Enjoy Fall With Creamy Tomato Soup

6 Oct IMG_3196

Everyone seems so angry these days that fall is here. I hear you, it’s sad that summer is over and that winter is coming, but can’t we all just stop our complaining and realize the beauty that is fall? 60 degree days, sweaters, cool nights, and best of all, comfort food. Love me some comfort food.

This past Sunday, my husband and I got together with a group of friends to check out Charlestown’s Downeast Cider House. We partook in some day drinking, which gets harder to do the older we get, and just enjoyed the unexpected beautiful weather. Afterwards, we had everyone back at our house for lunch. I wanted to put something together that was easy, delicious, and best of all, comforting. I found this recipe for creamy tomato soup on Pinterest by “The Pinning Mamma” and holy hell was it good. Pretty rich, so I would only recommend one bowl at a time, and really satisfying. We also whipped up some grilled cheese to go along with it because when grilled cheese and tomato soup get together…magic happens.

Enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup 

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 14 oz can chicken broth {or 2 cups}
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 15-20 Basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • Combine the tomatoes, broth, and garlic – bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low: stir in the sugar and butter and mix until they are dissolved well combined.
  • Very slowly pour in the heavy cream while simultaneously stirring until all the cream is combined and the soup is creamy. Don’t get impatient and dump it all in or it will separate!
  • Stir in the basil.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Makes 6 servings – great to freeze for later!

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Wind Summer Down with Summer Squash, Pasta, and Arugula-Walnut Pesto

31 Aug IMG_4934

Well, it’s good to be back. After one of the busiest summers of my life, this blog got put on the back burner – which is a shame because it’s something that I really love to do! However, between school, work, travel, Giada puppy, and just life in general, some things had to give. So here I am, back at it and ready to share some new and easy recipes with you!

I recently came across this recipe in Food & Wine Magazine and got so excited about it because I love every single ingredient that goes into it. Plus, with summer coming to a close (sigh) I’m trying to do it up as much as possible with delicious summer ingredients. This dish came together very quickly, it’s gorgeous, and it’s great to make for a group of people or just yourself! Also, I used my spiralizer to get the zucchini the way that I wanted it.

Enjoy!

Food & Wine’s Pappardelle with Summer Squash and Arugula-Walnut Pesto

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup walnut halves
  • 4 cups packed arugula leaves (4 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings for garnish
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 12 ounces pappardelle
  • 3 firm, fresh medium zucchini and/or yellow squash very thinly sliced lengthwise on a mandoline or spiralizer
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the pappardelle until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the walnuts over moderately low heat until golden (about 5 minutes). Finely chop 1/2 cup of the walnuts; coarsely chop the rest for garnish.
  • In a food processor, pulse 2 cups of the arugula until finely chopped; scrape into a large bowl and stir in the 3/4 cup of olive oil, the garlic, grated cheese and finely chopped walnuts. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
  • Add the al dente pasta to the pesto in the bowl.
  • Add the zucchini and toss to evenly coat.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and the remaining 2 cups of arugula and season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer the pasta to a platter, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the coarsely chopped walnuts and cheese shavings.

Makes 4-6 servings.

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DIY Sriracha Cream Sauce (with Salmon)

31 May IMG_4377

I’m an avid sushi eater, and every time I order a roll that involves a spicy mayo sauce I yearn to lick my entire plate or use my chop sticks like a spoon to get any extra into my mouth. I love that sauce, yet have never thought about making it on my own. Until now.

I found this recipe while scrolling through Pinterest. It jumped out at me because it seemed easy, relatively healthy and BONUS, inclusive of this elusive sauce! I would definitely recommend this dish for either a casual night at home or for when you are entertaining. You can make the teriyaki sauce and Sriarcha cream sauce ahead of time, so the prep is super fast. It’s actually incredibly filling and since I made this at home…you better believe I was licking my plate. Sorry I’m not sorry. Enjoy!

Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 (5-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sriracha (depends how spicy you want it)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup of scallions
  • 1 cup of brown rice

Directions

  • First, make the Sriracha cream sauce: Whisk together mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons Sriracha and condensed milk in a small bowl; put in the refrigerator.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water; set aside.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic powder, honey and 1 cup water; bring to a simmer. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes; let cool to room temperature.
  • In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine teriyaki marinade and salmon filets; marinate for at least 30 minutes to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  • Place salmon filets along with the marinade into the prepared baking dish and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  • While the fillets are cooking, bring 1 cup of brown rice with 2 cups of water to a boil, and then simmer until the rice in cooked through.
  • Serve salmon over the brown rice, and dress with Sriracha cream sauce. Put scallions on top for color and crunch.

