butternut squash soup roasted kale

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Kale

Autumn just came out of nowhere, both chronologically and atmospherically. I swear, it was May just a minute ago, and social media reminded me that this past Thursday, at 10:21 a.m., was the autumnal equinox. Two, I was walking around the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy on Thursday night, sweating in a pair of shorts at 8 p.m., enjoying the extension of summer weather.

Less than 48 hours later, I was tromping to the Inwood Greenmarket in leggings and a sweatshirt, teeth chattering a bit as the temperature hovered around 56°F at 9 a.m.

I love autumn. It’s my favorite season. However, when the temps take a drip quick, it’s more than I can handle sometimes. Yeah. I’m a big baby for a day or two, guilty as charged. Ha!

However, I welcome the return of my two favorite sub-seasons of autumn: oven season and soup season! Turning the oven on will no longer cause my apartment to swell to temperatures close to 95°F! Also, I will soon start making soups en masse and freezing them in my freezer for future work lunches. I can only hope my roommates forgive me for the amount of space I’ll be usurping soon. (Then again, after more than a year of living with me, I am sure they are used to me annexing our fridge and freezer with many of my culinary creations.)

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Backtracking to my local greenmarket, the peaches and berries were sparser this morning while the fall squashes and gourds have been pushing their way through to the larger tables. Most of them were begging me to cook them. How could I deny their request to become my dinner?

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Needing some greens, I could not help but buy some crisp kale before I headed back home.

butternut squash soup roasted kale

And yes, I’ll be drinking some chardonnay along side it, thank you very much.

butternut squash soup roasted kale

Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Kale
(Serves 4 – 6)

Ingredients:

Soup:

– 1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped, seeds removed or 20 ounces pre-cut butternut squash (I use Earthbound Farm Organic butternut squash)
– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
– 1 carrot, chopped
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped (I used a Macintosh, but a tart green apple also works well within this recipe)
– 3 cups broth / stock of choice
– 1 cup water
– 1/4 cup chardonnay (optionalI used the 2014 Chardonnay by Louis Jadot)
– Dash of grated nutmeg
– Salt and pepper, to taste

Roasted Kale:

– 1/2 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves cleaned and roughly torn
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started:

– The amount of roasted kale made will likely eclipse the amount you’d put on top of your soup. Leftover kale not used for garnish can be stored in an airtight container. (It makes for a great snack!)

– Keep this recipe vegan-friendly by replacing butter with oil and using a vegetable-based broth or stock.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Set aside.

2.) In a large heavy pot, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot and sauté for 5 minutes. Add butternut squash, apple, broth, and water. Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover pot and continue simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and apples have softened; add chardonnay 20 minutes into simmering time.

3.) While the soup is simmering, prepare the kale: Add kale to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Thoroughly massage kale with olive oil. Toss with salt, to taste. Spread leaves out on baking sheets evenly; leave enough space around the leaves for them to bake and dry out. Place in oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until dark green with roasted spots, but not completely brown! Remove from oven and allow to cool.

4.) Using an immersion blender, purée the soup inside of the pot; if you do not have an immersion blender, work in batches to purée the soup in a blender.

5.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with roasted kale.

– – – –

Editor’s Note: This recipe has been entered into Louis Jadot’s Modern Meals contest. I would like to thank Louis Jadot and Elayna from EVINS Communications for their generosity towards this post!

butternut squash soup roasted kale

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Very Blueberry Muffins

I’m all about eating as many blueberries as I can before the season is over.

Admittedly, I was looking forward to crafting a lot of recipes while I was in Connecticut this past weekend. However, I was there to work – I was photographing an aunt’s 50th high school reunion, a two-day event – and I was more drained than my iPhone’s battery after spending 5 minutes looking at Snapchat stories.

very blueberry muffins

My father, ever the baker and seeker of all things sweet, had whipped up a batch of blueberry muffins, and I definitely had my share over the weekend. He got the recipe from an old cookbook he bought me years ago, The Baker’s Bible; what I love about this recipe is that it’s akin to banana bread, as in the fruit is partially blended with the batter as opposed to simply mixing whole pieces of fruit into the batter.

Okay, okay, so I cheated a little this weekend. Ha! Thanks for letting me steal your muffins, Dad!

very blueberry muffins

Very Blueberry Muffins
(Recipe adapted from the Baker’s Bible recipe for Very Blue Blueberry Muffins)
(Makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:

Muffins:

– 2 cups flour
– 2 cups fresh blueberries, whole
– 1/2 fresh blueberries, mashed
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 2 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– Zest of 1/2 orange (optional)

Muffin Topping:

– 1/4 cup coarse sugar, such as Sugar in the Raw
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease the insides of the muffin pan cup or line the cups with liners. Set pan aside.

2.) Sift flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Combine with sugar. Make large well in the center of the dry mixture and set aside.

3.) In another large bowl, beat eggs, milk, cooled melted butter, vanilla extract, and (optional) orange zest. In a small bowl mash the 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries; add to wet mixture and combine until blended.

4.) Pour wet batter into the well in the center of the dry mixture; stir gently until all ingredients are combined, but no not overmix. Gently old whole fresh blueberries into the batter.

5.) In a small bowl, combine coarse sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for muffin topping. Set aside.

6.) Carefully spoon batter into prepared muffin pan cups, filling 1/2 – 3/4 of the way up. Sprinkle with coarse sugar mixture. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with few crumbs. Remove pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin pan cupcakes; allow cupcakes to continue cooling on cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Seal leftover muffins in airtight container.

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New Recipes – Coming September 20th!

Hey, all! I hate to leave you guys in a lurch, thinking, “Gee. Allison hasn’t posted in a while!”

Well, as any New Yorker knows, things happen in our apartments that are a bit out of our control.

What’s out of my control at this moment?

There is a bit of a roach infestation in my kitchen, so about 95% of my cooking items are packed away, inclusive of baking ware, most dishes, and a lot of perishable baking items. I’m waiting for an exterminator to come this week to rectify this situation.

This is what happens when you live in a building circa 1929 that has been renovated, yet the renovators paid no mind to properly seal up cracks behind your sink and stove. Haaa.

This weekend, I am lucky enough to be going to Connecticut for a two day photography job; I am hoping to bang out two or three recipes using my parents’ vermin-free kitchen and wonderful natural lighting while I’m up there!

I’m too concrete and feel it’s necessary to post why there hasn’t been a new recipe posted in nine days and why there won’t be a recipe for another week. Ha!

Bear with me, my lovely followers. I’ll be helping you stuff your faces again before you know it! Please following along on Instagram for my continual gastronomic pornography, and if you have Snapchat, my username is allisonac84; I will warn you, it’s food photos mixed with the personal random musings of my life. If you enjoy seeing people lip sync bad pop songs using the deer filter, you may like my feed. Ha!

In the mean time, I’ma just be sippin’ iced matchas and enjoying this late summer weather.

Well, I might go to work at some point, too. I’m sure my bosses would appreciate that.

Peace, love, and Happy Monday, y’all!

– Allison🙂

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Kohlrabi Pasta with Creamy Cheese Sauce

My first introduction to kohlrabi was roughly three years ago in the kitchen of my oldest friend’s childhood home. Growing up on a well-known dairy farm in Northwestern Connecticut, I always knew I’d eat well when hanging out with the Freunds. This visit was no exception. While hanging out with my friend Amanda, her younger sister Rachel prepped vegetables and fruits to pass through their new juicer. On the other side of the juicer, other plant-based appitizers were prepped. Of course, with Freund’s Farm being a proud “Farm Family” associated with Cabot, you can guess what kind of cheese we had on the table. I saw Amanda and Rachel eating slices of cheddar with slices of kohlrabi, akin to cheese and crackers. I was certainly curious, so I gave it a shot. I fell in love! The juicy crunch and relatively bland flavor of the kolhrabi paired perfectly with the sharp cheddar.

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Yes, this following photo is from three years ago, when Seek Satiation was merely a Twitter feed (which still exists, of course). I used to post occasional food porn on there when I felt I was spamming my friends’ Facebook feeds with too much deliciousness. Please note the artsy use of a jar top and the lack of focus on the actual cheese and kohlrabi:

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Admittedly, I kind of forgot about kolhrabi until this summer, and I now can’t seem to escape it! One, it’s always at my local greenmarket in Inwood. Two, I am in love with the way that Ali from Insprialized has turned another vegetable into yet another type of pasta. Her recipe for Creamy Corn Kohlrabi Pasta, which is delicious by the way, was definitely the inspiration for how to cook these noodles; admittedly, her version is much healthier than what I’m about to offer.😉

kohlrabi pasta cheese sauce

I still remember how well the cheddar melded with the vegetable, so I thought that making a “mac and cheese”, of sorts, would really work well.

