I’m writing a cookbook– my very first publicly available cookbook, and I’m very excited about this new adventure in my life!
I decided that I wanted to take on this slightly overwhelming task when we were on our last trip to Washington. We took a late flight that night, and thought we would stop at the Olive Garden for a simple dinner. Well, it turns out that the onramp to the freeway is past the Olive Garden. So, we decided to stop at Ivar’s Restaurant once we reached the ferry landing. Once we arrived at the landing, however, the ferry was there and ready to board. So, we got on the ferry (better to get on and get to the island we figured). Once on the island, we decided to stop at China City, the Chinese restaurant. After going in, the hostess informed us that they closed early that day. Urrrg! So, the last place we decided on was the good-ol’-grocery store. It was already 8:45pm by this time, and we were a bit worried that they would be closed as well. We were in luck, the store was open for 15 more minutes. Wheew! So, we grabbed a few things and headed home.
That got me thinking; I’d like to leave some items in the cupboard just in case we couldn’t find a place to get dinner. Also, it could be an emergency stash of sorts. If there was an earthquake or the power went out for a few days, we would have a supply of food. But, I don’t just want cans of boring soup or powdered milk! So, I decided to start this cookbook.
The recipes will be made with convenient, easy-to-find items, that can be stored in your cupboard, and the dishes will be healthy and (hopefully!) tasty. I’ll be including some fresh and some freezer items in the cookbook, and the recipes will clearly identified with icons showing cupboard, freezer, and/or fresh items.
There are many reasons to try Cupboard Cooking. Besides the two that I’ve listed above, if you were camping or taking an RV trip, these recipes would work really well. In addition, you might like to try the “Week Without Shopping” challenge as proposed by eGullet, an online food message board.
So, for now, I’m researching and testing recipes. I made a dense and moist Chocolate-Cinnamon Cake and a pot of Tomato Rice and Navy Bean Soup for dinner last night. Both turned out very well, and I’m happy with the current progress of the book.
Here’s a recipe I created for Pasta and Chickpea Soup. I’ll continue to post recipes regularly, and I’ll keep everyone advised on the progress of the book.
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Pasta e Ceci (Pasta and Chickpea Soup)
- 1 can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained and rinsed
- 4 cups cold water
- ½ cup jarred (or homemade) spaghetti sauce (I like Prego Fresh Mushrooms, but use your family’s favorite)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1 cup pasta, uncooked, short shapes such as elbows or rotini
- In a heavy 4-quart pot, combine the chickpeas, water, spaghetti sauce, rosemary, and olive oil. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and partially cover the pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Remove about 1 cup of the soup, and transfer the remaining soup to a blender or food processor. Remove the leaves from the rosemary sprig and place the leaves in the blender as well. Puree until smooth. Return the pureed mixture and the reserved chickpeas to the pot.
- Set the soup over medium-high heat and return to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook, stirring often so the pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender, but still firm to the bite. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt as necessary. Serve hot.