Lentil soup

Dec. 1st, 2014 05:58 pm
captpackrat: (Cooking - Soup Nazi)
I use split red lentils to make this dish.  They cook very quickly and don't have to be soaked.  You should pick through them first, however, to check for stems or stones, then rinse them throughly with fresh water to clean off any remaining dirt or debris.  Lentils are loaded with fiber, protein, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, folic acid, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and B6.  Red lentils will turn yellow as they cook, so don't be surprised when the soup isn't the same color as the raw lentils.

Start by making a soffritto, the Italian cousin of the mirepoix.  Chop 1 cup of carrots, 1 cup of celery, 2 cups of onion, and about 5 or 6 cloves of garlic.  Saute in olive oil until soft.  Add 2 cups of lentils, 6 cups of chicken broth, 2 large bay leaves, a teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón ahumado), and some fresh black pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. If you use brown or green lentils, it may take longer.  Stir in 1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar.  You can puree the soup if you prefer it smoother, but I just serve it as is.

Serve garnished with croutons, fresh parsley and/or heavy cream, greek yogurt or sour cream.


Aug. 5th, 2012 08:42 pm
captpackrat: (Camera)
LiveJournal really messed up the gallery.  It's a royal pain in the ass to upload and post images now.  Clicky on any of these to see the full image.

Macrophotograph of a screw.

Storms in the distance, and the water tower that was recently erected nearby.

I wish this bike helmet came in my size.

A couple toads I saw in a well head while looking at houses with a friend.

This show is boring!

Cool story, bro.


Something every Skyrim fan should have.

This tastes like ass.

Mmmmm...  Hooves....

I ordered a pork tenderloin sandwich from a local diner.  This is what I got.
captpackrat: (Gadget Laughing)
A recent Wii Everybody Votes Channel poll asked whether people eat bananas by peeling them a little at a time, or all at once.

Me:  Who peels a banana all at once?  If you do that, it loses its structural integrity!
My SO:  That was the geekiest thing I've ever heard.
captpackrat: (Cooking - Hell's Kitchen)

Gefilte fish + Pinto Beans = a lethal combination

Food pr0n

Feb. 19th, 2012 04:14 pm
captpackrat: (Homer Mmmmmm...)

But what if you want more than 100 shrimp?

I ordered just 32.  I didn't realize it was that much food.

Magic spaghetti.

I promised you food porn, so here it is!
captpackrat: (Cooking - Soup Nazi)
I've been seeing lots of potatoes and leeks in Skyrim, so I thought about making a potato-leek soup.  I just modified my basic potato soup recipe.

1 stick of butter
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
2 medium sweet onions, diced
12 cups baking potatoes, peeled and diced (roughly 10-12 medium potatoes)
2 large leeks, diced
14 cups (112 oz) chicken broth or bouillon
1 cup heavy cream

Melt butter in a large pot, then add olive oil and saute the onions until translucent.  Add the potatoes, leeks and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the leeks and potatoes are soft.  Add the cream and stir until well mixed.

If you prefer a chunky soup, you can serve it as is, or for a creamy soup, let the soup cool then use a blender, food processor or stick blender to puree it (don't attempt this while the soup is hot, you'll burn yourself), then reheat the soup.
captpackrat: (Camera)
Been busy the past two months so I fell really far behind on uploading photos.

You probably shouldn't be reading your e-mail on the computer that runs your digital ad boards.

The aftermath of Red Lobster's Endless Shrimp.  I broke my record this year, 10 plates of shrimp.  I definitely got my money's worth this time.

MLP activity book.  I almost bought it.

Balls are touching

I'm gonna start working on that plan to end all life on earth, OK?

Use the Brawny, Luke!

Bunny Bubbles
captpackrat: (Camera)

Licorice is the same thing as bubble gum?

Should I get the fat free fig cookies, or the fig cookies that are fat free?

An EC-135S Cobra Ball measurement and signals intelligence (MASINT) collector plane flying low overhead on the way to Offutt Air Force Base.

I was taking the dogs for walkies when I came across this tiny little snake in the driveway.  The dogs somehow managed to not see the snake; one of them actually stepped on it, though it didn't appear to do any harm.

The first flowers of Spring.  (It's Common Field Speedwell)
captpackrat: (Cooking - Hell's Kitchen)
Slice 1 pound of bacon into small pieces.  If you're watching your fat, you can trim the fatty bits off, but I think that's a waste of deliciousness.  A good smokey bacon works best, but avoid anything weird like maple-flavored.  Saute for several minutes, until you've rendered the fat out of the bacon.  Drain off the fat, then add 1/2 an onion, diced, and saute until the onion is translucent.  You're not trying to make the bacon crispy, it just needs to be cooked.  Add 3 cans of diced tomatoes, well drained, 1 Tblsp Italian seasoning and 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional).  Cook until the tomatoes form a sauce.

