Who doesn’t love sweet winter oranges, especially when said oranges are zested and the tequila-sunrise-colored juice is hand-squeezed into a glass measuring cup – a few splashes of orange oil ripple towards the edge like ink dots. Fresh-from-the-farm eggs whipped with sugar become light and airy; flour is added in alternating batches with the juice and batter is ribboned into a loaf pan and baked.
The Professor and I managed to survive something called a ‘Polar Vortex’ – meaning temperatures for more than 48 hours were well below zero and windchill was a record-breaking -41 degrees. The good news is that as of today we’re in a heat wave at a 40 degrees above zero – break out the flip flops people!
It’s the second day of January 2014 – a brand new year with brand new possibilities and brand new experiences that will unfold in the coming months. At the moment we’re bracing for some of the coldest temperatures this part of the country has seen in decades.
It’s mid-winter and while we’ve had one really good snow this season, as I look out my windows today, I see brown grass and bare trees – it all melted when the rains came whipping through a few weekends back. We’ve had a few additional days of snow but nothing really major and the local weather-guessers are saying that temperatures will reach near 40 sometime this week.
Just the name of this Dutch Baby takes me on a journey . . . it takes me back to the little house on Ankeny Street . . . and for some reason memories of my Grandma and Grandpa on my dad’s side come flooding back. Grandpa used to sing to me when I was a child. . . we would sit in his big, off-white leather recliner and he would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ to me . . . he had a familiar smirk like that of my father . . . and he smoked a pipe with cherry tobacco . . . to this day, my nose gets a whiff of cherry tobacco and I am instantly transported back to Walla Walla, my grandparents’ home and that big leather chair . . .
Musical pairing – Country, Keith Jarrett
We’re year-round soup fans here at Smith Bites – chilled soups during the warmer months and hot soups during the winter months. And with just a few exceptions, we make them from scratch using common pantry and/or ingredients I have tucked away in my freezer. Some soups are broth-based and some are cream-based but every soup is full of flavor and perfect for lunch or dinner. Some have meat while others are full of vegetables: lentil, chowder, lightening fast tomato, chili, roasted red pepper – perfect for The Professor’s lunch or a quick dinner when work is particularly busy and I haven’t had time to get a meal together. Add a salad or some great crusty bread and voila’, dinner is served.
This tortellini soup has just eight ingredients but comes together in about 20 minutes, tops – Girl Scout, cross-my-heart, hope-to-die, stick-a-needle-in-your-eye – I promise. This is real food, real fast, at its finest and does not skimp in the flavor department!
WAIT!!! DON’T STOP READING JUST BECAUSE IT’S A PICTURE OF BRUSSEL SPROUTS!! I know you’re disappointed that this isn’t another post about pies or baked goods but seriously, a girl can only eat so many carbs before the neighbors start asking, ‘Who’s that woman with the Professor?’ And not in a good way . . .
Anyone out there grow up eating frozen pot pies? Anyone ever have a good frozen pot pie experience? Thought so. Frozen pies in tiny aluminum tins – Banquet, Swanson’s, store brand, didn’t matter – they all ended up with soggy bottoms (I’m not talking about those funny guys from the movie, ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou’) and mushy, overcooked vegetables – definitely not good eats in my book. As a kid, if pot pies were on the menu, I’d be asking around to see if I could get myself invited to a friend’s home for dinner . . .