Friday, May 4, 2012

♥ Soup ♥

This Friday night.. nothing sounded better to me than some soup, some bread, and a couple episodes of Mad Men. I found a nice soup with an app I downloaded off my phone, it's kind of like a soup I made in the past.

It's got.... ground turkey, carrots, celery, potatoes, garlic, black beans, chicken broth, and diced canned tomatoes. All simmered to delicious perfection for 30 minutes. I cooked the ground turkey first, of course. After that, the rest of it came together very easily.

Tomorrow, my housemate and I are going to an arts and crafts festival in Mountain View. Apparently the Cinco de Mayo festivities over here can get a little rowdy, but a nice arts and crafts festival is a safe, pleasant alternative. Have a good weekend everybody!


  1. Hey Jen!

    Just peeking in on a glad I did! What I'd do to make that pic a reality, and devour its mmm, mmm goodness myself. Couple of questions: What is Mad Men about? and, How did the arts and crafts festival turn out?

    Hope your week is off to a terrific start. Enjoy your day...

    1. You should make the soup sometime, Al :). It's got simple ingredients and you can just add them all in at the same time except for brown the meat first and then the beans after it's simmered for 30 minutes. I just used half a pound of ground turkey.

      Mad Men is about an advertising agency in New York in the 1960s. It's called Mad Men because the characters at the ad agency work on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. It's a really interesting show, lots of office politics, romance and humor. :)

      The festival was fun, it had a great turnout and there was a really positive, fun energy. I will post pictures with my next post. Hope you're having a nice week so far!

  2. Good morning, Jen!

    The challenge for me would be to have all of the ingredients handy at the same time. However, given your instructions @ browning the meat first, and making sure the beans simmer for 30 minutes, this simple yet healthy dish would be an ideal treat (am getting hungry just thinking about the aroma filling the kitchen). Do you find yourself having a slice of bread to absorb the remaining juices near the bottom of the bowl?

    Mad Men sounds pretty interesting, and aptly titled as well with the play of words on the location--pretty cool! Mind if I ask who stars in it?

    Sounds like the festival was time well spent. Am happy for you that it was, and am happy those pics you promised (your word is akin to gold)will soon follow. It's raining here, so a visit to the hotdog vendor is a wash today-dang! so maybe I'll dare myself to venture to the grocery store and fetch these ingredients and make a soup of my own). Of course, it'd be easier if I had one of those timers to go off right at the 30 minute mark, otherwise I'd run the risk of having to fetch a towel and wave it frantically around the fire-alarm as I done in the past on many times--not!

    Is your excitement growing as the BIG event in Campbell steadily approaches? Enjoy your day, Jen.

    1. Yeah, actually, all the other ingredients simmer for 30 minutes, then you add the beans last, and just cook the beans until they are warm. The bread was great with the soup, but the broth thickened a lot with the simmering and reheating it so there wasn't really any broth left at the end.

      Mad Men stars Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, January Jones, and some other actors I've never really seen before I started watching the show.

      Soup is perfect to enjoy on a rainy day. We're having a heat wave over here so I'm making some egg salad. You should definitely set a timer, even I have been guilty of leaving things in the oven on rare occasion and forgetting about them (while I am watching Mad Men, haha).

      I am definitely looking forward to the festival in Campbell. Just a week and a half more! :)

    2. Many smiles to your soup Jen, looks yummy and cheers to you, I have a similar recipe, but I WILL try yours out. But to get Al to actually taking tips on simmering this or trying it out. As a challenge though...where he "appears" to be following on a recipe with questions about this tasty recipe....Hmmm will Al actually follow up and try it out? Interesting.

    3. Bonjour Meesh!

      How perceptive of you! Generally, I try to refrain from cooking more elaborate dishes, but the moment I saw and read this post it appealed to me as something simple, yet healthy and delicious to try, soooo, I've bookmarked this one into favorites, and when I have time I'm gonna make this recipe make my nose and tongue happy. Of course, where I run the risk of a burned pot if my attention wanders, something tells me you'll make Jen's recipe shine...Bon Appétit!

    4. Hi Al,

      We're on.... I do want you to give yourself more credit. As I know, there's a creative cook ready to realize... that he has another hidden talent. Everybody has burnt something, overcooked/undercooked something. Practice makes perfect!

      I have faith in you, that you will actually try it out... Just my ploy as a "double-dare" Glad, I got your attention LOL!

      Nice to see you home, safe and sound. Enjoy your week amd "oui bon appétit" Pssst methinks Julia Childs used to say that. Hahahaha

    5. Bonjour Meesh!

      Appreciate your encouragement and faith in my hidden abilities. Truth be told, my Mum--have to love her--seemed to use the kitchen as her own personal sanctuary--sacred ground, ha--when I was growing up. The standing rule was leave everything pretty much the way she left it or, gulp, "Else" (whatever that meant, because I was too chicken to find out). Anyway, if I could rewind the clock so to speak, I would have asked her to at least show me a few pointers, basic cooking skills, etc. In those days, for better or worse, especially more so in the isolated farming communities like ours, one got the sense that your Mum and future wife would tend to all the cooking. Of course, now years far removed from that limited way of thinking, life isn't as simple as my folks may have made it out to be (have to wonder sometimes if Pappy had a dinosaur for a pet--just kiddin'). With good and decent folk like you and Jen exhibiting patience and class, even a novice like me will eventually learn enough to get the hang of it (hopefully not at the expense of more than a few pots and kettles).

