Food for Thought – August 11, 2015

Food for Thought


For The Vista

I ran into Keith Walther at Legends a few weeks ago, and we started talking about food, and swapping recipes, and before I could make tracks out the door, Keith was telling me that he was looking for a food columnist to attempt to step into Ellie Gustin’s shoes.

Honestly, I don’t think I can begin to fill those shoes, but I’m going to give it a stab.

Some of you may know me from my real estate business, helping customers buy and sell homes through Happy Hound Realty.

I’ve met many of you at various community events, like the Fairfield Glade Ladies Club Spring Marketplace, the Master Gardeners Annual Flower & Garden Show, or the Mistletoe Marketplace. Still others will know of me through my work as a writer of investment newsletters.

But one of my favorite pastimes is cooking and entertaining. The agents at Happy Hound will attest to the fact that I try my best to fatten them up with my breads and cookies whenever I get the chance. And I don’t have any trouble finding folks for my December cookie exchange, which includes a mouth-watering array of appetizers and desserts.

I know I’ve met many of you at Habitat for Humanities’ Lunch on the Lawn, where my baked ziti has been a hit for the last few years.

Bottom line, cooking is my hobby. I love it because I get to experiment, I’m constantly learning something new, and I’ve made many friends who share my love of talking about food and swapping recipes.

And I’m looking forward to sharing recipes, shortcuts and hints, as well as entertaining ideas with you in this column.

I’d like to hear your ideas, too, so feel free to drop me a line or two with your best recipes or tips, and you may just see them in print!

So let’s get started. My first recipe offering can be blamed on the weather. Just give me a couple of rainy days and visions of soups and stews begin dancing through my head. This soup is thick and creamy, and the Portobello’s give it a nice, rich, meaty flavor. Enjoy!

Cream of Mushroom Soup (servings: 6 bowls)

16 oz. fresh Portobello mushrooms                      4T onions, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

4T butter

6T flour (separated)                                        4c chicken broth

2c half and half (light cream or evaporated milk)     1⁄2 tsp salt

1⁄2 tsp pepper                                                              1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

Cut the mushrooms into slices.

Melt butter in large frying pan. Add in onions, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook until onions are soft.

Blend in 4T flour and stir.

Add in the chicken broth and heat until slightly thickened while stirring frequently.

Stir cream with additional 2T flour and seasonings. Add in cream to soup. Heat to thicken, while stirring frequently.