Friday, November 9, 2012

Back Home Again….FFWD~Spur-of-Moment Vegetable Soup and Top Secret Chocolate Mousse

 Coffee and Beignets at Cafe du Monde
It feels like forever since my last post. So much has happened, beginning with our annual trip south. First a week in Georgia, to kid sit my grandsons, followed by some R&R in Florida.  That part went well. The days in Florida were unseasonably warm and we spent just about every day on the beach. The first friday after our arrival in Florida, French Fridays put vegetable soup on the menu. After spending the afternoon on the beach, with temps in the mid 80s, I just didn’t feel like making or eating soup. So, I posted my pumpkin pie oatmeal. Beach and soup just don’t go together! Our plans were to return home sometime around Halloween. However, NJ was clobbered by a miserable lady named Sandy! She wrecked havoc on our beautiful Jersey Shore, NYC and Long Island. Knocked out power to about 2.9 million homes just in NJ.  We decided to take a side trip to New Orleans. It  made perfect sense. Go home to no electricity and gas rationing or, spend a lovely 2 days in New Orleans! How  ironic…going to New Orleans to avoid a hurricane.  It was a wonderful trip and, I so enjoyed my first taste of this wonderfully unique city. Coffee and Beignets at Cafe du Monde, listening to wonderful musicians everywhere we went, and dinner at Plaza Cafe! I will post more about that later.


Enjoying  those beignets 
We then planned on spending a weekend at my sons house, then back home.  Power was not restored as quickly as we had thought, and I was really starting to second guess myself about wanting to go home. We decided to leave for home on monday, with or without power. How much longer could it be out? We were lucky. While on the road, my neighbor texted me that power had returned…yay!!  When we reached NJ, we stopped in a small town a few miles from our home, to pick up some groceries. It still hadn’t sunk in that this area had been hit so very hard during the storm. I entered the A&P to get my usual roasted chicken, so I could just go home and relax after being on the road for 2 days.  Never, in my lifetime, have I seen a grocery store so absolutely empty. I felt I was in some third world country and, for the first time, I realized what NJ went through. There was nothing perishable on any shelf. No  fruit, no veggies, no eggs, no cheese or meat. Incredible! I bought a few cans of soup and milk (which was just delivered because power had just been restored a few hours before).  Before going home, we  drove to our polling place as I wasn’t going to miss my chance to cast my vote.  Finally we headed home, past many downed trees and tangled wires…wow!  Scary, and our area was not hit as hard as the shore areas! Arriving home, we felt extremely fortunate to find only a few small downed trees and no damage to our home. Except for a family of mice that moved in ( now gone ) during our absence, no lasting effects from the storm. Sadly, many of our communities still struggle, and will for some time to come.
This soup was wonderfully delicious…I swirled some cream into it!
So that brings me to Wednesday!  I made Dories Spur-of-the Moment Vegetable Soup. It was wonderful and so satisfying! We both enjoyed the comfort of sitting down to a bowl of soup; as the sleet and snow were beating against our windows!! That’s right, another nor-easter!! All I could think of was, all those people still without power!


Top Secret…..Chocolate and Eggs


Top Secret Chocolate Mousse

I decided to make this Fridays pick yesterday, so that I could post a double FFWD post until I catch up.  However, we lost power again yesterday…Arrgh!  After spending the day unpacking, I was just too tired to make my Dorie pick last night.  So, this morning I made my Top Secret Chocolate Mousse. This was a true winner! I look forward to making this one again and again! A definite keeper!


Oh so delicious!
A definite keeper!
These recipes can be found in Dorie Greenspans cookbook “Around My French Table”.  You can also find Spur of the Moment Vegetable Soup here and Top Secret Chocolate Mousse here. To see what other Doristas are doing, check it out here! Happy Friday everyone! 

Just a side note: I grew up going to the “Shore”. It was a right of passage for all Jersey kids to go to the Shore the day after their prom. I spent many summers there and took my children and grand children.  We will rebuild!! Jerseyites are strong and will get through this.  However, they really need the support of everyone who cares about such incredible sadness. It’s really getting cold in the North East and these people have no power and many have no homes.  Here is a link to the American Red Cross  If possible, please donate today. Financial donations make the greatest and most immediate impact helping the Red Cross provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance to those affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy.








38 comments:

  1. You were so sensible to stay away when Sandy came to call! very glad you had minimal damage. The soup looks wonderful and the mousse is to die for!! YUM
    Mary x

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  2. It´s a good thing you could go elsewhere and avoid Sandy. I´m glad you´re safe home now Kathy! And you´re back enjoying these wonderful recipes, which I couldn´t make but I´m sure they were great. I´ll take your word for it!

