Monday, February 22, 2010

Lentil Soup

Now that I've successfully ruined everyone's resolutions with the past few posts, time to get life back on track (I'm heading to LA for spring break in two short weeks, this is no time for decadent cheesecake!). This is one of my favorite winter soups- thick and savory. I adapted this from the Joy of Cooking cookbook my godmother gave me for Christmas a few years ago. If you don't own this tome, you should. It's pretty indispensable if you ever branch beyond your comfort zone. I've used it as a reference many times and it has saved the day, or pie, more than once!

Sales pitch over, back to the soup. This is a great soup for seasonal transitions. It's hearty and provides a warm comfort while the weather hasn't quite committed to warmer temperatures, but not so much so that it induces hibernation. Anytime I have carrots, celery and an onion laying around my kitchen, I feel a strong need to make stew (these are the triad that start almost every stew or soup), and luckily I often have most or all of these ingredients already in my cupboard.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

*Successful* Rosemary Focaccia Bread

I made bread! I made bread! I made bread! Sorry for the outburst, but after two previous fails at making bread, that is about what I sounded like as various steps of this recipe worked correctly this time (just ask my roommate, I'm sure it was amusing). I used one of the recipes I was working with the first time around, and I'm not entirely sure what made the difference, but something worked out this time and I had a beautiful loaf of chewy, delicious carbs.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blood Orange Tart

Sorry for the lack of posting lately, nursing school is busier than I ever anticipated. Luckily, I have 2-3 previously made but never posted recipes, so you can expect a few more things throughout the weekend!

I'm a big fan of fruit-based desserts, especially when they're accompanied by a flaky crust. Unfortunately, there isn't much in season when it's January and you live in Iowa. The grocery store had blood oranges on sale last week, so I decided to buy a bunch and find delicious things to do with them. I was somewhat surprised at how few people around me knew about blood oranges (my afternoon snack baffled an entire row of BSN students, which was a little more attention than I was hoping for). In light of this lesser-known fruit, here's a brief background on them: they're a mutation of sweet oranges, slightly smaller and have flesh tinted red by anthocyanin, which is a pigment found in many flowers and fruits, though uncommon in citrus fruits. Alright, now that you know the why blood oranges are red - which I'm sure was at the top of everyone's must know lists - it's time to share how to make them into a delicious tart.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Cappuccino-Fudge Cheesecake

I found this recipe last November and have been eye-ing it ever since. SmittenKitchen posted this just a few days after Thanksgiving, which was entirely too soon for me to be enticed enough to go through all the work for something so decadent.  Three months later and approaching a birthday, however, it was time! Now that it's been completely devoured, I can say with absolute certainty that it's worth ruining any and all resolutions, just for a little bit. It's really that amazing.