Sunday, January 17, 2010

Beef Sauerkraut Soup and Buckwheat Bread Sticks

It's been raining a lot here in Tacoma. I mean, well, it is January in the Pacific Northwest after all. And gray skies and unending rain in January in Washington is like blue sky sunshine and warmth in Arizona. So it really shouldn't come as a surprise, but every year nearly every Western-Washingtonian suffers from collective brain-freeze and wonders, why is it raining so much? That's why it's so green here, people. Without rain, we would be a desert. Our sump pump has been running around the clock and the unending drizzle puts me into a hearty soup making frenzy.

It was especially hard last week when it rained 5 days straight and I didn't have hot water so I couldn't do dishes. But now the hot water is back and I am a soup making machine once again.

I am not going to give you the recipes here, but I will give you the links from where I got them. For once, I didn't even tweak the recipes. They were both new to me so I wanted to try them as written.

The Beef Sauerkraut Stew I stumbled upon when I was looking for green bean recipes. (I have no idea why, since it contains no green beans!) It's from Kalyn's Kitchen and I guess she specializes in the South Beach diet--I don't know what the South Beach diet is, but this soup looked awfully good. Don't be turned off by the sauerkraut; it adds a crunch and salty goodness. Very straightforward and easy to make. And so delicious. I think a lot of kids would like this soup. I finished it with a dollop of sour cream and chopped green onions. I think next time I might try making it with ground turkey and add some spice.

The Buckwheat Cheese Bread Sticks I found while browsing the appetizer recipes at 101 Cookbooks. This is a fun cooking blog with lots of beautiful photos. They are super easy to make as well and she had great instructions. I love when my food comes out looking exactly like the recipe photos. Don't they look like little twigs?

I made these Friday night for us as a tester before making them again yesterday to take to a party. OK, in truth, we went to a Bunco party. Have any of you heard of or played Bunco? It is truly a crazy, crazy game. It's a simple dice game but 16 people were playing at four different tables and you had to keep switching tables a lot. Trevor and I had never played before (ok, it is luck based, no skill involved) but we won 2 of the 4 prizes! But I don't think I've ever heard people scream like that before. And 10 or so of them were related, so they were especially belligerent to each other. I think I was having a little PTSD after my car accident last week with everyone screaming and yelling. Also, I wasn't really drinking last night and you always notice how obnoxious drunk people are when you are the sober one! But the best thing about it was that you switched seats and partners every round and so you ended up talking to every person at the party. Today I am looking forward to some quiet art time by myself!


  1. Our weather forecast is looking stinky for the next week; we need the rain but it's still a bit of a shock in northern CA!
    I may have to investigate some of your recipes; they look like great comfort food.

  2. Ok...the soup looks good and soul warming. Can you promise me the sticks taste good?

    They remind me of George Washington...who used to chew on sticks to brush his teeth. I remember that from third grade...and your sticks brought it all back!

  3. The breadsticks look like actual twigs. I was thinking they were a prop.
    The soup looks good. Yesterday I made Tortilla Soup with fresh tomatoes & lime. Still needs tweaking.
    It's 75 F & blue skies in Dubai.
    But I'm still making winter soups.

  4. The sticks are delicious; you can take my word for it! If I'd spent more than two hands at the head table, I would have eaten all of them.

    (p.s. sorry if i was obnoxious)

  5. I love tortilla soup. I think you have to have a lot of cilantro in it for it to be perfect!

    The bread sticks are really yummy and I didn't cook them so that they were super crunvhy; they still have a little chewiness to them.

    And Heather, you were far less obnoxious than some other people there!