Meatless Monday: Creamy Cauliflower & Potato Soup With Cashews & Chili Oil

Do you need a reset from all the holiday eating you've been doing? Are you craving a bowl of soup that's creamy with a bit of texture and spice? Then you should definitely make my Creamy Cauliflower & Potato Soup With Cashews & Chili Oil.

Last week I saw Ellie Krieger's recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Mushroom and Hazelnut Topping, but did not have shallots, mushrooms, hazelnuts, parsley, or sherry vinegar. I KNOW!!!

I decided to use what I did have and make my own version of the soup.

Creamy Cauliflower & Potato Soup With Cashews & Chili Oil

olive oil enough to cover the bottom of a soup pot
1/2 red onion, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large red potato, peeled, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
salt to taste {you'll need WAY more than you think}
black pepper to taste
toasted cashews, chopped
fresh cilantro, chopped
chili oil to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion, cauliflower, and potatoes and saute for 10 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add vegetable broth, season with salt and pepper, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
3. Lower the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.
4. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup.
5. Taste and adjust for salt.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cashews, cilantro, and a drizzle of chili oil.

The soup reheats really well!

PS I made that bowl!!!


Weekend Motivation: Flower Friday

TGIF!! Wanted to share a photo of a flower arrangement I created with gorgeous blooms I won from Darling and Daughters!


Raspberry & Chocolate Star Bread

I can't tell you how many times I've seen photos of King Arthur Flour's Star Bread and thought I should try to bake it.

Well, this past weekend I finally did! Major thanks to my friend Lorelei for her encouragement and to King Arthur Flour's twitter people for answering a zillion of my questions!

Because I pretty much followed the recipe, I'm not going to retype it. Instead, I'll share with you the changes I made and my thoughts about the final result.

1) Who has dried milk in their house!? Not me ;) I listened to King Arthur Flour's twitter helpers and used actual milk instead of water and dry milk powder.

2) I only had regular yeast and not instant yeast, so I first bloomed the yeast in warm water. I had to reduce the volume of added milk by the amount of water (about 1/4 cup) I used.

3) Also, who has potato flour? Lorelei told me to use instant mashed potatoes and turn them into powder...I have such awful memories of my mom making instant mashed potatoes, but they worked well in this recipe.

4) Instead of layering with sugar and cinnamon, I used layers of raspberry jam (after putting it through a fine mesh to remove all seeds) and shaved dark chocolate.



The dough was relatively easy to put together with the help of my KitchenAid stand mixer. There were no issues with the rising process or the rolling process. My friend Sindy came over and helped me bake and eat this beautiful bread.

The twisting process was rather simple, but after looking at the final photos of the original recipe, I realized we did not pinch the dough quite right. Still...not a bad star: ours looks more like a star inside the circle.

We baked this bread longer, and it was still a bit doughy probably because of the moisture content in the jam and chocolate.

Next time I think I'll try the savory version!

Overall, I'm really glad I finally tried this recipe! 

PS scroll all the way up and see a mini star bread my friend made :)


Meal Prep: Albondigas Soup

If you love meal prep, leftovers, and not having to think what will I have for lunch or dinner today, I highly recommend Albondigas Soup from Carlsbad Cravings

I followed the recipe pretty closely, so will not retype it here. 

I was surprised by the spices and herbs used in the meatballs, mint in particular. Turns out, the Spanish albondigas I've made before are quite different from the Mexican ones in this soup.

Reasons this recipe is a keeper:
1) double carbs: the soup has potatoes and rice
2) great leftovers (I bet it freezes well too): I've been eating this soup for lunch 4 days in a row and still have two more portions
3) the rice in the meatballs reminds me of the Russian hedgehog meatballs from my childhood
4) anything topped with an avocado is a winner in my opinion

The one change I'd make would be to use leaner type of meat. The 80/20 ground beef is a bit too fatty in this case because you cook the meatballs directly in the soup, making it difficult to skim the extra fat.

Oh, and I'd probably add corn next time for a bit of a crunch!

What's on your meal prep list?


