Would it even be Fall if I didn’t give you a new soup recipe? Of course, it would, but I felt you needed another delicious and creamy soup to keep in your back pocket for when you’re feeling extra seasonal. I don’t like to toot my own horn but “TOOT -TOOT”! This recipe is SO GOOD! I’m not going to lie, it’s going to cost you a bit of clean up, but I promise the results are worth it! Velvety soup, warm and earthy aromas, and a crunchy, sweet topping…ummm, YES, PLEASE! A company worthy dish, sure to impress even your toughest critics! Your guests will love this one so much that they’ll feel obligated to clean the mess up afterwards.
I promise not to tell them just how easy it was to make, that can be our little secret!
*If doubling the recipe, use 2 baking trays to prevent over crowding of the roasted vegetables.
For the Soup
For the Brittle
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, add the butternut squash, onion, fennel, garlic, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper and toss until the vegetables are nicely coated. Evenly spread the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and toss to make sure everything is cooking evenly. Place the tray back into the oven and roast for another 15 minutes.
Remove the baking tray from the oven, pick out the three garlic cloves and set them aside. Carefully scrape the rest of the vegetable mixture into a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the sherry, bay leaf and squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the pot, discarding the skin. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sherry cooks down a bit, then add the chicken stock. Continue to simmer for another 10 -15 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, make the brittle.
In a small pan over medium low heat, add the pistachios, butter and cinnamon. Shimmy the pan around until the mixture becomes fragrant, this should only take a few minutes. Pour in the maple syrup and keep shimmying the pan as it bubbles for 1 minute. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper and give it one more shimmy. Pour the brittle onto a plate or small tray and use a rubber spatula to evenly spread out the mixture. Set aside to cool.
Remove the bay leaf from the pot and discard. (DON'T FORGET THIS STEP!! THE BAY LEAF WILL RUIN YOUR SOUP IF IT ENDS UP IN THE BLENDER!!) Carefully ladle the hot soup mixture into a blender...did you take out the bay leaf...do it now! Puree the soup until smooth (leave the vent of the blender off to allow steam to escape but place a clean dish towel over the opening to prevent splatter). Pour the soup back into the pot, you can turn the heat off at this point or set it to the lowest setting to keep warm. Stir in the Crème Fraiche, reserving a few tablespoons for serving.
Once the Brittle has cooled and hardened, break it apart with your hands.
Ladle the soup into bowls and swirl in a spoonful of the reserved Crème Fraiche and a sprinkle of the pistachio brittle, serve immediately and enjoy!
by Ashley Fagan
photo credit @kitchencoma via Instagram
I am slightly obsessed with granola. Not that store bought, card board textured, unappealingly bland nonsense you buy in the supermarket of course! Granola is so simple to make at home and SO MUCH BETTER then anything you can buy off a shelf! This lovely homemade, protein rich, whole grain, subtly sweet, slightly salty, crunchy little bite sized bits of deliciousness is so good you'll find it hard to find an excuse not to eat it throughout your entire day, hence the name "Anytime Granola". Whether it be post morning workout, afternoon lunch or late night snack, this granola is sure to be a new favorite in your home!
Makes about 6 cups prepared
2 Egg Whites
1/4 Cup Pure Maple Syrup
3 T. Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
1 1/2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
1/2 Cup Pecan Pieces
1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/3 Cup Millet
2 T. Sesame Seeds
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg whites through turmeric until well combined. Add the oats through sesame seeds and stir together with a rubber spatula until everything is nicely coated.
Pour the mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet and spread out in an even layer using a rubber spatula.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and set your timer for 15 minutes. Remove the granola from the oven and give it a good toss with the rubber spatula then spread back out into an even layer. Return the baking sheet to the oven for another 15 minutes then remove and toss again. Finish the granola for another 10 minutes then remove from the oven and rest until completely cool. Add the dried cranberries and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
My favorite way to eat this lovely granola is piled on top of unsweetened Greek yogurt with a handful of fresh blueberries and a drizzle of local honey! Yum!
by Stephanie Spickler
Calling all Salsa lovers…. Calling all Chips & Dip lovers ..
Calling all super-food & snack lovers ..
Ever wonder if there’s a way to marry super-foods with your favorite (typically unhealthy) snack foods?
Well, good news - there is!
If you love salsa, dips & super-foods, this quick fix “dip” list is for you!
Traditional mild salsa.
