Mean-spirited observation of the day

So, does it really take a whole day to cook a couple of boneless chicken breasts in a can of "soup" and a block of cream cheese? In my universe, with the laws of physics as I understand them, it takes maybe 30-40 minutes, max. Sorry, but boiling that... amazing concoction for eight hours doesn't auto-magically turn it into "scratch" cooking. Your cat may have kittens in the oven, but it don't make 'em muffins.

I know of what I speak. I grew up on food like that. I cooked food like that for a couple of decades, back when we thought a white bagel bigger than your face was a good snack (apologies to my poor daughter) and Betty Crocker was a role model. But somewhere along the way I learned about sodium and the questionable-yet-pervasive practice we've developed of eating unpronounceable ingredients. I'm proof that a girl born and bred in the beige-food capital of the country can learn to cook real food (mostly) from scratch. A lazy girl, no less -- I do NOT enjoy spending hours in the kitchen, and I avoid it at all costs.

Seriously, it can be done. You don't have to take the word of a single crotchety old lady, either. There are lots of cool blogs written by hip young moms who are all over that shit.

Also, go watch Food, Inc.  Right now.


Bestest Leftover Soup

I keep forgetting to tell y'all about this: I discovered some while back that if you have, say, two cups of leftover Riso alla Pitoca and a quart or so of chicken stock, you can have a pretty damned amazing chicken and rice soup in a matter of moments. Who knew?

I'm sure it would work just as well with the Risotto di Zucca, or with any risotto, I suppose.

So there's your first tip of the year, and it's still January! Hope I can get some more out for you soon. It's been way too long, hasn't it?