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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Resourceful

Now, I'm what you would call a "Good" cook. Above Average, but not Excellent. I am technically accurate in my execution of recipes, and rarely have a complete failure. I am able to perform some substitutions based on my knowledge of similar recipes, occasionally know when recipes are inaccurate (time, temperature, measurements, etc.), and can in most instances determine when and what flavor enhancers are needed (i.e. "secret spices" - nutmeg is my favorite).



BUT, where I fall short in cooking is making up my own recipes. I usually feel helpless to start cooking unless I have some type of guide in front of me. Even if it is a recipe I have made a few times, I usually need to have it in front of me - perhaps it is like my cooking security blanket. I hate when I'm at a wedding shower and they ask everyone to write out a recipe for the bride without warning that this activity would be taking place. Finally I have one recipe I can write down from memory - my meatloaf.

I like to try new recipes. My Mom really likes to try new recipes. She often sends me new ones to try. I know they must be good if she, and my ever-picky Dad, liked them. This week she sent a recipe for Maple-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Sweet Potatoes. She told me not to change a thing - as simple as the recipe sounds, just follow it like it was written. Well, I did add some turnips and potatoes to the variety of vegetables called for, but I did not add any other seasonings other than the maple syrup, salt and pepper



Can I just say WOW! This was a really amazing dish. The vegetables got very sweet and tender from roasting, yet still retained their own unique flavors. It shows how simple recipes with quality ingredients can sometimes be better than fussy ones that call for a dozen items, half of which you have to go to specialty stores to buy.

In cutting up all the veggies, I knew I would have an over-abundance left over from what I served, and what BT would actually eat (you mean all of these things grow underground?) I figured that I would just serve them later in the week
(to myself) as a side dish. Then I had a thought this morning - maybe these would be really good blended and made into soup! I really thought I was on to something. Doing some research, yes, of course, this is recommended to do with recipes of this type. Darn - so much for my Julia Childs moment. I did not, however, do much research as to how it should be done. I figured for once I would "wing it" and come up with my own way to do something.

So, with the addition of a little chicken broth and a little cream, I bring you Jennifer's Sweet Root Soup



Very delicious, very filling, and very good for a crisp Fall night. Let me know if you need to recipe...*

*though, I guess it's pretty obvious how it was made...but if you're like me and need a "cheat sheet," let me know.

9 comments:

Miss Bliss said...

Yummmmmm! I know what is for dinner tonight. Have to run to the store and get chicken right away. Don't get too down on yourself, at least you thought of making a soup at all. And you learned that it's not hard. See, you had the thought, just because your not the only person to ever have the thought doesn't take the credit away from you... Does that make sence?

Anyhow, thanks for your comment yesterday. I have a feeling that you would "get" me...

Amy

Amy said...

I LOVE "recipes" that are too simple to be true. I too think I will gather the ingredients to make that TO-NITE. Thanks for sharing. Your soup looks quite comforting too -- and hey, an original idea is an original idea even if everyone else has thought of it too.

deb said...

I would love a cheat sheet. The pictures are just mouth-watering!

Barb said...

I need a recipe too. I'm not one of those people who can find a few items in the pantry and whip up something fantastic. But that's okay. I consider myself a pretty good cook too, although I always manage to dirty every bowl, plate, dish, and utensil in the place. I have gotten cake batter on the wall, flour on the floor...but the end result is usually good (especially if I'm baking). I love to try new recipes. I have learned that more spices do not necessarily mean more flavor. It takes just the right equation. As with all things, sometimes simplicity is key.

Catrina said...

Looks Fantastic!!!

mrs.jack said...

That looks really nice and congrats on your first recipe!! \(^o^)/

telfair said...

I'm a "recipe follower" myself whereas GB is comfy diverging from the beaten path.

All looks v. yummy...

Can I just point out with an evil giggle that "Sweet Root" would have a completely different and relatively obscene meaning in Australia?

I'm sure you could have done without knowing that but thought I would share anyway.

debi said...

Ooh, that looks so good - our CSA has been inundating us with winter squashes, now I have an idea of what to do with them.

Barb said...

I'm going to try this tomorrow night. I'm not hip on thighs though (no pun intended), so I'm going to use breasts. I can do without the turnips too, but everything else I'll do by the book! I'll let you know how it goes. I love getting recipe recommendations.