Archive for February, 2009

Coming up on Building Blocks Show

February 23, 2009

I know you all haven’t heard from us in a while, but I assure you we are working hard on the next shows. We have taped an episode on Sunday Gravy, an Italian red sauce, and we just shot an episode on making lard and biscuits. I want to make sure the recipes are absolutely delicious for all of you, so we have a bit more work to do before we can post these shows.


Recipe Report: Itailian Sausage Soup

February 9, 2009

In this installment of Recipe Report, I’m reviewing Itailian Sausage Soup from the website 

Everyone likes a nice, hearty soup during winter, right? This Italian Sausage Soup really hits the spot and is quick and flexible. My family likes this soup with some bread for an easy, complete meal. Every time I make this soup, I change it up a little depending on what I have on hand (different veggies, beans, or adding pasta). The comments to the recipe suggested the following modifications, which I follow as well:

  • use hot Italian sausage if you want more spice
  • use 2 cloves of garlic
  • use 3 cans of stewed tomatoes
  • add 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth in addition to the beef broth
  • add 1 cubed potato
  • add 1 chopped onion
  • use frozen chopped spinach if you don’t have fresh spinach

I usually don’t add any salt because I think there’s plenty of salt in the broth. I’ve made this soup with Kim’s beef stock or with store-bought beef broth. I’ve never had a lot of luck with store-bought beef broth. However, Cook’s Illustrated has recommended the Pacific brand of beef broth and I’ve been pleased with it too. It’s really convenient if you don’t have any homemade beef stock on hand.

Let me know what you think about this recipe. Next time I make it, I’d like to experiment with using the crockpot. Maybe I’ll make extra to freeze and see how it tastes from frozen.

Safari Cake

February 4, 2009

Safari Cake

We celebrated my niece’s eighth birthday at the Rainforest Cafe, so I thought a safari cake would be appropriate.  There wasn’t much time to make it since my in-laws were in town, so I did a simple chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and Wilton animal figures.  The sides are dusted with cocoa powder using a powdered sugar shaker.  The tastiest part was the chocolate frosting I used for the writing.  I wish I had written down the exact recipe, but, like I said, I was in a hurry.  It went something like this though:  Lots of powdered sugar, lots of butter, lots of cocoa powder and a little milk and vanilla extract.  

Haley was so delighted at the ambiance of the Rainforest Cafe, where you sit among the trees and mechanical swinging apes and every few minutes there are “thunderstorms”.  They even put a sparkler in the cake for her.  The food is overpriced, but I felt it was worth it.  We had fun.