Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Carrot Apple Ginger Soup with Spinach Gruyere Toast

Given the whole viral colitis incident, I've been feeling very picky about what I eat. While I was sick, all I wanted was carbs: bread, pasta, pretzels, and that was about it. Now that I'm feeling better, it's time for fruit and veggies to come back. One of the blogs I subscribe to had a link to this soup. It's apparently good for stomach upset. I do know it was tasty.

Notes: This meal is not only healthy and delicious, it's cheap! If you just made plain toast, you could probably get out of the grocery store under $10. That's budget-friendly!

I got a new toy: an immersion blender! I have been wanting one for a long time because I love creamy blended soups. Hopefully it will become a cornerstone of my kitchen. You'll need some sort of blender for this recipe.

You could easily double this recipe if you needed to feed a crowd. This easily yields 4 servings. 

For soup:
1 lb of carrots
4-5 apples
1 piece of fresh ginger (approx. 2 inches)
2 cups of water
Butter or olive oil for sauteing 

For toasts:
2 slices of sourdough bread
3/4 cup baby spinach leaves
1/2 - 3/4 cup of grated Gruyere cheese


Dice your carrots and apples and mince the ginger. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium-high. Add the apples, carrots, and ginger and saute until just tender. Season with salt. Add the water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to simmer and simmer for 30 minutes.

Right before the soup is done, heat the oven to 350. Place two slices of bread on a baking sheet. Put spinach leaves on top of the bread and top with grated cheese. Bake for 5-7 minutes.

While the toast is baking, blend the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve and enjoy!

Watermelon Granita

It's been awhile, eh? I wish I could tell you that I had a great reason for not posting any new recipes, like a fabulous vacation or something like that. Not so much. I was out of commission for a week with viral colitis. Not fun! I'm healing now (slower than I'd like) and feeling better everyday.

I made this recipe before I got sick. We had been invited to a cook out and asked to bring fruit as a side dish. I bought a watermelon. Because I'm an anal person who loves to cook, I couldn't just slice the watermelon and put it on a platter -- not good enough! I decided to use a melon baller to scoop out bite-sized pieces of watermelon. I scooped out all the flesh and then placed the balls back in the empty rind. Neat, huh? It looked nice.

Trouble was, I was left with two things: extra watermelon juice and little strips of watermelon flesh that I scraped out of the rind. Watermelon leftovers = watermelon granita!

Notes: This recipe helped me out with the process. When I made this recipe, I was sans blender (not any more, stay tuned for the next recipe!). Thus my granita was chunkier than normal granitas. I didn't care; frozen watermelon is delicious.

If you wanted to make more, you could use more watermelon flesh.

This is so easy, but it does take time to make. It's a great summer time dessert.

The juice and leftover flesh from 1 watermelon
2 tablespoons of sugar


Add the watermelon flesh and juice to a 9 x 9 glass baking dish. Using a fork or your hands, break the flesh into small pieces and mix it well with the juice. Add the sugar.

Freeze for two hours. After two hours, use a fork to break up the mixture so that it's fluffy like shaved ice. Put it back in the freezer for two more hours and then fluff it again. Repeat the process until the whole mixture is evenly frozen.

Scoop out and enjoy ice cold deliciousness!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Oat Mini Muffins

Because it's been so hot, we've been waking up early to walk the dogs. We take them on a pretty long walk every morning, so sometimes we both get really hungry before we get home to eat breakfast. I decided we needed a small pre-walk nibble.

Notes: These are designed primarily for energy. If you want a sweet treat, this ain't it!

These were very tender, which I like, but even more so than normal. I think the natural peanut butter's oil is to blame. You might need to add a tablespoon or two more of flour. Give it a try and see what you think.

1 cup oats
1 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
1 cup yogurt
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water (or 1 egg)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: Heat the oven to 350.

Heat the butter until it just melts and add it to a large bowl. Add in brown sugar and whisk together into a homogenous mixture.

