FENNEL & TOMATO SOUP

TOMATO0001It’s officially soup season & we couldn’t be more thrilled! What sounds better than snuggling up in a comfy sweater, with a new book (or a Scandal marathon, whichever), and a bowl of this delicious (and easy!) tomato soup?! If grilled cheese is involved, forget about it – game over, life made, never leave the house!
Take a swing at our latest take on the beloved tomato soup recipe & tell us what you think. It’s easy without sacrificing taste & the fennel and crème fraîche adds a touch of gourmet, so when entertaining, you are sure to impress.

TOMATO0003INGREDIENTS

– 2 Large Bulbs of Fennel, Diced (3 Cups)

– Olive Oil

– 2 Heads of Roasted Garlic

– 2 Cans of Tomato Paste (1 Cup)

– 8 Cups of Vegetable Stock

– 2 Cups of Water

– 8 Tablespoons of Fresh Lemon Juice (or to taste)

– Salt & Pepper to Taste

– Fennel Fronds

– Crème Fraîche

TOMATO0002INSTRUCTIONS

1. Drizzle a pan with olive oil and warm over med-high heat. Add the diced fennel and a few pinches of coarse salt and cook for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until brown and caramelized around the edges.
2. Add the tomato paste and roasted garlic and cook until the paste becomes fragrant (7-9 minutes). Add the vegetable stock and water and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Turn down to a simmer for 20-25 minutes. Puree soup if desired. Add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
3. Ladle into bowls and top with fennel fronds, crème fraîche, and pepper. Serve warm.
4. Serves 6 – 8
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HONEY ALMOND CAKE

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If you like your desserts light, tender, and with a side benefit of healthy (comparatively), this Honey Almond Cake recipe is absolutely for you. As desserts go, I don’t judge based on health benefits because, to be honest, I don’t really mind a little indulgence. Desserts are supposed to be decadent and immensely satisfying. Now, don’t get me wrong, I play it smart. I’ll absolutely pass on the less satisfying Snickers bar for the fabulous Gelato I might have later in the week, but the best part of this Honey Almond Cake recipe is that it is truly, truly divine. It’s fluffy while still maintaining lush inside & the honey glaze is simply elegant. It’s good fun to make & it will absolutely be a fast favorite!

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CAKE INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
1/2 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
3/4 Cup of Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Honey
1 Cup of Butter (room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Strong Brewed Coffee (Cold)
2 Tablespoons of Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon of Almond Extract
1 1/2 Cups of Chopped Nuts (optional)

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WARM HONEY GLAZE INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup of Honey
2 Tablespoons of Coffee
1/2 Tablespoon of Almond Extract
Fleur de Sel

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch tube pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter and set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter for two minutes, and add honey and sugar. Beat for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add half the flour mixture, and mix until combined. Add the coffee, and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and combine. Add the sour cream and nuts, and beat until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.
5. Heat the honey and coffee for the glaze in a small saucepan until warm and runny. Add the almond extract and mix. While the cake is still warm, pour the honey mixture over the top.
6. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve warm.

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POMEGRANATE SCONES

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There is something so fantastic about baking in the fall. The house is nice and cool, the smell of spices and browning sugar fill the air, and everything just tastes a little better. I become a baking maven right around October, and oddly, my husband seems to love me a little bit more right around that time. Now, while I love a good chocolate chip cookie, I am always looking to expand my baking horizons and these Pomegranate Scones are going to be a fast favorite around here. Simple & straight-forward, these scones are far from their dry, bland cousin you can find in coffee shops. These sweet little guys are perfectly ripe with flavor and not the least bit dry. Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

– 2 cups of all-purpose flour

– 1 teaspoon of baking powder

– 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

– 1/3 cup of granulated sugar

– 1/2 teaspoon of salt

– 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter (frozen)

– 3/4 cup of pomegranate seeds

– 1/2 cup of half & half

– 1 egg

– 1 tablespoon of almond extract

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Pre-heat over to 400 degrees

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture using the large holes of a box grater. Use fingers to work in the butter to the mixture. Mixture should resemble coarse meal.

3. Stir in pomegranate seeds

4. In a small bowl, whisk egg and half & half until smooth. Add almond extract and stir until combined

5. Using a fork, stir half & half mixture until the dough forms into large clumps. Use your hands to work the dough into a ball.

6. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7 inch circle (roughly 1 inch thick). Sprinkle with sugar.

7. Use a sharp knife to cut dough into 8 triangles. Place triangles onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart.

8. Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes & serve warm.

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