Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Face lifts and Lunch Dates

Howdy-do, all! 

Don't be deceived by the post's title: Neither Ms. Rabbit or Ms. Bumble has had a dramatic, Joan Rivers style cosmetic surgery.  However, as you MAY have noticed, the blog has had a little make-over!  New banner, courtesy of Ms. Rabbit (aka. Amber) and a few new gadgets and tools as well! Take a look and let us know what you think!

In other news (though, I am not sure that this actually rates as "news"...) I have some new recipe ideas for you! I am very, very spoiled and have a hubby that works only minutes away and who can come home to visit me over his lunch break most days of the week.  Bonus!  I love it, and since I am currently working from home finishing up a degree I try to make the most of it and make us something scrumptious, healthy, and beautiful for lunch each day.  With the fall weather setting in, we have really been getting into soups.  However, summer is not quite gone yet and so salads--the epitomy of summer food, in my opinion... next to BBQ, of course--remain a part of the plan for the time being!  Soup and salad, salad and soup.  Perfection in lunch form.

The soup in question is based on my mother's "chicken" soup recipe.  Chicken is in quotations here because when I was growing up, the soup actually had chicken in it.  Now.... not so much! (Tee Hee!  Sorry, Mummy!)  I say "based on" because this particular soup is Korean inspired and has a little bit of Doenjang (pronounced: d-wing-jang) which is a soybean paste used in soups, stews, and even sometimes as a vegetable dip!  Full of hearty vegetables, rice noodles, and delicious doenjang broth, this soup is filling and very satisfying.

Veggie-Doenjang Soup

Veggie-Doenjang Soup

1/4 head of one medium cabbage
2 large carrots
2 large stalks of celery
1 large onion
2-3 tbsp doenjang
Parsley, fresh (to taste)
salt & pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup- 1 cup of noodles of your choice (I used shell shaped rice noodles)

In a large stock pot, bring water to a boil.  Add the doenjang paste and stir until dissolved.  Add in vegetable pieces (I leave mine in large chunks, but you could chop them up more finely and reduce your simmering time) and bring back up to a boil.  Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes on low heat or until veggies are soft, but not quite done.  At this point add in the noodles and continue to simmer until they are cooked.  Serve hot and enjoy!

Salad with Tahini- White Wine Dressing

The colourful salad you see on the side was topped with Farmer's Market cherry tomatoes, sweet banana peppers, dried dates, sunflower seeds, and my very own Tahini-White Wine dressing.  That's right:  two recipes coming at you this post!

Tahini- White Wine Salad Dressing
(Makes about 1/4 cup of dressing)
3 tbsp of olive oil (I used extra-virgin, but it's up to you!)
2 tbsp of white wine
1 tbsp of yellow mustard (you could use a Dijon for a little extra "kick")
1 tbsp of tahini
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all of the above in a small, re-sealable container and shake vigorously until think and smooth.  Too easy, right?  Well, it is!  This dressing is CRAZY creamy and works really well on cold salads or warm pasta salad.  Try it out!

Check out those delightful tomatoes!  Mmm, Mmm, Mmm

Get yourself to your nearest Korean grocery (most Asian groceries will carry these Korean pastes) and buy yourself some Doenjang (usually about 5-6$ for a container).  It is delicious and makes a really rich and wonderful soup broth! 
Until next time,

Ms. Bumble xx
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