Baked Camembert Wreath

Happy Holidays!!!

Cheers!

The Tree is Trimmed…so it must be time for Prosecco, Pear Nectar, Ginger Liquor and Pomegranate Arils.…a delicious concoction….Try It IMMEDIATELY, you won’t be disappointed!

 CHRISTMAS EVE RUDOLPH PANCAKES

These Rudolph Pancakes for the kids Christmas Eve Breakfast were a hit!!!  And pretty simple to make.  Bacon Antlers, Banana and Blueberry Eyes and a cute Strawberry (or Raspberry) Nose <3

Happy New Year to You and Yours!!!

I don’t know about you, but my Holiday was a whirlwind of crazy, happy, exhausting fun.  We ate too much, we drank too much….but, lucky for you, I was constantly making cocktails, apps, food and desserts….it felt like,  24/7.  On the plus side, now I can share them with you!  First, my most requested recipe: Camembert Holiday Ring.  Not only is it stunningly gorgeous, it is simple to make and beyond delicious……..one of my biggest party hits this season!  I hope y’all enjoy it as much as we did…a few times!!!  Feast your eyes upon this, and imagine the amazing smells……

Baked Camembert Wreath with Rosemary, Garlic, Honey and Pomegranate Arils

I mean, you have absolutely no idea what a hit and a super huge crowd pleaser this is!  Give it a shot.  The prep is super easy, but the rolls take a LONG time to rise.  Make sure you give yourself 3 HOURS to let the frozen rolls rise, or 2 HOURS if the rolls are thawed.

Trust me, it is worth the wait!!!

 

Ingredients

Camembert Cheese in box
Frozen Parkerhouse Style Yeast Rolls
Garlic Slivers
Honey to drizzle over the cheese
Fresh Pomegranate Arils

Organic Rosemary sprigs
Organic Cracked Black Pepper

Maldon Sea Salt

Instructions:
Cover a large baking pan with parchment paper (or use a baking or pizza stone). Place the Camembert IN THE BOX in the center of the baking pan. Arrange frozen dough balls into 2 Circles surrounding the Cheese….be sure to leave about a little space in between the rolls and between the circles.  Remove Cheese and Refrigerate until ready to bake. Thaw Rolls in a warm, draft-free area for a hour. Then, allow rolls to rise (double in size) for another 2 hours.
When the rolls are almost ready, its time to prepare the cheese!  Cut slivers into the cheese and stud with garlic slices. Poke small Rosemary branches into the cheese. Drizzle with honey, EVOO, and Fresh Black Pepper. When the rolls have risen and you are ready to bake, brush rolls gently with melted butter. Place Prepared Camembert into the middle of the wreath of Rolls in the cheese box it came in!  Bake 375° for 13 – 15 minutes or until Camembert is melted and Rolls are golden brown. Using parchment paper, slide wreath off onto serving platter, or go for the rustic look and serve as is!  To Serve: Brush Rolls with Butter (yes, again!!!) and sprinkle with Maldon Sea Salt, Pomegranate Arils, and Fresh Chopped Rosemary and a drizzle of fresh Honey (if desired).  TIP: Let Cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting into the cheese….so it has time to set back up a bit and is not too runny.

 

~ Impress Your Guests, Relax, pour some Prosecco and Enjoy ~

 

I hope you make this and knock it out of the park!  This does serve a bunch of people, so if it is a small dinner party or cocktail party, you can always use half the amount of rolls and cut the baking time a bit.  Don’t be fooled by the little bitty frozen rolls….they really proof and rise and turn into a generous sized yeast roll!

 

Can’t wait to share more with you all!

                Merry Merry & Happy Everything!!!

Kari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Eat, Drink & Be Kari

 

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Roasted Cabbage “Steaks” & Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper

 with Rosemary Mustard Roasted Reds

Farm Fresh Ingredients

Farm Fresh Ingredients

 

How gorgeous are these farm fresh goodies?!?! I mean, WOW.  Simply stunning. There’s nothing I love more than roaming through my Local Farmers Market and pick up some gorgeous produce (and, who are we kidding…possibly some cheese, maybe some honey….and, really, who can escape without a loaf of crusty fresh baked bread….).  I can’t wait to create a meal out of this! Here’s what I came up with.  And, it was absolutely, mouthwateringly delicious.  I turned a simple cabbage into a hearty “steak” of a meal.  You won’t even believe how filling it is.  It was so darn good, I just had to share it with y’all!

This is what a Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper Cabbage Steak looks like before it goes into the oven!

This is what a Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper Cabbage Steak looks like before it goes into the oven!

Honestly, this is so easy to make, it’s going to blow your mind you’ve never cooked cabbage this way before.  I’m not a superhuge fan of cooked cabbage.  Especially if it gets all smushy and mushy and slimy.  No thank you, I’ll pass.  Now, when you ROAST it something divine happens…it caramelizes and crisps and is so wonderfully delicious that you forget you’re eating cabbage.

Red New Potatoes, Rosemary and Garlic

Red New Potatoes, Rosemary and Garlic

I bought some red potatoes and was feeling kinda lazy, so I decided to do a one pan roast.  Who’s not for easy clean up, am I right!?!?!  I cut a few long stems of Rosemary from my garden and placed the red potatoes and a few whole garlic cloves on top.  Drizzled with EVOO and seasoned with Salt and Pepper.

Sliced and Seasoned Cabbage "Steaks"

Sliced and Seasoned Cabbage “Steaks”

Next, slice the Cabbage and Onion into large round discs.  Layer the Onion slice on top of the Cabbage slice.  Season with EVOO, salt & pepper.

Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper with Jalapeño

Bacon Wrapped Red Pepper with Jalapeño

Unfortunately, I didn’t take step-by-step pics of the bacon wrapped peppers.  No worries, its super simple.  Just slice the Red Pepper into chunky pieces.  Take a slice of jalapeño and place it inside the red pepper.  Then, take a slice of nice applewood bacon and wrap it around the 2 peppers.  I used a few different methods for wrapping…the basket-weave, the spiral, the wrap and tuck.  They all turned out perfect.  So, do whatever works for that particular hunk of pepper!  I also added a small slice of jalapeño on top so that my diners would know a jalapeño was inside. TIP: I would NOT recommend leaving it on top (like I did!!!!) while you roast it.  Leave it off and add the fresh green jalapeño on top before serving.  That way my guests know their dish may have a kick, but the small jalapeño piece on top won’t burn in the oven and looks wayyyy prettier!

That Red Pepper is snug all wrapped up in baaaaacon!

That Red Pepper looks all snug and delicious wrapped up in baaaaacon!

 

And, if you notice the potatoes in the background, I had a little bacon and red pepper leftover.  No to waste, I tucked it in between the rosemary potatoes and let the bacon drippings kick up the flavor!  This turned out to be an excellent idea.  TIP: Keep the bacon strips on the larger side if you use any in the potatoes so it will all cook evenly!

Here's a Birds Eye View

Here’s a Birds Eye View

Not too shabby for a one pan dinner!

If you don't like spice, you can always use a fresh herb (basil) instead.  But, top it AFTER roasting!!!

If you don’t like spice, you can always use a fresh herb (basil) instead. But, top it AFTER roasting!!!

Pop into a preheated oven!

Yummy!

Just imagine that bacon grease dripping down the onion and over the cabbage seasoning each bite from start to finish!

Roast 400 for 35-45 mins until desired doneness.

Potatoes are Perfect!

Potatoes are Perfect!

Spoon the Roasted Reds into a bowl.  Add any crispy, non-burnt pieces of Rosemary and squeeze the roasted Garlic out too!  Don’t leave that little piece of deliciousness behind!!!

Roasted Red Potatoes with Mustard, Rosemary & Roasted Garlic

Roasted Red Potatoes with Mustard, Rosemary & Roasted Garlic

To finish the potatoes, add a dollop of Whole Grain Mustard.  Season with Salt and Pepper and add a dash of EVOO if needed.

This is how we like it!

This is how we like it!

“Desired Doneness” is personal preference.  Our household (read: my hubby) likes bacon extra crispy (read: burnt!!!).  We also like the cabbage more done and crispy on the sides and top.  Feel free to take it out sooner or later depending on how you like it!

Cabbage Steaks, who knew?!?!

Cabbage Steaks, who knew?!?!

I served this to my husband and his best buddy Travis.  They are meat eaters…..def not vegetarians.  They both DEVOURED this!  I couldn’t believe how much they raved over it.  I was not expecting such delicious results!

Plate It Up!

Plate It Up!

Looking good, but see….this is where the fresh jalapeño or herb would look loverly on top instead of my seriously roasted chipotle pepper (read: burnt jalapeño).

Served with a side of Farm Fresh Corn with Local Butter and Sea Salt

Served with a side of Farm Fresh Corn with Local Butter and Sea Salt

Last, lightly drizzle a nice Aged Balsamic over the Steaks or use a Balsamic Glaze.  This puts it right over the top!

Fresh Tomatoes with Spicy Thai Cucumbers

Fresh Tomatoes with Spicy Sweet Thai Cucumbers

I also served a fresh, light side of Tomatoes & Thai Cucumbers.  Amazing.

Yeah, I'm gonna need to share this recipe with y'all soon!

Yeah, I’m gonna need to share this recipe with y’all soon!

Plate and DEVOUR!!!

Ready to Eat!!!

Ready to Eat!!!

 

 

Roasted Cabbage “Steaks”

1 Organic Cabbage, outer leaves pulled off, then sliced into rounds

1 Large Onion, sliced into rounds (I used Vidalia)

1 Red Pepper, sliced into chunks

Applewood Smoked Bacon, sliced in half if necessary (just need enough to wrap pepper)

1 Jalapeño, sliced into rounds (deseeded if you want less heat)

Good Quality EVOO

Good Quality Aged Balsamic

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

*Preheat Oven 400. Lightly Spray Baking Sheet with Non-Stick Olive Oil Cooking Spray.  Lay Cabbage Rounds down first, then place the Onion Rounds on top.  Drizzle with EVOO, Salt & Pepper.  Slice Red Pepper into long chunks, place a jalapeño slice inside (if using) and wrap with bacon.  Place the “tucked sides” underneath the bottom of the pepper and put the bacon wrapped pepper “tucked side down” on top of the onion.  Roast 35-45 mins until bacon is done and cabbage edges are brown and crispy!  Remove and carefully transfer to plate.  Drizzle with a nice Aged Balsamic before serving.

 

TIP: You can make this dish completely vegetarian by omitting the bacon wrapped pepper.  Cabbage Steaks are still delicious!  Add the Onion or leave it plain…..just add some garlic to up the flavor some!  I’ll post a recipe soon for Garlic Roasted Cabbage Steaks!

I also made this for the first time (as pictured) using parchment paper because I was afraid of the cabbage sticking to the baking sheet.  I found that when I used the parchment paper, the bottom of the cabbage steak didn’t brown and crisp as much.  So, in the directions I changed that part.  Feel free to experiment!

 

Rosemary Mustard Roasted Red Potatoes

Red Potatoes

Fresh Rosemary Sprigs

Applewood Bacon Slices

Red Pepper Slices

Whole Garlic Cloves

EVOO

Sea Salt

Fresh Cracked Pepper

1-2  T Whole Grain Mustard

*Preheat Oven 400.  Spray Baking Sheet with Non-Stick Olive Oil Cooking Spray.  Lay Potatoes, Garlic, and Bacon & Red Pepper Slices ON TOP of Rosemary Sprigs.  Drizzle with EVOO, Sea Salt & Pepper.  Roast 35-45 mins until done.  Transfer to bowl and add 1-2  T Whole Grain Mustard. (you just need enough to lightly coat the potatoes.  Add 1 tsp EVOO if needed.) Season with Salt and Pepper.  Enjoy!  TIP: Be sure to add any delightful crispy bits of Rosemary that made it through the roasting without getting burnt!

