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It’s freezing.

I realize that’s a relative term, considering I’m in California and California cold is in no way comparable to, say, New York cold (which I don’t miss at all – I’m looking at you frostbitten toes and $400 heating bills). But nevertheless, San Francisco temps can definitely dip down onto the less attractive side of 55F and when this unfortunate event occurs, all mama wants is soup.

Such is my current situation. I want soup! And not just any soup… A hearty, soul-warming, brothy soup with earthy flavors and heavenly aromatics. Thanks to Ms. Smitten Kitchen (genius strikes yet again), I found just the soup in the following recipe! A delightfully simple concoction with surprisingly complex flavors… a mushroom barley soup to end all mushroom barley soups…

Started out by rehydrating a few dried porcinis (just threw them in a bowl and covered with about 1 cup of boiling water). Set those bad boys aside I tended to the rest. Heated up a bit of olive oil in my LeCreuset and sautéed a roughly chopped carrot and a roughly chopped onion for about 10 minutes over medium heat.

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Valentine’s has never been a favorite holiday of mine. I would go so far as to say I used to hate it with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. I still don’t like it, but it’s a lot easier to like when you’ve got someone to buy you pressies and bring you flowers and whatnot.

So as a “Happy Valentine’s, sucka” to my fella, I decided to put my relatively newfound culinary skills to good use and cook us up a feast.  I’m a slow chopper and a perfectionist, so we didn’t eat until 9, but I think we were both pretty satisfied (as was Nina… it’s not everyday that a puppy gets fillet mignon bits!).

I aimed high with the following menu:

Starter (yes… starter!):
Wild mushroom & leek soup w/ parsley dumplings (everything, including the vegetable stock, from scratch)

Main:
Pan fried, peppercorn-crusted fillet mignon
Green bean salad with marinated red onions in a homemade vinaigrette

Dessert:
Ghiradhelli loveliness from Spencer

First I started out with about $10 worth of assorted veggies for the stock…

Wanna see how it turned out?

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Hi, I’m Lauriebot!


I live in San Francisco. I used to live in NYC, Washington DC, and London.

I like to take the pictures.

I like color, excess, food, light, clothes, and going places.

I also like talking to people.

Write me at:
mmhmm[at]lauriebot[dot]com

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