Farro Soup


Okay, okay, okay! I really am going to try to start blogging again. And to prove that, I’m sharing a recipe that isn’t even made for a food blog monthly roundup (though I am going to be linking it places.)

I don’t really know why I’m making soup in the summer in the desert, but it worked out that it was cooler tonight than it has been.

I don’t have much to say – except that this recipe was good. I served it with these rosemary breadsticks.

Farro Soup
(original source)

3/4 cup farro, uncooked
3 pieces pepper bacon
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp rosemary, minced
8 cup chicken broth
1 cup grape tomatoes, diced


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the uncooked farro. Cook for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Chop the bacon into pieces. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-heat. Cook the bacon until the bacon is cooked all the way through.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, and rosemary and saute with the bacon for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth and the tomatoes into the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil.
  5. Once the soup is boiling, add the farro. Cover with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes.


I’m also going to post this here, based on the comment of the original source of the recipe I was inspired by:

“Copyright law does not protect recipes that are mere listings of ingredients. Nor does it protect other mere listings of ingredients such as those found in formulas, compounds, or prescriptions. Copyright protection may, however, extend to substantial literary expression—a description, explanation, or illustration, for example—that accompanies a recipe or formula or to a combination of recipes, as in a cookbook.”

Federal Courts have also ruled that even certain recipes in cookbooks are not protected by copyright:

“The DISCOVER DANNON recipes’ directions for preparing the assorted dishes fall squarely within the class of subject matter specifically  [481] excluded from copyright protection by 17 U.S.C. § 102(b). Webster’s defines a recipe as:

a set of instructions for making something . . . a formula for cooking or preparing something to be eaten or drunk: a list of ingredients and a statement of the procedure to be followed in making an item of food or drink . . . a method of procedure for doing or attaining something.

WEBSTER’S THIRD NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY 1895 (Merriam-Webster 1986). The recipes at issue here describe a procedure by which the reader may produce many dishes featuring Dannon yogurt. As such, they are excluded from copyright protection as either a “procedure, process, [or] system.” 17 U.S.C. § 102(b).

Meredith fashioned processes for producing appetizers, salads, entrees, and desserts. Although the inventions of “Swiss ‘n’ Cheddar Cheeseballs” and “Mediterranean Meatball Salad” were at some time original, here can be no monopoly in the copyright sense in the ideas for producing certain foodstuffs. Nor can there be copyright in the method one might use in preparing and combining the necessary ingredients. Protection for ideas or processes is the purview of patent. The order and manner in which Meredith presents the recipes are part and parcel of the copyright in the compilation, but that is as far as it goes.”

(Publ’ns Int’L, Ltd. v. Meredith Corp. (1996) 88 F.3d 473)


never copy and paste recipes verbatim that I find online or in cookbooks. I never steal the creative commentary that would be copyright protected.

I post the original source of the recipes I follow as a nod and a thank you to the blog where I found the recipe. I can either continue to post as I do, or I can stop posting the links to where I found the recipe. But no offense, there’s nothing particularly creative about Italian Farro Soup, especially when the blogger I linked admits to having taken the recipe from an unsourced magazine.

I’m sorry I find this very annoying. And while I generally do not rant in my blog, I will not remove the recipe list but I will remove the blog link if ever so necessary.

Curried Tomato Soup


I rung in the new year with several goals for myself, one of which involves blogging at least once a week. I don’t know what it is that keeps me from doing this more regularly.

My first dinner of 2016 was grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. This soup wasn’t just canned Campbell’s (which I’m not slamming!) but a curried tomato soup. It was a very warm way to start 2016 (it’s cold out!) and was a simple start to the new year.

Curried Tomato Soup

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium red onion, sliced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 14-oz can of whole tomatoes
3 tbsp coconut milk


  1. In a large pot melt the butter. Add the onion and salt and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions soften up.
  2. Stir in the spices and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and the liquid in the cans with the juices and 3 cups of water. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Puree with a hand blender until smooth.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk

* serves 2
* This recipe is being shared with Beth Fish Reads’s Weekend Cooking.

Belgian Carbonnade


I’m getting this dish submitted at the last minute for Formula 1 Foods hosted by Caroline Makes. This food challenge is following the Formula 1 Grand Prix, but in food. I don’t watch racing, but I do eat food, so I can participate.

This round was in Belgium, so we had at it and made food from that part of the world. Googling told me about carbonnade, essentially beef stew. Clearly, this did not photograph incredibly well, but it did taste good. Per what I read online, I served it with bread and applesauce. I think it would have been great with some roasted potatoes.