      Hmm, just an after thought, just outside the window there, the Sun suddenly broke through the clouds, and is shining bright--woohoo! Hope there's plenty of sunshine in your skies today. The hotdog vendor should be in the park today.

    6. Allo Al,

      A pet dinosaur, I hear ya... that's upbringing from the old school, where daughters were taught culinary skills and not the sons. My oldest brother was exempt from learning to cook. Come to think of it, I often wondered if my parents thought this would sissify (is that a word?) "Gosh almighty, what's next? Will he be playing with dolls? Get an exorcist" LOL. You know my brother, didn't cook... however, my Dad who was a farmer, found wintertime , left him with too much time on his hands. When he wasn't painting/re-painting everything in sight. He found a new niche, and that was cooking wintertime meals. I guess he was in his early forties, when he started... The chicken and sliders, (sort of your version of chicken and dumplings)... French-Canadian sliders we called them pates they are pasta thin and not balls. This was one of his greatest meals and also he adapted the greatest recipe for baked beans. He always seemed to try something new to "zip" them up. Well my younger sister can attest to this, on one cold winter Sunday, when we found out Dad was planning to make his baked beans recipe with baguette, we asked my Dad if we could invite our current boyfriends. Of course my Dad was flattered and agreed it would be his pleasure to have guests. OMG! Al, it was terrible, he overdid it, he had crumbled up some cookies on top of the baked beans, I will never forget my sister's boyfriend look on his face when he tasted the cookie laced baked beans...YAK! Anyway, he still talks about it till this day, for he is my brother-in-law today. The morale of this story, even good cooks, get way too creative at times... Wouldn't you agree Jen? As for me, please do not ask my sisters about my homemade cherry pie disasters. They are lies. Hahahahaha

    7. Sunshine broke through here today as well, from our California hostess this is quite the norm. I soon wish to visit California, not so much Hollywood but what is posted here. I do not think I will become a SNOWBIRD (not yet) I enjoy to experience the four seasons (good or bad) there's something good to experience within all the elements.

      I will mimic you "carpe Diem" from Horace's literary piece to seize the day, "to pick, pluck, pluck off, cull, crop, gather" just enjoy it!

  3. Aha, so even the more talented cooks like yourself have moments--albeit on rare occasions when their attention span is otherwise absorbed with other activities--where they find themselves scrambling for anything to wave at those blaring smoke-detectors. Not sure if you are familiar with the old "Dick Van Dyke Show" or not, but ask your parents to help you visual the main character trying to quiet a smoke-detector, and they'll let you know whatwith his zany antics he may just make matters worse (envision the towel he's frantically waving around the smoke-detector accidently knocking over one of those old kerosene lamps, and let the "fun" begin...)

    Appreciate the sunshine here today, but hope sunny California will soon find some relief from the prevailing heat wave there (great idea @ egg salad, a cool dish to make and eat amid high temps). Sounds like you are counting down the days to the festival, so I'm happy for you and your co-workers who are also going--fun times I hope :)

    In respect to the name January Jones, one of the "Mad Men" stars you mentioned above, what an interesting first name, huh? Have to wonder if s/he were possibly born in January. I've heard first names like Tuesday, April, May and August before, even a professional athlete with the last name Saturday, but as a challenge to you, can you name anyone else with a name associated with a day of the week or month of the year?

    Stay cool and comfortable today, Jen, and as Meesh would say, Bon Appetit. Enjoy your day.

  4. Yes, I am quite familiar with the "oh no, we burned the dinner" scene of various television shows and movies. Thankfully, last time I let some chicken sit in the oven for 2 hours, it didn't set off the smoke alarm or even burn, amazingly enough. It just got really tough I think, and overcooked, and I took it out of the oven to cool, and then I forgot about it again for another few hours, at which point I just threw it out. I had already had dinner so I was just making it to add into pasta sometime. Wasn't really that invested in it I guess, haha.

    Let's see.. well, I have a cousin named May. June is a nice lady's name. That's about it, I think, besides the ones you mentioned. :)

  5. Hey Jen!

    You are quite the resourceful person @ thinking of just adding it into a pasta--great idea! Then smart move altogether to simply toss it given it was not exactly up to your high standards...

    Hmm...thought you'd be stumped on the name challenge, but you managed to rise to the occasion and ace that too--cheers! Enjoy your day, and the weekend ahead. Back next week to see what's on tap here at your Epic Treats. Is there a post in your archives about an ideal picnic basket?

