Sick Day Soup

Woke Up With a Fever of 102!

Today, I am stuck home sick with a fever of 102 degrees.  What better to do than to make homemade soup with my dad!?  (Soup is great when you are sick!)

We looked in the refrigerator, freezer, and cupboards to find ingredients that might be good in soup.  We found:  chicken, Italian sausage, potatoes, shrimp, langostinos (like baby lobster tails), beef, okra, mini-wontons, pesto, pasta, orzo, tomatoes, spinach, green onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, avocado, tortilla chips, and mee krob noodles (yum!).   So many choices!

Getting Better!

Getting Better!

We decided on shrimp, mee krob noodles, green garlic, and cilantro.  We decided to use vegetable broth and lobster broth together to make stock.  (By then, my temperature had gone down to only 99.1.)

First, we put 9 cups of water into a big pot, and we brought it to a nice boil.  While that was boiling, my dad sliced two stalks of green garlic from the farmer’s market.  Green garlic looks like humongous green onions, and it is garlic that is picked before it is ripe.  Dad also chopped one-half of a red onion.  He put two teaspoons of lobster base and six teaspoons of vegetable base into the water.  That made our tasty stock!

The Veggie Mixture Smells Amazing!

In a new pot, we put three tablespoons of olive oil, and Dad heated it up.  We added the red onion and green garlic to the olive oil and cooked it until the onion was soft.  It smelled like the Gilroy Garlic Festival in our kitchen!  A cup and a half of sliced mushrooms went into the pot with the onions and green garlic.  Yum yum!   Next, we added one tablespoon of flour to the vegetable mixture and let it cook for a minute or two.

The Steaming Pot of Goodness

Dad then combined the stock and the vegetable mixture and used a whisk to stir it up.  We let it heat up for a while, almost until boiling, and then we added one pound of diced shrimp  (they can be frozen or not).   We again stirred up the soup, and Dad brought the soup up to a boil. 

Then  we added approximately 2 cups (or two big handfuls) of mee krob noodles.  (If you don’t have mee krob noodles, you can use mini-wontons or orzo.)   After two minutes, we stirred in 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, and the soup was officially done.

My Nom Nom Sandwich and Soup For Dinner

I ate my delicious Nom Nom banh mi sandwich with our homemade soup.  Although I loved it, I wish I hadn’t put in shrimp!  It would have been just fine without it.  Dad and I named the soup Megan and Daddy’s Sick Day Soup.  Unfortunately, I was still sick after dinner!

You should try this and send me a message about how it went.  You can experiment with different ingredients to create your own soup, whether you are having a sick day or not!

Behind the Scenes at Paciugo Gelato!

Paciugo's Showcase!

I went to Paciugo Gelato in Hermosa Beach, California recently.  Gelato is a delicious Italian ice cream-like dessert.  Paciugo Gelato also makes fresh fruit sorbet.   (The difference between gelato and sorbet is that gelato is milk-based, like ice cream, and sorbet is water-based.)

Paciugo had exactly 23 kinds while we were there, but I only tried eight.  The flavors I tried were Black Sesame, Pepe Nero (Black Pepper Olive Oil), Mamma Mia Apple Pie, Organic Maple Carmelized Bacon, Berry White (my absolute favorite flavor!), Lime Chili Mango, and Mela Verde (Green Apple). 

The Mela Verde was very sweet, but not sour at all!  I liked it, but it wasn’t my favorite flavor ever.  The Lime Chili Mango was tangy and sweet, and had a spicy kick at the end!  The Black Sesame gelato is crushed up sesame seeds, mixed with milk and uncrushed sesame seeds on top!  I loved it because it had the creamy gelato and the crunch of the sesame seeds.  The Pepe Nero tasted like olive oil with pounds of pepper ground into it.  There was no other way to describe it.  Seriously!  (I wonder if the owners at Oliovera like it or have tried it…)

Mamma Mia Apple Pie takes me to Thanksgiving or Christmas.  It is creamy Tre Vaniglie (Three Vanilla) gelato with luscious cinnamony apple slices.  It is one of my many favorite flavors, and I love the apple slices because they remind me of my dad’s special apples that he makes at home for breakfast. 

