Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chilled Thai Corn Soup

I don't often make soups, and when I do it's typically a variation of chicken noodle. So when my roommate requested soup, I decided to switch things up! At a recent trip to the farmer's market, a chef from Parkside was sampling a chilled corn soup, but the recipe had so much heavy cream, I decided to try my hand at making one that was slightly more healthy. Enjoy!

Chilled Thai Corn Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
6 ears corn, husks discarded and kernels removed
1 red bell pepper, roasted, halved seeded and roughly chopped
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large pot and warm olive oil. Saute onion and garlic for a few minutes, then add corn kernels. Cook about 5 minutes, then stir in red pepper and cook additional 2 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and water and simmer 10-15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to smooth out the soup, then stir in cilantro, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.

I served with toasted caprese sandwiches, featuring ciabatta bread, fresh mozzarella, fresh sliced tomatoes, baby spinach leaves, fresh basil, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Harry Potter Snacks, Part 1

Somehow I've managed to keep my love for Harry Potter pretty quiet on the blogosphere, but with HP and the Half Blood Prince coming out this summer, it's time for me to reveal my nerdiness as well. My house is hosting weekly Harry Potter viewing parties, complete with fun wizard snacks, each Tuesday night leading up to the 6th movie premiere on July 15th. No matter how many times I read the books or see the movies, I love them equally every time.

My roommate Christine and I spent a good deal of time brainstorming and finding recipes from fellow bloggers, which I will be sharing in the coming weeks. For fellow fans, I hope you appreciate it! Even if you're not, these recipes are pretty tasty on their own :)

Chocolate Frogs

Thanks to Christine's dedication, she ordered a frog mold online. We then simply melted chocolate bark and filled each frog, adding walnuts and cashews to them for an added crunch. What a hit!

Cauldron Cakes

These spice cakes were simple and light!

2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 eggs

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, sugar, butter,cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla in large mixing bowl on whip for 2 minutes. Mix other solid ingredients and milk in gradually in the large mixing bowl. Fill muffin tins about half way and bake 25 minutes.

Pumpkin Juice

We washed it all down with a fresh glass of Pumpkin Juice, which my friend Greg coined
"Rumkin" Juice by adding a healthy dose of rum. Booze or not, this beverage was surprisingly refreshing!

5 cups apple juice
1 cup pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Combine all in a large pitcher and stir well. Serve on ice. Makes about 6 cups.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

My friend Ivette and I got to talking about how much we loved zucchini the other day, and it got me thinking about how i haven't made stuffed zucchini in forever! I love making this because there are a million ways to do it, all of which turn out delicious. We've been grilling outdoors a lot lately, putting me in a fiesta mood, so I gave mine a southwestern flair :)

Stuffed Zucchini

4 large zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Scoop out the pulp of each zucchini half, leaving the zucchini shelf in tact, and dice. Heat a skillet on medium heat and warm oil. Saute garlic and red onion about 3 minutes, then add in diced zucchini pulp and saute another 3 minutes. Place in a large bowl and stir in tomato, rice, cilantro cheese and seasonings. Place filling into each zucchini shell and place on a baking sheet.Top with a sprinkle of bread crumbs and bake at 375 for 30 minutes, covered. Remove cover and broil for 2 minutes if crumbs are not yet golden brown. Enjoy!