Sunday, October 23, 2011
Stay tuned later this week for pictures of all my sweets you will find there.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I tried a few weeks ago to dig up some sweet potatoes, but no luck. I was really disappointed. I went on vacation and forgot about them. It rained the first few days after I got back, so I didn't go look in my garden. Well, yesterday I finally got a few minutes to really look through my garden. Lo and behold, I saw two sweet potatoes starting to break through the surface. I grabbed my trowel and started digging.
Before I knew it, I had a huge pile of sweet potatoes!!! I was dancing and doing my best Oprah 'sweet potato' impression. Probably a little more excited than I should have been, but it felt like such an accomplishment to harvest my sweet potatoes.
The bowl full of sweet potatoes isn't even all of the potatoes out there. I ran out of room to keep them, so I left the rest in the ground. I probably still have just as many left to harvest. YAYAY!!!!
And as the picture above shows, I also have a watermelon or two in there, too. I should bring them inside, even though they are still a bit small since it looks like it will be getting very cold the next few nights. I have loved my garden and everything I have grown tasted so good. Not only because it was fresh from the garden, but also because I knew that I worked to produce it. The sense of pride and knowing just where my food came from is truly empowering.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
My husband's brother and sister in law kept mentioning this 'beer cheese soup' they wanted. That was the top of their priority list when it came to Epcot's Food and Wine Festival, going on now through November 13th. We made it around to the Canadian booth and had to try it. It was a huge hit for my husband!
Even if the book hadn't contained that specific recipe, I could have found a copy on the Festival's website. So I reprinted it here in case you want to try it at home.
Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup:
Makes 6 cups
1/2 pound of bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
4 cups milk
1 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pale ale, room temperature
Chopped scallions or chives, for garnish
1. Cook bacon in a 4- or 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add onion, celery and butter; sauté until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add flour and stir constantly for about 4 minutes.
4. Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add milk and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes. Do not boil after adding milk.
6. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese, Tabasco, Worcestershire, salt and pepper until cheese is melted and soup is smooth. Stir in ale. If soup is too thick, thin to desired consistency with warm milk.
7. Serve hot, garnished with scallions or chives.
Epcot's Food and Wine Festival is a tapas-type event where 29 different countries/stations offered a few different small plates plus some beer/wine/cocktails that suited their nationality. After the race we only tried a few places, but we also spent an entire day in Epcot eating around the world. It was so much fun and a perfect event for someone like me that enjoys trying lots of different things. To make it even better our parents and my husbands brother and his family were all there. That meant that I didn't need to buy every single thing I wanted to try, we shared a lot of the dishes, which cut down on the price (and just a few of the calories...but hey, it was vacation, they don't count!!).
Here are some of the delicious plates I tasted:
- Mexico: rib eye beef tacos, delicious!!
- China: black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles, pork pot stickers...both were big winners!
- South Korea: lettuce wraps with roast pork and kimchi slaw, Boolgogi BBq beef with steamed rice and kimchi...I discovered I am not a fan of kimchi. I have always wanted to try it, but now I know it isn't my favorite.
- Germany: goulash suppe, Nuernberger sausage in a pretzel roll
- Italy: Di formaggio all'Emiliana (baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef Bolognese sauce, Parmesan cheese, and melted mozzarella)
- Hops and Barley: Linda Bean's perfect Maine lobster roll. Another dish I have been looking forward to trying, even though I have not been a big lobster fan in the past (I grew up in Maryland...no seafood beats crab in my opinion). I know lots of people really like this dish, but it wasn't as good as it was hyped up to be. I liked it, don't get me wrong, I was glad I tried it, but it won't be making a repeat appearance in the future. My curiosity was satisfied.
- Singapore: beef Randang (coconut-braised beef) with jasmine rice
- Japan: spicy tuna roll...without a doubt a favorite with my husband. How do I know? I only got a tiny taste before it disappeared!
- Morocco: Kefta pocket (ground seasoned beef in a pita pocket), Harissa chicken roll...both very very good.
- Belgium: Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream
- France: Sparkling pomegranate kir, Parisian Cosmo slush (Ciroc vodka, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice)
- Ireland: Cheese assortment (aged Irish cheddar, Dubliner and Ivernia cheeses) with apple chutney, chocolate lava cake with Baileys ganache
- Canada: Canadian cheddar cheese soup (more on this in the next post), chicken chipotle sausage with sweet corn polenta
- Desserts and Champagne booth: white chocolate macadamia mousse with dark chocolate pearls
This festival lasts until November 13th, so if you are in the Orlando area, be sure to check it out! Its a great time with lots of great food and drinks. I bought a cookbook with a bunch of the recipes in it, so I am sure it will be used often!