When the weather gets cold we make a lot
of soup! Here’s one of our favorite recipes for Tomato Basil Bisque!
3 tbsp butter 3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (more/less if you like it spicy or not)
1 large white onion (finely chopped)
2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
3 cans of tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes, chopped or blended)
4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
1 can of tomato paste
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1-2 cups of fresh basil (finely chopped)
Coarse Black Pepper
Optional, for garnish: parmesan cheese, croutons, whole basil leaves
Melt 3 tbsp of butter in a soup pan, add 3 cloves of minced garlic. Add chopped onion, celery and cook through (2-3 minutes). Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, crushed red pepper and bring to a boil. Add basil, broth, salt & pepper to taste and simmer 10-15 minutes. Let soup cool (we put it in a bowl in the freezer.) and then run mixture through a food processor or blender to reach a smooth consistency. Do *not* put boiling soup in your blender. That’s a big mess. We’ve been there.. We usually run 90% of it in a blender and leave 10% of it so that there are some tomato chunks in the soup. Return to stove on low heat, stir in cream and heat through. Add additional salt/pepper if needed. We serve it topped with fresh parmesan, croutons and basil leaves and a side of crostini.
I learned something new this week: if you squint, and kind of cross your eyes, and kind of don’t look directly at them….carnations can look kind of like peonies. I mean, they will never replace them, of course, but they fill the void slightly until the return of peony season. I snapped this photo of my (dying) carnations while wearing a neon pink top and thought it was kind of groovy how the pink was reflected on the white background. I overlaid the image with this quote using a few of my favorite free brush fonts from DaFont.com: Levi Rebrushed, Rags to Riches, Dead Island, Art Brewery, and Handbrush.
Last Friday night we had too much fun grocery shopping and cooking up a storm. We made one of our favorites—-a Tomato Basil Bisque recipe that we’ve been perfecting together for years (recipe coming soon)—–and then these oven-baked Bacon, Cheddar and Jalapeno Wontons which we definitely made up on the fly but they were so good that we had to share. It definitely isn’t a health food but it’s not the worst thing you can snack on during this weekend’s football games.
4 Slices of Black Pepper Bacon
2 Fresh Jalapenos
6 oz Cheddar Cheese Spread (or shredded sharp cheddar)
Start by prepping your ingredients. Set the cheddar spread out so that it warms up slightly. Cook the oven by simply lining a pan with tin foil, place a wire rack over the top, lay the strips of bacon out on the wire rack and bake on your lowest oven-rack for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Finely chop the jalapenos, I suggest using an electric chopper. When the bacon is done cooking lightly pat it with paper towels to remove excess grease and then chop or crumble it into small pieces. Place the cheddar spread in a bowl and stir in the bacon bits and chopped jalapenos. Now you’re ready to assemble the Wontons.
Place 1 tsp of the mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper, fold it in half so that it makes a triangle and seal the edges with a beaten egg or simply water. Use the pan and wire rack that you used for the bacon and line the wontons up in rows on the wire rack. The grease from the bacon will be just enough to keep the wontons from sticking to the rack. Continue until you’ve used all the cheddar mixture up (should yield 12-15 wontons) then bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown, flipping halfway through. Serve with a side of sriracha sauce for extra spice!
If you like a crispier wonton you can brush the entire wrapper with egg before baking.
It has been a chilly, rainy day here in Wisconsin and I finally lit my Apple Honey Butter Candle (from DW Candles). So, things are feeling pretty fall around here and this dress from GAP looked positively perfect in their morning email blast. I would totally cuddle up in this sweater\hirt dress. Where to Get It: GAP Sweatshirt Dress ($44.95), Wool Plaid Scarf ($33.00), Hanna Andersson Tights ($18.00), Loeffler Randall Ella Booties ($395.00).
I think of this quote whenever I attain a goal (and also because Andy Rooney was da man). It never fails that I reflect on the journey and am always thankful for having it. No matter what the goal is, the work and dedication that was required to get there is always an experience in itself and usually sets me up for selecting my next challenge.
(background image found via Wikipedia)