17 January 2008

Soup's Up

For Christmas this year Zach got a book called The World's Best Soups or something like that, promising 400 of the globe's best recipes. It wasn't intended as an entirely serious gift, but as I love cookbooks, especially those will full color pictures on every single page, I have been reading it before bed.*

The weather finally turned cold again here this past weekend so I thought it would be an opportune time to try out a recipe. We settled on beef and barley soup, which the book told us was an Irish country favorite. I modified the instructions a bit, subsisting store-bought beef stock for home made, browning the beef and onions rather than just boiling them and adding a beef soup bone for flavor and richness.

The result was a mild, almost delicate soup perfect for dinner with some fresh baked bread.

*Personally, I cannot read novels or any kind of fiction before bed. I always end up so engrossed in the story I suddenly realize its 2 in the morning and I'm not the least bit tired. Cookbooks, on the other hand, provide just the right amount of interest and after a recipe or two I can actually put them down and go to sleep.

11 January 2008


The other night I was contemplating the idea of having pasta and a veggie burger for dinner (my usual standby on nights that I am home alone or when the fridge is running on empty) when I decided to open the fridge to see if by some miracle, there was something good to eat. Jam, yogurt and a box of eggs confronted me when I had the sudden idea- why not make an omlette?

Well- it turned out to be a pretty good idea. There was a little Gruyeres cheese left and a bag of spinach too, so I got them out to. I remembered from my foods class in 8th grade that you should add 1 T. of water to the eggs when making omlettes, so I did and very lightly greased the pan with butter as there is nothing worse than making yourself eggs and only being able to eat half as the rest are stuck in the pan. Instead of plopping the cold spinach into the omlette, as per my usual, I decided to arrange it on a plate and microwave it for a few seconds. The happy result was warm, slightly wilted spinach that worked out much better than the raw, slightly crunch variety.

The omlette was infinitley more satisfying that pasta would have been, especially as I have just discovered that you can flip the omlette over when serving it (to hide the part that I always seem to rip in the pan when making the fold) and adding a few grinds of the new pepper that my dad had given me.


Makes one medium sized omlette

2 eggs
1 T. water
10 baby spinach leaves (more or less to your taste)
1/4 cup finely shredded Gruyeres cheese
a little butter to grease the pan
salt and pepper to taste

- Heat a 10" non-stick frying pan over medium low heat

- Beat the eggs and the water until foamy

- Arrange the spinach in a flat layer on a plate (use the one you will serve the omelette on for less cleanup) and microwave on high for 30 seconds

-Add the eggs to the pan. Wait a moment for them to start to cook, the begin slightly pushing around the cooked bits and let a layer form. Gently lift one edge and tilt the pan so the uncooked eggs run under the cooked part. Repeat this until the eggs on top are still slightly wet but not really runny

- Sprinkle the cheese over half the cheese and arrange the spinach on top. Carefully use a spatula to loosen the other side of the omlette and flip over top of the spinach.

- Slide or flip the omlette out onto a plate, add a few grates of pepper, and serve.