Thursday, November 13, 2008

Peanut Soup

ETA: A Review is below the recipe.

What is it about soup? Why does it just call my name? Is it because I'm lazy and prefer one pot meals? Is it my ultimate comfort food? Or is it because it's usually economical, freezes well, and is easy (again)?
At any rate, I came across this on the CLBB today and it's on my to try list, though I need coconut milk and cilantro. I think I should make a run to the asian grocery on southside to stock up on coconut milk and some asian condiments.

Peanut Soup, Senegalese-Style
Vegetable Soups, by Deborah Madison

1 to 2 tablespoons roasted peanut oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or hot red pepper flakes, to taste
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup peanut butter, preferably organic and unsweetened
1 cup coconut milk, or more to taste
Sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Lime wedges

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot, then add the onion, garlic, and cilantro stems. Give a stir, then cook over high heat for a few minutes to warm the onion. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion has softened somewhat, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the cayenne and curry powder.

2. Add 3 cups water and the tomatoes. Stir well and bring to a boil. Drop in the peanut butter and simmer until the onions are soft and the peanut butter has dissolved, about 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk. Season the soup with salt.

3. Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro. Serve with a dollop of yogurt in each bowl and a wedge of lime on the side.

I finally made this and WOW! Possibly a new favorite? It made 6 generous servings.
The only changes I made were to use Low-Fat Coconut Milk, and only half an onion. I also used more curry powder.
This was a soup that tasted better by the bite. I think it'll be even better left over for lunch tomorrow. I am freezing the rest--this will be perfect on a cold wet day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tales From the Trenches

I *heart* my kids. They continue to make me smile, to make me glad for my job, to make me sad to know I'll soon be moving on. They make me laugh, they frustrate me, they inspire me.

Last week, one of my students had a rough end to the day. She hit another student (loud tears ensued), she calmed down, I walked her to the bus area, turned my back for just a minute to talk to a parent, and then she went after another student (not mine) who is in a wheelchair and defenseless. She got her pretty good 2x. I intervened once I realized what was going on. She sat on the ground and then went after me! I still have 4 scabs on my hand and 2 on each leg (I was wearing a skirt) to show for it! She calmed down, a parent had to come get her because we couldn't put her on the bus with the way she was acting. This was 3 days ago.

This morning, she arrived at school and immediately apologized. We started working and she then saw I was wearing slacks and said, "Oh, I'm glad you are wearing pants today. Remember how I scratched you last time?" Ummm, yes I do! I asked if she wanted to see where, and of course she did. However, she didn't really notice because her thoughts were interrupted with, "Oh, those boots are really cute." Giggle. It really just cracked me up that her thoughts seemed to be, "Thank goodness you wore pants in case I have a bad day again--that way I won't scratch your legs again."

Later today, another student went to the bathroom, came back, and was very serious. She asked me if I had any baby wipes. Of course, I don't. She said she had to poop, and it was (Held hands out far). I said, "Big?" She agreed, "Yes, it was big and I don't think I got it all. I want baby wipes so I can get clean."
We decided to go to the nurse to see if she had anything we could use, but she didn't. Deep breath. I asked her if she needed me to help clean her, and of course she said yes. (I changed diapers the first 3 years I taught--2 of those were for middle schoolers. Some were girls. Some had reached puberty. So, while not pleasant, this is something I can do). We went into a faculty bathroom. I put the gloves on. She looked at me and said, "Drop them?" I said, "Yes, drop them." Let me tell you--those are not words I ever thought I'd hear in my teaching career! She then said, "I'm sorry to have to make you help me with this." Awwww, so sweet. After all of that, her bottom was clean as clean can be! Now THAT confused her. Whew, crisis averted.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Cranberry-Chipotle Fruit Compote

With Thanksgiving fast approaching (how in the heck did it get to be NOVEMBER already?), I've been mentally preparing a menu, or at least the part of the menu I will be making. I came across this recipe on the CLBB and it piqued my interest. Sweet and spicy, utilizing fresh cranberries, and versatile--I HAD to try it. So, I made a half recipe today to take to a friend's house to watch the OU/Texas A&M game.
So far, I have only licked the spoon (and I DIDN'T double dip), but I think I will like this! I am serving it with cream cheese and organic blue corn tortilla chips. I hope I have none left to bring home, because I know me--I would eat it with a spoon!

Cranberry-Chipotle Fruit Compote (link to Epicurious).

The only sub I made was to omit the dried peaches and use double the amount of dried apricots.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Coming Soon

I recently found an old web page of *MINE* circa 2001-02 or so. I had many recipes from my supper club on it, including a tried and true one for baklava! I'm going to post them here more for my reference than anything.
Baklava, bieroks, Tom Ka Ghi soup, sauerbraten, and more.

How did I find it? I googled a recipe I was looking for. One of the hits was for an angelfire site. I ignored this, as it didn't seem like a reputable source (unlike,, etc.) After not finding what I wanted in other links, I clicked on the angelfire link and realized it was MY page I had just shunned! Shame on me.