The kids are on their second week of spring break (aaahhh!!), and they were watching so much TV that the cable box and DVD player froze up (I only TRY to be a good mom—never said I was one). So now they’re keeping themselves entertained by making up songs about Spongebob Squarepants and Star Wars.
Here’s a chicken tortilla soup I adapted to be vegetarian. It uses chipotles in adobo, which you can buy in a can in the Mexican food aisle. Any leftover chipotles can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a year.
I know you’ve all been wondering where I have been. Sorry. It’s been a crazy few weeks. I am currently planning lots of new things for sophistimom (thanks to some of the ideas of our creative reader, Brooke, at ConversationsWithACupcake). All the brainstorming is cutting into time I could be spending making new posts. Don’t worry, though. The new and improved sophistimom.com will be online soon.
While you’re all waiting though . . .
Here is a very simple and comforting soup you can make in a hurry.
All growing up, a good friend of ours used to host a party at her house on the afternoon of New Year’s Day. It was so nice to gather after the rush of Christmas and the craziness of New Year’s Eve, and just chat, put together puzzles, watch football, whatever. It was such a relaxing way to celebrate the end of the holidays.
It was potluck, but she would always make this amazing pot of stew. My stew is not the same as hers, but I have tried to carry on her tradition with my own recipe.
I have been a bit distant lately. I know; I’m sorry. I entered a fiction contest on Saturday (Yeah, yeah, la-dee-dah. I’m sure I won’t win.), which meant the weeks leading up to Saturday were very busy. It was hard to concentrate on cookies and chocolate when my head was buried in tall ships and Pre-Revolutionary America.
Anyway, I did come up with a few recipes, and I figured I’d post them now, while you’re all dreaming up your Thanksgiving menus. This is the winter squash soup I promised you. By the way, it freezes beautifully, so if you want to serve it for Thanksgiving, make it now, let it cool completely, and freeze it in a big container. You can heat it up when the turkey comes out of the oven!
Coming soon: pumpkin crème brûlée, for those of you who want something a little different for pumpkin pie.
I love this chicken stock. You don’t need to wait until you have a spare set of chicken bones—you just use a small whole chicken. Because it’s made in the slow cooker, the chicken becomes tender instead of tough. And best of all, it cooks while you sleep.
For the vegetables, just use any odds and ends left over in the fridge. I used the carrots and celery my kids never ate.
When I had the idea for this recipe, I bought a spaghetti squash and stuck it on my counter.
It sat there for a week.
I was nervous that it would come out as all my other pathetic spaghetti squash dishes—bland and disappointing.
But it turned out better than I hoped.
My grandmother descended from a long line of Connecticut Yankees and married the son of Italian immigrants. The Italian food she cooked was amazing. I remember this one soup she made with tomatoes and thyme, which I liked to eat with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. I don’t think she put sausage or tortellini in it, but I wanted to use up my tortellini from last week, and sausage seems to be the classic accompaniment in this kind of soup.
I used the rind from an old piece of parmigiano reggiano I had been keeping in the freezer. If you don’t have one, that’s completely fine, but the next time you buy parmesan cheese, remember to chop off the rind and keep it in a zip top bag in the freezer. It’ll keep for at least a year.
That’s about enough sugar to be going on with, wouldn’t you say? I think I gained five pounds this week.
I made this right after eating all those lime bars to take me off my sugar high. It’s really easy to make. (I think I should have put a spoon somewhere in the picture—-that might have looked nicer.)
Well, it’s rainy and chilly outside (YEA!!!!), and I can’t think of a better recipe for a day like today than clam chowder. I’m from New England, which means that any other kind — Manhattan, Long Island, etc. — just won’t do.
This recipe uses canned clams because I can’t get fresh ones in the Rocky Mountains. If you live near a great fish monger, then by all means, have him shuck a pound of clams for you, and you can use those instead.