Sunday Slow Cooking Archives

November 23, 2008

SSS Week One: Porcini and Chestnut Soup


sundayslowsoupersMany thanks to Amy for getting the Sunday SlowSoupers off to a great start! This soup is absolutely delicious – I really loved it. I had good intentions of freezing some of it for the holidays but no, I ate it all myself (not in one sitting!). Porcini is a strong flavor and while it's the top note in this, the chestnuts mellow it out. It's elegant comfort food.

I’m psyched about participating in Slow Soupers because it will make me try new recipes. I tend to get in a cooking rut and make my same faves over and over. And I probably wouldn’t have tried this one because I would have been too lazy to search out the ingredients.

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly (and it's really easy to make). I skipped the cream fraiche garnish and just topped it with parsley and fresh thyme leaves. I used Pacific Organic chicken broth (bought a six-pack at Costco) and sherry. Used a can of whole chestnuts packed in water that I found at Whole Foods.

I’ll definitely make this again, and I’d like to try it with fresh roasted chestnuts sometime when I’ve got the time to roast and peel them myself. I’m going to bring some porcini home from Venice next month and look for chestnuts on sale after the holidays.

You can find the recipe (with step-by-step photographs) on Amy’s blog. I've also reprinted it below.

List of other Slow Soupers is here. We'll be cooking soup from now until April! Thanks to Krista for the cool logo!

Next up: Jerry’s Mexican Turkey Soup

Continue reading "SSS Week One: Porcini and Chestnut Soup" »

November 30, 2008

SSS Week Two: Mexican (Turkey) Soup


sundayslowsoupersThis recipe came from Jerry, who very thoughtfully wanted to help us use our leftover turkey. But I didn't have any! So I subbed a can of red kidney beans, and you know worked! Great recipe. The avocado cream is the best part - awesome stuff. I also garnished with some Guiltless Gourmet Blue Corn tortilla chips and the whole thing was yummy. Recipe is below.

List of other Slow Soupers is here. I'm going to miss a few weeks while I'm in Italy but I'll catch up when I get home. We'll be cooking soup from now until April!

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December 21, 2008

SSS Week Three: Italian Wedding Soup


sundayslowsoupersI missed a few Sundays of souping when I was in Italy so now I'm catching up. This recipe is a winner! I've had this soup in restaurants and from cans but had never made it myself. Easy and absolutely delicious! I made the meatballs with ground turkey breast and they are so wonderfully spicy with allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon in them; they would be a fine appetizer by themselves.

I'm getting together with a bunch of cousins in early January for a late Christmas party; it's gonna be a potluck with an Italian theme so I'm going to make this soup again for that. It will blow everyone away. Thanks to Terry (teaberry) for this great recipe! (recipe printed below).

A list of the other Slow Soupers is here.

I hope that everyone's holidays are going well. I was wrapping presents yesterday and look what I found inside one of my shopping bags!


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December 28, 2008

SSS Week Four: Hoppin' John Soup


sundayslowsoupersEver since I was a kid, I've eaten collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. It's a Southern tradition that's supposed to bring prosperity and good luck in the new year ahead. Here's an explanation from Mildred Council, author of "Mama Dip's Kitchen" which is also the name of her restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC.

"Black-eyed peas are an important part of the traditional New Year's meal, served alongside hog jowl and collard greens. I've always heard the explanation of the meal, passed down from generation to generation through the grapevine, given this way: the black-eyed peas symbolize change or silver coins, the collard greens are greenbacks or paper money, and the hog jowl wards off bad luck. This meal is served at Mama Dip's Kitchen every New Year. I have never had the nerve to ask anyone, 'Do you believe, or is it just good eating?'"

My family's explanation of the tradition was pretty much the same, but my grandfather replaced the hog jowl with fatback (seasoning pork). The peas and collards were cooked in separate pots but both had a big old piece of pork fat in them and were cooked for a very long time. I continue to cook and eat them every New Year's Day not just for tradition and/or superstition but mainly because I really like greens and peas.

This soup recipe (selected by Shannon) streamlines the whole shebang by turning it into a one-pot dish. It's so delicious, although I had to tinker with it some since I'm a bit of a freak, a Southerner who has stopped eating pork. The original recipe and my modifications are printed below. I liked it so much that I'm going to make it again on New Year's Day.

I stepped out of the kitchen for two seconds to get my camera and when I got back, I found Maria the kitten eating the soup. I guess she will have good luck in 2009 too!


A list of the other Slow Soupers is here.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope this soup brings everyone good luck and abundance in 2009.