Makes 4 servings.

IMG_4377

Welcoming Spring with Zucchini Pasta and Turkey Ragu

20 Apr IMG_4149

After one hell of a winter that included record-breaking snowfalls and extremely low temperatures, you can imagine how excited us Bostonians are to welcome spring. I can feel it in the air. People have smiles on their faces and the city has gotten its mojo back. On top of that, the Boston Marathon is today and so the city was bustling this weekend with runners and their families exploring our beautiful town. My husband and I ran a 5K as part of the marathon running events and spent quality time with our friends and family as well. It was just an overall fantastic weekend that I wanted to cap off with an equally fabulous meal. Further, I recently ordered a spiralizer in an attempt to cut down a bit on my carbs and so I wanted to find a recipe that I could use it for.

I was flipping through my Everyday with Rachael Ray Magazine a couple of months ago and found this recipe. While it calls to be eaten with tagliatelle pasta, I thought it would be awesome with zucchini pasta instead (inspired from an amazing dinner we had at our friends’ house a month ago). I am happy to report I was right! Here is my version of it, but if you want to use the tagliatelle pasta I included instructions for that below. I also halved it for only two servings.

Enjoy and good luck today runners!!!

Ground Turkey Ragu and Tagliatelle Zucchini Pasta

Ingredients:

  • About 1/4 cup olive oil
  • ½ pound ground turkey, dark-and-white-meat blend
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • ½ carrot, grated or finely chopped
  • ½ rib celery with leafy top, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, chopped
  • About 1 tbsp. thinly sliced fresh sage (or you can use dry)
  • About 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (or you can use dry)
  • About 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme (or you can use dry)
  • About 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 14 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes crushed with your hands
  • 3 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions:

  • In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil, four turns of the pan, over medium-high. Add the turkey and cook, breaking into pieces with a spoon, until browned, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and herbs; season with salt and pepper. Partially cover and cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook until the wine is reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and reduce the heat to medium-low. Partially cover and cook until the sauce thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. **If following tagliatelle instructions, see down below.
  • While the sauce is thickening, spiralize the zucchini and sautee them in olive oil for about 5-7 minutes. You want to get the zucchini to cook down a little bit.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the sauce and add all of the zucchini pasta into the sauce. Let simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring. The zucchini will start to wilt a bit.
  • Add the butter and stir.
  • Serve topped with cheese!

Makes 2 servings.

  • **Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water, add the pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water.
  • Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  • Add the butter, half the sauce and the cooking water; toss. Serve topped with more sauce and cheese.

IMG_4149

Staying In with Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

11 Mar pasta

One of the biggest changes I have noticed about myself as I get older is what constitutes as a “fun night out” for me. Sure, sometimes it’s exciting to get all dolled up and head out onto the town. But, over the last year or so I have found myself extremely content with a night in as opposed to a big night out. So this past weekend, I had two girlfriends over for wine, dinner, and…yup that’s it. Wine and dinner. It was a fabulous evening, and one that I wanted to elevate with a delicious meal. However, I didn’t want to make anything too time consuming because who wants to be a slave to your kitchen while you have guests over? Besides, that wine isn’t going to drink itself.

I got this recipe from Pinterest (thank God for Pinterest) and found it to be simple, inexpensive, and super quick. It was a team effort, and came together very fast. It really packs a flavor punch and was really good the next day too! To be frank, I usually hate sun dried tomatoes but they add a really nice sweetness to the dish that was unexpected. And who doesn’t heart mozzarella?

Enjoy!

