Tag Archives: Soup

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Did you ever eat something so delicious, you couldn’t erase it from your memory? You explain it to all of your friends, but with each descriptive word you salivate more and more. Anything else you eat in the weeks afterward is just mediocre, and you wish for every bite thereafter to taste like that tasty, memorable deliciousness in your recent past.

This happens to me all too often and, unfortunately, I don’t have the budget to visit my favorite restaurants for the extraordinary dishes I yearn for at my leisure. I do, however, like a challenge and find that it’s just as easy to attempt to replicate the dishes I crave at home. Typically, I identify the flavors and ingredients with attentiveness as I take in each bite. Restaurant menus aid in the process, and usually provide two to three integral ingredients in the item’s description.  Read More…

Italian Wedding Soup

It completely baffles me when I hear people say they don’t eat leftovers. Sure, there are some things that have a limited shelf life in the refrigerator, and a keen eye for spore growth and an average sense of smell are the best guides to realize when it’s time for things to move on to the trash. Still, most things, to me, taste better the second time around. I would much rather eat a reprise of spaghetti if it’s warmed with tomato sauce in a sauté pan. And if you ever need a favor from me, a cold meatloaf sandwich on white bread with just the right amount of ketchup can pretty much get me to do anything.

My bottom-less pit of a stomach usually prevents me from getting anything into Tupperware and into the fridge; my appetite rarely allows for leftovers. Occasionally, though, I come across a recipe that makes an overwhelming amount of food. Last week, I needed a dinner that was satisfying but also would last a day or two in terms of lunches and quick, weeknight meals. While soup isn’t something that is a match for my ravenous hunger, it does fit the bill if it’s loaded with meat and veggies. Read More…

Kielbasa and White Bean Soup

Looking back to 2011, I can’t say I would necessarily do anything differently. Still, a new year brings the opportunity to make changes or improvements and start new routines. I’ve never been one to make drastic moves when it comes to resolutions, especially since mine never stick – you won’t ever hear me declare I’m starting a new fad diet. In fact, my plan for 2012 is to do the exact opposite.

Over the holidays I came to the realization that my life revolves around food; what I’m planning to make for dinner, where I’m spending my lunch break or which restaurant I choose for Sunday brunch, for example, are all decisions that I treat with great importance. Simply put, creating and eating great food makes me happy as a clam. In the New Year, my goal is to make the most of every meal whether it’s making an elaborate dinner for friends or eating my favorite dishes at some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants. Everything I make will be Clean Plate-worthy, and anything I eat this year will be worthwhile.

2012’s first dish in the East Berks kitchen was a filling kielbasa stew, thickened with white beans and laced with tomatoes and spinach. Every spoonful was purely perfect. Read More…

Pork Wontons

Just a quick ride on the el or a short drive to University City, lies the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. The Penn Museum is home to about 1 -million artifacts covering existence anywhere from Ancient Egypt to the Roman Empire, Native American tribes and everywhere in between. Though the most intriguing items are viewable to the public behind glass cases, Museum researchers and scholars are involved with research projects all over the globe that could, literally, dig up something new for the Penn Museum visitors.

In addition to the intriguing permanent collections, the museum regularly features special exhibits. Until March 28th, the exclusive, and highly anticipated, Secrets of the Silk Road exhibit is open to the public. Through artifacts, relics, and even well-preserved mummies, the exhibit tells the story of life in the Tarim Basin desert, located in Central Asia. Spanning from Europe to Eastern China, the Silk Road is a network of trade routes connected through this region, responsible for modern trade, cross cultural exchanges and the growth of many items we still use today.

The Penn Museum has designed interactive components for visitors of all ages, further exploring the language and textiles of those who lived in the Tarim Basin region. Additionally, visitors can experience the Silk Road from the perspective of a princess, merchant, entertainer, or horseman of that time period by participating in an activity provided at the beginning of the exhibit; with a paper map in hand, participants discover more about their chosen character by unlocking answers with a decoder throughout the exhibit.

The interactive nature of the exhibit continues with lunch at The Pepper Mill Café, inside the museum. Until June, menus focus on a specific country along the Silk Road, rotating weekly. From China to Vietnam, to India and Greece, the catering staff spent two months researching and developing traditional foods of the region. The exhibit itself shows visitors what the people in the Tarim Basin ate; displays include an ancient, excavated wonton, spring roll and fried dough. Free recipes available inside the exhibit allow visitors to experience the Secrets of the Silk Road at home.  This recipe, for wontons filled with pork, probably tastes a little bit better than its thousands-of-years-old version in the exhibit. Read More…

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