Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bonus Recipe - Farro Soup

Love, love, love this soup. First off all it's delicious, it's easy, and it makes enough  that I can bring it for lunch at work. I love a good lunch. I think I may have a little soup obsession going on here. Its like the very first signs of fall arrive and I'm wanting to stock up on soups. Farro is an Italian grain and one of the healthiest grains there is. It is firm and chewy and has wonderful flavor. I'm included pics with the recipe this time.
Farro Soup
4 oz diced prosciutto
1 container cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks; sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, cut into big chucks
Kosher Salt; Pepper
Fresh Parmesan
3/4 cup farro
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil - divided
64 0z Swanson's Vegetable Broth

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a hot pan, Add the prosciutto and sauteed for 2-3 minutes. Then add the two tablespoons of olive oil, the carrots, celery, onion, zuchini, and cherry tomatoes. Season with 1 tablespoon kosher salt and black pepper. You may wan to squish the cherry tomatoes with the back of your wooden spoon a little to get the juices out. Add the farro. Mix. Add the veggie stock and bring to a boil. After it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook 25 -30 minutes. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Fun Times at the Zoo

The Memphis Zoo is great - we love it!! Unfortunately, we let our membership run out and went for the first time having to pay. As great as it is, it is also expensive. And, to top it off,  Amelia seems to want to do more of the things that cost money (merry-go-round, face painting, food, treats, etc..). So, our usual hour trip to the zoo turned into a three hour adventure! Today, we weren't 20 feet in the zoo doors when we came face to face with a giant stuffed panda. Amelia was beyond excited. I'm not sure when/ where she became obsessed with pandas, but she loves em! Maybe its because she saw 
" Kung Fu Panda"?? Literally she was shaking with excitement. After spending a few minutes with him, I suggested we move on. We didn't make it very far. Amelia insisted (i.e. started to throw a fit) that we go back to see him and that she didn't care to see any other animals, live animals, at the zoo today. So, went spent out day at the zoo stalking this giant panda. We made brief stops to spend money and ,of course, to get her face painted. I suggested just getting a butterfly on her cheek, but again she insisted on something else.....  As we walk away, I did the dreaded lick my fingers and rub the purple paint off her lips - it was just way too much for me to handle. A fairy princess with too much make-up is one thing, a fairy princess gone goth is a completely different thing. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Recipe Round Up - Roasted French Whole Chicken

My recipe choice this week is French Roasted Whole Chicken with Winter Veggies. Simple enough for a weeknight dinner, and delicious enough to serve at a dinner party. After you make this chicken, you will no longer overpay for a shriveled up roasted chicken you buy at the grocery. You will be surprised how delicious this is!!!

1 (4-5 pound) whole chicken. Washed with water and dried completely.
2 tablespoons Herb de Provence (in the herb & spice section)
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
5 carrots, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
5 whole. peeled garlic cloves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
Ground pepper
1 apple; quartered
1 lemon; cut in half

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.In a large roasting pan, mix the chopped vegetables, garlic cloves, wine, and chicken broth together. Season with 1 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt and ground pepper. Add the roasting rack. Place the chicken on top and rub 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs de provence, and 1 tablespoon kosher salt on the chicken.  Stuff the inside of the chicken with the apple and lemon. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Then, lower the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Let rest for 10 minutes after you remove the chicken.  Mix the vegetables together and taste for seasoning. ENJOY!!


This is a very exciting day.... Amelia had her first day of ballet!! She has been counting down the days since I told her last week. On Tuesday, we went to Barbara's to get her a "tard" (leotard), ballet slippers, and "legs" (tights).  Things really have come full circle. Barbara also fitted my sister and I many times as children. My Mom and I were so delighted that Amelia would have her turn too!! This semester, their theme is " The Nutcracker" - which Amelia has already seen many times. I spent all day eagerly waiting to watch Amelia experience this. My camera was charged and I was ready to over document this wonderful day!!  Well.... I was about to be let down! Apparently, they don't let you stay and watch!! I was a little in shock at first. What?? No pictures of my little ballerina on her first day of ballet lessons?? How could this be!!!! They actually make you wait two months until you are allowed to observe. Ahhh!! So very frustrating to me!! Trying to get your daughter to show you what she learned when you get home is just not the same - funny, but not the same!!!! I managed to get a couple of pictures, putting my life in danger in the process as I snuck into the hallway (also off limits) and held my camera inside the room and just pushed the button. Anyway, hope you enjoy the few pictures I got today of my beautiful little ballerina. And don't worry, in two months when I get to observe, I will be posting an obnoxious amount of pictures!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Recipe Round-Up - Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

I get asked for recipes all the time!! I usually respond with " Ummm, sure, let me see if I can write something down for you." The reason?? I don't use recipes. So I never have the actual amounts of the ingredients. I may get an idea from a recipe, picture, or article, but I  always modify the ingredients and amounts. Well, in order to help those who might be "challenged" at cooking or tired of the same recipes they always make, I'm going to post an Emily original recipe a week that I think people will enjoy. Most of the time, they will be simple and delicious. Sometimes, a little more gourmet. We all want to impress at times don't we?? As it is starting to get a little cooler and colds are coming on, I thought it would be appropriate for my first recipe to be :

 Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup 
Makes 4-5 cups

4 1/2 cups chicken STOCK (not broth)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons chopped Italian Parsley
1 store bought whole, cooked roasted chicken (skin off; shredded)
1 cup egg noodles
Kosher Salt
Black pepper

Heat a large pot over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Then add the chopped carrot, onion, celery, and garlic. Saute for 5-6 minutes until just tender. Then add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add the egg noodles. Reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the shredded chicken, Italian parsley, and season with kosher salt and pepper. This recipe also freezes well. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Little Chef-in-Training

I love the fact that Amelia loves to cook as much as I do!! I was introduced to cooking when I was a young child. My mom exposed me to cooking and different kinds of cuisine. In kindergarten, she took me out of extended day so we could try a restaurant a week. At that time, my favorite snack was steamed artichokes with lemon butter! I'm sure all of this played a big part in setting my path in life! Amelia and I try to cook something together at least once a week. She loves to help me in the kitchen and even loves washing dishes (although I don't expect that to last long!!) 
On Grandparent's Day this year, we made homemade pizza, a wonderful orange salad, and parmesan crisps for GiGi and PawPaw. Encourage your kids to cook with you - they are more likely to eat something that they created and cooked!