Friday, July 12, 2013

Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup

I came down with a cold.  This cold has done a number on my voice, which is seriously impeding my "If You're Happy and You Know It" singing abilities, but not decreasing the requests.  The only plus has been that the middle of the night coughing fits are the closest thing I've gotten to an ab workout in quite some time.  In any case, this is why I made soup when it's 85 degrees outside.

Roasted Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Makes ~4 cups

3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
4-5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small onion, cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, chopped
6-8 sprigs fresh thyme
olive oil
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
On a baking sheet, arrange parsnips, carrots and onion in a single layer.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20 minutes.
Stir, and add garlic and thyme sprigs.  Roast 10 more minutes.
Remove the thyme leaves from the stems and discard stems.
Transfer vegetables to a saucepan and add in broth.
Use an immersion blender to puree to desired consistency.

Or, if you've blown out your immersion blender by using it on frozen raspberries, transfer vegetables to the food processor or blender and add enough broth just to blend.  Combine vegetable mixture and broth in a saucepan and heat through.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pink Lemonade Margarita

We were on vacation at the beach in Rhode Island last week.  During a heat wave there's no place I'd rather be.  Our days consisted of a nice little rotation of beach, other beach, salt pond and playground, all while enjoying Jon being home from work for the first week since August.  After Colin went to sleep at night (thank you, blackout curtains), we'd relax on the porch and enjoy the view of the water.  Vacations call for special cocktails, at least around our house, and Jon took the lead and whipped up this batch of Pink Lemonade Margaritas. 

Pink Lemonade Margarita
inspired by Ina Garten 

Makes 4 cocktails.

1 cup pink lemonade
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup triple sec
1 cup white tequila
2 cups ice
kosher salt

Run one of the juiced limes around the rims of the glasses and coat with kosher salt.  Set aside.
In a blender, combine lemonade, lime juice, triple sec and ice.  You might need to add the ice in batches, depending on how large your blender is.
Stir in tequila. 
Serve very cold, preferably with a view. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Kale and Creamy Garlic Scape Pesto Crustless Quiche

You've heard me go on and on about how much I love our CSA from Tangerini's Farm.  This is our third year participating.  The first year I was pregnant and got bigger and bigger by the week until it got to the point in late October when I couldn't comfortably bend over to pick vegetables in the fields.  Last year Colin was 5-9 months old.  I'd carry him in the ergo or wheel his stroller out to the ends of the rows in the fields and wave every so often.  This year he runs all over the place, pointing out all the fans, of course, and visiting the animals.  When we pull in the driveway he starts saying, baby goat, baby goat, baby goat, mehhhh, mehhhh.  He has mustered the courage to pat them now, as long as they don't look at him.

This CSA summer season started up a few weeks ago, and among our first batch of vegetables were kale and garlic scapes.  Jon made kale chips from half the bunch.  I said I wasn't hungry, didn't want any, and proceeded to eat the better part of the tray.  Kale chips are good.  Garlic scapes are pretty and curly queued.  Slightly milder than fresh garlic, but still packing quite a kick, you can use them raw in hummus or other dips, or saute them as you would any other garlic or onion.  I will fully admit that due to the sad state of my basil plants that I used prepared pesto here, but of course it's better if you make it yourself.  I doubled the amounts of the cream cheese mixture (8 oz cream cheese, 1/3 cup pesto, 4 garlic scapes) and used the rest spread on french bread.  It's super garlicky, so make sure your date eats it, too.

Kale and Creamy Garlic Scape Pesto Crustless Quiche

~6 large stalks of kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
Olive oil
4 oz.  cream cheese or neufchatel, softened
1/4 cup pesto
2 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
6 large eggs
1 cup milk, half and half or cream
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare a 10 inch quiche dish, or a pie plate by coating with olive oil or cooking spray.
In the food processor, combine cream cheese, pesto and garlic scapes.  Process until smooth.
In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add in kale and cook, turning frequently, until slightly wilted.
In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
Arrange kale evenly over the bottom of the baking dish.
Pour egg mixture over kale. 
Drop dollops of cream cheese pesto over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until quiche is puffed and golden.

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