 

I hope y’all try this.  You won’t be disappointed!

eat.drink.be

Kari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

@eatdrinkbeKari

Facebook: Hotcookin’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Tomato Pie

Southern Tomato Pie

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Summ-Summertime!!!

 Absolute perfection in two words: Tomato. Pie.

Sweet, Juicy, Ripe & Plump. Little colorful bursts of heaven.

Easily grown with a HUGE variety: Heirloom, Big Boy, Chocolate Cherry, Yellow Pear… these delightful tomatoes serve up spectacular dishes from snacks and apps all the way to the main course!

Savory Sweet Southern Tomato Pie

Savory Southern Tomato Pie

 

As Elegant and Lip-Smackin’ Good as this dish is,it is surprisingly,fabulously, summertime-tasticly, super simple to make!  Thank the Summertime Gods for smiling down on us with ripe, juicy tomatoes-a-plenty!  Here’s a tasty solution for what to do with your overabundance!  Lemme Break it down for ya.

This is what it looks like right before popping into the oven.

This is what it looks like right before popping into the oven!

Now, first things first.  Slice up those juicy plump tomatoes and lay them out on a couple layers of paper towels. Sprinkle them with Salt.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!!  If you do, you will have a watery pie…and NO ONE likes a watery pie!  It’s best to let them sit out for at least a half hour on the paper towels.  Then, be sure to blot the topside as well with a paper towel before layering!  I only had a few gorgeous red tomatoes, but mixing up heirloom and different varietals in this recipe is always a plus!

Salt Tomatoes to Release Excess Moisture

Salt Tomatoes to Release Excess Moisture

 

To simplify tonight, I even used a pre-made piecrust and just jazzed it up a little.  Karified it! 🙂

Savory Rosemary Crust

Savory Rosemary Crust

Press a little fresh Chopped Rosemary and Coarse Ground Black Pepper into the unthawed pre-made piecrust lightly with your fingertips.  Bake 400 10-15 mins until just brown, or per instructions.

Rosemary Black Pepper Crust

The aromatic Rosemary will make your Kitchen smell divine!

 

While this is baking in the Oven, you want to go ahead and make your Shallot/Cheese Mixture.  Here’s whatcha need:

Shallots, Garlic, Chiles

Shallots, Garlic, Chiles

Finely Chop Shallots, Garlic and a few Chiles to taste!

Kitchen is starting to smell AMAZING!!!

Kitchen is starting to smell AMAZING!!!

Cook the garlic just a minute or two until fragrant, be careful not to burn it or it will turn bitter!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

 

You can keep this super simple and just use Mayo and Cheddar Cheese, but…who are we kidding…When have I been know to do that?!?!?!  This is gonna be SO MUCH BETTER!!!

Add Ingredients to Garlic and Shallot Mixture

Add Ingredients to Garlic and Shallot Mixture

Horseradish, Duke’s Mayo, Herbed Goat Cheese, Shaved Parmesan, Lemon Zest, Salt & Pepper

Leave Mozzareall

Do NOT add Mozzarella, Chiles and Lemon Juice yet!

Fresh. Basil.

Toss is a few handfuls for Freshly Torn Basil

Next, Mix to combine cheeses.  The Shallots should still be warm, which will make this step easier.  Use Lemon Juice to thin out the mixture.  Depending on the size of your lemon, you will need about 1/2 to  the whole lemon.  I had a large lemon and only needed to use half!  You don’t want your mixture runny, just a thick but spreadable consistency.

Spread a THIN Layer onto your pie crust

Now, Let’s start assembling this Tomato Pie!

Start by spreading a THIN LAYER of the cheese and shallot mixture onto the bottom of the Pie Crust.  This extra step will help in keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy!

Layer your Delicious Tomatoes

Layer your Delicious Tomatoes

Next, add a Layer of Tomatoes

Cheese/Shallot Mixture & Fresh Mozzarella

Goat Cheese/Shallot Mixture & Fresh Mozzarella

Dollop the Goat Cheese Mixture and tear some Mozzarella on top the Tomato Layer

IMG_2443 IMG_2440

 

 Repeat if needed:

<— Tomato Layer

Cheese Layer —>

Absolutely Gorgeous!

Absolutely Gorgeous!

Finish Pie with Goat Cheese & Mozzarella.  Top with Shredded Parmesan, Fresh Basil, Chiles & EVOO.  Season with Salt & Pepper.

Oh My, now THAT'S A PIE!

Oh My, now THAT’S A PIE!

close-up

close-up

Pop in the Oven and Bake.

IMG_2458

Fresh Out of the Oven!

TIP: Do NOT serve Immediately!

TIP: Do NOT serve Immediately!

As hard as this will be…..LET THE TOMATO PIE COOL for at least 15 mins.  It needs to set!!!

Best served warm with lightly dressed mixed greens

Best served warm with lightly dressed mixed greens

For a quick, healthy side….serve with leafy greens.  I dressed mine super simple and it was perfect.  Squeeze the last half of the lemon over Greens. Drizzle 1 tsp EVOO.  Season with Salt and Pepper. Toss. Serve.

 

Southern Tomato Pie

1 PreMade Pie Crust

2 Sprigs Rosemary, chopped

Coarse Black Pepper

2-4 Ripe Tomatoes, sliced

Handful Basil, torn

2 T EVOO

2 Shallots, minced

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

Chiles or Jalapeño, minced (to taste)

1/3 Cup Duke’s Mayonnaise

2 T Horseradish

8 oz. Herbed Goat Cheese Log, crumbled

1/2 Cup Shredded Parmesan, divided

4 oz. Mozzarella, torn & divided

1 Organic Lemon, juice & zest

Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

*Preheat Oven 350.  Slice Tomatoes and place on paper towels.  Sprinkle with Salt and allow to drain.  Set Aside.  Next, take pre-made Pie Crust and sprinkle with Rosemary and Coarse Black Pepper.  Press lightly with fingers into crust.  Bake according to piecrust instructions until just browning.  Remove from Oven and let cool.