Mix together chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside. When it gets sticky (about 5 minutes), add it to the bowl with the butter and sugar. Add in yogurt, milk, vanilla, and peanut butter. Whisk together until relatively smooth.

Add in the flour, oats, salt, spices, and baking soda. Stir in the dry ingredients until the batter is just combined.

Spoon into mini muffin tins and bake for 10-12 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Salad Series: Caprese Pasta Salad

I am slowly winning Scott over to pasta salad.

For many years, he operated under the assumption that pasta salad came in only two varieties: vinegary and doused with store-bought Italian dressing or gloppy and drowned in mayonnaise. Since he likes neither vinegar nor mayonnaise, he was hesitant to try any pasta salad. And by "hesitant" I mean that he adamantly told me he did not like pasta salad: no way, no how.

After I convinced him that there were more varieties besides vinegary and gloppy, there remained the "but it's cold" hurdle. Pasta, in Scott's estimation, was not supposed to be cold. It took a warm Louisiana graduation to change his mind. I made some for the parents during graduation weekend. He tried it and -- surprise! -- it was tasty. Ever since then, he's been much more open to pasta salad. The verdict for this dish? "I wish I'd known how to make this myself when we lived apart!"

Notes: This dish was so very delicious. It's refreshing and mild -- exactly what you need on a hot summer evening.

The only reason this isn't Q.E.D is because it takes time to chill in the fridge. Otherwise, it's barely cooking at all.

If you wanted to up the nutritional content, add some chopped baby spinach.

I bought lemon basil because that's what the co-op had, but it didn't change the flavor enough for me to notice. I've just written it with regular basil.

1 pound penne pasta
1 bunch fresh basil
1/2 pound of cherry tomatoes
1 fresh mozzarella ball
Olive oil


Fill a stock pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a small handful of salt and drop the pasta. Cook according to box directions, it should be between 6-7 minutes.

While you're waiting for the water to boil, quarter the cherry tomatoes (or if they are small, just cut them in half). Chiffonade the basil (or just chop it if you're lazy like me). Dice the mozzarella ball.

When the pasta is finished, drain it in a colander. While the noodles are still in the colander, drizzle them with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. Toss the noodles to coat them with oil. Repeat the process once more: drizzle more oil, season, and toss the noodles. Periodically stir the noodles until they stop steaming. If at any point they seem sticky, drizzle on more oil.

Add the tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Toss to combine and pour the salad into the container that you plan to store it in. Chill for at least two hours or overnight.

Serve cold and enjoy!

Farmer's Market Creation: Summer Corn Soup

Summer is the time for farmer's markets and that means the challenge of a farmer's market creation!

Pictured here are my farmer's market finds:

Wax beans, a golden zucchini (which I had never seen before), a regular zucchini, fresh corn, an onion, and fresh thyme.

Scott and I had some corn chowder at lunch the other day and I decided I'd like a tomato-based version a little better. So here you have it!

Notes: Fresh tomatoes would have been great in this dish, but none of them looked good to me. Also, I would have wanted to roast them to bring out more flavor and with the heat I've been adhering to a strict no-oven policy. So, I just used canned tomatoes.

I already had carrots and celery on hand, so I added them to the soup as well.

Stripping the thyme leaves is a little time-consuming (get it?), but since it is the only herb you need, it's worth the effort.

3 ears of corn
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1/2 pound wax beans
1 large zucchini
1 large golden zucchini (you could sub yellow squash)
1 onion
4-5 celery stalks
4-5 carrots
1 bunch fresh thyme
Butter or olive oil for sauteing


Dice the carrots, celery, onion, and zucchini. Trim the ends off the wax beans and cut them into dice-sized pieces.

Heat a stock pot on medium-high and melt your fat of choice in the pot. Add the veggies and start sauteing them. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, strip the kernels of corn off the ears of corn by standing the ear on end in the center of a large bowl. Run your knife down the side to separate the kernels from the cob. The bowl will collect the kernels for you. Add the kernels to the pot.