Continue reading "SSS Week Four: Hoppin' John Soup" »

January 4, 2009

SSS Week 5: Fish Soup


sundayslowsoupersAnother winning recipe! This soup was created by Cindy of Baked Alaska (a blog about cooking, eating, and living in Alaska). It was so delicious and such a nice change from all the heavy holiday carbs I've been eating for the past several weeks.

I'm so impressed that Cindy created this recipe herself. The broth is perfect and is one that could be used as a base for many other soups (I think it would be perfect for minestrone). I did modify this one because my local grocery didn't have any decent-looking fish (and I didn't have time to drive to Whole Foods) so instead of fish, I put a can of whole clams in. It was great! I love the spiciness of this soup, and the fennel really gives it a unique flavor.

Cindy's recipe is below, along with my modifications.

A list of the other Slow Soupers is here. More Slow Souping discussion along with other great recipes can be found on the Slow Talk Food Forum.

Next up: Caldo Verde (Green Soup).

Continue reading "SSS Week 5: Fish Soup" »

January 25, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Split Pea and Green Pea Soup

sundayslowsoupersAnother wonderful recipe! This one came from MarciaB of Happy Trails to Us. I jumped ahead on the souping schedule and made this one on Inauguration Day which was also a Snow Day here in the Tar Heel state. I love being snowed in, probably because it doesn't happen very often, and this soup was perfect for a cold and white winter day.

It's the best split pea soup I've ever had - so easy and delicious, and the green peas and herbs really add a lot of flavor. Recipe and my modifications are below.


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February 1, 2009

Sunday Slow Soupers: Seafood Gumbo

sundayslowsoupersWell, my train has left the Slow Soup track! I jumped ahead and made the split pea soup when it snowed, so now I'm back-tracking to last week's soup, this gumbo. Actually it all works out fine because I'm happy to have gumbo on Super Bowl weekend. This recipe came from Sandi of Whistlestop Cafe Cooking, and it is so delicious and really a lot of fun to make.

I'm a southerner through and through (and so is Sandi, who created this recipe) but the "south" is very big and has regions, kinda like Italy. I didn't grow up eating gumbo and while I've had it in restaurants and at parties, I'd never made it before. I'd also never made a roux.

I'm glad I had Sandi's "how to make a roux" visual aid. It took longer than I expected, and there was one point when it started smelling like burnt popcorn and I almost took it off the flame, but it wasn't that dark yet so I turned the heat down and let it keep going.

A list of the other Slow Soupers is here. The recipe, my modifications, and a couple more photos are below.

Here's Miss Nosy Kitten, stalking the gumbo! Trust me, I DO feed this kitten but you might think otherwise since she keeps jumping into my soup photos.


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February 7, 2009

Sunday Soupers: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

sundayslowsoupersNow I'm backtracking to a soup I missed in December when I was in Venice. I love butternut squash and it's readily available at my farmer's market right now, so I decided to go for it.

Last fall, I made this soup with a different recipe which called for peeling and chunking the squash and then cooking it in broth. This recipe is much easier since you just throw the squash in the oven and then peel it afterwards, plus I like the roasted flavor. It does take a while to roast the squash so I did that one night, put it in the fridge, and then made the soup the next night. Delicious!

Thanks to KHB of In and Out of the Garden and Edible Santa Barbara for this great recipe!

Recipe and my notes are below.


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February 15, 2009

Slow Soupers: Baked Potato Soup

sundayslowsoupersThis recipe came from slow traveler Anneo123 from Louisiana.

It seems that anything made with potatoes is comfort food, and this soup was no exception. It was perfect for a cold winter night. It's very easy to make and didn't take much time either. The recipe calls for a bag of frozen shredded potatoes (hash browns) and someone on the Slow Talk food board asked if you could substitute "real" potatoes for the frozen ones. I think that you definitely could but using the frozen potatoes is a time saver.

I had to tweak the recipe a bit because I couldn't find one of the ingredients but it came out just fine. Another great soup!

Recipe and my modifications are below.


Continue reading "Slow Soupers: Baked Potato Soup" »

February 17, 2009

Slow Soupers: French Onion Soup

sundayslowsoupersThis recipe came from slow traveler Sharon L from Silicon Valley, California. It's an easy and delicious version of this classic soup. It takes a while to brown the onions but you don't really have to stir every single minute or watch them that closely.

I made this with chicken instead of beef broth, and it was fine. I also skipped the bread and some of the cheese to lighten it up some. Recipe and my modifications are below.

I love onions and eat them almost everyday, but most of the time they are used as a backdrop to something else. I'd forgotten how good they are when they are front and center. I read recently that there's some evidence that onions may be beneficial to women in preventing osteoporosis bone loss and that's good to know.


