That time when I deleted the pretty pictures of my tomato soup recipe. :(

Hola,

Yikes! I definitely just deleted the pictures I took of my finished soup all dressed up in the bowl. I can’t even go to the recycle bin because I deleted them from my SD card. Ugh oh well, now the pictures will just be so so I suppose. 😦 I really need to wake up and be more careful.

But now onto the most delicious tomato soup I have ever had! I’m not even making that up. This recipe is so simple too. It only has three ingredients. The others are just what you would like to put on top to fancy it up. But to be honest, all I added was a few shavings of Parmesan Reggiano cheese. And I wouldn’t even miss the cheese if I didn’t have it. The soup is that good. There is a secret to this recipe…. I use fennel and caramelize it until it’s golden brown, sweet, and super mellow tasting. The fennel acts as a sweetener for the soup and helps to cut the acidic nature of tomatoes.

This recipe started from a few years back when I tried a friend’s tomato soup that I couldn’t get enough of. Yesterday I got a craving for it all of a sudden and had to make it today. I didn’t remember the recipe, so today I went with what sounded right to me for amounts.

I used San Marzano canned tomatoes becuase that is what I had on hand and they are know to be the best of the best canned tomato. When I tasted them as is they were sweet and I could have eaten them straight out of the can for a snack.

I used San Marzano canned tomatoes becuase that is what I had on hand and they are know to be the best of the best canned tomato. When I tasted them as is they were sweet and I could have eaten them straight out of the can for a snack.

Fennel. The secret ingredient to the soup.  This has a licorice scent and taste to it raw but it mellows out a ton when it's caramelized with butter. So yummy!

Fennel. The secret ingredient to the soup. This has a licorice scent and taste to it raw but it mellows out a ton when it’s caramelized with butter. So yummy!

This is the fennel almost ready to have the tomatoes added. See how it's getting nice and golden brown and almost breaking down. That's a good thing. It means they are getting really good.

This is the fennel almost ready to have the tomatoes added. See how it’s getting nice and golden brown and almost breaking down. That’s a good thing. It means they are getting really good.

The soup after I blended about 3/4 of it. I like to leave a little bit of texture in it by not blending all of it. But if you like it souper smooth blend all of it. Did ya catch that? :)  Corny I know :p

The soup after I blended about 3/4 of it. I like to leave a little bit of texture in it by not blending all of it. But if you like it souper smooth blend all of it. Did ya catch that? 🙂 Corny I know :p

The Recipe

1 28 oz can tomatoes

1 bulb of fennel

4 tablespoons of butter (this gives it a rich flavor so use a brand that you really enjoy the flavor of)

about 1/2 cup to 1 cup water

1. Cut top part of fennel of so you are only using the white bulb portion. Remove any tough outer layers. I didn’t have to because mine seemed tender enough. Slice the fennel thinly.

2. Melt the butter in pan on low to medium heat. Then add sliced fennel.

3. Cover the pan and let the fennel soften and start to caramelize in the pan for about 5-10 minutes before stirring. This lets the steam build up and really soften the fennel.

4. After the 5-10 minutes remove lid and continue to caramelize fennel until golden brown and soft enough to mash/break apart easily with cooking utensil. Stir every minute to couple of minutes being careful to not let it burn. (The way I tested it was that I tasted the fennel and it was nice and mellow and sweet tasting. The way sweet caramelized onions taste)

5. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

6. After the soup has thickened up a bit, it is time to make it smooth. I put about 3/4 of the soup in the blender and let it whirl. (Please be careful and put a towel over the blender to make sure the steam released doesn’t burn you). This is also where an immersion blender would come in handy.

7. I also added about a cup of water the blender to make it a touch thinner. This is personal preference so do as you please.

8. Bring soup back up to a simmer and serve with a grilled cheese or croutons or whatever crackers or cheese you enjoy!

This recipe makes two hearty servings. About 1 3/4 cups each. You could easily double this recipe but I just wanted a small batch to have for myself.  Enjoy!

Pancake cravings…Gluten free ones too!

Hey!

Lately I have been in a pancake groove in the morning of my days off. I have been craving pancakes for some bizarre reason. The last time I had pancakes so many times in two weeks was when I was in the USVI. The little restaurant at the campground had the best pancakes. If I didn’t get them I felt like I was missing something. But this time around my pancakes are gluten free, fluffy, and delicious. I found the recipe via pinterest where it took me to Laura Fuentes’s lovely blog. The link is after the pictures 🙂

Today I added a little variation by using a quarter of a banana for some added flavor instead of the applesauce. I always use full fat coconut milk as the milk for the recipe and King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Mix. Then I always add the appropriate amount of xanthan gum. Instead of using the flax seed in the recipe I use 1 egg.  Then I follow the rest of the recipe exact.

Today I added a little variation by using a quarter of a banana for some added flavor instead of the applesauce. I always use full fat coconut milk as the milk for the recipe and King Arthur Gluten Free Flour Mix. Then I always add the appropriate amount of xanthan gum. Instead of using the flax seed in the recipe I use 1 egg. Then I follow the rest of the recipe exact. Oh yea today I even added a couple scoops of my favorite protein powder just to give them a protein boost. 

These cook up well in the pan and just as fragile as a normal pancake would be.

These cook up well in the pan and are just as fragile as a normal pancake would be. The batter can be thick sometimes but just spread it a bit after the initial amount is in the pan. (Do so right away though) I liberally cover the pan with a bit a butter just to be safe but they don’t stick easily if there is only a very thin coating of butter/oil in the pan. 

