green garlic soup

for the last year I have been on a mission to find a green garlic and potato soup recipe, preferably served chilled, but hot is acceptable too. I have also been on a mission to find green garlic. I have failed miserably on both counts until now. my friend sarah grows garlic, so she pulled one for me on thursday so I could try making soup. they are still really young green garlic, which only means one thing-- I have plenty of time left to get it before it totally matures into regular garlic!
I found this recipe for green garlic soup, so thought it'd be worth a try. I was hesitant about the cheddar and the chicken broth for two reasons:

  • when I attempted this earlier in the year (substituting with elephant garlic and using a different recipe), the chicken broth pretty much rendered the soup unedible; I can't really explain it past that, but it sat in our fridge for about a month as I can't bear to throw away food.
  • the cheddar negates some of the pure garlic cream taste I have been searching for ever since we left sonoma.

I was wrong about the chicken broth (yay!), but right about the cheddar (darn.) it is still quite delicious though! and, I always like to follow recipes pretty accurately the first time(okay, so I used my immersion blender instead of transferring half of it and slopping it all over the kitchen on the way to the blender), and make improvements later. I suspect I will try this again soon with more potatoes, a little more cream cheese, and no cheddar.


sock wars zombie shootout

one of the prizes for sock wars goes to the knitter with the most kills. well, this year, there was a tie between two of the competitors, and there was a discussion about how to handle it. the decision was for them to each knit one sock starting at the same time (saturday afternoon) and post a picture when it was finished-- first one posted would be the winner.

well, on friday, the coordinator decided to host an extra contest: anyone, regardless of whether or not they participated in the war this year, could knit alongside these two deadly assassins. the one who posted a picture first would be the winner and proud owner of a skein of cocoa beach yarns' newest 100% cashmere sock yarn.

I loved the idea but didn't really expect to do it; I've got enough knitting to be working on. but then I figured I would see what was going on at the time the pattern was to be posted. I checked for the pattern 15 minutes late, but luck was on my side- they were having difficulty posting it, so no one had started. I figured 'what's to lose?' so I cast on around 4:30 pm yesterday...

at 12:19 this morning I had a completed sock. and I am soon to be the proud owner of 100% cashmere yarn.


a dog of ill repute

as we returned home yesterday afternoon, a mere hour and a half before ryan's mother and grandparents were due for dinner, a dog raced from behind the house across the street and into our yard. she's small; some sort of terrier mix. she's a girl. she is sweet and (for the most part) seems to like henry (who in turn likes her-- for the most part). she is well fed with a healthy coat and seems to be housebroken... yet no collar (or imprint of one) and long toenails. she does NOT belong across the street. we're not naming her right now because we're hoping she won't be here long, but it isn't looking great. ryan thinks she needs a name like hester or jezebel.

we've reported her as found all over the place, but at this point, she may soon end up belonging here. a guy came and looked at her this morning, but sadly she isn't his, so it's back to the lists, and the flyers. we don't want her to end up in a shelter because she seems to be such a good pet.

and just when we thought we were going to stay a one dog family... ::sigh:: and our second dog was supposed to be a westie...


jewish easter (with some goyshe help)

ryan didn't want to go up and see his dad's side of the family today, which was going to be a bit awkward since they asked us last week if we had easter plans and we said no. we didn't want to be rude to his grandmother, because she has a hard enough time understanding the 'no pork' guidelines, and so passover would surely go completely over her head, and then not eating might be offensive. I told him that it was his call, because it was his family's holiday.
"you know, if we spend the day with my mom, then at least I have an excuse, and I don't feel so bad about not spending easter with them" was his logic, so we called her up.

enter ellie's easter plans: take us to siebenthaler's to buy us some spring plants, and get working on the garden. the three of us spent 5 hours out there on what we had anticipated to be a small project. but once we decided to take out a couple of dead and ugly bushes, suddenly the misunderstood and badly shapen spruce by our bedroom window seemed none too difficult, and we had picked up a cute waterlily magnolia to put somewhere, and the spruce's spot seemed as good as any. add that to all of the bed defining and creating (we stopped after making a little one around a tree and realizing how difficult it is), and you get a full afternoon's work for 3 people!