*Meanwhile, Add 1 T EVOO to small Sauté Pan and sweat Shallots, Chiles, s&p about 3-5 mins until translucent.  Turn down heat to Med-Low.  Add Garlic and cook 2 mins more.  Stirring some so you don’t burn the garlic! Next, add your Dukes Mayo, Horseradish, Goat Cheese, 1/3 Cup Parmesan, Lemon Zest, Torn Basil, Lemon Juice, salt & pepper.  Mix to combine.

*In Cooled Savory Pie Crust, spread a THIN LAYER of Goat Cheese Mixture on the bottom.  Add a Layer of Tomatoes.  Then a Layer of dollops of Goat Cheese Mixture and Torn Mozzarella.  Add another Layer of Tomatoes.  Top with Goat Cheese Mixture, Torn Mozzarella, Torn Basil, and a few fresh chiles.  Drizzle with 1 T EVOO and Season with Salt & Pepper.

*Bake 350 for 30 Mins or until top is brown and bubbly!

*Let cool for 15 mins before serving!

 

TIPS:

  • Substitue ANY cheese you like.  Swap the Goat Cheese for Feta.  Use Shredded Mozzarella if you need to.  Swap Parmesan for Asiago. Really, anything goes here.
  • Even if you DESPISE MAYONNAISE…..you REALLY REALLY REALLY need it for this recipe.  I cut it down to a super small amount.  I PROMISE you won’t even know it’s in there.  My hubby HATES mayo, and he LOVED this!  Trust me.
  • If you want to make your own crust….go for it!  Add the herbs in at the end as its coming together!  Using a pre-made pie crust that you roll out…no worries.  Simply add the Rosemary and Pepper on top and press it in with your fingers or a rolling pin before you lay it in the pie plate.
  • For the Love of All Things Soggy…..DON’T FORGET TO SLICE, SALT & DRAIN YOUR TOMATOES.  I can not emphasize this enough.  That’s the last I’m gonna say about that…
  • If your Crust Starts to get to brown, use a pie crust shield or some foil around the edges to prevent burning!
  • Experiment with different types of tomatoes.  The result is sure to be Gorgeously Delicious!!!

 

And that’s that.

My Version of Southern Tomato Pie, Baby.

Enjoy!

eat.drink.be Kari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

@eatdrinkbeKari

 

 

 

 

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

So, what’s for dinner???  How do you decide? Me, I check out my fresh ingredients. I’ve got Roma Tomatoes, Red Bell Pepper & Orange Bell Pepper, Onions, Garlic….looks like its time for SOUP!!!  Just perfect on a 20 degree day!  I know I always have stock around….simply in the pantry, or homemade and in the freezer.  And, of course, plenty of herbs and spices for a guilt-free flavor booster!!!  So, let’s make a Skinny Tomato Bisque…but let me karify it!

Creamy Healthy Goodness

Creamy Healthy Goodness Full of Vitamins and Flavor!

Alright, let’s get started!

Gather Ingredients

Gather Ingredients

Roma Tomatoes, Red Pepper, Orange Pepper (not pictured: Onion, Garlic & Rosemary)

Other Ingredients

Other Ingredients

Crushed Red Pepper, Bay Leaves, California Citrus Rub, Coarse Crushed Black Pepper, Thyme, Heavy Whipping Cream (not pictured: Stock, Olive Oil & Salt)

Story with the Flavored Olive Oil....My Little helper Princess

Story with the Flavored Olive Oil….My Little helper Princess

Slice Veggies and Drizzle EVOO of choice over.  Season.  Toss to Coat.

Ready To Roast

Ready To Roast

Pop in the Oven.  Roast.

Roasted Goodness

Roasted Goodness

TIP: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies flavor.  Try it on many veggies and even fruit!

TIP: Roasting brings out the natural sweetness and intensifies flavor. Try it on many veggies and even fruit!

TIP: Don't leave ANY of the delightful dripping behind!!!

TIP: Don’t leave ANY of the delightful dripping behind!!!

Pour all the Roasted Veggies and juice into a large pot.

TIP: Handheld Immersion Blenders ROCK!

TIP: Handheld Immersion Blenders ROCK!

Add the Stock.  Puree.

Seasonings

Seasonings

Add Spices.  Stir.  Cook 15 Mins.

TIP: Pureeing the Onions gives the soup a natural creamy texture!

TIP: Pureeing the Onions gives the soup a natural creamy texture!

^^^Your Soup should look like this ^^^

Stir In Cream

Stir In Cream

5 mins before Serving stir in Cream.

Garnish However Desired!

Garnish However Desired!

To Garnish I used Local Feta, Organic Black Sesame Seeds, Organic Lemon Verbena & Crushed Red Pepper

Get Creative!!!

Low Fat Cheesy Tomato Croutons

Low Fat Cheesy Tomato Croutons

I also made a twist on the basic grilled cheese sandwich and kicked it up with some fancy croutons!

Turned out REALLY Good!!!

Turned out REALLY Good!!!

I used the leftover LowFat Cheddar Scallion Cream Cheese from my Skinny Jalapeño Poppers.  Rustically spread on Bagel pieces and topped with various tomatoes.  Pop under the Broiler for a few minutes to melt.  yummmmm…..

The Meal is Complete!

TIP: Don’t forget to season the croutons with SeaSalt and Fresh Ground Pepper before serving!

They complement each other perfectly!

Perfectly Light and Delicious!

The Bisque is Perfectly Light and Delicious!

and…

Perfectly Light and Delicious to make

The Rustic Crouton is Simply Sensational!

Simple, yet So Satisfying!

Devour!

The Broiled Fresh Tomatoes are KILLER!

Skinny Roasted Pepper & Garlic Tomato Bisque

  • 12- 15 Organic Roma Tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • Organic Red Onion, roughly chopped
  • Organic Yellow Onion, roughly chopped
  • Organic Red Pepper, roughly chopped
  • Organic Orange Pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4-6 Cloves Organic Garlic, peeled
  • 3-5 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Large Box (32 oz) Organic, Less Sodium Veggie Stock
  • just under 1/3 Cup Organic Heavy Whipping Cream, room temperature
  • 2 Organic Bay Leaves
  • 2 tsp Organic Thyme
  • 1-2 tsp Organic Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tsp California Citrus Rub
  • 1/2 tsp Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • 3-4 TBS EVOO

*Preheat Oven 425.  Slice Tomatoes in Half and Roughly Chop Peppers & Onions.  Put in a large bowl.  Add Fresh Garlic and Rosemary Sprigs.  Drizzle Olive Oil, Sea Salt and Pepper.  Toss to combine.  Spread Out on Roasting Pan.  Roast in Oven 40-50 mins, flipping veggies once.  Roast until brown around the edges (A.K.A. until desired caramelization occurs).

*Carefully Remove Roasted Veggies from Oven.  Remove Rosemary Sprigs.  Pour Veggies and Drippings into Large Pot.  Turn StoveTop to Med.  Add Stock.  Puree using Handheld Immersion Blender (you can use a regular blender as well. Just be careful when putting hot liquids into a blender…be sure to put a towel over the top in case of explosion!!!)  When nice and creamy, add spices and seasonings.   Bay Leaves, Thyme, Crushed Red Pepper, Ground Black Pepper, Salt and Citrus Rub.  Let simmer at least 15 mins, or until needed.  Slowly stir in cream 5 mins before serving.  Garnish as Desired.

Tips, Suggestions & Substitutions:

And, as always, these recipes are COMPLETELY ADAPTABLE!!! From your diet to ingredients…soup is one of those foods you can easily change up!

Don’t care for Rosemary (or simply don’t have it), use the typical flavoring of Basil instead or punch things up with a lemony Thyme.

Don’t have the California Citrus Rub (pepper, lemon & orange peel, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, etc) or Milanese Gremolata (notes of: garlic, lemon, parsley & hint of mint) just lying around?!?!?  Which I’m sure you do not, add 1 Organic Lemon juice and zest when adding in the spices to brighten the flavor of the soup!

Use any Tomato you like.  I prefer Roma when roasting and making Tomato Soup because they contain fewer seeds.

Use any Bell Peppers you want!  I suggest using 2…it doesn’t matter if you use Orange, Red or Yellow, which tend to be sweeter, almost fruity.  I would not suggest using Green, as they will be more bitter and change to color of the soup!

Are you watching your diet in a major way?!?!!?  I had just under 1/3 cup of Heavy Whipping Cream leftover, probably about 3 TBS.  That is not a ton of added calories in a whole pot of soup, but you can always substitute Fat Free Cream or Fat Free Half and Half.  If you don’t do dairy, use a Coconut, Nut or Soy Version!  The pureed onions add a natural creaminess, therefore you don’t need to add much cream.  *The difference between Soup and Bisque is Bisque has Heavy Cream.

Simply Peel Garlic Cloves: Lay garlic under a large chefs knife with the flat side facing down.  Smash.  Garlic will pop right out!

One of the most simple substitutions: Stock/Broth. I, personally, adore Pacific and Imagine Brands.  You can use Vegetable, Chicken, Mushroom, etc.  Just know the flavor of the broth/stock will change the outcome of the soup.  I chose Veggie…nice and light, to let the flavors of the fresh roasted veggies sing!

And last but not least, and of utmost importance: The Garnish.  You can let your imagination soar.  From Creamy (Sour Cream, Creme Fraiche, Greek Yogurt) to Cheesy (Feta,Goat, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, etc) to Spicy (Jalapeños, Hot Sauce, Pepperoni, etc) to Fresh (Lemon, Parsley, Basil, Rosemary, Mint, Chives, etc) to Nutty (Sesame Seeds, Pistachios, Pine Nuts, etc) to Simple (a drizzle of good EVOO, flavored or not). * Always Remember: You eat with your eyes first.  Pretty food simply tastes better!  Take the time to garnish.  Adding just a smidgen of cheese at the end instead of to the entire pot of soup really helps cut fat and calories.  You tend to use less!!!

Bon Appétit!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Sensational Make Ahead Stuffing

Sensational Stuffing

For Anyone Interested in a Turkey Day Time Saver!

Make Ahead!!!

Make Ahead!!!

Ok.  So, with Thanksgiving coming up this week, I am always scrambling at the last minute.  This year I VOW NOT TO DO THAT!!!  (ha, right?!?!?!)  Seriously.  At least I’m going to put forth some effort.  So, I am trying to do a few Make Ahead things to help myself out.  This recipe is only HALF COMPLETE!!!! So, I am posting what I have done so far, so you, my dear reader, can be ahead of the game right along with me!  You’re Welcome!!!  All I am doing is making the super yummy “filling” for the stuffing.  I have made TONS of different types of stuffings over the years.  From Homemade Corn Bread to Rye Bread, Oysters to Sausage, and finally to Pepperidge Farms in a bag.  This year I am sharing a Semi-Homemade Version using the Pepperidge Farms Stuffing Mix you can pick up at your local grocery store.  Yes, I know…..this is not how I usually cook.  But I was thinking of you, my reliable reader, who prefers a quick and easy method that still tastes delicious.  I think you will be pleased with this one.

