Friday, September 17, 2010


I’ve had this Russian soup twice in my life before today. Once was in Moldova (within walking distance of the Ukraine border, actually!), and the other was in the girls home when a Russian born resident requested it for her birthday meal. I really liked it both times and thought, why not give it try? I used fresh beets which added a lot more work. I also didn’t follow the directions exactly…I used broth and ended up throwing it all in the pot at about the same time. I also added a small bag of shredded cabbage.

I was skeptical, and I’m not sure it turned out quite like I remember it being…but it was surprisingly good. If I make it again I will probably not bother putting meat in it, and I will used canned beets. If I’m going to go through the hassle of cooking fresh beets I like to just eat them the way they are. I would also probably reduce the vinegar, and maybe also serve the sour cream on the side. Another recipe I found had some additional ingredients, including a bit of brown sugar. I wonder if that wouldn’t cut the acidity of the vinegar and sour cream a bit.* Well, I have a HUGE pot of Borscht to experiment with one bowl at a time lol!
I got this recipe from

(*Note: with all the left overs I did try different things, mainly putting a tablespoon or so in a bowlful of soup before heating it. It did help. Also found that the soup freezes okay, though I don't like the mushy consistency that food gets once it's been frozen and reheated. Even so, it worked ok!)

* 1 1/2 pounds new potatoes
* 2 pounds country style pork ribs, chopped
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 6 cups water, divided
* 2 (15 ounce) cans red beets, drained and chopped, juice reserved
* 2 cups sour cream
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. In another pot, simmer ribs and onions in 4 cups of water for 2 hours, or until ribs are tender. Remove ribs, and set aside. Skim fat from simmering liquid, and pour in beet juice. Add chopped pork and beets, and bring to a simmer.
3. In a bowl, whisk sour cream together with 2 cups of water and the vinegar. Slowly stir into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over boiled potatoes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Creamy Carrot Soup--Posted by Joy

Soup Season! Autumn always inspires me to make soups and stews. I decided to try some new recipes this year. This recipe, though new to my making it at home, isn’t new for me all together. I’m not sure I would have picked this recipe out on my own, so God saw fit to have our parent seminar host, Pat, make it. I admit the first time I saw it I was skeptical. I mean I like cooked carrots, but pureed and served as soup?? Wouldn’t that be kind of like, I don’t know, heated up baby food??

But, I was hungry and pressed for time so I dove…and I was oh so pleasantly surprised!!
So, don’t be too quick to judge…this recipe is awesome!! The ONLY tweaking I did to it was to use half-and-half instead of full whipping cream. Mostly because that’s what I had on hand. Still tasted delicious, and had fewer calories…gotta love that!

PS I’m not a huge fan of either ginger or rosemary, but don’t exclude them. They make the recipe!

Creamy Carrot Soup
Serves 6 – 8

1 c chopped onion
1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 T honey
4-1/2 c carrots, sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 large potato
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cans chicken broth (total 29 oz)
1 tsp ground ginger
2 c whipping cream

* In a 5-qt Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender.
* Add carrots, potato, broth and ginger.
* Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
* Cool 15 minutes.
* Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.
* Add remaining ingredients except cream.
* You can make the soup up to this point and hold it on a warm burner if needed.
* Just before serving, add cream and heat through.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Half-Baked Princess

After seeing Julie and Julia last year, I found myself inspired to start cooking again. Not through any one cookbook, but, more than heating up take out left-overs or seeing how many ways I can use a boiled chicken for days on end lol. I have had fun trying new recipes, and comparing them with friends and my sister.
I have a lot of cookbooks and cooking magazines that I’ve often looked through and thought, “Ooh, that sounds good…ooh I should try that one…ooh yumm…” but I have just now started making some of these recipes.

For those that have seen Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince AND who have seen the insides of my cookbooks will get the reason for the name of this blog… One night when I was watching the movie for probably the 5th time at the same time as looking through recipes, I laughed to realize I write in my cook books the same way the “half-blood prince” wrote in his book…and thus I’ve deemed myself the half-baked princess lol.

But something was missing from the title…

When I lived down in PA I often house-sat for a woman who would always tell me to help myself to anything that was in the fridge. She also regularly declared that she was “no Jane Fonda” which is funny to me because Jane Fonda isn’t exactly Julia Childs or Rachel Ray or Betty Crocker lol. But that is apparently who she attributed her lack of cooking skills (or maybe lack of cooking motivation) to. As a result, their house generally contains the following core ingredients: humus. bacon. whole milk. random types of alcohol. starbucks mocha fraps (if I was lucky lol). hummus. oreos. sprite. chex mix. and of course massive amounts of cat food… lol.

So, here’s to you Ms. Fonda (or, those who AREN’T!) My contribution to the blog world, and to the food needs of all mankind. Or at least my sister and facebook friends :-)