Summer Soups

Chilled Soup Recipes

Continuing on with our theme of summer recipes that require minimal cooking, I present to you the chilled summer soups that will knock your socks off! I love a good gazpacho, but these soups take flavor to a whole different level. Salmorejo is one of my favorites because it is so rich. Definitely don’t skimp on the toppings for the soup. Serrano ham is fantastic with some boiled eggs and a bit of manchego cheese. Mmmmmmmm…….Here are my top 5 favorite chilled soups.

1. Salmorejo: A Spanish gazpacho with a richer, more decadent feel. Adding the crusty bread really makes this soup something special.

2. Chilled Macadamia Nut and Asparagus Soup: Ummmm, it’s macadamia nuts. Need I say more? Oh wait! There’s asparagus too. It doesn’t get much more spring/early summer than asparagus. Do you know how to tell what part of the asparagus to cut off? Just bend the asparagus until it breaks on its own. No need to guess. The asparagus will tell you.

3. Chilled Vegan Corn and Cauliflower Bisque: Ok, now this has me thinking of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine says, “No, I mentioned the bisque.” It’s the yadda yadda episode and it’s fantastic. I love this soup because it’s awesome and my daughter adores it. It’s dairy free but oh-so-good and she just devours it.

4. Thai Gazpacho: Sweet, salty, spicy….everything I love about Thai food. The coconut milk adds a richness and I love love love fresh ginger and the s-iciness it contributes.

5. Moroccan carrot bisque: I love a good, carrot bisque and I love a good chilled carrot bisque. Black peppercorn on top is a must. If you like a little extra spice, drizzle some chili oil, hot sauce or Tobasco sauce (I’m part Cajun, so Tobasco is required). Serve it warm, room temp or chilled. Along with some crusty bread and OMG this dish is amazing!

I’m still on the hunt for more chilled summer soups. A lot of the ones I see are very sweet and almost ice-cream like. This is great for a dessert, but not what I want for a light dinner. Have some favorite summer soups to recommend? Leave me a comment and a link below.

Breakfast on the Go

Can we talk about mornings during the school year? Ugh. The insanity and chaos. Trying to get everyone dressed, fed, presentable and out the door on time, no doubt with that last minute “oh, I have to bring 5000 brownies tomorrow” statement from the back seat. No wonder we are all stressed and pissed off by 7:30 in the morning. We’ve just run a marathon at a sprinter’s pace. Ok, not really, but hyperbole and drama y’all….

What do I need breakfast to be for myself and my family in the mornings?

  • Quick
  • Nutritious: admittedly, there is a spectrum here. I need breakfast to be quick, but I don’t want to start the day with a pound of sugar in 1 serving. Some convenience items I’m willing to accept like frozen waffles because who has time to make waffles from scratch? Take the frozen waffles, stick some cheese and ham in between 2 waffles and now you’ve swapped the syrup for protein and some fat. Is it perfect? No. Does it meet my basic requirements? Yes.
  • Can be eaten in the car without covering the car in said breakfast item (I’m looking at all you people who think yogurt parfaits are great for kids to have in the car because they travel well. I wonder if you really have kids when you say stuff like that).
  • “Food art” is not allowed. Thank you Artie on Creative Galaxy for putting that little gem of an idea in my kid’s head (along with using trash to make art because now we can’t throw anything away in our house because….art). Seriously, is this dude related to Caillou?
  • Ideally, nut free. No, my kid does not have a nut allergy but I know enough about nut allergies to know they are no joke.
  • I can easily make these in bulk. I’d rather make a boatload of breakfast bars at once instead of having to make 2 batches a week.
  • I have to like them. Hey, I need breakfast too, right? And, since I’m not running a restaurant, I don’t want to have to make separate breakfast for myself too.

How much time do I want to spend prepping it?

In the morning, 5 minutes max!

On the weekend, I’d like to prep several breakfast items at once. They would even use some of the same ingredients to cut down on the grocery bill. At the very least, I’d like to use some of those ingredients to put together snacks for after school, snacks to have in the car to keep the hangry away. The hangry is real y’all. Throw in driving in traffic, a stressed parent whose nerves were fried before 8 am because of the morning rush and it’s not a good mix.

Recipes: My Top 15 recipes for breakfast on the go.

These are curated recipes from other sites and blogs. One simple substitution of sunbutter for peanut butter will make these nut free. Sunbutter is a pretty legit sub for peanut butter too.

1. Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches. Bacon, egg and cheese can become ham and cheese for a little variety. If you’re feeling fancy, throw some thin apple slices in between those waffles too.

2. Breakfast Cookies 6 Ways. Ah, the breakfast cookie. Such an easy sell to kids. Cookies for breakfast you say? Why, yes, yes I will have cookies for breakfast. You can sneak in some nutritional powerhouses to give these babies staying power. Chia seeds, protein powder, dried fruit, sunbutter, oats, ground flax seed, etc. You could even use pumpkin and make a pumpkin breakfast cookie for a good dose of fiber too. Added bonus: No heating time in the morning unless you forget them in the freezer. I like to make these in batches and flash freeze them and pull out a few at a time.

3. Frozen yogurt cups. Greek yogurt gives these babies some serious protein to start your day.

4. Breakfast Muffins. Not just your typical muffin. These are stuffed with eggs, cheese and bacon. Mmmmmm, bacon. You could easily sub veggies in place of the bacon to really kickstart the day.