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

  • INGREDIENTS:
  • Neese’s Sausage (I would have preferred the Sage but couldn’t find it)
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Shallots, diced
  • 2 Medium Carrots, diced
  • 3 Celery Stalks & Leaves, diced
  • 1 Carton Baby Bella Mushrooms, torn
  • Handful Dried Cranberries
  • 3-5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Sprigs Rosemary (can use 1 T dried)
  • Few Sprigs Thyme (can use 1 T dried)
Saute

Brown Sausage, Veggies & Aromatics

This is super easy to make.  Just get a big skillet.  The biggest one you have.  Or you can always use a pot if you have to.  Heat up the Skillet.  Add the Sausage FIRST so it can start to brown.  Crumble it up a bit and now add all your chopped veggies in, minus the Mushrooms, Garlic & Dried Cranberries.  Season with a little Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.  Mix and let the sausage cook with the veggies.  Meanwhile, if you like mushrooms, just take one in your hand and tear/crumble it into the skillet.  This creates a different “meatier” texture that you will love.  You can slice them if you want, but I have been just tearing them into pieces with my hands for all sorts of different recipes (especially Chili) and have been so impressed.  I really think you will like it if you give it a try!  And, its super easy!!!  Next add your herbs on top!

Garlic & Dried Cranberries

Garlic & Dried Cranberries

When the sausage is fully cooked, go ahead and add in your garlic and dried cranberries.  Cook for a few more minutes so the garlic will soften and you should be able to smell it.  Also, the cranberries will plump up a little bit from absorbing all of the yumminess.

Should look like this:

Should look like this:

This is as far as I have gotten so far.  I let it cool then put it into the fridge.   I plan on warming it and adding it to the stuffing.  I’ll cook the stuffing per the instructions on the package.  (I think you just add some vegetable stock or water…).  I’ll post the rest on Wed when I make it!!!  But, it should be pretty simple and straightforward from here on!  The directions on the bad just say Onions and Celery….but trust me…..this is WAYYYYY better!!!!

Sorry to post half a recipe, but I figured some of you might want to go ahead and do this part!!!

Happy Cooking!!!!

See Ya in a Few Days!!!!

eat.drink.be KARI

AND I’M BACK!!! PART 2 OF:

SENSATIONAL STUFFING!

OK, so I left off with the Sausage Mixture for the stuffing in the fridge/freezer.  Hopefully if it was in the freezer, you took it out last night and let it thaw out.  Now, we are ready to go!

Here's what you Need

Here’s what you Need

Get out your Sausage Mixture, Stuffing Mix (or homemade breadcrumbs/cornbread), and one Organic Low Sodium Broth.  (I used Chicken.  Any stock/broth will do.  Try NOT to use water….you really need that extra flavor.  But try and always get the Low Sodium!!!  I have found my favorite brands are Pacific and Imagine….and I usually buy whichever is on sale.  If neither of them are, I buy the one with the Least Sodium!!!)

Seriously, this is ALL YOU NEED!!!! It can NOT get any easier than this!

Warm the Sausage Mixture

Warm the Sausage Mixture

In a large Pot, warm the Sausage Mixture over Med.

Seasonings of Choice

Seasonings of Choice

Next, add a few herbs of choice for a flavor boost.  I used an Italian Mix.  Sage is the BEST!!!!

Stuffing & Broth

Stuffing & Broth

Gently Mix 1/2 of Stuffing and 1/2 of Broth.  Stir. Add rest of Stuffing and enough broth to moisten.  Gently Stir to Combine.

So Easy!!!!

So Easy!!!!

Spray your baking dish and add stuffing.  I had about 1/3 of the box of broth left.

Stuffing

Stuffing

Pour another 1/2 cup or so of broth over the top to keep moist while baking.

Yummy!!!!

Yummy!!!!

Cover and Refrigerate until ready to bake!

Bake 350 for 30 mins.

***For a Crispy Top, bake UNCOVERED***

I can’t WAIT to get ours into the oven!!!!  I’ll post some pics later on, but for now:

Go Get Your Stuffing ON!!!!!

Gobble Gobble Gobble till ya Wobble Wobble Wobble!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Be Kind.

eat.drink.be Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Rustic Feta Potato Soup

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Now that the weather is starting to cool off…..It’s SOUP TIME, Y’all!!!!! One of my favorite times of the year. I love the crisp chill in the air and the tantalizing smell of garlic and onions sautéing wafting throughout the house. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING smells better than that!!! I was going to make a Potato Leek Soup to share with y’all, but I could only find 2 decent leeks at the market. So, I rolled with the punches, as I do a LOT in cooking, and created a Super Delicious, Mouth Watering Rustic Feta Potato Soup. I call it “rustic” because I use lots of fresh veggies and keep the skin on the potatoes. I pretty much always leave the skins on my organic potatoes, not matter what I am making (mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, soup, etc). I like the texture and for the added health benefit that most of the good nutrients are in the potatoes skin. Why take the time to peel them if I enjoy the taste AND its better for me??!?! That would just be silly. But, as always, if you don’t care for it…peel the potatoes….you’re the one that has to eat it! Also, I used a variety of herbs and peppers and onion that I had on hand. Feel free to Use What You Got!!!!The onions and peppers do NOT have to be the exact same ones that I use. If you don’t like heat and spice, leave out the serrano pepper and just use bell or sweet peppers. If you only have onions and no leeks or shallots, thats fine. The wonderful thing about soup is that it is amazingly flexible…….almost impossible to destroy! And, every time you make it, you can change it up and use different veggies and herbs until you find the way you like best. I don’t think ANY of my dishes EVER taste the same. That’s why I could never be a chef….Im NOT consistent at all (and I’ve never been to Culinary School or worked in a kitchen!!!!). But, that’s why I LOVE cooking. The mix-up change-up is always fun and the results are (usually) delicious!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

But, Let’s start with first things first….Pancetta.

Sizzle Sizzle, Baby!!!

Sizzle Sizzle, Baby!!!

