Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup

So now that we are back in the saddle, so to speak, I have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen. Summer seems to always keep us so busy that the last thing I think about on daily basis is cooking or baking.

Faith has started her 5th year of homeschooling, and is now in 6th grade. Grace is off to high school, which means early mornings and late nights. She is so busy with various activities that I am not sure what she is doing or where she is half the time. I just drive her there.

For the longest time, I have wanted to try broccoli soups and also cauliflower soups, but I have had the huge fear of failing. That they won’t taste good or look pretty, not that looking pretty matters, but it does! Presentation is everything when it comes to food. I mean people have to want to eat it and if it looks bad then they won’t even want to try it, no mater how wonderful it tastes. Especially, when it comes to soups that you have never made before for your family, who is really picky about what they are eating. So I have learned over the years that if I make it look really pretty for my family then they will at least try it because it looks delicious.

My first attempt at these two soups was a few weeks ago. School had started back up and I had purchased my emulsion blender, and really wanted to try it! I mean really wanted to try it, so much so that I am cooking soup when it’s 99 degrees outside and the humidity is like 89%. I mean really who wants to eat soup when it’s that hot outside, but I didn’t care. At least I knew I would eat it. Long story short, I made a successful broccoli and cheddar soup that day! Sorry, all I didn’t know how well it would turn out so I didn’t do pictures that day, but I promise, soon I will post the recipe for the broccoli and cheddar soup, because I loved it. Even though it was 99 degrees outside. I sat at my bar and enjoyed every bite of my broccoli and cheddar soup that day.

Now that I felt successful in making the broccoli soup I decided to tackle the cauliflower soup. First of all, I am not a cauliflower fan. I have tried to eat it over the years and I just don’t love it! I will eat it, but I don’t love it or choose it as a side dish! So we don’t eat a lot of cauliflower around  here. When I came home with 2 heads of cauliflower everyone looked at me like I was insane and probably a bit scared and worried about what I was going to make them eat.

Anyway, yesterday was the day…the big day of making my cauliflower soup. Here it is….I hope y’all like it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves (some for the sheet pan and a few for the pot)
  • 1/4 of a chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 carton (32oz) chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • a sprinkle of red pepper flakes (totally optional)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded

I decided to roast my cauliflower along with some garlic cloves. I love garlic! I took my cauliflower florets off the stalk and threw as much of the stalks away. I’m sure I missed some! I coated a sheet pan with olive oil and spread the small pieces of cauliflower and garlic cloves all over. I broke open the garlic cloves and left them whole on the pan to infuse the cauliflower a bit and the olive oil.

Set the oven 425 degrees and throw the cauliflower and garlic into the oven for about 20-30 minutes, until the cauliflower is roasted just a bit, browned around the edges. While the oven was roasting the cauliflower I put together everything in the pot.

Add a little bit of olive oil to the bottom of the pot and throw in finely chopped garlic (about 2 cloves here) and onion. Let those sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add in thyme.  Turn the heat down to low and just let simmer. Once the cauliflower and garlic are done roasting in the oven, pull that out and simply dump into the pot on the stove with the onion, garlic, and thyme. Let it soak in all those flavors and mix it all together.

Turn the heat up, add in chicken stock; bring to a boil. Once the soup has boiled, use an emulsion blender and blend it up. I left a few chunks of cauliflower, but not much. If you don’t have an emulsion blender, simply take a few ladles at a time and add to a blend and blend. Be careful, it will be hot. Once you get a consistency that you like, add in your half and half. Turn the heat to low and let simmer for about an hour. Right before you serve this wonderful, delicious soup, add in about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar and 1/2 cup monetary jack cheese. Stir until melted and serve!!

Reserve some of your shredded cheese for the top of the soup. I like to serve mine with bacon bits, either from fresh cooked bacon or just some in a bag. I also served mine with some cooked sausage on top!

Another great variation, depending on if you like spicy, would be to add a few sliced jalapeños.

I have to be honest, the whole time I was spooning this into the bowl I was quietly saying to myself, “Please let this be good, please let this be good!” It was so yummy! Totally hit the spot yesterday. Oh, and by the way, it was only 70 degrees here yesterday. Rainy and overcast! Perfect day for Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic soup! Well obviously I thought so!

Have a great day and enjoy!!

 


Lemon Ricotta Cake

This is an awesome little, great tasting cake. Super simple and easy to make. Perfect for any little gathering, a mid-day snack, or a quick simple little desert for when company is coming over.

The first time I made this cake was for Easter this year. It was the perfect desert for Easter Day, and it was perfect after a big dinner! It was light and airy! Read More



Zoodles and Sausage

This is the first time I have ever made anything with zoodles, zucchini noodles! Let me say, they were amazing. I am not a big zucchini fan, unless it is shredded in a cake and I don’t even notice that it’s there. Last night I decided that I was going to make zoodles. I have owned a little sprializer for quite some time and keep thinking I am going to use it and make theses zoodles that everyone talks about and loves, but I never do.

I had some sausage in the fridge and my original plan was to have the ground up sausage with some gluten-free pasta noodles, along with a cream sauce (may have to try this out sometime). Obviously, that’s not what happened. I had bought a few zucchini the other day and decided that we were going to use those instead of the pasta noodles. My kids were less than thrilled by the way. This was the absolute most simplest of dinners, ever! It took me maybe 5-10 minutes to cook and even less time to eat.

