Stracciatella with Chard and Stelline

Don’t judge me, but I made this soup for a late breakfast on a particularly chilly morning, and it was perfection. I’ve been really into Swiss Chard since I got it in my first CSA basket, and I’ve been putting it into everything I can think of (especially pizza, pasta, and soup), and as we all know I am obsessed with both eggs and soup, so this was really a winning combination for me.

A quick vocabulary recap: Stracciatella means “little ribbons” in Italian. That’s what the “wisps” of eggs   in this dish are (also seen in its cousin, Egg Drop Soup), and it’s also what the inside of burrata is called, expect those are mozzarella ribbons. Stelline is one of Barilla’s newest pasta shapes – little stars for soup! I love them! If you can’t find them, the O’s that look like Spaghetti O’s, Orzo, or any small Italian soup pasta would be a great substitute.

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Pasta with Eggplant, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato

While in Greece this summer, I learned to love a few “new” foods, including olives, octopus, and eggplant. These are all things that I had tried before and not had much of an opinion of – in fact, a few weeks before we left I silently judged a stranger at the grocery store for loading up on eggplant (I know, I am really friendly).

Greek inspiration

The game-changer for me was a delicious dish of eggplant, red pepper, and potatoes baked in a tomato sauce. The vegetables were tender and had all absorbed the flavor of the sauce and seasonings – I was smitten.

This pasta is a take on the baked vegetable dish that I enjoyed so much while abroad. Eggplant and tomato sauce, I have discovered, is a winning combination and perfect for this time of year when you want a cozy (yet healthy) meal.

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Bloody Marys

There is nothing as fun as Bloody Marys for breakfast on a lazy Sunday. Last weekend, our friends Lindsey and Trevor came over for football…and whenever football is on, I feel the need to start cooking (What can I say, I don’t like to watch football and I love to feed people!).

I like my Bloody Marys fancy and spicy. Since we were entertaining, I made these fancy skewers that worked amazingly as stir sticks. They kept the spices from settling at the bottom, and infused the juice with extra garlic, jalapeno, and lime kick. Have fun with these!

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Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower is such a fun vegetable to work with – you can mash it as a substitute for mashed potatoes, it’s absolutely amazing roasted, and I even like it raw from those grocery store veggie trays with cheap Ranch dip.  After doing a quick search, I realized I have never put cauliflower on Sweet Life Laur! So here is the first of what will someday be many recipes for broccoli’s cousin.

I had a lovely cauliflower soup at Buona Tavola in Paso Robles a few weeks ago. It was their special soup of the night, and I went home wanting to make it for myself. I gave it a try for lunch yesterday, and Tim and I both really enjoyed it. For the liquid, I used just a touch of chicken broth, but mostly water so the cauliflower’s flavor would shine though.

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Greek Salad

When my best friend Kristin studied abroad in Greece the summer before our senior year of college, she came back obsessed with Greek salads. I never really got it, because Greek salads in America are all canned olives, sub par feta, and probably contain lettuce and some kind of funky dressing. Well…Tim and I just got back from Greece, and I totally get it now. I am obsessed, I can’t get enough, I’ve had Greek salad (and only Greek salad) for dinner three nights in a row.

While we don’t have a Greek market in Paso, I have found olives and feta at the grocery store, and they have been more than acceptable (though still subpar to their official Greek counterparts). The trick is, apparently, to just buy the most expensive olives and feta that you can find. I think this Greek salad habit is going to get pricey…

The Greek word for what we call Greek Salad translates into “House Salad,” and as such, we had it prepared in many different ways. With green peppers and without, Feta crumbled or sliced or cubed, with parsley or without, already dressed or served with oil on the side… The salad in the bottom right photo was topped with capers (still attached to their leaves) that the owner had picked and jarred himself – they were amazing!

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Vegetable Noodle Soup

Fall is barely here on the Central Coast, but I’ve already come down with my first cold of the season – I’m sure 20+ hours on multiple airplanes and sleep deprivation had something to do with it. Yesterday morning I woke up hurtin’, and I knew the only thing that would help would be a big bowl of soup.

I threw this together using the vegetables we had in our fridge (hence the baby carrots – use regular carrots if you can), so keep in mind that it is very flexible. This was quick to make, and it was just the thing I needed. The almost-raw garlic is a great cold fighter!

The positive thing? The first cold of the season means the first soup post of the season! Enjoy it!

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