Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Carrot Fennel Soup

Even though my lighting makes it look like a tie-die print, it happens to be a very nice carrot fennel soup. It also happens to be the perfect weekend lunch before dinner out. Light and satisfying. The recipe calls for a good amount of orange juice, but each time I've made this (it's been many) I halve the amount. The carrots are sweet enough, so next time I might leave it out all together and just add orange zest.

It's a fairly standard procedure, sauteeing the sliced fennel bulb in butter, adding the sliced carrots and garlic shortly afterwards. Simmer in water (I've used chicken stock) and orange juice for about 20 minutes and then either puree or roughly mash with the back of a wooden spoon. Add requisite dollop of sour cream. So right on so many levels.

Recipe on page 151

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chocolate Dump-It Cake

I'd like to say the reason only half of the cake is showing is for composition. Truth is, half of the cake was still stuck in the pan. (I was too light on the butter and flour during pan preparation, I suppose.)

But all that doesn't matter because the cake tastes good. Even while forking it out of said pan. And even if it's name contains 'Dump-It'. So good, in fact, my un-sweet-toothed husband nearly lick his plate clean. That's high praise. I discovered this cake just before my husband's birthday, and it was convenient that Ms. Hesser described it has her family's go-to birthday cake.

On top of being delicious, it's simple and the ingredients are likely already in your kitchen. The batter comes together in one saucepan, adding ingredient after ingredient. The icing recipe deserves a post in itself. A 1:1 ratio of melted bittersweet chocolate chips and sour cream, it's perfectly sweet and tangy.

One of the best recipes I've come across in this book yet.

Recipe on page 781

Monday, January 14, 2013

Golden Winter Puree

If the hit of ginger in this puree won't warm your bones, you'll need to check your pulse. I used fresh, grated ginger instead of ground ginger and I'm glad I did. The puree hovers on the sweet side -- consisting of carrots, rutabaga, and pear. The soft heat of fresh ginger rounds the puree out nicely, as does the slip of heavy cream. We had ours with braised short ribs. 

Recipe on page 235