Dining, Food, Fun, NYC, savory

Friendsgiving 1- Cream-less Creamy Cauliflower soup

Well it is that time of year again.  It is not necessarily all about the family, rather the things we are thankful for including our friends.  My new favorite way to spend a day off is cooking with friends.  This week Mary’s turn.  We whipped up a last minute meal of cauliflower soup and speculoos blondies.  The soup was a recipe from Whole Foods meant to be served as little “soup shooters” but it was so tasty it deserved to be served as the main dish.

Well it is ironic that I found this recipe while shopping at Whole Foods.  I adore making soups because they are so easy especially this one which calls for a pound of frozen cauliflower, but my whole foods does not carry it.  After trying three grocery stores I stocked up on cauliflower and was ready to cook.  IMG_3067

The recipe from whole foods says it makes 12 servings of little shooters, but I made this more of the main event and finished off the whole batch before the end of the night.  The addition of crunchy almonds really took the soup to the next level.

Creamy Creamless Cauliflower Soup

1 lb frozen cauliflower
3.5 C Unsweetened almond milk
IMG_3068salt/pepper
2 apples diced (I used one large apple)
1T lemon juice
1 onion (thank heavens I already had one caramelized to save time and chopping tears)
Topping
1/2 C Slivered almonds (lightly toasted)
1/4 C Chopped Parsley
Lemon zest from 2 small lemons

Here is the link to the Whole Foods Method

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/creamy-cauliflower-and-apple-soup-shooters

 

MY METHOD

Combine all soup ingredients except lemon juice and let simmer for 30 minutes.  Pour in lemon juice and blend.  Serve and top with almond mixture! So so simple.  The only recommendation is to make sure you use enough salt and pepper to amp up the flavor.

Our other creations that day will be in following posts.  Thanks Mary

 

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Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, Sweets

Pumpkin Post 1- Pumpkin Cake Roll unrolled

I need to dedicate just a bit more attention to pumpkin season before it slips away.  One of my favorite blogs skinnytaste recently posted 50 different pumpkin treats.  Gina adapted this roll from the Joy of Baking and I adapted the icing a bit from both based on the ingredients I had on hand.  Although I have not posted 50 pumpkin recipes, I picked one that I thought was fun and different.  This pumpkin roll is super decadent and still uses butter, fat, and sugar, just not as much as the traditional recipe.  I thought this would be the perfect treat to bring over to a friend and fellow blogger’s apartment as it looks more impressive than it is.

I followed the recipe pretty close to what is suggested as I needed to ensure the ratios were correct in the cake to ensure a roll without cracking.  As mentioned above I did change the icing and added pumpkin to that because there was still some leftover from the cake so why not amp up the flavor.  As per usual I doubled the cinnamon and vanilla in the cake to ensure the extra punch of flavor and I did not have any allspice!

The roll unrolled before and after baking.  Te cake was easily removed thanks to the help of parchment paper.IMG_2861 IMG_2862

 

In this recipe patience is key.  You must cool the cake completely before adding the frosting.  It should be rolled then chilled then filled and rerolled.

okay so one end of mine cracked but no big deal.  The bigger problem is you must cool or freeze the cake before slicing to let the filling set.IMG_2864 IMG_2865

 

 

This recipe is a great one to have over the holidays as it can and should be prepared well in advance.IMG_2880 IMG_2881

I sprinkled it in cinnamon sugar and served it up!  Here it is in action. * Note: I used a smaller jelly roll pan and loved my results.

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Cake

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/11/pumpkin-roll-lightened-up.html

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • non-stick spray
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)

Filling

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2009/08/low-fat-cream-cheese-frosting.html

 

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Food, Fun, Ohio, Sweets

Apple a day 5- Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

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As far as apples are concerned apple pie is just the best way to serve them is in a pie.  I actually prefer to have them as a crisp because the pie crust never seems to have much interesting flavor and never seems to be very tasty leftover.  I had to use a pie crust th

is weekend when making an apple pie because of a great idea from Pinterest.  I sprinkled cinnamon on puff pastry ( only because I did not have pie crust and figured I would take the risk) then rolled the dough and cut into 1/4 inch segments to show the pattern through the glass pie dish.  See its pretty and presentation is one of my weak points!

IMG_3022I used 7 large apples and I could have used another!

Apple Crisp tricks and tips

I do not want to give a recipe for this sone rather suggestions as I always adapt from the base recipe and tend to make the same changes every time.  

1.  Double the spice.  I am specifically talking about the amount of cinnamon and vanilla (not necessarily nutmeg).  Why? because everyone loves the flavors.

2. Add citrus to the apples.  A little lemon or orange juice will do or even other fruits even dried.

3. Cook the apples down in a sauté pan and drain excess juices before baking.  This avoids the inevitable soggy crust ( if using one) and helps give the 100 layers of apples effect we all love in the mile high apple pie.

4. Use a crumble topping. I know we all love the look of the lattice top pie, but the sugary  crunchy texture of a crisp cannot be beat!

IMG_3029the before

IMG_3030 the afterIMG_3031

I did not even look at a recipe for this pie.  The only cheat was I wanted to be sure of the baking time which seems to be the generic 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.  Since we had roasted pecans I added them to the crisp on top which I was also a fan of.

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I have been very busy lately with little time to cook at home, but plenty of time to prep food to take and eat on the go.  From my overnight oats in the morning to my half frozen half fresh soup I am never stuck packing a plain old turkey sandwich for lunch.  In this case I tested it out at home the day before and loved it so much I recreated it for part of my lunch the next day.  I used the mini cilantro chicken wontons from Trader Joe’s which can be steamed, fried, baked, or in my case added to soup.  I added what was in my pantry, but you can use whatever flavors you think work best or whatever leftovers are in your fridge.  TIP: When packing it for lunch the next day I added all of the ingredients and seasonings without the water (stock) to avoid spilling and weight in my bag.

