One of the saddest things about my computer crashing was that it happened quickly enough that I was unable to save my MasterCook recipes. Now, those of you who know me at all, know I love to cook food that makes people happy. Even if I never got to sit down and eat it myself, just watching someone else’s eyes light up as they elicit a small moan of gastronomic pleasure makes my heart go thump. And yes, before you think I’m some kind of anorexic saint, I do also love to eat. (Any picture you find of me can attest to that fact.)
Yep, I’d collected some true pleasures. But I didn’t take the time to back up the cookbook properly, ‘cause I’m always on the hunt for the next wowing delight. SO now I ask for your help. I NEEEED some fantastic vegetarian recipes. And this does not include ingredients that I won’t be able to find. Please remember that I live in a town with a population of 500 and have to drive 45 minutes to get to the big town of say 30,000. So it’s just a little difficult for me to get agar agar flakes and hijiki.
On another note, I tried in vain to find a good recipe for vegetarian Swedish meatballs. Alas, the search was in vain. On RecipeZaar I found on that, at first glance, looked good. But the reviews declared it a bit too crumbly. My search must continue….
Speaking of RecipeZaar, does anyone use their professional level services? If so, do you find them worth it? I would like to avoid the panic of losing my much loved recipes in the future. So I’m actively looking for solutions.
But back to the post at hand…
I’m looking for casseroles, desserts, soups…all those good stick to your ribs, comfort foods that will be so satisfying as the weather begins to cool. You know; the tried and true recipes that you just keep coming back to.
So, how about it? What’s your favorite recipe to share?
Here’s one from me to start the ball rolling:
Curried Zucchini Soup
This recipe came to me from Chris’ cousin Kristin last year when I had zucchini coming out of my ears. We loved it so much that it became a regular dish around the house. It is especially delicious when eaten with toasted pita wedges.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1. In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt, and cayenne, stir, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini; reduce to medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the zucchini is very tender, about 20 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat.
5. With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup. Return to medium heat and stir in the cream. Simmer for 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.
6. Pour into a clean container and let cool slightly. Refrigerate until well chilled, 4 to 6 hours.
7. To serve, ladle into large cups, garnish with cilantro, and serve with hot pappadums or pita toast. This soup may be served hot or cold.
Well that was random. It’s ten ’til ten tonight and Chris just looked outside to find a small herd of cattle in our yard. (We live in free range land.)
We opened the window and, of course, proceeded to moo at them. In fact, I attempted to take a picture, but the flash didn’t go off. I would have tried again, except that Chris and Kajsa had walked out to gawk, which led to Kajsa squealing, “Hi, Cows!!!”
It wasn’t exactly a stampede. But they didn’t dawdle either.
Well, it was old home week at the hospital this week. Yep, we were back in. Didja miss us? As you know, Kajsa is now immunocompromised due to her transplant – the effect of which is that she can have fairly sever responses to some normally benign diseases. So when she began having fevers and a fair amount of lethargy, I packed up a few clothes and headed back down to Phoenix.
Long story short, Kajsa has/had Parvo virus. Yeah, you read that right…Parvo. (You may stop barking now.) This is a human form of the disease and not entirely uncommon. My understanding is that most of us have had it. And that includes you. Yes, you out there. Yipping away just isn’t as funny now, eh?
For the immunocompetent individual, Parvo primarily manifests itself as a red rash on the cheeks and trunk, and clears up in a week or so. However, in immuno-compromised individuals whose immune system cannot properly clear the infection, infection can lead to a depletion of RBC precursors and lead to chronic hemolytic anemia and pure- red-cell-aplasia, a low red-blood-cell count. B-19-specific IgG immunoglobulin prophylaxis and/or RBC transfusion are used to aid immuno-compromised patients in clearance of the infection. This information is ripped from this lovely page provided by Stanford. Thank you, Stanford.
What then, you may wonder, do you do for yon wee Kajsa’s poor ravaged eurythocyte population. Well, we support it, while force feeding her body antibodies. You remember antibodies. They basically attack any recognized foreign body on a cellular level. We do this through an immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy. And this is where it gets kinda cool.
OK, say you go to the local blood drive and offer up your arm to the phlebotomists for the grand good of all. You might think that they take that blood, check it for scary viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis (here I remind you to never use this as a method of screening for a disease – it’s so totally uncool) and then simply dump it into some pathetically needy sick person. But no, it’s way more interesting than this.
Yes, they screen the blood. Then they spin it down to separate the red cells from the platelets. The red blood cells are what are often transfused to patients. They call these PRBC’s, or packed red blood cells. This greatly reduces the possibility of passing on viruses as there aren’t any leukocytes present. This is the form that all of Kajsa’s previous transfusions have taken.
With the rest of the blood, they do many things, including helping burn victims. Pretty nifty, huh? But the part that pertains to Kajsa is the formation of immunoglobulin. This is essentially the process of culling the antibodies from many people’s blood and creating this magical elixir of hard core, bad ass, disease fighting serum. Some very diligent guy named Mike has created a site that tells more about immunoglobulin than you could possibly ever pretend to stay awake for. It is; however, well organized. So if you have a question in mind, you can likely find the answer there.
So there we were for six lovely days watching the sun rise and set while deliciously cool in our hospital room. Almost makes you want to go too, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t so bad.
We got to enjoy the company of some of our absolute favorite nurses…so there was much chatting and gossiping to be done. We made soooooo many crafts. Let’s see we have a caterpillar made out of construction paper, googly eyes, and glued baubles. We created a sunflower from a couple paper plates and glued buttons. We’ve made baby birds, and magnetic photo frames.
I read every pop-up book and/or board book until my jaw ached and memorized all of the Winnie the Pooh videos. Furthermore, I am almost finished with a splendid striped scarf worthy of the pages of You Knit What?, for whom I play a stanza of Taps. May their snarkiness rest in some semblance of peace. You were my semi-secret bitchy outlet.
And after a week of transfusions, IVIG and avoiding residents with their undying desire to test for every disease known to man, Kajsa was deemed worthy of release. She’s still having fevers, as her body is waging an all out war upon the Parvo (woof) virus, as well as whatever else may have been lurking in the wings. I have been granted, once more, the honor of caring for my child. Yippee.
We bolted from the starting gate at 12:30 this afternoon and are looking forward to grilling out from the comfort of our own home this evening. Sigh.
So. What did ya’ll do this week?
The rain is coming down with such a sense of urgency. One can’t help but feel the sky is trying to make up for time owed the ground. He calls to her with loud thundering bellows – as his fingers, quick as lightening, tap tap tap in hopes that she will answer him with fruit.