Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Hug from the Kitchen ~ Part Two

Today's guests,a phenomenal husband and wife media team, intended to share a witty, food and photo offering--a glimpse into their happy kitchen. But that kitchen is in Oklahoma, and these good folks are dealing with tornadoes instead, making sure family, friends, and neighbors are safe. I've rescheduled their appearance here, and I'm adding my prayers to thousands of others in the wake of that disaster in Moore, and as the threat of more tornadoes continues. 

I don't know if it's the nurse in me, or the Mom--or a combination of both--but in times of trouble, storms that are physical, emotional, or spiritual . . . I just want to offer comfort. And food is often a part of that.Soup is high on my survival list of therapeutic food.

Chicken soup? Sure, that's the classic "get well" offering. 

Creamy Peanut Butter Squash Soup is the Calvert family favorite I shared in my first Comfort Food post.

Today, because (despite the weather) summer is next up on the calendar, I thought I'd offer a recipe for a cold soup. It's easy, pretty, and delicious: 

Chilled Avocado Soup


1 medium ripe Haas avocado (black pebbled variety)
2 cups buttermilk
2 Tbl. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
Dash of Tobasco sauce, cumin powder
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
1 small green onion, very thinly sliced
1 Tbl. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Peel and pit avocado. Combine avocado flesh, buttermilk, lemon juice, salt, cumin, Tobasco in food processor and blend until smooth:

Set aside about a Tbl. each of the tomato and onion. Stirl the remaining tomato and onion into the soup. Pour into a medium bowl: 

Cover and chill at least one hour before serving. Then top with the reserved tomato, onion, and the fresh chopped cilantro: 

I added some simple cheese quesadilla wedges, a warm and yummy complement to the chilled soup, for a wonderful, simple meal. And some comforting TLC. 

 As an author, I firmly believe that a well-written, believable character  should have a few comfort quirks, too.  Like our very determined ER Director Kate Callison from my upcoming release, RESCUE TEAM.  In this short scene snippet, we see Kate grabbing comfort food in the midst of a terrible-awful day at Austin Grace ER:


Lauren sat down opposite Kate at a table outside the ER. She eyed Kate’s paper plate. “What on earth is that?”

“Muff—mmph, excuse me.” Kate swallowed a couple of times, dabbed at her lips. “Sorry. Whole wheat English muffin. Peanut butter, cream cheese, and orange marmalade—as much as I could scrape out of the last little foil package in the staff refrigerator.  I needed . . .” Peanut butter . . . and peace. She smiled sheepishly. “Comfort food. Don’t judge.” 

“Cross my heart. I’ve seen the bottom of a few Blue Bell ice cream cartons myself.” Lauren tipped her head. “I figured things were bad when you asked the ICU if they could spare me for a few hours.”

“You can’t know how much I appreciate you helping out. And being the one friendly face in my hostile world.” Kate frowned. “Legal came to see me.”

“Can I assume that means Barrett Lyon?” 

“He had the nerve to ask me to lunch minutes after describing his plan to defend the hospital from any possible litigation that might happen as a result of Baby Doe. Which could include pointing the finger at individual staff. Throwing any or all of us to—” 

“The Lyons,”  Lauren finished. “Pun intended. That man sure does seem intent on proving my mom’s advice that good-lookin’ isn’t nearly good enough.”

Speaking of Rescue Team, my publisher's launch celebration party continues until May 31st, so be sure you enter for your chance at a book giveaway AND a grand prize Food & Books gift basket assembled by yours truly. Yes, I did autograph that apron: 

You can enter right now, right here by clicking on the Punch Tab link below: 


Library Lady said...

How many times can we enter your contest?
I've already entered once.
Janet E.

CandaceCalvert said...

Janet, I believe the publisher's official rules say you may enter only once per e-mail address. Which I take it to mean if you have a second e-mail address . . . ?