Carrot Ginger Pumpkin Soup

IMG_7766One of the best parts of vacation is getting home, back to routine. I’m a routine girl. I love being in the kitchen, most days end up being delightfully similar. There are always a few perks every month. Dates, birthdays, special events, and one that comes around every month, is The Secret Recipe Club. A little party in my kitchen. I love getting my assignment, I love eating my assignment. I love reveal day. Today! All so fun. This month, was the first time I have received a blog I had already received. It’s okay, I was expecting it, I have been in the club a long time, and you know there are only so many blogs to go around. So I quite happily perused the wonderful blog Mangia! I pinned a bunch of new recipes to keep for later, but eventually I decided on the perfect soup for fall Carrot, Ginger and Pumpkin Soup. It was hearty, it had lots of flavor, and it was pretty easy too. Most of Chelsy’s recipes are gluten-free so a perfect blog to check out when cooking for someone who is gluten-free. Head on over , check her out, you won’t be sorry you did.

  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small ginger root, peeled and finely grated (finely chopping works too)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 c. water
  • 1 lb. carrots, cut into 1/2 in. chunks
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • pinch of curry powder -I used 1/2 teaspoon.
  • salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in soup pot. Add onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until onion is tender.

2. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until carrots are tender. Stir often.

3. Blend soup into a puree.

4. Eat and enjoy!

Caramelized Apple-Cranberry Cake

IMG_7802When on vacation you get to eat out, and not do dishes. I always enjoy this special treat. I also enjoy coming home and getting back in the kitchen. I love doing our weekly meal plan. It is actually quite fun. Planning the grocery list, deciding what delicious eats we will be having for the following week. I really wanted cake, and I also wanted to make something for fall. So while perusing the Fall 2013 Kraft What’s Cooking magazine, I found this recipe and made it. It was delicious. Totally what I wanted it to taste like. Don’t you just love when that happens?

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Gala Apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 pkg. (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk –  I added this as batter looked a bit to dry.

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put butter in 13×9 inch baking dish. Place in oven until butter has melted. Remove before it turns brown. Swirl pan so butter covers the bottom. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar, then apples and cranberries.

3. In mixing bowl combine remaining ingredients and beat with hand mixer until fully combined. Pour over apples.

4. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around edge and flip upside down onto serving platter.

5. Refrigerate leftovers.

6. Eat and enjoy!

Szechwan Beef Stir-Fry

IMG_7715Stir-fries, are one of my most favorite meals. They are quick, they have loads of vegetables, and they taste delicious. We tend to have more of the chicken variety in this house, so we spiced things up a bit and had a nice beef one. I was fully planning to add some cayenne pepper to spice my own plate up a bit. Totally forgot, and you know what, it didn’t need anything. This sauce was very tasty. We liked to assortment of vegetable, and served over rice made for a perfect meal.

Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

  • 3/4 pound steak, we used rouladen as it is already sliced thin
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine
  • 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil, divided
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 can whole baby corn, drained and cut in half
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • hot cooked rice

1. Slice meat into bite sized pieces.

2. Whisk together sauce ingredients (first 9 ingredients listed after beef).

3. Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in large skillet or wok. Cook carrots for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add Corn, bell pepper and red onion. Fry additional 3-5 minutes. Remove vegetables to separate bowl.

4. Heat remaining Tbsp. oil. Add beef. Cook until just browned. Push to side of skillet. Add sauce and cook until slightly thickened. Add vegetables. Stir until beef and vegetables are mixed and evenly coated with sauce.

5. Serve over rice, topped with green onions.

6. Eat and enjoy!

Curried Chicken

IMG_7681Here I sit waiting, waiting for hubby to come home from working. We have plans to eat chocolate together. I was hungry so we already had dinner without him, his plate waiting for him on the Island. What we had, is this delicious curry chicken. I really like curry. I didn’t used too, or at least I thought I didn’t, to be quite honest not sure I ever tried it as a kid. So I did. I tried it and you know what, we have it quite often now. In chicken, on chick peas, in soup. A regular smell that you will find in our house. Luckily for me, my kids eat it too.

Recipe slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

  • 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tsp. curry powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large granny smith apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • cayenne pepper
  • golden raisins
  • hot cooked rice

1. Heat oil in large skillet. Add curry powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Add broth, celery and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add apple. Return cover, and cook 5 more minutes.

3. Stir together cornstarch and water. Add to pan and cook until sauce has thickened.

4. Serve over rice , sprinkled with raisins and cayenne pepper.

5. Eat and enjoy!