It's my baby's birthday!!!
This morning at 5 a.m., this is what I was looking at...
and I didn't mind at all.
I have an amazing 12 year old (as of today)
When his brother and sister tried to convince him that Middle Schoolers do NOT have their moms bring in birthday cupcakes (SO not cool), he shrugged and said "I love Mom's cupcakes and my teacher said I could:.
He doesn't care at all what others think and is RARELY embarrassed.
I hope that lasts through the teenage years.
He's funny, smart, funny, CUTE, and did I mention funny??
And very COOL
Happy Birthday Tim!!
We love you!!
Timmy wants pizza for dinner, so pizza we shall have. Last night however, Mom wanted some soup. I will warn you ahead of time- though this soup contains no cream, it "feels" amazingly rich, so you might want to keep the initial portions smaller. The texture is liquid silk- very smooth with a melt-in-your-mouth kind of creaminess. The original recipe was from Fine Cooking a few years ago, but it's been tweaked and I really don't remember the original.
Cannelini and Wild Mushroom Cream Soup with Pesto Mascarpone
1 TBLSP fennel seeds
1/2 cup olive oil
sprig of fresh rosemary
1 small dried hot pepper or 1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 medium onion- chopped
1/2 small fennel bulb- chopped
1 TBLSP thyme leaves
2 cups dried cannellini beans- cleaned and rinsed
6 cups water
6 cups chicken broth (or you may use all water or water with just a bit of white wine)
1/2 cup mascarpone blended with 1/2 shallot (chopped) and either some chopped chives or a small spoonful of pesto
8 ounces of wild mushrooms- trimmed and sliced thin
2 TBLSP olive oil
1 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
Before you start, take the pot you will use to make the soup in and trace the diameter of the pot on a sheet of parchment. Cut it out and set aside.
In a small hot skillet, toast fennel seeds for a few minutes till starting to color golden. Crush in a mortar and pestle.
Heat olive oil in a large pan- when hot, throw in pepper and leaves from rosemary stem. Toss in hot oil for a minute, then add onion, fennel, fennel seeds, and thyme. Saute till onions and fennel soften. Add beans and stir to heat and coat for 2-3 minutes. Add water and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover beans with parchment round- this will keep them submerged. Cover pot partially and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 1 1/2 TBLSP salt, recover and simmer another 1 1/2 hours.
Strain soup through a mesh strainer, reserving liquid. Put half of bean solid mixture in blender and add about 1/2 cup of the liquid. Blend on low to puree, then on medium till very smooth. As you’re blending, add just enough liquid to bring the soup to the consistency of heavy cream. Pour soup into another pot and puree second half the same way. This soup will thicken as it stands, so be sure to save any leftover liquid (if there is any) to thin it out (or use water or broth). Taste soup for seasoning- add salt and pepper if necessary- and keep warm.
In a cast iron skillet, heat remaining 2 TBLSP olive oil till hot over medium high heat. Toss in mushrooms, toss and saute till the mushrooms are a bit crisp. Toss thyme leaves and parsley with mushrooms.
Serve soup with a dollop of mascarpone and mushrooms sprinkled on top.
We'd also like to link up this week to The Cookie Exchange at Relatively Unique
Wendy and Tony are actually moving into their new home today (I'm SO jealous!!!), but she's planning on going ahead with the cookie party! Now THAT'S a foodie!!
These cookies came about when I was looking for a way to use a few pieces of crystallized ginger I had left. The original recipe has been adapted from one found in Ultimate Desserts and calls for seedless raspberry jam. I used my homemade ginger pear preserves (I mashed the chunks of fruit) and topped the ganache with slivers of the crystallized ginger.
This was a rousing success
Ginger Pear Ganache Filled Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 heaping tablespoon Ginger Pear Preserves
a few pieces of crystallized ginger, slivered
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine shortening and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Add egg and vanilla; beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the chocolate pieces.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 1-1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indention in the center of each cookie.
Bake for 10-11 minutes or until edges are firm. remove from oven. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.
In a small microwave-safe bowl combine dark chocolate, whipping cream, and raspberry jam. Microwave, uncovered, on 100 percent power for 1 minute. Stir until smooth. Let stand about 15 minutes to thicken.
Spoon Ganache into cookie centers. Sprinkle with crystallized ginger. Let stand until ganache is set. Store filled cookies in refrigerator.
Come join us at Designs by Gollum for Blogland's favorite and most delicious party~ Foodie Friday
Buon Cibo, Buon Amici,
Pattie and Allie