easy, aside from much chopping (sometimes)! The above picture is of a curried squash and wild rice soup that I made a little while ago with the last of our squash we had from our Community Shares Agriculture (CSA) share. I often make soups with the abundance of vegetables we get, especially in the middle of summer. It tends to freeze well for winter, when CSA vegetables are nowhere around. I tend to use spices instead of salt, almost to the point of under-salting, though the broth adds much of what I don’t.
The recipe turned out fairly well. I followed some of the comments and caramelized the onions in brown sugar, as well as using tomato sauce for an acid instead of orange juice. I also upped the curry powder a bit. I baked the squash beforehand, which made it easy to mix together and used an immersion blender before adding the rice to cook. We didn’t have any butternut squash left, but some buttercup squash combined with other squash worked just fine and gave it a nice color. The wild rice (from our Minnesota trip) held up well in the soup and added to the texture. It was nicely toothsome even in the tasty leftovers. I would make this again, as we had been looking for some good squash recipes.
You can eat what they had for lunch today at the presidential inauguration! Check out the menu and recipes (with wine pairings).
Mr. Z’s Logo
Well, I’m back to the frigid northlands… I mean… Midwest… after a much appreciated surprise trip to Key West from my wife to celebrate my birthday. It took me a little bit to get accustomed to signs showing ‘January’ being in mental juxtaposition with the warm weather. It was my first visit to Florida, and I truly enjoyed it. We hope to return to catch even more of the things we missed. It was a long weekend trip, and we visited several museums and, of course, had to visit Duval Street. I’ll be posting some food highlights of the trip, in the event they may be useful in your travels.
First up was Mr. Z’s: a restaurant that offers cheesesteaks, pizza, and stromboli. We were wandering Duval Street and trying to decide what we were hungry for. We ran across Mr. Z’s, partly due to the enticing aroma that reached us on the sidewalk through the open window screens. It’s not a very large place, with a main counter and some seating on stools along the wall. This might make it easy to overlook amid all the food options available, but it was certainly worth our time and easily handled our hunger. I ordered the sausage and (sweet) peppers sandwich for a very reasonable $7, with an extra $1 for fried onions and cheese. It’s a sandwich that I will get hungry for from time to time, and this one did not disappoint. Coupled with a tasty red sauce, it was flavorful and satisfying.
My wife ordered a small veggie and four cheese stromboli, and they are not kidding when they say it will serve two people- my wife had leftovers. Again, it was a very reasonable price – $10. She let me try some, and it was prepared well. There was a good mix of vegetables complemented with the perfect ratio of cheese to the vegetable ingredients. The crispy crust held all the ingredients together well, also. They do advise it takes a while to cook, but it didn’t take too long to get our meals. I would certainly recommend Mr. Z’s in Key West if you’re looking to satisfy a craving or get a delicious meal for a reasonable price- just make sure not to miss it!
SURGE (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Yahoo hosted a story about popular but discontinued food products- I wonder if Twinkies are soon to be added to the list? (Some enterprising individuals are selling them on eBay.) What are your favorites not made any more?
Photo from Amazon
We belong to a local food co-op that offers organic and other healthy food options; we do our best within our budget to maximize our options. One of the products they carry is Bionaturae pasta. They had a coupon available, so we thought we’d give their organic whole wheat spaghetti a try. I have to admit that my expectations weren’t too high… I’ve tried some other whole wheat pastas from other grocery stores before, and they’ve tasted more ‘wheat-y’.
(That is a similar issue I have had when attempting to use whole wheat flour. I used it for cookies before, and the wheat taste was very easily detectable…)
We were pleased to discover that Bionaturae had a taste like ‘regular’ non-whole-wheat pasta. It took a little longer to cook than regular pasta, but it held up well in the cooking process and was pleasantly toothsome texture-wise. It also paired well with sauce.
It is not available everywhere, but there is a store search feature available on their website and it is also listed on Amazon.com- (no specific recommendation implied).
Overall, this product holds true to its motto on the package: “Exceptional tasting whole wheat pasta! Enjoy the health benefits of whole wheat pasta without sacrificing great flavor.”
Candy cigarettes display
A soda shop in Minnesota got into possible trouble for selling candy cigarettes. I remember our local family-owned grocery store in our small town used to carry boxes of candy cigarettes in the late 80s/early 90s for 10 cents a box (and I recall buying some). I don’t smoke myself, but I can certainly understand how this is part of a larger concern over smoking. On one hand, they’re just candy, but it’s possible that it could be perceived to be imitable (though I wouldn’t be the best example for this proposed chain of causality).
I wasn’t really aware that they were still being made or sold, though admittedly I wasn’t looking. The grocery store back home stopped carrying them at some point in the 90s. (The store was eventually sold, and they were open, closed, open, and now closed again. Such are the realities of rural small town grocery stores.)
They have been banned in some places, but the U.S. is not one of them. A misinterpreted article is still available online. The FDA was actually referring to putting certain flavorings in real cigarettes.