What do you do when you send your husband to the grocery store for 4 carrots and he comes back with a 5 lb. bag of them? You search and scour the internet for days, trying to find the best recipes where the main ingredient is carrots, of course.
Growing up a popular side dish for dinner was buttered carrots. You just plop them in a pot and boil till tender and add in a pat of butter. Super simple, right? Well, that lasted 3 days for me. I don't want to eat that again, at least for awhile. Hahahaha
So I found this lovely soufflé that is so light and fluffy. Plus, it's something I've never tried before. Now I can finally put to use my beautiful soufflé dish that I registered for from our wedding.
1 1/2 lb. carrots, peeled
3 large eggs
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. light sour cream
1/4 c. butter, softened
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Cover carrots with water in a large saucepan and boil for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander and cool.
Puree carrots and eggs in the food processor until smooth, scraping down bits from the side. Add sugar and remaining ingredients; and process for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour mixture into a lightly greased souffle pan or square baking dish.
Bake at 350 for 55 to 60 minutes, til set.
Please don't be scared by this one, since the filling is made from scratch. It's so worth it, I promise. Just pick up a crust from Trader Joe's freezer section and some sugar pumpkins, which they have as well and you're ready to rock and roll!
2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
½ c. packed dark brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
½ tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
(or you could just use 2 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie seasoning, which is what I did)
½ tsp. lemon zest
2 c. pumpkin puree from a sugar pumpkin*
1 ½ c. heavy cream
1 good crust like Trader Joe’s in the freezer section
*To make the pumpkin puree from scratch: which is honestly the easiest thing ever. If you can roast veggies in the oven, then you can make a pumpkin pie from scratch. It tastes so much better.
Preheat your oven to 305. Cut a medium sizes sugar pumpkin in half. Scrape out the insides (seeds and stringy-looking things) and discard. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on the lined baking sheet and bake for an hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool and then scoop out the pulp. I did this the day before I made the pie, to make sure the pulp was completely cool.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in sugars, salt, spices and lemon zest. Add the pumpkin to the mixture and mix till thoroughly incorporated. Next, stir in the cream. Place the pie crust in your pie dish. Pour in the filling. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 350. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. (Half-way through the baking, check the crust and if it is already brown, put foil around the edges or use a pie protector.) Cool the pumpkin pie on a wire rack for 2 hours. I also made the pie the day before eating it. It just cuts way easier. Just take it out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature before serving. Also, don’t forget the whipped cream!
It's National Taco Day! This is my go to taco topper!!
Chopped cherry tomatoes, onions, minced garlic, cilantro and of course fresh jalapeños!
Finish it off with a little lime juice, pinch of salt and pepper. Boom, it's that easy and oh so fresh. You can make this as big or as small as you want.
I do recommend you making this the day before, so all those flavors and cozy on up to one another!
Every fall I love making a big pot of this hearty beef stew. It's so comforting, cozy and hearty. It's an excellent meal to share with your family and kick-off the football season. Cheers to the cooler weather and spending time with family and friends.
6 strips thick-cut bacon, diced
2 ½ lbs. sirloin beef tips
Salt & Pepper
2 medium carrots, diced
2 medium onions, diced
Sprig of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
Sprig of fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
1 celery stalk
3 T. flour
1 T. tomato paste
½ c. brandy
2 c. burgundy or other full bodied dry red wine
4 c. beef stock
2 T. unsalted butter
¾ c. pearl onions
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. quartered button mushrooms
Preheat oven to 325.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat; add the bacon and cook until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large bowl, leaving the dripping in the pot.
Pat the beef dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pot in a single layer (do this in batches); sear for 3-5 minutes, turning to brown all over. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the plate with bacon.
Add the carrots and onions to the pot and cook until softened and slightly browned, 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, make a spice bouquet. Tie the thyme, bay leaf, garlic, parsley and celery together with kitchen twine (nestle the garlic in the celery stalk).
Return the bacon and beef to the pot. Add the flour and stir for a few minutes until the meat is coated. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the brandy and wine. Cook until reduced by half again, about 10 minutes more. Add the stock and spice bouquet; bring to a low boil. Stir gently, then cover and transfer to the oven; cook until the meat is tender and cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pearl onions and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and ¼ c. of water; cook until the water evaporates and the onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, cook until slightly softened and golden for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; set the skillet aside.
Remove the pot from the oven and add the pearl onion mixture. Stir to incorporate. Let it cook on the stove and place in the fridge overnight. I highly recommend you making it the day before. The flavor is just outstanding when you let it sit for 24 hours.
