Sometimes a number is big and sometimes a number is small, even when it is the same number. For example, 10 kittens that need homes is a lot, but 10 cents you find on the sidewalk is not. $10,000 as an annual salary in the US is a little, but 10,000 hits on a my first-ever totally amateur blog is a lot. Well, it's a lot to me. I'm kind of excited about it, and kinda proud (though I'm still not sure exactly how many of those pageviews are my own... I constantly specify "do not track my page views" but the host never gives any affirmative confirmation that this request has been understood.) Of course, I've been watching it tick upwards from 9,700 to 9,800 to 9,900 over the past couple of weeks and trying to figure out what I could do to celebrate. I didn't really decide on anything specifically, so I am just creating what I happened to be doing on this day that 10K was reached into my celebratory post.
My time in the kitchen today was devoted to preparing for a small holiday party I'm having tomorrow. Of course there was baking lots of cookies, but I also decided to make a couple of dishes that not only have I made in the past, but which I served together. That is pretty rare for me, because I love trying new recipes, and even with my favorites, I try to combine them into fresh new menus. Maybe I'm just tired from the push of the end of the quarter and the stress of the holiday rush on Will's business, but more likely it's just that the reasons I served this soup and salad together before are great reasons to do so again.
First of all, soup is great for a party because you can make a lot all at once, and have it ready in advance so it just bubbles away on the stove while you visit with your guests. Even when your friends are as radiant and sparkling as mine are, soup adds a much-needed warmth to the damp, dark days of Seattle winter. I settled on this particular pairing for this occasion because of their festive, colorful ingredients.
But what I'm more pleased about than these recipes, is the fact that pulling them from my archives is precisely the experience I wanted and was planning for when I started this blog. While I am super-thrilled to have many viewers of my site (shall I reiterate, it's 10,000 page views as of today, so there must be more people reading than just my beloved 11 "followers!"), this blog is really for me. It helps me chronicle my tests and trials so I can keep track of recipes that worked - and didn't. It gives me a place to store recipes I like - but want to improve. It reminds me what cakes I've made with which frostings and which fillings and how long in my oven it takes to get the cookies just the right color.
You might be interested in my comments in the post for the cauliflower salad. But I FOR SURE am interested! I remembered really enjoying these two recipes, but by coming back to my post about them, I can easily see what I want to do to make them better for this time.
Here are what few little changes I made the second time around.
Red Lentil Soup
I left out the potato that I added unnecessarily in the first iteration. I remembered the lemon, and also remembered some garnishes of greek yogurt and fresh parsley.
I skipped the glaze entirely. Half the curry dressing was the right amount for my one large head of cauliflower (and half a large leek).
I followed my suggestion to make the florets much smaller, and the bell peppers larger. And I swapped around a couple of ingredients based both on what I have in the pantry and what is seasonal.
Red and green bell pepper, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries. And lots and lots of cilantro.