Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Souper Fun Sunday

I am so excited! Hogtown HomeGrown has been chosen to participate in St. Francis High School's Souper Fun Sunday on January 31, 2010 from 1-4pm. It is a fund raiser for technology upgrades and enhancements for the school.

Lots of area restaurants and caterers will be participating in this soup tasting competition. Each participant will provide 5 gallons of soup to be tasted by ticketholders and judged by both local celebrities and ticketholders in several categories. They even added a vegetarian category this year!

Tickets are available on the website There are discounts on ticket packages until December 15th, so get your tickets now. With a Kid's Activity Tent (new this year) and family passes available, this is an event for the whole family.

What soup will I be making? I'm not telling, but I'll give you three hints - it's vegan, very simple and in the recipe section of the Hogtown HomeGrown site. Buy a ticket, taste my soup and I'm sure you'll be voting for it!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Clam Chowder for a cold, wet night

I'm back in the kitchen, successfully this time. Came home from shopping yesterday and knew that soup would be the perfect dinner.

1 T olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
1 T butter
6 stalks celery, chopped
2 pounds yukon gold creamer potatoes, chopped
dried herbs to taste
1/4 t salt
4 cups seafood stock
2 cups pinot grigio (white wine)
2 pounds frozen chopped clams (Northwest Seafood freezer)
1 can Pet evaporated milk (not condensed - that's got sugar!)
1 T butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute onions in oil until limp, add butter and celery, stir until celery is softened.

Add potatoes, herbs and salt and stir occasionally until potatoes are hot, then add stock and wine. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until potatoes are fork tender.

Add partially defrosted clams and reduce heat to medium. Cook until clams chunks are separated. Add milk, stir, cover and simmer on low for at least 1 hour.

Stir in butter and taste for seasonings.

Serve hot with crusty rolls to dip into broth.

Makes a huge pot, so either serve a crowd or cover and refrigerate.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

And I thought I could cook?

There are days and there are days - today was not my favorite kitchen day.

Kitchen disasters don't happen often in our house, but when they do, they tend to be spectacular. Today was no exception -

My Aunt Lil sent us some of her infamous baklava (the actual name is pronounced bitlayawa, but I can't spell it) and we enjoyed it so much, I thought I'd give it a try.

Ground walnnuts - check!

Melted and skimmed butter - check!

Simple syrup without honey - check!

Defrosted phyllo dough - NO CHECK!!!!

Did you know that frozen phyllo dough can get stale after a couple of years in the freezer? Well, I know now! Unfortunately I'm a little slow - my lesson was not evident until I bit into the completed pastry!

Yes, hours of prep, layering, brushing each individual phyllo sheet with butter, blah, blah blah.....

Maybe I can save the walnuts by scraping them off the phyllo and use them as an ice cream topper.

Just thought you would like to know!

Hope it gave you a smile!

P.S. There will be no pictures with this post - ever!