Archive for experiments that panned out well!

And to think, I almost broke down and bought a jewelry box.

See what a little bit of ingenuity, way too much time on your hands, flexibility, a copy of The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts, and an impulsive eBay purchase of cigar boxes will get you?

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Experimental soup, FTW!

I am so happy that this worked out well.

Required tools: Large (8 quartish) stock pot, immersion/regular blender or food processor, spice grinder

Ingredients:
4 thick cut pieces of bacon, diced
2 medium leeks, cleaned, with tough green tops trimmed and chopped
1 T fennel seeds
1 T cumin seeds
.5 t chipotle powder
1.5 t smoked paprika
.5 t orange zest
.5 t nutmeg
Roughly 1.5 pounds of roasted winter vegetables
Roughly 1 pound of roasted pumpkin*
2 quarts of chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste

1- Fry bacon over medium/medium high heat until crispy and delicious smelling. Reserve bacon bits on a paper towel lined plate for garnishing. While your bacon is frying (trust me, it’ll be about five solid minutes, give or take), dry toast fennel & cumin in a small pan until fragrant, then pour into spice grinder and grind into powder.
2- Saute leeks until they’re softened, then add ground fennel, ground cumin, chipotle powder, smoked paprika, orange zest, nutmeg, all the vegetables (including the pumpkin) and stock. Cook until everything is heated through, nicely softened, and beginning to break down.
3- Using immersion blender (or regular blender or food processor), puree the entire stock pot down until smooth. Check seasonings and adjust if necessary. Garnish with bacon bits. Nom.

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