Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sweet Potato Curry Soup

Not everyone is a fan of curry, but if you are, then I would definitely give this soup a try. And if you're not, try it anyway. It may surprise you! It is so delicious and perfect on a cold winter night.

I based the recipe off of this one from I left out the lentils and the orange juice and increased the coconut milk. We had lentils for dinner the night before, so I wanted a break from them. Plus, with brown rice I didn't feel like it needed the lentils. The orange juice just sounded funny to me to add to curry. It totally could be delicious, but I didn't want to risk it...(maybe I should be more risky with my cuisine? hmm....I'll have to ruminate on that one..)

I followed the recipe and roasted the sweet potatoes first to give it more depth of flavor. But you could totally skip that step if you're crunched for time and just simmer is on low heat for longer until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.


Sweet Potato Curry Soup
Prep time: 1 hr Cook time: 30 minutes Servings: 6
Recipe adapted from:

3 large sweet potatoes, diced
2 Tb olive oil
salt and pepper
2 Tb butter
1 large onion, diced
2 shallots, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 Tb curry powder
2 Tbs freshly grated ginger
4 C vegetable stock
1 can coconut milk
3 cups cooked brown rice
cilantro for serving

  • Mix sweet potato with olive oil, salt, and pepper and put on a large sheet pan and roast at 400 F for 35-45 minutes or until they start to get some good roasted color on them and then set aside. 
  • In large, heavy bottomed pot, over medium high heat, saute onions and shallots in butter for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add turmeric, curry and ginger to onions and shallots and cook an additional minute until the spices become fragrant. 
  • Add vegetable broth and sweet potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Then turn the heat down and let the soup simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Add coconut milk after soup has simmered, then using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. If too thick, then add a bit more stock. 
  • Serve in a bowl with a large scoop of brown rice and cilantro

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Buttermilk Pancakes

Before delving into pancakes I feel like I need to take a moment to talk about the photos on this here blog. Man do they stink. I know they stink. I don't want you, my dear readers, to think I'm naive enough not to know they stink. I know. I'd love to be one of those awesome blogs that has beautiful photography, step-by-step photos of the cooking process and very artistically designed finished product photos, but I am not.

If it's the middle of the winter and dark outside at 5:30pm, then you're going to get a grainy shot from my poorly lit kitchen or possibly one on our very scratched up coffee table trying to utilize just a shred of natural light. Or if I forgot to take a picture before we start eating dinner, then you're going to get a pic of my half-eaten soup.

So I guess I'm apologizing...or not apologizing. I don't know. You get the picture, right? (pun intended) I hope you guys stay as readers because of the food and not because of my photos (or lack thereof) or my horrible writing (yeesh...that's a whole 'nother issue...).

Now, onto the cakes!

We have a tradition to make breakfast for dinner on Sundays. This started as a way to make Sunday dinner less stressful and a bit easier to plan and make. Most Sundays we do pancakes because they are a crowd favorite around here. Don't get me started about the time I decided to do hash browns and omelets. There was a VERY disappointed four year old.

It has taken me a very long time to come up with my all-time favorite pancake recipe. But I finally have it! I think the key is to use buttermilk and to not overmix the batter. This is also a great base to make blueberry, chocolate chip or banana pancakes. And always use pure maple syrup...the best!


Buttermilk Pancakes
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes  Yield: 15 pancakes

2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 TB melted butter
2 cups buttermilk (plus 1/4 cup if batter is too thick)
2 eggs

  • Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl.
  • In another bowl mix melted butter with buttermilk, then add both eggs and whisk together.
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined, do not overmix. It is ok to have a few lumps. If batter is too thick, thin it out with more buttermilk until it reaches a good consistency. 
  • Using a 1/4 cup measuring spoon, pour batter onto hot griddle (medium high heat) 
  • Cook on the first side until bubbles start to pop through and the sides start to look dry. 
  • Then flip and cook the other side until golden brown. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is so good. I love it as a sauce, in lasagna, roasted, and in soup. But have you ever experienced the tormenting chore of peeling a butternut squash? It's really difficult (or maybe it's just me?), especially with the dull knives I've had for 10+ years (I really should do something about that). To make things easier for me, I prefer to get my butternut squash from Costco in the refrigerated section. It comes in a package already cubed. The recipe below assumes you have cubed squash. But when I can't get cubed squash, I use one of two methods to cook or peel my squash. 

Method 1: Whole Roasting
The name is pretty self-explanatory. You cut the squash in half, deseed it, and slather the cut sides with olive oil and salt and pepper. Then roast in the oven with the cut sides facing down. When they're done roasting, you let them cool until you can handle them and scoop out the butternut squash and add it to the soup. 

Method 2: Microwave
With this method we use our trusty microwave to soften the peel of the squash. Take your squash and liberally pierce it all the way around with a fork or knife. Cut the top and bottom off the squash. Place on a microwave safe plate and cook it on high for 3-4 minutes. Let the squash cool and then use your vegetable peeler or sharp knife to peel the skin. It comes off much easier this way. Then you're free to deseed and chop it up. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour Servings: 8

3.5 lbs butternut squash, cubed (~2 medium squashes)
1 Tb olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tb butter
2 small onions, diced
2 small granny smith apples, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5-6 cups vegetable stock
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
  • While prepping and chopping vegetables, preheat oven to 400F.
  • In a large bowl, drizzle butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix, making sure all the squash is covered. Place butternut squash on baking sheet and roast in oven for 30-40 minutes. When done, take out of the oven and set aside.
  • In large soup pot, saute onions, apples, and celery in butter for 7-8 minutes or until onions and cooked through. 
  • Add roasted butternut squash, 5 cups of vegetable stock, cinnamon, nutmeg, onion powder, and garlic powder to pot. 
  • Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes 
  • Stir in cream cheese to soup.
  • Then using an immersion blender, blend soup until smooth.
  • If soup is a little thick, add more vegetable stock, until it reaches a consistency you enjoy. 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with warm bread and enjoy!