F1 Foods 1

Belgian Carbonnade

1 lb beef chuck, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 onions, sliced
1 cup dark beer
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the flour.
  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a dutch oven. Brown the beef in the butter, cooking about 8 minutes. Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside.
  3. Add the bacon and cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Once the fat is rendered off the bacon, add the garlic and onion. Caramelize the onions. This takes about a half hour. Stir every 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add half of the beer and reduce. Scrape the bottom of the dutch oven.
  6. Add the remaining beer, browned beef, beef broth, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, thyme, parsley, tarragon, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then cover. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Fish out the herbs. Serve with applesauce and bread.
    * serves 4

Carbonnade Flamande



This dish was made for my ‘journey’ to Belgium. Carbonnade flamande is a stew chocked with flavor, with onions and beef. Google translates tells me that carbonnade flamande means: beef stewed in beer seasoned with garlic and served with boiled potatoes. I wish I had looked at google before making this, because it would have gone great with potatoes. Instead I just enjoyed the stew on its own.

The use of mustard in the broth was unlike anything I’ve made before. I loved how thick the broth was. It’s the perfect bar examination prep food.

Carbonnade Flamande

3 lbs chuck roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and pepper, to taste
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 medium onions, sliced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 cups Belgian beer
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar


1. Pat the beef dry and season with salt and pepper. In a heavy pot over medium-high melt 2 tbsp of the butter. Add the beef and brown, 3 minutes per side. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.

2. Add the remaining butter to the pot. Reduce heat to medium. Add the onions and season with salt. Cook until the onions are browned, about 15 minutes. Add the flour and stir until the onions are coated with the flour. Cook for about 2 minutes. Stir in the broth, scraping the bottom of the pan to get loosen the browned bits. Stir in the beer, thyme, bay leaves, and the beef.

3. Increase the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer, covered, for 2 hours. Stir occasionally. A half hour before serving stir in the mustard and brown sugar. When time to serve, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.

* serves 6
* this recipe is shared with Tasteful Tuesday & Tempt My Tummy

Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup


I love butternut squash. I love soup. The combination of the two is the perfect blend.

Speaking of blends, I haven’t had a blender in a really long time after my last one broke. I haven’t had the money to replace it, so a lot of recipes that use a blender I avoid. I do have my food processor which could do the trick sometimes, but you can’t fill the food processor too high or it will overflow. I really need a blender for some things. I mean, making milkshakes in a food processor is tough.

I went to the Goodwill recently and I got some new (or I mean, old and used) clothes. I scanned the electronics section and they had a whole lot. I figured none of it would work though, due to past experience at Salvation Army with a food sealer.. thing. Anyway, there was a blender for $8. I tested it in one of the outlets and it spun, so I figured for $8 I didn’t have very much to lose. I got it home, washed it up really well, and used it to make this soup. And guess what? It works! $8 blender for the win!

This soup is perfect. I had it with some garlic bread that I had in the freezer. It was the perfect meal for a cold night. Apparently I forgot to add the water from the original recipe in, so my soup was definitely thicker than it would have been. While it may have made it last longer to have added the water, I liked the consistency a lot the way it was.

Jalapeno-Ginger Butternut Squash Soup
(recipe from Sunset Magazine)

2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
3 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp heavy cream


1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, and salt. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cayenne and cook for 30 seconds. Add squash, chicken broth, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the squash is tender.

2. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Add the heavy cream. Serve hot.

* serves about 3
* Shared with Souper Sunday hosted by Kahakai Kitchen, Tuesdays at the Table, Delicious Dishes, Tasteful Tuesday Party, & Recipe Box   

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the mini muffin pan!

Spinach Tortellini Soup


I guess it’s that time of year where the soup and stew recipes start increasing. It hasn’t really cooled off significantly here yet, but I think the temperatures are going to start dropping soon. I’m over the 100+ degree summer. I know I’ll complain just as much when the temperatures start dipping into the 30’s and 40’s, but for a moment I will be relieved that I won’t be sweating up a storm. And I’ll be happy for the increase in soups in my meal plans.

Spinach Tortellini Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups beef broth
1 – 2 cups frozen tortellini
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil leaves
8 oz frozen spinach
2 tbsp parmesan cheese


1. In a deep pot heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic until it starts to brown. Do not burn the garlic though!

2. Add the beef broth into the pot. Add the tortellini into the pot and cook to the package directions, but don’t drain.

3. Once the tortellini is cooked add the diced tomatoes, basil, and spinach. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring frequently and making sure that frozen spinach breaks apart and warms all the way through, about 5 minutes.

4. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cheese.

