Cato Soup

This is a tasty, healthy, easy to make soup.

I've been making this after eating roast chicken- using the carcass to make chicken stock, and going from there, but you can also just buy a box of chicken stock/broth and call it good.
  • Chicken stock/broth
  • water
  • potatoes (I prefer those red and yellow creamer potatoes, cut in half)
  • half a cabbage, cut up.
  • several carrots (sliced)
  • zucchini (cut in half and sliced)
  • yellow squash (same)
  • Cilantro cubes (they're like bouillon cubes, but they're...cilantro.)
  • garlic (crushed, powder, etc. Doesn't matter, you only need a little.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (a friend likes adding Montreal steak seasoning.)
And there you go.

(I call it Cato Soup because of Cato the Elder, who wrote a farming manual in which he sang cabbage's praises as a cure for pretty much everything.)


I've been on a crepes kick recently. They're super easy, and very tasty.

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My personal favorite is nutella, then topping the rolled up crepe with whipped cream and strawberries.

But there's another recipe I've been using a lot, which is:

Tasty bacon, mushroom, and spinach filling
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Miso Gravy

This is a fantastic vegan gravy. Miso is the sort of thing that sometimes inspires skepticism, but it would be misplaced in this case. My roommate Claire made this for our big thanksgiving party in 2006, and it had to be very carefully rationed and hoarded. It was that good. It's also very easy to make.
  • 3 T. oil
  • 4 T. flour
  • 2 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 T. miso (paste, in a jar, the brown-ish kind)
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • nutmeg
  • black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • a bunch of sliced mushrooms (any kind and amount you like, shiitake or chestnut
  • mushrooms work well)

Fry onion in oil.  Add mushrooms.  Add flour and roast.  Whisk in
broth and soy sauce.  Add spices to taste and simmer 5 minutes.

Chocolate Cake- low elevation version (aka the better version, IMO)

I love this cake to pieces, but can't cook it where I live (elevation: 7000 feet.) It's based on  a cake I had a lot in restaurants in the UK called "Fudge Cake," and the 'frosting' is a reflection of that. The main point of it is to use it to frost the cake, and then let it cool enough to let the (well, chocolate sauce) harden into a firm chocolate paste. Now, this sounds a bit silly, but the reason you want to cool it down is so that you can heat it back up. Seriously. This cake was always served hot, with the sauce pooling and seeping into the cake. It's marvelous, marvelous stuff, which is why I went to the trouble of trying to approximate it. As I mention down in the recipe, you can eat it cold, or you can just eat it immediately by pouring it over slices of cake. Cold is no fun and kind of goes against the whole entire point of not using a traditional frosting. Eating it immediately is appealing, but that's even more messy and also means it pretty much has to be eaten all at once, because there's no way to really frost it and save it after you've cut it up. (Well, you can, but it will never be as nice as if you did it properly in the first place).

The cream-cheese frosting is tasty and unusual. I've included it because the fudge one is a little more work, a lot more messy, and etc. So I've stolen the cream-cheese frosting from my friend Claire. It works surprisingly well with the chocolate cake.
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Chicken Tortilla Soup

This stuff was pretty tasty, unlike my first attempt with a different recipe, which was a disaster. After that catastrophe, I shied away from such recipes. But I had some wonderful tortilla soup somewhere, and decided to try again. And I found this recipe, which was also much easier than the first. And when I decided to make it the other day, I realized I had all the ingredients already! I didn't have to go buy anything. That was nice. I even had my own chicken stock that I'd made from the left overs of a roast chicken dinner. It was a nice touch. But an unnecessary one, so don't worry about that.

Eventually I'll get around to posting my roast chicken dinner recipes, and a little thing on making chicken stock. It's a simple thing, and you can find directions for it practically in any cookbook ever, but I hate when sites reference something without telling you how it's made. Or at least, how I make it. And so I will....but later. Anyway, on to the soup!
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Chicken Salad

This makes a really tasty wrap or sandwich.
  • Can of chicken. Or boiled chicken breast, cut up, if you want to avoid the canned stuff. It's cheaper, too.
  • Some mayo (or your favorite substitute. Or walnut oil.)
  • celery
  • onion
  • bell pepper
  • dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper.
  • Walnuts (not crushed, but they probably should be halved at the very least)
Chop up the onion, celery, a bit of the bell pepper (this must be done very finely), and put it in a bowl with the mayo. Add a bit of salt and pepper, and a handful of cranberries. Stir. THen you are ready to make a sandwich or a wrap or whatever you want. Mmm.

Mushroom Pasta

This dish is fairly easy to make, but can seem quite sophisticated. It is also a good thing to serve for dinner if you've got a lot of people coming over, and not the time or resources to go for a full fancy meal. It's also vegetarian, so it's good for a crowd. I will admit to shamelessly stealing this recipe from a restaurant in st andrews and adapting it to suit me. Of course, the recipe-stealing was all guesswork on my part, so maybe I can get away with "inspired by"?  Anyway, here it is. The secret is a *ton* of ground black pepper.

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