Serve over freshly cooked spaghetti and top with grated cheese.
captpackrat: (Deerpr0n)
captpackrat: (Thumper Clover)
[Poll #1654402]
captpackrat: (Homer AAAAAAH!)
I found an old box of Tuna Helper buried in the back of the cabinet.  The expiration date on it is from 2008.  I'd just bought a ton of * Helper, and this box seemed unusually heavy.  I checked the weight and it said it contained 8.4 ounces.  I checked the other * Helper boxes, and they were all 4 to 6 ounces!

The instructions also call for a 7 ounce can of tuna.  Good luck with that, since almost all tuna comes in 5 ounce cans now.

Nothing like a little time capsule to show just how much the manufacturers have been shrinking their products.
captpackrat: (Spam pops)
[Error: unknown template qotd]
You can add "...in bed" to the end of every fortune cookie fortune... except this one.
captpackrat: (Cooking - Hell's Kitchen)
[Error: unknown template qotd]
Milk & Pepsi.
captpackrat: (Cooking - Homer Can't Cook)
I started out trying to make taco soup.  Alas, I couldn't find any taco seasoning, so I switched to making chili soup.  I reached for the cumin,  measured some out into my hand, and dumped it into the soup.  Then I realized it smelled funny.  Kind of sweet...  and cinnamony...   CRAP!

It's actually pretty good.  It's not sweet, and it's actually a bit hot.

Follow the basic taco soup recipe, but instead of taco seasoning, add 3 Tblsp of chili powder, 1 Tblsp of cumin, 1 Tblsp of cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper (to taste).  I also used 3 cans of beans, one each of pinto, kidney and navy, rather than the usual 2 cans of pinto beans.
captpackrat: (Cooking - Good Eats - Waffleman)
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is an ancient grain that originated in the Andes where it has been cultivated for at least 6,000 years.  Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein.  One cup of cooked quinoa contains 58% of your Daily Value of Manganese, 30%DV of Magnesium and 28% of Phosphorus and more than 10%DV of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, B6, Iron, Zinc and Copper.  One cup contains 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein and no saturated fat.  Quinoa contains a coating called saponin which tastes rather bitter; it can be easily removed by placing the grains in a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth and rinsing under cold running water.  Most quinoa sold in the US already has the saponin coating removed.

Quinoa has been available at health food stores and Whole Foods for a long time, but now Costco has started carrying it.  It's an excellent (and healthier!) alternative to rice and cooks very similarly.  If you have a rice cooker, you can make quinoa in it.    When cooked, it has an unusual little curl to it.

I made way too much quinoa the other day so I put the leftovers in the fridge.  Tonight I decided to try making a salad with some of the leftovers.

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
2 cups frozen mixed carrots, corn and green beans, cooked and cooled
1/2 cup broccoli, steamed and cooled
1 can diced tomatoes, drained or 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
couple handfuls of toasted sesame seeds

1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tblsp lemon juice
large pinch salt
fresh ground pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
dash of grated ginger

Mix the quinoa, veggies and nuts together in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Combine dressing with salad and toss.
captpackrat: (Scuzz the Rat)
2 heaping teaspoons instant coffee
small amount of hot water
3/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup milk
2-4 Tblsp sugar (to taste)
ice cubes (about 2-3 cups)
Aerosol can whipped cream (Reddi-Whip or the like, not Cool Whip or tub-style whipped cream)
Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, or other sweet spices as garnish
Chocolate syrup (or caramel syrup)

Dissolve the instant coffee in a small amount of hot water.  Add the coffee, cold water, milk, sugar and ice to a blender and blend until the ice is broken into very small piece.  If it's still a liquid consistency, add more ice and continue blending.

Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream.  Garnish with ground cinnamon or other spices or chocolate or caramel syrup.

Makes about 3 venti frappuccinos.

No Frills!

Jun. 2nd, 2010 05:14 pm
captpackrat: (Barf)

I don't think their milk is quite fresh.  (My camera doesn't do this image justice, it's actually even greener in real life.)

Taco soup!

May. 26th, 2010 06:09 pm
captpackrat: (Cooking - Soup Nazi)
1 pound ground beef
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cans pinto beans
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package ranch dressing mix
3 cups water
Corn or tortilla chips
Sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onions, chopped jalapeno to garnish (optional)

1.  Brown ground beef and onion in a large pot.  Drain excess fat.

2.  Add beans, corn, tomatoes, taco seasoning, ranch dressing mix and water.  Bring to a boil and simmer partially covered over low heat for at least 1 hour.

3.  To serve, place chips in each bowl and ladle soup on top.  Garnish as desired with sour cream, cheese, onions, and/or jalapenos.
captpackrat: (Cooking - Hell's Kitchen)

Freezing Foods at Home, copyright 1949.

I found this book in with the rest of my cookbooks.  It originally belonged to my Grandmother.

Basic Seven Food Groups.

Apparently it was recommended that everyone eat "some" butter or margarine every single day, but you only need 1 serving of vegetables per day.


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