For the next day, bring to room temperature before turning to low heat. Remove any solidified pieces of fat with a spoon; remove the spice bouquet and discard. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Top each portion with some fresh parsley.
These hashbrowns are the perfect accompaniment to breakfast. Simple and really not that much effort is needed to whip it together. Maybe you have family in town and love anything that can be thrown into one pan? Well, this is definitely the dish for you. You could even add some crumbled up breakfast sausage or diced up ham. So many options to jazz this simple dish up.
2 1/2 lbs. hash browns
fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp. of salt
1/2 onion diced
1 can, cream of chicken soup
1 can, cream of mushroom soup
1 pint, light sour cream (not fat free)
2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
So for the hash browns, I went to Costco and picked up the cartons. It comes in a pack of 6 or 8, I can't remember. But they're dried and all you do is add hot water and let sit. SO EASY! Or pick up Trader Joe's shredded hash browns and sauté. While they're taking a bath in the hot water (if you buy the Costco ones), combine all the ingredients above in a large mixing bowl and combine. Mix in the shredded hash browns.
Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes. It's so simple and so good. Add a little hot sauce and Boom! You could also have this serve 16 people if serving with eggs, bacon and toast for a lovely brunch. Don't forget to try adding in some crumbled up breakfast sausage or dice up a ham steak for some extra protein. This is seriously such a great hash brown casserole that will not dry out on you.
This oatmeal is pretty amazing as we head right into fall. It smells so comfy and cozie and gives you all those great feels. It's so nice to be a able to throw it all in one pot, simmer and walk away. No more standing over the stove and continually stirring. The banana in this oatmeal literally melts down and gives this oatmeal such awesome smoothness.
Serves 6 (2/3 c.)
2 medium bananas (very ripe), cut into ½” thick slices
1 1/2c. blueberries
1c. quick-cooking oats
1/4c. chopped pecans
½ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1c. canned light coconut milk
3 T. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. sweetened shredded coconut (I left this out)
Coat the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Arrange the banana slices in a single layer on the bottom. Top with half of the blueberries.
In a medium bowl, combine the oats, 2T. of the pecans, cinnamon and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, honey and vanilla. Pour the liquid mixture over the oats, stir well, and pour into the slow cooker. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4c. blueberries, the remaining 2 T. pecans, and the coconut over the top (if you are using).
Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 ½ hrs., until the oatmeal is cooked through, then I separate it into individual containers.
To re-heat I just add about 1/2c. of milk and warm in the microwave for 2 minutes
With it being a holiday weekend I got the itch to bake something pretty magical. Who doesn't love a warm, gooey cinnamon roll on a Sunday morning? My mom use to make the pillsbury ones for us all the time.
All I know is that leading up to this weekend all I could think about was cinnamon rolls. Maybe it's because I know fall is coming? Honestly, it doesn't even really matter because these cinnamon rolls are on point. The recipe makes around 16, depending on how well you can roll the dough out. My work service was just a tad smaller than needed, so I was only able to get 15.
But my gosh, these guys totally hit the spot. You can share with family and friends or put the rest in the freezer, it's totally your call. The original recipe calls for a tad more butter for the cinnamon mixture, which I decided was ridiculous. You won't even know it's missing and your waist will thank you later.
Here's to fall everyone!
1/2 c. warm water
2 pkgs. dry yeast
2 T. sugar
3 1/2 oz. pkg. vanilla pudding mix - instant
1/2 c. margarine melted
1 tsp. salt
6 c. flour
1/2 c. softened margarine
2 c. brown sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. margarine
1 tsp . vanilla
3 c. confectioner's sugar
1 T. fat free half and half
In a bowl combine water, yeast and sugar. Stir until dissolved and set aside.
In a large bowl, take pudding mix and prepare according to package. Add margarine, eggs and salt. Mix well. Then add yeast mixture and blend.
Gradually add flour; knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled.
Punch down dough and let rise again.
While its rising, in a medium size bowl mix 2 cups brown sugar and the cinnamon.
Roll out the dough on a floured board or counter to 34x21" size. Try to get to this size as much as possible. Take the softened margarine and spread over the dough. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the top and roll up very tightly.
With knife, put a notch every 2". Cut through with a knife. Place the rolls on a lightly greased cookie sheet about 2" apart. Lightly press down on each roll, lightly. Cover tightly and let rise overnight.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove when they start to turn golden. DO NOT OVER BAKE, so I would start to check at 10 minutes. While baking make the frosting and mix until smooth. Frost the warm rolls and serve!
