Smokey Split Pea Soup (vegetarian, vegan)

I received a bounty of gorgeous split peas from my CSA (via Cayuga Pure Organics) and wasn’t feeling well last week so I made a lovely split pea soup. The original recipe is from Vegetarian Times but I didn’t have a lot of the ingredients (spinach, fennel) in house so I made my typical modifications to use what I had from my CSA  share and the results were utterly delicious and quite healthy.

Smokey Split Pea Soup topped with toasted fennel seeds

Smokey Split Pea Soup topped with toasted fennel seeds

Smokey Split Pea Soup

  • 2 cups dried green split peas – rinsed and picked over
  • Cooking spray (enough to coat the pan – about 5 seconds)
  • 2 cups chopped onions (one large or likely 2 medium)
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 cups chopped cabbage (one small head or a portion of a larger one)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (plus 1 tsp more for optional toasting)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • water

In a large pot coated with cooking spray, saute onion and cabbage until soft — about 7-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another two minutes.

Deglaze the pot by adding in 1 cup of broth and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add in split peas, 1 tsp fennel seeds, dried thyme, smoked paprika, salt, 8 cups of water and remaining 2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer covered for about an hour or until the split peas are tender, checking it every 10 minutes or so to give it a nice stir.

Add in kale and cook about 4-5 minutes until kale is wilted and tender.

Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth (and double check the blender for stray cooked kale — mine kept getting jammed). Season with salt/pepper as needed and add in 5-10 drops of the liquid smoke (depending on how smokey you wish it to be!). Stir well or run the immersion blender again.

If you wish, take 1 tsp of fennel seeds and toast them in a small skillet for two minutes or until they turn golden and smell yummy.

Serve soup and top with optional fennel seeds if you wish.

Enjoy!

I ran the recipe ingredients through the recipe calculator on MyFitnessPal to see what it netted out to be. If you portion this into six servings (mine were 2 cups each), here’s the breakdown:

  • Calories: 309
  • Fat: 1.8 grams (.1 polyunsaturated, .1 monounsaturated)
  • Cholesterol: 0
  • Sodium: 548.4 mg
  • Potassium: 1,142.1 mg (almost a quarter to a third of the recommended allowance depending on the measure!)
  • Carbs: 54.9 g
  • Fiber: 20 g (!!!!)
  • Sugars: 11.8 g
  • Vitamin A: 19.8%
  • Vitamin C: 113% (!!!!)
  • Calcium: 16.9%
  • Iron: 20.7 percent
Split peas - dried and ready to be used in another batch of smokey split pea soup!

Split peas – dried and ready to be used in another batch of smokey split pea soup!

Meyer Lemon Obsession: Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Pound Cake

Spring is a lovely time of year . The winter is trying hard to warm up and there are bits of budding flowers poking through on the trees and grass.

With the sun shyly hiding behind the spring time clouds, I find my bit of sunshine in the form of a majestic Meyer Lemon. I love love love love love Meyer Lemons. I heard about these magical lemons for years, mostly from Martha Stewart who grows them in her greenhouse (if only I had a greenhouse!), but only had a lovely Meyer Lemon for myself a few years ago when my local Costco stocked them about three years ago. I hauled home a large container of Meyer Lemons because they weighed a pound less than the regular lemons I’d usually buy but, alas, I was there sans granny cart and needed to hand carry my heavy haul to my home that is about a half mile away.

What a fortunate day! I’ve discovered heaven in a lemon. These Meyer Lemons are slightly sweet, lemony goodness with a light herbal note. Delicious. It’s the best way to spruce up a boring glass of water or to add more sparkle to your seltzer. Amazing as the lemon portion of the lemon/olive oil dressing in a shaved fennel salad. Gorgeous thin sliced and baked on a nice white fish.

Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Cake slathered with Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Cornmeal Pound Cake slathered with Meyer Lemon Curd

So how can you resist making Meyer Lemons into incredible edibles? You can’t. You need to make this poundcake and preserve the lemons in the form of curd for as long as you can.  Try not to eat it all in a sitting and make sure you set some aside for friends as this recipe is perfect for sharing.

