One of my childhood joys was smelling the familiar aromas of my mom preparing one of her famous soups. My mom had a knack for transforming vegetables into warm velvety bowls of goodness. Carrot, pumpkin, cucumber; whatever the vegetable we would all lick our bowls clean and ask for seconds.
I often times got to be her helper, dicing the vegetables and processing them in batches in our mini food processor. Fascinated by the magic of transforming the liquid into a puree, inevitably overflowing the blender and losing a bowl of soup in the process. Whenever she asked if I wanted to help her in the kitchen my reply was always yes. Little did I know those many afternoons spent in the kitchen with my mom would permanently etch these recipes on my brain.
Now that she’s gone, there is no greater comfort than the first familiar sip, warming me from mouth to heart. I realize that through her wonderful gift of food, she will always be right there cooking beside me.
As the main cook in a household with a strict vegetarian, a carnivore and me falling somewhere in between, I often have to get creative when it comes to meal preparation. It’s often difficult to find a meal that everyone can enjoy. Often times when I make a meat-based dish, I try to find an appropriate substitute so that my veggie father won’t feel excluded, but it must also appeal to me to be worth the effort.
These cannellini bean based veggie “meatballs” do just that. They are hearty, flavorful and most important, they are not pretending to be meat. For the most part I find faux meat substitutes to be off-putting and tend to avoid using them. I find that when you use real ingredients, especially vegetarian ones your flavor payoff is exponentially greater.
As the warm weather approaches, I hope meat eaters and non-meat eaters alike will enjoy this lighter remake of an Italian classic.
If there is one thing I crave on a consistent basis, it’s ice cream. Dare I say even more than chocolate (gasp!) Whether it be gelato, sorbetto, frozen yogurt or its classic incantation, there is nothing more satisfying than tucking into a pint to celebrate or remedy a no good, very bad day.
For this girl, there’s not much that ice cream can’t fix and in those bites of cold, creamy perfection I’m a kid again without a care in the world. For my most recent birthday I was gifted an Ice Cream & Gelato maker and have been pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to make your own ice creams with aid of such a machine as well as how much better it tastes than the store bought cartons filled with unnatural ingredients I can’t pronounce.
I look forward to sharing my frozen concoctions with you on my ice cream journey. After all, I’ve never come across a flavor I didn’t like!
Growing up in an Italian household, pasta was frequently on the menu. I consider myself to be an anomaly, a non-pasta loving Italian who would rather dunk a loaf of bread into sauce than dig into a bowl of spaghetti or linguine.
The Italians among us are probably thinking disgrazia! and you’d be right. For me, pasta night was always about the lure of the moist and flavorful meatballs my mom would serve and how little pasta I could get away with eating.
To this day, the ratio of meatballs to pasta is still severely skewed. Some things never change. But with meatballs this good, who could blame me?
Soup is one of my favorite things to cook. On a cold day there’s nothing quite like a delicious bowl of soup and while canned soups from the grocery store might suffice in a pinch there is nothing quite like the real thing.
There’s something wonderful about throwing fresh vegetables, spices and broth in a pot and having it transform into a flavorful velvety bowl of healthy goodness. Most times cream is added to create a smooth, rich texture and many of my recipes growing up incorporated this technique. But this recipe intrigued me, could there really be such a thing as a creamy creamless soup? In fact there can be.
I served mine with grilled cheese sandwiches, which you could cut into squares and use as croutons for the soup if you’re feeling clever. Otherwise, a good dunk never hurt anybody. Enjoy!