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  3. kathy,

    I've been wondering about you! What a perfect time to be away and be able to stay a bit longer. I enjoyed reading your post...I just can't believe how many people are still in the dark and cold in NJ and Long Island. It's terribly sad for so many.

    When we lived here years ago our first time to the Jersey Shore was to Bay Head...such beautiful beaches and of course the boardwalk at Pt. Pleasant. Yes, NJ will rebuild!

    I'm going to try that chocolate mousse recipe this week! Stay safe.

    xo
    annie

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  4. Hi, Kathy! I have been worried about you and am so glad that you are safe and sound and back home. I am also glad that you have power and that your home was spared. It is so difficult to hear that so many people are still without power and all the devastation from the storm. Your soup looks delicious and I bet was so satisfying after your trip home. And your mousse looks beautiful served in those lovely vintage dishes.

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  5. Thank god your back safe and sound my friend, I was wondering about you!
    Stay this way forever :)
    And thank you for serving up my dinner for tomorrow ;)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    P.S And dessert too!

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  6. your link for the American Red Cross is non-existent... How funny that you went to New Orleans to escape a hurricane, I'm sure those folks would have done a double take if you told them that! It is weird to go to the store and find that most of the produce and meat are all gone. That has happened to me before, but it was due to snow killing the produce and making it impossible for the shipments to come in. There is certainly something to say about local sustainability (unless your area has been ravaged by a hurricane of course...)

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  7. Oh btw, did you see that we are doing a FFWD christmas card exchange? details are on my chocolate mousse post this week!

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  8. I'm glad you all are safe and that your home was spared! Your mousse looks perfect...I need to make this one again!!!!

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  9. PS...I have a link and badge on my side bar to the Red Cross with a code you are free to copy and share on your blog if you'd like.

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  10. Thanks for the heads up on my link…it was there just not visible! I’ve changed it…I now know it works...I just made a donation!

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  11. Kathy, I'm happy to hear that you were safe and sound in New Orleans during the storm. It seems somehow poetic. I grew up in Vermont and I am just shocked and amazed that hurricanes have managed to affect the northeast two years in a row now. When I was growing up, hurricanes were something which happened further south, never in New England. I am just heartbroken by the stories which my friends and family in the region are passing on. So much destruction. But you are right, they will rebuild!

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  12. Kathy, I'm so glad you 2 are home safe! We went to a wedding on Long Island the week before the storm. It was so lovely and I just can't believe how fortunate our friends were - they had an outdoor wedding with perfect weather.

    I missed both of these recipes but hope to get back on track this week.

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  13. What a brilliant combination of flavours

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  14. Kathy, I am so glad to know that you are safe and sound!
    The chocolate mousse looks wonderful.

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  15. You had me at Cafe du Monde! What an Odyssey! Glad you were able to at least avoid Sandy. And it was probably nice to get back to kind-of normal with a little soup. And chocolate makes all things better. Your mousse looks fantastic!

    Glad you're safe!

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  16. Wow Kathy! You've had quite a trip and home coming! I've been wondering what is really happening in the northeast. We only have national news reports and depending on who we listen to things are either getting back to normal or FEMA should be disbanded and probably prosecuted! We spent a couple of weeks without power a few years ago in December. I know how awful it is and how long it can take to get everyone back up and running and we just had an ice storm and a few hundred thousand people. Glad you enjoyed the mousse. It was good!

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    Replies
    1. FEMA has been doing an amazing job considering the mess we have. The relief effort is working round the clock…but there is such enormous devastation.

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  17. Welcome home! Love the photo of you and your hubs. Your soup looks terrifc. I am glad the mousse was a hit for you - it was a disaster here, but that's OK - you can't have everything work out.

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  18. Hi Kathy! I'm so g;ad you and your family is okay!! It is so scary to see all these pictures of destruction :( On the other hand I am sure all you Jersey-ites are strong and kind hearted and will rebuild everything!!

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  19. Glad to hear you are well - it is very sad to see the destruction and ongoing issues that are being experienced by our neighbors to the South. After living through Irene/Lee last year and seeing its ongoing impact, my heart goes out to all affected.
    So happy to hear you have power and that you are able to make yummy treats :-)

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  20. My mouth is watering after seeing that beignet. We had them at the Cafe du Monde too, and they are so delicious.
    Tricia and I are originally from Staten Island and when I see all the destruction there, it breaks my heart. It will take a long time for
    NJ, NY, and Long Island to get over this. I hope the rest of the winter will not be too harsh and give people a chance to
    accomplish something. Glad you are safe.