5. Cottage cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins. I’m not a fan of cottage cheese and fruit. It’s such a strange texture to me. I never thought of using it in baking though. These look so yummy!

6. Continuing on with the muffin theme, these apple pumpkin French toast muffins sound ah-mazing.

7. Breakfast taquitos. Who doesn’t love tacos or taquitos? I love love love them. My problem is that I can never get the taquito rolled tight enough to stay and then they are never crispy when I bake them. So, just wrap these up in tortillas and make it a breakfast burrito. Problem solved.

8. Smoked Turkey, Gouda & Egg English Muffin. Sounds fancy, right? Deli slices and cheese slices make these sandwiches so much easier to make.

9. Potato Omelet Breakfast Bites. So many variations on this and even just the egg cheese peppers and tots would be tasty. You could even use muffin liners to easily remove these. Note: the author mentions using cooking spray with flour to prevent these from sticking.

10. Energy bites. Protein, fiber, fat all in one tasty little bite. Make a big batch of these and flash freeze. Then put several into sandwich bags and keep in the freezer. Pull the bags out of the freezer on your way out the door. Boom. Breakfast done.

11. Savory kolaches. Ok, these won’t be authentic kolaches. But, Pillsbury crescent sheets used in place of making your own bread makes these easy to prep and cook in large batches. You can mix these up too for lots of different flavors. Egg, potato and cheese kolaches, crumbled sausage and cheese, sausage links with cheese and jalapeƱo, potato and egg, potato and cheese and the list goes on and on and on.

12. Sweet kolaches. Want a sweet option for a treat? No problem, use the Pillsbury crescent sheets and just make a filling of cream cheese and jam.

13. Granola bars. So many ways to mix these up for variety.

14. French toast sticks with bacon. I don’t mean going through the drive-thru for those heavily fried and full of bad stuff for you but oh so good French toast sticks. I mean actually making your own (it’s not as crazy as it sounds) French toast roll-ups with bacon in the middle.

15. Pancake bites. You can make these sweet or savory. Another great way to make these in batches and still have the chance to mix it up. The mini-muffin tin is your friend.

So, there ya have it. My favorite go-to breakfast on the go recipes. I hope you enjoy

Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti Squash Dinner…..Yummay!

I wanted to share with you all a great (and easy recipe) for dinner because who doesn’t need less time to cook a healthy meal, am I right? About a week ago I started the Optavia health plan to lose some weight and get my butt healthy and back in shape (relax, this is not a post to sell you on a diet). I’ve made some pretty sweet lean and green meals that taste like I’m cheating. More importantly, these recipes have been hits with the hubby and the kiddo (always a win to prepare 1 meal for the family when you’re dieting).

First, the ingredients:

  • 1 jar of Rao’s marinara sauce (or another marinara that is low in sugar and processed stuff
  • 1 bag of Farm Rich gluten free frozen turkey meatballs (I found these at Walmart, yay!)
  • 1 spaghetti squash

And that is IT!!!! How awesome is that?!

For the Spaghetti Squash:

I hate, hate, hate cutting spaghetti squash, butternut squash, etc. I found this awesome hack for microwaving a whole spaghetti squash and it made it so much easier to cut, clean and roast. Click this link here. I did roast the squash after this. I seasoned with a little garlic salt and black pepper, sprayed a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil with cooking spray and put the squash face down on the pan. I roasted for 30 minutes at 375 F. Turns out, this is how long the frozen meatballs take to cook, so double win! Scrape the spaghetti squash with a fork to get the noodles.

For the meatballs:

I sprayed my Pampered Chef RockCrock with cooking spray, heated that on medium heat and dumped sauce and meatballs in at the same time. I let this cook on medium/medium-high heat for the time my squash cooked. The beauty of this pan is that it can go in the dishwasher! I’m seriously getting rid of any pots and pans that cannot go in my dishwasher. Ain’t nobody got time for that! **Full disclosure, I am a Pampered Chef consultant and I’d love for you to shop with me through this link. **.

Finished Product: Yummy! Kid Vote: Best Meal Ever followed by this was a lot better than I expected. Y’all those statements came from a 5 year old.

Oh, and my serving for my Lean and Green: 10 meatballs and 1 cup of cooked spaghetti squash. Yep, that’s right!!! Of course, I am no nutritionist nor am I a coach with the Optavia program. You’ll want to double check portions and serving sizes for your eating plan.

Hope you enjoy!!! Oh, and follow me on social media for more recipes, craft projects, random pictures and shit I find funny.

Welcome to My Kitchen!

Deep breath, cross fingers, close eyes, jump….

Here Goes Nothing

I just moved across the country with the family. Just about everything that could have changed did….all at once. It was one of those moves where you have just a few weeks to get organized, pack up, drive 2200 miles with a 5 year old and 3 cats in 1 car and hope for the best. We bought a house based on internet pictures and a video taken with an iPhone (no, really). Needless to say, we still have boxes to unpack, pictures to hang and about a million other tasks. This has set my anxiety to level 100 in a flash. And when my anxiety gets going, I like to do something to check out for a bit. Enter my crafting obsession. I love love love to make things. Cards, soaps, lotions, outfits, stuffed animals…..I love it all. I’m starting this blog to share some ideas and projects I’ve been thinking about and putting together.

I speak sarcasm so please don’t take these entries too seriously. It’s all in good fun.