Creamy Avocado Soup

Somehow, I’ve gotten a bit behind on some of my posts, so despite the fact that the leaves have already changed colors, let’s take a moment to pretend its still summer. What do you say? This soup is so delightfully simple, you could make it in a hurry any day of the week. If you love avocados, you’ll love this–creamy and served cold, the toughest decision is what you’ll want to serve along with this Creamy Avocado Soup.

As you can see, the brilliant plating I had in mind looked a little silly when all put together, but ah well, you win some, you lose some. Flavor-wise though, I was delighted–I cooked some bacon, crumbled it on top, and then sautéed some fresh, local shrimp in the bacon fat (shelled, deveined, and cooked for 3-4 minutes) to go along with this soup and make it more of a self-contained meal. Plus, both the sweet flavor of the shrimp the… click to read more…

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with White Beans and Sausage

Aside from cinnamony apple desserts, I think there’s another dish just about everybody seems to enjoy and crave come autumn: butternut squash soup. It seems like even the most fervent anti-squash types warm up to a bowl of the stuff (and how could they not?). Even though I’m in season-deprived state of sunny Florida, my craving kicked in like clockwork and I had to have a bowl. I wanted to make a meal of this soup, so in the name of adding more substance to it, I added cannellini beans and sausage.

Of the many inspirations I had for this soup, this is what really caught my eye. Some roasted butternut squash soups can be a bit more liquidy (generally not my preference), but… click to read more…

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Pumpkin Pie, perfected!

I’m not much for cooking repeats. Its not an option really if you’re trying to keep posting new and original things with some regularity on a web site and all. Given that, I’m even more averse to going so far as posting a repeat on here, but I just couldn’t help myself. I’ve come a long way in the kitchen in the past year, so I just wasn’t thrilled looking at my original pumpkin pie post. I knew I could do a whole lot better, so I sought to really make an awesome pumpkin pie. Something I’d eagerly repeat verbatim again next season. And here we are.

I chose to go with a graham cracker crust for this pie rather than the more traditional pate brisee. Given the spices inherent in pumpkin pie, a totally unspiced crust just seems like an almost bland supporting… click to read more…

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Pasta with Sage Pumpkin Cream Sauce

Pumpkins generally mean dessert in my mind. Its not like I’ve never made savory dishes that highlight pumpkin before, but still, that association is a stubborn one in my head. So I thought I’d try once again to shake it off by making a pumpkin sauce. In this case, a sage pumpkin cream sauce to go with pasta, sausage, and bacon.

This seemed like a good idea, but I had no idea how good it was going to be. For how simple this seemed, the flavor really blew me away–this was awesome. The sauce was incredibly thick–bordering on macaroni & cheese style thick (granted, I did enrich it with a healthy portion of Parmigiano Reggiano)–and the flavor was surprisingly rich. If I had to describe it in just one word, I would say “autumn” (which means a lot in hot Florida at this time… click to read more…

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Cream Cheese Swirled Pumpkin Bread

I’m not a big breakfast person, and probably in keeping with my sweet tooth, more often than not, you’ll catch me reaching for a pastry over an omelette. This was my nod at being seasonal and keeping my weekday breakfast interesting: a loaf of pumpkin bread with cream cheese swirled in the middle.

This was a delicious bread, kind of like a banana bread (which I’m sure we’ve all had before), but well, pumpkinny instead of banana-y, and richer in color. I included some of the usual suspects as far as pumpkin-friendly spices and a mix of nuts (walnuts, pecans) and chocolate chips. I’ve had images of deliciously frosted pumpkin cupcakes in my head for a while, so I also thought a swirl of cream cheese throughout the loaf would go nicely while still making a decent claim at this being breakfast friendly and not all out… click to read more…

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Honeyed Balsamic Braised Chicken with Figs

I thought I should explore some savory applications of fresh figs rather than just going dessertcrazy. For some reason, a Morrocan chicken I’d made several months ago kept popping up in my head, so I decided to follow a similar tact and braise a chicken with figs and see where it took me.

I began by breaking down a whole chicken. I strangely enjoy this and seem to get better at it every time I do it, so if this is something that intimidates you, there’s only one way to get better at it so do it! With the chicken in more manageable pieces, I then braised it in a flavorful broth of wine, balsamic, honey, leek, herbs, and figs. The result was absolutely delicious–the chicken was incredibly tender and the sauce was sweet, honeyed, with a surprisingly well-rounded, balanced,… click to read more…

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