Pour in the canned tomatoes. If the soup looks thick at this point, add about a 1/2 cup of water. Stir everything together. Strip the leaves off the thyme stems, chop the leaves, and add them to the soup. Season with salt and pepper again and stir. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn it to a simmer. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, but more is always better.

Serve and enjoy the bounty of summer!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Maple Chia Corn Muffins

What goes well with red beans and rice? Some corn muffins, of course!

Notes: These are a little on the dry side, which makes them great for crumbling into a broth. If you like yours a little on the moist side, add about 1/2 cup of olive oil.

Chia + water = egg substitute! If only you could scramble chia seeds...

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon chia seeds
3 tablespoons water
1 cup milk

Directions: Heat the oven to 425.

Add the chia and water together and stir. Let stand 5 minutes until it becomes sticky like an egg.

Mix the corn meal, flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add in milk, syrup, and chia mixture. Stir until just combined.

Spoon into muffin tins lined with paper cups or sprayed with cooking spray (use an ice cream scoop to help you keep them equal). Bake for 15 -20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Serve with red beans and rice and enjoy!

Red Beans and Rice

Scott misses Louisiana, so I wanted to make a dish that reminded him of Cajun country. He misses it more than I do, to be sure, but I do miss the food. It's the epitome of low country cuisine. But low country has something going for it. It may not be impressive to look at, but it is made with lots of love and care.

Case in point: red beans and rice. When I was looking up recipes for this dish, it seems way too simple. The ingredients are few: beans, veggies, rice, meat. The directions said cook it for what seems like way too long (2 hours?!). "But red beans and rice is so flavorful," I thought, "how could this be all there is to it?"

I don't know what happens in that dish in the two hours, but it's something magical. The key to it all seems to be the thing most low country cuisine has figured out that the rest of us have yet to really take in: good food takes time.

Notes: The holy trinity for all Cajun cooking is onion, celery, and bell pepper. Scott doesn't like bell pepper, so I switched it out for carrots.

Don't be mad, vegetarians. This one has sausage in it. Sorry, dears, but I'm afraid most southern dishes do. I wish I could tell you it's optional, but the flavor is not easily replaced. If you insist, play around with a spice blend that will mimic andouille.

1 cup brown rice
2 1/4 cup water
4-5 carrots
4-5 celery stalks
2 shallots
1 1/2 -2 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
1 15 oz. can red beans (I used aduki)
1/2 pound cooked andouille sausage (I used a chicken andouille)
Butter or oil for sauteing
1 tablespoon oregano


Dice your carrots, celery, and onion. Melt the butter in a large stock pot on medium-high. Toss in the veggies and saute until just tender. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the stock. Add the oregano. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 2 hours.

During the last 30-45 minutes of cooking time, bring the rice and water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Turn the heat back down and simmer for 30 minutes until most of the water is absorbed.

Drain and rinse the beans. Mash about 1/3 of the beans with a fork (this will thicken the veggie mixture). Dice the sausage and add it and the beans to the pot. Let the whole pot simmer together for the final 30 minutes.

When the rice is done, add it to the pot. Serve and enjoy some low country cookin'!

Quinoa Stuffed Patty Pan Squash

Ever seen a patty pan squash? They look like little vegetable UFOs. I kept passing by them in the store wondering what you do with them. I finally looked it up one day. They taste very similar to yellow squash or zucchini. They're just a different shape, a shape that happens to lend itself to stuffing!

Notes: This would a great dish for entertaining. It looks very impressive and everyone gets their own little bundle of goodness.

This recipe makes more filling than you'll need to serve two. It makes enough to serve four. The filling is great on its own!

Ingredients (adapted slightly from this recipe):
2-4 patty pan squash (depending on how many you are serving)
1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cup water or stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 bunch of kale leaves, cleaned and de-stemmed
1 15 oz. can chickpeas
2-4 tablespoons butter (optional)

Directions: Heat your oven to 375.

Slice the tops off the squash and scoop out some of the innards. Be sure not to poke a hole in the bottom or in the side. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Place them in a glass baking dish. Thinly slice your kale and drain and rinse the chickpeas.

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Turn to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes until tender. When it's finished, stir in the kale, tomato paste, and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper.

Scoop the filling into the squash. Put a tablespoon of butter into each squash (squish it into the filling). Replace the squash "lids" and cover with foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the squash is tender. Enjoy!

With lid!
Without lid!

Gnocchi Rosa

Remember when I made gnocchi from scratch? I froze half of it to use later. Well, later is now!

This dish is a different take on penne rosa. It has the same basic structure with just a few substitutions.

Notes: The frozen gnocchi worked like a charm. I didn't bother thawing them. They cooked very quickly (not as quickly as fresh, of course), so the hard work of making them from scratch at least gets you a little convenience in the future.

If I had had more time, I would have used a combination of canned tomatoes and herbs to make a fresh tomato sauce, but alas this week was busy. I had a jar of marinara on hand so I just used that. Sometimes you need a little help from the pantry.

I used shitake mushrooms, but you can use your favorite.

This got a big thumbs up from Scott, who has a somewhat less adventurous palate than I do. So if you're looking for dishes to help expand someone's food horizons, give this one a try!

1 batch frozen (or fresh) gnocchi (see link above for directions)
1 26 oz. jar marinara sauce
1/2 bunch kale leaves, cleaned and de-stemmed
1/2 pound shitake mushrooms
8-10 fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons butter + 2 more for sauteing
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake

Directions: Put a large stock pot of water on to boil. If you're using frozen gnocchi, take it out of the freezer.

Thinly slice the kale and mushrooms. Chop the basil. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a skillet and heat on medium-high. When the butter melts, add the mushrooms and kale. Season with salt and pepper and saute until tender.

Move the kale and mushrooms to the sides of the skillet. Add the rest of the butter to the pan. When it melts, add the flour and whisk together. Whisk in the milk and stir everything together. Let the mixture thicken and then add in the marinara sauce and basil. Stir everything together and simmer.

When the water is boiling gently, drop in the gnocchi. When it floats to the top, scoop it out and add it to the sauce. When all the gnocchi is in the sauce, let it warm through for just a minute and then serve.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer Salad Series: Kale Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

I am sans photo for this summer salad, but I had to share anyway. It's so easy, which makes it perfect for your hottest and laziest summer day.

Notes: When I made the recipe initially, I failed to add the honey and the lime juice was pretty overpowering. You could also use agave if you'd rather. You could use sugar, but you might want to use a little less to start out with and give the dressing a taste. You can always add more.

You can double this recipe to make more salad. This makes enough for one person.

I used red kale, but you can use whatever kale you prefer. Or whatever your store has that day!

1/4 bunch kale leaves, cleaned and de-stemmed
1 avocado
2 limes
1 tablespoon of honey


Slice your avocado lengthwise and remove the pit. Scoop the innards out into a bowl (just use the bowl you plan to eat out of.

In the bowl, mash the avocado. Juice both limes over the avocado and drizzle in the honey. Whisk everything until the mixture is relatively smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Thinly slice the kale leaves and add them to the dressing. You want to work the dressing into the leaves, so toss it really well (it's OK -- kale is tough, it can take it!). Taste to make sure you have enough salt and pepper.

Serve on a hot day and enjoy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Spelt Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Who bakes cookies in the hottest part of the heat wave?!

The impulse baker does.

That's right, kids, she strikes again. I was piddling around online when I suddenly remembered that we had a giant can of oats in the cabinet. Scott normally makes oatmeal for breakfast, but since it's been hot, he's been eating granola.

You can't have oats just sitting around in the kitchen, waiting to be added to chewy delicious cookies, can you?!?

Notes: I replaced some of the flour in this recipe with some cornmeal. It added just the tiniest little crunch. So good!

