Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Roasted Carrot Soup

Happy Halloween everyone!

Do you have big plans for the evening?  Dressing up?  Going to a party?  Cuddling up on the couch for some scary movies?  Making food from my Meal Plan Monday roundup of Halloween recipes?  Tell me about it!

I'm still on the fence about this evening.  I don't have a costume...Not sure if I want to go out on the town on a Wednesday... It's starting to sound like a night of food and scary movies is in my future.  I would do some homework but that's getting a little too ambitious for Halloween don't you think?

Speaking of ambitious...

If I was a really ambitious blogger I would have been posting "Halloween" recipes for you over the last week.  If I was a remotely ambitious blogger I would at least have a Halloween recipe for you today.  But guess what...I don't.  What a let down right?  I don't even have an excuse.  Psh.

At least the soup is somewhat orange/reddish?  I could get creative and call it roasted witch finger soup or something like that.  But see...I just made that up on the spot.  And that was really lame.  So we are going to stick with roasted carrot soup and just be happy that it's a fall color and even happier that it's stinking delicious.  Roasted vegetables win every time.  We've talked about that.

Vegetable Soup = Eh.  Okay.  Roasted Vegetable Soup = YES. NOW.

roasted carrot soup

Adapted from Five and Spice 

Makes: 4-6 servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes 
Cook Time: 50 minutes 
Total Time: 1 hour

{Printable Recipe}

2 lbs. carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large yellow onion, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
6 whole cloves garlic, peel on and one end sliced off
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 two-inch knob of ginger, grated
1 piece of orange peel, about 4 inches long
several sprigs of mint
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup orange juice (freshly squeezed from the same orange you acquired the peel from)
2 teaspoons cumin
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled feta (for serving)
thinly sliced green onions (for serving)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°.  On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots, onions, and garlic cloves with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread them out in a single layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven.
  2. Add a small dash of olive oil to a large soup pot and heat over medium heat for about a minute.  Stir in the carrots and onions and peel the garlic out of it's clove and add to the pot along with the piece of orange zest and the mint sprigs.  Turn the heat to medium-low.
  3. Take the grated ginger and squeeze all the juice out of it and into the pot.  Stir well and add the vegetable stock.  Bring the pot to a boil and then turn down the heat to let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft.
  4. Remove from heat and take out the orange peel and mint sprig.
  5. Puree the soup in batches in a blender, until smooth.  You can choose to do the entire pot for a completely smooth soup or leave some of the vegetables for a fuller bodied soup.  Return the soup pot to the stove and place over low heat.  Stir in orange juice and cumin.  Then salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Dish the soup into bowls and top with feta cheese and green onions.  Serve immediately with a big yummy piece of bread.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Meal Plan Monday: Halloween Roundup

In honor of this week's upcoming holiday, as well as the incoming storm that has been deemed "Frankenstorm", I thought today's Meal Plan Monday recipes needed to be a bit spookier than usual.  So I gathered a bajillion Halloween breakfast, snack, dinner, drink, and dessert recipes to share with you!  Would it be too much to try and make half of these on Halloween?  Probably.  Ugh. the way...have you heard about this Frankenstorm thing?  Listen, I'm from Missouri.  We don't do hurricanes.  We do tornadoes, where you have 20 minutes warning if you're lucky.  So the whole days of preparation, school being cancelled yesterday, and everyone hunkering down and avoiding the outdoors thing is really freaking me out.

Don't worry though.  Our apartment is stocked full of water, candles, and wine.  The three necessities.  I've heard you can last for weeks, maybe even months on those three things.

I'm also thinking I should prepare some food and maybe take a shower before the power possibly (the weather channel is saying it's likely...) goes out.  I've adapted to this preparation thing quite nicely don't you think?  So I think I'll leave you with these yummy recipes and go prep the fort.

If you are in the path of the storm please stay safe and if not please stay safe and have fun on Halloween!

