My second favorite recipe is when I say "Hey, I have everything except (insert one missing ingredient)."
Most others are "Man, that looks good. I should bookmark that."
Coat the bottom of the stock pan with a quick swirl of olive oil. Add the entire container of mirepoix, or, 1 cup each of chopped celery, onion, and carrot (assuring the carrot is a small dice). Add several garlic cloves, chopped cooked bacon (I used three slices of pre-cooked, cold bacon, snipped with scissors into small bits), a good handful of spices (I used loads of cumin and several blends from Penzey's) and saute all until the onion is tender, the bacon has rendered a little fat, but the garlic has not browned.
Add the can of tomatoes, stir, and bring just to a simmer.
Add the drained black beans, stir, and bring back to a simmer.
Add the can of pumpkin puree, stir, and bring back to a simmer.
Using a stick blender, gently pulse about half of the veggies in the pan. I like some texture, so I wanted some pureed until they were pulpy, but left most of intact.
Begin to add some stock to cover the veggies, and bring back to a simmer. Continue to add stock in increments until the flavor and texture is as you like it.
Add 1 cup of fully cooked lentils. I used tiny black "Beluga Lentils" which are from Trader Joe's and fully cooked.
Simmer the soup, adding or adjusting spices as you do so. Taste about a thousand times because you can't believe how tasty this combination is.
Finally, to finish, add a healthy splash (perhaps a 1/3 of cup for me) of California Sherry.
Serve as you wish, topped with croutons, or served with cornbread, or even a dollop of sour cream would be lovely. This was a really low-fat soup, combined a few SuperFoods (I'm trying to consume several each day, in this case lentils and pumpkin), was a snap to make, and, most of all was economical -- my canned items came from the dollar store (the stock, the pumpkin, the tomatoes, and the bleans).
...an award started back in April 2007 by Eric Novak who wanted to start a Christian award to recognise bloggers' hard work and purpose, then was amused to receive his own award three months later! The very first few went to a few homeschoolers. Then they sent them on to their friends, who sent them on to their friends, and now the award has come my way, then on to some of my picks. I love how the Internet can connect so many people in such a short time.
1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award; 2. The blogs which receive the award must serve some purpose; 3. In a post about the award, one must link back to Blogging with a Purpose; and 4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to this site.
Candidly, some of the "rules" are a little difficult to follow, although Number 2 amuses me. I'm going to write to my each of friends and say "I'd like to nominate your blog but I can't, because it serves no purpose."
As for the others, it's not that I'm a rabblerouser or buck administration, but I can't be certain whether a) the nominees have ever been nominated and/or received the award before, without combing through archives and b) Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman, who was proposed to be a Republican nominee for the presidency in 1884, responded, emphatically: "If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve." Accordingly, I'll happily nominate some blogs I enjoy, but, like General Sherman, one can't force them to accept the honor, post banners, link back, or do anything. They may just click "delete" when they see my email.
On with the nominations:
1. The Grub Report was one of the first blogs I started to follow, several years ago. Stephanie Vander Weide Lucianovic writes about the San Francisco Bay Area scene, her forays into cookbookery, her cranky customers at the Ferry Building Cowgirl Creamery, and, stuff which annoys her on television. She qualifies for "blogging with a purpose" because Stephanie, a former fine arts and photography book editor and thereafter a graduate of a culinary arts school, shares her expertise with her "Chef is In" section. A few years ago a friend and I had a vital question about sticky balsamic vinegar, and she researched and gave us the information we needed. She also taught me the best-ever way to roast corn and was the first person who inspired me to roast cauliflower (she said it tasted like candy and I wanted some too), which is now in regular rotation. I guess I'm saying she got me to eat veggies the proper way -- which is blasted to heaven in an oven and tossed with olive oil and sea salt, which leads me to ...