First, I sautéed up some diced Pancetta. You could sub bacon with no problem. I figure, what’s a better way to top your soup AND a wonderful grease to sauté your veggies in! I cooked the pancetta for a few minutes, then added in some diced red onion as well. Don’t add in the onion at the beginning bc it will burn before the pancetta is crispy!

Holy Mother of Yumminess

Holy Mother of Yumminess

When it’s ready, with a slotted spoon, place onto a paper towel to drain the excess grease. Be sure to leave as much fat as you can in the pot for the veggies. Then, if you live in my house……you must HIDE THE CRISPY HEAVENLY little bites from the kids and hubby, or by the time the soup is ready it will be gone. Seriously. That’s how good this stuff it. TIP: If you are a vegetarian or simply do not have bacon or pancetta, skip this step and just use a good quality EVOO to sauté the veggies in! No worries. While this heavenly concoction is cooking, prep and dice your veggies of choice. And, be sure to clean your leeks. I’ll show you how.

Sliced Leeks in Water

Sliced Leeks in Water

Leeks contain a ton of dirt and sand and you want to make sure to get all of that grit OUT! There is a pretty simple method to do this. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Thinly slice the leeks using only the bottom white and light green parts. Throw the top stems into the compost! Put the slices into the water and toss with your fingers for a second to separate the pieces. Let them sit for a few minutes. The grit will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the leeks will float on top. Scoop out the leeks and voila, clean leeks! You are ready to go!

Look at the beautiful colors!

Look at the beautiful vibrant colors!

Get your Pancetta fat filled pan and sauté the rainbow of veggies in that deliciousness. Again, use what you got! This is not a normal boring potato soup. I like to include as many veggies as I can for that rustic look and superb flavor. I used carrots, celery, red onion, leeks, and a variety of peppers (serrano, red, poblano, banana). Slice ’em and dice ’em however you like! Sauté over Med-High Heat. Meanwhile, while your veggies are softening, cube your potatoes.

This is how you do it!

This is how you do it!

I like to slice my potatoes in 1 inch thick slices lengthwise. Then I stack them together and slice into 1 inch strips (like you are making french fries), then slice them down into cubes. The above pic shows you 1 lengthwise slice that has been cut into fry lengths, and now being cut into cubes. Does this even make sense!?!? Kinda hard to exlain….so I hope the picture helps you could see how to do it! Make the cubes bigger or smaller if you like, but remember they need to be bits-sized without being too small that they might overcook and fall apart.

Add Garlic and Herb Bouquet

Add Garlic and Herb Bouquet

While you are prepping your potatoes, be sure to stir the veggie pot every once and awhile. By the time your taters are ready, your veggies should be softening and translucent. Add the garlic and herb bouquet garni, and season with Salt and Pepper. For my Bouquet Garni I used Parsley, Thyme and Rosemary. I tied the Parsley and Thyme together with the Rosemary and didn’t have to use kitchen twine. Whatever works for you! Or, you can chop the herbs up and add them like that as well. I wanted some of the flavor to steep into the veggies, but I didn’t want it to overpower the soup. Thats why I used the bouquet garni so I could remove it later on. TIP: Under the garlic you see some leaves. These are celery leaves. I ADORE them. Whenever I’m cooking I ALWAYS include the celery leaves….they have so much flavor!!!! I’m not a superhuge fan of big chunks of celery, so I always dice mine pretty small. The leaves help infuse some of the flavor without the crunch of the celery. Do it, you’ll thank me later. I always try and buy the leafiest celery bunch I can find!

Add your Potatoes and Season!

Add your Potatoes and Season!

Next, add your cubed potatoes and season. I used Dry Mustard, Salt, Pepper and Worcestershire. Mix them in with the veggies and cook for about 10 mins. You don’t want to overcook them or get the mushy. You can also add your liquids here and not sauté the potatoes at all, but for some reason I think it brings out a better more rounded flavor.

ummmmm, yes please!!!!

ummmmm, yes please!!!!

I decided to GO FOR IT. Maybe not so healthy, but it does have a ton of veggies, right?!?!! You can use fat-free Half and Half or some Veg or Chicken Stock instead and just add a little bit of heavy whipping cream. But, I say, if your gonna do it, do it RIGHT!!! I had company coming over and decided to go ALL IN, Baby!!!! TIP: Be sure to take your creams and cheese out of the fridge when you start the soup so that they come to room temperature. You want to take the chill off so when you are adding them to the hot pot, they don’t curdle. You want to drizzle them in slowly and mix constantly as you pour!!!!!

Liquids Ready, now time for the Feta Crumbles!

Liquids Ready, now time for the Feta Crumbles!

Mix in the Half and Half SLOWLY until you are happy with the portion of veggies vs liquids. Let that cook for about 5-10 mins then add in the heavy whipping cream. I did not use all of either of these cartons. Probably 4 cups of half and half and maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the heavy whipping cream. Then, right before serving, crumble the ENTIRE block of Feta (that’s right….I said it…..use it all cuz company’s coming!!!)

Adjust Seasonings

Adjust Seasonings

Stir and Taste.  Adjust seasonings as needed.  I added some fresh homegrown Thyme and Garlic Chives for a nice pop of color.  And some Fresh Black Pepper.  Depending on the quality of Feta you used, you might or might not need to add more salt.  Some Fetas are SUPER salty, while others are not.  Always adjust at the end before serving.  TIP: I used a Boars Head Feta for the Soup, but used a HIGHER QUALITY Feta for the Topping/Condiment Station.

Topping Station

Topping Station

Sour Cream, Pancetta & Red Onions, Crispy Kale, Scallions & Local Feta.  These were my toppings of choice.  You can use whatever your little heart desires.  I will say the Pancetta was out of this world and took the soup to a whole other level.  And the Crispy Kale was so damn delicious I’m gonna share how to do that with you!

