Friday, January 30, 2009

Do Not Touch!

Mounds of cups and bowls piled up beneath an escalator at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The display is part of some on-going artist's exhibit. Wow! How much glue did they use?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Snow-Down' On North Main Street, Mtn. Top

Kids in Mountain Top, PA get into a good old-fashioned snowball battle. The photographer escaped with only two strikes, one of his lenses taking a partial hit.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chorizo & Kale Soup

A great, great hearty soup from the Iberian Peninsula! Takes literally minutes to make! About 30 minutes actually. My recipe is a bit more carb friendlier as compared to other kale soups in that I don't always use potatoes. That way you can double up on the crusty bread! But if you want to bulk up that soup a wee bit more chuck in three large Yukons or red skin potatoes (skins left on the red taters makes it more rustic looking!) cut into medium to small chunks. Add them into the pot at the same time you add the bell pepper, onion and carrots.

Chorizo and Kale Soup

10 oz. chorizo, diced into cubes  **(SEE NOTE)

1 lb. of kale (stems removed) and coarsely chopped 

1 large red bell pepper cut into strips and then coarsely chopped

1 large green bell pepper cut into strips and then coarsely chopped

3-4 large cloves of garlic minced or grated (I like using a micro plane)

1 large sweet onion. It could be a Mayan, Spanish or for a little color a red onion

2 medium size carrots diced into cubes

1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

Course salt and fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp. of cumin (adds a warm Mediterranean flavor)

Half a tbsp. of Herbs de Provence

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

32 fl. oz. of chicken stock

32 fl. oz. of water

2 14.5 oz. cans of cannellini beans drained and rinsed

Grated Manchego or parmesan cheese 

Parsley or cilantro

In deep pot or large stock pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chorizo and saute for 4-5 minutes to render some fat from the sausage. Remove sausage with slotted spoon and set aside on plate. You will see that oil in the pot has been infused with the fat from the chorizo giving the oil a reddish hue. 

Add the chopped onion, carrot and bell pepper to the oil, season with a hefty pinch of salt and 3-4 grinds of black pepper and saute over medium high heat for 5 minutes. 

Turn heat down to medium. Add the cumin, Herbs de Provence, bay leaves and garlic, stir until incorporated then return the chorizo back to the pot, give a good stir once or twice. Add chicken stock and water. Let soup come up to boil then lower the heat to simmer. Add kale a few handfuls at a time allowing the greens to cook down otherwise all the kale will not fit into the pot. Once all the kale is in, cover pot and let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the kale is wilted. Season with another dash of salt and pepper to taste if needed?

Discard bay leaves, ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle grated manchego or parmesan cheese over top and garnish with parsley or cilantro. Serve with crusty bread like a French baguette or Portuguese rolls or saloio bread.

**NOTE: You can also use chouriço. The Portuguese version of the Spanish chorizo. Only difference between the two, all the same spices are used but red wine is added to the chouriço. Linguiça sausage is another good option.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

He's In!

Presidential Inauguration Luncheon Party: Obama fans gather at the Newtown Cafe in Ashley, PA to watch President elect Barack Obama take the oath of office on the cafe's wide screen televisions.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Morning Constitutional On Skis

Nice day for cross-country skiing in Conyngham at my usual digs on the golf course at Valley Country Club. Other places I frequent on xc skis are Butler Twp. Community Park and Nescopeck State Park in Dennison Twp.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Still Tinkering With cars At 89

Miller Stella, 89, of Wilkes-Barre still operating his garage since 1950. Catch the full story posted here!