* serves 2

Slowcooker Barbecued Chicken Five Ways

This past week’s slowcooker meal made my life very easy. It made two dinners and three lunches. I sort of felt like I had pulled chicken coming out of my ears there was so much. But it really made my cooking this week easy. I tried to vary the chicken in my meals so it wasn’t the same chicken sandwich over and over again. I think I succeeded!

Out of this one slowcooked chicken recipe I got:

– Pulled chicken sandwiches
– Taco salad
– A pasta dish
– Hash
– Chili

I’ll break down the dishes like this: First I’ll post the slowcooker recipe for the chicken. Then underneath I’ll break down each dish into it’s own mini-recipe using the slowcooked chicken.

The entire recipe makes 10 servings. Each mini-recipe below serves 2.

Slowcooked Barbecued Chicken

3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can tomato sauce
3 chipotles in adobo, finely diced
2 tsp of the adobo sauce from the canned chipotles in adobo
1/4 cup orange muscat champagne vinegar (from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dry mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced


1. Whisk together the tomato sauce, chiptoles, adobo sauce, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt, and cayenne.

2. Spray the slowcooker with cooking spray and place the chicken inside.

3. Scatter the onions and garlic evenly over the top of the chicken and pour the sauce over the top.

4. Cook on low for at least 5 hours. I cooked mine for more like 10. Place the chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on. Turn on for a minute, allowing the paddle to shred the chicken. If you don’t have a stand mixer, allow for the chicken to cool enough so that you can touch it and shred it with two forks.

DAY 1: Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

1/5 of the barbecued chicken
2 hamburger buns
2 pickles


1. Toast the hamburger buns.

2. Put 1/2 of the chicken onto each bun.

3. Serve with a pickle.

DAY 2: Pulled Chicken Taco Salad

1/5 of the barbecued chicken
2 cups shredded lettuce
2 oz tortilla chips (~30 chips)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tomato, diced
2 tbsp sour cream


1. Take two bowls. Fill each bowl with the tortilla chips. Top with lettuce and tomatoes. Place the shredded chicken in the center and top with sour cream. Sprinkle the top with cheese.

DAY 3: Barbecued Chicken Pasta

1/5 of the slowcooker chicken
6 oz pasta in a shape of your choice
1/4 onion, diced
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled


1. Put the chicken in an oven proof dish and bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain.

3. Mix the onion, cheese, and chicken into the pasta.

DAY 4: Barbecue Chicken Hash

1/5 of the chicken
2 red potatoes, diced
2 slices of bread, toasted


1. Mix the chicken and potatoes together in a bowl with your hands.

2. Bake the chicken and potatoes together until the potatoes are tender.

3. Serve with toast.

DAY 5: Barbecued Chicken Chili

1/5 of the chicken
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
4 cups chicken broth


1. In a deep pot heat the oil. Cook the onions and garlic until they begin to brown. Add the sweet potatoes and mixed vegetables.

2. Pour in the chicken broth. Mix in the chicken.

3. Heat for about 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

* Shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Fried Rice Two Ways


Since Monday this week was a holiday, I had time to make dinner and didn’t need to rely on the slow cooker. But just because Monday allowed enough time to make dinner, Tuesday still did not. Because of this, I knew I needed to make enough dinner Monday to have on Tuesday and also to change the dish up a bit so I could have it two ways.

Clearly I’m not very good at keeping up with challenges I keep for myself (as you can see my 52 Week Around the World Challenge) ended short, but at least through this semester there should be a dish a week that I make two ways just because my schedule sort of forces it.

This fried rice made use of the crystallized ginger Rose sent me a few months ago in my Foodie Pen Pal box. Because it was cut up very fine, it wasn’t overpowering but to get a piece of that sweet ginger was excellent in the rice.


Day 2 got a bowl of fried rice soup, which was an easy way to make the dish into something else. In retrospect though, it could have used more broth.

Day 1: Fried Rice
Day 2: Fried Rice Soup

Fried Rice

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shrimp, shelled, deveined, and cut into pieces
1 10-oz package frozen peas
3 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped
4 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 cup chicken broth


1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until medium. Combine the eggs and pour into the skillet. Cook, stirring, until scrambled, about 1 minute. Break into small pieces and transfer to a bowl.

2. Add another tbsp of oil. Add the onion and the garlic to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and peas. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the eggs.

3. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the skillet of medium-high heat until hot. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy.

4. Stir together the soy sauce, white wine, ginger, and sesame oil. Add to the skillet along with the egg. Cook until heated through.

5. DAY 1 INSTRUCTIONS: Serve as is.
DAY 2 INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the chicken broth and the rice in a large pot until simmering. When warm, serve.

* makes 4 servings of rice (DAY 1 & DAY 2 each make 2 portions)
DAY 1 CALORIES: 498 calories per serving
DAY 2 CALORIES: 503 calories per serving

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew


The first week of my last year in law school was this week. Just two semesters left and I’ll have to change the name of my blog. It won’t be the Law Student’s Cookbook anymore, but the Unemployed Law School Graduate’s Cookbook. Well, that is until I pass the bar and hopefully get hired somewhere great. Then my blog will be called The Public Defender’s Cookbook. But more likely it will just need a new name that leaves me unaffiliated with a career. When that day comes . . . No. I can’t even think about it. It’s still so far off.

Anyway, school started this week and I have night classes two days every week. Last semester I had a ton of night classes.
Last semester I also got really fat because I ate out so much. On top of gaining pounds, my wallet got pretty slim. I would prefer things to work in reverse, so I’ve decided I really just need to implement ways that make getting home just before 9PM okay. The number one way this is going to work is if in the morning before I leave for work or school I throw everything for the day into a crockpot. That way when I do get home just 2 hours before my bedtime, I don’t feel like I need to run and get fast food to satiate myself. And frankly, anything I can make at home tastes a million times better than something that comes through a drive through.

This week has been a pretty mellow week compared to what the rest of my semester is going to look like. Two of my classes got cancelled the first week of school, so instead of two nights of needing quick dinners (rather, slow cooked dinners,) I only had one.

During the middle of my Prosecutorial&Defense Ethics my stomach started grumbling. I was happy to find this slow cooker stew when I got home.

Slow Cooker Lentil Vegetable Stew

1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 potato, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup green beans, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry lentils


1. Add everything except for the lentils into a slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low. Add lentils during the last hour of cooking.

* serves 6
* 273 calories per serving
* Shared with Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen & What’s Cooking Wednesday

Chicken and Dumplings


This month at Food ‘n Flix we watched The Help hosted by Glennis at Can’t Believe We Ate. This is actually one of my favorite movies (and books) of all times. I typically don’t enjoy movie renditions of books, but I really feel like the movie did a great job of creating the book onto film.

In The Help there’s a lot of cooking on part of the help, the maids who raise rich white families’ children, cook dinners, and get no praise or thank you for the hard work they put in. The movie is based in Jackson, Mississippi, deep in the US South. There was a lot of fried food, a lot of Crisco… In fact Minny Jackson says at one point in her cooking lessons to Celia Foote:

“Crisco ain’t just for fryin. You ever get a sticky something stuck in your hair,like gum?…That’s right, Crisco. Spread this on a baby’s bottom, you won’t even know what diaper rash is…shoot, I seen ladies rub it under they eyes and on they husband’s scaly feet…Clean the goo from a price tag, take the squeak out a door hinge. Lights get cut off, stick a wick in it and burn it like a candle….And after all that, it’ll still fry your chicken.”

That’s actually the direct quote from the book, so maybe she delivered it differently in the movie. I don’t remember.

But that quote almost convinced me to make fried chicken. And if not fried chicken, to make something else with Crisco.

But as I sat there after the movie I found myself craving my Aunt Beau’s food. My Aunt Beau is actually my great-aunt. She lived in North Carolina before she died several years ago and really has been my only influence in Southern food. The movie left me hankering for hush puppies, for deep fried soft shell crab, and most of all, for chicken and dumplings. I didn’t eat very much Southern food growing up because that influence was across the country from us. But when I did have it, it just felt good.

And it still felt good and felt right and reminded me of my Aunt Beau when I made it. This is far from being an authentic chicken and dumplings.  I mean, I got it from Rachael Ray. And on top of that, I didn’t even use a full chicken. But I’m sure my aunt would appreciate me working with what I had to make something reminiscent of her.

And then I almost had to scratch the whole meal because there were bugs in my biscuit mix. Lucky I found another box in my cabinet which was unopened and didn’t have the same problem.

Chicken and Dumplings

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 russet potato, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup warm water (plus more if needed)
1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 cup frozen peas


1. Place a large pot on the stove over medium high heat. Add oil, butter, vegetables, and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt, pepper, and bouillon. Add flour to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Stir broth into the pot and bring to a boil. Add the chicken to the broth and stir.

2. Place the Bisquick in a bowl and combine with water and parsley. If the mix is too thick, add more water. You want it to be fairly watery – not as thick as if you were baking biscuits. Drop tablespoonfuls of the biscuit mix into the pot, spacing the dumplings evenly.

3. Cover the pot and reduce heat to medium low. Steam for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce. Stir the peas in, until warm. Serve in shallow bowls.

* serves 2