A little bit of everything. A post about why I haven’t posted & Curried Carrot Soup!

Hi All,

As summer came (and went) into full swing, so did my inspiration. I have been very busy in the kitchen!!! As you may have seen on my Facebook Page, I purchased stacks of summer food magazines. I poured over them for weeks, and made a wonderful meal for my friends.  Also, during this time (my lag between posts), my husband was out of town, and I was forced to think up several delicious and quick meals for my toddler and I. Quick is usually not my forte, so this actually was a challenge.  I’ve also been busy in the kitchen processing the bountiful harvest that our small garden and CSA have provided. Luckily for all of us, I’ve captured most of this in pictures!

The reasons why Niki hasn’t had time to write:

1. Dinner Party! Most of these recipes came from the Food Network Summer issue:

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I received a generous amount of heirloom tomatoes from our CSA. I wanted to dress them up and show them off by making this heirloom tomato, and fontina cheese torte!

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Between my garden, and the CSA I had Zucchini for days! I whipped up this quick and easy zucchini and caramelized onion tart to tide our guest over until the main event! This was the only recipe that was my own. 1. Thinly slice and caramelize three large onions. 2. Spread mixture over raw puff pastry. 3. Arrange thinly sliced zucchini on top of the caramelized onion mixture. 4. Make a mixture of 2 tbl panko bread crumbs, 2 tbl pecorino romano cheese, 1/2 tsp evoo. Sprinkle on top of zucchini. 5. Bake at 375 until puff pastry is done, and the zucchini is cooked.

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Peach Bourbon upside-down cake!

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I acquired these succulent beauties at the farmers market. I needed to put them to good use!

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What the cake is supposed to look like.

 

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How my cake turned out. Not too shabby!

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We topped the peach upside-down cake with homemade honey frozen yogurt.

 

2. I have an almost two year old who is very active and LOVES to explore. I didn’t have an hour to make dinner like I usually do when my husband is home. While I don’t mind ordering out, I didn’t want to do it every night. I used to staples from my kitchen that SAVED me. I will eventually make a full list of all of my kitchen staples, but here are a few to tide you over until then:
*Grated pecorino romano
*Chicken Stock
*Meatballs

Yes. Your read that one right. Meatballs. I ALWAYS have meaballs in my freezer. I make them myself when I have some extra time and then freeze. In a pinch the store bought kind are good too. They can be added to soups, sauce, used as an appetizer, or they make a great pizza topping. They also make a great alternative to chicken nuggets for a toddler lunch. You won’t be seeing my personal recipe any time soon. Lets wait to get to know each other better first. :o)

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Night one was easy peasy! I prepared some frozen tortellini according to the package instructions. In another pot, I heated some frozen meatballs up in chicken stock. Once the meatballs were fully heated, I tossed the pasta in with some greens and stirred until the greens are wilted. I topped it with some fresh basil, salt & pepper, and a generous sprinkling of percorino romano.

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When you DO order out like I did, you can use the leftovers in creative ways. I got these beautiful cippolini onions at the Stockton farmer’s market and wanted to put them to good use. I also had some leftover white rice from Chinese delivery the day before.

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Saute the onions in a little EVOO

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Once the onions soften, add the rice, CHICKEN STOCK, salt, pepper, and some frozen peas! This was actually a side dish to some grilled chicken. However, I could eat this as a main dish!

3. Over the past few weeks, I’ve amassed a huge pile of carrots. I’ve got to be honest, I don’t really like carrots! Week after week, I would take them from my CSA haul and put them away in the fridge hoping that inspiration would strike. It never did. It wasn’t until my crisper runneth over that I took action.

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Beauties!

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Squidward tentacles

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Cooking!

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Adding spices!

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Stroke of genius! The soup was good, but was screaming for something to marry the strong earthy flavor of the carrot, and the spice of the curry.

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Final product. Served with garlic Naan and garnished with cilantro.

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Here is the full recipe for my soup. I made several changes to the original recipe to make it my own.

2 pounds of carrots sliced
1 large onion
4 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
2 tbl curry powder
2 tbl garam masala
*4-5 cloves garlic grated
*1 tbl grated fresh ginger
salt & pepper to taste

1. In a dutch oven or heavy bottom stock pot, saute onions until soft.
2. Add carrots, chicken stock, garlic, ginger, and spices. Cook until carrots are very soft.
3. Blend mixture in small batches in a blender or use an immersion blender (recommended) to puree. NOTE: You can blend the soup in a larger batch if you let it cool completely first. It’s very dangerous to fill a blender with hot liquid in large batches. Additionally, if the soup doesn’t take on a creamy/silky texture, you can add more hot chicken stock.
4. Add soup back to the pot, and stir in coconut milk.

Serve with crusty bread or Garlic Naan.

*Tip I buy garlic cloves and fresh ginger in large batches. I peel the ginger chop it and puree in a blender. I take that mixture and freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen they can be put into a ziplock bag to store in freezer.I toss a cube or two into various dishes to add a punch of flavor. I used two cubes in this recipe.

Well that is all for this week! I’ve been busy with various other smaller kitchen projects. I share those on my Facebook Page. Last week, I made pickles, processed tomatoes, and made a spicy old fashioned ketchup! Please ‘Like’ my page to get the recipe.

Happy Cooking!

xoxo Niki