Cream of Zucchini Soup

Cream of Zucchini Soup

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 chopped up Zucchini
  • 1 sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 C Chicken broth
  • 1 C half & half
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Over medium heat, melt butter and sauté onions for about 3 minutes in a large dutch oven pot. Sprinkle the flour in and whisk into butter, little by little and let cook for a minute. Add broth and braise (scrape the brown bits) the bottom of the pan. Add the zucchini and water, cook for about 10 minutes. Ladle the zucchini mixture int a food processor or blender and pulsify soup. Add the puree soup back to the pot and add the cream. Salt & pepper to taste, then simmer for about 5 more minutes. Garnish with toasted crostini.

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Cream of Tomato Soup

Cream of Tomato Soup

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 5 sliced off the vine tomatoes
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 1 T of minced garlic
  • 2 T of Butter
  • 1 C Flour
  • 1 C white wine
  • 1 C of Chicken broth
  • 1 C of half & half
  • 2 T of Sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • handful of fresh basil

For toasted Cajun garbanzo beans

  • 1 drained can of garbanzo beans
  • a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning salt
  • 1 T of extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Melt butter in a dutch oven pot over medium heat. Any pot will do really, I just personally prefer to make my soups in my trusty dutch oven pot. Saute shallots until translucent, then add minced garlic and continued to cook for another minute. Next sprinkle in about 1/3 of the flour & whisk until it absorbs into the butter and let cook for about 30 seconds and then whisk in the rest of the flour and let cook for about 30 more seconds. Then add white wine and braise (scrape the brown bits) the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes and turn heat down to low and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the basil and let simmer for another 5 min. Then turn stove top off & ladle the soup mixture into either a blender or food processor and pulsify until smooth. Return the soup mixture to the pan and turn the stovetop back onto low heat and add the cream. Salt and pepper the soup to preferred taste. Garnish with Cajun garbanzo beans.

Directions for toasted garbanzo beans

Drain a can of garbanzo beans and let sit in a bowl lined with a linen bowl or paper towel to absorb extra moisture. Heat up the olive oil in a pan and pour in the beans and let toast for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and flip, toast for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and enjoy!

 

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Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 C of whole milk
  • 1 C of half & half cream
  • 1/4 C of fresh lavender
  • 1/2 C of organic honey
  • 5 large egg yolks

Directions

In a saucepan mix together the milk, honey, and the lavender on medium heat until you get a gentle boil going. After about 3 minutes, remove from heat and set aside to steep for about 5 minutes. Mean while mix up the yolks and sugar for about 5 min as well. Then do the best you can to strain the lavender from the milk mixture ( don’t worry too much if a tiny about are left in the milk). Then return the milk mixture to a gentle boil and slowly add the egg mixture into the simmering milk while vigorously whisking the two together. Continue cooking (for about 10 min) until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and then add in the cream to the mixture. Pour into desired dish & freeze for overnight. 

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Spatchcock Dutch Oven Chicken Roast

Spatchcock Dutch Oven Chicken Roast

  • Difficulty: medium
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole Organic Chicken (spatchcocked)
  • Buttermilk & 1 T of minced garlic
  • 5 T of Butter (I use Kerrygold)
  • 1 T of Herb de Provence
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 C of Chicken broth
  • 1 bag of mini potatoes
  • 1 C of chopped carrots
  • 1 Lemon + Zest

Directions

You take a whole organic chicken and soak it overnight in the buttermilk and the garlic.

Spatchcock the chicken (removing the backbone and then flatten the bird out) Season the bird with herb de Provence , salt and pepper.

In your dutch oven melt the butter over medium heat and fry the chick, breast side down for about 5 min and then you flip and do the same for another 5 min (be careful not to be too aggressive and tear off the crispy golden brown skin.

Remove chicken and let set on a plate.

add potatoes and carrots and cook for about 3 more min. Then add 1 c of chicken broth and deglaze the pan. add chicken back in and tuck the veggies around chicken. I sprinkle more herb de Provence, cover, and cook in 375 degree oven for 1 hour. Baste with butter and lemon juice with the lemon zest in it. Enjoy!