I ground up my sausage on the stove top in a cast iron skillet (love cast iron skillet). Added a few finely diced up onions (really didn’t need the onion, but I like a little onion for crunch and flavor). Once all of that had come together, and while it was I was spiraling my zucchini, I threw in the zucchini noodles. Stirred them into the sausage and onions, until they were coated with flavor and cooked through just a bit – that was it! Plated it and ate it! Seriously, the easiest meal I have made in a while.

 

 


Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins

I decided to try a new low carb sugar-free muffin recipe this week. They started out being blueberry, but decided to go a different direction about half way through the recipe when Faith said she wanted chocolate.

These were very easy and came together quickly. Like I said I altered the recipe at the last-minute to make them chocolate chip muffins instead of blueberry. Which was very simple, I just decided not to add lemon juice and blueberries.

Here we go….

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter either a mini muffin pan or a regular sized muffin tin, which every you prefer. I used mini at the last-minute, I thought they would be cute and more fun to eat!!

  1. Round up all your ingredients
  2. In a medium bowl mix together wet ingredients and then in a larger bowl mix together dry ingredients, don’t add your chocolate chips or berries until the end.
  3. Add wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients slowly. Mix until well combined.
  4. Once well combined, add in chocolate chips or berries.

INGREDIENTS

IMG_6652

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar or sugar substitute (I used Monkfruit) Splenda or Truvia would work great too
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted (I used unsalted)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sugar-free chocolate chips

If you want to do blueberries I would suggest adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice ( which is why you see the lemon juice in my above photo!!) and then 1 cup of frozen blueberries, if you use fresh berries just be careful not to smash them while folding them into the batter.

Scoop the batter in muffin pan and bake for 18-25 minutes (depends on size of muffins). For the mini muffins I baked for 18 minutes. For larger muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes.

 


Low carb, low sugar double chocolate chip cookie/brownie

So while every one has been sick this week, I was craving some chocolate. Plus it was Valentine’s Day, so I wanted something different and something chocolate. But it had to be sugar-free, or at least low in sugar and it had to be low carb! So I started searching and searching for something to make or at least something that would give me an idea of what to make.

I ran across one of my favorites, Peace Love and Low Carb. I started scoring their recipes to see if something would pop out at me, and guess what, these little guys did. This recipe is so simple and easy. I will say I did change it up a bit, but not too much. They are more like a little brownie bite than a cookie, at least for me they are. You do have to be careful not to over bake these, otherwise they become chewy. I know this because some how on my second batch the timer got turned off on the oven!

Read More


Sausage Balls with Chives

Wow….so I can’t believe this is Friday. I have been meaning to post all week and some how the week has totally gotten away from. We have been running everywhere this week. I always think we will slow down some in winter, but it never really happens. I will say we are not traveling to horse shows every other weekend right now, but that will soon change! Right now, Our Monday’s and Tuesdays are packed with Grace giving piano lessons and Faith having gymnastics. By the time Wednesday is here I am running Grace over to her trainers to ride her horse for a few hours, her trainer lives about an hour away! We typically leave here mid afternoon and don’t get back until late. Then all of a sudden it’s Thursday and Friday and I can’t figure out where the week has gone! Oh, well…..I am sure that several parents are just like that. I guess we just learn to live with it and know that someday we will miss it when it’s gone.

Read More


Perfect Chocolate Peanut Butter Mug Cake

So I had indicated a few weeks ago that I had been experimenting with mug cakes. Well I didn’t invent this one….but it is so delicious and easy that I had to share it. This comes from a low carb/low sugar website that I love to check out, All Day I Dream About Food. I really love to check her out several times a day. This may be the first recipe of hers though that I have made. I promise it is so easy and yummy, you may make it every day for awhile. This took me about 5 minutes to whip up! From start to finish!!!

I will admit that I made it a bit differently than she did on her website, but it still worked out perfectly. I took everything and mixed it all up in one bowl. I decided if I was going to make this it was going to be a one mixing bowl kind of thing. I wasn’t going to dirty up two separate bowls just to make mug cakes.

Read More


Low Carb Pizza Casserole

Low carb dieting seems to be in for 2018.  The most popular low carb diet currently on the market, per say, is the Ketogeneic/Keto Diet. I am sure you all have heard of it by now. Many of my friends are following the low carb/low sugar diet. I myself do follow this and really watch my carb and sugar intake. I have been doing this since last April and have personally lost about 20 pounds. I can maintain this loss and still eat what I want at this time. This includes eating gluten-free spaghetti and pastas, along with crackers. The key is, everything in moderation. I know that if I eat pasta one day than the next day I should probably not have very many carbs. I use to track my carb and sugar intake daily, but not so much any more. I eat around 20-40 grams of carbs a day. When I was dropping weight like crazy, I kept sugars and carbs to under 20 grams a day. I believe that it is important to pay attention to what we are eating. As a psychologist, I understand that everything we put in our bodies reacts chemically with the chemicals that are in our body. Food can play a huge role in how we feel and act, this is all due to alternating the chemicals in our body with food. Eating a low carb/low sugar diet you will find that you sleep better, your mood is more positive, you have more energy, your body may not have as many aches and pains as before. This is all due to chemicals in our food that react with the chemicals in our bodies. I could go on and on with a topic like this, but I won’t bore you! You all get the picture!

Read More