Orange Carrot Soup

A light, but flavorful and warming soup to start your new year!

OrangeCarrotSoup

Orange Carrot Soup

4-6 Servings

Ingredients

3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 c. diced yellow onion

salt

fresh ground pepper

2 T. semi-dry white wine, divided

4 c. diced, peeled carrots

2 t. smoked paprika

1 t. ground cinnamon

4 c. vegetable (or chicken) broth or bouillon*, divided

3 T. honey, divided

1 – 1 1/4 c. fresh-squeezed orange juice, to taste

zest from one of the oranges (use a course-textured zester)

croutons or Greek yogurt, optional

*I use 2 “Not-Chick’n” bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 c. boiling water. “Not-Chick’n” can be found in the organic foods section of many grocery stores.

Directions

  1. Place 1 T. of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion, a dash of salt, a twist of fresh ground pepper, and about 1 T. of the wine. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is crisp-tender and translucent. Transfer to a stock pot.
  2. Place remaining 2 T. of the olive oil in the large skillet. Add carrots, paprika and cinnamon. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Transfer to the stock pot containing the onions.
  3. Add enough of the broth to the stock pot to almost cover carrots. Stir. Cover and cook over medium heat until carrots are tender enough to purée but are not mushy, about 15 minutes. Stir in 2 T. of the honey.
  4. Purée mixture with a stick blender – or transfer mixture to a food processor or blender to purée until almost perfectly smooth, then transfer mixture back to stock pot.
  5. Stir orange juice and remaining 1 T. of wine into carrot mixture, then thin soup to desired consistency with the remaining broth. Stir in orange zest. Taste. If necessary adjust flavor using honey, wine, orange juice, or salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for about 10 more minutes before serving to blend flavors.
  6. Stir soup before serving. Serve in small cups as a starter or light lunch – or in soup bowls for a heavier meal. If desired, garnish with croutons or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Enjoy! Happy New Year!

Cranberry Walnut Muffins (Vegan)

MuffinsCranWalVegan2

Cranberry Walnut Muffins (Vegan)

Makes 4 dense, moist muffins

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 t. baking powder

1 t. ground cinnamon

1 pinch salt

1/2 c. honey

1 mashed banana (between 1/4 – 1/3 c)

1/4 c. canola oil

1 t. vanilla extract

1/2 c. dried cranberries (any flavor – I used blueberry for this batch)

1/3 c. chopped walnuts

Confectioner’s sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon

 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare four 1/2-cup ceramic ramekins with baking spray (or with vegan margarine and flour). Place ramekins on a baking sheet.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, combine honey, banana, canola oil and vanilla extract. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until there are no dry spots remaining.  Stir in cranberries and walnuts.

4. Spoon batter into prepared ramekins. Place baking sheet in center of oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the tops of muffins are firm.

5. Remove from oven. Dust with confectioner’s sugar mixed with a pinch of cinnamon. Serve warm.

Enjoy! Have a great day!

 MuffinCranWalVegan

Honey-Glazed Raisin Pecan Muffins (Gluten-Free)

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Honey-Glazed Raisin Pecan Muffins

2 c. white rice flour (gluten-free)

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

1 T. baking powder

2 1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1 c. Greek yogurt (full-fat)

1/2 c. melted butter

1/2 c. honey, plus extra for glazing muffins

2 lg. eggs

1 c. mixed jumbo raisins

1 c. chopped pecans

muffin papers or foils

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to  400 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers or foils.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, butter, 1/2 c. honey, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and then stir with a mixing spoon until no dry spots appear. Fold in raisins and walnuts.

4. Divide batter between muffin cups, mounding batter up in the center of each muffin and rounding with the back of a spoon. (Batter will stand above the top of the muffin pan.)

5. Bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove muffins from the oven and immediately glaze each with about 1/2 t. of honey, spreading honey with the back of a spoon. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Muffins are best served warm with a bit of butter or jam. Enjoy!

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Have a lovely weekend!

Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt

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Fresh Peach Frozen Yogurt

2 c. whole milk Greek yogurt

1 c. pieces of ripe, fresh peaches (no skins)

1/2 c. honey

1 1/2 T. fresh lemon juice

1. Place ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste. At this time, you can add a little more lemon juice, honey or peaches, if you want to adjust the flavor. Process again until smooth.

2. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and follow machine’s instructions. I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker and run the machine for 30 – 40 minutes and then put the yogurt in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Homemade frozen yogurt is tangier and less gummy than commercial frozen yogurt, and it is so easy to make. Enjoy!

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Just Out of the Oven: Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

My husband has a hard time starting his day without chocolate. So I make these muffins (or a variation thereof) pretty frequently!

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Makes 10

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. granulated white sugar

1 T. baking powder

1/2 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground nutmeg

1/2 t. ground mace

1/2 t. ground ginger

1 c. mashed banana (about 2 lg.)

1/2 c. canola oil

2 lg. eggs

2 t. vanilla extract

1 1/4 chopped chocolate or chocolate chips

honey for glazing

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray 10 half-cup size ceramic ramekins* with baking spray. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients (except chocolate). Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (except honey). Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Stir in chocolate.

4. Scoop batter into prepared ramekins. Use the back of a spoon to shape the batter in each cup into a slight mound. Place ramekins on baking sheets and bake for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.

5. Remove baking sheets from oven and place on cooling racks. Immediately spoon honey over muffin tops.

* If you don’t have ramekins, use a standard 12 muffin baking pan.

Just out of the Oven: Bill’s Blondies

Getting ready for check-in, I just made a batch of Bill’s Blondies (honey-glazed, milk chocolate chip, cinnamon blondies). Boy do they smell good!

Bill’s Blondies

(from Confectionately Yours, p. 31)

1 c. all-purpose flour

1 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted

1 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 lg. egg

1 t. vanilla extract

1 c. milk chocolate chips or 5 oz. chopped milk chocolate

about 3 T. honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8″ square baking pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3. Place the butter in a medium size bowl. Stir in the sugar. Beat with a mixer on medium speed for 1 minute. Beat in the egg and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy. (This takes several minutes. Do not underbeat.)

4. On lowest mixer speed, beat in the dry ingredients and then the chocolate.

5. Spread the batter evenly in the baking pan. Bake for about 24 to 26 minutes or until blondies start to pull back from the edge of the pan and the center feels almost firm to the touch.

6. As soon as you remove the pan from the oven, place it on a wire rack and then drizzle honey over the top of the blondies. Spread honey around evenly using the back of a spoon. cool and then cut into squares. If desired, chill before serving.

Bill's Blondies