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February 28, 2009

Slow Soupers: Lentil Soup

sundayslowsoupersThis recipe came from Kim of What I Really Think. Actually it's Kim's mother's recipe, and it's a good one.

All bean soups are great but lentil soup is particularly easy because you don't have to soak the lentils first, and they cook more quickly than other beans. Recipe and my notes are below.

And it's the end of our February Blog-Everyday challenge! It's been a lot of fun, and I've enjoyed reading everyone's blogs and making some new friends this month. To me, blogging is all about sharing and community, and I'm very grateful to everyone who's read and commented on my blog this month.


Continue reading "Slow Soupers: Lentil Soup" »

March 15, 2009

Winter Minestrone

sundayslowsoupers I'm off schedule again with the Slow Souping; this minestrone was last weekend's soup but when we had an unusually early burst of warm weather, I didn't want to spend so much time in the kitchen. But now the cold (and rainy) weather has returned, and this soup is perfect for that. It does take a while to make this one, but it's worth it because it's really delicious.

This recipe came from Shannon who found it in Gourmet magazine, and I changed it some because I'm trying to eat as much local food as possible. Instead of chard and escarole, I used some Napa cabbage and a bunch of baby red turnips that I found at my farmer's market. It came out great! Recipe and my notes are below.

We've been making soup since November and several of my fellow Soupers have said that they're getting a bit weary of it! I'm not tired of making or eating soup at all, but I AM tired of soup weather. I've got a bad case of spring fever but the good news is, it's definitely on the way even though it's pretty cold here this weekend. We have about a month of soup left and then we move onto Salads. Yay!

Soffritto on the left, soup on the right

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Signs of spring in North Carolina


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March 22, 2009

Carrot Ginger Soup (and another spring flower)

sundayslowsoupersThis recipe came from Slow Traveler Debrah, and it's a perfect spring time soup. It couldn't be easier to make either.

I love the spicy kick the ginger gives to this soup. I garnished it with some plain yogurt and a grating of nutmeg. It was delicious. Recipe and my notes are below.


And here's another spring flower. Many years ago, I bought a bag of mixed early spring bulbs and planted them around my yard. It was mainly crocus and hyacinth, but my favorite thing that came out of that bag are these miniature iris. They are right by the walkway to my door and are one of the earliest things to bloom every year, weeks before their much larger cousins, the bearded iris, will bloom.


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March 28, 2009

Curry Mee (Coconut Curry Noodle Soup)

sundayslowsoupersThis recipe came from Marta of Postcards From the Trail who found it in a New York Times article called "From Asia, Rapture in a Bowl."

I agree with the rapture part - I loved this soup. Thanks to Marta for choosing this one because I probably wouldn't have put the effort into tracking down all the ingredients otherwise. Now that I've got a little stash of supplies, I can't wait to make it again. I made mine with shrimp instead of chicken. Really delicious.

Nice preparation photos are on Marta's blog. Recipe and my notes are below.

And in other big Tar Heels are in the Final Four! Woo hoo! It's been an exciting weekend of basketball. What a great tournament this is....two weeks ago, there were 65 teams and now there are four. To win a National Championship, you have to win six games in a row and every game, you face a tougher opponent. We've won four, now two more to go. Best of all, the guys are playing SO well...they truly look like a championship team. Next game is Saturday. Go Heels!

curry mee

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April 26, 2009

Sunday Salads #1: Eden's Blood Orange Salad

samplersSpring is here, and the Slow Travel cooks have finished with soup and are moving onto salad! And thanks to Eden of Eden's Wonderings and Wanderings, we've gotten off to a great start.

Back in March, Eden blogged about The Search for Blood Oranges and the beautiful salad she created once she found them. I was lucky because I found them at the first place I looked (Whole Foods). Then I went to the Farmer's Market and bought strawberries, asparagus, and a baby letttuce mix with violets in it. I also added some avocado, gorgonzola, and toasted pine nuts, and made a Strawberry Vinaigrette that was wonderful. Recipes are below.

Thanks Eden! And thanks to Maria I of My Place in the Sun for making the nice salad logo for us.


Continue reading "Sunday Salads #1: Eden's Blood Orange Salad" »

May 3, 2009

Sunday Salads: Black Bean Salad

samplersThis recipe came from Slow Talk moderator Judy (Tour Mama) who selected it in honor of Cinco de Mayo.

It's quick and easy (if you use canned black beans) and very tasty. The recipe makes a ton so you might want to cut it in half like I did.

The cumin-lime vinaigrette is delicious. I thought this salad was better on the second day after it'd had time to soak up the dressing. Recipe and my notes are below.


And speaking of salads, here's the first lettuce harvest from my spring garden that I planted in March. I planted peas, radishes, and broccoli raab too but they're not ready yet. And this weekend, I'm putting in more summer crops - tomatoes and herbs mainly.