For a fresh flavorful, traditional mild salsa. I highly recommend trying this recipe! Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene which has been linked to reducing heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K to keep you immune system healthy and your skin looking great! You can pick what type of tomato you would like to use as your main ingredient and the rest is easy
Prep time is about 5 minutes. You can grab your favorite “salsa” bowl and just add ingredients one by one, stir it up well before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.
For a spicy version, add chopped jalapeños! I love a good kick so when I spice mine up I use about ½ of the jalapeño - my husband prefers I use way less but you can add to your own taste preference!
Eat your “Protein” Salsa
This recipe will not disappoint! Not only is it one of the BEST homemade bean recipes, it’s quite delicious and borderline addictive by itself, or as a bean salad or when you pile it on top of blue corn chips as a salsa. This is the most scrumptious, healthy snack, great for busy moms in need of quick, nutritious mom fuel!
Serve as a snack - solo or with corn chips. Top your tacos on Taco Tuesday or dress up a salad southwestern style!
Chicks & Dip
Chick Peas as a snack dip? Weird combo? Not when you try this amazing, zesty chip dip! As a salsa lover and health junkie, I had to create my now unique salsas & dips because I just don't want to eat that junk from the grocery stores and I need something full of nutrients, not corn syrup and preservatives. I am a busy stay at home mom and when we eat, I need to make sure we eat healthy. So, I’ve perfected the Chicks & Dip ..and bonus, my toddlers love it too! I personally opt for Blue Corn Chips or naan bread to pair with this recipe but you can get creative, try some crackers! Switch it up, get funky. Enjoy it how you like it! As an added bonus, chick peas are a rich source of iron, fiber and protein to help your little ones grow big and strong!
Grab some pita or naan bread & enjoy!
Beans & Couscous
This delightful and light blend is sure to fill you up & recharge your fuel levels. It’s packed with protein & vitamins and rich in beta carotene to boost your immunity!
I enjoy eating this by itself and topped with diced cherry tomatoes and drizzled Carter & Cavero Balsamic vinegar. This is a great sandwich topper!
Get creative, mix it up and make your own variation of a super-food dip! Feed your body the good stuff!
by Ashley Fagan
Looking for a change to your morning breakfast routine! Warm spices and subtly sweet delicate crumbs make for the perfect morning pick me up! These muffins are packed full of heart healthy oats, protein rich Greek yogurt and sweet carrots which are an excellent source of beta-carotene, potassium and antioxidants to give you the boost you need to get through the morning rush. Don’t skimp on your morning fuel! Keep a few of these on hand the next time you need a little something more than coffee to get you going.
Makes 12 Muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with liners.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour through ground clove and set aside.
In a liquid measuring cup whisk together the sugars, yogurt, applesauce, vanilla and egg until combined. Whisk in the melted butter and then add the wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Using a rubber spatula, fold together the wet and dry ingredients until combined. The batter will be thick and sticky. Fold in the grated carrot, chopped walnuts and raisins.
Evenly divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups, about 1/3 cup batter per muffin. The cups will be full but don't worry. Bake in the center of the oven for 25-30 min, checking after the 25-minute mark by inserting a toothpick into the center muffin. When the toothpick comes out clean and the tops are lightly browned they are done. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack. They are best eaten right after baking but you can also store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Serve with butter and honey for an extra special treat!
Every holiday season this breakfast makes a regular appearance around my house. It's perfect to serve for a crowd because it takes little effort, you can plan ahead and its freaking delicious. Another reason I really love this recipe is that its incredibly versatile to suit anyone's taste. Feel free to play around with the flavor combinations. Maybe blueberry and vanilla, chocolate and hazelnut, bananas and honey?! The options are endless! I really hope this family tradition makes a regular appearance around your breakfast table as well.
Butter for greasing the baking dish
10 Large Eggs
1 Cup Whole Milk
1 ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 ½ teaspoons Cinnamon
½ teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Apple, peeled and diced
½ Cup Walnuts, chopped
1 Large Loaf of day old Challah bread, cubed into 1 inch pieces (roughly ten cups)
Powdered Sugar for Serving
Maple Syrup for serving
Grease a large oval baking dish with butter. In a very large bowl whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Add the diced bread, apples and walnuts to the egg mixture and stir to combine until the bread is soaked through with the custard. Pour the bread and custard mixture into the prepared baking dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for at least an hour before baking.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan to prevent bubbling over and making a mess in your oven. Bake for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until the custard is set and the top is puffed and golden brown. Start checking around the 45-minute mark to make sure the top isn’t getting too dark. If it appears to be browning quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking until the custard is set. You can tell once the custard is set by inserting a knife into the center and separating the bread a bit to make sure no liquid is visible. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with warm maple syrup.
I look forward to my summer tomatoes every year, especially the beautiful yellow sun sweets which always grow in abundance. I sometimes find myself with various bowls of these little sugary tomatoes all over my kitchen and I'm constantly trying to find creative ways to use them up. Although this is probably best categorized as an appetizer, I love to have this for a quick light dinner with a chilled glass of crisp white wine. Its quick to pull together and not too heavy during those hot summer nights. Feel free to use whatever tomatoes you have on hand. The slow roast helps bring out the sweetness in just about every variety.
Serves 4 as an appetizer and 2 as a dinner
For the Tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs Cherry Tomatoes
3 T Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves thinly Sliced
1 tsp Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
A generous handful of fresh herbs ( Use a mix of whatever you like. I like to use oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage and basil) Use as many or as few as you like
For the Whipped Goat Cheese
4 oz. Goat Cheese at room temp
4 oz. Cream Cheese at room temp
For the Bread
1 Baguette cut into 1 inch thick slices
3T Olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic salt and fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees. In a baking dish, toss together the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs until the tomatoes are well coated. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes. While the tomatoes are cooking, add the goat cheese and cream cheese to a mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula or a mixing spoon, cream the cheese together until they become well combined and spreadable.
To prepare the baguette, preheat the grill the medium high or if you don't want to use the grill just set your broiler to high. Mix the oil, garlic salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the oil onto the baguette slices. Grill the bread until it start to turn golden brown and char in some places. If using a broiler, set it under the flame and watch it closely until the bread starts to char a bit.
To serve, spread the cheese onto the warmed bread slices and top with the tomatoes, spooning over some of the juice. Enjoy!
*Variation - sometimes I like to add toasted pine nuts to the crostini for an added layer of flavor and texture. Give it a try if you have some on hand.
I'll admit that on some week nights, I am just too exhausted by the thought of making dinner, but the idea of ordering takeout, picking it up and overpaying for something that is just so-so is equally exhausting. I have been on a mission to create easy meals that can be prepared with little hassle and minimal cleanup for nights such as these. This lemon veggie orzo is satisfying, somewhat healthy (at least healthier then takeout) and a snap to throw together. If you feel so inclined, grill up some fish or chicken to serve along with the pasta but this dish can easily hold its own. It can also be served at room temp or eaten directly from the fridge the next day if you have any leftovers.
1 lb Orzo cooked to package directions
1 Bunch of Asparagus, trimmed of woody ends and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 T olive oil
1 Lemon, zest and juice
1 tsp Garlic Salt
Pepper to taste
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes, halved
2 T fresh minced parsley
1 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 T butter
1 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and start the water for the Orzo.
On a baking sheet toss the asparagus pieces with 2 T olive oil, lemon zest, garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. Spread the pieces out evenly and roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Start the orzo the same time you add the asparagus to the oven.
While the asparagus and orzo cook, grab a large mixing bowl or serving bowl. Add the halved tomatoes, 1 T olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, parsley and a generous pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Stir together and allow the tomatoes to macerate while to asparagus and orzo cook.
Remove the asparagus from the oven once it is slightly charred but still hold a slight bite. Drain the orzo and add both the asparagus and pasta to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add the butter and stir until everything is combined and the butter has melted. Toss in the cheese and mix until everything is coated.
You can serve this dish immediately or at room temp....it’s not fussy
Hummus is probably one of my favorite snack foods to make. I can indulge without feeling too guilty and this version in particular makes me feel like I'm doing something good for myself since it showcases some healthy and super tasty baby carrots!
For the roasted carrots
1 lb. bag of baby carrots
2 T Olive Oil
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl and dump onto a rimmed baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes, flipping the carrots once half way through the cook time.
For the Hummus
1 can of chickpeas drained but not rinsed
1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1/4 cup Tahini
3 T Sunflower oil
1 T Shoyu
Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until it starts to form a paste then turn it on high until it comes together to form a smooth paste. You can add more oil if it seems to thick.
Serve on toasted Sourdough and top with greek yogurt and harrisa.....or you can serve it up with a side of veggies and pita, it's up to you!