SoupBowlRecipes is Moving!

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Being at the whim of the Army we are occasionally (and by occasionally I mean every 1-2 years) asked to pack our bags and make home in a new state. For the past 12 months we’ve enjoyed living in and blogging from Kansas, with its four seasons, its picturesque farmland, and its Mid-Western comfort food, but all good things must come to an end, and so it’s time to mosey along and get acquainted another part of the country.

Where are we going, you ask? Well I’ll tell you. Drumroll please……. Continue reading

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Stuff My Kid Eats: Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Frittata

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As promised, here’s another creation from my Mother’s Day smoked salmon gift, this time coming to you in the form of a frittata. I just recently started making frittatas again after a couple year hiatus. I used to make them once a week when my husband and I were first married and had very little money. We called them “Frittata Fridays” because by the end of the week we’d be out of groceries, out of cash, and out of creative ides for dinner. The only thing we’d have left in the fridge were some eggs (which we somehow always had plenty of), a leftover piece of chicken or a few uneaten shrimp, and a couple of sad looking veggies in the crisper. Tired and discouraged, I’d whip everything up, throw it into the oven, and 20 minutes later we’d be sitting down to eat. Now no longer poor, (although still tired and sometimes discouraged), my love for frittatas was renewed when my daughter became a toddler. Her obsession with eggs (fried, scrambled, hard boiled, you name it!) made me want to cook up this old favorite and share it with her. I guess distance – and a picky toddler – makes the heart grow fonder. Continue reading

Smoked Salmon Focaccia with Asparagus & Eggs

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I realize this is an old topic, but for Mother’s Day this year I was the fortunate recipient of a pound of smoked salmon from Dean & DeLuca (one of my favorite New York food purveyors). After a couple mornings of piling it on the obligatory bagel and cream cheese, I found myself wanting to do something more interesting with my catch — I was picturing something healthy that I could serve my family for dinner. As luck would have it, my weekend trip to the Kansas City farmers’ market left me with a loaf focaccia bread, a bunch of asparagus, and a dozen farm-fresh eggs that were just begging to be used. After quickly cooking the eggs and asparagus, I heaped everything onto the focaccia, shoved it in the oven for a couple minutes, and what came out was a light and fresh meal that was still substantial enough to require a fork and steak knife to eat.

Smoked Salmon Focaccia with Asparagus & Eggs

Serves 4

  • 1 focaccia loaf
  • ½ bunch of asparagus, tender parts only
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5-6 oz. smoked salmon, thinly sliced
  • Kosher Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped (or another fresh herb like dill, chives, parsley, or marjoram)
  • 1 tsp. truffle oil (optional)

Turn oven on to 350°F. Place focaccia on a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes or until focaccia is warm throughout. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn oven temperature up to broil.

Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan halfway full of water and boil. Add asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. Immediately transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, dry and set aside.

Lay smoked salmon on focaccia, spreading evenly, then top salmon with a single row of asparagus.

Lightly mist a medium skillet with cooking spray then set over medium-high heat. Once the skillet becomes hot, crack eggs into skillet and cook until the whites just set (the eggs will continue cooking under the broiler). Using a spatula, carefully place eggs over asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parmesan and chopped herbs. Place under the broiler and cook until cheese is bubbly, about 2-3 minutes (yolks should still be runny). Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter, then drizzle with truffle oil if using.IMG_7493

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Check back later this week for more smoked salmon recipes!

Stuff My Kid Eats: Beet Risotto

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Beets are one of those things that people either love or hate, kind of like boy bands or the Twilight series. I, for one, am definitely in the “Team Beet” camp, and so is my toddler. I don’t know what it is about them, but they just scream summer to me. Maybe it’s because their smell reminds me of cut grass, or their bright color is worthy of a beach ball, but as soon as the weather starts getting warm, I crave them in my salads and pastas. I served this beet risotto to my family last week and when my toddler saw the colorful rice she said, “Oh Mommy, I’m going to eat all of my dinner tonight!” — and she did.

Beet Risotto

Serves 4

  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups fish stock, or chicken or vegetable stock (see recipe in Homemade Stocks)
  • 1 roasted beet, coarsely chopped (*see How To)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4-5 chives sprigs, chopped
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese for serving

In a food processor or blender add beet and 1 Tbsp. oil and blend until smooth, set aside.

In a saucepan, bring stock and wine to a low simmer. Meanwhile, over medium-low heat, melt butter and oil in a large straight-sided skillet until bubbly. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add risotto and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Using a large soup ladle, pour 1 ladle-full (about ½ cup) of stock into risotto and stir until liquid is absorbed. Gradually stir in remaining broth 1 ladle-full at a time, cooking and stirring until liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle. Continue this process until all but 1 ladle-full of stock has been used, approximately 25-30 minutes. Add the last ladle of stock with puréed beet, stir, then reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, covered. Uncover and stir until all remaining liquid has evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and garnish with a sprinkle of chives and grated parmesan.

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*How to Roast a Beet:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Scrub beets clean, then wrap in tin foil. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour, or until easily pierced with a fork. Let cool, then peel with a vegetable peeler. Cut into ¼-inch cubes. Set aside. (I always roast about 3-4 beets at a time, then freeze the extra in a resealable plastic bag to use later, like in my Creamy Roasted Beet Soup.)

Tip: Beets can stain hands, clothing, cutting boards, and light-colored sinks and countertops. To avoid turning everything in your kitchen red, wear cooking gloves while handling beets, and peel over an open plastic bag set in the sink.

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Sidekick: Serve with a chilled glass of Riesling, Chablis, Rosé, or Pinot Blanc.

 

 

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Blondies

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I’m just gonna put something out there right off the bat: these blondes are sinful, just sinful. They’re the kind of dessert that you can’t stay away from once you try. The kind that you think, How did I go my whole life without these delicious treats and how can I eat the rest of the pan without anyone noticing? – that’s how good they are. So go ahead, make a pan and then tell me if I’m crazy for loving them. You’ll see.

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Blondies

  • ¾ butter, melted
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2½ cups flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips, melted*
  • ½ cup caramel sauce, heated slightly to thin
  • Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (such as Maldon)
  • 1 bamboo skewer

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 13×9-inch, high-sided** baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl, beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour to butter mixture in two incorporations, beating between each addition until smooth. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Melt chocolate and heat caramel.

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Using a spoon or small spatula, drizzle caramel in a thin straight line running the length of the pan. Repeat ever 1½ to 2 inches.IMG_7205

Also using a spoon or small spatula, drizzle chocolate in a thin straight line running the length of the pan, alternating with the caramel.

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Turn the pan so that the lines are running up and down. Take a bamboo skewer and drag it horizontally (or perpendicular to the lines) along the top of the batter, running from left to right. Stop.IMG_7203

Wipe the skewer clean with a paper towel and repeat in the other direction, running from right to left, about ½-inch down from the first line.

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Continue to drag lines across the top of the batter, alternating direction with each line until you run out of room. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set. Remove from oven, place on a cooling rack and immediately sprinkle with flaky sea salt.IMG_7207

Finally, try not to eat the entire pan in one sitting.

*Note on melting chocolate: I like to melt my butter in a coffee cup in the microwave. After I’ve emptied the butter out of the cup, I add the ½ cup of chocolate chips and microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then finish it with another 30 second blast. The little bit of butter on the inside of the cup helps the chocolate from getting dry and crumbly under the high heat. For the caramel I used jarred caramel sauce, then heated it in a coffee cup for 30 seconds.

**Note on the pan: I developed this recipe in my head about a month ago, jotted it down, then tested the recipe one rainy afternoon and it was a major bust! It tasted great, but I idiotically chose to put it in a square baking dish, which was way too small, resulting in cooked edges with a pool of molten lava batter in the center. Undeterred, I tried it again with a 13×9-inch cookie sheet, but the sides were way too short, resulting in a hot mess on the bottom of my oven…

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So when I say a high-sided baking pan, I mean a HIGH-SIDED baking pan. Live and learn, I guess!

Pesto Pasta Salad

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Well the Mid-West is finally getting those hot temperatures that we’re known for, which means that my stove will be getting no love for a couple months. I just can’t think of anything worse than sweating over a hot oven after spending the entire day sweating over everything else in the house. Now, it’s only been in the 80’s for a couple weeks, but I’ve already burned my family out on salads and grilled meats, making meal planning a challenge. In the mornings I find myself standing in my kitchen staring at my stove with utter contempt, thinking How can I avoid firing you up tonight? And that’s when a brilliant idea occurred to me: why not cook dinner early before the house heats up, then serve it cold come evening? Why not turn the pasta I was planning to make into a cold noodle salad? Why not? I said, and so I did!