    1. Yes, that was a fun name challenge :). I don't have any posts about picnic baskets, but that would be a nice idea for the future. I can see myself having plenty of nice picnics in San Francisco this summer.

    2. Hey Jen!

      Aw shucks @ no picnic basket posts in your archives--dang, but will be looking forward to a future post, something covering an ideal picnic basket's contents. Can imagine the warmth of sunshine and an equally cool breeze coming off the Bay would make ideal conditions for a picnic in San Francisco--sounds like fun times.

      Trust that your week is off to a great must be excited about your pending weekend plans, so on a scale of 1-10, please rate your excitement meter @ the hugh event in Campbell. Still going, right?

    3. Yes, I am still going. I will probably go on Sunday. :)

    4. Hey Jen!

      Well, hopefully the weather will be agreeable--sunny and bright, but certainly not humid akin to heat wave conditions. True to your word, Are you still planning to take more awesome pics, and drafting a folow up post here?

      Hope there's a spring in your step today. Carpe Diem!

    5. In respect of your profession as a future top-notch librarian, Jen, please forgive me for my spelling error with "follow" above...can still remember Miss Clarke making us go to the blackboard and rewriting misspelled words. Incidently, I believe Meesh, a spelling bee champion, would have made Miss Clarke's day everyday.

      Enjoy your day, Jen (feel free to insert the other "l" and delete this comment altogether if you like)

    6. Hmmmm "WHOSE" bizzness is it to correct spelling errors, I folow (Ha!) strict rules, it's the thought that is written, and not how it's spelt "write" Jen?

      A spelling Bee champ???? ...right now the clouds are opening up and lightening bolts are striking everywhere, I must take cover. Soeur Jeanne-Marie is reading this, my teacher who is a nun, she did not resort to blackboards, but a swift wrap to the knuckles, is all what it took. Hahahaha

      From me to the both of you. enjoy your upcoming weekend as I certainly anticipate to do as well. Spring is in the air!

    7. Hahaha @ cute spelling of right ===> "write"

      Oh, noes @ "swift wrap to the knuckles", gulp, something tells me not many people dared to hand in shoddy work-assignments in that class. Have a safe and wonderful weekend.

    8. Nuns in the past were very strict within their teachings (within today's standards it would be considered as child abuse) I do not recall ever been stricken, no it was not because I was a perfect angel... (far from it) my Dad was the President of the School Board, perhaps this helped me but I watched. The nuns who taught me were not only equipped with a baguette (not the bread kind) but a wooden stick that indicated things on the blackboard, this is what often they utilized to strike hands. WOW I saw many of these broken. Also they had these leather "serpentine" like straps that kept in their habits. Well if someone was to be punished, they had to place their palms forward and receive a whipping on their hands. Well this soon stopped in my school when some troublemaker devised a plan, he purposely rubbed his hands with Comet ( powdered cleanser) prior to purposely doing something wrong. Well, when the nun struck the palms in his hands, I am not sure if he placed a strand of hair too...when the nun struck his palms. They started bleeding. Of course the school board were called in...

      Yeh my Dad arrived, no one was fired or dispelled, but the nuns were asked not to utilize their leather belts any longer within disciplining, but you know what happened to the troublemaker? He's still a loser.Last I heard he's without a job....Hmm a lil more disciplined could have helped out. Hahahaha

  6. Yes, I will definitely take some pictures at the festival this weekend. No worries about the spelling errors, this is a casual environment :). Stay dry in that rainy weather, Meesh, and I hope it isn't too cold over in New York, Al. Just added a new post, enjoy! :)

    1. You guys are awesome...great attitudes @ downplaying the spelling errors. Thanks for the new post, Jen. Am echoing your sentiments to Meesh to stay dry/safe amid the rainy weather, and hope nothing but sunshine is in store as the clouds break and the Sun shines through. Bit cold here in NY, but George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun" gives new meaning to hope springs eternal.

    2. I have never truly appreciated this simple song until I got to know's his favourite song. Quite honestly, I had no idea George Harrison had written it, I only knew it as a Beatle tune, about sunshine. Far from it, it depicts hope, faith and inspiration that good times are within the midst, and keep believing!

      George Harrison wrote this in Eric Clapton's garden using one of Clapton's acoustic guitars. When the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, the band had to handle more of their accounting and business affairs, which Harrison hated. He wrote this after attending a round of business meetings. John Lennon did not endorce it or participate within the recordings of it. The band was facing difficulties, however Harrison maintained he wrote this because of the cold winters in England.

      Despite this, it charted way up there.

      Finally, when George Harrison died in 2001, many artists performed this at their concerts as a tribute. It was played at the induction ceremonies of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as part of the all-star jam.

      In 2006, this was voted by the members of the forum as their favourite song of his. My favourite Beatle is Sir Paul McCartney, my younger sister, like Al, loved George...yah know what, they saw something that I didn't see.
      Back to the current post! Have a fabulous weekend guys!

      Love and hugs!