Showing posts with label I Heart Cooking Clubs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label I Heart Cooking Clubs. Show all posts

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Middle Eastern Leek & Veggie Soup with Dilled Yogurt & Sumac for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I was going to make the Middle Eastern Leeks with Yogurt, Dill & Sumac recipe from Diana Henry this week for our Cuisine Spotlight at I Heart Cooking Clubs and ran out of time. Since I had the leeks, yogurt, dill and my big bottle of sumac to use up, I decided to turn the leeks into a soup and use the yogurt sauce as a topping.


Diana's original recipe for the leeks and sauce is here. Below is my adapted soup recipe.

 
Middle Eastern Leek Soup with Dilled Yogurt & Sumac
Inspired & Adapted from Diana Henry
(Serves 4 to 6)

2 Tbsp olive oil
6 to 8 medium leeks
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 tsp sumac + extra for garnish
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill 
1 medium zucchini, chopped 
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
sea salt and black pepper to taste
lemon slices for garnish
Dilled Yogurt Sauce (recipe below)

Remove the tough outer leaves from the leeks and discard. Slice off the base of each one, and the dark green leaves at the top, leaving the lighter green and white parts. Cut the leeks into 1 1/2 inch lengths or leave them whole. Wash them really well, making sure that you get rid of any grit or soil and pat dry.

Heat oil in a large heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and salt and cook until leeks are softened, about 8 minutes, stirring so they don't brown. Add the smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper, sumac, and garlic and cook another minute or two until the spices are fragrant. Add the veggie broth and dill and bring to a boil, then add zucchini and Yukon Gold potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until veggies are softened but not mushy. 

Take about 2 cups of the soup and blend until smooth, then stir back into the pot. Add lemon juice and salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and serve with a scoop of the yogurt sauce, a sprinkling of sumac and a slice of lemon. Enjoy!

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Dilled Yogurt Sauce
Adapted from Diana Henry via TheTelegraph.com
(Makes 2  cups)

2 cups Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon

Mix the yogurt with the garlic, dill, mustard, lemon juice and some salt and pepper. You can thin it further if you like by adding water or milk (buttermilk is good if you have any). Serve with the soup. Keep leftovers tightly covered in the fridge for up to a week. 


Notes/Results: A tasty savory soup that is not too heavy with just enough spice. The yogurt sauce with its dill and lemon keep it cool and is really good when stirred into the broth. Whenever I use sumac, I am always reminded of how much I like its almost tart, lemon-ish flavor. I think the dilled yogurt sauce would be delicious on any steamed or grilled vegetable or for pita bread. I will happily make it again.


Linking up to IHCC for the July Cuisine Spotlight: Middle Eastern theme.  


Let's take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen and see who is here this week.


Lovely Simona of briciole is back with a fresh Tomato, Cucumber and Radish Salad and says, "I am currently fascinated by the pale green, deeply ribbed, long Armenian cucumbers (cetrioli armeni), whose flesh is mild- and sweet-tasting. Genetically they are a musk melon (Cucumis melo var. flexuosus), rather than a cucumber (Cucumis sativus). The addition of peppery radishes creates a pleasant contrast of flavors, accented by fresh basil (basilico), indispensable companion."

 
Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shares a cooling Chilled Summer Borsht and says,"Borsht is a tangy soup that is popular in Eastern European countries like Russia, Poland, and the Ukraine. It is usually made with beetroot as the base, but every region has its own variation of additional vegetables and ingredients that go into this rich looking "good for you" soup."

 
Mahalo to Judee and Simona for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Friday, July 5, 2019

Giada's Caprese Pasta Salad

July 4th might be over but it is still the holiday weekend and a summer full of potlucks and parties. Nothing says summer like good pasta salad, especially when it is a pasta salad version of a classic like Giada's Caprese Pasta Salad.


I made a few small changes to the recipe--adding capers, using marinated mozzarella balls and stirring in about 1/2 cup of artichoke pesto I had on hand for extra oomph. Easy and delicious!


Caprese Pasta Salad
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via TheCookingChanel.com
(Yields 6 Servings)

1 lb fusilli pasta (I used rotini)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 4 cloves)
(I added 1 1/2 Tbsp capers, drained)
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints) (I used local Heirloom minis)
I added 1/2 cup jarred artichoke pesto (this one)
1 tsp salt, or to taste (use less if capers are undrained)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 oz fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups) (I used marinated mini mozzarella balls)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.

In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic (and capers) and and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add (the pesto if using), basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. (Note: I also added some of my marinade from my mozzarella balls to moisten the pasta, adding extra flavor.) Serve.
 

Notes/Results: If you love pasta and you love caprese salad, you will enjoy this recipe. The mix of flavors--sweet, savory, garlicky, briny and the texture of the pasta, cheese and chunky tomato sauce make it a winner. I think the capers and pesto are the perfect touch but you could omit them or add a drizzle of your favorite balsamic for another flavor punch. Fresh and good mozzarella, tomatoes and basil make this salad sing and taste like summer in a pasta bowl. I liked this salad at room temp best, but chilled is nice too. Easy to put together and really good, I would happily make it again.


Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is I'll Bring the Pasta Salad. Any pasta salad from any of our nineteen featured chefs.
 

I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Finally I am linking up this pasta salad to Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays, right here at Kahakai Kitchen and where any of the above dishes are welcome. ;-) Here's the link to this week's link up.
 


 

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup & a Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayo for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

It has been so muggy and hot this week that although I eat hot soup year-round, it was time to roll out the first cold soup of the summer. I wanted something tomato-based but not gazpacho and thought I would give this Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup from Giada a try, liking the unusual combination of the orange and tomato. Since the soup seemed like it needed an accompaniment and I had tomatoes, bread and fresh basil, I paired it with Ina's Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise.


I did make a few changes to the soup recipe--mainly quantity changes to fit my tastes and lessen the sweetness of the soup just a bit.


Orange-Scented Chilled Tomato Soup
Slightly Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via FoodNetwork.com
(About 4 Servings)

For Soup:
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (I reduced to 1 1/2 Tbsp)
2 medium carrots, diced (I used 2 large carrots)
2 large shallot, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups low-sodium broth (I used veggie non-chicken broth)
2 cups orange juice (I used 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped basil
1 Tbsp maple syrup (I used 1/2 Tbsp)
2 tsp tomato paste (I used 1 Tbsp sun-dried tomato paste)
1 (28 oz) canned chopped tomatoes

For Topping:
1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
2 tsp maple syrup (I omitted)
zest of 1/2 orange

For the soup: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, shallots, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth, orange juice, basil, maple syrup, tomato paste and the tomatoes (with juice). Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. 

Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. (do in batches carefully if using a blender) Cool the soup to room temperature until ready to serve, about 1 hour. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

For the yogurt topping: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, maple syrup and orange zest until smooth.

To serve: Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and top with a dollop of the yogurt mixture.


Tomato Sandwich with Basil Mayonnaise
From Ina Garten via FoodNetwork.com
(Yield 1 Serving + Plenty Extra Basil Mayo)

1 cup good mayonnaise
10-15 basil leaves, chopped sea salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp good olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
2 slices country white bread
1 tomato, sliced

Whisk together the mayonnaise, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Spread the mayonnaise mixture on the top of 2 slices of bread. Place the sliced tomato on top of one bread slice. Place the remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side down, on top of the tomato. Cut the sandwich in half and serve.


Notes/Results: This soup and salad combo made for a perfect lunch on a warm and humid Sunday. I scoffed initially at the "orange-scented" part of the recipe name thinking that with that much orange juice it would be a stronger part of the flavor and maybe overpower the tomato but it doesn't. I did lessen the orange juice by 1/2 cup--mainly because I had a 12-oz bottle and although the orange is there, the citrus notes really complement the tomatoes and make for a good tasting soup. I tried it both hot and chilled and I like it both ways so I think if you aren't a cold soup fan, it's worth making to eat warm. It also paired really well with the tasty tomato sandwich. Basil mayonnaise is a good thing and you get a cup of it so you will have plenty left over even if you lavish it over the bread. The best looking local tomatoes at my grocery were Roma tomatoes and they were very good. I think in a few weeks when heirlooms are more out and about it will be even tastier. Giada and Ina made a good pairing--I will happily make both of these recipes again.


Linking up this chilly soup with I Heart Cooking Clubs where this coming week is our June Potluck. Any recipe from any of our IHCC chefs. 

 
Now let's have a look in the into the Souper Sundays kitchen.


Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog brought Healthy Vegan Sandwich Spread and said, "This spread is one of my favorites. It's high in protein and fiber, low in bad fats, tasty, and Weight Watcher friendly. In addition, it's naturally gluten free and dairy free. It all adds up to one word- HEALTHY! Spreads can be enjoyed in so many ways. Enjoy this easy to make spread on gluten free crackers, in gluten free wraps, on gluten free bread, with lettuce leaves or just enjoy it alone. I love it with a bowl of soup of my quick and easy Italian Spinach Garlic Soup."


Thanks to Judee for joining me this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...


To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and add a link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to this post or my blog on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "One Minute Later" by Susan Lewis, Served with a Recipe for Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Summer Berries

It's been a crazy busy and very humid week and I have found myself longing to do nothing more than hang out lazily with the fans blowing, a good book in one hand and a cold refreshing drink in the other. Today I have both with a review One Minute Later, a new novel by Susan Lewis for TLC Book Tours, paired with a glass of Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Summer Berries.


Publisher's Blurb:
 
International bestselling author Susan Lewis’ riveting, unforgettable novel of a woman whose life changes in an instant and the handsome young man with whom she shares a secret history—perfect for readers of Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult and Susan Wiggs.
 
How well do you know the people you love? For one young woman returning to the past, the answer could be heart-shattering…
 
Vivi Shager is living her dream. Raised with drive and ambition by a resolutely single mother, Vivi has a thriving law career, a gorgeous apartment in London, and a full calendar that keeps her busy at work and at play. Then on the day of her twenty-seventh birthday, an undiagnosed heart condition sends Vivi’s prospects for the future into a tailspin. After escaping her roots nearly a decade ago, she’s forced to return to her childhood home to be cared for by her devoted and enigmatic mother. 

