Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Recently I’ve been addicted to Pinterest and am finding I don’t have enough time/meals/days to make all the wonderful things my friends are discovering for me.  However I pushed this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup to the top of my list; mostly because cauliflowers are in season at the farmer’s market, and secondly my sister-in-law gave this a huge thumbs up.

I probably used too much cauliflower because my soup turned out like a stew. However the flavor was oh, so good!  My husband gave this recipe his personal stamp of approval, so I think this will make it onto the family cookbook.

I must give @hailskitchen over at the Tasty Kitchen kudos for this recipe.  I used yellow sharp cheddar instead of white — only because that’s what I had available.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 head Cauliflower, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 whole Shallots, Roughly Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1-½ cup White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarse Salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a cookie sheet, drizzle the cauliflower, shallots and garlic with the olive oil and season with coarse salt. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.

Carefully place the vegetables in a food processor or blender and roughly puree. Texture is good, large chunks are not so good. Place the vegetables in a pot along with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes. Add the cheese, thyme and a good dose of black pepper. Season to taste with salt. Serve with warm, crusty bread and enjoy!

Oops! There Goes the Pumpkin

The Hot Pot before baking.

Ah, it’s fall. My favorite time of year because the pumpkins are back in the stores. So you can imagine my excitement when I received a new recipe for Aromatic Pumpkin And Chickpea Hot Pot that my friend Stacy found in the New York Times.

Like Stacy, I was going to back this Hot Pot inside a pumpkin — even though the recipe didn’t call for it. And like Stacy, I was going to impress the socks off my dinner guests.

I made some minor modifications to the recipe. I didn’t use chunks of pumpkin when assembling since it would be cooked inside one. I planned to just scrap the pumpkin meat off the sides when dishing out the stew. That makes prepping much easier.

I also cut the chickpeas in half and instead used a can of hominy.

This hot pot recipe was super easy to prepare.  I assembled and cooked it on the stove top the night before. Refrigerated over night and then placed it inside the pumpkin to bake for our noon dinner.

Guests arrived, dinner was ready, and all I needed to do was transfer the baked pumpkin filled with this awesome tasting hop pot recipe on to the severing platter for it’s final presentation.

The Remains.

As my guests were looking on in wonderment, I picked up the pumpkin from the 9″ cake pan it was resting in and I suddenly hear a WHOOSH! To my horror the stew dropped out of the bottom of the pumpkin, back into the cake pan, and overflowed in to the stove.

As I continued to look on in horror, my friend stepped in to take over. We were able to salvage what fell into the cake pan and serve it in the pumpkin, placed in a bowl, on top of the serving platter.

Dinner wasn’t a disaster, but it sure did come close.

The Final Presentation.

My Sunday Confession

Sometimes my experience in the kitchen is a disaster.  Friday almost ended up as one of those days.

I had invited friends over for dinner.  They were to arrive at 6:30 p.m. My menu was Spicy Fall Pumpkin Stew, Pobalano-Cucumber Salsa, Vegan Coconut Cake.  Here’s how my afternoon turned out:

2:00 Grocery shopping (forgot Peanut Butter, a staple for 2 year olds)
3:00 Start prepping Vegan Coconut Cake
3:10 Searching for Baking Powder (Where is it?)
3:15 2yo grabs coconut milk and spills it all over him and the floor
3:20 2yo demands needing the stool to help me (not helpful)
3:20 Found the Baking Powder!
3:25 Discover the gas for the oven is turned off
3:30 Call husband for directions on turning on the oven
3:31 2yo has melt down
4:00 Place cake batter in cake pans
4:05 Glance across the kitchen and realized the baking powder was CORN STARCH!
4:06 Dump cake batter bake in bowl and mix in baking powder
4:15 Cut new parchment paper for cake pans
4:30 Place batter back in cake pans
4:30 Cake goes into oven
4:40 Baby needs fed
5:00 Cut and prep pumpkin
5:15 Realize I’m out of Cheddar Cheese for pumpkin!
5:29 Cake is finished baking
5:30 Start prepping ingredients for Pumpkin Stew
5:31 Husband arrives home but needs to send out work emails
5:32 Kids are fussy and screaming
6:00 Poblano peppers makes it into the oven for broil
6:01 Text friends to ask if they could arrive at 7:00 p.m.
6:05 Husband leaves to buy Cheddar Cheese
6:30 Stop to soothe fussy baby
6:45 Husband returns with Cheese
6:50 Pumpkin Stew assembled and placed in oven.
6:55 Guests arrive.

At this point I still need to assemble the cake and Poblano-Cucumber Salsa. Luckily it was our good friends Mike and Edlyn who were joining us for dinner, and since Mike is a professional chef he helped me whip everything into shape.

But this is where my confession is given — I planned to blog about the Vegan Coconut Cake, however with my afternoon, something just wasn’t clicking. I forgot that I had changed the icing when I made it before — instead of doing a butter cream, I had done a coconut milk glaze.  Midway through mixing the icing I remembered what I did and tried a compromise — a course correction, I call it.

Not all yummy cakes turn out looking like a beauty.

It didn’t work.

Instead I ended up with a slick icing that didn’t stick to well to the cake. On top of my distractions I had placed the cake on top of the stove, which was warm, and my icing melted.

The result was a cross between a flop and ugly — fuggly.

However this fuggly cake still tasted good, even with corn starch.

A Recipe to Impress

Spicy Fall Pumpkin Stew

Spicy Fall Pumpkin Stew

Fall is in the air and my favorite recipe of all time is from a 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times.  Spicy Fall Pumpkin Stew looks so elegant baked in a pumpkin, yet it is easy to assemble.  You’ll be sure to impress your guests with its savory flavors of cheddar cheese, cumin and garlic. The original recipe calls for cayenne pepper, however I always leave that out because I don’t like recipes that are too spicy.  Also the Poblano-Cucumber Salsa completes the meal. Enjoy!