Monday, September 19, 2011

Fall Favorites, recipes and a new scarf.

Fall begins early in the Pacific Northwest, and may actually last two or more months.  Where I grew up in the Northeast, fall is a quick week-and-a-half-long event right between the hot, humid of summer and the (i n c r e d i b l y) cold and dry winter.  Basically only the third week in October is spared.

But here in Oregon, Fall is a long, slow affair with some sunny days, trending towards mainly rainy ones.  Leaves may turn and slip off the trees slowly.  Sweater weather lasts a long, long time.  Soup is a perfect meal.

I found this book at work, recently. Quick Food (which is shockingly published by Readers' Digest) contains over 300 recipes that you can make in half an hour. Most recipes produce about 4 servings, perfect for two people (with leftovers) or a modern-sized family of 1-2 children.  Since I work in the library, I've come across lots of different recipe books so far, but with so many fast recipes to choose from, this book is a winner.  I've already made two soups from it, it's great!

The first soup I made was the potato leek soup.  So good, and only a few (very affordable) ingredients.  My husband and I had seconds, its fabulous and really does only take 30 minutes.

Tonight I'm making the Thai Sweet Potato soup.  Currently, its still on the stove.

Update:  Sweet Potato soup was good.  Good enough to make me eat the leftovers, which I hate to do.  I might use this recipe and substitute pumpkin chunks for the sweet potato for a good fall Thai soup.  Its much easier than the easy pumpkin soup I've been making for years now, which is already extremely easy.  But cooking with sweet potatoes is easy in its own way, much less cleaning and cutting than when using pumpkin.  I suspect this will still work though!

The book has everything from starters, meat, poultry, vegetable dishes, soups and desserts.  Many of the soups can easily be made vegetarian or vegan simply by swapping chicken broth for vegetable broth.  Its perfect for nearly no-mess, neat-little-package kind of cooking.  Beginning to end (and probably cleaned up) in an hour.

Since soups don't photograph very well, here's something prettier that I've made lately:

Palmiers are easy to make, made with frozen puff pastry and sugar, they are nearly foolproof.  Good instructions can be found here:  Palmiers.

Hot off the needles:  Shizuku Scarf.  Easy, nearly meditative knitting produces a triangular-shaped scarf with fun dangly fringe.  Balloon loves it, naturally.

 Perfect for fall and made with my favorite yarn:  Noro Kureyon.  The pattern is free, make it yourself!  Suitable for advanced beginners.

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