The Virgin Stove

Making everything for the first time

Monthly Archives: November 2012

Lentil and Sausage Soup

More comfort food!

My favorite Italian restaurant is Ciconte’s and they have this heavenly lentil and sausage soup. It isn’t served often and is in their soups-of the day list. I figured I may as well try making a version of this soup so I can have it any time I want. Of course, I don’t expect it to be as wondermous as Ciconte’s so I’m simply aiming for edible for my first attempt.

I used canned lentils in this recipe. I should have bought two cans instead of one since it doesn’t seem to have enough lentils. I also want to try using fresh lentils next time. They were out in Shop Rite and we didn’t feel like going anywhere else today.

I didn’t bother with a play-by-play since I’m sure you don’t need instructional photos for chopping vegetables. Although I do wish I took a snapshot of my husband shaping the sausages into tiny balls. He rarely helps out when I cook yet he had the gall to complain that I gave him the “dirty job.” Grr. Next time, he gets onion duty. Five large ones should be just right for him.

What’s the deal with the stuffed bear? I adopted a polar bear when I donated to WWF last month. I haven’t figured out what to do with it yet. Should I keep it and let it languish in a corner, gathering dust until it disappears into obscurity after a few years? Or should I give it to the pups and let Basti shred it and have the time of his life?

Choices.

Read more of this post

Comfort Food: Baked Eggs with Summer Vegetables

I felt like eating brunch for dinner. Yesterday was a m-f-ing cold fall day and I needed warm comfort food bad, plus I had to use the last of our garden’s produce. The yellow squash is a particular favorite of mine.

C and I don’t really care for capers so I modified the recipe a bit and substituted it with sliced mushrooms. As much as I love vegetables, I thought that adding little bits of turkey bacon would add to the flavor. When I eat eggs, I don’t think of basil so I took that out and used parsley instead. I also don’t have ramekins — I should have bought that set in Ross, grrr — so I used a single medium-sized glass baking dish to bake it in.

I tried as much as I could to have the eggs placed perfectly on each quarter of the dish. So imagine my annoyance when one of the yolks rolled to the side and would not budge no matter how hard I tried to coax it back to the center. Unfortunately, it broke under my less-than-gentle ministrations. 😦

I would say that this serves four if eaten as a snack or breakfast. But this was just enough for C and I. Besides, if there were four of us here at home, I don’t think the fourth person would appreciate having a broken yolk.

Read more of this post

Shrimp Scampi

Because I have to cook before I go to work every morning, I have to make sure that I have all the ingredients laid out early and that the meat has defrosted from the day before. I do give myself at least an hour of cooking time each day. Apart from the fact that C has to eat a real meal, buying lunch every workday isn’t healthy for my pocket. And God only knows what the sodium content of those foods are!

But, I do (accidentally) sleep in every once in a while. For these cases, dishes like shrimp scampi are a lifesaver.

It’s buttery, garlicky, and oh-so-fragrant that I couldn’t wait for my lunch break to come. And the best thing is this deliciously simple dish literally takes 15 minutes to prep and cook. It can be eaten alone or served with angel hair pasta. While cooking the dish, you can boil the pasta to save time.

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: