Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Cold in Here

...that's what Cosmo thinks, anyway.

He's been burrowing in with me at night, too, which is good since our upstairs heat is apparently busted. Again. Just like it was at this time last year. Hooray for new construction!

I've been reading voraciously the past few days. Mainly because PhillyGuy bought me this for my birfday:


Not going to of the best features about this as opposed to the original Nook or the Kindle? I can subscribe to US Weekly on it. I brought it to get my nails done this weekend. Spent half my pedicure reading this week's US Weekly, and the other half reading Stephen King's new book.

In my defense, I read "smart stuff" too - but since I'm not planning to re-buy anything I already have as a good old-fashioned PAPER book, you're probably not going to be seeing too many Virginia Woolf or Jeannette Winterson books on my Nook library.

Anyway. The Nook was a welcome addition this weekend as I was fighting a lousy cold. And, unsurprisingly, PhillyGuy inherited that cold just as I've been getting over it. He e-mailed me tonight to tell me he was freezing and tired. That gave me a great dinner idea:

homemade soup!

I don't really have a soup recipe. That's the beauty of this kind of thing. You can basically throw whatever you have in a pot and it'll taste delicious after simmering for a while. Unfortunately for us, "whatever you have" is a third of a pan of leftover stuffing, two turkey legs and about half a bunch of fresh a grocery store run on my way home was in order.

I went classic: chopped up a couple of celery ribs, two carrots, and half a Vidalia onion, and sauteed with garlic, olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper.

Once it was soft, I dumped in a package of white mushrooms, chicken stock, a bay leaf and some random seasonings (which may or may not have been inspired by a certain Simon & Garfunkel song) and let it simmer for half an hour.

Next came the chicken.

Chopped up and seasoned with kosher salt, pepper and parsley.

I added the chicken and a package of whole wheat tortellini, brought the soup back to a boil, and let it simmer for another fifteen minutes. I meant to add in spinach at this point, too, but completely forgot about it.

BAM! Soup.

It takes a little while, but it totally hit the spot tonight. My grandmother - the Italian one - used to make an amazing chicken, rice and escarole soup. I never thought to ask her for the recipe, and unfortunately that chance has passed...but I think maybe one of my projects this winter will be to mess around and see how close I can come to replicating it.

Favorite soup recipes? Good books you've read lately? I have some David Sedaris cued up and then I'm going to need something new.


  1. I think Stephen King is smart reading! I've read almost all his books and he is one of the most intelligent "read between the lines" author I can think of.

    Love the Nook Color! I am back and forth about getting a reader, mainly because I love books so much I'll probably keep buying them.

  2. You know what the sad thing is? I've read SO many books this year, but I can't remember the last one I read that I truly *loved* :-/

  3. "A writer only starts a book... a reader finishes it."

    I can believe that. There's nothing like curling up with a good book on a cold evening. :)

    PS It's Vanessa.. I noticed you had my old link to Peace, Joy, Style listed on your blogroll but I wanted to let you know of my new updated "blogging home" on the web @ Project Zen ( Sorry for this inconvenience.