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May 10, 2009

Sunday Salads: Raw Asparagus, Pea and Arugula Salad

samplersThis recipe came from Amy of Destination Anywhere and wow, it's an amazing salad. I'd never had raw asparagus before and it is seriously good.

I have to admit that I paused at the thought of peeling a bunch of asparagus spears because basically I'm a lazy cook, but it was worth the trouble and went much faster when I figured out that one side of my vegetable peeler was sharper than the other, duh. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that I added some sugar snap peas (I blanched them along with the asparagus tips).

All the vegetables in my salad were local, either from my garden or from the Farmer's Market. My greens were mainly arugula but I added a few other things from the mesclun mix I'm growing. The asparagus and peas came from the market.

I've made this one twice now - I tried it out earlier in the week and then made it again for Mother's Day brunch today. Everyone loved it but the big surprise was that even my picky eater nephews (ages 6 and 8) liked it. They wouldn't touch the peas or asparagus but they loved the greens and the dressing. Go figure.

Recipe is below. Thanks Amy!


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May 17, 2009

Sunday Salads: Thai Chicken Salad

samplersThis recipe came from Jerry who has an excellent blog, Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants.

What a great salad with tons of flavor and spice! I followed Jerry's advice and roasted the chicken and made the dressing on one night, then put the whole thing together the next night. Delicious and healthy!

I pretty much followed the recipe exactly except that I added some mixed greens from my garden to a small head of Napa cabbage. I'm growing some Thai basil so I threw that in too along with the mint and cilantro. I didn't have bird's eye chilies so I used some chili-garlic sauce - it was pretty spicy. :)

Recipe is below. Thanks Jerry!

Other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Tuna Salad Nicoise.


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May 24, 2009

Sunday Salads: Salad Nicoise

samplersThis Sunday's recipe for "Grilled Tuna Salad Nicoise" was contributed by Slow Traveler Debrah. I like tuna in a can and love raw tuna in sushi, but I'm not that crazy about grilled tuna so I substituted some marinated beans and ended up with a vegetarian version.

I roasted fennel, an orange pepper, spring onions, and cherry tomatoes, and added those to steamed green beans, boiled new potatoes, the marinated beans, and an egg. Debrah gave us a choice of dressings and I made the traditional one and also put a few capers on top of the whole thing. It was very tasty and quite a beautiful salad, plus it was fun to make.

Wikipedia tells us that "Salade Niçoise comes in many different forms and its 'true' ingredients are often debated" so I don't feel too bad about tinkering with this except that I forgot to buy Nicoise olives and used Spanish instead, so maybe I should just call it composed salad. :) My version is in the photo and Debrah's original recipe is below.


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May 30, 2009

Sunday Salads: Fajita Salad

samplersThis week's recipe for "Fajita Salad with Creamy Cilantro-Lime Sauce" came from Kim of What I Really Think. The original recipe called for chicken but I made it with shrimp because I had some that I needed to cook. It's a great salad.

I used the same spices on the shrimp along with a shake of cayenne, and also added some chopped pickled jalapeno to the Cilantro sauce (I like heat!). I roasted the onions, peppers, and tomatoes to make it more "fajita-like" and threw in some mushrooms too. Kim found the recipe in "Cooking Light" but it doesn't taste light or low calorie at all. The original recipe (made with chicken) is posted below. Thanks Kim!

Other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Deborah's Wild Rice and Roasted Corn Salad.


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June 7, 2009

Sunday Salads: Wild Rice and Roasted Corn Salad

samplersThis week's recipe came from Deborah of "Old Shoes - New Trip" and it's a wonderful salad - super easy to make, healthy, and delicious. Plus I love the colors - it's a beautiful dish.

I'd never had wild rice "straight" (I'd only had it in pilaf mixed with regular rice), and I like it a lot. I cooked it "al dente" (the package said to cook it for an hour but I tested it at 40 minutes and it was almost soft enough but still had some bite to it. I turned the stove off and let it sit there and steam for a little while longer and then opened it up to cool).

I was curious about the difference between wild and regular rice and looked in Deborah Madison's "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" which says:

"Neither a true rice nor always wild, this long black grass is native to North America and was once a staple food of native North Americans. Chewy and very earthy tasting, wild rice has more B vitamins and proteins than true rice. It's a very labor intensive crop to harvest - in some places it's still hand-gathered. When cooked, it expands greatly, which helps offset its high price."

The recipe is below. I left the Craisins out, used scallions instead of red onion, and used both sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Thanks Deborah, this one's a keeper.

Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Jan's Shrimp Salad.