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Lo and behold, it definitely did! (Well, if I can offer my own humble opinion, that is…)

Kohlrabi Pasta with Creamy Cheese Sauce
(Inspired by Inspiralized’s Recipe for Creamy Corn Kohlrabi Pasta)
(Makes 2 – 3 servings)

Ingredients:

– 2 medium kolhrabi or 1 large kohlrabi, peeled
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
– 2 tablespoons butter
– 1/3 cup milk
– 4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese or 3 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese with 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
– Salt & pepper, to taste
– A few generous shakes of garlic powder (optional)
– A few sprigs of parsley, washed and minced (optional, for garnish)

Before We Get Started…

– A spiralizer is required for this recipe to create the kohlrabi pasta.

– Though so many meals make good leftovers, this is a dish best consumed immediately. It doesn’t save well once the cheese sauce is added. Conversely, if you have leftover kohlrabi noodles, those save well in a plastic bag for about 3 – 4 days.

– It is fine if you use a more mild cheddar for this recipe, but the sharp cheddar really makes the flavor pop against the more cruciferous taste of the kohlrabi.

Directions:

1.) Set your spiralizer up with Blade C, or the blade with the thinnest output (for your average sprializer, this blade has smallest triangular openings). Spiralize kolhrabi(s). Trim / cut noodles.

2.) In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add kohlrabi and cook for approximately 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until preferred doneness. Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.

3.) Place saucepan over medium heat; add butter and slowly melt. Once melted, add flour. Whisk for approximately 2 – 3 minutes to create a roux; once flour and butter are combined, add milk and whisk. Bring mixture to a slow boil. Once bubbles begin to break the surface, add cheese and stir quickly to incorporate. Remove cheese sauce from heat. Add garlic powder, if desired.

4.) Pour cheese sauce over kohlrabi and toss until coated. Top with parsley, if desired. Divide and serve immediately.

peach bread

Peach Bread

Well ain’t this peachy!

I’m actually surprised that, at least at my local farmers’ market (the Inwood Greenmarket in northern Manhattan), I haven’t been seeing that many peaches or nectarines! This past Saturday, only one vendor out of the six regular farm stands had peaches! I was tempted to even look at other vendors, alas, the pickle vendor and the sausage vendors were low on peaches as well. (Haaaa.) Also, the vast majority of the peaches for sale at the vendor were rock hard! Like, if I threw one at someone’s head, I’d likely be charged with attempted murder. Rock. HARD. Admittedly, it was rather amusing to watch myself and my fellow peach purchasers feeling inside giant wooden crates, poking and squeezing peaches until we found passable ones. Eventually, I found two. It was quite the task!

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It would be so easy to throw these into a pie or a galette. Peach cake? I’ve seen it. Peach cupcakes? I’ve eaten a few in my time. However, I was hard pressed to think of a time when I had ever seen or eaten peach bread. I just struck me as I was imagining what to do with my fruits. I love banana bread and zucchini bread. Why wouldn’t a peach bread work? Imagine a nice cakey yet moist bread with luscious pieces of fresh peach speckled throughout.

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The road to this perfect bread was not without a few bumps.

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I based parts of this recipe off of a general one I found via Google, and I can’t figure out which web page I got it from! (If you stumble across this, Wonderful Peach Bread Person, shoot me a note so I can give proper credit.) Still, I tweaked small parts of this recipe. The original recipe ended up being very doughy, so much so that I couldn’t fold in the peaches! Also, the recipe that I based it off of called for 60 minutes in a 325°F oven. Oh, man, that was a near-disaster! After an hour, the bread was pale and slightly raw at the bottom still! An extra 20 minutes in the oven at 350 solved the problem, albeit making the bread a tad on the drier side.

Anyone that develops recipes knows it’s rarely perfect on the first go-round.

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After more tweaking, I got that bread I was looking for. Now I expect the popularity of peach break to rocket, thanks to me. (Ha! A gal can dream…)

peach bread

Peach Bread
(Makes one loaf)

Ingredients:

– 2 & 1/2 all-purpose flour
– 2 cups fresh peaches, chopped small
– 3 eggs
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/2 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 unsweetened apple sauce
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon cinnamon
– 1 tablespoon vanilla

Before We Get Started…

– This recipe will will an standard loaf pan (8 & 1/2″ x 4 & 1/2″ x 2 1/2″).

– I have not experimented with any other flours besides all-purpose for this recipe, so test at your own risk!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bread pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.

2.) In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients; whisk until incorporated.

3.) In a separate large bowl, whisk eggs. Slowly add sugar to eggs while continuing to whisk. Slowly stream in oil while containing to whisk. Add vanilla and star to combine.

4.) Fold wet mixture into dry mixture until combined. Fold in peaches into batter until incorporated.

5.) Pour batter into prepared bread pan. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.

6.) Move pan to cooling rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before removing and sliciing; if not slicing, wrap in plastic wrap.