I'm back! Actually, I've been back home for a week but there's something about that first week of the new year. It's the New Year's hangover (not in the literal sense....although that may have happened too) week. Still trying to live in the previous couple of holiday/vacation weeks but knowing it's over and it's going to be a long winter and a long time until the next break.
Anyhoo, that's how I felt last week. Not quite back into the swing of things yet. I was still remembering what a really great holiday I had with these two.
We spent the week in Sea Island, Georgia. Their parent's were there, along with their great-grandparents, their aunts and a second cousin (Gary....inside joke), but let's face it, it's all about the two of them! We all laughed, some of us turned purple (literally), some of us puked, one of us rode a bike without training wheels for the first time, one showed us her new dance moves (I have video) and we all had a great time! I'm glad we were all fortunate enough to spend the week together at such a beautiful place.
But it's back to business as usual.....whatever that is. Which means I have to post some recipes.
I better start with this TWD, Midnight Crackles, that were chosen by the group's leaders, Laurie and Julie in honor of TWD's three year anniversary. I've only been around for about two of those years and thought I was a member in good standing until I got an email from Julie last week saying that it was my turn to host in February, but that I wasn't going to be allowed because I hadn't been posting enough. Hmmmm. I knew in November that I had only posted once (the rules state that you have to post at least twice a month to remain a member) so I had absolutely screwed up then, but EVERY other month I had posted at least twice, and most times all four weeks. What I discovered I wasn't so good at was tagging my posts, so when Julie searched my site it appeared I wasn't participating. Lesson learned. New Year's resolution.....TAG MY POSTS! I sent her an email and she agreed to let me host in March. WOOT! Can't wait.
As for these Midnight Crackles......they were ok. I probably won't be making them again. They have a fabulous, rich chocolate flavor, but that dough was a bitch. It has to be refrigerated before baking it, but mine was as hard as a rock when I pulled it from the fridge, so it had to sit on the counter for about 45 minutes before it was manageable. Then, the baking time on these is critical. A minute too long and they're hard as rocks. So......too unforgiving for a knucklehead like me.
This soup on the otherhand, was crazy good. Sucky picture does not equal sucky soup! It's the Paris Mushroom Soup and you can find the recipe on page 72 of "around my french table". Just buy the book, already.
I'll admit I made my own chicken stock for this. I'm not an Ida fanatic about homemade stock vs. store bought, but in soups, I do think it makes a difference. And it's a really easy thing to do, people. If you're like me, every week or so you buy a rotisserie chicken from the market, right? (And if you don't and you have a busy life, you should. It's worth about three meals in the course of a week) I just throw the leftover bones into a ziplock baggie, throw it in the freezer and when I have three of them I make some stock. It takes five minutes to throw the remainder of the ingredients (a couple of carrots, celery, onions and whatever herbs you've got) into a pot, cover it with water and let it simmer on the stove for three or four hours. Easy peasy.
Back to the soup. Very easy with basic ingredients. I didn't go the salad route called for in the book, instead just garnishing mine with a few chopped mushrooms and some chopped parsley. I did, however, mix a dollop of creme fraiche into the pureed soup before serving. Delish. I even fed this to a self-proclaimed mushroom hater and she sucked down the whole bowl!
Happy New Year's everyone and here's to a fabulous twenty eleven!