Roasted Tomato Soup

The calendar is telling me that Fall has officially arrived, though (as usual) the Paso Robles weather begs to differ – it’s been in the 80’s and 90’s! Despite the heat, I needed to use up some tomatoes (I’ve picked about 6 pounds from our plants in the past couple weeks) and decided to combine two of my favorite things: roasted tomatoes and soup.

I served this with an awesome grilled cheese made with Bravo Sage Cheddar – it was a classy take on the grilled cheese that surprised me with its mild sage flavor (I was worried the sage would be overwhelming, but it was just right).

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Baked Potato with Oven-Roasted Broccoli

I’ve noticed something. Californians can be a LITTLE snobby about our weather. We’re all aware I do it (wahh it’s 70 and I’m cold wahh), it’s embedded in television shows (OC anyone? Californication? They’re in the pool all year!), and oh yeah, we can drive “to the snow,” just to visit. We’re ridiculous, and yet, I always get a kick out of telling my East Coasters about how I walked around town in a tank top in January (love you guys!).

Well, sometimes we get paid back for our holier-than-thou weather. When it rains here, we can’t deal. Traffic stops moving; crashes happen because what is this wet stuff falling from the sky?! And we get even more horrible things like floods and mudslides. Weather is dangerous, folks.

So you may have heard El Nino is in town, or so they say. Get ready for a week of humid, soggy, frizzy, business-busting weather. Please be careful out there on the roads, and if you can stay home and snug your pup, maybe roast up some delicious veggies to go along with it.

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Root Veggies and Wild Rice

roots for roastin'

So I got my wisdom tooth out this morning! I only had one, which is on the rare side. Did you know you can get FIVE? Oh my gosh…I woke up from a long nap this morning and started to cry because it hurt so badly…I don’t think I’d be able to handle more than one! Anyway, Brian took fabulous care of me and I basically just slept all day…so all in all, I survived.

If you’ve ever had any kind of surgery or been put under anesthesia, you know there are some rules. You can’t drink any alcohol the night before, which is a HUGE bummer when you’re nervous and just want a simple glass of wine! You also can’t eat or drink anything for a varying amount of time the night before – I couldn’t eat from midnight on.

Because I always think about food and don’t like being hungry, I knew I needed a nice filling dinner. Heidi Swanson at 101 Cookbooks had just posted this recipe for Autumn Potato Salad, so using that as an inspiration, I came home from class and got roasting!

Fun fact: I had never tried a parsnip before last night. They’re good! Reminded me of a combination of a yucca and a plaintain…weird I know!

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Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds close up

While I was in college, I worked at a preschool. Come Halloween time, we would play “Spooky Walk,” go pumpkin picking, and carve a class Jack-o-Lantern.  The class would vote on whether they wanted a happy or scary face and we would get to work…making sure to save the seeds.

Shetland Sheepdog Sheltie Pumpkin Jack o Lantern

Dolan on a Pumpkin!

It was in this wonderful little preschool that I first discovered roasted pumpkin seeds, and I’ve had to carve a pumpkin every year since so that I can have this special treat once a year.

For my birthday, Brian took me pumpkin picking at K Family Farm in Paso Robles (what can I say…I like fall things!), and for Halloween, we carved our pumpkins!  Brian made a SCUBA diver, and I paid homage to my Sheltie, Dolan…what do you think?

When we carved our pumpkins, I made sure that we both saved the seeds to roast. The hardest part of this recipe is carving the pumpkin, and the results are worth the slimy work!!

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