Almost La Madeline’s Tomato Soup

La Madeline was a french inspired restaurant that somehow left the west coast and is now only on the east coast, at least that’s where I’ve seen it. See as how here in Phoenix this weekend we’ve had freezing temperatures, literally, I knew I wanted to make soup for dinner. I wanted a warm, homey soup that was full of flavor and warmed you to your core. I searched Pinterest for a tomato soup recipe and found one that I could try out that only took 30 minutes to make. I came across this recipe and went straight to work chopping up the onions.

Wow, was I crying non-stop chopping and dicing onion. I only used one onion instead of the two that the recipe suggests, but one was more than enough. I then went to work mincing 3 garlic cloves. I cooked the onions in my soup pot for about 15 minutes until they browned and then added in the garlic, cooking for another minute longer. Then I added in the entire box (4 cups of vegetable stock) and 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Since I didn’t pick up fresh basil I sprinkled in some dried basil and pepper and salt that worked out well. After allowing the soup to cook I used my new hand immersion blender (thanks mom for the wonderful Hanukkah gift!) and dang is that thing amazing! So helpful! Once blended I poured in the 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

Here is the finished product that I have to say, DELICOUS! The only thing that would have made it perfectly match La Madeline’s version would have been to add cheese.

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Renaissance Cinnamon Almonds

If you’ve ever been to the Renaissance Festival then you have probably had their cinnamon roasted almonds. I found a recipe for them on Pinterest of course, and decided to try it out. I had no idea if this was going to work but figured I didn’t have anything to lose.

So I gathered my supplies:

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Crock pot
Crock pot liners
Dry, unsalted almonds 3 cups
Vanilla 1.5 tsp
Cinnamon 3 tbs
Salt 1/8 tsp
Sugar 1.5 cups
1 egg white

First thing is first, line your crock pot so that you don’t have a cinnamon-y mess when done. IMG_3851I first mixed the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set it aside. Then I combined the egg white and the vanilla. Next, mix in the almonds with the vanilla and egg white mixture making sure that the almonds are all coated. Once they are all coated pour the dry mixture in and mix well.

 

 

 

 

 

They should look like this when everything is mixed together right before you pour it in to the crock pot.IMG_3852 Then they cook on high for 2 hours. Here is where you need to really pay attention. Mix the almonds every 20 minutes so as to keep them from burning through the liner. After two hours are up they come out wonderfully toasted and candy coated and your home smells delicious. I can say that these taste very much like the almonds you find at the Renaissance Fair, except much more budget friendly, and you can eat the whole thing by yourself (unless you make them as gifts and give them away). That just means another batch is on it’s way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eggplant Pizzas or Julia Child’s Tranches d’aubergine á l’italienne

It’s been a while but I’ve been busy as a bee cooking things up in my kitchen! So as not to waste any time let’s get started on talking about food! Here’s a recipe I saw while browsing Pinterest recipes, of course and it piqued my interested because 1. it’s a healthy version of pizza and 2. it’s a Julia recipe. I am one of those people that actually loves eggplant whether it’s baked, fried, in babaganoush, however it’s made I love it! I also love pizza and the fact that this recipe is gluten free (for a friend of mine) made this recipe perfect for our Monday Night Dinner Parties! Below is a list of the ingredients, pretty simple and aside from letting the eggplants sit so as to bring out the water in them, the recipe doesn’t take much time either.

Ingredients

  • globe eggplant (about 8 ounces and 9-10 inches long)
  • 1 tbsp salt (for drawing water out of eggplant)
  • 2 tbsps olive oil (for brushing eggplant before roasting)
  • 2 tsps italian seasoning (dried, for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting)
  • 10 basil leaves (large, cut in chiffonade strips, optional. I used dried.)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup low fat mozzarella (finely grated, blend)
  • hot red pepper flakes (for sprinkling finished pizza, optional)
  • extra-virgin olive oil (2-3 tsp.)
  • large garlic cloves (very finely chopped)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (good quality petite, with liquid, or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning (dried italian, blend)
  • dried oregano (1/4 tsp., use Greek or Turkish oregano)

Sauce Ingredients: 2-3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil 3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped 1 can good quality petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes) 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend 1/4 tsp. dried oregano (use Greek or Turkish oregano)

This recipe turned out amazing! The taste was perfect and everyone loved the ‘pizzas!’ Here’s where I found the recipe, when I clicked from Pinterest my ever so wonderful online never ending cookbook!

Hair ties and etsy

Last year a coworker started using these hair ties. They were stretchy elastic and colorful. She said that they were ‘the best hair ties’ and that they didn’t crease your hair. So I looked them up on etsy and they sell for more than I would have liked. I found the most reasonable price for a set of 5 and tried them out myself. Turns out, they were pretty cool but I wasn’t willing to continue paying a $1 per hair tie. I’m a little more practical than that. So I set out on a mission to find the elastic to make the hair ties myself. What do you know, I found a number of websites that were selling the elastic and at .50 cents a yard that was the deal I was looking for. I purchased about 6 yards the first round to make as holiday gifts for friends that worked out to be much more economical for me. You can see the photos below of my hair ties which will soon be sold on etsy.

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