Recipe - roasted tomato soup

The ladies I work with and share an office (there are three of us in a room) love soup as much as I do.  I have been hyping up my soup game but have not brought in anything as I've promised.  Until today. Last night I made a version of smitten kitchen's roasted tomato soup.  It was good, I could make some tweaks I think to make it even better.  See the recipe below with my tweaks.  I served it with shredded mozzarella cheese on top and a slice of Asiago peppercorn bread from Trader Joe's.

My version of roasted tomato soup -

3.5 pounds roma tomatoes, sliced down the middle
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1/8 t roasted red pepper flakes
1/4 t dried thyme
4 c vegetable stock

Preheat oven to 250, place tomatoes face up on sheet and roast for 2 hours. Take garlic and wrap tightly in tinfoil, put on sheet with tomatoes. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil and heave seasoning of salt and pepper.

Pour veggie stock in pot with red pepper flakes and thyme. Once tomatoes are done, remove with tongs from sheet along with garlic cloves (peeled) to blender or food processor and plush one-two times so they are still course. Add mixture to broth in pot, bring to boil and then simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

This soup is MUCH better the next day, making this a day ahead would be ideal.

Image via smitten kitchen


Friday round-up!

Happy almost weekend!  This weekend we're going to a friend's BYOP carving party, I'm checking out a new Pilate's class, and have some other high-paced activities on tap...

I bought this sweater and it is THE best.  Staple.  I cannot wait for it to either get cool enough to wear it in Miami or wear it when I go North for a work trip soon.

I read a New Yorker piece on Jack Dorsey (Twitter founder) last night.

I'm going to try out this dip this weekend as a base, but jazz it up a bit.  I will post the recipe if it is worthy.

I read this post on Monday via A Cup of Jo and passed it along to some of my work friends with kids.  I think it is so important for women to be supportive of each other, even if they are in different life situations.  What I have learned is that we all think that we should be doing more and/or doing things better most of the time.  It's exhausting.

Who knew the roof of Chicago City Hall was so green?

Cute earrings. Holiday lite.


Fall doorways

Almost November and time to look at some pretty doors.  Excited to post this by season.   xo

All images via my Pinterest.


Friday round-up!

Here are a couple things I came across this week to share:

Winter white dress staple to have in your wardrobe. 

R.I.P. -- gummy bear fans/addicts should know about.

Stock your bar before with the essentials before the holidays. 

BIG arrival here in South Florida today.  I. am. pumped.

Movie I want to see this weekend. 

Loving this skirt

Cute Halloween card (love the black envelope, would use a silver pen). 

Have a nice weekend!


Weeknight dinner - Nicoise salad

Last night I made a light dinner, nicoise salad, that I planned to make over the weekend. I love the presentation of this meal more than anything.  All the colors and textures on the platter make it something fun to put on the table.  I made it with salmon as that was the freshest fish at the market. R eats dinner and then says, you know I cannot stand salmon for the record. Noted. Newlywed moments 101.

I made this version with cherry tomatoes, blanched green beans, shallots, roasted baby Yukon gold potatoes (they were the size of gum drops, so delicious), hard boiled eggs, nicoise pitted olives, oven roasted salmon and arugula.  I whipped up an easy vinaigrette that I will share below.

Here's a snapshot of the table, not bad for a Tuesday.

Easy vinaigrette:

1 lemon juiced
1 T Dijon mustard
.5 t salt
.5 t black pepper
1 t sugar
1-2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil

Add all ingredients to mason jar and shake.  Good in fridge for a week (or so).


Recipe Recap - thai butternut squash soup

This past weekend I made a Thai Butternut Sqaush soup.  I modified the Cooking Light recipe and it was a winner.  I will be making this for Thanksgiving. Easy as I can make it earlier in the week and then transport it to my in-laws for dinner in tupperware.   It was delicious and paired beautifully with a slice of fresh bread and kale/avocado/dried cranberry salad for lunch yesterday at work. 

  • 1 T olive oil 
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 T minced fresh garlic
  • 1 T minced fresh garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vegetable stock 
  • 4 cups roasted butternut squash 
  • (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1.5 t fish sauce
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t pepper
  • 1.5 t cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • limes (1 juiced, 1 sliced for serving into wedges)

  • Preheat oven to 425.  Cut butternut squash in half, cut out seeds and put little olive oil on squash, put on sheet pan face up and bake for 30 minutes.   When squash is done, wait to cool so you can handle and scoop out squash, set aside.
  • Saute onion in olive oil until soft on low-medium heat (about 8 minutes).  Add garlic and ginger, saute one minute and add coconut milk, water, and stock.  Turn heat up to heat and bring to boil, add butternut squash, fish sauce, salt, pepper, cumin.  Once at boil, bring down to simmer for ten minutes, add juice of one lime, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Use immersion blender to blend until smooth.  Serve with peanuts, cilantro, and lime as garnish.  YUM.
  • Image: 1


Weekend cooking plans

Every weekend (if not traveling), I try to make at least one new recipe.  I find nothing more restorative and calming than standing in my kitchen on a weekend afternoon, listening to music or having sports on a dull roar in the background and making something for the week ahead.  Last weekend I tried a new soup recipe I might make for Thanksgiving. White bean with rosemary by Ina, how could it go wrong (sounds like her, no?). I am tasked with soup for the meal - fine by me!

Sunday night is a night I really try to put in that extra 10% for a nice family meal.  Candles, cloth napkins, music on (maybe even make a play list if I'm organized, that has never happened ps), more than one course (aka make a dessert and a main course).

This weekend I am attempting to make bread for the first time.  I'm a bit nervous and excited!  Dinner will be a Nicoise salad (new recipe) with hopefully a semi-successful loaf of bread on Sunday.  I am also making a Thai butternut squash soup to have on hand for lunch this upcoming week. Pictures and recipes to come my friends, this bread could be entertaining.

(A vision of my kitchen on Sunday for sure).


Let's pretend...

It's starting to get cold out, maybe even just crisp in the morning.  For many yes, in South Florida, no.

Many ladies have their "thing" in fashion.  A shoe person, bag lady, etc.  Well, I love coats.  I buy them as investment pieces, and if you live in a cold urban place, it's what the majority of people see you in on a daily basis.  I have not updated my coats since being in South Florida for three winters (although my cover up collection is thriving), but I still look.

Here are a few of my favorites. I am holding back on pressing the "add to cart."

Tan is my favorite color, open my closet before I moved to Miami and it would be a vision of neutrals.  I've jazzed it up considerably since moving to the tropics.  Also the hood is great for blocking wind, a Chicago/New York must. 

Mackage is my ultimate dream coat category.  They are smart, functional, classic with personality (like the placement of the zipper here).  They also do not make you look like the Michelin man, a bonus in this department. 

Super cute and affordable, ala Zara. 

This J. Crew Stadium Cloth Cocoon Coat came out the year I moved South, I still love it.   The color is a lovely non-traditional neutral option. 

Burberry Brit is an investment for sure, but they are warm, look super chic and hold up. The cinching belt also helps with the aforementioned dilemma. 

This Club Monaco number is SO great, do you notice the pockets are black calf hair AND it has a hood.  What a classic piece to have with a little sass. 

Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6