Alexis: After the crazy eating weekend I had (Saturday night's dinner to be posted later this week), I wanted to make something light for dinner. Our menu: mixed herb greens with pears, gorgonzola dolce and candied walnuts; carrot ginger soup; garlic bread; strawberries in wine topped with fresh whipped cream.
The salad - first slice the pear up into thin slices. Soak in lemon juice and sugar, turning them occasionally to make sure they all get equal amounts of juice. The candied walnuts are easy to make. Toast the walnuts for 5 minutes at 350 degrees, making sure they don't burn. In a saucepan, heat sugar on high heat until it melts - make sure you keep stirring it. I added a pat of butter for taste but this is optional. When the sugar turns a golden color, turn the heat off and mix the walnuts in. When they are well coated, spread them out onto a greased baking sheet or waxed paper and sprinkle salt and pepper on them. Let them cool and when you're ready to eat, toss all the ingredients together with some good extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I used our new Magic Bullet for this soup. In a soup pot, melt some butter and sautee some chopped onions. When they are transparent, add peeled and sliced carrots, chicken broth and freshly grated ginger. Bring to a boil and then simmer until carrots are tender. Season with salt and pepper, then puree in batches. Reheat the soup and add heavy cream to taste. Serve promptly, topped with a dollop of sour cream and some fresh black pepper.
Dessert - equal parts sugar and good red wine. Whisk together until the sugar has dissolved, then add a crank or two of fresh black pepper. Slice up some fresh strawberries into the mix and let it marinate for a while. To make the fresh whipped cream I just added cream, vanilla and sugar to the Magic Bullet, then pulsed it until the desired consistency. Super delicious.
And now we are super stuffed. OOOF!
Alex: This was a nice fresh meal. The intent was to have something light but the soup wound up being super filling. The highlight of course was dessert. All I have to say is Fresh Whipped Cream. I had to undo the top button on my pants after this one.