Friday, March 20, 2009

A Soup Luncheon

I've been cooking lately. No, really, I have.
I know. I've been a horrible blogger here. I know you want more pictures of the food that I make. And more formulas for my culinary experiments. I have been cooking a lot lately and haven't gotten anything written down.
I will try to get something interesting written down and posted, so that any of the people who read this blog and are getting bored will have something to look at/read. :)
This week my sisters, my cronies and I had a little luncheon.
I'm already plotting the next one, I need an excuse to make little party favors and new recipes.

On the menu for this weeks party:

*Roast Beef stew (I braised the beef before putting it in the slow cooker for 24 hours, and deglazed the pan when I was making the stock, this is a just a little more effort than I usually go to. Many times I'll just toss the beef in without doing anything to it. The resulting stew was worth every extra little detail, I will definately make it again. It also had portabella mushrooms and yellow onions, and some carmelized tomato paste: very, very good stuff)

*Split Pea and Ham Soup (this soup had almost miraculous self-thickening agents, talk of starch. I kept adding more liquid everytime I reheated the stuff and it never got any thinner. This soup was a lovely combination of 2 lb split peas, cooked according to package+2 c. diced ham+salt+black pepper+a little bit of cayenne pepper {it makes a difference, the soup isn't spicy, but it just add a little something more to the flavor}+a lot of dried marjoram {approx 1 T., I know that seems like a lot, but it's not overpowering in the least, it just brightens the flavor of the soup} and some chicken stock. I had the last of it for a midnight snack last night {why I was hungry then I don't really know, I'm not usually hungry. Period. I am the queen of whole grains and veggies and fruit, which makes for my feeling quite full after a meal})

*Roasted Garlic Bread (I made some fresh whole wheat bread {someone prod me and get me to click out and post my new and vastly improved all-whole-wheat bread recipe, which is so good} and tweaked the recipe just a little. I added some white vinegar to the mix, which is what my grandma adds to her rolls. It created a nice echo of sourdough in the final loaf. If I want a really deep, yeasty, tangy flavor, I'll have give it more time to do it's thing in the bowl. I then roasted some garlic with a little olive oil and salt. I then blended it up with a little more olive oil and spread it over the bread and toasted it in the oven. The resulting bread was a milder alter ego of garlicy garlic bread. It was very good, but next time I think that I was just a little more kick from the garlic)

*Orange Punch (one part frozen 100% orange juice concentrate to 3 parts club soda)

I served up some lovely strawberry ice cream and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in old-fashioned waffle cones for dessert. I'm kicking myself in because I forgot to take pictures of the dessert etc. Oh well. :)
The place setting.
Favor No. 1.
I will be posting the FREE TEMPLATE HERE:
Cardstock: Martha Stewart crafts/scrapbooking cardstock
striped bakers twine: in chocolate and white.
A color I passionately adore.
Tiffany blue.
This is even brighter than the pic shows.
This is one of my favorite ribbons of all time, it's a wide satin that I got in a close-out sale. I bought all the ribbon they had left in this shade and I'm rather hoarding it. I should find another source for this gorgeous stuff.
The top.
I don't really know what these are. They're little sticks of wood that I decided to use as tags.
I *adore* these little tubs of cotton candy. They have cute labels.
I try to keep a weather eye out for pretty or unusual candies+sweets.
All the little tubs in a row.
The lush stripey ribbon is also from
Be sure to stop by Monica's shop, it's my idea of a little bit of crafty paradise.
Little chocolate candies.
I wish that you had smell-o-vision right here for this pic, or perhaps scratch and sniff.
When I opened up the package of candy all of the heady essence of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter was so good.
The FREE TEMPLATE for this box will be posted next week on . I know you can't wait. :D

The final favor that I made for this party. I filled them with the little foil wrapped chocolates.