Vivi has always known the woman is hiding something and now she’s determined to find out what it is. Though her condition makes her fragile and vulnerable and she’s afraid of what may happen, her spirit remains strong. Then comes an unexpected ray of light.
 
Josh Raynor, a local veterinarian who his sisters claim is too handsome for his own good, brings a forbidden love to Vivi’s world. Josh and Vivi are soon inseparable, unaware of the past their families share. All Vivi knows is that Josh is wrestling with a demon of his own…
 
Then quite suddenly the awful truth is staring Vivi in the face and it changes everything.

Paperback: 512 pages  
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 11, 2019)


My Review: 


One Minute Later is my first book from Susan Lewis and I was pulled in by the storyline of Vivi who collapses on her birthday due to a previously undisclosed heart condition. She feels like her life is over when she is forced to abandon her career and lawyer friends, her flat in London and move back home to stay with her mother Gina while waiting for a heart transplant. It was a somewhat fractious relationship as Gina has kept all information about Vivi’s  birth father secret. We also meet Shelly, who a few decades earlier, building a farm life with her veterinarian husband and young family. Although it isn’t immediately clear what the connection is between these two women, the pieces start falling into place when Vivi meets Josh, a veterinarian and friends with Vivi’s best friend and her husband. There is an immediate attraction between the two of them that builds into a deep connection.

There is a bit of a mystery in putting all of the pieces of the story and family secrets together and I don’t want to spoil it by going into too much detail. There is a lot of sadness in the book, but love, hope and humor as well. Lewis paints a vivid picture of what someone on the transplant list goes through and introduces a real-life person into Vivi’s world.  Jim Lynskey, a young British man waiting for a heart transplant himself started a campaign called Save9Lives to bring awareness to the organ donor program and get people to sign up. In the book, Vivi befriends Jim and helps with the campaign. Since every day three people die waiting for an organ, this is such an important cause and conversation to have with your loved ones, and I liked how the book illustrates that. The story and characters touched my heart, made me think and kept me engaged throughout the book. Although not a light read, it’s a good one.


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Author Notes: Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of more than forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense, and crime. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Following periods of living in Los Angeles and the South of France, she currently lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, James; stepsons, Michael and Luke; and mischievous dogs, Coco and Lulu.
 
Find out more at her website, and connect with her on Facebook.


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Food Inspiration:

There was a good amount of food inspiration in the book and mentions included coffee, buttery croissants, Americano and a pastry, sushi, cider, eggs, homegrown spring onions, cabbages, carrots, lettuces, and tomatoes, homemade jam, bread, cake, cheese, pates, Wiltshire ham, fresh lemonade, cheese and pickle sandwiches, chocolate, spaghetti bolognese with Parmesan on top, plum crumble with fresh cream, elderfower wine, Spanish lemons for cheesecakes, possets and tarts, fruit cake, digestives, Kinder eggs, seam bream, fresh fruit with almonds, plm and ginger smoothie, fresh salads with all the right oils, luscious avocado and salmon salsa,  organic burgers and sausage, chocolate strawberries, mushroom bourguignon, Sunday roasts, cookies, hot chocolate, spicy punch and roasting chestnuts, minced pies and mulled wine.


Although I was intrigued by the avocado salmon salsa and the mushroom bourguignon, I ended up going with the iced tea that Vivi drank throughout the book--especially the iced tea made with strawberries and another with summer berries grown at Josh's family farm. Since Vivi needed to be eating and drinking more healthily, I modified an Elli Krieger recipe for a Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Berry Ice Cubes, using a berry-flavored white tea and using blueberries and strawberries in place of the raspberries.


Lemon-Ginger Iced Tea with Summer Berries
Adapted from EllieKrieger.com
(Makes 4-6 servings)

1 cup (4 oz) raspberries, rinsed (I used blueberries & strawberries) 
water for ice cube trays, plus 8 cups water, divided
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup (2 oz) coarsely chopped fresh ginger (I reduced this to 1/3 cup)
6 white tea bags (I used Tazo Berry Blossom White Tea) 
3 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup)
lemon slices
mint sprigs, for garnish

Place about 4 raspberries in each compartment of an ice cube tray, 6 hours before serving iced tea. Fill with water and freeze. 

Place honey, 2 cups water and ginger in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Let mixture steep for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, then strain out solids. In a pitcher combine strained liquid with 6 cups water and lemon juice. 

Chill in refrigerator.To serve, place 3 ice cubes in a tall glass and pour iced tea over cubes. Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.


Notes/Results: Refreshing, not too sweet and a good combination of flavors with the lemon and ginger and the berry in the white tea and fresh berries. I could happily drink this all day long, especially in this humidity we are having this week. My heart-shaped ice cubes with the blueberries melted pretty fast in said humidity, but I think they were cute when I first put them in the glasses with the strawberry slices. I would make this again.


Linking this post and Ellie Krieger recipe to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week's theme is At the Beach! recipes suitable for enjoying by the shore.


I'm also sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "One Minute Later" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.  
 
You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.