For some reason I don’t make too many soups. Something about them just seems daunting. This soup is fast, easy, and healthy. The best part is that it only uses one pot and one blender (or food processor). If you have an immersion blender, then this is truly a one-pot meal.
I’ve made this soup several times in the past month and it’s easy to customize. It’s also pretty cheap to make, especially if you stretch it by adding some rice or quinoa to it. I’ve also added frozen corn and peas to it to add some more nutritional value. As it is, it’s under 500 calories per warm, hearty, bowl.
The version pictured here has vegan chorizo in it instead of dried chorizo, and is topped with some chopped gouda and sesame seeds.
I wasn’t lying when I said that we make oatmeal cookies all the time. They serve as a great base for many different flavors and can be customized with consistent results. They take less than 15 minutes from bowl to mouth (if you don’t mind burning your tongue) and only dirty one bowl.
This particular flavor combination was inspired by a vacation we took to Seattle. I had heard a lot about Macrina Bakery and we loaded up on baked goods while we were there. We managed to keep ourselves from eating all of the cookies and brought back a Rick’s Apricot Chocolate Espresso cookie. I substituted apricots with dried cherries here and used ground espresso powder.
Last week I celebrated my 27th birthday. It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago I was starting college and dating my-now-fiance Dan. We’ve started a tradition where each year Dan bakes me a cake for my birthday. Last year he baked this amazing Coffee & Donuts cake and this year we decided on an Espresso Biscoff concoction.
This recipe, also from Sprinkle Bakes, was sure to be a winner. I love coffee and speculoos, so there was no risk. I also had a super cute dinosaur candle I had picked up a few years ago while on vacation and was waiting for just the right moment to whip out.
Since Dan didn’t cut the cake into a heart and pipe the frosting on, he sprinkled some crushed chocolate-covered espresso beans on it.
All in all, the cake tasted good, but the cake part itself was lacking a bit of flavor. Though there was a lot of Biscoff cookie spread and espresso in the batter, it tasted plain in comparison to the filling. If I were to make this again, I would change the cake to be a deep, dark chocolate cake with brewed coffee in the batter. The bitterness would help the Biscoff filling and Biscoff-mocha frosting stand out more. I would also see if it were possible to fill the cake with pure Biscoff instead of adding the sugar and butter to it. It tasted great, but without a bold cake, the filling got too sweet for me rather quickly.
This slice of cake was a perfect excuse to whip out my new Anthropologie plates! My best friend and I had this cake for breakfast, warm from the oven, before heading out to a local flea market and holiday popup. I do think this cake might taste better the day(s) after, when the coffee-flavor has had time to become more pronounced.
The only thing that could have made this birthday better was if it were warmer outside (I hate the cold)!
In 2011 we tried our hand at a “pick your own” orchard. This was not our first time–we had picked apples at an orchard before, but this time we went in the summer to get some peaches and blueberries. Something about picking your own fruit makes it taste so much better.
Each time we make the decision to head out west to the part of Virginia where these farms are, we try to pick a different one. I want to be able to compare the different orchards and offerings to decide which one I like best, so that I can spread the love when find “our” place.
We’re still on the search for a perfect place. Last year we went to a place that had blackberries, peppers, and squash, but we got a flat tire on the way back, so that soured it a bit for us.
We also picked a peck of peaches (say that 10 times fast!). Most of the peaches were eaten as-is and I gifted some to my mom since it’s her favorite fruit. I also made a horrendous peach “cobbler” with some of the peaches. I’ll spare you that anecdote.
But, these blueberries. These blueberries were small, firm, tart, and after a quick wash, they didn’t need any more adornment or modification. But they were screaming to be made into what could be called our household’s favorite treat: Blueberry Coffee Cake.
This cake is soft and moist and just the right balance of tart and sweet. The crunchy, sugar-y topping is what makes it perfect though. I snagged a copy of this recipe from my mother-in-law and taped it into our recipe book. It’s been time-tested and proclaimed “excellent!” time and time again. This sure is a delicious way to get your daily dose of fruits.
We usually make this for Dan’s birthday since he doesn’t like traditional cakes. But, to be honest, we make this any chance we get! It goes well in the morning with a cuppa tea or coffee, but also holds it own with ice cream or whipped cream for a light yet satisfying dessert.
You can add some red berries and really make this a red-white-and blue affair to celebrate the 4th of July! I’ve made this same recipe and subbed the blueberries with blackberries, peaches, rhubarb, or even frozen mixed berries; they are all delicious renditions.
Have you ever tried rhubarb? I’ve met many people who had never tried it, and of those that have tasted it, it seems people have a love/hate relationship with it. If I had to describe rhubarb, I’d have to say it’s as if strawberry and celery had a child. It goes well in baked recipes paired with sweet berries, or in this case, zingy ginger.
This week at my office we’re having a bake sale and holding raffles for Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure®, ending with attendance at the race in DC. I’m thinking I might take a risk and make these rhubarb crumble bars. They’re pink and festive for breast cancer awareness, but will anyone buy them? Or maybe I’m secretly hoping no one buys them so I can eat them all.
You can use this recipe as a base and swap out any fruit you like. I prefer it with a touch of cardamom in the crumb topping, but you can swap it out with a different spice or omit it altogether. Pink peppercorn would go nicely and be extra-festive.