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The Best Superbowl White Bean Dip

Ok, I need to post this before I forget about it – and I didn’t take any pictures, so you’ll have to just try it.  It’s so delicious.

Superbowl White Bean Dip

1 TBS. Olive oil
1 small onion chopped
2 cans canellini beans (15 oz)
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
half head fresh cilantro leaves, chopped.
1 C. shredded mexican cheese
1/2 C. sausage – crumbled (optional – I had some cooked up from breakfast, so I threw it in for extra flavor – chorizo would be awesome here.)

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion.  Saute the onion until translucent, about 5 min.  Add the sausage if using, I precooked mine, so it was already drained.  If you use it raw, cook it through and then drain off the fat.

Add the beans – I took out about half the water in each can.  Add cumin, red pepper, and salt.  Continue to stir until it gets nice and bubbly.  Then add in the cilantro.  Before adding the cheese, I hit it with the immersion blender.  You could use a potato masher or pastry cutter to do the same job.  I blended just a bit to get that nice bean dip texture with a little chunkiness.  Adjust any of spices and cheese to your taste.

Warm a bag of tortillas chips in the oven for 5-6 min, and serve with a bit of sour cream if you have that one hand.

Enjoy!

ROC the Day – LIV the Day?

I love the idea of what the United Way is doing in Rochester with ROC the day (roctheday.org).  So much that I bought the domain livtheday.org just in case they want to partner to do the same type of event for Livingston County.  Please contact me if you want the domain!  I really just got it so that no one else would, and I’d be happy to donate it for a good use!

Come ON, Slickdeals!!!

Slickdeals (http://slickdeals.net)  really pissed me off this morning. In the main text of their latest ‘update’ email, was this text:

“”With hundreds of deals in dozens of ad scans, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sales and offers this holiday season. With the help of our deal editors, we compiled a Holiday Gift Guide that includes a $29.99 Craftsman Drill (originally $59.99) for Dad, $10 Panini Maker (originally $49.99) for Mom and a $19.99 VTech Discovery Table (originally $39.99) for the little ones! Check out what else we found!””

Why is this so offensive to me? Oh wait, it’s 2012, and we’re still being marketed to as ‘the Mom’ or ‘the Dad’ – I know many families who these roles do NOT apply to, and honestly, I’d like to see this kind of marketing go away.

Oh, and I’m an equal breadwinner in my family, and I am offended that they’re not marketing the gadgets and TECHNOLOGY that I want.  I’ve used this website for many years now, and I’m just taken aback by their ridiculously sexist marketing this morning.

Tell them how you feel here!!

Vegetable Soup Recipe

 

Vegetable Soup - stopha.com

I posted this picture on Facebook last night, and my friends wanted the recipe.  Since I didn’t work from a recipe, I’ll try to give you the ingredients and general idea of how I did it.  It is the best soup I’ve ever made! I used a bunch of vegetables we got from our farm share yesterday (which, by the way are so beautiful I could cry).  (mudcreekfarm.com)

 

Ingredients

3 carrots (large dice)
3 stalks celery (large dice)
1 large onion (diced)

1 large leek (thin sliced, like you’d cut a green onion)
2 cloves garlic
3-4 medium potatoes
2 TBs herbs de Provence (it’s an herb mix you can get in most grocery stores)
1/2 TBs dried rosemary (use fresh if you have it!)
8 cups water
2-3 TBs high quality chicken base (or to your taste, I think that’s how much I used)
1/4 cup half n half (or to your taste)
1/3 cup white wine (I always have a cheap bottle of Chardonnay in the cupboard to cook with)

kosher salt and pepper to taste

pasta of your choice (I used mezzi rigatoni b/c it was already cooked in the fridge)
parmesan cheese (for garnish)

OK, here’s what I did:

First, I have a small garlic chopper that I LOVE – I put the garlic and the dried herbs in the chopper together and chopped it all up until everything was minced well.  In a large pot, I heated 2TBS Olive oil and 1TBs of butter (for extra flavor).  Added the carrots, onion, celery, leeks to to the pot.  Saute the veggies until the onions are softened (~5 min).  Then add the garlic/herb mixture.  Yeah, it smells awesome.

Cook the mixture for a couple more minutes to release the flavor of the garlic, and then add the wine. Cook the wine down for about 3 minutes, and then add the water and chicken base.  If I had had vegetable broth made or in the cupboard, I’d have used that, but I had chicken base, so that is what I used.  I use the Better than Buillon bases, and I really like it (available at most grocery stores).  Don’t get the cheap, crappy, full of MSG stuff, ok?  These bases are very flavorful, and are cheaper than buying the liquids overall.

Bring the soup to a boil, and then add the potatoes (be CAREFUL not to burn yourself, drop them in gently).  Cook the soup for ~20-30 minutes, and check the taste and the doneness of the potatoes.  If the potatoes are nice and soft, you’re good to go.

The finishing touches that made it so much better:

I used an immersion blender to blend the soup to thicken it (that’s why the potatoes need to be nice and soft).  Just a little bit, so I didn’t pulverize all the potatoes and the soup still had some ‘chunk’ to it.  I ended up adding a bit of water/cornstarch mix before I realized I could thicken it this way, so you could do either.  Once the thickness is to your liking, turn off the heat, and slowly add the half n half.  This gives it that extra silky richness. Stir that in, and taste it again.  Add salt/pepper to taste.

Serve the soup with the cooked pasta and good parmesan (don’t shake it out of the can, that hurts my heart) and a nice crusty loaf of bread if you happen to have that on hand.  I didn’t have the bread, but it didn’t matter, the soup was THAT good.  If you have any questions, leave a comment below!