spicy roasted tomato soup

Backyard Farms Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup

The warm weather has finally arrived here in New England (oh, boy, has it!) but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to stop eating soup. As long as there are cool nights and air-conditioned days, in my life, there will be soup…especially when it’s as delicious as this Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup!

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vegetarian mushroom paprikash

Mushroom Paprikash

Now that I’ve finished recapping my Eastern European trip from last September, I wanted to share a recipe for a classic dish from one of the countries I visited. Taking into consideration the freezing cold temperatures outside in New England right now, and my souvenir stash of paprika from Budapest, I settled on paprikash. It’s a Hungarian dish traditionally made with chicken, but since I ate my weight in mushrooms during those 2 weeks, I figured I they might as well work here, too.

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Potato and Cauliflower Curry

I am embarrassed to admit this, but I am a bad vegetarian.  Not the kind that eats chicken wings when they’ve had too many gin and tonics, but the kind that doesn’t really like vegetables.  Anyone in my family will tell you this has always been the case. I was the last one sitting at the table, glaring at my peas through crocodile tears while everyone else was eating their iced animal crackers.

These are tragic memories, but over the past few years I have come a long way in my relationship with vegetables.  Many have made their way from my napkin to my fork, but unfortunately, appreciating their cooked taste has nothing to do with knowing what to do with them when I bring them home from the grocery store. 

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Tomato-Pesto Scones with Kalamata Olives

I think I want to like olives in my breads and scones more than I actually do.  This misguided notion led me to believe I would love Tomato-Pesto with Kalamata Olive scones, but I think instead I just liked them.

It’s not their fault.  I also probably over-worked the dough.

Despite my so-so feeling about the taste, I loved the aroma of the fresh rosemary in these scones, and it was fun re-hydrating the dried tomatoes.  I thought they would be more red, but they stayed pretty dark.  


The texture of the scones was plenty moist, and I think for a true olive-lover they would hit the spot. Maybe with some cheese.  What actually ended up hitting the spot for me was my semi-shortcut supper…

While I was getting up the ingredients for the scones at Whole Foods, I also picked up a jar of Tikka Masala simmer sauce, a ready-prepared portobella mushroom and pepper strips (4 colors!) pack, a bag of brown basmati rice, and some extra firm tofu.  Add to that an onion from home, and I was armed and ready for a big plate of delicious…and a few days worth of lunches, too!

So now that we have talked shop a little…do you want to know more about the lucky good news I mentioned yesterday?

I will be attending the 3rd annual Food Blogger Camp this January in Mexico! 

How awesome is it that I get to say I am going to CAMP?  I never went to camp and I always had some serious camp envy (thank you Parent Trap and Babysitters Club). 

FBC is a 5-day extravaganza hosted by famed food bloggers and/or photography experts David Lebovitz, Elise Bauer (Simply Recipes), Matt Armendariz (MattBites), Jaden Hair (Steamy Kitchen), Adam Pearson, Diane Cu and Todd Porter (White on Rice Couple).  This is an amazing roster.  Each day there will be sessions on blogging, photography, branding skills, and more…not to mention a whole slew of amenities courtesy of the Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort!  And of course, a lot of great food. 

I have been long overdue for a vacation and this will be that, but so much more.  I have found such delight and satisfaction through working in my kitchen and on this blog for the past 6 months (largely due to interacting with you…I mean it) and I want to continue to grow and learn. 

And this is growing and learning from the best…with lots of sunblock! 

I can’t wait! 

Click for the scone recipe!

Cheddar Biscuits and Tomato Gravy

A few years ago my sisters and I were visiting my cousin Jaime in Miami, and her husband Ben made us the most delicious breakfast of “Biscuits and ‘Mater Gravy”.  Ben is from Mississippi and it sounds a lot better when he says it.  I didn’t eat a lot of biscuits growing up, and had never even heard of tomato gravy…

But this was seriously delicious.  And meat-free!

It’s been on my mind lately, and realized I absolutely had to try to make it…or something close to it.  With a little research I found a tomato gravy recipe online, and I had plenty of biscuit recipes to choose from in my 3-ring binder of printed, ripped, and copied recipes for “someday”.

When the biscuits come out of the oven all hot and fragrant and buttery, you smother them with tomato gravy and dig in.  Then you close your eyes and go to a happy place.  They are that good.

Click for the full recipe