Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday Quickies #17: Convenience, Comfort Soup, Easter Brunch & Auntie Em's

Convenience Cooking: Eat your heart out, Rachael Ray. The Chicago Tribune shows readers how to whip up a meal in 10 minutes. Granted, most of these are one dish entrees and involve a lot of half-baked convenience items like precooked rice and polenta and already cut veggies, but it still looks comparatively less processed and more healthy than the stuff featured on those convenience cooking shows. On a sidenote, are Americans *that* incompetent at cooking? Only asking because I seem to see a surge in a quick 'n easy recipes/cookbooks/cooking shows like the aforementioned column and's recently-started Recipe-Free Cooking series. Oh well, I guess it beats greasy takeouts or sodium-saturated stuff to pop in the microwave. On a related note, NY Times did an article a while past showing that sometimes these convenience recipes aren't all that, well, convenient.

Comfort Soup Mix: Speaking of lazy ass convenience dishes, I really enjoyed the comfort soup mix that's sold at Whole Foods. It's really nothing more than a batch of chopped up veggies (squash, zucchini, onion, potatoes, scallions and carrots) but it makes for a wonderful, hearty meal perfect for a brisk, cold night. Simmer it for 20 minutes, a quick seasoning and finish it with a little cream if you prefer (I used some pureed corn soup). The best part? Not having to deal with fractions of leftover vegetables in my fridge. And even though it is from Whole Paycheck Foods, this is pretty cheap -- the ~$4.50 mix of veggies is enough to make 5 gianormous bowls of soup (or 10-12 servings if it's not the meal itself.)

Easter Plans: Wow, can't believe Easter is already around the corner . . . anyways, this year I plan on
Taste, whose e-newsletter caught me at the right time (before dinner.) But seriously, it looks like a pretty well rounded menu with lots of goodies (read: "dessert buffet!") and not too shabby for $34/person. But if Taste is not for you, here's what many other LA & OC restaurants are doing for bunny day.

Auntie Ems Coming Up: Looks like I'm checking out Auntie Ems for their
Farmer's Market Dinner on Mar. 11 -- can't wait to check them out, especially after reading Pleasure Palate's delicious remarks on them. Will report back and hopefully have lots of good piccies to share!


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