Meyer Lemon-Cornmeal Pound Cake
(adapted from Cupcake Muffin and Bon Appetit)

1 cup half white bread flour or all purpose flour
1 cup plus two tablespoons yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 T Meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 T vanilla extract (less if yours is extraordinary)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Glaze:
1 cup (packed) powdered sugar, whisked or sifted if there are loads of lumps that won’t come out
3 T (or more) Meyer lemon juice

1. Make your own buttermilk.  Use 1 cup minus two tablespoons of lowfat milk –1% is fine– and add in 4 tablespoons of fresh Meyer lemon juice. Stir well and let sit for about five to ten minutes.

2. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla in small bowl. Fold buttermilk mixture and melted butter into flour mixture.  Then mix in the extra 4 tablespoons of meyer lemon juice.

3. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes (covered) on the counter. I’ve left it soaking overnight in the fridge too and it works just as beautifully.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and lightly flour a loaf pan. Pour batter into greased and floured pan and spread evenly.

5. Bake at 350 about 40-45 minutes until the top is golden and the cake pulls away from sides of pan and a knife or other tester inserted in the center of the pound cake comes out clean. My oven runs a little cool so you might want to check it at 30-35 minutes if yours doesn’t.

4. Make glaze while the cake is baking. Whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice and a pinch of salt — adding more lemon juice until it’s pourable. I err on the side of using more lemon juice and less sugar but the original recipe called for 1/2 cup more sugar than I used and makes a thicker glaze.

4. Let cake cook for about 5 minutes and pour glaze over cake ensuring the the entire top gets coated. It will seep into the sides of the pan so you can –prior to pouring– poke holes in the top to let the glaze soak more into the middle of the cake.

Close up of the crumb with the glaze on the top

Close up of the crumb with the glaze on the top

5. Serve warm or fully cooled. It’s delicious either way. Since this cake isn’t super sweet, feel free to spread a little Meyer Lemon Curd on the slice to  achieved one of the ultimate forms of lemony deliciousness!

Enjoy!

 

Pound Cake with a giant pint and a half jar of curd lingering in the background

Pound Cake with a giant pint and a half jar of curd lingering in the background

 

Recipe: Baked Ginger Cranberry Sauce

I love fresh ginger. That spicy sharp flavor makes me happy. And when I saw a recipe for cranberry ginger sauce in Real Simple, I knew I had to make it for Thanksgiving — especially because it has only three ingredients.

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This sauce was a hit with the family too and I’ve made it every year since.

However, I lost the recipe and can’t seem to find it anywhere online so I’m sharing my own version of the recipe here.

Baked Cranberry Ginger Sauce

1 C minced fresh ginger
1/2 C. sugar (I prefer organic)
2 12 oz. bags of fresh cranberries – rinsed and picked over

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and mince the ginger. I like to peel mine running a spoon along the piece. You’ll end up with a good pile of ginger.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Mix together all ingredients and spread out in the pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cranberries get soft and syrupy – as pictured below.

Cool and serve.

Makes about 2.5-3 cups. Fills a pint and a half Ball jar.

20131127-230552.jpgFresh ginger – minced and ready to be mixed with the cranberries.

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Baked sauce – fresh from the oven!

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Lightly mixed together to spoon into the jar.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Minorly Obsessed: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

I have a problem. I adore cold brewed iced coffee. It’s addictive because there is no acidic taste like you get with hot coffee – just pure, ultra-caffeinated deliciousness.

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Plus, it’s simple to make. You just take a large scoop of coffee, cold water, stir (or shake), let sit for 12 hours, strain and — voila — cold brewed ice coffee concentrate.

Amazing.

Here’s my recipe for coffee perfection. And if you’re clever like me, order up some Community Coffee. They have a New Orleans style blend with Chicory in it, adding a hint if chocolate flavor. Mmmmmm.

