And the Livin’ is Easy (Curried Summer Squash Soup Recipe)

curried summer squash soup

This summer has been too much fun. What I mean by that is that we’ve been managing to squeeze so much fun into our very limited non-working hours that it’s making these warm, carefree days fly by much too quickly. We’ve had family visits, tasted one-of-a-kind beers at the Belgium Comes to Cooperstown beer festival, floated around in the lake, and ridden our bikes all over. At this point either the fun has to stop or we’re going to need to find a way to slow down time. I really hope we figure out the whole time-slowing thing soon though because I have no intention of ending my fun. So if anyone knows a physicist who could help me out with that…. (more…)

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The Beginning of the End (Winter Minestrone Recipe)

winter minestrone

It is my sincere hope that this will be the last winter meal I’ll be posting for a while. I know it’s only early March and we still have another two and a half months of potential snowfall around here, but I’m beginning to see some subtle signs of spring approaching. Even though there’d been a light snow falling for the better part of the past few days, only a mere dusting has stuck to the ground. The next week promises daytime temperatures in the 40’s, rather than the 20’s and 30’s of the past few months. And I’ve been craving springtime food: greens, tender young veggies, and just lighter fare overall. I’ve started adding salads back into my diet and I’ve even been blending up smoothies for breakfast once in a while, despite the fact that it’s still below freezing when I wake up most mornings. (This mint chocolate chip smoothie courtesy of Vegan Sparkles is one of my favorites at the moment.) (more…)

Winter Warmer (Roasted Red Pepper Soup Recipe)

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I may have mentioned this before, but I’m not exactly what you would call a winter person. From about as soon as I was old enough to no longer reap the benefits of snow days, I have dreaded the imminent arrival of the cold, the wind, and the snow. I dreaded it so much in fact, that upon finishing grad school in Boston I packed up and moved myself across the country, away from my family and friends, to sunny Sacramento, CA. Alas, I now find myself once again in the Great White North(east) but this time a little older, a little wiser, and with a slightly more positive outlook on the winter season. I still don’t care for winter sports, but I’ve adapted my preferred activities to the blustery weather (snow running, anyone?). I’m still annoyed to be stuck inside while the snow piles up outside my door, but I now appreciate the opportunity to slow life down just a bit after a non-stop summer and fall. And I definitely still lament the lack of fresh, juicy produce, but I love not worrying about heating up the house when I turn on the oven. But my favorite part about winter? The part that makes it all worthwhile?

Soup. (more…)

Fall Cleaning (Shitake Green Curry with Soba Noodles Recipe)

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I don’t know about you, but all I’ve been wanting to eat lately is bread, pasta, and sweets. I could probably blame it in part on the cooler temperatures pushing me towards heavier, richer foods. But really, it’s not that cold yet and it’s a bit too early still for the heavy foods of winter. More realistically, it’s my own fault for indulging in these yummy treats just a little too often and not noticing how far down the slippery slope I’d come towards subsisting solely on refined carbs. This, combined with a bout of fall allergies and a couple of weeks spent teetering on the edge of catching the nasty cold that’s been going around, has left me feeling sluggish and just generally unwell. Based on these realizations, it seems that it might be good time for a dietary cleanse. A reboot for my system, if you will. (more…)

You Never Forget Your First (Tortilla Soup Recipe)

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Hello, and welcome to the very first post on A Fork in Hand.  Much thought (probably too much, really) went into selecting my inaugural recipe.  I’m a bit of an over analyzer, so it should come as no surprise that it took me close to 2 months to decide that this was the one.  I mean, it’s my first blog post.  There were so many things to consider!  It had to be something delicious, obviously.  But it also had to be simple enough not to scare people off, yet elaborate enough that you wouldn’t find 20 examples of nearly the same recipe with a simple google search  And most importantly, it had to epitomize, as much as any one recipe can, exactly the kind of food this blog is about.

I believe this tortilla soup recipe is all of those things.  It’s been in the works for quite awhile.  A few years, I think.  I’m pretty much in love with this particular version.  It’s spicy and complex from a mix of fresh and dried chiles, bright and herbal from a short simmer with cilantro stems, and a little tangy from a squeeze of lime to finish it all off.  This is a soup I eat to warm up body and soul on gloomy winter days, to clear out my head when I feel the sniffles coming on, and most often to satisfy my craving for the Mexi-Cali food that I miss so much.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. (more…)

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