For a few years now, I’ve been a big fan of the blog Smitten Kitchen. Deb’s photos and food are absolutely stunning, and her posts are really engaging. What’s not to love?
She originally posted this recipe for cream of mushroom soup way back in 2007. I’ve had it bookmarked for what seems like ages, and I finally got a chance to make it! I know right now in AZ it’s not exactly soup weather, but depending on where you are in the US, it still feels very much like winter. So, if you’re looking for something to take the chill away, or if you’re just looking for a simple and tasty lunch or dinner idea, you’ve come to the right place!
I have many fond memories of spending time at my grandma’s house as a kid. She lived right next door to us, so it wasn’t unusual to go over and spend the night at her house on the occasional weekend. When it came to meals, breakfast was one that my grandma always wanted immediately after she woke up, even it that meant sitting down at the table around 5:30 a.m. My grandma was never one for hearty breakfasts of fried eggs, bacon, pancakes and the like. She’d make little muffins that she called “breakfast cakes”, usually with healthy things like raisins and bran cereal flakes, or chunks of pineapple. My sisters and I would each get a microwave-warmed “breakfast cake” which she’d pulled from her ever-present stash the freezer, accompanied by a tiny glass of orange juice and a steaming, scald-your-lips hot mug of hot cocoa, always made with water and not milk.
My grandma’s breakfast of choice, the one that she always came back to after countless batches of tiny muffins, was a simple grapefruit half and a cup of hot tea. I never knew anyone who ate as much grapefruit as my grandma! I don’t recall if she ever put sugar on her grapefruit before she dug in with one of her little sharp-edged grapefruit spoons, but whenever she’d serve me a half for breakfast, I was sure to load it up with lots of crunchy white sugar. My favorite part? Drinking the super sweet grapefruit juice left in the rind once all the fruit had been eaten.
Fancy was not necessarily my grandma’s style when it came to breakfast, so there’s no wonder that she never sprinkled sugar on her half of grapefruit and then shoved it into the broiler to create a thin layer of caramelized goodness on top of the fruit. I’ve never tried it myself, but I’ve always been intrigued by the idea. Grapefruit? Good. Sugar? Good. Grapefruit and sugar? Gooooooood.
Here in Arizona, we don’t really have four seasons. There’s the hot season which lasts approximately from April to October (sometimes November), and the not-so-hot season which runs from November through March. It’s been really nice lately, cause we had a few weeks of spring-like temperatures, but now temperatures are approaching the mid 90s and not looking back!
It was a sad, sad day for junk food lovers everywhere when Hostess filed for bankruptcy in January. I remember the day after the news spread about the brand going under, I was at my local Target and the shelves that had previously held boxes upon boxes of Twinkies and cupcakes were totally bare. Even the end caps filled with packages of mini donuts were picked clean.
Bart’s a smart one! Much to Homer’s chagrin, he picked the sno-ball!
I live in a vegetable-challenged household. I do all the cooking, and my boyfriend and our roommate tend to be picky eaters, especially where certain vegetables are concerned. Sadly, this salad was not the thing that won them over to the world of green and crunchy veggies. I, on the other hand, loved it!
Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to attend Dishcrawl Phoenix‘s Neighborfood event in Old Town Scottsdale. The whole concept of the event was very unique in my opinion: Gather at a specific restaurant, get a map of other restaurants within walking distance, and walk to each restaurant to try a featured dish at each one. What a cool concept! I don’t venture over to Old Town Scottsdale very often (if ever), so this was a really neat chance for me to try a whole slew of new restaurants that I may have otherwise passed up. Ready for the deliciousness? Here we go!
Recently, I was in Tucson visiting family. It was St. Patrick’s Day weekend and we were trying to decide on a place to grab brunch. My sister is vegan so she recommended The Cup Cafe inside Hotel Congress, in downtown Tucson because they happen to have lots of vegan menu options. I had never been to The Cup, but always wanted to try their food. While looking over the menu, one dish stood out at me: Cast Iron Baked Eggs. I’d never before had baked eggs, and their version was decadent beyond belief: Two eggs baked in a little cast iron skillet, with leeks, Gruyere cheese, ham, and lots of cream. Vegan, this certainly was not! I practically inhaled the little skillet of eggs, even though they were piping hot from the oven. Any burns to the mouth were worth it for this super tasty dish.
Cast Iron Baked Eggs from the Cup Cafe in Tucson, AZ. Photo courtesy urbanspoon.com