 I used my new favorite egg replacement (1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water) in these. Worked like a charm.

Ingredients (slightly adapted from this recipe):
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 cup oats
8 tablespoons softened butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup raisins
1 tablespoon chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add butter and sugar to the mixing bowl and cream them together. Mix together chia seeds and water and set aside. Add the raisins to a small bowl and cover with water (so that they plump up).

Add the flour, baking soda, cornmeal, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl and stir them together. To the butter and sugar, add vanilla and chia seed mixture. Add in dry ingredients a little at a time until everything is combined.

Stir in the oats and raisins. Spoon tablespoon-sized balls of dough on to two cookie sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake them for 10-12 minutes until the bottoms and edges are golden brown, but they're still slightly doughy on top. Cool for five minutes on the the hot baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack.

It's never too hot for cookies! Enjoy!

Summer Salad Series: Brown Rice, Zucchini, and White Bean Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing

I promised a summer salad series, didn't I? Well, here's salad #2!

Scott was a fan of this salad for its heartiness. He's not always the biggest fan of citrusy or fruity salads, but this one is more substantial.

Notes: This salad turned out really well. Remember that brown rice is chewy, so cold brown rice will likewise be chewy. It's OK -- the chewy texture is great mixed in with the light veggies.

As with the last salad, this one involves the oven. If you'd rather not turn it on -- even at night -- you could leave the corn raw and just saute the zucchini.

This salad is also, like the last one, VTMK! I'm on a roll!

1/2 cup brown rice
1 1/3 cups water
2 small zucchini
1 15 oz. can navy beans (or any white bean)
2 ears of corn
10-12 basil leaves
1 lemon
1 tablespoon herbs de provence
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions: Heat oven to 425.

Slice the zucchini into half-moon shapes. Toss on a foil-lined baking sheet with salt, pepper, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pull off any dried leaves from the corn husks and slice off the tassels at the top. Bake them in the oven right on the oven rack. Bake the zucchini until it is fork tender. Both will take about 20-30 minutes.

Bring the rice and water to a boil, turn it to a simmer, and let it cook for 30-35 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, chop the basil, zest the lemon, and drain and rinse the beans.

When the zucchini, rice, and corn is done, add the rice and zucchini together. Strip the kernels off the ears of corn and add those to the pot. Add beans. Season everything with salt and pepper.

Juice the lemon and whisk the juice with the herbs de provence. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil while whisking.

Pour the dressing over the salad, add the basil and lemon zest. Toss to combine well.

Chill for at least two hours or overnight. Serve cold and enjoy!

Summer Salad Series: Quinoa and Black Bean Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

As you might have heard from the apocalyptic tone of the weather channel, we're in a heat wave right now. So, is it hot in the professor's kitchen? Oh yeah, it's hot. It's move-your-mattress-downstairs-and-sleep-in-the-dining-room hot. It's break-down-and-buy-a-portable-AC hot. It's blow-untold-sums-of-money-on-iced-coffee hot. More importantly, it's no-I-don't-want-to-turn-the-oven-on hot.

When it's too hot to cook, it's also too hot to go out to eat, which is why you need an army of cold dishes in your cooking repertoire. As such, I bring you the first in the summer salad series.

Notes: My lone complaint for this dish is that my delicious dressing was a bit understated in the finished product. I should have made a little more so that it really shined through. Other than that, this salad is exactly what you need for a hot day!

So I'm cheating a bit when I say no oven because to prepare the squash you do have to turn the oven on. The trick to this salad is to prep it at night when the house is cooler. Pop it in the fridge so that it chills overnight and it'll be ready for you the next day. Or you could make it the day before the heat arrives, which I did. If you really don't want to use the oven, swap the squash out with a mango. That was my original plan, but there weren't any mangoes at the store.

This salad is also VTMK. Healthy and refreshing!

