Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow and Soup for the First Time....

I realize there has been a pause here. I intended to document a number of things this holiday season, but instead just wanted to enjoy them and not worry about them becoming posts. That happens sometimes. You know, real life.

As many of you know, the Northeast was pounded Sunday with a crazy blizzard, causing us all to have a transit-free snow day. No better way to break in the southerner than blowing snow and up to 4 feet deep drifts (I'm also learning new terminology from the hubby; don't laugh at me people from the middle :)

Outside my window

The occasion called for the hearty and healthy kale and potato soup I had planned. I discovered a version of the recipe in the new Cooking with Trader Joe's Book, of which I have a small mention for my "Pico-de-Gallo salsa and avocado make a great instant guacamole" idea.

Anyway, this is an excellent way to take in warming liquids and kale that is ridiculously good for you. I added kielbasa to mine, just because.

It also gave me the perfect opportunity to use my handy new toy (thanks Don)

Here is the link to the recipe for Kale and Potatoe Soup

I also served this with my favorite new cream biscuits to keep around in the freezer for just such an occasion.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Keeping a Recipe Binder

I don't know about you, but I come across recipes I intend to try all the time. For a while, I was just bookmarking them or tearing out the pages, but all those ideas spread out in many different places just left me even more overwhelmed and confused. 

Being the ever-diligent organizer I am, I started a recipe binder and I highly recommend you do too. Whether you are just starting out and want to keep it all tidy, or are a seasoned pro and need multiple binders for your kitchen, a recipe binder is an indispensable addition to your arsenal. Mine sits alongside my cookbooks, getting overstuffed by the day! 

How to get started:

1. Pick any old binder, at least size 2"

2. Grab some dividers*, or make your own for the following sections (feel free to take your own liberties here, these are what I use):

  • Appetizers/Entertaining
  • Sides/Vegetable Dishes
  • Mains 
  • Breads
  • Desserts
  • Breakfast

My Mains tab will eventually become it's own binder with subdivisions like:

  • Meat
  • Casseroles/Piles O' Food
  • Healthy
  • Pasta/Salads

3. Get a pack of plastic page protectors (then say that three times fast)

4. Print out recipes from the internet or tear out from magazines that you want to try. Double them up in the page protector back to back to save space. 

*I have to say it's nice to have the dividers with pockets so you can slide in odd-sized resources, like the Food Network Magazine's 50_____s inserts.

It's especially helpful when you want to try a recipe, to be able to just take out the page instead of keeping an entire cookbook open on the counter. That way, if you liked it, it goes back in the binder, if not, leave it out and fill the space with a new one. In the end you are not committed to them, and the ones left will be your tried and trues that you know you enjoy. 

My Favorite Sources for Recipes: