Rhubarb In Soup? Rhubarb. Mushroom & Sausage Soup!

I’m over run with rhubarb but not really a sweets person so when I saw this recipe I was most curious!

And a wee bit afraid. Rhubarb in soup? Whaaaat? It’s a normal thing in parts of Europe but here in North AMerica, rhubarb is most definitely something you douse liberally with sugar and bake into desserts.

The author of said recipe wrote a compelling case for it though so I gave it a try and WOW oh WOW!

Rich and savoury with just enough tang to tickle your taste buds. The rhubarb kind of melts into these little silky bits that feel luxurious. And the fresh dill is EXACTLY the right complimentary flavour. I’m imagining this dish as the star attaraction at my Samhain celebration in October and I cant wait to try all the other savoury rhubard dishes I’ve got saved on my phone.

This is the original recipe HERE. Please check it out! I’m ever grateful to be introduced to such a thing. The author has a lot of great recipes on her site too.

I can’t leave well enough alone and just had to add sausage to mine. That is the version I bring you here.

Mushroom, Sausage and Rhubarb Soup

a good glug of oil. Use Whatevs. I used olive.

1 large onion, diced

4 medium potatoes, chopped.

1 lb roughly chopped mushrooms. I used a mix of button and cremini. The earthier the mushroom here the better, me thinks!

1/2 pound chopped rhubarb. Mine was from frozen.

4 sausages. Baked separately and sliced. I used spicy Italian because that’s what I had. I’d love to try a good Bratwurst or something similar to that. To simplify things you could fry these with the onions and drain out the fat. I did not because these sausages are really fatty.

4.5 cups of good stock. I used my homemade chicken stock. Use whatever you have on hand. Veggie stock, beef would be nice too…(note to self- make your own beef stock one of these days )

Fresh dill to taste. Chopped. I used about 1/4 cup.

A good glug or two of cream. I used coffee cream. Yes. Really.

Salt & Pepper.

Putting It All Together:

Heat your oil and sauté your onions for a bit over medium heat.

Crank it up-the heat!- and add your mushrooms, get some colour on them and then add the potatoes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the whole lot in your stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 mins or until potatoes are soft enough to squish.

Bring up some potatoes on a spoon and give them a squish with a fork. Do this ’til you’ve got a texture you like. Or not. It’s up to you! The point is to thicken things up a bit and create a mixed texture. Again, or not.

Add the rhubarb and cooked sausage. and cook a further 10 mins. Take off the heat, add your dill and the cream.

Check for seasonings and then prepared to be blown away by how delicious these simple ingredients taste together!

Eat Your Greens.

I’ve successfully incorporated more veggies into my diet and boy do I feel smug.

Healthy! I mean I feel healthy.

Does this glass make me look smug?

All jesting aside, I made my first smoothie the other day and it was SO good!

I forgot how good smoothies can be!

Smug Ass Smoothie.

  1. Pour one good glug of orange juice in your whizzer. It was probably close to 1/4 cup of juice.
  2. Plop in one of those little single serving size yogurts. I used a delicious blackberry/blueberry mix.
  3. Squish in a big banana. Do you know I can only eat organic bananas? I can’t stand the taste of non organic ones. Plus they rot way faster too. It’s the strangest thing.
  4. Wash a good handful of spinach, and “in she goes!”
  5. Whiz, whiz, whiz and you’re done!

Looks putrid, non? It wasn’t, I assure you.

And just so you don’t think I’m one of those people, you should know I also ate a toasted Hot Cross Bun with gobs of butter!

Look at the fat glisten.
I cant believe I’m posting this photo of myself.

Do you have a favourite way to eat your veggies? What’s your favourite smoothie combination?

Z is for *Zucchini- A-Z Challenge

I found a neat little recipe in a book sometime ago using Pastina, those wee little pasta stars that are just SO DAMN CUTE! The dish is really simple and comforting but entirely delicious and worthy of adoration.

So sweet! I just want to hug them.

It goes as follows:

Bring one cup of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup of pastina and pinch ( or two or three) of salt.

Reduce heat slightly and cook until most of the liquid is gone.

Remove from heat and pour one – slightly mixed- egg over the whole mess, cover and let sit for a minute or so.

Add some butter, a tsp or so ( I am the QUEEN of “or so” ) and some parmesan cheese, about 1 tbsp…again I always add more. Season with salt if it needs it and pepper , “e ecco” you have a beautiful tasty bowl of love for yourself.

I am not one to leave well enough alone, so as soon as I made this dish’s acquaintance, I was thinking of all the variations I could try.

Here is my Zucchini Pastina!

Chop half a zuke into fine dice:

Not an good example of “fine dice”.

and sauté in butter, until golden but not brown. Set aside.

Bring one cup of water to a boil, add your pastina, 1/4 cup, and salt.

Cook until most of the water is absorbed.

Stir in your sautéed zucchini, and removed from heat. Give an egg a quick beating and pour over pastina, giving the whole mix another stir. Cover and let sit for a min or two.

Throw in some butter 1 TSP , and some Parmesan cheese, 1 TBSP- stir, check for more salt and add some pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

And there you be!

And there WE be. At the end of our A-Z journey.

I’ll do a wrap up post, for sure, but I really want to say THANK YOU!, right now, in this moment, to each and every one of you.

❤ Love and Squishy Hugs.

W is for Wacky Cake.

I’m sure everyone who bakes has heard of Wacky Cake!

It’s a neat little cake that can be whipped up IN IT’S OWN PAN, using economical ingredients and it comes out fabulously rich and moist. There are no eggs, milk or butter and I know what you’re thinking “Gross. How is THAT a cake?” That’s the whole point of it! No eggs, milk or butter and its still amazing! How wacky is that?!

It was born during the Depression era out when rations for milk and eggs were scarce and the recipe and its variations have survived to this day.

I enjoyed this growing up but up until this year had never made it myself. When I finally did, I added my own touch and am pleased as punch with the results!

Cinnamon Chili Wacky Cake with Chocolate Ganache

  1. 1.5 cups flour
  2. 1 cup white sugar
  3. 4 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1 TSP baking soda
  5. .5 TSP salt
  6. 1 TSP -well rounded- cinnamon
  7. .5 TSP cayenne powder
  8. 1 good glug vanilla extract. It’s actually 1 tsp but ya know…
  9. 1 TBSP cider vinegar. I used good old ACV.
  10. 6 TBSP Vegetable oil. I used Olive and it was fine.
  11. 1 cup water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)

Sift your dry ingredients into an 8×8 inch ungreased cake pan.

Make three wells in dry ingredients and in add: oil into one, vinegar into another and vanilla into the last one.

Pour water over it all and mix it up really well with a fork. Scraping down to the bottom and sort of whisking it all together to incorporate it all together.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool. Frost with your favourite topping (Or not. This is good without it!)

Lazy Chocolate Ganache

Heat a few TBSP cream and a couple of handfuls of good chocolate chunks in the microwave for about a minute. Stir to melt and incorporate chocolate and cream together. Pour and spread over top of cake. Let set for a bit then eat.

YUM!

Photo by Rafel AL Saadi on Pexels.com

T is for *Tea. A-Z Challenge.

Tanzanian style tea!

I enjoyed many vibrantly spiced cups of tea whilst in Tanzania last year and of course I just had to go and fall in love! It’s like chai only so much more. A true cup of beauty! Rich and spicy. Warm and comforting. Like nothing I’d had before.

I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since to no avail, even though Grace, our lovely friend and guide so generously gave me detailed instructions. The spices I have aren’t as fresh, the water and milk are different, the tea is not even close to being as fragrant…boooo! I got the sugar down though, ha ha. That’s one thing! I’ve been driving myself nuts with the process but have still come up short. I guess it’s just one of those things.

ANYhoo, I do have a version that comes close and while not exactly “right” it was made per a Tanzanian’s instructions and it’s good!

Ready? This recipe serves one.

Smash up:

  1. 1 cinnamon stick
  2. 7 cardamom pods
  3. 5 cloves

Grate 5 slices of ginger.

Add one mug’s worth plus a touch more of water to pot. This mug holds 1.5 cups of water. You’re adding a touch more because some water is going to boil off in the process.

Add your spices to the water along with a good couple of grindings of black pepper.

Yeah,yeah. I didn’t grate the ginger. I am lazy. You should though!

Bring to a boil and boil gently for 5 min.

Turn heat to low and add your black tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Bring back to a simmer. If you’re not having milk, strain and serve. If you are having milk, you have to use canned milk. Seriously. It’s a must. Just trust me. Add your canned milk to the pot and heat through. Strain into mug.

Add sugar if you wish-I do- but the sugar must be the unprocessed kind:

Et voila, Tanzanian style tea.

I highly recommend you actually go to Tanzania and enjoy it authentically there! My version is good but there is nothing like the real thing. Report back here if you do!

Makeshift Meals-Brussel Sprouts Hash & Eggs.

I had some Brussel sprouts left over from Yule (gasp!) and as I’m the only one in this house who likes the yummy little cabbage brains,I knew I could eat them however I liked!

Soooooo. I roasted them up with some wee potatoes (also left over from Yule) and seasoned them simply with salt and pepper.

Or maybe just salt…I don’t see any pepper? Do you?!

I couldn’t stop myself from picking at them just the way they were but that does not a meal make.

Channeling my inner brunch lover, I promptly fried two eggs and plopped them on top:

And enjoyed the hell out of the whole mess! It was amazingly satisfying. I will definitely be adding this one to the menu when I open my hip new diner in … never.

You should try it too!

Makeshift meal? Will you marry me? ❤

Simple Pleasure- Roast Beef Sandwich

I first came to love a simple roast beef sandwich, 26 years ago whilst standing in the kitchen with future mother in law.

I’d had them before, but usually always with deli meat, never an actual piece of roasted meat. This just screamed comfort to me. Hominess. I was a girl who craved such things even as a young 19 year old.

I can remember Mum apologizing for serving me leftovers – I think I was over for lunch that day-and I thought she was so cute. Leftovers! Like having REAL left over roast beef in sandwiches was a bad thing. I don’t think there was ever a day in my own family where we’d ever had such a thing. Her left overs were my luxury!

We ate happily together and that sandwich has stayed with me ever since. It was so simple yet so good. Quality ingredients put together well.

In the years since, I’ve fine tuned my version of the sandwiches we ate that day. My meat is barely cooked – hers was WELL, well done- I add salt and pepper and slather on way more butter than Mum ever would. Sometimes, my meat is spiced, sometimes its plain. But its always basically the same- meat, white bread, and butter. Yum!

Butter something white and yeasty
Pile on the meat!

Season with salt and pepper
Add some sides and enjoy!

What’s your favourite way to enjoy a roast beef sandwich?