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June 9, 2009

Dandelion Greens


There are many "green" reasons for eating seasonally and buying locally but on top of all that, it's simply a fun way to eat. It's exciting to have the first asparagus or strawberries of the year, and I tend to eat as much as I can of the things I love since I know the seasons are short. This spring, I've been eating a lot of dandelion greens.

I didn't grow up eating these greens. The first time I had them was in a trattoria in Rome and I fell in love with them, so I was excited when I began seeing them for sale at the Farmer's Market here in NC. These are not wild greens - I haven't tried those but there are plenty in my yard if I get brave. I've read that the wild ones are even more bitter than the cultivated ones (which are pretty bitter themselves).

The key to mellowing them out is to blanch first, drain, and then stir fry. Every time I buy these greens at the market, someone sees me doing it and asks me how to cook them - they are exotic here in NC, I guess, but not in Italy. I use a recipe I found via google (see below).

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June 13, 2009

Sunday Salads: Shrimp Salad

samplersThis week's recipe came from Jan of Keep Your Feet in the Street. She said that her salad is "simple, summery, and good" and that's a perfect description. I enjoyed this one a lot and it couldn't be easier to make.

I didn't tinker with this recipe that much except by accident. I missed the "or" in the list of fresh herbs and ended up putting all three in (dill, tarragon, and parsley). I'm growing all three in my garden so it was no big deal and actually it worked very well...the herby green flavors were a good contrast to the stronger taste of the Old Bay. I served the salad over an avocado and a bed of romaine, and squeezed some fresh lemon juice on top.

I love Old Bay - it takes me back to childhood beach vacations when we'd eat steamed blue crabs covered in the stuff. I love the way it smells and tastes, and I always cook shrimp in it and add it to crab cakes. It's a complex seasoning as you can tell from this long list of ingredients on the Old Bay can: celery salt, mustard, red pepper, black pepper, bay (laurel) leaves, cloves, allspice, ginger, mace, cardamom, cinnamon, and paprika.

Jan's recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Cindy Ruth's Grilled Romaine Salad.


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June 20, 2009

Sunday Salads: Grilled Radicchio Salad

samplersThis week's recipe came from Cindy Ruth of Baked Alaska. The actual recipe she gave us was for "Grilled Romaine Salad with Citrus Caesar Vinaigrette" but I ended up switching the main ingredient.

It's gotten hot here in NC - hot enough to make the lettuce plants in my garden bolt, and I used the last of my romaine for last week's shrimp salad. The only lettuce at the Farmer's Market was loose leaf lettuce, not suitable for grilling, but when I saw this beautiful radicchio, I knew it would work perfectly for this recipe.

I fell in love with grilled radicchio in Venice. Lots of places serve it there and in fact, the first place radicchio was cultivated was in the Veneto region of Italy during the Renaissance. Most of the radicchio in US grocery stores is the round kind that looks like a small purple cabbage (Radicchio di Choggia) but most restaurants in Venice serve the elongated variety (Radicchio di Treviso).

The radicchio I found at my market was the same shape as the Treviso variety but was only purple on the ends. I'm not sure but it might have been harvested young before it had time to turn completely purple. Anyway, it was wonderful grilled for this salad.

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I love the citrus vinaigrette recipe too. I cut the oil back to a little under half a cup and instead of croutons, I put a few pine nuts on top. The sweet little Sungold tomatoes were the first to ripen in my garden; tomato season is finally here, yay!

Thanks Cindy Ruth for an excellent recipe.

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Cindy Ruth's recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Marcia's Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto.

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June 28, 2009

Sunday Salads: Grilled Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto

samplersWhat a great recipe! This week's salad came from Marcia of Happy Trails For Us; she found it in Bon Appetit magazine.

I love pesto but tarragon pesto was a new experience for me. It's delicious and so easy to make. I had some leftover pesto that I used on pasta later in the week; that was tasty too.

I didn't tweak this recipe much; I substituted sugar snap peas from my garden for the cukes and skipped the grilled bread. It's a beautiful salad.

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Thanks Marcia, this was a winner. And by the way, Marcia's been blogging from an Alaskan cruise; check out her blog for some great posts and cool photos.

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Nancy's Watermelon Salad.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

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July 5, 2009

Sunday Salads: Watermelon Salad

samplersOur Fourth of July weekend salad came from Nancy of A Winelover's Wanderings. Nancy gave us several different recipes plus a link to others on Watermelon.Org so basically, we had the freedom to do our own thing which was fun!

I looked at a bunch of recipes and ended up going with a version from Nigella Lawson that starts with soaking red onion in lime juice to mellow it out and add some tang to the salad. I let it soak in the fridge for about 30 minutes and then added the onion and the juice to the watermelon chunks and kalamata olives, fresh parsley and mint, feta cheese, olive oil, and some freshly ground black pepper. I could not stop eating this stuff! It's such an odd assortment of ingredients but is a combination of flavors that really works.

