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11/22/22

Italian Wedding Soup Recipe

Meatball soup in a bowl with toast on the side

Remember me? I know it's been a while: I really should get back to regular blogging!

Today, I'm sharing a recipe for Italian Wedding Soup I made with my friend Jenn a few weekends ago. This is the soup Jenn has been making for years using a recipe from her friend Anna, but it was my first time making and eating Italian Wedding Soup ever!

I edited the original recipe. 

Italian Wedding Soup
4-6 portions

Ingredients
96 ounces chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
5 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 chicken breasts
1 bunch escarole, sliced

Meatballs
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons dried parsley
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg

"Cheese" balls
2 egg whites
1/2 pound grated or finely shredded Parmiagino Reggiano

1 pound cooked orzo

To serve
Italian bread, fresh parsley, extra cheese

Directions
1. In a large pot, bring the chicken broth, salt & pepper, carrots, celery, and chicken breasts to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through (about 25 minutes). Remove chicken and shred in a separate bowl.

2. Mix together all the ingredients for the meatballs and form into 1" balls.  Drop the balls into once again boiling chicken broth, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, combine the egg whites with the cheese and form into 1/2 inch balls. Drop the balls into the broth, and also add shredded chicken and chopped escarole.

4. Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes. Check to make sure the meatballs and cheese balls are cooked through. Adjust for salt and pepper.

5. Spoon the cooked orzo into each bowl and top with the soup. 

6. Serve with slices of Italian bread, a sprinkling of extra cheese and parsley.

The original recipe used a whole chicken, but you know how I feel about chicken skin, bones, and dark meat. You can do as you please.

Also, I changed the recipe not to add orzo into the soup pot because it will soak up all the liquid overnight in the refrigerator. 

I hope you make this and enjoy a bowl of soup with your family or with your family of 1 (with plenty of leftovers).

And as with any recipe, there are a zillion variations. Let me know how your family makes Italian Wedding Soup.

PS there's no Italian wedding happening for me any time soon.

9/14/22

Mango & Raspberry Pavlova

While in Seattle, I made my first full-sized pavlova using Mary Berry recipe under my twin Anna's supervision. 

I topped it with slightly sweetened homemade whipped cream and fresh raspberries and mango. A bit of powdered sugar was the final touch. 

Everyone, especially my mom, loved it!!

8/4/22

TBT: Flower Arrangement Classes

Did you know that over the last 3 years I've taught more than ten private and group flower arrangement classes both in person and virtually? 

I love how much happiness flowers bring into my life and enjoy sharing the techniques I picked up over the years with others. Below are some of the arrangements I've made in the past. 

You can see even more of my love of flowers here or on instagram. If you are interested in a class, please email me at olga@mangotomato.com!

Which of these is your favorite? 





8/2/22

Travel Tuesday: Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, Arizona

Hi, friends.

Can you believe I've not updated my blog since November 2021? No worries, I've still been cooking, eating out, taking photos of food, traveling, and sharing all these adventures on instagram.

In honor of Travel Tuesday, however, I thought I'd share with you a fun (I hope) write up about my trip to Arizona with my twin and two of our friends in April.

If you want to get away and discover Arizona, you don’t have to choose just one city. Find a hotel or an Airbnb in Phoenix, rent a car, and you’ll be able to visit Scottsdale and Sedona during the same trip! Below are a few highlights for each city from my trip earlier this year.

 

Phoenix

Desert Botanical Garden: whenever I travel, I always visit a botanical garden if one is located nearby. This garden, however, stood out amongst all others because of thousands of varieties of cacti showcased in 55 acres of desert landscape.


 

Little Miss BBQ: get a plate with 2 sides! I recommend sliced brisket, potato salad, and coleslaw. If you are a vegetarian, you’ll have to stick to mac and cheese, cheddar jalapeno grits, potato salad, and smoked pecan pie.


 

Harumi Sushi: sushi may not be the first cuisine you think of when you are in Arizona, but this was a great find because the restaurant gets fresh seafood flown overnight from places like Scotland and Nova Scotia. Harumi Sushi was voted best sushi in the state of Arizona in 2021, and I could see why: great variety of sushi and sashimi at reasonable prices, especially when compared to DC, and friendly service.



Scottsdale

Taliesin West: if you are a fan of architecture, and specifically Frank Lloyd Wright, this is a must-see attraction. Take a guided tour, don’t forget to bring sunscreen and water, and learn about Wright’s life and his thoughts on organic architecture while walking through the grounds and taking a peek into the building and studio spaces.

 

Pinnacle Peak Park: wake up early, put on your tennis shoes, grab sunscreen and water and drive out to the park for a moderate hike with great views of the city and countless opportunities to take photos with cacti in the background.



Sedona: for slightly cooler temperatures and a change of scenery, drive to Sedona for a day.

Crescent Moon Picnic Area: this is a beautiful area featuring Red Rocks and perfect for a stroll especially around the sunset. Don’t forget to take a photo of the Cathedral Rock and dip your feet into the nearby stream.



Javelina Cantina: this spacious restaurant with a big outdoor is perfect if you like margaritas and generous portions of food. I recommend fajitas with chicken and beef.

 

Book your flight, pack your bags, and have an unforgettable vacation.

11/9/21

The Best Japanese Milk Bread Recipe

Japanese Milk Bread

My discovery of The Best Japanese Milk Recipe** all started with me wanting to make Japanese egg salad sandwich with Japanese mayonnaise and a fun way of presenting the sandwich (when cut in half, you see a cross-section of an egg). Why not also bake Japanese Milk Bread then, I thought!? 

Never having even tried Japanese Milk Bread, but hearing quite a bit of praise for it, I googled for a recipe and found Caroline's Cooking blog. I followed Caroline's recipe exactly and was stunned at the results. My friends were too. The bread was so pillowy and slightly sweet and smelled divine. The sandwich did not disappoint either.

**This is The Best recipe because it's the only one I've baked and have no need for another one.

Egg Salad Sandwich

I don't know if anyone is even reading this, but if you are, please leave a comment and tell me the latest new recipe you tried!

10/17/21

What To Do With Roasted Carrots: Hummus and Lentil Bowl with Feta and Pistachios

A few months ago I went to Ann Arbor, Michigan and discovered Lafayette Avenue Ceramics in a cute store. I immediately bought one of their speckled plates and have been using it ever since.

The other color of Lafayette Avenue Ceramics beautiful pieces I loved was dark blue. Today I'd like to share two recipes/ideas I created in collaboration with Lafayette Avenue Ceramics featuring roasted carrots, feta, and pistachios. The colors pop on the two beautiful pieces I received for our collaboration. You'll be seeing these quite a bit on my instagram

Note: I roasted carrots at 425F with olive oil, salt, pepper and turmeric for about 25 minutes. The carrots for the hummus were diced; the carrots for the bowl were quartered in length.

Roasted Carrot Hummus With Feta & Pistachios

Roasted Carrot Hummus With Feta & Pistachios

Ingredients

1/2 pound roasted carrots

1 cup chickpeas

3 tablespoons tahini

3-5 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas

1/2 lemon, juiced

1 garlic clove, smashed

salt & pepper to taste

garnishes: crumbled feta, chopped pistachios, togarashi, chili oil

Directions

1. Puree all ingredients but garnishes in a food processor. Put into a shallow bowl. Top with garnishes.

Roasted Carrot Hummus With Feta & Pistachios

Roasted Carrots & Lentil Bowl With Feta, Pistachios & Cilantro

Ingredients

labneh

cooked French lentils

roasted carrots

crumbled feta

chopped pistachios

cilantro

chili oil

Directions

Make a bowl ;)

Roasted Carrots & Lentil Bowl With Feta, Pistachios & Cilantro

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. This is a barter post :)

9/18/21

Cooking Inspirations: What I've Been Cooking and Baking

And so it's the weekend again! I thought I'd share with you a few of my latest inspirations for cooking and baking.

