I mentioned my daughter's Lentil Soup recipe in my last blog. If you've never tried homemade Lentil Soup, you won't be disappointed with this recipe. Canned soup is fine in a pinch, but there is no comparison to homemade soup.
Lentil Soup Recipe:
1 cup of dried lentils, these should be well rinsed; a colander works well
to rinse the lentils.
4 cups of liquid. I used 4 cups of water and 2 large beef bouillion cubes
You can use beef broth instead of water and bouillion if you prefer to.The liquids should be 4 cups regardless of which you use.
Simmer the above ingredients with a lid on the pan for about 15 to 30 minutes.Add 1 Tablespoon of Italian seasoning, salt to your taste, 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.
Saute 1 onion, 1 stalk of celery, and a clove or two of garlic in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.(Don't burn the garlic...as it will taste bad and ruin your soup.) Add the onion, garlic, and celery to the soup. Stir in 1 cup of mixed frozen vegetables and one peeled and cubed potato. Simmer until the vegetables are as tender as you like. Mine took about 20 to 30 minutes till done to my liking.
If you have some leftover ham you might like to add about 1/2 cup of cubed small pieces of ham.
I wanted some homemade bread to go along with this soup but had only an hour to bake a loaf before lunch time. I found a quick bread recipe that came with my bread maker and in 58 minutes had a fresh loaf of bread to serve with the soup. I prefer to let the bread cool about 20 minutes before slicing. Lunch was ready in about an hour and a half. Frugally speaking, we had plenty left over for tomorrow's lunch.
I don't think the bread has the quality of a loaf that takes three hours from start to finish but it was honestly very good. I have never baked a fast loaf before and was in a daring mood to try something new.
The fast bake recipe could be baked in your oven instead of a bread maker. If you plan to bake in an oven you would mix the dough in a bowl and pour into two buttered loaf pans. Let rise and bake at 350 degrees until the loaf is lightly browned in color. It makes a very hearty 2 lb loaf of bread in a bread machine and can be used also for toast, french toast, and sandwhiches. It is easier to cut if cooled 20-30 minutes out of the pan. Sawing the loaf with a bread knife makes a cleaner slice of bread.
Fast Bake Bread Recipe :
Pour 1 1/2 cup warm water into your bread machine loaf pan, 6 Tablespoons of vegetable oil, 3 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 4 cups of all purpose flour or bread flour, 4 teaspoons of dry yeast. Select the Fast Bake program on your bread machine, select for a 2 lb. loaf. If you have a smaller bread machine divide the recipe in half and select the fast bake cycle of your bread maker.
The day I wrote the first blog I cooked chili for dinner and found a faster way to make cole slaw. I usually spend 30 minutes making a homemade cole slaw. I did a one bowl method with this. Shred about 3/4 head of cabbage and 1 carrot with your food processor. (Or buy it already shredded in the grocery store.) Place shredded cabbage and carrot in a large mixing bowl. Squeeze about 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice on top of cabbage. Add 1/2 cup of mayonaise, 1 Tablespoon of milk,2 Tablespoons of sugar, 1/4 teaspoon of celery seed, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a bit of pepper if desired. Stir well. This took 5 minutes to make and is a healthy vegetable as nothing is cooked. Store in refrigerator and eat the same day or one day after mixing. Cole slaw is best served fresh or no more than the day after it's made.
I'm looking for recipes that are somewhat simple and pass the taste test. I'll be posting my treasure of good tasting recipes as I find them. A friend recently gave me a recipe for a very simple vegetable soup. I'll post it after I've tried the recipe. The Farmers Almanacs are predicting a colder winter this year. In South Florida anything below 75 degrees is cold for most of us. If we have a 50 degree day time temperature, it's funnier than Comedy Central. People dress up like they were facing a blizzard. I think I'll take my digital camera with me to the grocery store the next time we have a really cold day and post the pics and include what the weather was that day. I'm certain it will bring a few laughs to anyone north of Florida. You'll have to see the heavy duty coats that come out during a cold front in South Florida. Maybe it's just an opportunity to wear a new coat as it might not get cold enough to have the chance to wear it again until next year.
I must be looking forward to the change of seasons. We have so little change from summer that fall is almost a non event. I enjoy looking at the early Christmas decorations in the stores as it is an awareness we're finally getting closer to a change from summer weather. This is a bit hypcritical on my part. In one breath I'm looking for cool weather and in the next I'm remembering how cold that last winter weather was, just like the people I'm writing about.
There was an article in our paper today about container gardening. We've been successful at it. (Or should I say my husband is the successful one. He's the one that actually waters and cares for the plants.) I cook them so maybe that justifies the "we" part of the gardening. Funny thing about the article is the gardener was also a man. Is this a man thing? I think it's probably a man thing with a woman thing behind the whole thing. "Hey Honey", this guy in the newspaper article has 10 containers of pole beans growing on his patio and we only have 5. " The reasoning behind this conversation is, tell a man his neighbor has more and he'll be inspired to compete for the sake of competition. And lastly, you'll have pole beans through May of next year because the guy in the newspaper started the whole thing.