Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Putting my time off to good use.

I love having a kitchen that begs me to cook. If I don't get in there at least once a day, I hear a little voice calling me..."cooooooome, use my oven. Turn on my buuuuuurnerrrrs. Microwave soooooooooomething..."

New recipe tonight: green pepper soup. I know - it sounds kinda yucky. The recipe was given to me by a technician at work. Since I do love peppers, I decided to give it a whirl. What a surprise! It's a very mild, light, sweet soup that would be a perfect starter course for a big meal (steak, roast, etc). We had it with a salad and crusty french bread.

The recipe is super easy, but it does call for a blender. I didn't actually own a blender until today. We went to a cooking store in the mall (not Williams Sonoma. Surprisingly our local, enormous, tourist attraction mall lacks a WS). I could have spent HOURS and HOURS in that store looking at all the cooking equipment. It was rather like a porn store for cooks.

The recipe is as follows:

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 large green peppers, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
1 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Sautee the peppers and onion in the butter and oil until tender in Dutch oven or soup pot (about 5-7 minutes on medium heat). Add the flour and mix until smooth. Once smooth, cook on medium high for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the chicken broth and mix well. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Divide the soup into half and puree each half in a blender (or food processor) until smooth. Place back in soup pot (or Dutch oven). Add 1/2 and 1/2, salt, and pepper, stir over medium heat. Serve garnished with green onions.

My first cheesecake is in the oven as we speak. I'm a bit nervous, but we shall see.

On the hobby front: I've signed up for Level 1 Spanish class to commence in January. It's an "immersion" style class in which you are taught conversational Spanish. It's taught at a local language academy and the goal is teaching you to comfortably converse in Spanish. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, but vet school and my internship made having hobbies difficult (to say the least)!

My father was a Spanish translator when he was in the Army and was a fluid Spanish speaker. He picks up languages easily, and I have inherited this trait from him, luckily. This will serve me well in life, I feel. We deal with a great deal of Hispanic people at work, and it would be enormously helpful to be able to converse with them on some level. Further, I just like languages and hope to be able to use it one day when we FINALLY travel.

Tomorrow, we leave for Knoxville to visit friends, then Saturday we drive to Nashville to see the Avett Brothers at the Ryman with other friends. I'm very excited!

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