Autumn

I’ve been making a lot of “spoon-required” dishes lately, and today I thought I’d share one of my new favorites and a huge hit at my most recent dinner party…Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup!

Shrimp Udon Noodle Soup

This soup is another “concoction” {as I like to call it} developed out of a desire to recreate the amazingness that is the 30+ ingredient broth in Noodles & Company’s Thai Hot Pot and to incorporate the organic udon noodles Island Boy and I recently discovered at Costco. After chopping nearly every vegetable I had in the house, throwing them into a pot and adding a tablespoon of this and a dash of that 5 times over, I surprisingly ended up with a very tasty soup that is a true fusion of Japanese, Chinese and Thai elements.
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While I’m still in denial that it’s not summer anymore, there are signs abound this week that will likely require me to accept the seasonal fate soon. The “official” start of winter is just around the corner after all, so I suppose I should acknowledge at least a week of Autumn before then. 🙂

Spicy Italian Billiard Zucchini Boats | Bites of Life

Haley (our pooch) seems to be in denial as well…on walks she runs around like a maniac tracking bunnies while paying no attention to the fact that it’s so cold her owners could turn into icicles at any moment. She has also failed to notice the disappearance of the 8 foot cherry tomato plants trees from our front steps. You see, just like the humans of this house, she got quite accustomed to the abundance of tiny, juicy, flavorful, red and orange balls we used to pluck from the vines each day this summer–in fact, she would refuse to enter the house without eating one after each walk. Sadly, it’s been 8 weeks since our last tomato harvest, but we did manage to save a bunch of green ones and bring them inside in hopes they would eventually turn. Amazingly, many of them did, and like the loving dog owners we are…we saved every last one for Haley. The stash is almost gone now, and when I opened the fridge the other day, I also discovered we were down to the last of one of our other favorite summer staples: zucchini.
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Is it really almost Thanksgiving?!…it seems like just yesterday we were frolicking about the lakes, chasing waterfalls and soaking up the summer sun! Although, it certainly doesn’t feel like summer amidst one of Minnesota’s coldest Novembers on record, so alas…I must accept that the days will only get shorter and colder for now. Do you think it’s too early to start counting down to summer? I suppose so, but it’s never too early for a countdown to Carnival in Trinidad—83 days baby! So when it was time to make a dish for a friend’s pre-Thanksgiving party this past weekend, I decided it was time to break out the rum, turn on the Soca and dream of warmer days!

Herbed Cranberry Apple Couscous wih Maple Vinaigrette...Read full post

It’s that time of year again…when temperatures drop, snow falls and we all begin dressing in endless layers. It’s officially scarf season [finally appropriate for me to wear them daily] and most importantly…it’s SOUP SEASON!!

Salmon Shrimp Chowder With all the different varieties, I think I could actually live on soup alone for the entire winter. As a kid, I didn’t fancy seafood [I know…blasphemy!], but I made 2 exceptions: tuna salad sandwiches (yes, that would be fish from a can), and my mom’s amazing clam chowder. You won’t find me chomping on a tuna fish sandwich these days, but I guarantee you can catch me daydreaming about that chowder. You see, my mom usually makes it just once a year—on Christmas Eve. So the other 364 days are usually spent anxiously awaiting that salty, bacony, potatoy goodness. I know what you’re thinking…I should just make my mom’s clam chowder to get my fix whenever I want, but I can’t help but feel like I’d be committing some sort of sin by serving it up on any day other than December 24th! It does feel a lot more like December around here after 9 days below freezing, so I whipped up the next best thing to keep us warm…a Salmon and Shrimp Chowder inspired by my mom’s Christmas Eve staple. 
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