Colonial Classics

In honor of Presidents day last week , our foodie walk consisted of  colonial foods.  For those of you who were interested in how you can make these fabulous foods at home, here are the recipes.










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Mike Stew for recipes

Guiness and Wine Tri Tip Beef Stew

This recipe was created by Jim’s brother-in-law, Michael Fragione who is a chef in Washington. It is the ultimate comfort food! [Read more…]

Fall (the new love of my life!)

Slow turn from green to yellow to orange or red. The creeping of the fall colors onto the leaves of   the many trees in Fort Collins is enough reason to live here. Fall was never my favorite time of year until I moved here. Although spring still has a warm and fuzzy place in my heart, fall has started to take its place for a variety of reasons.

First, the colors. The slow transition from lime, kelly, and forest green of summer to the tangerine, school bus yellows, poppy reds, and pumpkin oranges of fall puts you in a state of anticipation with each day, with more colors suddenly appearing. The leaves each individually make their own transition till at some point all colors are as vibrant and vivid as you had imagined the first day you started to notice the change.

Second, the sounds. The wind is ever present throughout the fall days. Even if it’s just a light breeze, you begin to hear that breeze more than you did before. It often times starts [Read more…]

The Cook's Soup

The Cupboard Cook’s Butternut Squash-Apple & Curry Soup

Pumpkin and squash soup recipes tend to leave this cook wanting a bit more in the flavor department. This cook wants a soup that can stand on its own for a meal, accompanied by hot cornbread or baked polenta and a green salad or vegetable dish. This recipe for the ubiquitous butternut squash soup takes flavor influences from the south of France and the Near East to yield a more memorable entrée.


The Cupboard Cook’s Butternut Squash-Apple & Curry Soup   

Yield:  3 meal-sized portions or 6 first course servings 


Equipment List: 

A medium –large pan or stock pot
Immersion (stick) blender or regular blender

Ingredient List:

1 pound of roasted butternut, acorn, pumpkin or any other hard winter squash scooped      out of the skin.
1 granny smith or tart apple peeled, cored and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter for the pan
2 sticks of celery cut into small dice
2 peeled carrots cut into small dice
½ white or sweet yellow onion cut into small dice
1 clove of diced garlic
28 ounces of homemade or quality low sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon of Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon of Vietnamese lemon curry powder (optional but recommended)
2 ounces of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1-2 ounces of diced Murica Curado other mild hard goat cheese
1½ teaspoons of diced fresh marjoram or ½ teaspoon of dried.
Salt and pepper to taste


Lightly toasted pecans, freshly diced marjoram, and croutons (Substitutions: paprika, parsley, thyme, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds)


In a medium-large pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter then add the celery, carrots, onion, apple, garlic, and a pinch or two of salt, and cook until just fork tender. (Approximately 8 minutes) Do not allow this to burn. Then add ½ of the stock, stirring while allowing this to come to up to heat but do not boil. (~3 minutes) Add the cooked squash and marjoram and incorporate it into the mix.

With the stick blender, process the mixture using a slight up and down motion, being careful not to lift the blender out of the soup while it is still running. Makes a mess! Process until it is somewhat smooth. Then add the remaining stock and the curry powders and process once again for about 1 minute. Allow this mixture to come to heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.

(Note: This base soup can be held at this stage for later service or allowed to cool and stored for a day in the refrigerator. It also could be put in the freezer for later use.)

A few minutes before service, reduce the heat to low and add the butter, cream, and cheese stirring constantly until the cheese and butter melts. Then process with the stick blender for 30 seconds to 1 minute to incorporate the ingredients and give the soup a bit of body. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.


Put a handful of croutons into warmed soup bowls and ladle soup over the croutons. Garnish and serve.


NOTE:  The Cupboard Cook will be at the Fort Collins, Colorado store on October 14th from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, to help celerate the Cupboards anniversary. The Cook will be demonstrating the preparation of this soup along with some other tasty treats. Those in the area please  stop by have a taste and learn something too.

Take Stock In Chicken Noodle Soup

I’ll admit it, I was not super excited to see the snow this week.

I love Christmas and snow certainly makes thing pretty, but I’ll be honest, I could really, really do without the cold.  See, I’m one of those the thermostat is set to 68 and I still have on slippers, 3 sweaters, mittens, a scarf, and a parka all winter long people.  And that’s just inside. I seem to always be cold.

Photo by Gudlyf

Now I’ve found a few resources to help me combat the winter chill.  There’s tea, blankets, and personal favorite, snuggling.  But if I really want to warm up from the inside out, I go straight to soup.

This works out really well for me, because I love making soup too.  In those moments of CSA share overwhelm, when I’m up to my eyeballs in veggies with no way out, I toss soup together, and often pack away a stash for colder months as well.

Photo by

When I first started eating locally and making soups, I relied heavily on Better Than Bouillon (still a staple in a pinch) and vegan option Rapunzel vegetable bouillon.  However, when I started taking a real interest in making sure my meat was local as well as my veggies, I started making my own stock.

I’m going to be honest, I started doing this for the sole reason that local meat, good clean meat, is more expensive than I was accustomed to.   And as someone who doesn’t have an unlimited food budget, but is dedicated to be as local as possible, I needed to get every last morsel (and penny) out of a meat purchase.

Once I started regularly making stock, I noticed something else: Homemade stock is delicious.  Most stock recipes are day long affairs, I prefer a quick stock, like in the recipe I chose here.

1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
10 sprigs parsley
10 sprigs time
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
4 pounds chicken legs, wings, and necks
2 quarts cold water

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sauté until colored and softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and cook until the celery has begun to get tender, another 3-4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

Add half of the chicken pieces to the pot; sauté both sides until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the cooked chicken to the bowl with the vegetable mixture. Sauté the remaining chicken pieces. Return the vegetables and chicken pieces to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.

Increase the heat to high; add the water, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, then cover and barely simmer until the stock is rich and flavorful, about 30 minutes.

Strain the stock and discard the solids. Cool the stock, then place in a container in the fridge until cold, and all the fat rises to the top and sets. Skim off the fat, then you may keep the stock in the fridge for up to 2 days, and in the freezer for 6 months.

Makes about 2 quarts of stock.

I like to make stock ahead and store bags in the freezer, pulling them out for use as needed.

You’ll want to be sure to stop by the Cupboard tomorrow, Saturday between 1 and 4 pm.  Chef Happy, aka Scott Hapner, and I are going to be talking all things chicken.  Scott’s talking roasting whole birds and a delicious chicken salad.  I’ll be covering the soup end of the bird, making the stock from above, and then turning that into a tasty chicken noodle courtesy of an Alton Brown recipe, found next.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from Alton Brown

4 cups chicken stock
1 diced onion
3 Ribs diced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 ounces dried egg noodles
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves


Bring stock to boil for 2 minutes in a large, non-reactive stockpot with lid on, over high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Lower heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add noodles and cook 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and add herbs and salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with lemon halves and add squeeze of lemon juice if desired.

Soups on!  We look forward to seeing you Saturday!