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small jar (3-4 oz) sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 lb chicken breast tenders cut into strips
  • Paprika (just a little bit)
  • 1 cup of half and half
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

  • Drain the jarred sun-dried tomatoes and reserve 2 tablespoons of the drained oil.
  • In a large pan, on high heat, sauté garlic and drained sun-dried tomatoes in 2 tablespoons of oil (from above) for 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.
  • Remove sun-dried tomatoes from the pan, leaving the oil, and add chicken, salted and lightly covered in paprika and cook on high heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve some cooked pasta water.
  • Slice sun-dried tomatoes into smaller bits and add them back to the skillet with chicken. Add half and half and cheese to the skillet, too, and bring to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to simmer and cook, constantly stirring, until all cheese melts and creamy sauce forms. If the sauce is too thick – don’t worry – you’ll be adding some cooked pasta water soon.
  • Add cooked pasta and water to the skillet with the creamy sauce, and stir to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of basil, and 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Check the chicken to make sure all cooked through and the pasta has absorbed the flavors. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

pasta

Give Yourself a Reason to Smile with Salmon

20 Feb salmon

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are well aware that Boston is experiencing a pretty hellish ordeal right now. The weather has really taken its toll on the hearts and minds of Bostonians, turning us against each other and causing us to ask ourselves, “Why do we live here?!?!” After an eventful week of leaky ceilings, a pipe burst, and frustrating commutes, I went to yoga last night to try and get my zen on. My yoga instructor began class saying that she has made a conscious decision to no longer partake in the negative energy penetrating our city right now, and is making a choice to be positive. Much easier said than done however I decided she was right. So last night my husband and I cooked a new and exciting recipe that gave us something to smile about. We lit some candles and enjoyed this delicious dish at our new kitchen table, chatting about things other than the weather.

I encourage anyone who is in a funk to flip through some magazines or cookbooks, find a fun recipe and enjoy some time in the kitchen. There’s nothing better than creating something delicious in the midst of this frozen chaos.

The below recipe I found in a magazine. It is super light, has a nice crunch to it, and is incredibly tasty. We halved the recipe but I kept the below for 4 servings as it’s a great meal to serve to guests! Some of the ingredients you will not already have in your pantry but they are easy to find in the grocery store. Enjoy and stay warm my friends.

Hoisin-Glazed Salmon Noodle Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 1 English cucumber, cut into 2-inch-long thin strips
  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 oz. each)
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

 Directions

  • In a large bowl, cover the sliced onion with cold water and soak to mellow the flavor, about 15 minutes; drain.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the vermicelli according to package instructions; drain and rinse under cold water. Add the vermicelli and cucumber to the bowl with the onion; toss.
  • Preheat the broiler. On a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray, arrange the salmon fillets, spacing them a few inches apart. In a medium bowl, whisk the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and crushed red pepper for the glaze. Drizzle about 1 tbsp. over each fillet.
  • Broil the salmon, rotating the baking sheet halfway through cooking, until the glaze is bubbling and the fish is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Drizzle the remaining glaze on the noodle mixture. Using a fork, break each salmon fillet into large pieces and place on top of the noodles.

Makes 4 servings.

salmon

A Mexican Dish in Honor of an Unforgettable Mexican Vacation

26 Jan photo

As I sit here reading multiple news articles and weather alerts about the upcoming blizzard about to hit Boston, I chuckle to myself thinking that a mere seven days ago I was in sunny Mexico basking in the sun sipping a nice cold alcoholic beverage. I traveled to Mexico with my seven best friends and their significant others, a trip of a lifetime that we planned to celebrate our collective thirtieth birthdays. It was an absolute blast. We spent our days on the beach chatting away, and our nights dancing until we couldn’t feel our feet.

I am incredibly lucky to have these women in my life. We have been close since college, and I don’t know where I would be without them. They have been with me through everything. And I mean everything. They are my safety net. Each of them wildly successful and accomplished in their own right, I have learned so much from them and continue to do so with each year that passes. To say I am grateful for their friendships is an understatement. Plus, they make life a hell of a good time.

So today, I dedicate this post to these seven brilliant, hilarious, and amazing women and the incredible trip we just took saying goodbye to our twenties and welcoming another fabulous decade ahead.

This dish was super easy to make and had tons of flavor! Also very low in calories so hearty but figure friendly.

Mexican Chicken Lime Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 hass avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise into 12 pieces
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • Dollop of sour cream

Directions:

  • In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Stir in the onion and garlic, lower the heat to medium and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 7 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to high, push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the chicken and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the chipotles and adobo sauce, then stir in the chicken broth. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming any foam.
  • Stir in the cilantro and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.
  • Place 2 avocado slices in each of 6 soup bowls and pour in the soup. Top with the tortilla chips and sour cream.

Makes 6 servings.

photo

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