Valentine’s Beet and Cauliflower Soup

P2138656 copyWe made it!  This month marks our 1 year of blogging and we just want to say many thanks for sticking with us.  Starting a blog is easy peasy but continuously writing  posts — not so much.  It really does require a lot thought, time, and creativity, but the process has been nothing but fun, and slowly but surely we will continue to grow this little space of ours.  So today — when some of us expect roses and an expensive dinner — we propose that you have a relaxing night with your partner, pets, or yourself, and cook.  This Beet Cauliflower soup is great for that.  Why?  Well, look at that color!  No frosting could beet (pun intended) that deep-earthy red.  The rich color will surprise you.  Just make sure you don’t spill the soup because it will look like a crime scene.  Also, don’t take left-overs to lunch and open it in a small-enclosed office…cauliflower stinks when chilled.  The soup is also extremely healthy and you will experience the flavors in three stages: first the tangy cauliflower, then potato cream, ending with a light after taste of the beets.  It is so lovely it will definitely make someone’s heart beet….  Enjoy and Happy Vday!
P2138646 P2138628Adapted from Martha Stewart Living
Yields: 4

2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
3 cups chopped cauliflower
2 medium-small red beets
Dash of salt
3 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish

1.  Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent — about 4 minutes.
2.  Add cauliflower, beets, and salt.
3.  Add broth, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer until beets and cauliflower are tender — about 20 minutes.
4.  Remove from heat and add dill.  Let the soup cool for 10 minutes and puree until smooth.  Add water if it’s too thick.
5.  Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer.  Season with more salt if you think there is not enough flavor.
6.  Sprinkle dill sprigs right before serving.

Flash from the back, and recipes if you need last minute ideas:

meringues


PB210135

Marbled Almond Oregano Meringue

meringue

I’m stuck.  I’m stuck in my house, Nemo has arrived, and I won’t have an escape until who knows when (probably tomorrow, don’t worry).  This means one thing…to bake and well, also shovel. A couple of weeks ago Anne brought me back some real chocolate from her trip to Mexico.  What does real chocolate taste like you ask?  Not sweet.  It also tastes like you are eating a cocoa bean if that sounds appetizing to you.  I wanted to use this milk chocolate infused with oregano and almonds to make some meringue.  A little bit of Vday spirit but it also only calls for three ingredients which is great for those who are stuck and need a special small-sweet treat. Meringues are high in protein and their crispy outside,chewy inside, and subtle sweetness will make you crave for more.  Now time to shovel, round 3…photos of Nemo to follow, along with more weekend festivities.
chocolate peak meringuesAdapted from Williams Sonoma
Yields: 10 meringues

45 grams your choice of chocolate, chopped
2 egg whites
250 grams (1/2 cup) sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 275º F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2.  In saucepan, bring 1-2 inches water to simmer.  Put chocolate in a heatproof bowl over (not touching) simmering water and melt, stirring occasionally.  Set aside and let cool slightly.
3.  In another heatproof bowl, combine egg whites and sugar over (not touching) simmering water and whisk until mixture is hot for about 4-5 minutes.  Remove bowl from heat and using an electric mixer beat on high speed until stiff peaks form, for about 4-5 minutes, and mixture is lukewarm.
4.  Drizzle melted chocolate over egg white mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until just marbled.  Don’t over fold or you will just get a chocolate meringue.
5.  With a spoon, drop batter in large mounds spaced 1.5-2 inches apart.  Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until crispy outside and the inside is chewy.
6.  Transfer sheets to a wire rack and let it cool completely before removing cookies from parchment.  Store in airtight container.