Easy Spicy Curry Peanut Sauce

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“A lemon press?…haha, of course you have this.”

This is what a friend of mine told me this weekend. And it’s true, I do have a lot of random kitchen gadgets. Just a few examples? – immersion blender, wine foil cutter, grapefruit knife, mandolin slicer, giant Oreo cookie mold, cupcake corer, and a bamboo steamer. I actually do a pretty good job of using these gadgets on the regular, but until this past week, I had never used the bamboo steamer! Terrible, I know. (Sorry, Mom!)

After a trip to the Chinese market, that involved me excitedly “Ooooo!!!”-ing right and left, I am now the proud owner of Sriracha, five spice, and dried shiitakes. I also made my very own chili flakes from peppers from the garden!

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Don’t stop! Keep reading…

Pumpkin Shrimp Curry

So ya might say you’ve been bombarded with fall-themed recipes lately, but is that so wrong?! We have to embrace the seasonality of the ingredients and doesn’t it make you feel all warm and fuzzy? This recipe ABSOLUTELY does.

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I haven’t made curry in such a long time, and this one was delicious. A little spicy and creamy – from the pumpkin purée and coconut milk – with a heartiness from the butternut squash and a fresh burst from the tomatoes and shrimp.

I’m headed out to California for a couple of weeks, and I’m so excited, I can barely contain myself! Leaving behind the chilly weather where this curry makes sense and headed to the land where drinks by the pool still make sense :)

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Buuuuut I thought I’d leave you with this wonderful curry to warm up! :) Caitlyn and I mostly followed the recipe, except we cut out a cup of the broth for a slightly thicker curry. We also added the squash in when we added in all the liquid and once that was cooked, added in the shrimp! We topped it with shredded coconut and cilantro. Enjoy!!!

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/11/pumpkin-shrimp-curry

**French phrase of the day

J’adore le curry. Et toi?
I love curry. How about you?

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Soup

Mmmh! We’re so close to fall, I can literally taste it! This week was way too warm and muggy for it to truly be fall, but we did have one cool, very rainy day, so I made soup! IT’S REALLY ALMOST SOUP SEASON, PEOPLE. I’m SO excited to put my immersion blender to work! Soup is perfect. It is so comforting and filling, and it’s super healthy at the same time (well, unless you go the Paula Deen route :). This was my ‘Hey, you’re an amazing woman, and the world will be better after a lovingly crafted soup’ Soup. And guess what. It’s Friday! We made it through the week – thanks to roommates, friends abroad, a Downton marathon, a hilarious hermano, and a farmers’ market! :)

So here we are! I’m gonna be upfront here, I’m going against my New Year’s Resolution in the truest definition. I got a vague description of this recipe from a friend, and just decided to go with it! So it’s not exactly new….I made it up. You proud Mom? I only had the title of the recipe, and I just ran with it! :D

Full disclosure – I don’t like cauliflower, but as my recipe consultant assured me, it really just absorbs the flavors around it. I roasted carrots and cauliflower with a little salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. Meanwhile, I sauteed some onions and celery for a good basic soup base. I threw it all together and added some cumin, curry, paprika, and a little white wine. It maybe got a little crazy –  it was an experiment after all, but don’t worry I’ve only ever made one soup that I just couldn’t come back from – and in the end, it was delicious!

 

*Here’s what I did!

Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Soup

Preheat the oven to 450, and chop into bite-sized pieces and toss onto a baking sheet:

1 cauliflower
7 carrots

You want to make sure you remove the core of the cauliflower. It looks like this:

Just cut it right out. Then toss the carrots and cauliflower florets in:

2 T. olive oil
2 t. dried thyme
1 T. granulated garlic
Salt and pepper

Roast the veggies for about 40 minutes (or until fork-tender), tossing halfway through.

Meanwhile, finely chop:

5 stalks of celery
1 onion

Heat a little olive oil and a small pat of butter in your soup pot, and sautee the onions with garlic, salt, and pepper over medium heat until almost translucent. Then add the celery, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.

When the carrots and cauliflower florets are done, add them to the pot. Add to cover all of the vegetables:

Vegetable stock (or water)

Blend the soup until a creamy consistency is reached. Then add:

2 T. each of cumin and curry
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 t. mustard powder
Dash paprika
Salt and pepper

Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings. Serve the soup with a dollop of:

Greek yogurt or creme fraiche 

Enjoy the soup among decorative gourds…cause it’s fall.

**French phrase for fun

Je vais te laisser avec ce photo de courgettes conjoints…c’est dingue.

I’ll leave you with this photo of conjoined zucchini…crazy.