On Sunday Ben and I are traveling home to Wisconsin for two (!) whole weeks. I couldn’t be more thrilled! In my mind I am already drifting belly-up on the lake (which I hear is super warm this year), ice cream sandwich in hand, the distinct bouquet of sunscreen mixed with grilled meats wafting through my brain. It’s going to be very, very rad. Corequisite to my excitement, I am also experiencing my typical pre-travel tailspin into madness and worst-case-scenarios. I have imagined all the ways
Guys, I am in a funk. And it’s not like James Brown’s funk, or the Isley Brothers’ funk. It’s a very non-awesome, kind-of toxic, super-blarghy-ultra-screw-up-expialidocious…funk. I’m making uncharacteristically dumb mistakes at work, my sleep schedule is out the window, and all I can seem to do right is binge watching Grey’s Anatomy in bed covered in cats who, at times, seem dubious about my hygiene (understandably).
Classic and comforting creamy mushroom soup gets an update with the addition of roasted mushroom, plenty of white wine, and brie.
Today I share with you a soup recipe that is an adaptation of a recipe published by Closet Cooking back in 2014. It’s incredible.
A really sad thing happened to me recently- strolling through Pinterest for ideas I happened upon a promising-looking roasted mushroom and brie soup. I made it twice and was so happy with it that I took to leaving an absolutely glowing and ecstatic review on the food blog where I found it. Afterward, a few days ago, I stumbled across another roasted mushroom brie soup on Closet Cooking, which had the exact same ingredients and quantities and cooking methods- but it was posted an entire year earlier than the version I had seen first. I returned to the first recipe that had received my accolades, for comparison and to check for credit, and it immediately became clear to me that that blogger, who shall remain nameless because I am kind, ripped off Closet Cooking without giving credit where it was due, and passed it off as their own work.
It really buttered my biscuits. Because I am still relatively new at this, I look to established food bloggers as examples of best practices. And I guess that I naively imagined that we are all rooting for one another, tied harmoniously by our love of food and our shared efforts.
I’ve been making pork potstickers for family and friends for years- they have always been improvised and slightly unique each time, and I never wrote the recipe down until I prepared the little dumplins you see pictured before you. We took a long camping weekend up in Washington last month with some loved ones where I was reminded by Ben’s cousin Alex that I once made these potstickers for him several years ago, long before we all migrated to our respective corners of the Pacific Northwest. He told me emphatically that they were so delicious that he has since never forgotten about them. It warmed my heart! The whiskey helped, too.
Have you been to the farmers market lately? What a glorious bounty of magnificent produce we are graced with right now. Sour cherries! Figs! Rainbow carrots! Stone fruits galore! It is truly a great time to be alive and eating! Out of all of nature’s summer treasures, I anxiously await peaches and corn the most. Corn holds serious nostalgia for me as a native midwesterner- to me, it has always been a delicious signal that summertime is in full swing. And here we are. It’s late July, the corn stalks are well past knee-high, and caravans of peach trucks are making their way up from Georgia (actually, we have pretty good peaches in Oregon, too!).
How is your summer going? Are you grilling out a lot? Are you wearing enough sunscreen? Did you go see the fireworks on Monday? Are you sitting in a stale, air-conditioned office from 8-5 every day wondering how it is that you have no recollection of June ever coming and going? So far I have found myself primarily in the latter scenario, but I am grateful to be on the cusp of a vacation. I’m drafting this post ahead of time as part of my pre-vaycay preps- but by the time this post auto-publishes and you read it, I should be (hopefully) floating carelessly on a lake, slathered in SPF 1000, and taking in some rural peace and quiet. We’re headed back to our place of origin, Wisconsin, where nobody does summer better. In anticipation of all the charred sausages and pasta salads and corn on the cob and snicker apple salad (google it) that I expect to subsist on for the week, I present this week’s dish: A bright and summery, yet creamy and comforting, pasta with fresh english peas, spinach, and a you-have-to-taste-it-to-believe-it raw vegan avocado basil cream sauce.
Gosh golly, I have really been meaning to post this portobello banh mi for a while now. Perhaps life has gotten in the way a bit, and perhaps I just eat them way too fast whenever I make them. Who knows? (Me. I know.)
I inhaled my very first Vietnamese banh mi sandwich sometime around a year ago- I remember that it was from Lela’s Bistro on NW 23rd and it was filled with pork belly, which had beautiful and succulent layers of fat that first crackled and then melted in my mouth as I ate it (and then I melted). And then I decided that I would honestly prefer not to eat anything but banh mi sandwiches for the rest of my days. Since that fateful sandwich, I have been on a sort of banh mi tour of west Portland. In my mind, I collect data from each sandwich, mentally listing and frankenstein-ing and adding up to the perfect conceivable version.
This coconut curry soup has got it goin’ on. It’s everything you need it to be when it’s noon, and your eyes dry and sticky from staring at a screen all morning, and tummy is demanding tribute. It is hearty, warm, and loaded with flavors and spices and fresh vegetables. It is Slurp-Worthy. And did I mention that an entire pot of this magic is ready in 15 minutes, start to finish? Keep reading.
Does anyone else struggle for lunch ideas, or is it just me? Saturday morning before Ben wakes up, I curl up on the couch with my meal planning notebook, my netflix binge-show-du-jour in the background, and get to work planning food for the coming week. For the most part, I love this ritual, and usually have no trouble at all devising an entire week of inspiring dinners- all varied in texture, flavor, and nutritional attributes (of course), meals that I look forward to all week long. But then I have to choose a lunch for the work-week, and I hit a wall. I’ll then spend the next hour or even more (really!) thumbing through pinterest, foodgawker, and previous meal plans, like-
no… no… no… too many ingredients… no… I’ll get sick of that in two days… no… no… no… super unhealthy… no… no… too healthy…
When it comes to meal planning, I have the most difficult time with lunches, week after week. Working full time makes lunch especially challenging. Personally, I’ll be damned if I’m going to plan 5 different lunches for the work-week, so I’ll prep a monster-lunch on Sunday and eat it Monday through Friday.
Thusly, lunch needs to fit the following criteria:
1. easy and quick to assemble
2. ingredients must stay fresh through Friday
3. must hold my interest all week- this is crucial, as there is an entire Portland city-block of food carts 20 steps from my workplace.
Enter this Hot and Sour Soup, which has been serving me very well the last couple of weeks. Not only does it fit all three lunch-happiness-criteria, it is also satisfying, healthy, and a perfectly warm foil to the chill that has begun filling the air these days. It’s soup and sweater season, friends.