Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I adapted this recipe from the Eating Better cookbooks. Generally, their recipes are pretty old-school healthy (read: gross) but this is a yummy one that I grew up eating. I use a LOT of broccoli and freeze the extra soup in small tupperwares. Great with some crusty bread.

Set aside a couple cups of chopped broccoli (I just use the florets)

7 cups chicken broth
roughly chopped broccoli (I think this is supposed to be four cups, but I just throw in LOTS)
small onion (sometimes I use one, sometimes I don't)
oregano (like, maybe a couple teaspoons?)

While this is boiling and softening the broccoli, make the sauce:

3 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons white flour
1 cup milk
2 cups grated cheese

If you don't know how to make a cheese sauce, look it up on the internet. The basic idea is to add everything in little bits and stir a lot until it's smooth and creamy. But if it's not, don't freak out.

Dump the cheese sauce into the boiled broccoli broth and whish it around a little.

Now you need a giant bowl in addition to your pot and a blender. Pour the hot soup into the blender a little at a time and BLEND. This is messy. Dump your florets into the bowl of hot, blended soup, as you blend it, then pour it all back into the pot and boil a little more to soften the florets.

Makes enough soup for me for about 8 servings.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


This recipe was adapted by my mom from the Eating Better cookbooks (note - in general, they encourage eating better by giving you food so blech that you won't want to eat anything, but some of the recipes aren't bad)
  • 6 oz can tomato juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • sprinkle of garlic
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • small chopped onion
  • 1 lb hamburger
Squish it all together with your hands. This is very therapeutic, if somewhat messy. Pat it into whatever shape you want - I favor large meatballs because they fit nicely in a tupperware for work and you can also slice them for sandwiches.

Bake at 350 for an hour to an hour + 15 minutes.

Progress in the cataloging and rearranging

Note that I have strategically NOT pictured the top of the cabinet, which is covered with stuff. The back rows of books are my galleys, review copies, and general bookishness that is waiting to be read. Front rows are library books and NFNT review copies, respectively. On the left the top shelf is my cookbooks (still cataloging) and the bottom shelf is my "stuff" shelf. Finished books to go back to the library, etc. The bottom shelves have my photo albums, letter albums, comic tubs, file boxes, and sewing work basket.

Zinnias and other blooms

When I lived in Champaign, IL, I loved to go to the farmer's market and one of the things I always bought was gladiolas. Just a couple stems each week. I finally got around to visiting the Lake Geneva farmer's market and while it's nowhere near as big and fancy as Urbana, it's still pretty nice. And they have flowers, including zinnias! So cheerful, they even brighten the massive piles of stuff on my desk. I paid $6 for a bunch and still had some left over after this to give a friend! They did wilt really fast and I think they do better if just the tip of the stem is in the water apparently.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Conclusion of the Beet Venture; I do not like them

I forgot the last time I'd tried beets and felt pretty meh about them and succumbed to the fresh vegetable lust of the Farmer's market. I found a recipe for cooking the greens as well. Conclusion: I can just stomach roasted beets, although they will never be my favorite. The edibility of beet greens is a cruel and unsupported rumor, much like the edibility of okra. They smelt worse and worse the more they cooked, they tasted worse than they smelled, and after I threw them away the reeked most vilely. I like enough other vegetables that I do not need to experiment further with these. Note to self - remember that you do not like beets and your memories of liking them the first time you had them should be tempered by the memory that that was the first time you'd had vodka too.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fiddling with my hair

It is not as easy to take pictures of the back of your head as you would think. To do this, I pulled back my hair in a clip, braided it loosely, took the clip out, twisted part of the braid up and held it with a claw. It took several tries to get it to stay and wasn't very sturdy and the shorter braid was a little annoying, but it was different.