Orphans’ Thanksgiving

On our first Thanksgiving together, I think I caught a glimpse of what the real first thanksgiving was like. My husband’s family is in Ohio and mine is in Louisiana, finals are around the corner so we really couldn’t afford to go anywhere for a few days. So we decided to stay here, and one of my husband’s classmates invited us over for a potluck-style Thanksgiving.

For those who don’t know, my husband is in the masters program for Economics at Duke. A lot of the graduate students (like in my program) are not American. I didn’t have very high expectations for the dinner; but it still made me very much appreciate traditional Thanksgiving food and my own family. I decided to make potato salad…In the back of my mind leading up to the holiday, I kept thinking that maybe I should make the mac n cheese or sweet potatoes too. But I was just too lazy..and in hindsight, I should’ve just got over it because the only thing I could eat at that dinner was my potato salad, a Pakistani chick pea dish, and a roll.

Anyways, here is the extremely simple potato salad that I made:

I cut 5 or 6 potatoes in half and boiled them along with 5 eggs in a large pot until soft. It took a long time so I watched Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina on netflix. Anyways, the above picture shows them all peeled and ready to mash. Unfortunately, I don’t have a potato masher so I had to use a regular fork and that was an arm workout.

The above ingredients was all I used along with some black pepper and regular salt. I like my potato salad a little sweet so I use a lot of relish. Here’s the finished product topped off with some paprika:

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A few of the different nationalities represented at the dinner was: Russian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Canadian, Pakistani, Mexican, and Nigerian. I really don’t mind trying new things especially when it comes to international dishes…but they all had meat in them.

I call it Orphan Thanksgiving because the people at the dinner were far from home and away from family..It reminded me of the first thanksgiving because the Pilgrims were far from home and away from family, and they shared a dinner with foreigners (well technically, they were the foreigners). I know, corny right?

Even though the dinner was disappointing, the highlight was just spending it with my husband. Afterwards, we saw Lincoln, the movie with Daniel Day Lewis (which was really good by the way, and even though I knew the ending it still got to me!). And thankfully, the 24-hour McDonalds was open.

Stay tuned, my next post will show you my recipe for Vegetarian Lasagna!

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Soup Season!

Ah yes, November is here which means time for hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies or Oreos dipped in hot chocolate (my personal fav), and soup! It’s soup seasoooon!! *in my Oprah voice*

I would like to share two recipes from two different cookbooks. I don’t follow the recipes exactly but both are fairly easy and inexpensive (music to my frugal ears) to make. The first one I started making because my husband (then boyfriend) mentioned that he liked TGIF’s French Onion Soup. I didn’t like their soup too much because I thought it was too salty so I decided to take a crack at it. I found this recipe in a book that I’ve featured before on the blog (pictured below)..This is the same fancy cookbook with whom I’ve had a love/hate relationship; but every once in a while, I will find a recipe that’s not too complicated or doesn’t have weird ingredients within its pages.

Click the link here for the entire detailed recipe—>>> frenchsoup

I must warn you that this takes forever to make! I only do it when I know I have time, like if I know I have time to start dinner around 5 or 6pm so it’ll be ready by 7 or 8pm..and I’m not pressingly hungry.

Ingredients: 4 large onions (it might seem like a lot but they saute down if that makes sense, also be prepared to cry your eyes out), olive oil, butter, vegetable stock, mozzarella shredded cheese, salt and pepper

After cutting the onions, put the onions, butter, and oil in the pot until they turn into a yellowish color at the bottom of the pan. Then, pour the broth and season it and let simmer. The recipe says 45-60 min but it probably takes more like an hour and half..especially to get the right flavor.

The recipe also suggests french bread which would’ve been great if I had some but I settled for regular sandwich bread. The mozzarella is also a nice touch. Personally, I like it better the day after, when it’s been sitting in the fridge over night. I had it for lunch the next day and it was delish!

Next up, vegetarian southwest chili! I got this recipe from the cookbook pictured here:

This is actually a vegan cookbook that my loving and health-obsessed mother gave me as a gift. Needless to say, I substitute some ingredients like cashew “cheese” with real cheese. To set the record straight, I have nothing against being vegan. It’s definitely a lifestyle that I admire but it’s not for me. Never say never though, maybe later in life I will have the time to make everything from scratch. Anyways, the detailed recipe can be found here–>> chili

The ingredients I used are pictured here:

<Let the onion and bell pepper simmer a little.

<<Mix it all together!

Now this soup/chili only takes about 30 min to cook, and I let it boil a little to get the beans and corn soft. I also include seasonings like chili pepper, black pepper, and season salt to name a few.

As you can see the toast is a little crispy..but my mom always said a little charcoal is good for you. Quick story: after making the soup, I realized we only had 3 slices of bread left..As the self-less wife that I am, I was going to give my husband two and only take the butt end. But then I realized how awesome the chili is when eaten with bread so I made him split the last slice. Hence, the one and a half bread pictured above. This soup is also awesome with crackers which we didn’t have. Next time I’ll be more prepared.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! Next on my soup list is attempting to make Brocoli Cheese soup..I’ll let you know how that goes..