Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Hoppy Halloween!


Saturday, October 14, 2023

Seasonal Soup: Bowl o' Bones

About a month or so ago on Facebook, I was advertised a soup recipe that turned out not to be what it looked like, which made me want to make the soup I thought it was. So I pinned a few recipes and fiddled about with ideas, but never really got it together to put the stuff on the grocery list or anything like that. 

But when we were shopping last night I saw these Cheetos Mac'n Cheese Bold & Cheesy Box of Bones. And I'm a sucker for these. Once a year I need my Cheetos Bag of Bones, and this year I was having them with these made into a cheesy sausage soup.

I started by shredding two carrots and then nearly died trying to chop this onion. Seriously, my eyes were burning so bad, I had to have Jacqueline take over. And not shown here was a little bit of leftover celery, about two short stalks' worth. I cooked them all up in some oil until tender (yes, a mirepoix), and while they were cooking, I cut up some kielbasa and browned it.

When the veggies were softened, I melted in half a stick of butter, then added two tablespoons of flour (to make a roux with the butter) and some herbs and seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.).

Then it was time to add liquids! Two cups of milk, added one at a time, and mixed into the veggies thoroughly. Then the cheese powder from the two boxes of mac'n cheese, as shown below. (This powder was WAY more intensely neon orange than my camera picked up.) 

Now at this point, if you have someone who doesn't want small chunks of veggies in their soup, you could put the whole thing in a blender or food processer, or use an immersion blender, to make the soup smooth, but I love chunky soup, so I did not. I did however add an additional cup of shredded cheddar to the soup because I also like my soup cheesy.

Because I know this type of pasta tends to not cook evenly, I cooked the pasta separately, while letting the soup simmer. After the pasta was done al dente (seven minutes-ish), I added it and the kielbasa to the soup. Then I decided it needed more liquid to be more like soup, so I also added about a cup or so of beef broth made from bouillon.

The last step was adding heavy cream. I don't know why they always say to add it last, but that's what I did. Then I let it simmer for another 10 minutes and served with more cheesy bones! \^o^/ (And other assorted cheesy snacks...)

Everyone had a bowl which I assume they enjoyed, because no one complained! Success!

Monday, October 09, 2023

Garden Harvest

 Time for another garden update! Is this a gardening blog now? Maybe...

I started by planting radishes on May 31st, and although they should have germinated in 7-10 days (June 7-10), they didn't actually start germinating until the 13th. First with one one sprout then more and more until the 17th. The packet said to thin them when 1-2 inches tall and on the 18th, I thinned some. And again, although the packet claimed they would mature in 29 days none were big enough to pick until my birthday, July 22nd. I got about 5 or 6 radishes and they were HOT. So while as beautiful as they are, I might not grow them again.

Watermelon radishes, July 22, 2023

The Roma tomatoes were planted by a co-worker as part of an educational program and were leftover. I was surprised to get any tomatoes from them at all, but did get quite a few, albeit small, hard, and not too flavorful. I did purchase a beefsteak tomato plant from a nursery, but got only one tomato from the whole plant. There are just a few of the Roma tomatoes left to ripen, and several green ones that we'll pick before the first frost to make fried green tomatoes from.

September 11, 2023 - tomatoes ripening in the back

After the radishes were all picked, we decided to fill the empty space with some lettuce. So on August 13th we planted seeds which said they would germinate in 10-14 days. By the 17th (FOUR DAYS) many had germinated, but after another three days they started to disappear, and we never saw them even get to an inch tall. No idea where they went.

October 7, 2023

Now, we've put up the Halloween d├ęcor, and are just waiting for those last few tomatoes. All said, I think the garden placement was successful enough that I'll try some other things next year.