Come On, Irene …

Well, this is my first official post as a “blogger.”  I guess there is no better time to start a blog than during one of the worst forecasted hurricanes in the last 25 years.  Luckily, we only lost power for a short time.  Albeit, while making a vegetable soup, with everything but the kitchen sink (recipe suggestion to follow).

I love food.  I love to cook.  And I love to feed my family and friends.  I find it difficult to follow recipes, instead I like to use them as guidelines or suggestions for future meals (of course, as long as I am not baking).  Many of my cookbooks are laced with markings, or improvements, I have made to recipes.  Therefore, I decided a blog dedicated to the pursuit of good food would be only fitting.

So, back to the hurricane … down-graded to tropical storm.  My family was evacuated from their home due to the storm, and were planning on staying with myself and my husband.  Of course, in my mind this means dinner party.  While other people were plundering the grocery store for non-perishable items, I thought, “My gas stove will still work once the power is out”, “Looks like we’re making chili, vegetable soup, and fried zucchini flowers.”  Two nights before the hurricane was to make landfall, we went for a final emergency shopping session.  My husband asked me to write down the essentials.

“Parsley?”  He said.  “Do we really need Parsley during a hurricane?”  Well, of course!

The next day, I was still unsatisfied with all the vegetables I had picked up for the weekend, and was feeling really disappointed that our Farmer’s Market would be rained out on Sunday.  I remembered there was another Farmer’s Market two towns over, where I found organic zucchini flowers, leeks, and squash.  Delicious!

Luckily, our weekend ended safely.  I was able to feed some family and friends that lost power during the storm, and I couldn’t have been happier.  Below you can find the recipes for vegetable soup and fried zucchini flowers (a personal favorite growing up, and my husband’s favorite while honeymooning in Italy).

Everything, but the Kitchen Sink Vegetable Soup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Onion, diced

2 Cloves of garlic, minced

1 Leek, thinly sliced

3 Carrots, sliced

2 Celery stalks, sliced

2 Zucchini or summer squash large dice

4 Cups of low-sodium chicken stock

1 Can diced tomatoes

1 Can, drained and rinsed cannellini beans

1 Bay leaf

2 Tsp thyme

Juice from one lemon

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Saute onion, garlic, and leek in olive oil until onions are translucent.  Add carrots, celery, and zucchini and saute for 4-5 minutes more.  Add chicken stock, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, bay leaf, thyme, lemon juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook approximately 20-30 minutes (or until vegetable are al dente).

Fried Zucchini Flowers

10-12 Zucchini flower

1 Cup flour

3/4 Cup warm water

1/2 Tsp Herbs de Provence

Pinch of Salt

1 Egg

Pinch of baking soda

Combine flour, water, Herbs de Provence, and pinch of salt.  Let mixture sit for approximately 1/2 hour.  Add egg and pinch of baking soda.  Dip zucchini flowers into batter, and fry in canola oil.

ENJOY!

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