Pumpkin Minestrone

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We are having some beautiful fall weather in South Florida!  When fall comes to Florida, it’s more of a pretend season.  It will be 80 degrees and locals will pulling out their boots, light sweaters and scarves…pretty silly looking to the vacationing Northerners who are walking around in their shorts and sundresses.  When you live here for awhile, you feel the change of seasons and get very excited. Continue reading “Pumpkin Minestrone”

Bloody Halloween Red Lentil and Beet Soup

imageI bloody love Halloween.

And I love this soup.  In fact, it will make a reappearance in December for a gorgeous red Christmas soup, minus the drips and fake bloody hand.

Halloween wickedly crept up on me this year.  I’m usually all decorated for Halloween by now.  Pumpkins, skulls, skeletons, witches and brooms tastefully decorating my home.  Thousands of ideas, too little time. Continue reading “Bloody Halloween Red Lentil and Beet Soup”

Baked Eggplant with Tomato and Mozzarella

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How quickly time passes… last week I was vacationing in the beautiful surroundings of Italy and now…well, it’s all a cherished memory as I work my way back into the daily routines of my life.  Yet, I brought back a different me from this trip.  A woman who once feared venturing out alone, pretty low on the confidence pole and decision doubting, to a renewed, refreshed, totally in awe of life and beauty, humbled by my inner strength and a new amore la vita, love of life! Continue reading “Baked Eggplant with Tomato and Mozzarella”

Chia Hot Chocolate

hot healthy chocolate2If you live in South Florida, quick…make this hot chocolate because by tomorrow it will be warm weather again!  If you live elsewhere, no rush as you most likely have a several more weeks of cold weather.  I woke this morning to a real chill in the air, about 50 degrees!  We get really excited to open our windows and let in the cold! Continue reading “Chia Hot Chocolate”

Carrot Mash with Orange and Mint

carrot mashIsn’t this color just gorgeous??  I was so thrilled with this recipe, I just had to share with all you lovelies!  Just like so many of you, I’m preparing my Thanksgiving menu.  I have this huge binder of tried and true recipes that I refer to in creating my menu using traditional favorites from my mom and those newer ones that I found.  I save each year’s menu, notes and comments, guests and table settings!  Continue reading “Carrot Mash with Orange and Mint”

Forbidden Black Rice with Roasted Squash, Garlic and Kale

black rice plated3It may look a bit creepy, but isn’t that what Halloween is all about?  I don’t have little goblins running around anymore to make spooky treats, but I still love to play up Halloween in classy, tasteful decorating and in my meals, along with pumpkin in just about everything!

Black rice is also called Forbidden Rice, due to the fact that is was considered the finest grain and only served to the Emperor in ancient China for increased health and longevity and therefore, off limits to the general public.  Black rice is considered a super food having healthful antioxidants equal to blueberries.   The taste is slightly nutty, soft and sticky reminding me of risotto.  Continue reading “Forbidden Black Rice with Roasted Squash, Garlic and Kale”

Tortellini Soup

My week days are a bit longer now.  Gone is the 15 minute commute home with plenty of time to slip in a bike ride before dinner. These days I’m lucky to find traffic moving well enough to make it home in an hour.  Truly a grueling drive, traffic so jammed to a crawl that my GPS will ask me if I want to switch to pedestrian mode!

Once home, the sun has set, the air is chilled and I just want to get inside to  my comfy, soothing, familiar surroundings. Continue reading “Tortellini Soup”

Italian Edamame

Edamame is one of those fun to eat appetizers.   Grabbing a pod and squeeze biting it to release the little bean in your mouth.  It becomes one of those mindless snacking foods; chatting and snacking away.   It’s also a great stress reliever which I for one can attest to right now as I eat a bowl of these for my dinner. Continue reading “Italian Edamame”

Greenslove: Kale and Caramelized Onion Tart

This month’s Bloghop is Greenslove!  And I’m excited that I am finally able to display the linky tools pictures from everyone’s post!  Whoohoo!!  I feel like a big girl now!

Italians do eat alot of greens and I’m always buying some leafy green, such as kale, spinach, chard or collard.   What I’ve not tried is dandelion which is common for many Italians though as a child I had always thought to be strangely odd.  Any green will work well in this tart,  Kale has become one of my favorites to use.  It is, however, a chewier green.  The stem is very fibrous and should be removed.  The leaf of the curly kale has a pungent, almost bittery taste that does mellow when cooked.  For raw salads and for a sweeter and delicate taste, I prefer the Lacinato kale.  In this tart, I found a deep red kale, which was new to me.   A quick taste test at the market of both green and this red had the same taste. Continue reading “Greenslove: Kale and Caramelized Onion Tart”

Limoncello Risotto

Creamy, warm risotto is snuggly, comfort food to me.  In fact the entire process is soothing, almost tranquil and serene.  Yes, really.  I know I’ve heard from many who fear the process of making risotto.  As a matter of fact, and complete surprise to me as I was just about to post this, Katherine at Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide posted her risotto recipe and first attempt at making it.  A successful attempt, I might add and very well done Katherine!! Continue reading “Limoncello Risotto”