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Cauliflower Soup

picture of Cauliflower Soup

You can often find nice big heads of snowy white cauliflower at a good price in the fall and winter. If you get tired of eating raw cauliflower, this soup is a delicious alternative. I have been making it for many years following a recipe from an old Farm Journal cookbook. One year after Rob had dental surgery I tried pureeing it in the blender. We actually prefer the creamy consistency of the pureed soup, so now I do it the easy way with the immersion blender.

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small flowerets
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup chopped onion (one small)
2 Tbsps. flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk (can use evaporated skim)
1 1/2 cup cooking water from cauliflower
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
fresh chopped chives or parsley for garnish, if desired

Cook cauliflower until tender. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups of cooking water. In soup kettle melt butter and cook onion until soft. Add flour and blend in. Slowly add broth and simmer until mixture comes to a boil. Add cooking water, milk, and cauliflower. Bring back to a boil. Puree at this point, if desired. Add cheese and allow to melt. Serve up and garnish with chives or parsley. Enjoy this delicious soup!


An abundance of eggs

Have you noticed how expensive eggs have gotten lately? I stocked up a few weeks ago when one of our local stores had them at a dollar a dozen and then our friend Dallas shared some of the beautiful fresh eggs that his hens have provided. Here's a picture of some of the colorful eggs:

picture of Colorful Eggs

With this bounty on hand we've been eating egg dishes such as scrambled eggs and deviled eggs and this week I remembered this colorful quiche recipe from Taste of Home magazine. We still have green onions in our garden and I have the last of the cherry tomatoes in the garage so it was a perfect recipe to utilize things on hand. The cornmeal crust is quite tasty, but you could use a pre-made crust to make things easier.

picture of Tomato Quiche

Years ago when I was teaching home economics I went to a demonstration put on by the South Carolina Egg Board showcasing eggs and how versatile they are. They even blindfolded one audience member and had her prepare an omelet to show how easy egg cookery can be! Eggs are very versatile and nutritious. They also can be prepared quickly and can be used in place of meat or to add protein to meatless or nearly meatless dishes such as Fried Rice or a chef salad.

Do you have any favorite egg dishes?


A day in the life of Ryan at Grandma’s house aka: Shameless Grandma Post

It's been a couple of months since Ryan has been coming to spend the day with me while his parents are at school. It's hard to believe that he's already seven months old. I've been meaning to post some pictures of our day to day activities for quite a while now. This week one of my blog readers asked to see some pictures of him, so that spurred me on to work on this post. These are just some of the cute pictures I have snapped over the course of the last few months.

Typical scenes at our house these days:

There are several diaper changes:

picture of Ryan Diaper 9-11

There's lots of play time in the exersaucer--a favorite!

picture of Ryan Saucer

There's generally some rocking--sometimes Grandpa gets to enjoy this.

picture of Ryan Rob Sleeping

He loves to play on the floor and is just on the verge of crawling.

picture of Ryan Floor 2

Sometimes he plays on the bed although this is a limited activity now that he's nearly crawling.

picture of Ryan On Bed

Eating is a favorite activity, especially when it involves carrots or squash.

picture of Ryan Carrots

Can you tell we are having lots of fun together?


Sprouting and Fermenting

If you have read this blog for any length of time you know that I enjoy trying new things in the kitchen. Some time ago Tammy of Tammy's Recipes posted about her mom making Beef Chop Suey and growing her own mung bean sprouts for it. I gathered up all the different ingredients for the recipe and put the meat in the freezer and the other ingredients in the pantry and then set about sprouting the mung beans. I found a small package of mung beans at one of our local oriental grocery stores and have since seen large packages of them at Walmart with the Bob's Red Mill items. A small package was plenty for us since three tablespoons of the beans filled a quart jar after the beans sprouted. The process was easy and I will definitely sprout more in the future when I need them for a recipe. I did find that the jar was pretty well full of sprouts after only four days. Maybe in our warmer, more humid climate they sprout more quickly.

Here are the sprouts after a day or two:

picture of Small Sprouts

Here they are after they are completely sprouted:

picture of Full Sprouts

Here's the finished Chop Suey:

picture of Beef Chop Suey

A second recent experiment has been making sauerkraut. I had heard about making sauerkraut by the jar and decided to try it out.

picture of Pounding Kraut

My jar is still in the fermenting stage, so I'm not sure how it will turn out. We did try it after about a week and it was starting to taste like sauerkraut. You are supposed to let it ferment for two to three weeks and then either refrigerate it or can it, so I'll let you know in a future post if it turns out.

Have any of you ever grown sprouts or made sauerkraut?


A new cookie recipe

A few weeks ago I had the discouraging experience of finding weevils in a brand new bag of flour in the pantry. This necessitated a thorough checking of everything in the pantry. I ended up disposing of some things and putting some things in the freezer and as much as possible in glass jars or tupperware-like containers. In the process I found some odds and ends that needed to be used up. One of these items was a half bag of dried blueberries. I found this cookie recipe and tried it recently. These cookies are really good--now I may need to go out and buy some more dried blueberries!

picture of Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dried blueberries
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl cream butter with sugars and vanilla. Add eggs then baking soda and salt. Stir in oats, flour, blueberries, and chocolate chips. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 10-12 mins. or until lightly browned. Cool briefly on cookie sheets before removing. Makes about 5 dozen small cookies.

You can substitute raisins or craisins for the blueberries. The white chips would be good with cranberries but you might want to use chocolate chips with the raisins or you could substitute chocolate covered raisins for a taste thrill.

On a totally unrelated note another wild creature was in our house this evening:

picture of Ryan Lion 2

picture of Ryan Lion 1