I love fall. The leaves changing colors, the chunky sweaters, tall boots, boyfriend cardigans and the cooler temperatures. Cooler means out come the casseroles, stews and soups. Soup makes an appearance at least once a week and more when the sniffles and such set in. Between school and after school activities it’s inevitable in our house. The coughing is already here and I know what’s coming next. In an effort to cut it off before it gets any further we start with homemade chicken soup. It’s not a gimmick I truly believe that it works. I have homemade chicken stock at the ready in the freezer (the secret to a good chicken soup is its base – homemade chicken stock) especially during soup season, on deck is Simply Saline.
Don’t adjust your screens. I know you’ve grown accustomed to seeing pumpkin for the past week. Don’t panic, we’ll be back with more pumpkin soon. For now, we’re interrupting our pumpkin palooza to bring you this pasta with creamy mushroom sauce. We think it’s worth the exception to the editorial calendar (food blogger speak) and I think my skin is starting to turn orange from the sheer amount of pumpkin I’ve consumed but we won’t talk about that. I’ve never met a mushroom I didn’t like and when it’s paired with pasta well for me it doesn’t get much better than that. Well until you add cream. Heavy whipping cream because if you’re having cream why bother with half and half. Right?
I’m an equal opportunity soup person. Meaning not only do I like all types of soup, I like soup year round. If there’s a choice of soup or salad well that’s an no brainer for me. It’s always soup. I do tend to gravitate to cream based soups. They’re calorie free aren’t they? No? Sigh, well I’m already hooked so I’m going to ignore that little tidbit. This creamy roasted pumpkin soup is high on my fall favorites list. Didn’t I mention that we’d be putting roasted pumpkin to good use. So far we’ve already used it to make Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Pancetta and now we’re using it as the base for this soup.
Pumpkin palooza is continuing this week on the blog. We’ve taken our Roasted Pumpkin from earlier in the week, pureed it and used it to make a creamy and decadent Roasted Pumpkin Risotto with Pancetta. Yes pumpkin puree is simply roasted pumpkin that you puree. Nothing complicated about it. In fact you might consider doubling up on the roasting so you have it on hand to use throughout the week for several dishes.
I asked a question the other day on my Facebook page (we are friends there right? Right!) ” Pumpkin Overload or Bring on the Pumpkin?” there was overwhelming Bring on the Pumpkin response. Well I hope you meant it because Pumpkin Palooza is about to converge on the blog. We’re starting out with a basic roasted pumpkin recipe which will be a jumping off point to several other recipes to follow. By itself, it’s an amazing side dish to just about any fall meal that you can think of or if you’ve not eaten all day it’s a meal in itself (not that I know that or anything ehem).
Are you a wine fan but hate the thought of going to a wine store to select a bottle of wine from hundreds and sometimes thousands of bottles of beautifully displayed wines from around the world? That’s me raising my hand behind the keyboard. I adore wine but buying it can be slightly overwhelming. I like what I like and often times find it hard to explain why I like what I like. I usually end up grabbing the first bottle of Italian Pinot Grigio I see and roll with that. Clearly I’m no sommelier. I’m simply a wine lover who could use a little help. That help arrived in the form of inclub – insider access for wine lovers.
invino, the flagship property of Good Company Wines and the original private sale site for wine, announces the launch of inclub, a state-of-the-art online wine club that uses algorithm-based selections to tailor shipments to individual palates. The service is consistent with the founders’ pioneering platform of highly curated wine discovery, along with access to the best values online. “We developed hundreds of meta-data points to create palate settings for each member,” says invino and inclub co-founder and CEO Tony Westfall. “This is the first and only 100% customized club that has a Palate Guarantee™. It’s the wine club for the modern enthusiast: personalized and effortless.” How great does that sound? Now you probably think it will cost you for the service. You’d be wrong. Registering is fast, easy and FREE.
Next to Italian food, Mexican food is probably the second most consumed food in our family. I’m pretty sure queso was my son’s first word. Not really, it was hot cheese dip. Kidding. He can put away a ridiculous amount of chips, salsa and queso though. That’s the truth. I on the other hand like to slowly sip on a little jiggle juice margarita (you have to specify otherwise they will bring you one the size of your head that you can later use as a fishbowl). On the rocks, with or without salt or frozen Pomegranate and Lime Margarita please. Preferably with a steaming hot (give you a facial while you wait for it to cool down) plate of fajitas.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any time now I’m sure you’ve heard me say this several times before “I absolutely hate wasting food”. It pains me if I have to throw anything away. Not only it is a waste of food it’s a waste of money. This means that I usually end up with small containers or baggies full of this and that and the other in my refrigerator. This week we happened to have leftover herb roasted chicken as well as a fresh batch of homemade chicken stock. I was debating on making our “take two” (sounds such much better than leftovers) meal of either chicken noodle soup or chicken pot pie. We went with the later.
I absolutely hands down love lasagna. I equate the dish to my favorite slippers or warm fuzzy blanket. Not in an edible sense of course because who wants to eat shoes (besides my dog sigh). Lasagna just hits that feels good button and makes me want to go to directly to sleep once I’ve eaten a very large petite portion. Downfall to eating all those carbs right? I immediately want to go take a nap (yes I fear I’m 85). We’ve made Lasagna alla Bolognese about half dozen times since the calendar has changed (not necessarily the weather). Lasagna alla Bolognese is the mother of all lasagnas, it’s true and quite possibly is my favorite version but sometimes, just sometimes I want something a little lighter.
Because sometimes you just feel like a nut right? If you like sweet salty and crunchy treats this fruit and nut brittle is for you. Now that it’s October (gasp I can’t believe I just typed that, where is this year going) I’m already starting to think about what homemade treats I’m going to be making for gift giving. My criteria usually includes quick and delicious. I’m super strict eh? This checks both of those boxes. You can whip up a few baking sheets of this beautiful brittle in no time at all. It reminds me of amber jewelry and I’ve been obsessed with those gorgeous chunks for as long as I remember. Something hypnotizing about it. I’m going to consider this my edible amber.
I was roasting a chicken this weekend because A. I was craving it and B. I also had high hopes to re-shoot said roasted chicken to update a VERY old and ugly post that is finger licking good but is buried in the ehem ugly photo post archives and no one comes to visit it. Of course once it came out of the oven, the smells intoxicated us and we had zero willpower. We carved in too quickly and alas no new photos. Boo. Happens every.single.time. Silver lining, while I was shoving chicken into my mouth eating, it occurred to me that I’ve never shared a simple recipe for making homemade chicken stock. Silver linings.
If you’ve never had eggs on pizza you’re missing out. MISSING OUT. Sorry for the yelling but I wanted to be sure you heard that. That moment when you pierce your fork into that perfectly runny yolk and it drizzles and oozes all over the prosciutto, bubbly mozzarella and peppery arugula creating a creamy silky dressing that makes your eyes roll (in a good way). Yes that moment. That bite. See what you’d be missing if you didn’t make this.
Over the past year our kitchen has undergone a major renovation thanks in part to our partnership with KitchenAid. We have posted about our journey (and yes if you’ve ever been through a renovation know that it is indeed a journey) every step of the way. Now that the kitchen is finally complete (cue balloons, confetti and music) we’re so excited to share our opinions on ALL of our KitchenAid Major Appliances in the KitchenAid “Kitchen Envy” series on Viewpoints. If you’re planning on purchasing major appliances and want to save a chunk of change, this is a series you don’t want to miss.
It’s fall. Is anyone else super excited? I’m ready for boots, cardigans, cranking up my oven, leaving the windows open during the day, wood burning fires at night and always, always watching the leaves change. That first week when they burst into a colorful explosion of oranges, yellows and reds. Yes. Those are the mornings I like to sit on my deck with my cappuccino and just stare at their magnificence. Until the oven calls and it always does. Fall is a time for low and slow cooking, Saturday sauces and baking bonanzas. One of my favorites is Bolognese sauce. It’s the mother of all meat sauces and is amazingly versatile.
I am a soup fanatic. I love soup of all kinds (well except for vegetable soup, I know odd). If it’s ever offered on a menu I’m ordering it. Soup or Salad? You guessed it. I went out to lunch with a blogging friend earlier this week to a local Thai Cafe. They had a delicious Coconut Soup that made me pretty much ignored my shrimp Pad Thai (don’t worry I took it home and ate it later) for and if I didn’t think it would have looked bad I would have tipped the bowl and slurped all of it down. Needless to say, I restrained knowing that I would most definitely be re-creating their bowl of deliciousness at home where I could slurp in private. And slurp I did.
I am slightly obsessed with Burrata (well cheese in general but this one – swoon). What is not to love about something that translates to BUTTERED? Right. If you’ve never tried it (and seriously run to the store now and find this so we can still be friends please) Burrata is a creamy dreamy fresh Italian cheese that’s made from both mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is solid mozzarella but surprise (one of the few types of surprises that I like) once you cut into it (ah that first cut it’s like the first spoonful from a Nutella jar – happy happy happy) rich thick cream oozes from the shell and just begs for a toasty baguette (or spoon). Honestly I don’t think there are any bad ways to eat Burrata. Anyone else dream of cheese? I can’t be the only one.
It’s back to school time! Are you jumping up and down too? I can’t deny I did do a little happy dance on the first day of school. Summer is long and hard people. Sniff Sniff. I’m pretty much worn out come end of August. It was definitely time to get back into a routine. I will admit now that they’re off I do miss them. It’s true. Along with their weighted down back packs (who needs that many books, have you tried carrying these things?) I send them off to school with a nice healthy lunch. We’re most definitely brown baggers, all three of our little ones. Very rarely do they purchase a school lunch. I like to know what I’m sending and what they’re eating (hopefully they’re not trading too much food ugh).
This past weekend over the Labor Day holiday we decided to pull out our little red smoker and get smokin’. We had family in town and we were putting on a serious nosh fest. I’m still wearing yoga pants and recuperating 5 days later. We had the typical pork butts (which is a word I am so not fond of, I mean it’s an awful visual and isn’t even accurate description, it’s a shoulder so why not call it that. Okay moving on. Sigh.) smoking away for hours on end that would turn into bar-b-que pulled pork deliciousness. We also decided to throw some Copper River Salmon into the smoking mix. I for one am glad that we did. It’s smoky scrumptiousness that you simply must try.
Jam on it! Jam on it! Ja Ja Ja Jam on it. I know, sorry, but I figure if I have to have that song stuck in my head I shouldn’t be alone. That’s what friends are for. For sharing. Also for letting you know that making jam doesn’t have to mean you put up 30 jars of something. You can actually make jam in smaller more manageable portions (ehem small batch) and not have to worry about the canning process. After you’ve combined and cooked three simple ingredients you simply transfer to the fridge when you’re done and celebrate your good work in the morning on a bagel or a piece of toast with a smear of Mascarpone topped with a slathering of berry jam on it. Trust me. Try this.
Let’s face it, we all want to have white teeth. I know I do. My love of all things coffee and wine though were coming between me and that dazzling smile despite trying every tooth paste with whitener on the market. I even tried those whitening strips. Have you tried those? I couldn’t get them to stay in place to save my life. Maybe it was user error but they didn’t work for me. Because of my love for said coffee and wine admittedly my teeth were looking a little dull and dingy so I welcomed the opportunity to try out Smile Brilliant compliments of the company.