Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Last night we had our friends, the Bendas and the Lents', over for dinner.  It was the first time the Bendas saw the new house.  I really enjoy the way this house is set up.  It is perfect for entertaining.

Greg and Linda brought us this fun wall hanging as a housewarming gift.  Don't you just love it??!! It will be proudly displayed by our bar each Halloween season.

I had just started the FMD eating plan again on Monday so the meal I served was in accordance with Phase 1 of this plan.  One of the things I like so much about this eating plan is that it uses real food that everyone loves.  I have shared the entree of Chicken Broccoli Rice Bowl the first time I went on the plan.  It has become a favorite in the household.  

The food I planned was all well recieved and I was happy to be able to eat without worry.  I did cheat a bit and enjoy a glass (or two) of wine during the evening and while the sorbet I served for dinner was FMD friendly the cookie was not.  All in all it was a succesful day for the eating plan and a very successful dinner party.

I found this recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Curried Apples at    It had to be adapted very little to make it Phase 1 friendly.  I did so by deleting the olive oil used to saute the vegetables.  In Phase 3, the use of the olive oil would be encouraged.  I did not use sherry to deglaze the pan as it is not on the eating plan.  I served the soup and added the garnishes of curried apples, mint and Greek yogurt at the end.  If you are sticking to the plan just delete the yogurt although I did add a dollop to my soup.  Without the yogurt it is also vegan friendly and with the yogurt it is still vegetarian friendly and would be great for a Meatless Monday meal.  Make sure you do garnish with the mint leaves though. Everyone concurred that the mint added a great flavor to the soup. 

This soup is out of this world.  Everyone raved about it and several people enjoyed seconds.  There is no better compliment to a cook in this world then when people ask for seconds.

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
adapted from Whole Living

4 lg. Sweet Potatoes
1 med. onion, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3 mini yellow bell peppers, seeded and sliced
1 lg. jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
2 lg. garlic cloves, minced
8 c. vegetable broth
2 t. white wine vinegar
1 t. honey
1/4 t. curry powder
1 med tart apple, cored, peeled and cut into small dice
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
Chopped mint leaves

Place potatoes on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 400* oven for about an hour, until easily pierced with a fork.  Remove from oven and cut in half to allow to cool enough to handle. Remove the flesh from the skins.

Place the onions in a skillet with a tablespoon or two of the vegetable broth.  Cook over med heat until onions are caramelized, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the peppers, jalapeno and garlic, cook and stir for a few minutes.  Add the broth and the potato.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and place into a clean pot.  Taste and adjust seasonings. 

In a small saucepan, heat the vinegar, honey and curry powder to a boil.  Add the apple.  Cook and stir for one minute, remove from heat.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the curried apples, a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of mint.  Print Recipe

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Polish Tomato Salad

Last night I took dinner to a function at our church.  We have been meeting for the past couple of months on Monday evenings and are scheduled to meet until the end of November.  The meetings start at 6 pm with dinner.  We have been taking turns providing meals for the group of about 30 people.

We have enjoyed taco night, Italian, Soup and Salads and Fried Chicken with all the trimmings.  I decided to bring Polish food.  I made Stuffed Cabbages, Kielbasa with Sauerkraut, Potato Cheese Pierogi, Spiced Pickled Beets and Creamed Cucumbers.  I also made two new recipes and two desserts.  I will be sharing all four of these with you but tonight I am only sharing one.

Our son in law, Pierre, had brought us some late season tomatoes from his garden.  Some were ripe, some were partially ripe and some were green.  We ate the ripe ones right away and placed the partially ripe tomatoes onto the window sill.  Today I had seven fully ripe and beautiful tomatoes and decided to use them as a side dish for the church dinner.

On a whim, I punched in "Polish Tomato Salad" into Google Search and viola....found a great recipe at the Polska Foods website.  I didn't have everything called for in the original recipe so I adapted it to work with the products in my kitchen.  It was a delicious salad.  I'm not sure what makes it Polish other than the sour cream.  Polish people do love their sour cream!!

