It’s another ridiculously cold and snowy day in Ottawa. I was talking to a guy in Arizona the other day and where he was it was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (about 27 Celsius and yes, I had to convert that in the Google Calculator. I’m so metric.)
It’s completely unfair and I can’t wait for winter to be over. There’s part of me that would like to just wallow in self pity about it but my new enlightened point of view (thanks to “A New Earth“) has taught me that wallowing is never a good idea. So instead of dwelling on the crappy weather, I decided to stay inside and cook a pile of food for the freezer.
I headed out at about 7:30 this morning to hit the grocery store. Loblaws today was surprisingly busy considering it was so early and there was 15cm (almost 6 inches, yay Google!) of new snow on the ground. I was a woman on a mission. The recipes of the day? Cabbage rolls, vegetable soup, beef stew and cherry chip cupcakes. That oughta keep me out of self-pity mode for a while.
It’s 12:30 and I’m about half way through the process. I’ve decided to leave the stew till tomorrow and focused this morning on the soup and the cabbage rolls. This afternoon I’ll probably make the cupcakes, but they are easy. So I’ve managed to have a pretty productive day so far, I’ve got 50 cabbage rolls, a big pot of yummy, healthy soup and I’ve gotten caught up on some tech stuff too.
I thought then, I would share with you my perfect day indoors – complete with recipes!
As I was cooking I was listening to net@night with Amber MacArthur and Leo Laporte. The first show put me on to Friend Feed, which is kind of a cool tool that lets you tap in to friends’ internet travels via Twitter, Flickr, their blog, etc. And it also gave me more information about my new favourite video player, Viddler, which we are experimenting with at the office now for one of our TV series. More info on that to follow soon!
Now for the recipes. Thom Allen twittered me to ask what cabbage rolls were. I assumed everyone knew what cabbage rolls were! I think he is in Utah. Maybe they don’t have cabbage rolls in Utah? Well, here’s the recipe, so all you Utahns can be introduced to one of the most delicious and inexpensive to make foods EVER!
Suzemuse’s World Famous Cabbage Rolls
(makes about 50 – perfect for freezing!)
2 heads of green cabbage
3 lbs medium ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup of Minute Rice
salt and pepper
6 cans condensed tomato soup
1 large can all-purpose tomato sauce
Fill a large stock pot with water, add some salt and bring to a boil. With a sharp knife, cut around the core of the cabbages so the leaves will loosen in the water. Carefully add the whole cabbages and cook for at least 20 minutes, or until the outer layers start to peel off. Meanwhile, mix the ground beef, onion, garlic, rice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Don’t be a wimp and use your hands for the best result.
Use tongs to peel off individual cabbage leaves and drain in a colander. Take one cabbage leaf and trim off the tough spine. Place about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the beef mixture (a smallish handful) in the cabbage leaf and roll up, tucking the ends in as you go. Place the rolls in a large roasting pan.
After the first layer of rolls, cover with 3 cans of tomato soup and 1/2 of the can of tomato sauce. Repeat for second layer of rolls.
Bake in a 350 degrees oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes, or until the sauce is piping hot and bubbling.
Suzemuse’s Soon-To-Be-Famous Vegetable Soup
makes a whole pot! Also good for freezing!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1/2 red or yellow pepper, diced
(you could use green peppers, but I HATE green peppers, so don’t tell me if you do!)
2 handfuls of frozen chopped spinach
1 can of red kidney beans
1/2 cup brown rice
2 cartons organic vegetable broth
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, sautee onion, carrot, celery, peppers and spinach in olive oil about 15 minutes, until tender. Add in the kidney beans, brown rice, thyme sprigs and broth. Simmer on med-low heat for about 45 minutes, until delicious. Add salt and pepper to taste.