roasted mushroom & cauliflower soup

It was time to get rid of the week old roasted veggies in my fridge and I was fighting off the urge to eat out. I don’t know why it is SO hard to cook for myself but it always has been this way. I far prefer a crowd around the table to the drudgery of preparing a solitary meal. It’s been an interesting exercise to think about new postings to add to my blog. I’ve actually been inspired to cook more, even for just moi! I think blogging food for me translates into a dinner party of sorts…Something I get to share with all of you guys if you were here with me right this minute. Even better, it would be great to hear back if anyone tries one of my recipes (I know it might actually be a stretch to call it a recipe) themselves…so please, send me updates if you have tried something or if you were inspired to change it up.

Another confession — I am a canned soup hater. I find few things less appetizing than Campbell’s Soup, yet homemade soup can be so healthy and delicious. As a kid I overdosed on canned and powdered chicken noodle soup. I supplemented my regular Kraft Dinner diet with these 2 items growing up. Nothing like multi-taking at an early age, when there was a ton of TV to be watched and only 45 min for lunch.

I will happily eat scratch soups and with the aid of purchased stocks it make the process super fast easy and delicious.

I gathered my mise en place. (my new to me fancy term I must start using for culinary school. It’s mandatory for me to get over my terrible french accent and expand my vocabulary)

5 minute soup- 4 smallish servings

  • Roasted (or fried) cauliflower and onions (approx. 1 -2 cups)
  • Roasted or friend mushrooms (approx. 1 c- leave aside a T for garnish)
  • 3 c of stock ( veggie, beef or chicken)
  • Blend (with blender or immersion blender) 2 c of stock with the veggies til smooth or desired consistency
  • Add into pot and heat–You can add the remainder of stock to make soup as thick or thin as you like.
  • Season to taste with Salt, pepper, 2-3 T of balsamic vinegar, 1 T of Horseradish if desired.
  • Serve with dollop of plain yogurt and tiny chives and a piece or two of mushroom on top

Of course this is not like baking a sponge cake– you can add or delete at whim. Just taste as you go along to make sure you get the proportions right for your taste buds. 

Easter Monday confessions

The Easter bunny forgot to hide the eggs on Sunday so he stopped by our place this morning sometime after everyone dragged themselves out of bed. Having a 2.5 year old around the house makes most things in life more fun. Eggs hiding out behind silk pillows, lounging on the  doll house sofa or behind teddy bear posterior’s make the hunt extra fun for Ms Madds . For me, it means a multi-generational tradition of deception. I pick up sale priced Valentine’s chocolate and pass it off as Easter Bunny droppings. Ok, I will mix it up with those cheapo foil wrapped eggs just to fool them.  All my kids thought that Halloween Candy came in stockings, Santa Claus showed up for Valentines day and foil wrapped hearts were offerings left by a rabbit. I swear if it were not for post season candy on sale, my kids would have grown up without cavities and I might be 20 pounds lighter.

It seemed fitting that I discovered the remainder of the peanut butter balls that I stuck in the freezer last Christmas– and decided to roll them in the Laura Secord heart I purchased at 75% off last week. They went particularly well with left over coconut cream pie.

In the afternoon, Maddie and I went plant shopping . When confronted with the idea of returning without promised flowers in hand, I decided to purchase a nice flower wind-sock for Maddie to plant out front. She spent the rest of the time pulling stuff out of cupboards, creating masterpieces on her chalk board and rifling through the fridge amongst other things.

The pruned fruit tree branches are now in bloom in the kitchen, and I have to say,  it was a very good day.  The only improvement would involve Easter hunting with James, Mr. Finny and baby Mae. Something to dream about.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Peanut Butter Balls

Scoop some natural crunch peanut butter in a bowl. Mix in powdered sugar –just enough to make it more pliable for rolling. I like it to be more on the peanut buttery side than the overly sweet camp.

  • Roll into smallish balls. Chill or pop in freezer.
  • Break up left over easter bunny, Santa Claus, or Valentine’s hearts and melt on low temp in microwave. Do not get impatient. stir until fairly cool and less glossy.
  • Make little round finger dots of chocolate spots on parchment or waxed paper.

NOW:

Dip the cold peanut butter balls in melted chocolate. 2 spoons make it easy. If the chocolate is too hot you will create big wide tu tus ( skirts ) around each chocolate. Looks ugly but tastes good. In fact, that’s what you have to do with the ugly ones…EAT THEM.

Note: Old school chocolatiers will get their hands right in the chocolate and make a cute curly-q on top…and maybe even sprinkle a couple of crushed peanuts while still setting.  I find it too hard to keep from licking my fingers so I opt for spoons.

 Post Note: it is perfectly acceptable to use proper chocolate like Lindt or Callebaut. My sister is the true expert on all things chocolate. I am just a hack.