First up, Marnely's Vegan Tofu Bolognese: such an easy to follow and satisfying recipe. I had seconds and thirds the first time I made it. Bonus points: Marnely is a friend (and I really hope we meet in real life one day). The leftovers are great on top of white beans.

Vegan Tofu Bolognese with Pasta

Next up, Joan Nathan's challah, but with chopped crystallized ginger on the inside and a combination of black and white sesame seeds and sugar in the raw on the outside. This was by far one of the best challah recipes

I made half the recipe and then divided it into 2: one round, one regular topped with za'atar. I'll definitely be making this recipe again and again.

Thanks Jenna for inspiring me!

The confetti plate is from one of my favorite businesses: Felt and Fat

Round challah for Rosh Hashannah

And finally, Olive Oil, Honey, and Apple Cake from Pickled Plum. I literally googled those terms and found the recipe: easy to follow, gorgeous, and something fun for Rosh Hashana or any fall day. I served mine with vanilla ice cream and powdered sugar.

Apple Cake with Ice Cream

8/22/21

Quick And Easy Borsch Recipe

Vegetarian beet soup in a large pot with bowls

Let's get one thing straight: there's no t in borsch.

Ok, I feel better now :0

Here's a Quick And Easy Borsch Recipe you can whip up in less than 45 minutes (all the while practicing your dicing skills) and eat either hot or cold because it's completely vegan (that is until you add mayonnaise or sour cream).

Quick And Easy Borsch Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

3 carrots, peeled, diced

2 Russet potatoes, peeled, diced (larger than the other vegetables)

2 medium beets, peeled, diced

salt & pepper to taste

1 tablespoon tomato paste

water

1/2 small cabbage, thinly sliced

toppingsmayonnaise or sour cream, parsley or dill, and toast

Directions

1. In a large soup pot, I used Le Creuset, heat olive oil. Add onions and carrots and saute for 5 minutes.

2. Add potatoes and saute for 3 more minutes.

3. Add beets, salt and pepper, and tomato paste, stir to combine and saute for 5 minutes.

4. Add enough water to cover everything by 1 to 2 inches depending on how thick you'll want your borsch to be. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender.

5. Add cabbage, bring the mixture back to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Serve with mayonnaise or sour cream, parsley or dill, and toast.

The soup will only get better as it sits in the refrigerator. 

8/8/21

Meatless Monday: Ricotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios

MRicotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios

Ricotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or a snack, and are especially great for Meatless Monday.

I was inspired by an instagram post from Adeena Sussman, but changed a few things (as is pretty typical of me). 

Ricotta Toasts With Mango & Honeyed Pistachios

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/4 cup smoked honey (use 3 tablespoons for pistachios and the rest as a drizzle)

2 tablespoons salted roasted pistachios, chopped

red pepper flakes to taste

2 slices of bread, toasted

1/4-1/3 cup ricotta, drained slightly 

1 mango, peeled, "cheeks" cut off and thinly sliced

Directions

1. In a small pan heat the honey. Add pistachios and sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a bubble and cook for about 5 minutes. Carefully transfer to parchment paper and allow to cool. Break into pieces.

2. Slather toasts with ricotta, add a layer of sliced mango, top with honeyed pistachios, and drizzle with a bit more honey. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for extra heat.

SO

VERY 

GOOD

8/2/21

Avocado Toast With Roasted Tomatoes

Avocado Toast With Roasted Tomatoes on a plate and a little flower and iced coffee

If your tomatoes aren't as ripe and sweet as you want them, roast them, and then top your avocado toast with them!

Avocado Toast With Roasted Tomatoes
olive oil
cherry or grape tomatoes
salt
two slices of bread, toasted
1 avocado, smashed

1) Preheat the oven to 425F with a baking sheet inside.
2) Add tomatoes to the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt. Roast for 25 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan.
3) Spread smashed avocado on toasted bread, top with roasted tomatoes, and sprinkle with a bit more salt.