Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dutch baby

Dutch Baby

I love breakfast, but hate waking up for it. We have breakfast for dinner all the time at home. Pancakes, waffles, omelets are all welcomed as long as it's past noon. I recently decided that an even better choice is brunch. Think about it. By definition, brunch just says lazy. No one eats brunch on a weekday, so you are already channeling the weekend (even if it is Monday night). It's saying that you didn't want to get out of bed but wants to eat like you did. All brunch items are simply prepared and in many cases, prepared ahead of time so you just roll out of bed and finish up. Simple and delicious, definitely the mantra around here...

Which brings me to the dutch baby you see above. It's kind of a cross between a popover and a pancake. I came across the recipe here and it looked like good lazy people food. Mix some very basic ingredients together, put it in the oven and let it do it's thing. I added some crumbled bacon (and took advantage of the bacon grease to lube the skillet) as a final breakfast touch. Sprinkle with powder sugar and a simple meal is ready in 30 minutes.

Dutch Baby

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cheesy Beer Soup

With the weather getting cooler around here (for California anyway), I start looking for heartier meals to warm the house and everyone in it. Braises or stews warms the insides in a good, rib-sticking way, but on a week night there just isn't the time for that. Britt was also baking cookies so the ovens was already doing a fine job warming the house. I rummage the pantry and found a pack of Cheese Beer Wild Rice Soup mix and decided to give that a go.

Beer Cheese Wild Rice Soup Mix

The mix was sent from Minnesota by Britt's cousin a while back. I think on one of their visits out here I had made a smart remark about what Minnesotan food was. Roadkills and casseroles might have been involved in the joke, but when they went home, they sent this over and a sample of authentic Minnesotan cuisine. I don't stock a lot of beer at home, but I do like Red Stripe and keep a few in the garage (Hooray beer!). I figured the unique spice of the Red Stripe can only enhance the wild rice soup experience. Besides, bringing the cultures of Jamaica and the Great American North can't be a bad thing, right?

Soup Cheesing and Beering

No matter how novel the final dish may be, this is still basically soup mix. 1 cup of beer and 6 cups of water, add mix and bring to a boil, then simmer for 40 minutes or so until the rice is tender. I was actually impressed with the amount of discernible vegetables in the mix. It wasn't ALL orange powder! While I waited I made a light pasta with diced tomatoes and olives for the kids since I wasn't sure if they would approve of the soup.

Cheesy Beer Wild Rice Soup

In the end, the soup was pretty good. I like wild rice soup in general, especially on a cold winter night. The beer added another level of flavor that worked very well with the salty cheesy taste (it was almost like eating cheese puffs while drinking beer). I suppose we can score one for Minnesotan cuisine. If any hockey moms out there want to send over whatever hot dish you think represent the midwest taste best, I'll be happy to try that as well.