boo-worthy breakfast

1. Pumpkin Raspberry Pop Tarts -from Sea Salt with Food
2. Pumpkin Pancakes -from I Am Baker
3. Spiderweb Eggs -from Martha Stewart
4. Snack-o-Lantern Fruit Cups -from Pink Parsley
5. Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed French Toast -from Family Fresh Cooking
6. Mummy Bagel with Cream Cheese and Blueberries -from Eighteen 25

spooky snacks

1. Baked Witch Fingers -from Macheesmo
2. Pumpkin Cheese Ball -from Lol Foodie
3. Homemade Cheesy Ghost Crackers -from Sassy Radish
4. Mushroom filled Won Ton Appetizer -from Hungry Happenings
5. Mummy Dogs -from Our Best Bites
6. Spooky Black Bean Hummus -from Fat Free Vegan

dreadful drinks

1. Halloween Milk Shooters for the Little Ghosts -from The Family Kitchen
2. Blood Red Punch -from Noble Pig
3. Green Goblin Smoothie -from The Gourmet Mama
4. White Chocolate Ghost Cocktail Shooter -from The Slow Roasted Italian
5. Vampire Punch with Lime Sherbert -from Cookin' Canuck
6. Shrunken Heads in Cider -from Martha Stewart

morbid main dishes

1. Tentacle Pot Pies -from Not Martha via. The Family Kitchen
2. Mummus Melts -from Scarborough FoodFair
3. Mummy Pizza -from Cooking by Moonlight
4. Frankenstein Pizza -from Munchkin Munchies
5. Macaroni and Cheese Bake in Coffin Toast -from Almost Bourdain
6. Stuffed Jack-o'-Lanterns -from Healthful Pursuit

spine-chilling sweets

1. Frank and Willy Pops -from Fork and Beans
2. Halloween M&M Cookies -from Scarborough FoodFair
3. Leftover Halloween Candy Bark -from Brown Eyed Baker
4. Cake Ball Brains Oozing Cherry Blood -from Hungry Happenings
5. Halloween Dirt Cups -from The Hungry Housewife
6. Mummy Head Rice Krispies -from Recipe Girl
7. Black Velvet Spider Cupcakes -from Pastry Affair
8. Boo-tiful Halloween Cake -from I Am Baker

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween M&M Cookies


It's that time of year again.  Halloween is upon us and that means costumes are being created, parties are being planned and of course candy is everywhere.

But here's the thing.  I don't really like candy.

Don't get me wrong.  I have a sweet tooth.  And it's not a small one.  But that monstrous sweet tooth of mine has this bizarre animosity towards candy.  It really shouldn't discriminate.  But it does.

If someone were to offer me a bag full of M&M's or a handful of candy corn right at this very moment (or at any moment for that matter) I would decline without a second thought.  *Gasp* I know, it's just not my thing.  But...there's always an exception...and that exception comes in the form of White Chocolate Candy Corn M&M's.

Uh, what?

These things are like crack dipped in white chocolate.  I really don't understand it.  The part of me that dislikes candy is saying "Nooooooooooooo" but my taste buds are saying "YES".

Have I made my point that you should probably go grab a bag and try them?  Yes?  Okay, good.

But please don't eat the whole bag.  You'll need them for the cookies!

But...if you're a smart'll get two bags.  One for you, one for the cookies!

halloween m&m cookies

Makes: 2-3 dozen cookies (depending on size)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 8-12 minutes 
Total Time: 20 minutes 

{Printable Recipe}

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup M&Ms (preferably the Halloween M&M's!)

Preheat oven to 325°.
Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl whisk the butter and sugars until they are combined and look like the first picture below.  Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Slowly incorporate flour until a dough forms.  Mix until all flour is added and then stir in M&M's.
Scoop out about 2 tablespoons worth of dough for each cookie and drop onto an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 8-12 minutes at 325° then remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

P.S. - Please tell me you're proud that I took some process pictures?  It's been far too long.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Oh, Monday.  You've swamped my brain.  Again.  Are you seeing a pattern here?

The to-do lists are spinning around in my head.

Deadlines are looming.

Papers need writing.

And I just really want some time for napping.

But...only 30 days until Thanksgiving break...

Totally doable, right?  Right.

I hope you have a few seconds to sit back and relax while looking through this week's Meal Plan.  Enjoy!


Pumpkin Soup with Chanterelles
-from Sweet Paul


Korean Rice Bowl


Butternut Squash Ravioli with Caramelized Onions


Wintery Spring Rolls


Butternut Squash Caprese Salad with Avocado

a few goodies for the weekend...

Roasted Tomato and Egg Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Salmon en Croute

because halloween is just around the corner...

Pumpkin Almond Cookies

Black Bean and Pumpkin Soup

Corpse Reviver Cocktail

Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip with Cinnamon Chips

Bloody Caramel Apples

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Rustic Mini Pumpkin Cakes
-from Boulder Locavore

P.S. - Sorry about the lack of commentary this week.  I'm hoping that my brain will be back to full operating capacity next week.  Cross your fingers!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Shrimp with Figs, Goat Cheese Quinoa and Balsamic

It's going to be a short and sweet kind of morning.

It's early.  It's Thursday.  And I'm only on my first cup of coffee.

Therefore, if I get this out quick enough you won't have to read the ramblings that start during cup number three.  Caffeine fingers.  They're wild.

So let's jump right in and chat about this dish.

You might have noticed something similar to this on my Meal Plan Monday this week.  I originally planned on it being a Friday night meal but...I ended up with some shrimp, several figs, and a small amount of time to make dinner.  So I had to do the old switcheroo.

This is one of those dishes that highlights simplicity.  And you know how much I love those.  The goat cheese and fig combination is tried and true.  Sauteed mushrooms, onions, and garlic?  Tried and true.  Throw in some fresh shrimp, a splash of white wine and serve it over quinoa?  You've got yourself a winner.  And a winner that only takes a little over 30 minutes to produce.  Talk about results. 

Don't get all concerned about the "strange" ingredients.  Keenwah.  Goat Cheese.  Figs.  I wouldn't lead you astray here.  You need these things.  Cooked together in tasty harmony and placed in your mouth.  Got it?


P.S. - Don't forget to drizzle said winner with balsamic.  It's the cherry on top.

sauteed shrimp with figs, 
goat cheese quinoa and balsamic...

Adapted from Beth Michelle

Makes: 4 Servings   Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes   Total Time: 35 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

1 lb uncooked shrimp
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
6 ounces soft goat cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) package mixed mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
4 figs cut into chunks
splash of white wine
balsamic vinegar for drizzling

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until stock is absorbed.  Remove quinoa from heat and stir in goat cheese until well combined.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil, onion, garlic, and onions.  Saute until tender, 5-7 minutes.  Add uncooked shrimp and a splash of white wine.  Cook shrimp until cooked through and pink on both sides, about 7 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and remove pan from heat.
  3. To serve, split quinoa among 4 bowls and top with shrimp mixture and figs.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve immediately.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Meal Plan Monday

Ah.  The new week is finally here.  I'm looking forward to having a relaxing week filled with nights at home and some time to spend in the kitchen.  I feel like it's been so long since I've done so.

Wait...did I just say relaxing week?  Did I just overlook the fact that I have a midterm, project, and paper due this week?

Nope.  No overlooking here.  Just excited to spend some weeknights at home. <-- She's crazy.

Either way...I'm also looking forward to eating those meals while watching the St. Louis Cardinals.  If you'll remember, I'm originally from Missouri.  I just happen to be hiding amongst a bunch of (disappointed) Red Sox fans at the moment.  And it happens to be quite fun.  Maybe I'll even whip up a few game day(s) snacks for the World Series?  Because you'll be watching right?  Right.

This week's Meal Plan (as usual) was purely based on things that sounded good at the moment.  No rhyme or reason.  No particular flow throughout the week.  Maybe if I had a little more time on my hands...

Actually, do you know how torturous it is to put these things together?  I'm always starving by the time I find something for Wednesday.  It's brutal.  But someone has to do it.

Also, I included cookbooks this week because...I started a new job at a lovely little shop in the North End called Shake the Tree.  And aside from all of the beautiful clothes, jewelry, and other little goodies you can find has the most wonderful cookbooks.  You know my Flour cookbook that I couldn't live without?  Purchased it at Shake the Tree...along with several other of my favorites.  Since I started working my need/desire to purchase more cookbooks than my kitchen can handle has been rejuvenated...but of course that's not an option.  So in order to postpone the cookbook buying extravaganza I decided to share them with you.  I'm hoping it will buy me a bit more time.


Asian Ahi Salad


 Baked Chiocciole with Brussels Sprouts, Apples, and Blue Cheese


Black Pepper Tofu


Roasted Carrot Soup with Citrus and Cumin
-from 5 & Spice


Shrimp, Bacon, and Figs served with Goat Cheese Quinoa and drizzled with Fig Balsamic

possible weekend meal...

Mushrooms and Tofu en Papillote

swoon worthy...
I actually received Yvette van Boven's first Home Made book last year for Christmas...and now I need this one.

I adore her.

Ugh.  I need this.  In a bad way.  Look at it.  It's beautiful.

This comes out October 30th.  Can't wait to see it.  I love Smitten Kitchen!

So...I might have already purchased this one at Shake the Tree last weekend.  Whoops.  It's wonderful.

This is another one I've been browsing at Shake the Tree.  
1) The recipes look delicious 2) There are adorable illustrations

I think I need another bread/baking cookbook.  Expand my horizons you know?
Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson and Eric Wolfinger
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