Polish Tomato Salad 
adapted from Polska Foods

7 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 T. Gourmet Garden Basil Stir In Paste or 3 T. fresh chopped basil
3/4 c. sour cream
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients including the juices from the tomatoes.  Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.  Print Recipe

Sunday, October 23, 2016

We are celebrating National Pizza Day over at #SundaySupper

Did you know that November 12th is National Pizza Day?  Neither did I until the wonderful folks over at Sunday Supper told me and suggested that we all post pizza recipes so that our readers are well prepared to celebrate when it arrives.  They are thoughtful like that.

This event is being hosted by Colleen of The Red Headed Baker.  Colleen has tons of great recipes on her blog.  So when you are done eating your pizza, find your most comfortable chair, put your feet up and head over to relax and peruse her recipe list.

The recipe that I am sharing today is perfect for those Sundays when you have been busy working outside, raking up all those leaves that we are so excited about right now but will be cursing come November.

It is quick and easy to prepare and very satisfying after a hard day's work.  I used leftover chicken but you could also buy a rotisserie chicken for this and still have enough for another meal or two, depending on how many you are feeding.  I was only feeding two of us. Luckily this recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.  

To make it even easier and to save even more time I used pre-sliced mushrooms, bottled pesto, refrigerated pizza dough and jarred marinara.  It was stuffed and ready to go in the oven in less than 10 minutes and on the table, ready to eat, in half an hour.

Chicken Pesto Calzone

1 can refrigerated pizza dough or 1 recipe homemade
2 t. olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 c. shredded cooked chicken
2 T. pesto, store bought or homemade 
3 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese
2 T. shredded parmesan cheese
1 c. marinara or pizza sauce, store bought or homemade

In a large skillet, heat the oil over med high heat.  Add the onions and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring until tender.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove from heat.  Add the chicken and pesto to the mushroom mixture and stir to combine.

Roll out dough and cut in half.  Place both halves onto a baking sheet.  Place half of the chicken mixture in the center of each dough half.  Top with the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.  Fold the dough over the filling and crimp edges, making a half moon.

Place into a preheated 400* oven for 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown.  Serve with a side of Marinara or Pizza Sauce.  Print Recipe

More great inspiration for National Pizza Day






Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Let's Get Cooking...Here's the Weekly Menu

Have I mentioned how happy I am to have a fully equipped kitchen again?  Do you feel like you're hearing a broken record?  Do I have readers who are wondering what the heck a record is?

Don't worry...soon I will be over the giddiness of my kitchen and finding something else to bore you to tears about.

Today,we have a funeral to attend.  Then we have 3, yes Three, parties to attend.  The first is for our niece, Danielle, who turned 18 on Thursday.  The second is a surprise....shhhhh don't tell anyone.  The third is a 50th celebration for our friend, Dave.  So I won't be cooking tonight.

Tomorrow, though, I am cooking my heart out.  I am supplying the dinner for this week's meeting at the church.  We have been meeting on each Monday for a few weeks and still have several Monday's to go.  I will spend Sunday cooking so that it is all ready for Monday and just needs to be rewarmed.

Tuesday, We are having a small dinner party for some dear friends so that they can see the new digs. I know that not everything is complete and put together yet but they will get the idea.  Besides, we are due a night of relaxation and laughs.

The rest of the week is just typical.  Food pantry, choir, watching the Angel Face....all the things that fill my life with joy and purpose.  In between we will be unpacking more boxes, building walls, building a yard for the hens, having flooring installed (finger's crossed) installing window treatments and bugging the painter for a date certain.

Image result for fast metabolism diet

So, here is the Weekly Menu.  I am back on the Fast Metabolism Eating Plan starting Monday so I am going to enjoy Polish feast I'm preparing for Monday's meeting on Sunday before it starts LOL. Then I am going to follow Haylie's Survival Tips.

