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Curried Carrot Soup

You aren’t going to believe how delicious this soup is!  The best part is it took less than an hour to make it.

Ingredients:

1.5 pounds of carrots, chopped (helpful hint… the smaller you cut the carrots, the less time they take to cook)

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 avocado

1 tsp. yellow curry powder

1 tsp. red curry powder

raw pumpkin seeds ( I used a handful)

1 tbsp. fresh rosemary

4 basil leaves

Chives for garnish

4 cups water (you could use milk, cream, coconut milk if you wish)

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. lime juice

Put your pot on the stove over a medium-high heat.  When it is hot, add the olive oil.  When it gets shimmery it is ready.

Add the chopped carrots and onions. Stir them around so they get coated in olive oil.

Let them cook a couple of minutes then add your chopped garlic.

Let them cook until the onions and carrots start to caramelize.

Add the water and let it come to a boil.

Turn it down so it won’t boil over.

I added the herbs at this point.  I also added the curry powders.  Stir to mix in.

Let it simmer until the carrots are soft.

Once your carrots are soft, it is ready.  You can eat it like it is or your can blend it all together.

I chose to blend mine together.  I used a hand blender (you know, that boat motor looking thingy).  You could use food processor or blender.  Whatever you have handy.

Blend it up.

Stir in, by hand,  the lime juice and pumpkin seeds after you blend it.

Right before you serve it, add some sliced avocado to the bowl of soup and sprinkle it with some chives.

Curried carrot soup

Curried carrot soup

Chocolate Torte – No bake

Over the holidays I made two chocolate tortes.  Today I am going to show you the no bake one I made.

Ingredients:

8 oz 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped ( I used Ghiradelli 70 % Extra bittersweet)

8 oz heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon allspice

2 tbsp strongly brewed coffee

1/4 tsp salt

one cup toasted, finely chopped almonds

Supplies:

skillet to toast almonds

food processor to chop almonds

double boiler or equivalent

rubber spatula

whisk

measuring spoons and cups

knife

cutting surface

baking pan

pan for heating cream

Oil or butter to grease pan

The first thing I did was toast some almonds then chop them in the food processor.  I wanted them finely chopped.  I toasted them in a dry skillet over medium high heat.

Toast almonds in a dry skillet

Toast almonds in a dry skillet

Chop in food processor

Chop in food processor

Toast and chop almonds

Toast and chop almonds

Chop the chocolate

chop chocolate

chop chocolate

I melted the chocolate in my “homemade double broiler” (a glass measuring cup over a pot of boiling water).  Worked like a charm.

Melt chocolate

Melt chocolate

Melting chocolate

Melting chocolate

Heat cream over gentle heat and stir in allspice, coffee, salt and orange extract.

Add allspice, coffee and orange extract

Add allspice, coffee, salt and orange extract

Heat cream over gentle heat

Heat cream over gentle heat

Stir it constantly so it doesn’t stick to the pan.  When the cream is hot to the touch, remove from the heat and add the melted chocolate and stir to mix.

Add chocolate

Add chocolate

Stir to mix

Stir to mix

Ganache

Ganache

Pour into prepared (grease with butter or oil – I used coconut oil) pan and cover with nuts.

Pour chocolate into pan

Pour chocolate into pan

Cover with nuts

Cover with nuts

Chill a few hours to overnight.  When ready to serve, remove from the pan, let it come to room temperature (ten minutes or so) slice and serve.

Please note, if you aren’t fond of bittersweet chocolate, exchange half of it for a sweeter chocolate.

Chicken Soup with Sweet Potato Gnocchi

I made some delicious chicken soup.  Of course it is always delicious when it is full of fat from using a whole chicken.

IMG_2980

I started with a whole chicken.  I washed it and removed the um, goodies, from inside it.  I put it in a pot of water with a cayenne pepper, some onions and herbs. Oh and I added some orange rind.  The herbs I chose were fresh rosemary and fresh sage.

Put chicken in water

Put chicken in water

I cooked the chicken for about an hour then pulled it out of the water and de-boned it.  I put the meat back into the pot.  Then I added some carrots, brussel sprouts and mustard greens.

Put pieces of chicken back in the pot

Put pieces of chicken back in the pot

I also made some sweet potato gnocchi and cooked it in the soup.

Make sweet potato gnocchi

Make sweet potato gnocchi

Cook gnocchi in soup

Cook gnocchi in soup

Essentially what I had was chicken and dumplings.

I had some extra gnocchi so I put them on a plate lined with wax paper and put it in the freezer for about an hour.  Then I put them into a freezer bag for later use.

Freeze extra gnocchi

Freeze extra gnocchi

Please ignore state of my freezer.  I don’t have a big fancy freezer.  Just a normal sized one that is stuffed from our last grocery trip and the last harvest of the gardens. It is a mess, I know.  On the upside, the gnocchi will freeze nicely and really that’s what is important.

Bowl of chicken gnocchi soup

Bowl of chicken gnocchi soup

Gluten Free Blueberry Cobbler

I had a little incident with a bag of frozen blueberries on Thanksgiving morning.  Our dog was having a rough night Wednesday.  The only way I could get her to sleep was to hold her.  So she slept and I didn’t.  Thursday morning I got up (notice I didn’t say woke up) and made John a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries.  I for some reason in my sleep deprived state put the blueberries in the refrigerator and not the freezer.  I don’t recall doing it, but I know it was me. We didn’t figure out my mistake until we got home that night.  I was left with no other option but to use the blueberries before they went bad.  That meant blueberry cobbler.  We took one to a friend and the other to my sister’s house.  They were both appreciative.  More importantly the cobblers were delicious!

Ingredients:

Blueberries (once frozen, now thawed lol) – purchased at Costco

One apple (washed, cut, unpeeled)

Cinnamon to taste

Ginger to taste

Cloves to taste

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp arrow root

1 tbsp honey

Two recipes of Just Nuts Crust.

I poured the thawed blueberries into a pot and cut up an apple and put it in as well. I added everything but the arrow root and cooked it for about 10 minutes.  I dissolved the arrow root in a little water and put it in the pot to thicken it up.  I turned off the heat and stirred in the arrow root until I thought it was thoroughly dispersed.  It was thickened a little bit.  It will thicken up more as it bakes.

Cook with one apple

Cook with one apple

Pour it into a pan with one recipe of Just Nuts Crust in it and top it with the other recipe of Just Nuts Crust.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is browned.

Blueberry cobbler

Blueberry cobbler

Serve warm. Refrigerate the left overs.

Plated blueberry cobbler

Plated blueberry cobbler

Coconut Curried Chicken

I made some more curried chicken. This time with coconut oil so it would have a coconut flavor without having to use coconut milk (which I do not have in my pantry).

I used a tablespoon of coconut oil.

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

I grabbed a variety of veggies and chopped them up as well.

  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
Veggies

Veggies

Added some chopped chicken.

Added Chicken

Added Chicken

Put in some curry powder and tumeric.  Grabbed some basil from the garden and tossed it in. And added a little chicken stock.  Cooked it…

Cook it

Cook it (man, that turned out blurry)

I added a little arrow root when it was done cooking to thicken the sauce and voila, it is ready!

Served it with some quinoa and more importantly an Octoberfest beer from Harpoon.

Plated Curried Chicken

Plated Curried Chicken

This dish was super easy to put together.  I’d say it took only 30 minutes start to finish.  It had a light coconut flavor, which is what I was shooting for.

Pork Tacos Anyone?

Have I told you I love tacos?  They are wonderful.  Little hand-held things of beauty.  Shove a bunch of yummy stuff into a fresh tortilla and take a bite.  It is heaven..

Thanks to Lilly for the gift of the tortilla press my life is much easier when it comes to tacos.  I can whip out some corn tortillas like no one’s business.  They are so yummy when they are fresh out of the pan. MMMMMMMM, I can smell them now… Really I can smell them now.  You should be jealous, they are so yummy!  So what I did tonight was:

Cooked a pork roast and seasoned it accordingly (you know, for tacos) I browned it in some olive oil and threw in the herbs and veggies (onions, poblano peppers, mushrooms, garlic) added about 1/4 cup of water and put a lid on it.  I let it cook for about an hour and it was so perfectly tender.  Just follow the basic instructions on my pork roast post.  Season it how you want and go to town!

We used kale out of our garden instead of lettuce, cabbage or spinach.  It was fabulous.  I made a pot of great northern beans and we ate them on the tacos.

It took me about 30 minutes (I took my time) to make 20 corn tortillas.  That left me enough time to pick and wash the kale get the table set and pour up some beer for us.

Take a look at this and tell me you don’t want a bite…

Pork Tacos pre taco

Pork Tacos pre taco

Pork Tacos

Pork Tacos

Chicken Mishmash

I was feeling a little lazy in the kitchen.  Ok, well really what-had-happened-was… I wanted to sew and needed an easy meal to give me time to sew.  Here’s what I did:

Line a small baking dish with parchment paper (love the easy clean up – got it at Costco).  I used a 9×9 pan.

Slice some chicken (got it at Costco) and toss it in a bowl.

Slice some onions, mushrooms and peppers (got them all at Costco)and throw them in the bowl as well.  I used sweet peppers and a couple of poblano peppers for some heat.

I added some minced garlic (again, got it at Costco), fresh basil and fresh rosemary.

I added some mozzarella cheese (got it at Costco).

I added some olive oil and mixed it all up and put it into the parchment paper lined pan.

Chicken Mishmash

Chicken Mishmash – raw

Baked it at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese was browned.

Chicken Mishmash Baked

Chicken Mishmash Baked

I served it over some left over buckwheat groats and had a mixed green salad on the side.

Chicken Mishmash Plated

Chicken Mishmash Plated

Super easy to make and clean up!  More importantly, it gave me time to sew and that’s what it is really all about!