Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Subject: Two New Recipes!

Dear Melissa,

So, Project Recipe 2011 is steaming right along! Since 2011 began, I have tried one new recipe a week and a few I have made more than once, so they might make it into my permanent repertoire. My family came into town on Saturday just for the day and then my two uncles and wife/girlfriend came too, so we had nine adults to feed. Of course the whole reason my family was in town was to see Suz, and since she is such a lover of naps, she's not awake that much. I thought instead of wasting her wake-time driving to a restaurant, I decided to make food and have lunch at our house. Plus, my grandmother came over and she is elderly and doesn't get around easily, so I thought staying in might be easier on her. But what to make?

Since there were nine adults, I decided to make a big batch of something. Since it's been so cold, I decided on a soup recipe I'd torn out of Williams-Sonoma over the holidays and then remembered another recipe I'd seen recently when I was organizing my recipes. They were perfect! Of course this weekend the high was in the 60s - not exactly Soup Weather - but it was still fine and everyone loved it. My mom made a salad so it felt like a well-balanced meal. So, without further ado...

Recipe 1: Cheddar-Ale Soup

This seriously tasted like eating a bowl full of fondue. Yum! When I first told Mr. Lass we were having soup, he turned his nose up. (He likes manly-er food.) But when the soup was served, I practically had to tackle him to keep from eating all of it! This recipe makes enough for 6, so I increased the quantities of a few of the ingredients and it was plenty for 9 adults. For example, I did three cups of stock and milk and used a 14-oz. bottle of pale ale. Then we used about 1.5 pounds of cheese instead of 1.25 pounds. Seriously, this was so, so good. We served it with bacon as a garnish but no croutons, since there was so much bread in the other recipe.

Recipe 2: Venetian Rolled Pizza

All I can say is: OMG. I rate a recipe based on the difficulty level and taste. I don't mind a higher difficulty level if the taste rewards me for my hard work. So any time I can find a recipe that is easy and rewards me with amazing taste, I am on board! This is that kind of recipe. Everyone was so impressed and all I could think was, It really wasn't that hard... I give a recipe bonus points if it seems hard but I know it wasn't, so I would rate this recipe 14 out of 10 stars for that reason alone! I made two modifications for this recipe: I added chopped basil to the spinach for extra flavor and I lowered the cooking temperature and the amount of time I baked it. I think I baked it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, but my oven runs hot so I am always adjusting recipes. Some of the reviews recommend adding other ingredients to the middle - mushrooms, onions, peppers, olives, etc. It's basically like a calzone! I can't wait to try this again with some different fillings. This was served with some jarred tomato sauce on the side for dipping. So easy and good!

Hope you are able to enjoy these recipes too. Wouldn't they be so great for Super Bowl party? Oh my gosh - how fun would it be to have a 'Souper Bowl' party with lots of different bowls of soup? Has that been done before? I just thought of it...maybe next year!
Images from Williams-Sonoma and Food Network, respectively.

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