My most recent obsession has to do with food only in that it contains food products. While at Target over the weekend I purchased an exquisite body wash from Say Yes to Carrots:
It sounded like a good idea, filled with carrot juice, sweet potato, pumpkin, melon, and dead sea mud. How can you go wrong lathering all of that on your body? It was an impulse buy and I'm so glad I tried it. It smells like clean, refreshing lotion and it leaves my skin happy and smooth and my senses alert. I'm going back to Target this weekend for other reasons but will definitely be picking up their face and body sunscreens, and probably the whole rest of the line if I can't control myself (which often happens at Target, the suckhole of my bank account).
This seems like it has nothing to do with cooking, but inspiration comes from funny places.
Last night I was catching up on Hell's Kitchen and couldn't help but drool over the small, delicate, sauteed whole carrots they kept making over and over as garnish. I couldn't get them out of my head today, then took a shower with my carrot body wash. I threw on a dress, jumped on my Vespa, and headed to the health food store down the street for some carrots. The first house in town my parents bought when I was two years old was just up the street from a health food store, and ironically the home my sister and I bought last year is up a different street from the same store in it's new location. However, when I went today I did not purchase one of those gross chocolate soy drinks in the Capri Sun container. No thank you.
I bought carrots, lots of them. I've read that they can be added to almost anything (mashed potatoes, banana bread, raita, muffins, marinara sauce) without people noticing because they have such a watery subtle taste, and I fully plan on using my Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer to juice them for smoothies.
On a side note, if you don't own a juicer, check this thing out. It is absolutely amazing and requires no peeling, chopping, or deseeding.
I'd had homemade chicken and potato tikka masala over rice last night for dinner and the leftovers for lunch today (more on that delicious endeavor later), so I wanted something light. I settled on carrot and ginger soup, an idea put into my head by my best friend over at Tasty Bits and Knits: http://tastybitsandknits.blogspot.com
I found this recipe over at epicurious.com and tweaked it a little to better suite my tastes. It can be served either hot or cold, and is absolutely delicious both ways. If you need to hearty it up a bit, I think it would be fantastic with some shrimp simmered in.
Say Yes to Carrot and Ginger Soup!
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 thinly sliced leek (white part only)
1 white onion, diced
1-2 large bunches organic carrots, chopped (depends on how ginergy you want the soup to come out...I used one bunch and it was quite strong, could have used a few more carrots)
4 cups vegetable stock
7 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 cups fresh carrot juice
1/2 cup light sour cream
Generous amount of ground black pepper
In a large stockpot, heat oil on high until hot. Add leeks and onion and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until the onions start wilting. Add carrots and 2 tbsp water, then cook for 10 minutes, covered and stirring occasionally. Add vegetable stock and ginger and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then pour into a food processor, or a blender if you're like me and don't have one, with fresh carrot juice and purée. Strain through a fine sieve and discard the pulp (there won't be much). Add sour cream and pepper and heat 3-4 minutes, stirring until completely incorporated. Season generously with black pepper.
Bon appetit...just not wheat!