Dinner out at several places

Sunday-preparing food for Monday
Cucumber Dill Salad
Stuffed Cabbages
Sauerkraut and Kielbasa
Potato Cheese Pierogi
Peanut Butter Bars with Oatmeal and Chocolate Chips
Pumpkin Dump Cake

Meeting for me, Frank on his own

Tuesday -Dinner Party
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
Spinach Salad with Pears and Cranberries
Chicken Broccoli Rice Bowl
Cranberry Orange Sorbet
Pumpkin Meringues

Steak Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Chicken Stir Fry

Fish Friday
Cranberry Cod
Quinoa Pilaf

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pasta with Smoked Salmon for #FishFridayFoodies

Welcome back to Fish Friday Foodies where, on the third Friday of each month, we all present a recipe containing fish or seafood that complies with the theme for that month.  This month our host is Caroline of  Caroline's Cooking and she has chosen Fish and Seafood Pasta as our theme.

This made me very happy because it takes two things that I absolutely love and combines them into one dish.  What more could you ask for in life??  We eat fish and seafood pasta quite often around here and I have shared with you my recipes for Frutti di Mare, Linguini with Clam Sauce, Macaroni and Tuna Salad. Malaysian Noodles with Sausage and Crab and Seafood Lasagna.

I had some wonderful smoked salmon in my refrigerator so I decided to use that for my pasta dish.  I used brown rice pasta since I had that in my cupboard as it fit into the eating plan that I have been trying to maintain.  But that, my friends, is where any resemblance to a FMD dish ends today!  This recipe uses butter and heavy cream but every once in a while you need to splurge and this was my every once in a while.  So I poured myself a glass of wine and enjoyed every last bite of this creamy and delicious dish.

This dish reminded me of  Tuna Noodle Casserole but with Smoked Salmon.  This is fine with me because I love Tuna Noodle Casserole.  I hope you enjoy this dish and the others that are being brought to the table today.  You will find those right below the recipe.

Pasta with Smoked Salmon

1 T. butter
6 oz. mushrooms
1/2 small onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 t. lemon grass paste
1/3 c. heavy cream
6  oz. frozen peas
4 oz. smoked salmon, skin removed, flaked
1/2 lb. Brown Rice Pasta, cooked per package directions

Melt butter in skillet over med high heat.  Add mushrooms and onions, season with salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms have shrunk and are tender.  Stir in the lemon grass. Lower the heat to medium and add the cream and peas.  Cook until peas are defrosted, warmed through and the cream is reduced.  Gently stir in the salmon.  Toss with the cooked pasta adding a little of the cooking water, if needed, to thin the sauce.  Print Recipe

Interested in joining #FishFridayFoodies? Just leave a comment on this post with your blog name and I will be happy to add you to our group. You can also check out our Facebook Page and our Pinterest Board.

More Delicious Fish/Seafood Pasta Recipes

An InLinkz Link-up

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Spiced Rum Pumpkin Bundt for a Birthday Celebration #BundtBakers

Sunday we celebrated our eldest daughter, Amy's, birthday. When Amy was helping us move last weekend she asked for "something  pumpkin" for her birthday dessert.  She said she had been craving pumpkin and didn't want to wait until Thanksgiving for pie.

As luck would have it, our theme for this month's Bundt Bakers was "Happy Fall Y'All".  This fun theme was chosen by Teri of The Freshman Cook. Providence further smiled on my life when Melissa of   Smells Like Brownies, posted this Drunken Pumpkin Bundt Cake in this months Secret Recipe Club.

I knew, immediately, that this was going to be my inspiration for Amy's Birthday Cake and it fit in perfectly with our #Bundt Bakers theme.  So "Happy Fall, Y'All".  This cake is moist and perfectly spiced.  It was a huge hit with our family and Amy was very pleased with her dessert.  This would be perfect for any of the Holiday dinners or potlucks you may be attending.  Enjoy.

