cauliflower cream soup

Cauliflower Cream Soup

As the colder weather seeps in and Winter finally approaches, there are two things I have already observed…

  1. My electricity bill is starting to creep up
  2. I am craving and eating more soups

One of the best things about making homemade soups is that you typically make more than you can eat, but most freeze wonderfully and you can make a couple batches that can last you all season!

I have really been into cauliflower this year (that’s a thing, right?), so I recently made a cauliflower cream soup with roasted asparagus and toasted breadcrumbs…mmm yes.

Cauliflower Cream Soup Ingredients

If you were to skip the roasted asparagus and toasted breadcrumbs, this soup would be one of the easiest things you’d ever make…but you don’t want to skip those two things because they are delicious and add great color and texture to this soup!

Cauliflower Cream Soup Prep

HA, told you it was easy : )

This cauliflower cream soup is fantastical, I tell you.

Finishing the soup with a little heavy cream adds such a great richness that elevates this soup to another level. Topping it with crisped, roasted asparagus and toasted breadcrumbs add great layers of texture to the dish and they also add a salty bite that cuts through some of that richness that was created. All in all, when you put it all together it’s a great balance of flavors that warms you to the bone.

If you’re not into cauliflower this year, like me, you could easily sub in something else, like broccoli… But don’t be a fool, go with the cauliflower! Trust me.

I’ll have the recipe posted shortly, but until then… Here’s my recipe for this cauliflower cream soup, definitely give it a try this season!

Happy Souping!

Cauliflower Cream Soup Cauliflower Cream Soup

live & laugh: apple coffee crumb cake

Live & Laugh: Apple Coffee Crumb Cake

Whenever I think about Fall, I think about a lot of the usual things: crunchy leaves, crisp/cool air, football, pumpkin flavored everything, sweatshirts, apple cider, etc etc. All of those things I love dearly and enjoy often, but there’s one thing I have always thought about when it comes to Fall that I had never actually experienced…apple picking!

For the past few years I have said every Fall that I was going to make a trip and enjoy the whimsy that is apple picking, but it just never seemed to work out or happen. Welp, 2014 was the year people!

A few weeks ago my brother, Eric, and I visited Linvilla Orchards and walked through the rows and rows and rows of apple trees. We tasted a lot of different varieties and I was quickly inspired to make something apple. Now, I don’t bake too often, but one of my all-time favorites things is coffee cake (I just love the sugar butter crumble baked on top), so I decided to bake this apple coffee crumb cake with a simple, but delicious brown sugar drizzle!

Apple Coffee Crumb Cake

I can’t describe to you how amazing the aroma of baking butter and sugar truly is. If you bake this cake for nothing else, bake it for the warmth and delightful scent it produces…seriously.

The chopped apples baked perfectly and added a nice texture to the cake. Since I used granny smith apples, their tart taste lended itself nicely to the already sweet cake. The crumble topping was everything I had hoped it would be and the brown sugar drizzle just puts this cake over the top. When I first made this, I ate it warm with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt and a nice hot cup of coffee, but I quickly realized it was just as good served at room temperature.

All in all, the apple picking adventure was so much fun and we couldn’t have asked for a better Fall day to do it on! I would love to make it more of a tradition and start going again every year. Note: You can still go apple picking into late November, so if you haven’t yet this season I would definitely recommend going if you can!

At the very least, if you can’t make it to a nearby orchard, grab some apples at the grocery store and try this amazing recipe for my apple coffee crumb cake.

Apple Coffee Crumb Cake Apple Coffee Crumb Cake

kias kitchen: peanut butter snaps

Peanut Butter Snaps

Between life and moving into a new apartment, baking Kia homemade dog treats has not exactly been top of mind for me. And ya know, sometimes it’s just easier to pick some up at the store!

That said, Kia has been in my face in the kitchen as much as ever, so I started to get the hint…

Kia in the Kitchen

Story of my life right there.

So on to making dog treats I went!

As per usual, I like to take ingredients that I need to use up when I make Kia some homemade treats and this time around I had some chicken stock and cream cheese that was going to go bad if I didn’t use it soon. That, combined with some good ol’ peanut butter, a fire hydrant cookie cutter, and a lot of red food coloring, came to be a plate full of peanut butter snaps!