Pesto Pasta Salad

Serves 4-6

  • 1- 1½ lbs. thin spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, tender parts only, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 4 cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (see recipe below) – omit to make this dish vegetarian
  • ½-¾ cup pesto (see recipe below)
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese for serving

Cook pasta per package instructions, and at the end of the cooking time add asparagus to the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Pour pasta and asparagus into a colander and run cold water into the colander until pasta and asparagus are cool. Shake the colander to remove excess water from pasta and place pasta and asparagus in a large serving bowl. Add tomatoes, pesto, and chicken and toss to combine (now I like to use my hands because I don’t mind getting dirty and it’s easier to incorporate the ingredients without tearing the pasta, but a pair of cooking tongs will work as well). Season with salt and pepper. Either serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days. Sprinkle with parmesan just before serving.

Lemon Chicken

  • 4-6 chicken breasts
  • ½ cup dry white wine, like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • Cooking spray

Place chicken and all remaining ingredients in a large resealable plastic bag and allow to marinate, refrigerated, for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.

Mist a large skillet with cooking spray and set over medium heat. Add chicken, cover skillet, and cook until brown on the skillet side and the chicken starts to become opaque throughout, about 5 minutes. Flip, cover skillet, and cook until the other side is brown and chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 3-5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a plate and allow to cool before cutting. Chicken can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days prior to being added to the salad.

Homemade Pesto

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Homemade Pesto

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
  • ¼ Tbsp. pine nuts
  • ¼ Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¼ Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Add garlic, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, salt, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. oil to a food processor. Process until just beginning to come together, then while the machine is still running, slowly drizzle in remaining oil and continue to blend until smooth and paste-like. Season with pepper and more salt if needed.

 

Farmers’ Market Ratatouille

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Hi, my name’s Emily and I am a farmers’ market junkie. No really, I have a serious problem. When May arrives and my local farmers’ market reopens for the summer, I visit every week. Sometimes twice. It takes me hours to peruse every stand and talk to every farmer. I usually spend way too much money buying way too much produce - more than my family could possibly eat in one week. When I get home I artfully arrange my trophies in cute little baskets on my countertop, and because I’m a total geek, I take pictures of my displays and text them to my husband with cheesy notes that say: “Look what’s cookin’ tonight!” or “Got Produce?” His replies go something like, “Um, that’s a lot of peppers, honey.” By the end of the week I’ve only used about half of what I bought, and I’m left with extremely ripe, eat-me-right-now veggies that are in threat of going to waste. Which is how I found my other addiction: ratatouille. This super healthy, one-pan meal uses up all my leftover odds-and-ends-produce, freeing up my counter for another visit to the market.

 Farmers’ Market Ratatouille

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This vitamin-rich dish can serve as a vegetarian entrée (say on Meatless Monday), an accompaniment to grilled meat, or an easy sauce when thrown into a pot of cooked pasta. Sometimes I even spoon it over a slice of toasted baguette for a quick lunch. 

Farmers’ Market Ratatouille

Serves 4 as an entrée or 6-8 as a side dish

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 2 zucchini squash, diced
  • 2 yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 small eggplant, skin on, diced
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, minced (or another fresh herb such as oregano, basil, or parsley)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh crack black pepper

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In a large straight-sided skillet set over medium-high, heat oil until shimmering. Add onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add remaining ingredients to the pot, stirring and cooking for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything has softened, about 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve with crusty bread to sop up all those lovely juices.IMG_7146

Local Farmers’ Markets

These days almost ever town in America has a weekly farmers’ market (typically open May through October). My local market runs twice a week during the summer, which is a great way to feed my addiction, but come December I start itching for a fix again. Thankfully, I’ve always lived within a stone’s throw of a major city that has a year-round farmers’ market. Usually housed in an permanent structure, these markets are just like the townie ones only on steroids. In addition to selling produce, farm-fresh eggs, and meats, many of these larger markets will offer an array of other attractions such as local cuisine, homemade soaps and lotions, art, flee market items, and rides & games for the kids. I’ve visited quite a few over the years, but my favorites are Pike Place Market in Seattle, Union Square Greenmarket in NYC, and City Market in Kansas City, MO, which I’ve visited a few times this season already…IMG_0070 (1)

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*To find a farmers’ market in your area, click here.