Thanks Nancy!

Watermelon Salad

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Ceviche from Candi.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Watermelon Salad" »

July 12, 2009

Sunday Salads: Ceviche

samplersThis week's salad came from Candi of Candi's Corner: Wanderlust and Passions. What a great recipe! Fun and easy to make, and perfect for this hot steamy weather we've been having. I've had ceviche in restaurants but had never made it so I was really excited to try this one.

Candi's recipe calls for both shrimp and fish, and I decided to go with just shrimp. I used Sungold tomatoes from my garden - yellow-orange cherry-sized tomatoes with a lot of flavor and sweetness. This salad looked beautiful and was so delicious.

Check out Candi's blog - she recently returned from Thailand and is posting some amazing photos and stories.

Shrimp Ceviche

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Israeli Salad from Teaberry.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Ceviche" »

July 19, 2009

Sunday Salads: Israeli Salad

samplersThis weekend's recipe came from Slow Talk moderator, Teaberry, who had this salad when she visited Israel. There are many versions of this salad and the one we made came from Mollie Katzen's cookbook, The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. A perfect salad for me because I've got tomatoes coming in like crazy in my garden.

It's a truly delicious salad. The pickles and olives take the flavor to a whole other level beyond a chopped fresh veggie salad. And while it looks like a lot of work, the food processor does most of it. Making this salad made me wonder why I don't use my food processor more often (I mainly use it for pesto). I followed the recipe exactly and put some feta cheese on top.

Israeli Salad

I liked this one so much that a few days later, I made it again. This time I added a can of garbanzo beans to make it more of a main dish salad, and put cubes of fresh mozzarella on top. This was very good too.

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The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Maria's Thai Beef (or Shrimp) Salad.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Israeli Salad" »

July 26, 2009

Sunday Salads: Thai Shrimp Salad

samplersThis weekend's recipe came from Maria of My Place in the Sun. Maria gave us a recipe for Thai Beef Salad (Yam Neua) that also included a shrimp variation, so that's what I made.

What a great salad! I followed the recipe exactly except that I used three herbs: cilantro, Thai basil, and fresh mint, all three of which are growing profusely in my yard. I also let the red onion soak in some lime juice while I was assembling the rest. I followed Maria's suggestion and used serrano peppers since I can't find Thai bird's-eye chilies anywhere around here. I might have to look into growing those in my garden next year.

The thing that's so amazing about these Thai recipes we've made this summer (besides how great they taste) is how healthy they are. This salad has virtually no fat except for what's in the shrimp. Thanks Maria!

Thai Shrimp Salad

The recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Next up is Palma's Tropical Rice Salad.

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Thai Shrimp Salad" »

August 2, 2009

Sunday Salads: Tropical Rice Salad

samplersThis weekend's recipe came from Palma of Palmabella's Passions.

This was a fun recipe to play with. I used Lundburg Farms Wild Blend rice, green beans instead of snow peas, and also added some fresh mint.

Because I don't like canned fruit that much, I used fresh pineapple and gooseberries. It came out great and was one of those salads that was even better the next day. I took the leftovers for lunch several days and really enjoyed it.

Rice Salad

If you're wondering what a gooseberry is, don't feel bad. I'd never had them until last week when I saw them at the Farmer's Market. The sign on the booth said "ground cherries" and when I stopped to ask about them, the farmer told me they were also known as gooseberries. He let me taste one and made a sale! They are delicious and very sweet with a bit of a floral flavor.

They come in little husks like tomatillos:


They pop right out of the husk and looks like tiny yellow-green tomatoes but are much sweeter than a tomato. They were great in this rice salad.


Palma's recipe is below. Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Only a few more weeks of salads left (my couscous salad is next week).

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Tropical Rice Salad" »

August 9, 2009

Sunday Salads: Couscous Salad

samplersThis weekend, it was my turn to submit a recipe to the Salad Samplers gang, and I really didn't have to think about it very long. This is one of my favorite salads. I found the recipe on the Internet a few years ago after my friend Yonnie brought me a big bag of cinnamon back from Vietnam and I was looking for ways to use it that weren't desserts.

Vietnamese cinnamon is amazing with very rich flavor, but this salad is good with regular cinnamon too. I take this salad to pretty much every summer party and cook-out, and people always ask me for the recipe. It's a fun dish to play around with too. The orginal recipe calls for dates, which are good but very sweet, and I often sub dried apricots instead. In the photo below, I'd used toasted pepitas which I almost burned. :)

Couscous salad

Recipe is below. Only a couple more weeks of salads left! Next up is Bugulu's Potato Salad.

