Chicken, corn tortillas, avocados, lime. These are ingredients that simply love each other. Pretty much anything you make with them is bound to be good. The following soup is a relatively easy version of “Sopa de Lima” or “Lime Soup”, a specialty of the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. It’s a chicken soup flavored with fiery habanero, cinnamon, clove, and tangy limes. The limes that are used in the Yucatan are a slightly different variety than what is easily available here, but standard Persian limes will work fine. The soup is tangy from limes, smoothed with the buttery richness of avocados, and enjoys a little crunch from fried tortilla strips added for garnish. It’s reminiscent of both pozole and tortilla soup, but with somewhat different spices and a strong hit of lime. ¡Happy Cinco de Mayo!
I made a serendipitous discovery the other day, a discovery that countless bakers have made throughout time eternal. On a quest to make chocolate chip cookies it was discovered by my young charges that no chocolate chips remained in the cupboard. Instead, we found a bag of Hershey bars. So, we chopped them up into large chip-sized pieces and used them instead. You know what happens when you use chunks of chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips in cookies? First, they’re bigger, so you get these pockets of chocolate explosions when you eat the cookies. Second, the edges melt into the cookie dough, permeating more of the cookie with chocolatey-ness. Chocolate chips are formulated to hold their shape while baking (less cocoa butter); chocolate bars are made to melt the moment they enter your mouth.
Do you grow snow peas? I plant some every year in my garden, and they are usually the first things to come up in the spring. That corner of the garden becomes my grazing spot, the fresh spring peas and snow peas never quite make it to the kitchen. I’m too busy munching on them while I weed. So it’s off to the market for snow peas in the spring. Here’s a quick and easy dish, a classic Chinese stir-fry with shrimp, snow peas, ginger, and garlic. Enjoy!
When I was a college student living on my own years ago, one of my go-to quick dishes was spaghetti noodles stirred in with a little olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and rosemary. It’s still a favorite comforting side dish, though I’ve fancied it up a notch with the use of angel hair pasta (so quick!), more herbs than just rosemary, sliced garlic, some red pepper flakes, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. In this recipe we are using rosemary, oregano, and thyme, sturdy herbs that grow year round outside my kitchen window. You could easily use other herbs. If you use more delicate herbs like tarragon or basil, I would recommend not heating them in the oil, but tossing them in at the end with the Parmesan cheese.
Please welcome my dear friend, guest author Steve-Anna Stephens as she shares a favorite treat, Chinese Chews. ~Elise
Every now and then, I just have to bake something. Anything.
It's almost always more about the baking than the eating. So, you'll find me walking around the neighborhood, knocking on doors, and giving whatever it is away. Perhaps due to an unusually large spate of baking on my part, one of my neighbors has been passing up my offerings of sweets and homemade buttermilk biscuits, saying, "No thanks, I'm good."
Now that's a sad experience, having your baked goods declined.
So, when I asked the other day if he would like "some more of those date and walnut squares with powdered sugar," and he said, "Sure," I knew these Chinese Chews were a hit.