Peanut Butter Snaps Prep

When I was making the red icing, I actually started to count the number of red food coloring drops I was adding to the cream cheese to accurately write the recipe. Welp — turns out you need basically the whole bottle of red food coloring to actually get that fire-hydrant-red, so there’s that. Also, originally I was going to take some leftover cream cheese and yogurt to line the snaps with a white outline to make the fire hydrants even cuter than they already were, but that was an epic fail. I wasn’t getting the right consistency for the “icing,” and it was so time consuming! It just wasn’t going to happen, not that day anyway…

That little mishap aside, the thin, crisp snaps came out perfectly baked and the peanut butter aroma that filled the kitchen was amazing. The cream cheese frosting added a great pop of color and, I suspect, a little sweetness to the sugar-free snap.

Kia loved them! I kept them in an air-tight container in the fridge and they lasted for a few weeks, so it was definitely worth the effort!

Here’s the recipe for you to make for the pup in your life.

kiaendkiaend2snapsend2

live & laugh: the chef’s kitchen

Hosting The Chef's Kitchen

Earlier this year I had the amazing opportunity to be a guest host on a cooking show, The Chef’s Kitchen. I shot about a dozen episodes, a few of them some test shoots, and got to work with some amazing chef’s!

While I have worked on several commercials and done some print work in the past, working on a television show was a completely new experience. I can’t say I was exactly “a natural,” but I got to learn a lot and had the best time doing it. Some of the amazing chefs I got to work with included:

  • Chef Robert Wiedmaier who owns multiple restaurants in DC, including his first, Marcel’s
  • Chef Patrick Feury, executive chef/partner of Nectar in Berwyn, PA
  • Chef Tony Clark, 1997 Food & Wine’s Best New Chef in America and currently executive chef at Valley Forge Casino Resort
  • Chef Chip Roman who owns multiple restaurants in Philadelphia, including his newest The Treemont in Center City
  • Chef Luke Palladino of Luke Palladino Hospitality Group

Each chef was so fun to cook with and working with them helped me realize I have so much more to learn about food and cooking! Overall, it was an absolutely great experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

The show airs daily on public cable, so be on the look out! All the videos are up on YouTube as well, in fact, below you can watch me work with Chef Robert Wiedmaier who showed me how to make a popular dish from his restaurant, lamb tenderloins wrapped in phyllo — it was one of the best things I have ever eaten!

 

The Chef's Kitchen

 

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stuffed cheeseburger & carrot fries

Stuffed Cheeseburger & Carrot Fries

Everyone keeps talking about how summer is ending and they’re ready for fall — I mean there’s pumpkin flavored coffee out already. Um HELLO — it’s still August. While I love the fall (it is my favorite season after all), there is a time and a place.

August is not the time nor the place.

You know whats good in the summer? In August? Burgers.

With Labor Day weekend approaching and picnics and cookouts on the brain, I thought it would be perfect to post about a delicious cheese stuffed burger with a side of carrot “fries” that I recently made for dinner!

Cheeseburger Ingredients

Yes, that’s right. Carrot fries.

What’s up with carrots? Why do people make that face when they’re expected to eat carrots as a side vegetable? Carrots are better than a base ingredient in soup and tomato sauce or part of a medley of veggies!

Eat more carrots people. Turn them into “fries” if you have to, you’ll be happy you did.

As for the burger, I thought it would be fun to stuff the cheese inside the burger and create an ooey gooey melty center that would keep the burger from drying out while cooking. It’s fairly easy, all you have to do is take what would be your regular burger patty, split it in two, add cheese to the center, then form the two patties back together. Easy peasy.

The grated onion in the burger adds a subtle onion flavor, but more than that, it’s another great way to keep the ground beef moist, especially if you’re cooking your burgers well done.

Stuffed Cheeseburger Prep

Mmmmm yea. Cheesy flavorful goodness. Pop that burger on a toasted bun with some thousand island dressing, a fresh summer tomato and some greens and you’ve got yourself a winner! The burger had a great balance of flavors and the pepper jack cheese that stuffed the burger added a nice level of heat that wasn’t overwhelming.

The carrot fries turned out perfectly as well, crisped on the outside, but soft and velvety on the inside. The carrots have such a great sweetness to them, but the char from baking them and the salt and spice make it a perfect compliment to the burgers. I’m serious — try them. If you can get down with sweet potato fries, you can give these a whirl.

OH and remember, summer doesn’t end until September 21 okay? Just because school is back in session does not mean summer is over — so hold off on the pumpkin and enjoy more burgers on the grill and beers by the water.

Here’s my recipe for stuffed cheeseburgers & carrot fries, enjoy!!

burgerfries burgerfries2 burgerfries4

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