This is honestly the most simple dish you will ever make.. I had a huge container of cherry tomatoes from Costco, that I only used a quarter of and I didn't want the rest to go to waste. I honestly was thinking, what in the world am I going to do with these? As I was thumbing through a magazine I saw Roasted Cherry Tomatoes ..... and bingo! It's crazy how something so simple can be so good. Roasting these little guys just brings out all their natural sweetness. It's just too easy not to make. Topped off with some fresh basil, pecorino romano cheese and red pepper flakes. Genius.
3 T. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced/smashed
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
few sprigs of thyme, stems removed
few grinds of fresh cracked pepper
3 pints of cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 425.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, oregano, thyme, pepper and cherry tomatoes. Toss to combine. Spread out on a large rimed baking pan and roast until the tomatoes shrivel. It should be around 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer tomatoes, all of their juices and any bits that are stuck to the pan to a container with a tight fitting lid. Can store in the fridge, up to one week or freeze.
Mine did not make it to the fridge but went straight over some penne pasta. Topped it off with some fresh cut basil and freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Get ready.....I also reduced some balsamic vinegar and drizzled that over the top. It was Genius good.
1 c. balsamic vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
Dash of salt
Stir all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Simmer on low and reduce by half, approximately 15 - 20 minutes. Mixture will thicken when cooling. It should coat the back of a spoon. Then you just drizzle over the top of your pasta.
This is a place of ocean breezes, relaxation, wine and good food. This city is so cool, calm and chill. I just loved it!
My husband and I stayed at this cute, boutique hotel, right across from the beach. Hotel Milo, was incredibly convenient and just located in the most perfect spot for first time adventures. Upon arrival, we dropped our bags off with the valet and walked right up State Street and hit up Joe's Cafe for some excellent Santa Barbara Roast Coffee. These are some good, strong, robust beans. I wish I would've left with a bag of this coffee, it was just that good. We headed back down State Street and walked along Stearns Wharf to some beautiful views, check out the restaurants and some small little touristy shops. Afterwards, we walked along the beach and down to Brophy Brothers for some lunch overlooking the marina. I tried shark for the first time. I was a little underwhelmed by it, it tasted just like tuna, but at least I tried something new! Off to the Funk Zone, where there is a cluster of little tasting rooms that you can hit up if you don't have the time to make it all the way out to the Santa Ynez Valley. We started off at the Santa Barbara Winery. Super cute place, friendly staff. With 6 wines to taste for each flight. It was a great spot to start off the trip, with an outdoor patio to relax and watch the bustling streets. Next on the list was Au Bon Climat. I HIGHLY recommend you hit up this tasting room. It looks like a little library. I just loved it and the staff were super helpful and friendly. We actually walked out with a bottle of "The Pip", a very unique tasting Chardonnay. Super cozy and quaint. There are a bunch of other tasting rooms right around the corner if you happen to have more time to wander around. The nice thing about the tasting rooms in this part of town is you just walk right in, no appointments necessary. We ended our first night in town with a beautiful dinner at Bouchon. We were able to have a patio seat, which I think is the best seat in the house. The meal was excellent. I had the tomato soup to start where the grilled cheese crouton literally melted away when you stirred it. The salmon for dinner was top notch. Just absolutely perfect. For a little sweet, my husband and I shared the ice cream sandwich. I have to say I'm a little spoiled when it comes to ice cream sandwiches, because honestly nothing can beat The Baked Bear in Arizona. Sorry. lol
Saturday we woke up a little late and walked next door to Sambos for breakfast. Excellent service, nice staff and just a good, quick breakfast. The place gets crazy packed, because it's literally right across from the beach and surrounded by beach hotels. So get there early if you don't want to wait. Afterwards we walked right up to our jeep for our wine tour excursion. The hotel booked the whole thing for us and we loved every second of it. We had the most amazing group, which you know could always be hit or miss. Our driver was super nice and very patient with us. We really enjoyed each winery and he let us hang around longer than we should have. Usually I like to plan out which wineries we go to, but I didn't know enough about the Santa Ynez Valley. So we hopped in our open back jeep and flew down the highway. The open air was amazing, as well as the unreal views of the countryside. Our first stop was Gainey Ranch Winery.We had a private tasting in their barn, which was on the back end of the property. We got to meet the barns very own owl who stayed perched up on the top beam and stared at us the entire time. It was very cute. We tried some really nice wines and I honestly wish we grabbed a few bottles before we left, but we took way to long at this tasting. Next stop, Bridlewood Winery.We had an excellent time here. The most gorgeous piece of property where we also sat out front and had lunch. Last and final stop, Imagine Wine Room.We had a wonderful time here chatting with the owner and hearing all about where he came from and how he got into the business. We heard about his successful children, which one of them features his sculptures in the tasting room. Definitely pieces of art and one of his pieces is one of the wines label, that we happened to walk out with. Great little tasting room and wine that you honestly won't experience at any other vineyard or restaurant. So I would absolutely make this a must try on your list. His production is limited and he doesn't distribute to stores or restaurants.Finally we parted ways with our fun little group and finished off the night at The Palace Grill. This place is not something I would typically try. It's authentic Cajun Creole cuisine. I had the cajun crawfish popcorn and the hubby had the gumbo to start. AMAZING! For dinner he had the lamb chops and I the blackened redfish, which is only available on the weekends. Very fresh and perfectly cooked. Embarrassingly enough, we had to get dessert. You have to get the bread pudding souffle. I've tried a lot of bread pudding but none have ever tasted this good. It's unbelievable. Be careful to not burn yourself because it comes out hot!