Spiced Rum Pumpkin Bundt
adapted from Smells Like Brownies

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 c. sugar
4 eggs
2 c. pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1/3 c. spiced rum
3 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice

3 T. unsalted butter, melted
3 T. spiced rum
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
lge. pinch of salt

Treat a bundt pan liberally with baking spray.  Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. When mixture is pale and stiff, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl combine the pumpkin puree and rum.  In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix in the flour mixture alternated with the pumpkin mixture on low speed until combined, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  

Spoon the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake in a preheated 350* oven for 60-75 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake removes cleanly.  Remove from oven and cool, in the pan, on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning the cake onto the wire rack to cool completely.

When cake is cooled, melt the butter in a 2 c. measuring cup by placing it in the microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.  Remove when melted and allow to cool.  Add the powdered sugar, salt and rum to the butter and stir until smooth.  Pour from measuring cup onto the cake.  Print Recipe

More Happy Fall Y'all Creations


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Curry Kissed Carrot Soup #ImprovCooking Challenge #MealPrepMadness

Wooohoooo guys.....I am soooo happy to have a kitchen again and to have it filled with all of my appliances that it seems were packed away forever.  I hadn't realized how spoiled I had become with all of my kitchen gadgets.

I, of course, managed.  Women have been "managing" in the kitchen for years.  Then men started cooking and they weren't going to "manage" so they created stand mixers, blenders, food processors, spice grinders, etc, etc... for which I am very thankful.

To be honest, I don't know who created any of these things.  It may very well have been a woman but since they were created early on chances are that even if it were a woman, her man would have taken the credit LOL.  Heck, lately listening to the political statements being made, there are those who would like nothing better than for woman to be back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

Now, I don't have anything against being in the kitchen. It is where I am happiest.  I love going barefoot and my children are my greatest blessing from God but woman have fought long and hard to be treated as equals and it breaks my heart when I hear and see prejudice of any kind to any segment of society.  Phew, did I get off track or what?!

Ok, I am stepping off of my soapbox now and am going to talk to you about a fun little group I am in called Improv Cooking Challenge.  Improv is, as the name suggests, a group of bloggers, who love to cook, being given two ingredients each month and improvising a great recipe using said ingredients.

Our ingredients this month were carrots and curry.  My husband, who professes to hate curry, enjoyed this soup.  I used a mild curry powder and he helped himself to two servings.

This week we are also celebrating #MealPrepMadness.  A week long celebration where we share our meal prep tricks with others.  As I mentioned earlier in the post, I have been living without my kitchen gadgets for 3 1/2 months.  I never realized how much I depended on them until they were gone.  They make life so much easier and are such wonderful time savers.  This entire soup took less than a half hour to make.  

I started out by chopping all my veggies in the food processor.  They were finely chopped so took only a minute to get tender when added to a med hot skillet with olive oil and curry powder.  When the veggies were softened and the curry was fragrant, I added the chicken stock.  Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and cook for about 5-10 minutes.  

I was then able to pour the entire amount into my vitamix and puree until smooth.  You may have to do this in batches if your blender is smaller or you can use a hand blender which is another handy dandy gadget.

Return the pureed mixture to the pan, place over medium heat and add the lemon juice and salt and pepper.

That's it!  Easy peasy and delicious.  Vegetarian, Vegan and Fast Metabolism Friendly.  It is the perfect first course or light lunch or dinner.  Don't forget to check out the other Carrot and Curry Creations following the recipe.

Curry Kissed Carrot Soup
adapted from Eating Well

3 T.  safflower oil
1 1/2 t. curry
8 carrots, peeled and chunked
2 lg. stalks celery, chunked
1 med. onion, chunked
1 (32 oz) box organic chicken stock
juice of 1/4 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Place the carrots, celery and onion in the large bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over med high heat.  Add the curry powder and veggies. Cook, stirring, until veggies are softened and curry is fragrant.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until vegetables are very soft.  Transfer mixture to a blender (in batches if necessary) and puree until smooth.  Return the soup to the saucepan and gently rewarm over medium heat.  Stir in the lemon juice, taste and season with salt and pepper.  Print Recipe