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  21. Good to know you're safe! Great looking mousse!

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  22. Wow, really sounds like an unnerving experience. Guessing you needed to toss everything in the fridge when you returned too. Hope everything is steadily better now. At least it was a good excuse to travel a bit more--Coffee and Beignets sounds like heaven to me right now!

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  23. Welcome home, Kathy, and thank you for your personal reflection on what you encountered when you arrived home. We can read every article and watch every newscast but personal eyes-on-the-ground really bring it home. I will return again to the Red Cross site in your family's honor. And, of course, you will re-build although what time and energy and assistance it will need to be accomplished. I think you have a hands-on-Governor who will pull you all through this no matyter what. For all the critics of FEMA, let them just once live through a disaster without its availability to realize its necessity. Your soup looked better than my soup - thinks it's the addition of the swirl of cream. And, since I made the wrong recipe this week, I will be making the mousse next week. I cannot wait for that. Your remark about "hiding out", so to speak, is funny. Our daughter, Lindsay, granduated from Tulane Law School and I didn't think my nerves were going to survive the hurricanes and bad weather forecasts of those 3 years. Love Cafe du Monde. It's 18 degrees here in Aspen, snow on the ground and I am waiting for the roads to warm up before beginning my drive today to Nevada. I look forward to warmer weather and am glad you enjoyed some in Florida. I am sure you are glad to be home and I am glad you are home safely.

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  24. Kathy, so glad to see that you came back and didn't have to endure Sandy's ravage and all the 'power outings!'Thanks for sharing your trip, and lovely photos! Your Top Secret Chocolate Mousse looks so divine, creamy and utterly sinfully yummy:)
    Welcome back on you blog, as well! Missed you, and happy to know you didn't have damage to your property:)

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  25. Kathy, what a great photo of you and hubby enjoying Beignets at Cafe du Monde. I look forward to seeing photos of your trip here. I heard it's THE place to go for Beignets.

    Glad you are safe!! We were so lucky, that I am beyond grateful to God that our family was spared from so much destruction.

    Chocolate Mousse...looks decadent...where's my spoon Kathy?! ;)

    Carmen

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  26. It's shocking to hear about what New Jerseyites have been through. Some still without power and living in tent camps, with winter coming on. I'm so glad to hear that you're warm and warm, but I'll continue to keep your friends and neighbors in my prayers.

    Your mousse looks wonderful - so glad you were able to enjoy it when you got home.

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  27. Wow! Looks like lots of fun! Love the food shots :)

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  28. Welcome home Kathy, I'm so glad you spent a few days enjoying new Orleans before heading back to New Jersey. I'm glad your power is restored and am also sick for those who are still suffering the effects of that beast, Sandy! Your chocolate mousse is lovely and your veggie soup is pure comfort food-at it's best!

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  29. Hi Kathy! I'm glad you are back from your travels safely and avoided the worst of the storm. We were lucky here, though I never remember seeing wind like that. Miraculously, my in-laws' home in Beach Haven (Long Beach Island) was spared (they were safely in Florida for the winter). Your soup and mousse both look wonderful. I particularly like your photo of the chocolate and eggs. Amazing that so much delicious-ness comes from just a few ingredients. Have a great week.

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  30. I'm glad that your house weathered the wrath of Sandy without damage. Our thoughts are with your neighbours right now who have been hard hit by both storms. We have friends in NJ who were without power for very long stretches. Hard to imagine a grocery store so empty -- it really must have felt like you were in another country. Your mousse looks silky smooth and delicious.

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  31. Your dishes look delicious! The mousse looks perfect!
    Sounds like you were fortunate to have been away during the worst of it. Guess nothing can really prepare you for the reality of something like that.

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  32. Nice clicks..mousse looks delicious.

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  33. Glad to hear that you're okay along with your home. I know, sadly that not everyone fared that well. Your soup looks yummy and the mouse amazing!

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  34. So glad to hear you arrived to an undamaged home. Both your soup and mousse look wonderful. I love the swirl of cream in your soup!

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  35. I am so glad you stayed away from Sandy and feel so sorry for all the people suffered from nature's wrath. The soup and the mousse make the perfect menu especially during colder days!

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  36. You definitely made the right choice!! ANd what a great soup to make when you returned home...total comfort food!

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  37. Oh yeah. Awesome to see your hubs and the incredible pictures. Great stuff, So keep it up.

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