For our last day in Santa Barbara, may have just been my most favorite. To be honest Friday and Saturday were pretty awesome but something about a Sunday, with wine tasting, just can't be beat. We had an amazing breakfast at Scarlett Begonia. We both ordered the egg sandwich, which was just awesome. Amazing coffee, cute little courtyard that we sat in and just super relaxing. Definitely make reservations, because who likes to wait around for coffee first thing in the morning? Afterwards we headed back to the hotel to relax and pack up. Once we dropped the bags of with the valet, we headed back to the Funk Zone and grabbed a seat at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective. As we snagged a high top right by the outdoor patio we ended up getting served by a nice guy we actually met at Au Bon Climat. Super knowledgeable and even brought us over an extra wine and we finished out flight to sample. We loved this place so much. Very eclectic and just a great way to sample out different wineries all in one spot. I had the Fess Parker tasting and the hubby ordered the Babcock. Babock was recelntly in Food and Wine and to be honest, I should've known better and gone with that one. The wines were to die for! I can't wait for our shipment to arrive, because they are so amazing and I've never smelled such fragrant wines in my life. Each one is so different from the next. You really need to try, you will not regret it. Right before we headed out we walked literally right around the corner to Lucky Penny for some dinner. Cute little place, for some yummy and fresh pizza. It honestly can't be beat.
Honestly, if was a fantastic trip and I can hardly wait till we venture back for some new adventures mixed in with some old. This place is pretty magical and just so beautiful. Till next time ...
This weekend I finally make some chicken noodle soup to help with this horrid cold I can't seem to get rid of. It's definitely a process to make this soup, but my gosh it's just so worth it.
A few helpful tips to keep in mind when making this.....the chickens you use to make the stock, use it to make homemade chicken salad. After you simmer the stock for 4 hours, the chicken becomes pretty tasteless. You don't want to be wasteful and just toss it, so I suggest making a nice chicken salad or pasta salad with it. I made two large stock pots of this, one for the fridge and one for the freezer. I want to make sure I have some on standby for the next time I'm not feeling all that great.
Chicken stock Ingredients:
2 - 5lb. roasting chickens
2 large yellow onions, quartered
4 carrots, unpeeled, halved
3 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds
20 sprigs fresh parsley
15 sprigs fresh dill
2 heads garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
2 T. kosher salt
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
Place each chicken in its own stockpot with the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic and seasonings. In each stock pot add 2 1/2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours. Strain all of the contents of the pot through a colander and discard of the solids. Reserve the chicken for a pasta salad or chicken salad. Chill the stock overnight and the next day remove the surface fat. Use immediately or pack in containers to freeze.
Chicken Soup Ingredients:
2 bone-in chicken breasts, skin on
Freshly ground pepper
2 quarts homemade chicken stock
1 c. diced celery
1 c. diced carrots
2 c. favorite pasta
1/4 c. chopped parsley and dill
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 min., until cooked through. When cooled remove meat from the bones, discard the skin and shred or dice.
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot and add the veggies. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the noodles of your choice. I added some gnocchi because I wanted this batch to resemble chicken and dumpling soup. Add the cooked chicken and parsley dill combo and heat. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
I know this recipe is a bit of a process, but nothing beats homemade chicken noodle soup, especially when your're feeling under the weather.
Natalie Schembri was born in Crown Point, Indiana. Then lived in New York City for 10 years before making the move to Scottsdale, Arizona in 2014 to be near her twin brother and sister-in-law. Since becoming an Arizonian she has taken up Crossfit, where she has met some amazing friends and her wonderfully, hilarious husband.