I’ve been trying to cook more this year, for a number of reasons: homemade meals tend to be healthier, more affordable, and offer an opportunity to stay in during these cold winter months (I know, I live in San Francisco, but I can pretend it’s cold!) I love homemade soups, but they often yield so many servings that I want to be sure I’ll like it before making a whole batch. So, I turned to my trusty crowd-sourcing tool Facebook, and asked my friends and family for some of their favorite soup recipes. I received several appealing recipes, and I’ve had a chance to make three so far. Each was delicious and nutritious; I’ll highlight them here:
I have always had a special place in my heart for New York City. Most people who met me after 1998 are not aware that I once seriously wanted to become a Broadway actress when I “grew up.” However, once that dream faded away, I still longed to one day move to NYC. This wish came true in my early 20’s when I was accepted to graduate school in Manhattan. I stayed in NYC for 2 1/2 fabulous years, which to this day remain some of the most special years of my life.
But, like Los Angeles, it has been many years since I lived in NYC and I am very much out of the loop when it comes to food, entertainment, and activities. Furthermore, I have zero experience with kids in the Big Apple. Which is why, when my friend Holly mentioned that she was spending a week in NYC with her husband and two small children over the holidays, I reached out to my New York friends for some recommendations on kid-friendly activities during the winter months. Here are their recommendations:
Jack and I have been wine club members at Williams Selyem for several years now, and one thing we always look forward to with our biannual wine pickup is the seasonal recipe that is included. We always make a point of trying out these recipes, and they have yet to let us down. Each recipe also includes a recommended Williams Selyem wine pairing.
The first (and favorite) recipe we tried was for Holiday Cioppino. Cioppino is a fish stew that originated in San Francisco’s North Beach (“Little Italy”) in the late 1800’s by Italian fishermen (mostly immigrants from the port city of Genoa). It is traditionally made from the “catch of the day,” which typically includes Dungeness crab, clams, shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels, and fish (all from the Pacific Ocean). The seafood is combined with fresh tomatoes in a wine sauce and served with toasted bread (preferably local sourdough).
Jack has made this Holiday Cioppino on several occasions: Thanksgiving for the two of us (when I had to work), dinner parties with friends, and (just yesterday) Thanksgiving dinner for my whole family (nine of us total). Jack has made modifications to the recipe over the years, but the base of the soup has stayed pretty much the same. It’s a great treat on these cold winter nights!