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Simple Lasagna Recipe

Crockpot Lasagna

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1lb of organic ground beef
  • 1 T of minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 C of sliced Bella mushrooms
  • 2 1/2 C of your favorite tomato sauce
  • Fresh Parsley & Basil
  • No boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 C of cottage cheese (or ricotta)
  • 16 oz bag of shredded mozzarella
  • Fresh shaved parmesan & asiago cheese

Directions

Over medium heat, brown the ground beef for about 5 min. Then add the mushrooms and garlic, for for an additional 3 minutes, and add tomato sauce. In your croc pot add a layer of your uncooked lasagna noodles . I break the larger noodles up if need be for a full layer of lasagna noodle. Add a layer of the meat mixture, a layer of cottage cheese, and then a layer of shredded mozzarella. Next I add a sprinkle of fresh parsley and basil. Then I start over again with a layer of lasagna noodle. You continue your layering until you reach the top of the crock pot. On the top layer we add more mozzarella and fresh parsley & basil. Pop the lid on and cook for about an 1 1/2. Then turn off the crockpot & let the lasagna cool and set for another 1 1/2. Plate that baby up & garnish with fresh parsley, basil & parm/Asiago cheese.

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Blue Cheese Lamb Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

Blue Cheese Lamb Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb Organic ground lamb
  • 1 T minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 T paprika
  • dash of salt & pepper
  • 1/3 C blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Directions

Mix up your ground lamb, salt & pepper, garlic (if you’re a garlic lover as I am), paprika, and blue cheese (if you’re a blue cheese lover as I am ). Then take a slightly bigger than your palm portion of the meat, roll into a ball, and them pat down and form your burger patties. Cook your patties on the grill 4 min over medium heat, on each side. Then transfer your burgers onto a plate and let them sit for another minute or so.

Sweet Potato Fries

  • Sweet Potatoes (peeled & cut into steak fries)
  • 1 T paprika
  • blue cheese (for garnish)

Directions

Preheat oven top 450 degrees. Peel and cut sweet potatoes to desired size ( rule of thumb is the thinner the better, for the fries will cook up slightly crisper). Soak potatoes in cold water for about 20 min to draw out excess starch. Drain and add potatoes to a bag with some good olive oil and the paprika. Shake em good. Next be sure to line your baking sheet with foil (dull side up) and spray some olive oil on the foil, place the potatoes on the baking sheet, making sure NOT to over crowd the pan with your potatoes. You want some space between the fries so that they will crisp up better. Then pop in the oven and cook for 30 min. Let potatoes cool for 10 more minutes after cooking, and then salt & pepper to taste. Then sprinkle some blue cheese crumbles for garnish.

 

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Strawberry Fields Forever

We got ourselves filthy today…. I mean sweaty, boots in the farm mud kinda dirty today… However we were surely rewarded with one beautiful bucket of hand-picked strawberries and a pocketful of family memories. Let me explain to you all…. I work my hind end off (as any mother typically does) to create fun family adventures. No matter how hard I work though… nothing…. and I do mean nothing ever truly goes right. In fact it is typically a series of disastrous events for our adventures. Take today for example….It took forever to get out the door so by the time we were on the roads the girls were screaming and bouncing off the walls for they had both decided to veto naps, and were starving for lunch. We pull over and get lunch then get back on the road, and then it hits me that not only did I forget hats for the girls but sunscreen as well…..We decide to wing it anyways since we had driven close to an hour outside of Atlanta to the strawberry farm. We finally get out…. get a couple of pictures. For this is a super mom must, ALWAYS make sure to get pictures at the very beginning (time is not on your side) because with littles your chances of massive meltdowns greatly increases with every passing minute…. My eldest was freaking out over having to share the bucket with her sister….my youngest  was pissed we wouldn’t let her roam and eat all the unwashed strawberries her bohemian spirit could grab…. and not to mention most of the strawberries were so picked over, it was like searching for a needle in a haystack. Between the heat and my anxiety I ended the family adventure promptly by telling my husband to grab the girls and get everyone in the air-condition car NOW!….As I started picking every strawberry I could find to fill our bucket up even half of the way. On the drive home, I felt defeated and a tinge of ‘Why do I even bother?’ but then when we got home and I saw our pictures…tucked my ladies in to bed this evening with my eldest baby bear proclaiming this way the best day ever!… it hit me…. While we are all so busy worrying about how we are failing, we are forget to see just how much we do matter and impact the lives of those around us. Life flies by ferociously fast… don’t let how important you are pass you by as well.

“Living is easy with eyes closed
Misunderstanding all you see
It’s getting hard to be someone but it all works out
It doesn’t matter much to me

Let me take you down
‘Cause I going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever”