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October 31, 2010

A bit of a disclaimer...

This has been brought to my attention...I would just like to point out that I did not know of this book's existence when I started blogging about my Sunday Soups; and that neither I nor my recipes are in any way associated with this publication.

Sasha's Chicken Noodle Sunday Soup

My version of a classic, made from scratch.


1 chicken breast

1 tbsp olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

3 medium carrots, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 tsp poultry seasoning

3/4 c corn kernels, canned or frozen

3/4 c uncooked noodles


Fresh herbs for garnish

Place the chicken in a medium soup pot and fill with just enough water to cover the chicken. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Drain the water and fill the pot with new water, about 5 cups. Season with 1 tbsp salt, cover with lid and bring to boil again. Then turn heat down to simmer, crack lid and cook for 45 min. (Skim off any foam that might appear).Then turn heat off and take chicken out. When chicken is cool enough to handle, chop or shred it and set aside.

Then: heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the poultry seasoning. Sauté for about 6 min, stirring occasionally. Add mixture to chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 15 min, uncovered. Add noodles, corn and chicken. Simmer until noodles are cooked through, about 5 min. Re-season if necessary and garnish.

October 27, 2010

My very first pumpkin!

My only experiences with pumpkin until now have been the porridge my mom used to make me when I was little and the carved ones I usually see on people's porches this time of year. Now that pumpkin is in season, pumpkin recipes seem to be popping up all over the place and today I finally decided to try one out......and now I'm in love! This is the recipe I used.

Although cutting into a raw pumpkin was intimidating, what with its size, hard texture and strange, stringy, gooey insides, I was determined to succeed. I heated the pumpkin in the microwave for 15 seconds before cutting it, which made the process a bit easier. I followed the recipe exactly, except I omitted the seeds and baked it in a springform pan as opposed to a loaf, which cut the cooking time to about 50 minutes.

This pumpkin bread turned out AMAZING! It's dense, moist and tastes like autumn. The only things I would do differently next time is add less sugar and maybe some orange zest.

Whether you're a pumpkin virgin like me, or just looking for a great recipe, definitely give this one a try : )

October 24, 2010

Irina's Birthday Dinner

This week's Sunday Soup segment will be bypassed, but with good reason. I want to tell you about the dinner I made last night in the honor of my dear friend Irina's birthday (Happy birthday again, Irina! Love you!)
As we all are crazy about Mexican food, I decided to make grilled chicken fajitas. This is a shot of my plate:
I know I've done a good job when the girls try to mumble "This is so good" with a mouth full of fajita : ) That's exactly the effect I go for.

Since the dinner was sort of impromptu, I didn't want to attempt making a classic multilayer frosted birthday cake and decided to make something simple and full-proof instead. I had some beautiful pears in my fridge, as they're in season right now, and I thought what better way to showcase them then in a rustic, unpretentious, buttery tart.
I wasn't sure if the ladies would like this sort of dessert - they usually prefer something of the molten cake/chocolate mousse-variety. But turns out, my worries were futile : )

*If you would like either of these recipes, feel free to email me and I'll gladly share.

October 19, 2010

Autumn Sunday in New York

This past Sunday the weather was B-E-A-U-T-I-ful (!), so I went on a lovely day date with my even lovelier friend Michelle. We strolled around Central Park for several hours and took some gorgeous photos...
Then we paid a short visit to the MoMa, particularly to see the "Abstract Expressionist New York" exhibit, a part of which were Warhol's soups...and we all know how much Sasha likes her soups...
Then we had dinner at La Bonne Soupe (gee, there's really a theme emerging here, huh?) I've been there once before, though I had a little too much vin that time and don't remember what I ate exactly, but I do remember enjoying it! La Bonne Soupe is a relatively small, intimate French bistro, with a modest red awning. Their menu features classic French bistro dishes, like omelettes and crepes.
Michelle and I both ordered La Crepe Forestière, a crepe filled with thinly-sliced ham, mushrooms, bechamel sauce and Swiss cheese, which was served mesclun greens and a light lemon garlic dressing. ($13.95) The crepe was absolutely delicious and definitely hit the spot after a whole day of walking. It was also about the size of my head so it was very filling.

This little piece of heaven is located at:
48 West 55th Street
New York, NY 10019

October 17, 2010

Curried Carrot Soup

This is definitely my favorite Sunday Soup yet!

I was going to use Rachael Ray’s recipe but when I started preparing ingredients in the kitchen, I decided to add/change some things. The soup that resulted was absolutely delicious.

(Yield: 4 servings)


1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 celery stalk, chopped

4 medium carrots, peeled, roughly chopped

1 tsp yellow curry powder

1/2 tsp Thai red curry paste

1/2 tsp dried cilantro

1 tbsp corn starch

3-4 cups beef broth

1 tbsp soy sauce

Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a soup pot. Add onion, celery, carrots, both curries, cilantro and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 5m, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn starch, cook 1m. Add 3 cups of broth and soy sauce. Raise heat, cover with lid and bring to boil. Then crack lid, lower heat and simmer for 10m. Turn heat off and re-season if necessary. Puree with immersion blender. If soup is too thick, thin out with remaining broth. May be served with sour cream, if desired.

October 16, 2010

Sasha's Hot Chocolate

New York this week has been freezing, and when the temperatures drop, I like to fill my Paris mug with something warm and soothing. Usually it's bitter coffee or passion fruit tea, but occasionally, it's this rich, luxurious hot chocolate.
Ingredients for one serving:
1 c milk
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 oz dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp sugar

In a small saucepan, heat the milk until hot but not boiling. Add the rest of the ingredients to the saucepan and whisk until combined. Strain before serving if any lumps remain.

Have a good weekend, everyone : )

October 13, 2010

Beefy Mac & Cheese

Baked pasta dishes are one of my guiltiest and most comforting pleasures. This one is a combination of classic macaroni and cheese and yet another of my many guilty pleasures, the cheeseburger!

(Yield: 6 servings)


1 lb elbow macaroni

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb lean ground beef

1/3 tsp cayenne pepper

1/3 tsp garlic powder

1/3 tsp paprika

Salt/cracked black pepper


1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 1/2 c whole milk

1/2 c shredded Swiss cheese

1 c shredded cheddar, divided

Cook the pasta just short of al dente and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat and add beef. Add spices, along with salt and black pepper. Break up with a wooden spatula and sauté for 8-10 min, stirring frequently. Set aside.

On low heat, in a medium sauce pan, combine butter and flour and cook for 1m, making a light roux. Add milk, slightly raise heat, and whisking frequently bring to a gentle boil. Let sauce thicken a few minutes, until it can coat the back of a wooden spoon. Add Swiss cheese and 3/4c cheddar. TURN HEAT OFF and whisk until combined.

Combine pasta, beef and cheese sauce, re-season if necessary. Place into baking dish and top with remaining cheddar. Bake at 375F for 10m and at 415F for another 10m, until the top is golden brown.