Posted by Jo W. in , , , , , , | 12:02 AM No comments
I swear I'm not dead. Although I haven't posted since June, I have been cooking lots of food all summer. I was just too lazy to write about it. This summer was the summer of salads, sushi rolls, bubble tea, homemade froyo, store bought froyo, basil lemon ice cream, peach smoothies, fruit tarts, noodle soups, grilled veggies and a lot more. I was cooking up a storm all summer, and enjoying my updated kitchen and new kitchen toys. The powerful, versatile Vitamix blender and an Old Mountain grill pan were added to my collection. The blender was used at least once a day, making smoothies, shakes, juices, and vegetables made with whatever fresh vegetables were lying around. The grill pan was used not nearly as frequently, but I made good use out of it. I grilled perfect steaks about twice a week, along with grilled onions, mushrooms, eggplant, scallions, potatoes, squash, and peppers. The grilled onions were my favourite.
Fruit Tarts and Peach and Blackberry Pie

Well, good things can't last forever, and summer has come to an end. I said my goodbyes to my wonderful kitchen and toys. I will miss you, beloved ice cream maker and grill pan. I don't think I can live without a blender, so I took one along with me. So off to college I went, to get my edumacation. Now I am reduced to using a rice cooker, microwave, mini fridge, not-as-powerful blender, and a full kitchen that is a building away. But thanks to my suite mate, now I can use an electric skillet as well!

Cooking during the school year will prove to be challenging and require a bit of creativity. I am up for the challenge, and I already have some recipes up my sleeves that I can't wait to try. I will have to drastically simplify the way I cook here. Unlike at home, I don't have access to my fully equipped kitchen with a well stocked spice cabinet, fridge, and pantry. It also isn't very convenient to do simple kitchen tasks, such as chopping vegetables. Therefore I will try to use a few shortcuts without sacrificing taste. For example, I'm using seasoning blends like Italian seasoning, and jarred minced garlic.

Tonight, I made a simple dinner of lentil soup. It was comforting and nutritious, but made me long for some real home cooking. You will need a rice cooker.

Lentil Soup
makes 2 very generous servings

1 cup dried lentils
1 can diced tomatoes
1 carrot or a few baby carrots, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning

Place dried lentils in the rice cooker pot. Sort through the lentils to make sure there are no small stones or other foreign objects. Rinse with cold water.
Add the can of tomatoes, carrots, and garlic to the pot. Fill the tomato can with water and add to pot. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Turn on rice cooker and cover with the lid. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, depending on your rice cooker. The soup is done when the lentils are soft.
Eat with crusty bread, preferably in the company of friends.


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