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Couscous Salad" »

August 16, 2009

Sunday Salads: Southern Mustard Potato Salad

samplersWhen I read this weekend's recipe, it was an instant blast of nostalgia. Actually, Bugalu of the blog Whistlestop Cafe Cooking gave us two different potato salad recipes, but it was the first one that made me nostalgic since it's THE potato salad that both of my grandmothers made and that I grew up eating. It does have a slight twist (spicy mustard instead of regular yellow mustard).

I bought some small yellow and purple potatoes at the Farmer's Market and followed the recipe exactly except that instead of pickle relish, I diced some pickles I had leftover from making the Israeli salad earlier this summer. Of course, I used Duke's mayo (I've raved about this classic Southern product before). It came out great, and I really liked the spicy mustard flavor.


Links to other Sunday Salad Sampler participants can be found here. Only one more week of salad left and then we'll be moving onto to Small Bites (aka appetizers, tapas etc).

Happy Sunday and have a great week!

Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Southern Mustard Potato Salad" »

August 23, 2009

Sunday Salads: Tortellini Salad

samplersI can't believe we've reached the end of Slow Salads. We finished up with a great recipe submitted by Ida (Vico Girl on Slow Talk).

I only made half of this recipe since it sounded like it made a ton. I used artichokes canned in water and dry (not in oil) sun-dried tomatoes. For the pasta, I used Buitoni's three-cheese whole wheat tortellini (had never tried these and they were very good). I forgot all about the mozzarella cheese and left that out, but it was fine since the pasta was pretty cheesy. I also used Spanish piquillo peppers since I had a jar of those from Trader Joe's. I dressed it with lemon juice and olive oi. What a delicious salad.

I've really enjoyed Sunday Salads and have expanded my horizons with some recipes that I'd never made before. It's been a lot of fun - thanks to all my fellow salad makers! We'll be taking a break and then returning in September with Sunday Small Bites.


Continue reading "Sunday Salads: Tortellini Salad" »

September 6, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Pickled Shrimp

smallbitesHere we go....week one of the next Slow Travel cooking event. This one's a little different in that instead of a recipe of the week, we have an ingredient of the week. Each of us will use that ingredient to make an appetizer (small bite) using a recipe that we have never made before. Our first ingredient, shrimp, was selected by Cindy Ruth of the excellent blog, Baked Alaska.

My recipe came from "The Pat Conroy Cookbook." My mom gave me this book for Christmas a few years ago and it's such a great read; it's more of a memoir with recipes than just a cookbook. Conroy is one of the most loved Southern writers, but I didn't know that he had lived in Rome for years (in fact, that's where he wrote his most famous novel, "The Prince of Tides"). I loved reading his memories of (and recipes from) Italy.

But this particular recipe is from the South Carolina low-country and it's really delicious - the shrimp have so much flavor that they don't need cocktail sauce or anything else. A perfect party recipe since they have to be made a day in advance. If I were serving these at a party, I might thread them on skewers. They'd be good in lettuce wraps too. The recipe is below.

pickled shrimp

Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "crab." Thanks so much to Maria (whose beautiful blog is "My Place in the Sun") and her husband Ivan for making the cool logo for us!

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Pickled Shrimp" »

September 13, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Crab

smallbitesOur ingredient of the week is crab, a seafood that I love.

In my kitchen there's a drawer full of recipes that I've clipped from magazines and newspapers, and for Small Bites, I'm going to try to use as many of those as I can. I found this recipe for Crab Salsa in the drawer; it came from a Super Bowl party article in Food and Wine magazine. Really easy to make and great flavor. The recipe called for serving the salsa with potato chips but I used Guiltless Gourmet blue chips instead.

crab salsa

Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "sun-dried tomatoes."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Crab" »

September 20, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Sun Dried Tomatoes

smallbitesOur ingredient of the week (sun-dried tomatoes) was selected by Slow Talk moderator, Amy, whose blog is Destination Anywhere..

I had a lot of feta cheese from Costco that I wanted to use, so I googled and read a bunch of different recipes for various dips and spreads, and then came up with my own (recipe is below). The tomatoes I used were dried (not packed in oil) and the cheese was real feta from Greece. It came out great! I served it on cucumber slices but it's also good on crackers or pita chips. Quick and easy to make too.


Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "avocado."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Sun Dried Tomatoes" »

September 27, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Avocado

smallbitesIt was my turn to choose an ingredient of the week, and I picked "avocado" because I'd clipped a recipe from Food and Wine magazine that I really wanted to try: roasted tomatillo and avocado salsa. I'm growing tomatillos in my garden this year for the first time; I only put in one plant but have been impressed by how productive it's been. I'd cooked with canned tomatillos before, but this was my first experience with fresh ones.

