Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Thick and creamy roasted cauliflower is the perfect, comforting, vegetarian fall dinner. Ridiculously easy, and so rich you’d never guess it was packed with veggies!

Roasted Cauliflower Soup #glutenfree #vegetarian

I never thought I liked cauliflower. I mean I didn’t hate it, and it’s not like eggplant which I avoid at all cost (ew, weird, gross veggie–stay far, far away!), but I certainly didn’t go out of my way to seek it out. Then I had this ridiculously good fried cauliflower at Pita Jungle. Oooooomg, it’s like the stuff dreams are made of. But then I tried that cauliflower pizza crust that the entire internet seems to be in love with? Gag worthy. Seriously, just…no.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup #glutenfree #vegetarian

I was ready to give up on it again, but then I made this soup. I was craving broccoli cheese soup, and for some reason this seemed like a good alternative? Anyway, I was about to break up with cauliflower forever after that pizza crust, but (s)he? is back on my bff list because this soup? It’s totally dreamy–rich and creamy with not a single ounce of cream. It’s healthy, filling, and totally satisfying.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup #glutenfree #vegetarian

This is a simple, no fuss recipe that’s basically fool proof. Heat, stir, blend, serve, and voila! Oh, and don’t even get me started on the leftovers. Even THICKER, and the flavor develops more as the soup sits. This is a HUGE batch, so you will have delicious leftovers to keep your warm all week long. And I pinky promise–the veggie haters in your life will never know it’s cauliflower. I fooled a lot of people in my family with this one. ;)

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 8-10 servings

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Thick and creamy roasted cauliflower is the perfect, comforting, vegetarian fall dinner. Ridiculously easy, and so rich you'd never guess it was packed with veggies!

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 shallots, finely minced
  • 1 extra large onion, finely chopped
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 5 yukon gold potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tbsp honey dijon mustard
  • 3-4 dashes of your favorite hot sauce (I use Chalulah)
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated fontina cheese (or cheese of choice)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Add cauliflower and garlic to a very large baking dish. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake until browned and softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large pot, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and shallot, and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until tender and fragrant, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add broth and potatoes. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add cooked cauliflower and garlic scraping baking dish well into the pot. Add mustard and hot sauce.
  5. Puree using an immersion blender, high quality stand blender (will likely need to do in batches), or food processor (will also likely require multiple batches. Return to heat and stir in cheese. Add extra salt and pepper if desired. Serve immediately. Leftovers may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week

Notes

You could also make this in your crockpot--just add cooked cauliflower and garlic in addition to all remaining ingredients (except the cheese) to your crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Blend, then stir in cheese.

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Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups

Individual sweet potato cheesecake cups with a gluten-free gingersnap crust, topped with bruleed marshmallows and drizzled with salted caramel sauce.

Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

Can you believe it’s already time to start thinking about Thanksgiving? I think I might even like Thanksgiving more than Christmas. Maybe it’s because I get to host, maybe because it’s the one day of the year where my entire family gets together, or maybe it’s because of the tradition I enforce every year (despite the whining from the less emotional types) of going around the table before dinner and everyone saying what they’re thankful for. I usually cry. I know that’s shocking.

Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

I feel like it’s also the sense of tradition. It takes a long time to set family traditions, and especially with my ADD cooking personality, it’s difficult to find things that I love enough to make them my traditions. There are a few things we never budge on–Steve’s mom makes the deviled eggs, and my mom makes the sweet potatoes.

Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

Ever since I was a little girl, my mom has made my grandma’s recipe for sweet potato casserole–you know, with the marshmallows on top all browned and crispy? It’s heaven. I have two favorite Thanksgiving dishes. The first is stuffing, and the second–those sweet potatoes. I refuse to make them myself. There is no way I could ever make them taste as delicious as my mom.

Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

So instead, I made cheesecakes. Delicious little individual cheesecakes that take all the best parts of sweet potato casserole + all the best parts of cheesecake and tie them together in a perfect little bow. It all starts with a gingersnap crust (as all fall flavored cheesecakes should) that sits below the sweet potato cheesecake, then topped with brulee’d (or broiled–even better, but a little tricky) marshmallows, then finished off with fluer de sel caramel sauce. Perfection.

Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups #glutenfree

I mean, that may not be how you’re supposed to use a brulee torch…

Now let me give you some advice. A little something I learned during this process. DO NOT top the cheesecakes with marshmallows in the muffin tins. They will be almost impossible to get out, and cleaning your muffin tin will be a literal nightmare. I mean, I still got mine out, and I most definitely still ate them (they were just too good to turn down), but it was a huge ordeal. What you want to do is, just before serving, either place the cooked and cooled cheesecakes on a cookie sheet, top with marshmallows and broil for a few moments until they brown, or use a brulee torch. They will get puffier, meltier, and a little messier if you broil them, but that is my preference. The brulee torch is a little cleaner, but it’s not something everyone has, so the choice is yours. Or you can always do both–broil, then (add more marshmallows and ) brulee for the ultimate marshmallow experience. ;)

Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 12 cups

Serving Size: 1 cup

Loaded Sweet Potato Cheesecake Cups

Individual sweet potato cheesecake cups with a gluten-free gingersnap crust, topped with bruleed marshmallows and drizzled with salted caramel sauce.

Ingredients

    For the gingersnap crust:
  • 1 cup crushed gingersnap crumbs (I used gluten-free)
  • 1 1/2-2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (start with 1 1/2, and add a little extra if it needs it--it depends on the brand of gingersnap and how much oil is already in the cookie)
  • For the cheesecake:
  • 1 lb reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree*
  • 1 tbsp bourbon, optional
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • For topping:
  • Approx 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • Salted caramel sauce (I used TJ's fluer de sel caramel)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. To make the crust, combine gingersnap crumbs and coconut oil in a medium bowl. Place approx 1 tablespoon of crust into each muffin tin. Press down with your fingers, the back of your spoon, or a shot glass. Bake until set, about 7-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you prepare the filling.
  3. To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese, sweet puree, bourbon and brown sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until combined. Beat in vanilla and cinnamon.
  4. Evenly divide the cheesecake batter between your 12 muffin tins.
  5. Bake until lightly browned and just set, about 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door. Allow cheesecakes to sit in opened oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack, then refrigerate until fully chilled, about 3-4 hours.
  7. To serve, remove cheesecakes from muffin tin and place on a large cookie sheet. Top each cheesecake cup with a few marshmallows. Either broil until browned, about 3-5 minutes, or brulee using a brulee torch until marshmallows brown. Drizzle with warm salted caramel sauce.
  8. Store remaining cups (without marshmallows or sauce) refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week.

Notes

*To make sweet potato puree, simple roast sweet potato(es) at 400 until tender, about 40-60 minutes depending on size of the sweet potato. I often do this ahead of time in a large batch.

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Drink & Dish: Spider Web Cupcakes

Easy & fun spider web cupcakes are the perfect treat to bring to your Halloween party, and they are totally fool-proof!

Spider Web Cupcakes

When I was a little kid, I absolutely LOVED Halloween. Not surprising that this theatre kid loved getting dressed up, right? The best part was that every year my dad would take me trick-or-treating, and we would have themed costumes. I can’t remember everything we did, but I know it included The Lion King and 101 Dalmations. Sometimes he would rent the most elaborate costumes from local costume shops. He always went all-out, and it made the holiday really special to me.

Spider Web Cupcakes

In fact, I’m pretty sure I went trick-or-treating all the way through high school, and even one year in college (with my brother–not alone!!). Oh my brother…one year we went he was riding some scooter around! The epitome of lazy, right? I have never let him get over that one!

Spider Web Cupcakes

I actually haven’t really gotten into Halloween for a long time…until this year! You guys, Nicole and I had such a blast getting dressed into costumes, playing with dry ice and spider webs, and creating fun Halloween concoctions together. It really reminded me what this holiday is about (for me)–having fun.  I’m actually looking forward to it this year also because I work at an arts school, and I just know my students are going to come decked out in super creative costumes.

Spider Web Cupcakes

So let’s chat about these cupcakes. They are ridiculously simple. You can use any chocolate cupcake you’d like. Homemade, box mix, even one you buy from the store. I like chocolate because of the dark color, but anything will work. Red? Orange? Candy corn colors? You name it. Then you just need a white frosting. I used cream cheese because that’s what I like, but you could use butter cream, or even a store bought variety (although, I beg you, don’t buy the ones with the weird hydrogenated oils). You’ll also need some black royal icing. Confession:I bought one at the store. This stuff is totally out of my realm, and I was all about ease and simplicity.

Spider Web Cupcakes

A few tips that will help you:

  • Use a very small tip on your piping bag.  <—Small tip = more control
  • Chill the royal icing. <–chilled icing makes it thicker, less runny, and easier to work with
  • Start conservatively. <–You can always add later, but you can’t take away.
  • Practice on some wax paper or paper towel before trying it out on your cupcakes. <–I did, and I figured out what I liked.

In the latest episode of Drink & Dish, I demonstrate exactly how to make these, so you can see the step-by-step process. Nicole makes a devil’s food cake martini that is not only delicious, but she also shows how to use her awesome fake blood to make your martini look like blood is dripping down it–totally creepy and awesome. Oh, and we definitely wore costumes. It was my favorite episode we’ve ever filmed.