2. My Husband Hates Veggies , written by Kitty. Her husband hates veggies. He also shares a number of traits with MY boyfriend (which at first had me worried and suspicious but I got over that). Kitty blogs with a purpose because she takes on the daunting task of trying to improve a man's eating habits by sneaking in veggies and other worthy fare. She calls them Veggie Fake Outs. Now, having said that, I'm sorry, I cannot indemnify her if and when she is sued by BOTH authors of recent veggie fake out cookbooks, The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious. They just need to get the hell over one another -- like once a cupcake cookbook has been published, there can't be another cupcake cookbook shortly thereafter? But I digress.
3. PostSecret. I visit this blog every Sunday. It truly blogs with a purpose -- I can't think of a bigger impact for a blog than letting people anonymously share funny, poignant, or sometimes outrageous secrets, which connect us all in the collective cosmos and make us feel like no matter how weird we are, someone else out there understands completely, and no matter how wounded we feel, someone will care. That said, PostSecret has never published my secrets (I've sent two), and one was a doozie (involving office garbage cans) which my sister insisted I send in. Oh well. However, witness the recent "secret" shared by a young man who was so lonely, he prayed his phone would ring now and again and he'd get voicemail (he'd never received a voicemail message. He shared his number and was flooded with calls from well wishers across the United States. It made him cry. That made me smile for him.
4. Stuff White People Like. I am not politically correct, okay? I'm not a racist, either. I laugh at all races, creeds, small children, and stupid pet tricks, all the movies by Christopher Guest, Blue Collar Comedy Tour and Kings of Comedy with fervor. So, I nominate this site because I work for a lawyer. He's really mean. Sometimes he makes me want to cry. I need to laugh every single day or I'll cry, and this site helps. A sample:
White People Like Paris Flea Markets. The Paris flea market
contains many authentic treasures from Europe’s past, including furniture, art, and various knickknacks. Though many white people could acquire these products through the internet, by purchasing it at the Paris flea market they are able to tell their friends “Oh, I found that at the Paris flea market. Have you been? It’s life changing, I swear I wish I could move to Paris.” It is considered good form to ask them more questions about their item. Once they say a word in French such as “magnifique” or “quelle chance!” the conversation topic has run its course, and they will like you for not correcting their pronunciation.
5. Recipes that Get You Laid. If this isn't a Blog with a Purpose, I don't know what is. I know, probably very uncool to nominate this for an award which has Christian values as its genesis, but, please read the intro to number 4.
Finally, thanks to Robin Sue, I will now forever refer to my recipes as ... "From the award- winning Warm Olives Blog", and, I get to create an "Awards" category. So, thank you for that. Oh, I need to re-do my header, now to reflect my new status!
Have a nice weekend, folks!
Step 6: After 1.5 hours, I checked and took off the lid. After 2.0 hours, it was fully browned, tender, and about to fall off the bone (but didn't).
Step 5: After the vegetable broth has reached a boil, turn off the stove, and add the short ribs, assuring the liquid has come up at least half way up the sides of the ribs. Put the lid on the dutch oven, and put in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 2 hours.
So damn good. Every component was delicious. The ONLY change I'd make next time, is to trim up and off some of the fat from the ribs. None of the recipes I read said to do so, but honestly, there was so much fat in the pan, and thick pieces on the rib, that I really didn't want to fish my veggie mixture out of the pan because it was all under at least an inch of fat. I would hope that trimming that back wouldn't ruin the tenderness of the meat. There must be a happy medium, right?P.S. The pan cost $39.99. The short ribs cost $3.99. That is SO me -- buying an expensive pan to cook the cheapest cut of meat imaginable. But I look at it as an investment. I still need to make that No Knead Bread. So NEEDED this pan.
Butter a pyrex dish or clay casserole pot, as shown (this was the only added fat, so it's not REALLY fat free, but oh well). Clean and rinse the rice, and spoon into dish. Cover with all ingredients. Stir. Bake at 325 for 3 hours, stirring several times to incorporate the rice as it swells.
Notes: The photo above was taken after just over 2 hours. I ate it creamy and warm at this point, but cooking it another 50 minutes made it thicker and firmer, but still very creamy. It did not brown. Also, I thought it could use less sweetener. I would use less than 1/4 cup of sugar next time, or even just as bit of honey or agave syrup or something similar.