The Food and Wine article says about avocado: "With loads of fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin E, avocados are a genuine super food." It's always nice to see something I love on a "super food" list!

I liked this salsa a lot, and it was super easy to make. It's similar to guacamole but lighter, with a tangy smoky flavor from the roasted tomatillos. I served it with my fave Guiltless Gourmet baked blue tortilla chips. Recipe is below.


A tomatillo on the plant in my garden - it looks like a little Chinese lantern. You peel the husk off and inside find something that looks like a small and hard green tomato.


Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "goat cheese."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Avocado" »

October 4, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Goat Cheese

smallbitesOur ingredient of the week (goat cheese) was selected by Nancy of A Wine Lover's Wanderings. Nancy just recently returned from Italy; check out her blog for some wonderful photos and stories.

This is a recipe I clipped from Food and Wine magazine: Polenta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes; I changed it into an appetizer by cutting the polenta into bite-size pieces. I used a local goat cheese from Celebrity Dairy - jalapeno flavor! It had a little kick to it and the flavor was great with the polenta and tomatoes.


Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "smoked salmon."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Goat Cheese" »

October 10, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Salmon

smallbites Our ingredient of the week (smoked salmon) was selected by MarciaB, whose blog is Happy Trails to Us. I ended up making salmon cakes with unsmoked pink salmon since I had a pouch of it that I needed to use. Plus, I love seafood cakes (fish, crab or salmon) and wanted to try to make them.

A number of "country cooking" restaurants here in NC serve salmon cakes for breakfast. You can order them with your eggs and toast instead of bacon or sausage. When I see them on a menu, I almost always get them.

I modified the recipe on the package and they came out great. Very tasty and easy to make. For a party, I'd put these in little buns or biscuits and make sliders. The recipe is below.


Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "pecans."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Salmon" »

October 18, 2009

Sunday Small Bites: Pecans

smallbitesOur ingredient of the week (pecans) was selected by Sheri of the blog As the Seasons Change. Thanks Sheri!

I love to make roasted spiced nuts for parties and for the holidays, but almost every recipe calls for cooking high-fat, high-calorie nuts in a bunch of butter. So I started looking for a recipe that was a bit lighter and found one from Emeril's new show on the Planet Green network. These nuts are roasted in oil, not butter, and I lightened it up even more by cutting the amount of oil in half. I also changed the spices a bit by using Aleppo pepper instead of cayenne.

Aleppo pepper, from Turkey, "has an Ancho-like flavor, plus a bit of tartness and a nice bite" according to Penzey's Spices which is where I bought it. Cayenne would work just fine.

Anyway, this is my favorite Small Bite I've made so far. Very tasty with a glass of wine or a cocktail. Recipe is below.


Other Small Bites cooks are listed here. Next week's ingredient is "pumpkin."

Continue reading "Sunday Small Bites: Pecans" »

March 17, 2010

Herbed Lentils and Rice

lentils and rice

Wanted to share one of my favorite winter recipes before winter is officially over! I clipped this one from a magazine decades ago and have been making it ever since. It's a healthy recipe that actually tastes good, packed with vegetarian protein and fiber. It's also a fun recipe to play around with. But the best part is how easy it is - throw everything into the pot and put it in the oven. That's it. It makes the house smell good too. Recipe and some variations are below.

Continue reading "Herbed Lentils and Rice" »

August 1, 2010

Sunday Slow Sides: Tomatoes


I've been participating in another Slow Travel cooking challenge though I haven't found time to blog about it. So this is a catch-up post.

This week's ingredient is tomatoes and the recipe is Fresh Uncooked Tomato Sauce, selected by Nancy of A Winelover's Wanderings. Perfect timing for this choice since I've been picking tomatoes from my garden every day for several weeks now.

This couldn't be easier. Chop tomatoes, onions, garlic, a banana pepper, and fresh herbs (I used basil, thyme, and chives). Combine them in a bowl, add some olive oil and salt/pepper, and let it sit at room temperature for a while. Cook some pasta, add to the sauce, add some cheese, and it's done. You can only make this in the summer when the tomatoes are sun-ripened and either homegrown or from the farmer's market (don't try this in the winter with grocery store tomatoes!).

Here's the sauce before I added the pasta. So beautiful! Everything came from my garden except the onion. Thanks Nancy, this was a great choice.


Continue reading "Sunday Slow Sides: Tomatoes" »

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Churches in Venice in the Sunday Slow Cooking category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Comfort and Joy is the previous category.

What I'm Reading/Watching is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.


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