Tag: Winter

Thai Coconut Red Curry

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The week leading up to a holiday is always awkward when it comes to cooking. I haven’t stopped thinking about what to make for Christmas dinner since the day after Thanksgiving. The awkwardness comes with the meals in between, because every meal after Thanksgiving is just a pregame for the next big holiday meal. The week before Christmas is especially annoying because I don’t want to eat anything that is too similar to what I’ll be eating for Christmas dinner. This means that the traditional holiday ingredients that I usually use around this time are off the table when it’s this close to the holiday, including sweet potatoes and anything cranberry really. This might just be me, but I really take Christmas dinner that seriously. This Thai Coconut Red Curry was the perfect solution. It’s an easy dish to double and keep over a few days to give yourself a cooking break. Plus, it still gives off the warm, comfort food[ie] feeling that we all want around this time of year.

Roasted Red Pepper & Smoked Gouda Soup

Roasted Red Pepper & Smoked Gouda Soup on www.thedanareneeway.com

Roasted Red Pepper & Smoked Gouda Soup on www.thedanareneeway.com

Roasted Red Pepper & Smoked Gouda Soup on www.thedanareneeway.com

 Finally emerging from the Test Kitchen is one of my favorite soups of all time (besides French Onion Soup). If you read the test kitchen post, then you’ll know that this recipe was inspired by my alma mater, University of Richmond. Creamy and savory are two of its best qualities and, once I graduated, there was just no way that I could give it up. With this soup, I can soothe my nostalgia and vicariously relive the experience of rushing out of class to beat the cafe line in the business school.

I didn’t anticipated having this recipe ready so soon after the test kitchen post. But I was so determined to get this soup closer to where I wanted it to be, especially since nostalgia kicks in ever so often. Looking over my notes from the test kitchen allowed me to remember what changes I needed to make in order to perfect the recipe. If you have a food/cooking blog, or if you just like to cook for leisure, I definitely encourage you to keep notes of the recipes you try and changes you’d like to make in the future. It is one extra step, but I promise you won’t regret it. I’m the type of person who will cook up a storm before I can even wrap my head around everything that I’ve made or want to make. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve completely forgotten about a dish I’ve made because I’m already on to the next!

I made a few bold changes to this soup (since last making the Test Kitchen version). Bravery ensued when I decided to use the smoked Gouda, which surprisingly gave this mild soup a bit of a kick. I was worried that the stronger, smokey taste would be too overpowering, but it actually gave this soup a bit of personality. The heavy cream created a more sooth and absorbent. Peeling the red peppers (the most tedious part of this whole recipe) and mastering the food processor both make all the difference. Once you’ve processed the peppers, the recipe is pretty much a straight shot from there!

All Black (Leather) Everything

All Black Leather Everything

Anybody that knows me will tell you that I have a serious obsession with three things: black, crop tops, and LEATHER. I’m also a big fan of the simple wardrobe that includes statement pieces. I’m ALWAYS throwing on this outfit to go to work. Sometimes I’ll switch out the top or the blazer. And, if I want an even more professional (or less trendy) look, I’ll throw on a pair of pumps instead of the boots.