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White Bean, Butternut Squash and Turkey Sausage Soup

8 Nov

White Bean, Butternut Squash and Turkey Sausage Soup

Leaves are on the ground, tights are on my legs (this is not Chris writing by the way…) and soup is on our stove top.  Fall is officially here. This is seriously my favorite season and because it sticks around for such a short time, everything fall-ish needs to be packed into a small window.  I am embracing all things fall into my wide, pumpkin-spice-loving embrace.  The second a crisp starts in the air, we break out our big stockpot and crock pot and soup the hell out them.  We have been testing out a few new ones in our rotation, ranging from creamy ones to a really quick Asian Chicken Noodle Soup (stay tuned for those…).

Soup is a great meal that can be made ahead and easily re-heated, which is great for those days that you come home late and have hungry mouths snapping at your heels (true story:  Ella and Chris are like raptors when they are hungry).  It’s also a great way to eat relatively healthy, packing the soups with loads of vegetables and experimenting with the spices in your cupboards.  I haven’t really mentioned the fact that Chris and I are watching our weight (a direct result of delicious craft beer and my undying love for sweets…), because we don’t want to bore you with our dieting details.  But we have learned that everything in  moderation is okay and when you can, focus on the seasoning and spices, because that can easily ramp up any bland dish.  This soup packs a ton of flavor and uses seasonal vegetables, making it a perfect fall dish.  Now I’m off to go sip on my pumpkin spice latte and wrap myself in a scarf.  Continue reading

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Herb and Lime Skirt Steak

22 Oct

Herb and Lime Skirt Steak

I apologize for the radio silence.  We went on vacation to California to visit my parents (and their adorable black lab, Tomas), so we haven’t really been in the kitchen.  But I can say that during our time on the left coast, we ate our weight in Mexican food and drank so much craft beer, I am still sweating it out.  The rest of the trip included some Disneyland time, beach playgrounds, botanical gardens, fabulous friends and family and of course, food.  Lots and lots of food.

Leading up to our trip, we tried to use everything we had in our fridge and the last of the blooms on our parsley plant.  We had some steak and it was still warm enough to grill, so a chimichurri steak was the goal.  The large bundle of parsley we had was not quite enough, so it turned into more of an herb-infused lime sauce, versus a chimichurri. However, sometimes there are happy accidents and this turned out to be delicious. Continue reading

Chicken Sausage and Apple Pizza

11 Oct

Chicken Sausage and Apple Pizza

It is officially fall in New York and this was celebrated with our annual trip to the apple and pumpkin picking farm near our house.  Chris used to go to the same exact one when he was little and we have continued the tradition with Ella for the past few years.  When we go, we usually buy some pumpkins, eat some apple cider doughnuts and go to the little petting zoo that is on the grounds.  This year, we decided to switch it up a little and take advantage of the apple picking part of the farm.  We went with some friends and we ready to get all Johnny Appleseed up in that place.

When you get there, you first have to buy the “official” apple bags, to the tune of $25 each.  So between our small group, we had shelled out $50 for the prospect of picking our own apples (I totally need to own an apple farm by the way, they make bank!).  Well, believe me, we were getting our $50 of apples, even if it killed us.  It was definitely fun, the kids  grown men definitely seemed to be enjoying themselves and it was fun to feel like a farmer for a minute (just a minute though, because that is way too much work).  When we got home, we realized we had more apples than it was humanly possible to consume.  So for the past week, we have been trying to stick these apples in everything.  And if you know us, of course we put them on a pizza. Continue reading

Clams with Chilis and Basil

25 Sep

Clams with basil and chilis

The weather has been so strange in New York for the past few weeks.  In the morning, it feels like fall.  By the afternoon, I am sweating and wishing I was in an air-conditioned room.  The other day I saw a lonely, little red maple leaf on our walkway and I thought, “could this be the beginning of boot season and pumpkin spice lattes?”  Then later that day it was 80 degrees, so I guess not.  I am a rebel though and wore boots and bought a pumpkin spice latte yesterday.  And both made me start sweating almost immediately.  Bad idea.  But you know what was a good idea?  Deciding to keep on grilling.

We received this great wok for our wedding a few years ago, but have only used it a handful of times due to our old oven having coil burners and our new house with its flat cooktop (woks work best over a direct flame).  So when Chris said he wanted to try to use the wok on our grill, I thought it was a brilliant idea.  Also a brilliant idea from him?  Marrying me.  And both brilliant ideas turned out fabulously (if I do say so myself). Continue reading

Poblano Chicken

18 Sep

Poblano Chicken

One of my favorite quick weeknight meals shortcuts involves getting one of those rotisserie chickens from the supermarket.  I usually shred it up and use it as my protein in a couple of recipes I keep on hand, such as these Lighter Chicken Enchiladas or toss it in an Asian noodle stir fry.  We probably go through about one of these per week, so it never really occurred to me to make our own whole chicken, because it was so quick and easy to get our hands on one.  I have this weird thing (okay, Chris thinks I have a lot of weird things about me), but I just can’t make myself take out the innards of the raw chickens.  I just can’t do it.  Trust me, I have tried and failed, leaving a whole raw chicken in our sink for Chris to find, with me retching in a corner (I was also pregnant, so it totally could have been that too…..right….).  But with Chris cleaning the chicken, taking out the “gross sack” (my words, not his) and prepping it, our own homemade version came out even better and juicier than the store-bought kind.  And due to our abundance of peppers this season (we were just told we have another package on the way!), we decided to put some to use and came up with this recipe. Continue reading

Seafood Soup

9 Sep

Seafood Soup

I think we have finally had the last birthday celebration for our witty, adorable, fantastic, smart, crazy 3 year-old.  We have literally been celebrating all month and I think it is finally over.  I seriously I wish I had this little girl’s life.  So much love. So.many.toys.  So.many.

As I mentioned in my previous post, since she was born, we usually have a  birthday dinner for Ella at Chris’ family’s beach house in Bethany Beach, Delaware.  This year’s menu included a starter of this fabulous seafood soup, roasted chickens, strawberry and cream slices and a Carvel cake (because if you are from the East Coast, you MUST have a Carvel ice cream cake.  It is a rule.).

So pay no attention that her birthday is in the summer and we made soup, because we toe the line of craziness quite often.  I mean, I mix whites and colors together in my laundry loads.

Come at me bro. Continue reading

Beef Stock

4 Sep

Beef Stock

My summer baby Ella. I sweated through (what I swear) was the hottest summer and she was graced with an August birthday. When she was about 3 months old, I started to freak out about her having a summer birthday. I asked every August birthday-card-carrying-member that I knew if it was okay not being able to celebrate your birthday in school and all those weird, crazy thoughts that pop into your head when you are a new mom.

They all reassured me that it would be okay and she would turn out to be a functioning member of society (and pool parties=awesome parties).

One of the (quality) problems we have found out though, is a lot of people are away during the summer, so we end up celebrating Ella’s birthday a few different times. Definitely a good thing in the birthday girl’s mind. This year, we had a kid party at her gymnastics place, a get together with Chris’ family, a get-together with my family, cupcakes for daycare, Skype date and cupcakes with my parents and Chris’ sister and a birthday dinner at the Delaware shore.

And what’s better to serve for a summer beach birthday at the shore? Hot soup! No, really though, it was an overcast day, so it was the perfect thing. Chris had been talking about making a seafood soup for this occasion for the last month, so this is the stock that started it all. Continue reading

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