March has been a busy month! Spring break started on March 12, and I spent the first week off preparing for a conference, traveling to and attending the conference, and traveling back from the conference. The second week is coming to a rapid end. It was filled with some academic work, lots of wedding planning, and apartment-hunting with my soon-to-be husband!
In the midst of all this business, I found time to cook two full dinners. For the first I hosted two friends from the department. I made this spectacular ginger-carrot bisque from The First Mess (who apparently got it from Food52). The colors! the flavors! the artistry! It was good. I served it with Bethany’s citrus salad and SK’s adorable pecorino-parsley biscuits, and finished with a raspberry buttermilk cake. For the cake, I swapped whole wheat for all the flour and used thinned out yogurt instead of buttermilk (I did this for the biscuits as well). My guests adored this dessert–the three of us ate most of it by ourselves that evening. It pairs especially well with prosecco!
I made the second dinner earlier this week for my homecoming philosopher and his roommates. I had enjoyed the parsley biscuits so much that I made them again, this time with an asiago cheese (since I couldn’t find pecorino) and a bit more flour (the dough was pretty sticky the first time around). I thought this second batch of biscuits held their shape really well and the asiago was just as good as the pecorino.
The main course was this hearty kale and lentil mushroom stew from The First Mess. I could not believe this dish didn’t have meat in it. The mushrooms added such an intense texture and flavor. Mushrooms are expensive, so I usually just buy the cheapest I can find. But for this I did mostly brown and white button mushrooms, a few ginormous portobellos, and some scant handfuls of shitake. Adding the portobello and shitake was an excellent call and really enhanced the texture of the stew. I’d recommend it, and it’s not too expensive if you use button mushrooms as your base. My guys all loved this meal, even the dedicated meat-eaters. It was objectively good, but would be even better on a cold wintry evening.
This may be the last of the soups and stews for a while. Here’s to spring and promise of fresh and growing things!