Dumpy Dumpling Soup Recipe

  • 8 Trader Joes mini wontons
  • 1 frozen cilantro cube
  • turmeric
  • ground red pepper
  • chicken bullion
  • salt/pepper
  • TJ’s Gyoza sauce
  • spaghetti squash
  • caramelized onions
  • frozen spinach

I do have to be honest, I wanted to create a beautiful image and places chopsticks in the soup, but realistically found a spoon works best!  This is a picture of only half of the recipe.  Both flavorful and filling.  Go for it dump a bunch of veggies and a protein into stock and flavor to taste.  You can’t really go wrong!

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Fun, NYC, recipe, savory

dump it all in dumpling soup

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Breakfast, Food, Fun, NYC

Egg^2 (squared) plant

A little math for everyones brains this Sunday morning never hurt anyone.  I love a play on words and working with that you have so this morning I decided to take the lone pumpernickel bagel I had and pair it with eggs, eggplant, and cheese for a delicious meal.  It has become very popular for New Yorkers to get their bagels “scooped” this means to take out the middle to enjoy the crusty outerbagel with less calories.  I like it for several reasons.  First I like the crunch to my bagel, second I like the hole it creates for my toppings, third I can enjoy both halves of the bagel with less guilt.  The bagel was also free so I didn’t feel so bad about throwing any of it out.

Ingredients

  • Eggplant
  • Eggs (I used three whites)
  • Cheese to taste
  • Toasted Bagel

First I sliced and boiled the eggplant to soften then rubbed in spices of my liking.  This time I tried turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper.  I scrambled the eggs with white cheddar cheese and topped on my toasted bagel.  After taking the picture I removed the skin to the eggplant as it was hard to eat with the skin on.

My favorite way to prepare the eggplant is to steam or boil it until soft, peel the skin, and add salt and lemon scented olive oil!  I prefer to eat it diced up.

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This week I have more for breakfast as I try the overnight oats sensation that seems to be hitting the food blogs lately.

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Dining, Food, Fun, NYC, recipe, savory

YAYA BABA…baba ghanoush that is

 

Don’t poo poo this one too soon.  I received some fresh eggplant from my dads garden in Ohio and I had to highlight this amazing fall veggie.  Everyone seems to love tzatziki (a yogurt base dip) and hummus ( a chickpea based dip) but forgets about the equally tasty baba ghanoush.  It is one of the middle eastern dishes that may sound exotic, but contains only a few simple ingredients and it is healthy.  Most traditionally the eggplant is roasted over an open flame to achieve a smoky flavor.  Thank heavens I have a gas stove because the smoky flavor adds so much to the dip/sauce.  This is the eggplant right after roasting about 20 minutes then the skin peeled off easily.  Many people claim to not like the texture of eggplant, but I think it is because the inside is delicious, but the skin even after cooking remains tough and bitter and is simply best removed.

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The only thing I did not have on hand was tahini which is commonly in hummus as well.  I would also try to add onion next time as well.   Since i was not expecting this special delivery I used all goods I had in my pantry.  I simply blended the eggplant (drained) with

  • garlic
  • salt
  • cumin
  • parsley
  • lemon
  • salt/pepper
  • ground red pepper (omit if you don’t prefer a kick)

IMG_2679Mine turned out slightly green as I used a frozen parsley cube, but I prefer that over the traditional brown hue.  I finished this off in one day by dipping and spreading it on nearly every dish.  I dipped pretzels and chips in it, spread it on my turkey sandwich, spread in an omelette, and spread on broccoli.  I still had one more eggplant left which will be for the next 6 by 6 post!

 

 

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Dining, Food, Fun, NYC, savory

TBT 1920’s review best Apple soup

I am usually not a fan of “Throw Back Thursday” but for the sake of food, I am going to research into what Americans ate in different eras.  I also took an amazing trip to Philly this weekend and was inspired by the 20s feel and farm fresh food at the Farmers Cabinet.IMG_2675

The 1920s was known as the prohibition era, so to compensate for the lack of alcohol, many foodies turned to sweets.  Unfortunately that meant jello molds and adding marshmallows to fruit cocktail.  Luckily, that was not on the menu for Philadelphia’s restaurant week.  We stopped for an amazing three course lunch and boy was it good!

IMG_2670We started with an apple cauliflower soup topped with pine nuts and oil.  This was divine thanks to the tartness of the apple.  Then butternut squash ravioli which I always opt for at restaurants as long as they are made fresh.  They were atop a bed off kale and swiss chard and topped with a fried sage leaf.  And to round out the fall meal a pumpkin cheesecake which had a sweet crunchy cookie crust.

Although some food came out in the 1920s that I wish hadn’t such as wonder bread, velvet cheese, and other over processed shelf stable foods, it was also a great time where Quaker oats, Betty Crocker, and Reese’s Cups were all introduced.

Basically I LOVED IMG_2671my trip to Philly on Sunday and I can’t wait to return to visit my cousin at school.  As fall approached I am also gearing everyone up for apple season.  I wanted to get a head start on the apple challenge as it works well in so many dishes.  Last Thanksgiving I made butternut squash and apple soup.  Just like at the Farmers Cabinet, the sweet and tart apple is perfectly paired with a hearty veggie when pureed in a soup.

IMG_1092This was the part of the meal I put my sister in charge of and between the homemade pretzels and the perfect soup, she won me over.  More on apples all next week!

Although I do not ave an exact recipe I know it involved butternut squash, granny smith apples, simple spices, and heavy cream swirled in at the very end.

 

 

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