1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cup water
1 15 oz can black beans
1 small butternut squash
1/2 bunch kale leaves, cleaned and de-stemmed (I used red kale)
1 bunch cilantro
2 limes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large tablespoon of coconut oil (you could use olive oil too)

Directions: Heat the oven to 425.

Peel the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Dice it and toss it with the coconut oil, then season it with salt and pepper. Bake for 25-30 minutes until fork tender.

Meanwhile, add water and quinoa to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until tender and the little grain inside unfurls like a tail.

While you're waiting on the quinoa and the squash, thinly slice the kale, drain and rinse the beans, and chop the cilantro. Zest the limes and add the zest to the cilantro.

Once the quinoa and squash are cooked, add the squash to the quinoa pot. Add in the kale and beans and stir everything together. Season with salt and pepper.

In a microwaveable bowl, heat the honey for about 10 seconds. Add in the spices and whisk together. Juice both limes into the bowl and whisk again. Drizzle in the 1/4 cup olive oil while you whisk. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the dressing over the salad, add the cilantro and lime zest, and toss everything together until well combined.

Chill for at least two hours or overnight. Serve cold and enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Broiled Portobello Burgers with Crispy Potato Coins

Happy July, everyone!

When you think July, you think grilling. Nothing says Fourth of July like a cook out with burgers and brats. It's the perfect time to be outdoors!

But is it really? I mean, if your July is anything like ours (and the rest of the country), it's HOT. You may say, "Why yes, no need to make the house any warmer by heating up the oven." But your house (probably unlike ours) has air conditioning. It's OK to turn the oven on. Think about the poor person watching the grill. She has to stand outside in the heat next to a giant open flame. No fun for her! And no fun for your guests who have to slather on sunscreen and fight off bees, mosquitos, and flies.

Nay, I say to you! Make this July 4th an indoor affair. Buck the system! Fight the man! It's what our forefathers would have wanted. Win everyone over to your indoor revolution with this recipe.

Notes: My choice of bread for the burgers was a bit...well, comical. I really wanted to put them on English muffins and as far as taste goes it was a good choice. But the burgers were much larger than I anticipated; I thought they'd shrink more. So there was a very skewed mushroom-to-bun ratio. Other than that, these were delicious!

I topped these with sliced tomatoes, baby spinach, crumbled goat cheese, and mashed avocado mixed with pesto sauce. You MUST try it.

If you want to make the potatoes with a vegetarian fat, you can always use butter or coconut oil. I'm sure it will be tasty, but there's just no replacing that bacon fatty goodness!

Ingredients for the burgers (serves 2):
2 large portobello mushrooms
2 scallions
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon herbs de provence

Ingredients for potato coins:
1/2-3/4 pound of small Yukon gold or fingerling potatoes
2 tablespoons bacon fat
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon herbs de provence

Directions: Preheat your broiler (mine only has one setting, which seems to be high)

First, make the marinade for your burgers. Slice the scallions and garlic and add them to a bowl or a zip top plastic bag. Pour in the oil and soy sauce and season with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. Whisk or shake to combine. Clean your mushrooms with a wet paper towel, remove the stems, and add the caps to the bowl or bag making sure that they are well coated. Let stand about 10-15 minutes.

Thinly slice your potatoes into 1/4-1/8 inch thick coins. Heat the bacon fat over medium high in a large skillet. Peel the garlic cloves and let them brown in the fat while it heats up. When the garlic is golden brown, remove it and discard. Lay the potato coins in the skillet as best you can in one layer. Let them cook on one side until they develop a nice golden crust (approx. 7 minutes). Season with salt, pepper, and herbs de provence. Then, as best you can, flip them over just once and do the same with the other side (approx. 5 minutes).

Once you get the potatoes in the pan, put the mushrooms under the broiler. They'll take about 8 minutes to cook. Start them gill side up and flip them every two minutes or so.

Top your mushroom burgers with your favorite burger toppings and enjoy your indoor celebration!

Photo courtesy of Scott -- he had to work for his dinner!