Crispy Kale

Crispy Kale

Put a few handfuls of baby Kale into a large bowl (if you don’t have baby kale, you can sub torn bits of kale or chard as well).  Drizzle a T of EVOO and dash of Salt and Pepper.  Lightly massage with your hands to make sure all the greens are coated.  Spread out on a Baking Sheet (lined with foil so it won’t stick).  Bake 275 or 300 for about 10 mins.  You need to watch it.  Don’t let it overcook and get to where it just crumbles and dissolves.  You want nice, crispy edges.  Then take it out of the oven.  This was perfect around Halloween because it kinda looked like spooky spider webs!!!!

Toppings Galore

Toppings Galore

YUM

YUM

I also served with it a French Bread, sliced in half that I topped one side with a garlic & herb butter and the other side I sprinkled some Monterey Jack Cheese, Scallion & Parsley.  Wrapped it up in foil and threw it in the oven along with the kale.  Ooey Gooey Garlicy Deliciousness.

Rustic Potato Feta Soup

Rustic Potato Feta Soup

Now I will list the basic recipe.  I am going to keep it simple so you can use what you have in the kitchen.  For example, I will list *2 onions* in the recipe when I use 1 red onion and 1 yellow onion.  That way you can make substitutions to your personal taste!!!  I hope that will help simplify it for you!  Also, Never Forget: Your food is only as good as your ingredients…. so use GOOD ONES!!!!  For all of my cooking I use organic whenever possible.  Homegrown and Local is choice for me as well.  The better your ingredients, the tastier your food.  Trust me.  So, while I don’t list ORGANIC in front of each ingredients, its a sure bet thats what I’m using!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 Russet Potatoes
  • 2 Onions
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 Handfuls Baby Carrots (or 2-3 Large Carrots)
  • 2-3 Peppers of Choice
  • 1-2 Spicy Peppers of Choice
  • 5 Cloves Garlic (or to taste)
  • 4 Celery Stalks & Leaves
  • Herbs of Choice
  • Feta Cheese
  • 4-6 Cups Half and Half
  • 1/2 – 3/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 T Dry Mustard
  • 2 T Worcestershire Sauce
  • Scallions
  • Pancetta
  • Kale
  • Sour Cream
  • Evoo, Salt & Fresh Groud Pepper

Chop and sauté Veggies over Med-High Heat for 10-15 mins or until softened.  Add in Garlic & Herbs (bouquet garni) and cook a few mins more.  Add in cubed Potatoes, Dry Mustard, Worcestershire & Salt and Pepper.  Cook about 10 mins more until potatoes are NOT QUITE FORK TENDER. Slowly add in (stock or a beer if you want to be healthier) Half & Half.  Let simmer a bit while it warms.  Stir in Heavy Whipping Cream, which should thicken it up a bit.  Add Crumbled Feta.  Taste.  Adjust Seasonings and add Herbs, Salt, Pepper, etc as needed.  Serve Immediately.  Garnish. DEVOUR.

 

Got Leftovers???

If you are LUCKY enough to have any soup leftover, I have a suggestion for a quick healthy presto-chango.

Green with Envy Potato Soup

and it's really REALLY good

and it’s really REALLY good

Organic Baby Green

Organic Baby Green

Simply reheat your soup on the stove.  Once the soup is warm, add in a handful of baby greens.  I used a mix of kale, spinach & chard.  You can use one or a mixture.

Green With Envy Potato Soup

Green With Envy Potato Soup

Stir to combine and let the greens wilt a bit in the warm soup.  I also did the baby kale in the oven, as shown previously, and used a TON of that for topping.

Garnish as desired

Garnish as desired

Now THATS a spoonful of rich & creamy soup!

Now THATS a spoonful of rich & creamy soup!

So many flavors & textures

So many flavors & textures

lefor

I’m in leftover HEAVEN!!!

so damn good!!!

It doesn’t even taste like the same soup!!!

I hope you make this and enjoy it as much as we did!

eat.drink.be

Kari

@eatdrinkbeKari

www.eatdrinkbe.com

Baked Rosemary Lemon Chicken with KickAss Kale

Baked Rosemary Lemon Chicken and Veggies with KickAss Kale

One Dish Deliciousness, Skinny Style!

Rosemary Lemon Chicken with KickAss Kale and Veggies

Rosemary Lemon Chicken with KickAss Kale and Veggies

So, it’s been awhile. I’ve been moving into the new house and trying to get my life back organized.  Somewhat organized.  Just a little organized.  Hell, at this point, I’ll take anything.  So, this is what I made the first night I cooked in the new house.  I was exhausted, so simple was key.  One pot to cook, one pot to clean.  Bake in the oven so I can keep on keepin’ on while dinner cooked.  KISS.  Also, was CRAVING Fresh & Simple.  Hence, One Pot Rosemary Lemon Chicken w/ KickAss Karified Kale & Veggies.  It turned out pretty damn good, too!

INGREDIENTS (btw, all are either organic, local or homegrown I’m just too lazy to write it every time!)

2 Chicken Breasts (I sliced one into 2 pieces bc it was larger and I wanted them to cook right….plus it made for great leftovers the next night when the hubs was traveling!!!)

Red Onion

Rosemary

Mushrooms

Lemon Slices leftover

3 Cloves Garlic

Red Pepper

Salt & Pepper

EVOO

Kale

Creeping Rosemary

 

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Slice Red Onion into Rings. Layer on Baking Dish.

 

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Add Red Pepper & Chopped Garlic

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Add Rosemary & Dash of EVOO

Put Chicken on top with Salt, Pepper & Lemon Slices

Put Chicken on top with Salt, Pepper & Lemon Slices

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Sprinkle on some Red Pepper Slices

Layer Mushrooms on top

Layer Mushrooms on top

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Bake 350 about 20 Mins

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Take out of oven @ 20 mins in. Add Kale.  Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper & EVOO. Bake another 8-10 mins

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Kale is ready when ends of leaves are crisping. The greens are absolutely amazing!!!

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Close Up of the Kale for ya!!!

eat.drink.be