Bacon in Gelato!?!?

The organic Maple Carmelized Bacon gelato was caramel-y and bacon-y.  (My dad says these are not words, but I told him that they are “Megan words”!)  What I really noticed was the saltiness.  It was super-salty, just like I like my bacon to be.

In "Pretend Italy" With My Berry White Gelato!

Now the Berry White gelato.  It literally makes my mouth water to see it, but not get it.  (I’ll always order it anyway, if I am there.)  The delicious gelato is smooth, white chocolate gelato, with chips of more white chocolate, but it isn’t BERRY White for nothing!  The colorful raspberry swirl, made fresh, makes this gelato the king.  It the perfect combination of berries and chocolate (besides chocolate dipped strawberries).

Did you know that most people at Paciugo get gelato, instead of sorbet?  According to Brittny Burford, the owner of Paciugo, the favorite flavors are Brown Sugar Waffle Cone, Amarena Black Cherry Swirl (which is delicious with the Amaretto Chocolate Chip), Pannacotta (Wedding Cake), and Stracciatella (Chocolate Chip).  But the ABSOLUTE favorite is the Mediterranean Sea Salt Caramel.  Yum, Yum!

The Gelato and Sorbet Machine!

I love gelato and I have always wondered how they make it.  Brittny invited me to watch the staff make it one morning.  There is a huge gelato/sorbet machine that mixes the ingredients and squirts it out.  They put the gelato or sorbet in clean bins and put them in a showcase that holds up to 40 flavors.  Of course, they do not put out every flavor at the same time.  They make over 250 flavors total (all of which are described at www.paciugo.com)!  Go Paciugo!  You can also get up to five flavors in a single cup.

In my first ever interview for the blog, I asked owner Brittny these questions:  

Q:  How many flavors do you make at once?

A:  One at a time, and 32-40 per day.

Q:  What is your favorite gelato flavor?

A:  Anything including peanut butter.

Q:  If you had to mix two flavors of gelato, what kinds would they be?

A:  Amarena Black Cherry Swirl and Amaretto Chocolate Chip.  (Yum!  I love that mix!)

You don’t have to clean the machine every time to make a new flavor since each one only takes four minutes.  You build on to what’s left of the last flavor.  For example, you could make Pannacotta (Wedding Cake), then build on Sea Salt, then Cookie Dough, and so on.  But you can’t just build on anything.  For example, you couldn’t make Tre Vaniglie (Three Vanillas) out of the leftover Gianduja (Chocolate Hazelnut) gelato!  And you couldn’t make Tabitha’s favorite (Bubble Gum) out of Fondente (Dark Chocolate)!

No Bubble Gum Today, So Tabs Had Root Beer Float

A very special Thank You to Brittny and the Paciugo staff for letting me go behind the counter.   I had an amazing time, and I learned a lot.  I cannot thank you enough. 

I really LOVE gelato, and I hope you will too, because you are trying it … right?!?

A Familiar Sight for Me and Tabs

Paciugo Gelato Caffe

1034 Hermosa Avenue

Hermosa Beach, California 90254

www.paciugo.com

Ice Cream Champion!

The champion of the Ultimate Ice Cream Throwdown was …

The Winner and Me!

The Christmas Cookie Sandwich with Toffee, with 6 votes!    Coming in second were the Creme de la Crepes (4.5 votes), followed by the Chocolate Lovers Only (4 votes), Raspberry Swirl Crunch (2.5 votes), the Cookie Lovers Delight (just Bill), and finally the Delectable Dirt Cup (who no one voted for).  Thanks for voting!  I really appreciated it!  I will think about another contest, so please keep checking back!

a preview

Next up…   Paciugo gelato!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you like ice cream, you’ll love gelato.  Gelato is the Italian version ice cream, and it is a lot healthier.  Paciugo gelato has delightfully unique flavors, such as the Pepe Nero (black pepper olive oil).

Check back soon for the complete scoop!!!