pictures later (we didn't finish until 8:15, and then we ate, and then it was dark. but ryan's antsy to get some good shots with his slr)

so I guess my only question is... anyone know exactly how to get the city/ waste management to haul away the yard debris? (after all, we all know the city and I are not typically on speaking terms...)


passover seder

overall, everything went well. along with things mentioned in the previous post, I made truffles a la sasha (and this recipe)- vanilla and coffee. half the people raved about the coffee, and the other half raved about the vanilla. I used ghiradelli's 60% baking bar, which was a good call, although I might try the vanilla with something a little less dark next time to try to bring out more of the vanilla flavor.
I also made this lemon cheesecake from gourmet.com. I added some mushed raspberries to it and then topped it with the raspberries as well. I didn't use a springform pan; just a regular cake pan, and it was fine (no flour to make it stick). the recipe tells you to place in a baking dish, but nothing about a water bath, so I thought they had accidentally omitted that part and I did it anyway. it didn't set, so after I discovered that, I stuck it back in on its own for another 20 minutes. I also spoke to theresa about it at the bakery and checked cookingforengineers.com, and the recipe tells you to flip it out waaaayyy too early. I should have let it thoroughly cool, then stuck it in the fridge and not taken it out for a good 5-6 hours. I have high hopes that the recipe would turn out immediately if you don't use the water. I also think it'd be really good in mini muffin tins (what dessert isn't made better in convenient bite-size?) placing the crust only on the very bottom and topping with one raspberry before they cool so that the raspberries will stay in place.
unforunately, ryan didn't get pictures of the food, so I'll have to make it all again I suppose. =)



passover is coming up, and we're hosting the first seder again. when I was in college, I used to go to my brother in law's aunt's house, where she had made her own haggadah with their favorite readings and relevant pictures from their family, etc. I thought it was really special, and last year had considered doing it myself, but had short notice and didn't expect it to become a yearly thing. now, I am doing it, despite the short notice. I realize that I really enjoy the seder service much more than I ever realized and that I look for specific parts of it every year. as I flip through the haggadah we used all my life, I can hear bob leventhal's voice in all the parts labelled "leader".

after much deliberation, I have decided to serve lamb with sonoma mustard sauce (from the girl and the fig's cookbook) alongside my uncle's infamous potatoes and fresh roasted asparagus (originally I wanted to make baked greenbeans and onions with garlic slivers drizzled with balsamic, but I thought it'd interfere when I settled on the mustard sauce). I haven't decided on dessert... I'd like to make the lemon-lime tart, but I am afraid of the substitutions needed in the crust. and naturally there will be LOTS of chicken soup with homemade matzahballs (my mom will make those; I usually use a mix because I can't be bothered, though the soup will be all mine). I looked at a couple of gefilte fish recipes, but chose not to go to the effort; if anyone wants some, they can make it themselves.
the cooking seems a little daunting (including the not aforementioned charoset and eggs), especially considering I am working the day of, but I plan to get stuff together next sunday and be well organized. I had thought about taking the day off, but unfortunately one of the other cake decorators is in the middle of a family crisis, so I haven't bothered asking.


I suppose it's time for my every few months spurt of updates...

henry is enrolled in school, and is not doing so hot. he's really good at the commands, but he doesn't want to show them at school that he can do them... I think he doesn't want to show up the other dogs. he then proceeds to bark and bark and bark- usually another dog instigates him, but then he goes nuts. today I took him to daycare in hopes of wearing him out a bit, but no such luck. they informed us that he is "iffy" to graduate, though they assured us that he'd still get a "valiant effort" certificate. I like to compare henry to einstein- he's so bored in class that he'll flunk out.

my art class at sinclair is going well. I am disappointed that most of the people in my class are art students and not design, because I've managed to find a few that I really like and can talk to, but I'm going to have to start all over next term.

sock wars... I got a kill, so that's something at least. sadly, my assassin knit a pair of socks in A DAY AND A HALF. I have no idea how. I'm still in awe of my own 5-day pair. at least I am back to my sweater(s) and working on reducing my stash so ryan can stop complaining and I can resume yarn buying-- good thing we found a work-around to chris' new year's resolution!