Tag Archives: cookbook

Is it over yet?

There hasn’t been a whole lot to talk about this week, which explains the gap in my posts.

My Gators were pretty-much humiliated by arch-rival Florida State in the season finale last weekend. All the various Florida football Web sites are abuzz over the problems with the program. I never thought I would say it, but I’m really happy the season is over. We’ll go a bowl, which will be announced this evening. The only good thing about the bowl is it will give the coaches an additional 15 practice days to start working on next season. The off-season should be interesting.

Last Tuesday was by birthday. Mrs. Poolman cooked a wonderful dinner of beef tenderloin, twice baked potatoes, etc. Both the kids, Poolboy, Writer Princess and Poolboy’s GF joined us. Son-in-law had to work. Too bad. No birthday cake. Instead, we had fudge brownie sundaes with Kahlua and chocolate sauce. That’s about as close to heaven as you can get without having to die first.

I did finish the updated version of my beginner cookbook. I went to Staples and had 15 copies printed. It’s around 34 pages. I had one big surprise. Nearly half the cost of the printing was for the spiral binding. Who ‘da thought?

It is actually stretching the truth to call it a “cookbook.” Actually, what it is intended to be is a “starter manual” for a young adult just learning to fend for his- or herself in the kitchen. It does have a few more-elaborate dishes, but nothing very difficult. I think the next step is to take it to the Web. I’ll probably start something under the blog format and see how it goes.

Mrs. P and I are about to go over to some friends and play with their new twin babies. They also want us to bring Sammy with us so their dog can have a doggie play-date.  Should be fun.

End to procrastination

I got a call from my youngest sister late last week that gave me the nudge to finish up a project that I have been procrastinating about for months. Kel said that she was giving her copy of “my cookbook” to a young guy who works with her. She wanted to put in an order for another copy.

It all started back in 2001 when my daughter, Writer Princess, was moving into her first apartment. For the first time in her life, she could no longer rely on Mom and Dad or the college food plan to feed her. She asked me for some simple recipes.

What started as a few recipes ended up as a small cookbook, entitled “College Cooking: A Survival Manual.”  Subtitle: “A beginners guide to fending for yourself in the kitchen and living off of what you cook!”

It’s not really a cookbook. The recipes are all pretty simple. It really is intended to be a “start-up manual” for someone faced with cooking for themselves for the first time. It included some simple instructions, lists of necessary kitchen utensils, basic food stuffs you should always have on hand, etc. There are also some recipes, mostly such basics as baked chicken, spaghetti, chili, meatloaf, saute’d fish, and so on. .

It ran around 25 pages (8.5 x 11). I printed an initial dozen copies and have gone back and printed around 25 or so additional ones over the years. I have been meaning to print another run, but I wanted to update it first. Hence, the procrastination.

Well, today Mrs. Poolman had to work a Sunday shift, so I had the day on my own. I spent several hours this afternoon adding some recipes, including several that are included in this blog.

Chicken Enchiladas

I’ll get it proofed this week and send it off for its fourth printing…of about a dozen copies.

Let’s talk food!

How about a change of pace and talk about food?  Yes, I do cook. Mrs. Poolman tends to do the fancy experimentation. My repertoire leans towards the basic every day dishes.

Several years ago, I actually put together a cookbook of sorts. I produced it at the time for my daughter, Writer Princess, when she got her first apartment and had to cook on her own for the first time. I called it “College Cooking 101: A Beginners Guide to Survival in the Kitchen.” That pretty much described it. I am now collecting a few additional dishes to add and print a new edition

I do like soups however, and have several that are hits with my family.  I blatantly stole the recipe below from “Real Simple Magazine.” The soup was on the cover about a year or two ago and it looked really good. It turns out it’s as easy as it is good. It IS Mrs. Poolman’s favorite!

Be sure to catch the “notes” at the bottom of the recipe.

Smokey Corn Chowder (from Real Simple Magazine)

From "Real Simple" magazine

From "Real Simple" magazine

Ingredients

* 8 ounces sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

* 1 large sweet onion, chopped

* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

* 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

* 2 10-ounce packages frozen corn

* 3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

* 1 cup half-and-half

* kosher salt and pepper

* 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate

2. Spoon off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings and return the pot to medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the corn, broth, and half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine.

4. Divide the soup among individual bowls and top with the scallions and reserved bacon.

Notes:

1. I almost ALWAYS double the recipe.

2. In a double recipe, the SIX cups of broth equals three normal cans of chicken broth.

3. The most time consuming part of this process is browning the bacon. I use two pots/pans. I get the bacon started in a frying pan and when there is sufficient fat generated, I pour it into a soup pot and get the soup going before the bacon is done.

4. If you don’t have smokey paprika, regular paprika will do.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you a variation on this recipe that produces a different, but still outstanding bowl of soup.