Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Oh, What a Beautiful Morning (Not) - Mushroom Cappuccino

I don't drink.  I don't smoke.  I don't abuse drugs of any kind.  I don't get it. Why do I feel so awful this morning?  I am not depressed - far from it. This is Christmas Eve day, and I am happy.  I am wearing red slacks (very daring for me), a white sweater, green socks, a green scarf, and even a green bracelet.  I am going to put on the Christmas bell earrings Terry gave me.  When I get into the office, I am going to enjoy the company of my friends and the joy of the season.  So what's the deal with these hangover-like symptoms?

The Orlando Magic played the Boston Celtics last night (not the Brooklyn Nets as I previously reported) and, for the first time ever when I am there watching the game in person, the Magic won. Whoop Whoop!  The only sad part of the evening was when Jameer Nelson  came out wearing Boston green, and when the Magic did their best to try to lose the game in the fourth quarter.  But overall, a happy occasion.

I refuse to let my elderly aches and pains spoil Christmas for me.  There, I said it.

It happens to be a lovely day outdoors, a little humid but nothing really bad. I noticed a few new sculptures around town.  Kissimmee is so cool like that, displaying outdoor sculptures in the historic downtown area.  Maybe I can get some photos.  Or I can snag them from the internet. The coolest one right now is a sculpture in honor of Andy Warhol, and is presently in front of the Kissimmee Welcome Station, at the intersection of Broadway Avenue, Neptune Road, and Main Street.

I previously posted the galloping horse sculpture as part of the December 21 Travelblog entry.  There were others that I snapped that day:

I definitely want to get a photo of the Andy Warhol sculpture before it is moved out.  Regretably, I never did get a picture of the bull sculpture across from the police station, which is a shame, because it reminded me in a rather endearing way of the larger Smithtown Bull at the fork of Routes 25 and 25A in Smithtown, back home on Long Island.

He always manages to make an impression on drivers heading east or west along Long Island's North Shore.

The morning continued on a positive note, with me donning my Christmas bell earrings, and having my second cup of coffee accompanied by a piece of Terry's eclair cake.  And I have to show off her handmade gift to me:

That's the top half of a warm and fleecy blanket, bearing the face of a Yorkie wearing glasses.  It is so perfect for me and I am so thrilled that she made it.  Handmade gifts, the best.  Every year I promise myself I am going to bang out a whole bunch of hand knits to give away at the holidays, and every year I fail miserably.  Unlike the Yarn Harlot, I can't knock off a pair of mittens in one day, a pair of socks in two.  These old fingers don't move that fast (let's face it, they never did), and with my ADD, I'm always being distracted by a chicken or Fox News.

We ended the day a little earlier than usual which gave me time to swoosh into Publix for last minute stuff, well before they close for Christmas Eve. And now I can go ahead and attempt the Mushroom Cappuccino because I am really craving some nice hot soup, and because I don't think I am up to cooking anything else this evening.

Incidentally, the directions provided by the steakhouse are a bit bare bones, and a trifle confusing.  Sometimes ingredients are listed, and then never mentioned in the cooking instructions.  Should you add them to the cooking food, or should you use them for garnish?  Or maybe just use them as props for the picture you plan on taking for the food blog?

I tried to break the steps down so it sort of resembles a recipe written for a home cook instead of a professional chef.  I also tried to incorporate those "extra" ingredients in a logical manner.

Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse's Mushroom Cappuccino

1 pound chopped assorted mushrooms
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 large clove finely chopped garlic
4 tablespoons (one-half stick) butter
1 - 32 oz. box chicken stock (or 2 pints homemade)
1 pinch of dried thyme, broken up in your hand
Kosher salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon parsley
1 pint of heavy cream
Few drops of black truffle oil

Over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté just until soft and aromatic.  Add the chopped mushrooms. and stir to coat with the butter.  Sauté the mushrooms just until they start to release liquid. Add the chicken stock, and over medium-high heat, bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to low, adding the thyme, salt, and white pepper.  Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are done.  Add the parsley.

Blend in a blender or with an immersion (stick) blender.  Once the soup is back in the pan, add the cream and a few drops of the truffle oil.  Heat gently to let the flavors develop.  Adjust the seasoning. Serve hot, with bread.

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