Pesto Cauliflower Soup

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If you are like me, you make lots of pesto in the Fall and then need lots of recipes. When I discovered some cilantro almond pesto in the back of the freezer, I went on the search for a new recipe. The Washington Post has an easy and delicious solution, pesto cauliflower soup. I used chicken stock instead of veggie and added a can of cannelloni beans and lots of crushed red pepper. Lovely. Photo: Becca Henry.

CAULIFOWER PESTO SOUP

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I’ve been meaning to share this recipe…it is purty dam amazing. The extra time it takes to chill the dough, brown the butter and sprinkle the sea salt is as important as foreplay. Photo: Becca Henry.

BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Braised Leg of Lamb with Provencal White Beans

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Sweet Mary had a little lamb leg and I ate it. Jesus, it is good. And the Provencal white beans are like little fluffy, garlic clouds of comfort. Photo: Becca Henry.

INA GARTEN’S LEG OF LAMB and PROVENCAL WHITE BEANS

Lusty Pumpkin Sausage Soup

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is a keeper….sausage pumpkin soup with a sprinkle of queso fresco. Made with the help of bacon, onion, serrano, chipotle, garlic, chicken stock and unabashed food lust. I don’t know what it is about this soup; it gives me the same feelings as when I watch Outlander….rawr.

R E C I P E

1 pkg (12 oz) of your favorite sausage (I used Aidells Spicy Mango with Jalapeno)
4-5 strips of bacon, cut into lardons
Any onion, medium, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper minced
1 tbs of chipotles in adobo
1 small can (15 oz) of packed pumpkin
1 box of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
crushed red pepper
1 chunk of crumbled queso fresco or feta

1. In a dutch oven or stock pot, saute the bacon until cooked, not crispy. (I bought cooked sausage and added it in step 2. If you are using raw, brown it with the bacon in step 1.)

2. Add onion with a pinch of salt and crush red pepper and saute until softened. Then add garlic, serrano, chipotle and cooked sausage. Cook a minute or two.

3. Add pumpkin and chicken stock and more salt. Scrape up any bits on the bottom. Bring to a low boil then simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Serve with crumbled queso fresco. Or try feta, goat cheese or ricotta. Tastes even better reheated.

Photo: Becca Henry

Crispy Fish Tacos

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Crispy fish tacos are super easy and super delish. Grab whatever fish is on sale and set sail for a light, satisfying meal. I don’t have a recipe, but here’s the steps.

First, pat your fish dry, I used flounder. Then make a breading station but omit the flour and use an egg/milk mix and Panko bread crumbs. Season everything (fish, eggs, Panko) with your favorite spice mixture. I used smoked paprika, granulated garlic, cumin and salt. Bread the fish by dipping it into a beaten egg/milk mixture and then Panko bread crumbs.

Add about 1/8″ inch of oil to a cast iron skillet and once hot, gently nestle in for breaded fish. Cook for about 3 minutes a side, adjust this based on the thickness of your fish. The breading should be golden brown and the fish should flake apart.

Tuck the fish in a warmed corn tortilla with your favorite pico de gallo or salsa, shredded greens and creamy sauce. Here, I used homemade pico (finely diced roma tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, cilantro and lime juice), torn spinach and tangy ranch. Photo: Becca Henry

Pasta Salad Garbanzo-ganza!

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Here’s the first pasta salad of the season….so delightfully crazy with red peppers, garbanzos, onion, jalapeno, olives, cherry peppers, pumpkin seeds. And, a vinaigrette with garlic mustard, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar and a small dollop of greek yogurt to make it creamy. No recipe needed. While you boil your pasta in salted water, dice your veggies, grab a handful of nuts or seeds, and drain your beans. Then whisk up a vinaigrette. Assemble in a bowl and add your drained, hot pasta and toss. Tastes even better tomorrow! Photo: Becca Henry

Molto Zuccotto!

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Thank goodness for friends. I was searching for a boozy dessert and one of my many boozy friends came to the rescue! Zuccotto is a brandy-brushed pound cake shingled in a bowl and filled with dark chocolate mousse and sweet almond cream. It’s beyond words. Photo: Becca Henry

ZUCCOTTO

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