Sunday, February 15, 2009

With Love

I hope you all had a fantastic Valentine's Day! As usual we celebrated by doing some of our favorite things, which reminds me to be thankful we live where we do. Everyday I discover something new and wonderful about our area, or am reminded of another fantastic hidden gem. Some things I love about our area that I discovered or reconnected with this weekend:
  • Strawberry Boba in my milk tea. Flavored boba is so much better than the regular kind.
  • The insane amount of gourmet chocolate shops. Handmade artisan chocolate is lurking around every corner.
  • Secret local restaurants. There's a place we go that we both love, but it's a bit off the beaten path and very much a "locals only" kind of place. If you don't live in our neighborhood, you've probably never even heard of it. And we kinda like it that way.
  • Our own mini-Epcot! Without the lines and high prices, but still with international food and fun.
  • The best local bread. Perfect for our all soup all the time diet.
  • French patisseries with tea and macarons. This one really doesn't need explanation, does it?
  • Streets of used book stores. Loads of books at fractions of the price.
  • Fantastic theater
  • local art and artists
And I'm thankful to be moving on to the heavier soup recipes. Soups that really are a meal in themselves. Except when I saw that the first recipe was cream of asparagus. Raise your hand if you see the problem here. Yes - you in the back - with the black shirt. A little louder please, those of us in the front can't quite hear you. Yes, that's right - I don't do asparagus. Which means, instead you will be treated to a cream of broccoli soup. Mmmmmmmm.

This is probably a good time to talk to you a little bit about "cream of" soups. In general, we don't do them in Thathouse. With the exception of cream of tomato I'm not a user of cream of crap soups. Frankly, I'm not even quite sure what they put in them, but I'm tempted to believe it's not food. Which means I have turned away quite a number of recipes calling for cream of - chicken, celery, mushroom.....However, this is nothing like it's canned cousins. Perfect on it's own, but also fabulous for anything you might have previously used the can for. And I can guarantee the quality of the ingredients. Fresh cream, fresh veggies, and that stock you've all got stored up in the fridge/freezer. Not bad right? Pretty simple? For this one, since we were eating a whole bowl of it, I even used skim milk and no salt. So now we have low (no?) fat and low (no?) sodium. And OHHHHHHH so tasty! And now I get to go back to those forsaken recipes and give them a try with my own homemade stuff!

Cream of Broccoli Soup (Adapted from Fannie Farmer's Cream of Asparagus Soup)
  • 1 lb broccoli
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  1. Wash and trim broccoli.
  2. Cook the broccoli in 2 cups boiling water until tender.
  3. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the water.
  4. Chop the broccoli and reserve them.
  5. Put the chicken stock, onion, and reserved water in a pan and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Puree in a food processor.
  8. Return to the pot and add milk and salt and pepper to taste. Reheat.


  1. I would love to visit all of the places you mentioned. We foodies always rate the places we visit by what specialty food shops and restaurants they have...wink...Love the cream of broccoli soup too, Next to potato it is my favourite:D

  2. Beautiful color! I love asparagus, but here we pay a lot for fresh asparagus!!!

  3. I've had colored boba, but I've never had flavored boba!

  4. Wonderful recipe for me and my eating healthy gig :)

  5. I've never had flavored boba either! I love cream of just about everything soup, and my waistline shows it. Hee.

  6. i love cream of soups and all recipes that call for it. AND i love asparagus, too. i may have to try making my own soon.

    oh,and you had me at "flavored boba." i must try this delightful idea. i hope i can find it locally!

  7. Are you using fun paper behind your food shots on purpose? I like. :)

  8. i'm all over homemade cream soups. mmmmm!

    btw, where are these used bookstores of which you speak? would love to troll them with you one day. and maybe stop for french pastries on the way home. :)