Drink & Dish: Spider Web Cupcakes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Drink & Dish: Spider Web Cupcakes

Easy & fun spider web cupcakes are the perfect treat to bring to your Halloween party, and they are totally fool-proof!

Ingredients

  • Chocolate cupcakes
  • Cream cheese frosting (or butter cream, or any white frosting)
  • Black royal icing

Instructions

  1. See instructional video
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Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan and gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin banana muffins overflowing with melty dark chocolate chips. The perfect treat for a crisp fall morning.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

Good morning! Is it morning where you are? It’s totally not here, but these muffins make me feel like morning. That probably sounds weird. Not just because they’re muffins. Muffins are more an afternoon snack than breakfast for me. They just make me feel like morning. Like cool, crisp autumn morning on the porch. I wish I had a table and chairs on my porch. A table and chairs just for muffins.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

Perfectly imperfect muffins. Not at all smooth like your normally think of, but with a little character and personality, and a whole lot of flavor. You see pumpkin and banana are known for making perfectly *gross word*, soft, and tender baked goods. Put them together, and it only gets better. Add some melty dark chocolate, and you’ve got the stuff dreams are made of.

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

The muffins practically melt in your mouth. No dry, cakey-ness (Okay, serious how do you spell that word?? I get a red squiggly line every time with no suggestion. Rude.) that you would expect from a health(ier) muffin. Sometimes I don’t like pumpkin in cookies because it makes them taste like, well, muffins–which is why pumpkin muffins are just perfect!

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins #glutenfree #vegan

These are super simple and easy to make, and a perfect fall treat to have around on Thanksgiving or any get together. That is if you don’t eat them all before your family and friends arrive. ;)

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen

Serving Size: 1 muffin

Pumpkin Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan and gluten-free ultra soft pumpkin banana muffins overflowing with melty dark chocolate chips. The perfect treat for a crisp fall morning.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free baking blend
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 2 extra ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (I a combination of mini and full size)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line muffin tins with paper liners and spray liners with nonstick spray. Do not skip this step--lower fat items will stick if you don't use spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together baking blend, pumpkin pie spice, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl mix together banana, pumpkin, brown sugar and vanilla until combined. Stir in dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Evenly divide batter between prepared muffin tins. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower heat to 350. Continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs, about 12-15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
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Crockpot Chili

Super easy, thick, chunky and bold man-style chili in your slow-cooker.

Crockpot Chili #glutenfree #dairyfree

When I was gone this summer, my husband ate a total of 3 things: Chipotle, this chicken, and this chili. No, I’m serious. He would make a huge batch of this chili and eat it for 2 weeks straight.

Crockpot Chili #glutenfree #dairyfree

When I came home (and after the weather cooled down, and I could actually think about eating chili again!), he couldn’t wait to make it for me. I love chili, but I guess I just never found a tried and true recipe, so it’s not something I make unless it includes sweet potatoes, but that’s a whole other story. ;)

Crockpot Chili #glutenfree #dairyfree

It was love at first bite. I loved it so so so much that I asked him if I could share it with you guys. Steve is all about the thick, chunky chili. He likes almost no water in it, and I have to say, I loved how hearty that made it. We’ve had it twice in the last month (and with a batch this size, that really is saying something!), and I’ve tried switching the beans around, and playing around with types of meat, and there is really no way to mess it up. Like I said, it makes a HUGE batch. Feel free to halve it, but the leftovers are so dang good–I would just make the whole thing.

Crockpot Chili #glutenfree #dairyfree

It’s especially good with some fresh cornbread crumbled on top. Ummm, that my friends, was like heaven.

Crockpot Chili

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 16-20 servings

Serving Size: approx 1 cup

Crockpot Chili

Simple, easy, thick and chunky man-style chili that comes together in your slow cooker.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey (93% or higher)
  • 2 lbs kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 lbs pinto beans (or black beans), drained and rinsed
  • 1 large can (approx 30 oz) chili beans
  • 2 lbs crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 jalapenos, diced
  • 1 1/2 oz chili seasoning (if gf, make sure your seasonings are)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • approx 1 cup beef broth or water

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add bell pepper and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Over medium heat, brown the ground beef.
  2. Meanwhile, add beans, tomatoes and jalapenos to slow cooker. Add browned beef, chili seasoning, and cumin.
  3. Slowly, add beef broth or water until desired consistency. Lightly toss ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Notes

This is a very forgiving recipe. Feel free to change up the beans, meat, seasonings, etc. to your taste.

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