Soup on the brain…

November 4th, 2010

Last week I went on a soup making craze. I made four different types with great fall vegetables… sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash and, oh, tomato… then I froze them… I love coming home from a long day and being able to heat up some soup… this was my own creation… I wanted to try the Grains of Paradise… they were peppery and very good with butternut squash…

Butternut Squash and Grains of Paradise Soup
1 roasted butternut squash
1 onion, chopped
1 tps. olive oil
1 in ginger, sliced
1 cup apple cider
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. grains of paradise, cracked
Salt and pepper

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Saute the onions and ginger until soft.
3. Add the butternut squash, grains of paradise, apple cider and vegetable broth.
4. Bring to a simmer and simmer until the liquid reduces. Puree the soup. If it is too liquidy, continue to simmer until it is the consistency you want.

P.S. Enter my Chocolate giveaway!

Lacking Inspiration…

March 13th, 2010

Oh the cooking slump has hit me… I hate it when that happens… the last time, I invented cooking mad libs. I went around and asked for ingredients (if I remember correctly):

Brother: Gouda
Resa: Thyme
Mom: Butternut Squash
Brother’s Girlfriend: Carrot
Dad: Chicken
Juan: Cardamon

Then I made this chicken stuffed with gouda sprinkled with a thyme herb mix with a butternut squash-carrot- cardamon sauce. Unfortunately, I did not write down the recipe to leave with you but this got me thinking…

I would like to do start making Cooking Mad Libs a more regular event… so, I ask you my dear readers… please leave me ingredients to work with in the comment section… in the following order… 1) Protein; 2) Vegetable; 3) Spice/Herb… then repeat… in other words, if you leave the first comment, please include a protein.  The second comment, a vegetable and so on… I’ll figure something out in about a week and post it… with a recipe this time, I swear…

So as not to leave you without any good recipes, here are two amazing chicken recipes that I made recently:
Amazing Oven Fried Chicken

Butter Chicken

Also, some links to some of my blogging friends… they are all doing wonderful things both food and non-food related…

My blogging mentee, Dot, is currently writing a series about her experiences with MS. Please check it out and support her.

Tammy and Bridget bring us the Chicago Cupcake Crawl for those interested in finding delicious cupcakes in Chicago.

Mark reviews cookbooks at the Gastronomer’s bookshelf so we do not waste money buying a bad cookbook.

Disclaimer: I was not paid to promote any of these blogs. They are my friends.

A little seasonal inspiration…

October 31st, 2009

Yesterday I discovered that fennel and butternut squash were on sale. I immediately had visions of a warm, comforting fall soup… I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked so I created my own… It turned out really well! One of those dishes that I’m quite proud to have made. The fennel and ginger complemented each other without being over powering (thanks to the suggestion of the Flavor Bible). The butternut squash and pear had just enough sweetness. If you want it to be a little thinner add some more chicken broth. I made a goat cheese grilled cheese to dip in it. A very delicious lunch!

Ginny’s Butternut Squash and Fennel Soup

1 butternut squash, roasted (See Note)
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 pear, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1. In a stock pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until soft.
2. Add the fennel and pear, saute until the pear is soft.
3. Add the roasted butternut squash.
4. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Boil until a fork goes through the fennel easily. About 15 minutes.
5. In batches, food process the ingredients until smooth.
6. Return to the stock pot, mix in the salt, pepper and ginger. Heat to desired temperature and serve.

Note:  I poked holes in the whole butternut squash with a fork and roasted at 450 for about an hour and a half.  About half way through, I rolled the squash onto another side.  Then I cut it open and scooped out the inside.  I always roast a whole squash, as opposed to trying to split it before roasting it, because the last time I tried to do that I almost took off a hand.  Be careful!