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Luscious Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Luscious Curried Butternut Squash Soup

This deeply satisfying soup is super simple to make. Please use the full-fat coconut milk — don’t use the “light/lite” unless you want this to taste meh. I also love this recipe because I nearly always have every ingredient on hand, especially in the fall when the butternut squash are in season. The curry powder is from Savory Spice — it’s called Mild Curry Powder (link below). But I call it the “Hippy Curry Powder” because it tastes like every curry I ever had from “vegetarian restaurants” versus actual Indian restaurants. It’s just pretty much a generic, run of the mill Americanized curry powder.

Cold Asian Herby Noodles

Cold Asian Herby Noodles

This is a riff on a Cambodian noodle salad I found a few months ago. I’ve changed it up quite a bit by substituting shrimp and fish sauce with marinated organic tofu and soy sauce. In the the past five weeks I’ve made it four times. I think it’s absolutely craveable, especially when the temperatures are in the 90s… The key ingredients that really make this stand out are lots of herbs and salty peanuts. Delish! It’s a perfect dish for summer picnics.

How I Cook

How I Cook

Long, long before COVID-19, or as I refer to it BC (Before Corona), I began thinking about writing this post. It’s not meant to tell people what to do, but rather just a document that captures how I cook. It’s basically my guiding rules, equipment, […]

Pesto (that doesn’t turn brown)

Pesto (that doesn’t turn brown)

Even if it tastes the same there is nothing appetizing about brown oxidized pesto. I used to find it so annoying when I would go to all the trouble and time to make a fresh batch of pesto and within minutes it would go from bright green to muddy brown. Bleh. But now thanks to Maria Rodale’s cookbook, Scratch, I finally learned the trick to keep pesto bright green: blanch the basil leaves. So simple! Below is my version of her recipe — it doesn’t have cheese (not that I’m opposed, I just like it better sprinkled on top not mixed in), uses walnuts instead of pine nuts, and less olive oil. The amount below will make enough pesto for a full pound of pasta.

During the harvest season I make as much pesto as possible and freeze in small 4oz. little jars. I used to freeze batches of pesto an ice cube tray, but I found that unless I wrapped each little cube in plastic wrap, they would freezer burn way too quickly. So now I just put in a little jar with a layer of parchment paper cut to size over the pesto and freeze.

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

I kinda love butternut squash soup. Sure, if served I’ll eat it, and even I’ll probably even feign that I like it. But most times it’s usually just kinda bland and the texture isn’t all that pleasing. However, this particular recipe I created is actually craveable. In fact, my 16-year-old daughter asked while eating it if I could make this every month in the winter. Yes, I made it in an Instant Pot, but not necessary. For those who don’t have one (is that even possible?!), simply make on the stovetop in a soup pot making certain to cook the squash fully.

The key to making this soup so dang luscious is two-fold: 1. Use full-fat coconut milk in a can. Don’t skimp and use the coconut milk you pour on your cereal or use the ridiculous “reduced-fat” coconut milk. No, just use full octane tasty, silky, fatty coconut milk. 2. Puree in a blender, preferably one like a Vitamix with a lot of horsepower. Don’t be lazy and just use your immersion blender. I promise it won’t taste nearly as good. And then you’ll be disappointed and will likely throw out what you don’t eat. Which is even worse than using reduced-fat coconut milk.

Also, I’m very well aware that simply using curry powder from a jar is not “real” curry powder. Whatever. I make a lot of Indian food and create my own curry, so I get it. BUT sometimes the generic, sorta quintessential American curry powder just hits the spot, especially if you are serving to kids or people who are not huge fans of too much spice. And I don’t know about you, but that generic curry powder is just so evocative of hippie comfort food that sometimes I just crave it.

Roasted Artichoke and Spinach Bake

Roasted Artichoke and Spinach Bake

This is my new favorite recipe. It’s everything I love — a lot of artichoke hearts, a bunch of spinach, a little Parmesan and even smaller amount of egg. I adapted this recipe from the now-out-of-print cookbook, My Love for Naples. This is one of […]