OMG, you guys! I still have it! I have not lost my touch in the kitchen even though my stove has not been used in an embarrassingly long time. I saw Acorn Squash at the Farmer’s Market and had to get it. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with it but I lugged that thing around all day anyways. But it was worth it for this soup, and I’d do it again! I am actually pleasantly surprised at how well this soup turned out, it surpassed my expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I expected it to be good, but this was heaven. The mornings here have been frosty and the leaves are beautiful golden yellows, oranges and reds; this soup embodies that with the yellowy-orange squash and the pinky-red apples. This soup is basically slurpable Autumn in a bowl. It’s the kind of thing you would enjoy after a long day of jumping in piles of freshly raked leaves and picking out the perfect pumpkin in the patch while sipping on hot cider with a McDreamy look-a-like… Or, if you are anything like me, after sitting on the couch all day catching up on Dexter reruns and regretting that last half bottle of wine you drank last night. Regardless, this soup is perfect anytime.
I apologize for my absence. I really have no excuse for my vanishing act. I just got busy. And amidst my bustling life, my cooking and baking evolved into the quick chopping of veggies tossed together and called a salad, a bagel toasted with cream cheese and called lunch, take out picked up on the way home and called dinner. I found myself outs of the house more often than in the kitchen. I apologize for my absence but I had quite a lovely summer. So let me share with you a little of what I’ve been up to over the last few months…
Green smoothies always scared me. I liked the idea of drinking in so many fruits and vegetables and all their nutritional goodness but I was hesitant (spinach and broccoli juice, anyone?). Living with roommates a couple years ago, I found myself in the presence of a juicing machine. I was excited for this new-to-me kitchen gadget and went on a week long juicing binge, liquefying everything in sight. One particularly ambitious day, I decided to make my very first green smoothie. I juiced, liquefied, pulverized, smashed, squeezed and blended a couple weeks worth of produce into one thick, sludgy green refreshment. I was so proud of myself and envisioning my smoothie as my own godsend creation about to be bequeathed unto the Internet for the benefit of mankind everywhere. Until I took a big gulp. And subsequently spat it out onto the window in front of me. Not quite the green elixir of the vegetable gods I had imagined. Not wanting to waste the $30 in produce I concentrated into a single large glass, I plugged my nose and tipped it down the gullet (by the way, plugging your nose does not prevent you from tasting unpleasant things. We were lied to in childhood). I vowed to never juice anything but fruit ever again. And I was convinced that green juices could never taste good. The mere image of a thick, green smoothie made my stomach churn and brought back memories of simultaneously gagging and gulping the green goop. I had definitely been a little too heavy handed on the cruciferous component. This is not that smoothie.
Soooo I wasn’t planning on doing another crockpot soup recipe so soon, but in a dramatic turn of events, I came down with a wicked cold and sinus infection yesterday. Awesome. It feels like I swallowed a vat of acid and then got hit by a semi. And the timing couldn’t be better. I had to film a tv commercial today. Somehow I manage to drug myself up to resemble a normal human being for a few hours (I’m sure the professional makeup helped a little too…). But anyways, I made it through the day and had a ton of fun! But now I’m back in bed and my cold has caught up to me. So what a better way to nourish a sick soul than a hearty bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup loaded with kale? Since my Mom doesn’t live here to make me soup when I’m sick and there is an absence of a Mister in my life to warm up a can of Campbell’s for me, the soup responsibility fell onto myself. So I took the easy road and threw it all in the crockpot and let it do the work for me. The soup is so yummy I almost wish I got sick more often! Haha Just kidding! I really don’t need an excuse to enjoy a bowl of chicken noodle soup!
Happy Easter to all you lovely people out there!!! This is the perfect yellow and purple cake to serve to your loved ones! Because really, who doesn’t love a dense, moist hunk of poundcake (particularly with their morning coffee!)? I sure do and I suspect I’m not the only one! I just don’t like how the pound of butter in a poundcake converts to 7 extra pounds on my hips… But not this recipe! It gets it’s richness from Greek Yogurt instead of horrifying amounts of butter. So I can have my cake and eat it too! (Without feeling guilty and spending 14 hours in the gym running it off).
Before Christmas I saw a little jar of lavender at a spice shop. I was intrigued. I had seen lavender in a few recipes and was curious to try it my own baking. It gives this cake a little something extra. You get a subtle floral aftertaste that’s just enough to make you notice there’s something special in there! It’s a great way to add a little spring touch to a delicious Lemon Poundcake, just go easy on the lavender or it will start to taste perfume-y. Yuck. You should be able to find lavender at spice shops or online at Silk Road Spice Merchants.