Filed under: 30th Birthday Party Benefit for SFC, design, food, Garden, go green, recipes | Tags: baking, creative cupcakes, cupcake recipes, garden themed cupcakes, recipes, vegetable themed cupcakes
While I await some much-anticipated photos from Sunday’s successful birthday benefit, I wanted to share with you one of the most awesomest creations to appear at my party: Hollie’s garden-themed cupcakes. When asked how long they took to create, Hollie answered, “You don’t even want to know…”.
The toppings are all edible, created out of things like graham crackers, starburst, even icing-coated cornflakes to create individual leaves on a head of cabbage. Unbelievable, isn’t it?
Click on the photo below for more info on these amazing works of art – and be sure to check out Hollie’s other creative endeavor, rubigirl photography, while you check out her website!
Check back soon for a full recap of Sunday’s event!
Filed under: food, go green, Heath + Beauty | Tags: albondigas soup recipe, cabbage soup with sausage recipe, fresh vegetable soup, local eating, locavore, recipes, soup recipes
It’s rare that I come across a recipe that I feel the need to share with everyone – not because there aren’t thousands of good ones out there, but because I just don’t seem to use them very often. It seems like most traditional recipes use canned vegetables that are out of season, dry soup mixes, or other pre-packaged foods that I don’t allow in my kitchen anymore. More often than not, I concoct my own meals – stir-frys when root vegetables are in season, salads that change ingredients based on the time of year, and plenty of eggs, cheese & meat year-round.
It’s been chilly in Texas recently, which has drawn us back to the soul food soups we’d already abandoned with the first 90-degree day in February. There are 2 soups we’ve made recently to warm ourselves from the inside out that fit with our seasonal veggie goals and are just stunning. The first, Cabbage Soup with Sausage, is something that I have been making for years but recently tried with Purple cabbage instead of green. It made the soup a rich shade of eggplant but didn’t affect the flavor at all. The second is a recipe for Albondigas Soup that Tyler discovered and I am so impressed because of it’s ease, speed & yumminess that I think it has booted my favorite Cabbage-Sausage Soup out of it’s #1 position. Here are the recipes below (and my notes). Next time you need a warm soup for a cold night, try one of these and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Cabbage Soup with Sausage (serves six)
From “Greatest Ever One Pot – Easy & Delicious Step-by-Step Recipes” by Parragon Publishing
- 12 oz. lean sausages, preferably highly seasoned
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, halved lengthwise & thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, halved & thinly sliced
- 14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes (okay, so here’s one item you have to buy canned in the winter… I’m not perfect!)
- 12 oz. young green (or purple, it’s beautiful!) cabbage, cored & coarsely shredded
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- pinch of dried thyme
- generous 6-1/3 cups chicken or meat stock (I recommend VERY generous, maybe even 7 cups)
- salt & pepper
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve
- Put the sausages in water to cover generously and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer until firm. Drain the sausages. When cool enough to handle, thinly slice. Skins can be removed if desired. (I leave them on to make sure the sausage stays intact).
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, then add the onion, leek & carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion starts to soften.
- Add the tomatoes, cabbage, garlic, thyme, stock & sausages. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook gently, partially covered, for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese. (I did notice that the parmesan tends to take on the purple color if using purple cabbage. In my opinion, the Parm. does not add a considerable amount of flavor to the soup – the flavor is mostly determined by the sausage you use. If you do use purple cabbage & are serving to guests, you may want to avoid the cheese topping. Purple tinted cheese-goo at the bottom of a person’s bowl looks sorta, um, funky, if you don’t know what it is).
Albondigas Soup (serves six – eight)
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 1 lg. onion, chopped
- 1 lg. garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used Hill Country Fare’s “Mexican Hot Style” tomato sauce, which has dried chiles & onion in it – was perfectly spicy!)
- 3 quarts chicken or beef stock (or water, or mix of both – the meatballs will create some stock in the soup. We used 4 chicken bouillion cubes)
- 2 large carrots, sliced
- 1/2 lb string beans, cut into 1″ pieces (I had to go frozen/organic on this one, no fresh avail. )
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/3 cup raw white rice
- 1 raw egg
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint and/or parsley
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1-1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas (again, had to go frozen/organic )
- dried oregano, crumbled
- salt & pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat oil in large (5 qt.) heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion & minced garlic & saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce & broth mixture. (I did this backwards – sauted garlic, onion & tomato in seperate pan and then added it to bouillion stock that was being boiled). Bring to boil & simmer. Add carrots & string beans.
- Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint and parsley leaves, salt, pepper & raw egg. Form into 1″ meatballs. (I would recommend making them even smaller, so that in shallow bowls the meatballs stay covered and there are more meatballs to go around. Leftovers are boring if there are only 2 meatballs left!)
- Add meatballs to soup, one at a time. Cover & let simmer for 30 min. Add peas towards the end of the 30 min. Add a few pinches of oregano & sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Garnish soup with freshly chopped cilantro.