Breakfast For Dinner: Baby Bella Toast With A Fried Egg

Sunday morning, after not being able to sleep in once again, I decided to treat myself to something other than an overnight oatmeal for breakfast and created Baby Bella Toast With A Fried Egg.

There's really not a recipe for this toast: it's more of an idea, but I think you'll like it, and it'll be perfect for a light Meatless Monday dinner.

My friends at Seasonal Roots send me a produce basket once a month and in return, I create a fun recipe and tell you all about it. If you've not tried them, you can use mangotomato code to receive a discount on your membership fee.

Last week's basket included baby bella mushrooms which inspired this dish.

1) Thinly slice bella mushrooms and onion.
2) Heat a swirl of olive oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and onions and saute slowly until they have browned. Don't overcrowd the pan. Don't rush. Don't burn the mushrooms. 
3) Season with salt
4) Meanwhile, fry an egg.
5) Toast a slice of olive oil and rosemary bread and smear it with hummus
6) Top with sauteed mushrooms and onions, a fried egg, a bit more salt, and chopped parsley.
7) Drizzle with green chile hot sauce.


Cranberry Sauce With Asian Pears & Orange Zest

Why is it that we only eat cranberry sauce once a year for Thanksgiving? It's such a vibrant, versatile, and beautiful sauce or condiment or topping!

Last week I concocted a large batch of Cranberry Sauce With Asian Pears & Orange Zest for my friend Jazmin's Thanksgiving dinner and have been eating leftovers on top of yogurt, mixed into overnight oats, and added to sandwiches.

My cranberry sauce uses half the sugar usually called on packages of cranberries and has a great freshness from an Asian pear and orange zest.

Cranberry Sauce With Asian Pears & Orange Zest

1 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups cranberries
1 small Asian pear, peeled, cut into tiny cubes
zest of 1/2 orange

1. In a medium sized sauce pan, bring water and sugar to a boil. Add cranberries, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Turn the heat off and add Asian pear and orange zest.

That's all. You are done. Do not reheat the sauce.

I made 4 times the recipe and it was enough for 14 people with leftovers. In the picture above, I added the sauce to plain yogurt and home made granola


Flourless Chocolate Chili Cake: The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi

You know how they say not to cook/bake something new for a party? Well, I did. Sort of. After receiving a preview copy of Benjamina Ebuiehi's The New Way to Cake book, I decided to make her Flourless Chocolate Chili Cake for Thanksgiving at my friend Jazmin's house.

I've made several versions of flourless chocolate cakes in the past quite successfully, so wasn't worried about this cake failing. In fact, this recipe was by far the easiest because it did not require using a double boiler or separating the eggs to whip the whites.

The chili powder gives a great kick to this rich and decadent cake. I recommend serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Everyone loved this cake. Even a 4 year old!

Reprinted with permission from The New Way to Cake by Benjamina Ebuehi, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.


This cake was inspired by the popular Swedish kladdkaka, which translates as “sticky cake.” We deliberately underbake this to give it the characteristically gooey interior, and as it cools, it naturally sinks and produces the most beautiful cracks. 

If you’re someone who struggles with making a cake look “perfect,” this is the one for you. The warming heat that comes from the cayenne pepper lingers just long enough to leave you wanting more.

1 round 8-inch (20-cm) cake

3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp (190 g) unsalted butter
2 cups (190 g) 70% dark chocolate
1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
Scant 1/3 cup (75 ml) espresso or strong coffee, cooled
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
2/3 cup (135 g) superfine/caster sugar
1/2 tsp flaky sea salt
2 tbsp (10 g) cocoa powder, to dust

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease a springform or loose-bottomed 8-inch (20-cm) cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Melt the butter, chocolate and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan. 

Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the coffee and vanilla. Let it cool. 

Using a stand mixer or electric whisk, whisk together the eggs and sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, or until thick, pale and fluffy. 

Pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs, add the salt and fold gently to combine. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the cake is just baked with a slight wobble in the middle.

Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely. As it cools, the surface will crack, and this is what we want! 

Use a small sieve to dust generously with cocoa powder before serving.

I'm looking forward to trying other recipes from this gorgeous book!