family Tag

My kids love dumplings. Every time I make soup it is expected that I will make dumplings. For me it is a random thing, experimenting with different proportions, different flours, an add this, add that kind of thing. They always turn out different, but they are always a success.
I think my personal favorite is when they are made with semolina flour and when I incorporate cooked vegetables. What kind of vegetables? It depends on what kind of soup I am making.
This time I was making my favorite Summer Pea Soup, so the candidates were cooked carrots, parsnips, celery root and peas. If you are making a different style soup, you can put your favorite things into them. Make sure you let us know how it turns out!

Vegetable Semolina Dumplings
Serves 4
Semolina Dumplings full of vegetables. Ideal for soups. Kids love them.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
  1. 1 1/2 cups cooked vegetables
  2. 1 cup semolina
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. pepper to taste
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the cooked vegetables.
  3. Add semolina, eggs, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir until a thick batter forms.
  5. With a soup spoon, form tablespoon-sized dumplings and drop them carefully into the boiling water.
  6. Boil the dumplings until they bob to the surface, approximately 5 minutes.
  7. Add them into a soup or enjoy by themselves.
Emperors Crumbs

It was the last week of summer in our house, more or less: school started on Thursday, so we crammed in three days of fun and intensive idleness before returning to our schedules and routines. It was properly warm, too.  Around here, it’s not as though the seasons change on cue, we’re likely to have another couple of months of shorts-and-sandals weather. Just as well; for whatever reason this year, I was not quite ready to say goodbye to summer. I burn easily, sweat unattractively, and like to sleep under a nice pile of covers, so hot weather usually isn’t my thing, yet I felt a little pang as I got the kids’ backpacks ready for school. Too soon, too soon! They’re getting old enough to have some independence, roaming our block with friends, staying up later with a book, so maybe it just feels more like the unstructured summers I remember from my own childhood. Good times – and more to come, I hope.

Monday: Fajitas from the grill. Valerian didn’t use a recipe for the marinade, but the meat eaters polished off all the steak so I guess it worked out OK! I sliced up onions and peppers and cooked them in a skillet to make something approximating rajas poblanas, also very good.


Tuesday: We got deli sandwiches and went to The Cheese Factory for a picnic lunch; dinner was a salad for grownups and the second half of the sandwiches for the kids, and of course, cheese.


Wednesday: School night! I made a kid favorite, this sheet pan pasta gratin, with broccoli instead of kale. I use less butter and  cheese, so it’s not quite so rich, and it’s still delicious. The key is to sprinkle the majority of the cheese on top, you won’t miss it in the sauce.

Thursday: I had planned to make fried farro with pickled carrots and runny eggs but got home too late to pickle the carrots, so I toasted the farro, sauteed some mushrooms and greens, then topped it with some pan-fried halloumi cheese, which the kids love and refer to as “squeaky cheese”. So in the end, not much like the original recipe at all, but good!

Friday: Another unexpectedly late day at the office for me, so I got in the door just as Valerian was serving yellow rice with peas and tofu. Last-minute but delicious! Valerian is the king of making a random set of ingredients into something good.


Saturday: We had a salad, kids had a toothpick dinner, and then we all ate ppopcorn on the sofa and watched The Naked Gun, which turned out to have a lot more inappropriate stuff in it than I remember, but the nine year-old laughed and laughed.

Sunday: Corn on the cob with all kinds of add-ons – recipe(s!) to come.


Gung Hay Fat Choy!

We make a point of eating dinner as a family most nights. It’s the way I grew up, and it’s still the time of day when getting everyone together works. We all seem to get up at different times and no one has the same idea of what constitutes a delicious breakfast, everyone is scattered to the four winds at lunchtime, so that leaves dinner as our family meal. I hope when the kids get older we will still be able to get together  around the table regularly, it’s one of the few rituals we have going for us. (more…)

Hey, long time no see! What have you been up to? This space has been empty for an awfully long time, and we’re sorry about that. I’d like to say we’ll be reformed bloggers this year, but you know how it goes. We do have a few recipes to share, so don’t abandon this space!

Despite the lack of evidence here, we have been cooking steadily, if unimaginatively. And so, we give you… another year of dinner plans, which I hope will be useful or inspirational, or at least a nudge to go check out some of the many awesome recipes other people are cooking up. It was again a fun way to look back on the past year, especially since I was pretty good about keeping an accurate record of what we had for dinner each night. A lot of pea soup, apparently.

Glad you’re still here, and we’ll do our best to be here too.

Click here to download EC Dinners 2012