Since I’m lazy about measuring, I use a one quart ball jar because the measurements are on the jar. Could it be easier? I think not!

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee Recipe:
1 Quart Ball Jar (or container of choice)
1 Cup Coffee
Cold Water (about 3 1/2 Cups)

Put coffee in the ball jar. Fill to top with cold water, leaving about a 1/2 inch of space.

Cover tightly.

Shake.

Leave the jar on the counter for 12 hours.

Strain.

Drink immediately or put into another jar for storage. This strained mixture fits really well into the pint and a half Ball jars.

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For the perfect cup of cold brewed iced coffee, fill a glass 2/3 with ice. Pour in coffee concentrate until about half full. Top with your choice of milk. Swirl and drink!

Repeat. Try not to repeat too many times or coffee jitters will follow.

Enjoy!!!

Loving Live Shows: Dave Matthews Band



P1010080, originally uploaded by MinorlyObsessed.

If you know me at all, you probably have heard me mention Dave Matthews Band. I love their music, go to a few of their shows each year and adore the Dave & Tim acoustic sets.

Last night, the bad kicked off their winter tour (ending with a stellar set of Two Step). I had GA so was able to get some pretty amazing pictures. Click through to the full set on Flickr.

Off to tonight’s show! Yeah Dave Matthews Band!

Get Pinned

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A few months ago, I joined Pinterest and have been pinning relatively regularly – on many completely random things I adore like:

I love being able to discover new recipes, get inspiration from my friends, track the things I love and generally organize my likes online in a place where I can find them again in six months, a year, etc. While I’ve never been a collage maker, Pinterest is totally my speed.

Are you pinning? Let me know where and let’s follow each other! Post your Pinterest link in the comments.

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Recipe: Cheddar Cheese Cornbread with Cayenne or Dill

Thanksgiving is almost here and since I joined my CSA, I’ve been looking for great ways to use the lovely flours from Cayuga Pure Organics in unique and delicious ways. I’ve been making versions of this cornbread for three years now and I think it’s finally ready to be shared because it is bonkers good.  Plus, it’s relatively easy to make – no mixer needed!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

ImageCheddar Cheese Cornbread (with Dill or Cayenne)
2C bread flour (or all purpose – mix of white and wheat or all wheat is fine)
2C cornmeal
3T baking powder
1/2tsp kosher salt
1/8C sugar
1/2tsp cayenne pepper (optional) or 1c well chopped fresh dill
1C (2 sticks) unsalted butter (melted)
2C milk (1% or other lowfat is fine – use regular if you wish)
4 large eggs
8oz aged cheddar cheese – grated

Whisk together dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar – plus cayenne if using). In a separate bowl, melt butter and stir in the milk and eggs. Mix wet mixture into dry ingredients until ingredients are mostly combined and lumps are pretty much gone but don’t worry too much about getting them all (and please don’t over mix). Stir in 1/2 the grated aged cheddar (and dill if using). Rest mixture at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Butter a 9x13x2 baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees while mixture is resting.

Spoon batter into prepared, smooth the top and evenly distribute the rest of the cheddar on the nicely smoothed top.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean. Mine took about 40 minutes but my oven runs cool. And I do love a little bit of a golden top – yummy!

Cool and cut into 24 pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Helpful hints:
— Feel free to make the cornbread the night before – tastes great the next day!
— If your aged cheddar cheese is salty, feel free to eliminate the salt. The original recipe called for 2tsp of kosher salt, which made for a really, really salty batch.
— I hate chopping dill at times and have found that if you pulse it in the food processor a few times, it give you a perfect chop!
— For the cheese, a grate will give you more consistency in the melted cheese on top. I shredded the dill version and the cheese never quite fully melted, which was disappointing. A finder shred (like on a zesting microplane) works perfectly too.

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Based on Ina Garten’s Cheddar Dill Cornbread with some modifications for more cornbread taste/texture and other bits. Original recipe can be viewed at this link.