The finished product! Serve with some warmed maple syrup or fruit or both and enjoy! There you have fluffy gluten free pancakes.

The finished product! Serve with some warmed maple syrup or fruit or both and enjoy! There you have fluffy gluten free pancakes.

These pancakes really are spot on. Even my fiance Sean enjoyed them and he’s not the biggest pancake eater. Enjoy!

Here’s the link to the recipe: http://www.laurafuentes.com/easy-gluten-free-pancake-recipe/

A Girl’s Night Dinner Party

Heyy!

Tonight I had my friends Susan and Jen over for dinner. We had some fantastic food and a festive beverage. I made Croq au Riesling, which is chicken simmered with mushrooms, onion, bacon, and Riesling cream sauce until all the flavors are happy together. That was so heavenly! For the side, I roasted those little baby potatoes with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and fresh parsley. To drink with dinner I made a winter sangria that had pomegranate juice, apple cider, blood oranges, and cinnamon sticks. It was a refreshing an straight yummy drink with the rich chicken dish. Then, for dessert I made vanilla coconut milk ice cream with a hint of cinnamon to put on top of the best gluten free fudge brownies ever. The ice cream was served soft serve style straight from the ice cream maker to top the brownies. That was pure brownie sundae bliss. (recipe links at the bottom, found via Pinterest)  I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of the chicken because I was too distracted in good conversation to remember. Whoops.

SANGRIA!  Enough said.

SANGRIA! Enough said.

The best gluten free fudge brownies.

The best gluten free fudge brownies.

The potatoes getting yummy hanging out in the olive oil and spices before I roasted them.

The potatoes getting yummy hanging out in the olive oil and spices before I roasted them.

I saw these in the store today and had to buy them because I love Gerber Daisies and they're going to be the flowers for my wedding!

I saw these in the store today and had to buy them because I love Gerber Daisies and they’re going to be the flowers for my wedding!

Tonight was an awesome night being able to catch up with friends. We had genuine conversations that just reinforce the importance of spending time with good people that bring your energy up. I love my friends and I was so happy that they we’re able to meet Sean tonight too. 🙂 They also convinced me to do a post about my apartment and how to utilize our small space. So I’ll be posting that soon; hopefully tomorrow!

Have a good night!

Links to the fabulous recipes I used tonight        (the ice cream was my own recipe that I’ll post in the future)

http://www.theroastedroot.net/winter-sangria-with-pomegranate-blood-orange-and-apple/          (sangria)

http://simply-delicious-food.com/2013/06/26/nigel-slaters-coq-au-riesling/            (chicken)

http://deliciouslyorganic.net/fudgy-brownie-recipe-grain-free-paleo/            (brownies)

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein Fudge Bars

Hey!

So i’m sitting here listening to Christmas music and still can’t believe its only a few weeks away, actually only a couple of weeks…Yikes! I feel pretty good about it though, I have my mom’s present and Sean’s present just got ordered last night so I guess I’m half way done. I just have my dad, my mom’s boyfriend Bobby and Sean’s parents left. Now on to this fudgey (this is not a word according to spell check but I’m a rebel and using it anyways) chewy and delicious peanut butter concoction.

I was talking to my aunt over the holidays and she was talking about a protein bar recipe that was really delicious, so of course I wanted to try it. She sent me the recipe and I turned it into this. If it wasn’t for my vitamix I probably would have just followed the recipe. But that beast of a machine lets you be lazy and mix everything together without any effort. Win. I suggest not trying this recipe in a regular blender because it will probably not mix well or burn it out. Nobody wants that. Who knows when you’ll want a frosty drink. So the base of the recipe is peanut butter, oats, flax seed, and honey.

IMG_1007[1]

Fudgey and Chewy Peanut Butter  Protein Bars

1 cup oats

3/4 cup peanut butter or other nut butter

1/2 cup honey plus another tablespoon if you feel like it (I did. although i’m sure it would be plenty sweet without the extra tablespoon)

1/4 cup flax seeds or 1/2 cup ground flax meal

dash of salt if you wish (it helps brings all the flavors together)

1 teaspoon vanilla or more if want

1/2 a milk chocolate bar but you can use up to half a cup of chocolate chips if you’d like

5 scoops of protein powder (mine is a 10 gram scoop and for every scoop there are 9 grams of protein)

I also added a couple tablespoons of water to help everything come together.

***The protein powder I use is called Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. I love it because it is completely unflavored, to the point where I’ll add it to my tea in the morning and not be able to taste it at all. I LOVE it. I’ll include a picture of it at the end of the post.

Instructions:

1. Blend the oats and flax together to be more like a flour if you’d like a smooth consistency. If you’d like the texture you can skip this step.

2. Add all of the ingredients into the blender and pulse and blend until it is a thick almost gooey texture.

3. Then dump into whatever sized pan you’d like. I used a 9 inch cake pan because it is what I had on hand.

These bars almost remind of caramel in a way but peanut butter flavored. If you like a stronger chocolate flavor feel free to add more chocolate or cocoa powder to your mix. I’m also interested to see how these would be with dates in the mix.

My favorite protein powder.

My favorite protein powder. And the one I have found to be completely flavorless. To the point that you can barely taste it in water and it is flavorless in juice or another beverage.

I hope you enjoy these bars as much as I do!

Kelly 🙂