Tomato Soup

Who doesn’t love tomato soup? There is no better match to a grilled cheese sandwich!

We made Gwyneth’s tomato soup a few weeks ago and it was delish. You slow roast tomatoes ahead of time and then add them to the soup at the end so the soup ends up being a little bit chunky, which I loved. We snazzed up the meal and served with a little toasted bread sprinkled with cheese and placed under the broiler to melt the cheese. So. Good.

Slow Roasted Tomato Soup
from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
12 tomatoes (plum, beefsteak or heirloom), quartered, stems removed
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
olive oil
Kosher salt
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line a 18×13 jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Place tomatoes skin side down and drizzle with olive oil until all tomatoes are covered. Drop unpeeled garlic cloves randomly around the sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle everything generously with salt. Roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until tomatoes are shriveled, but still juicy. When done, allow the pan to cool and pop the roasted garlic out from the skin and reserve for the soup.
Slow Roasted Tomato Soup
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (or more as desired)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh, large basil leaves
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
1 recipe slow roasted tomatoes, with the garlic roasted with them, removed from the skins
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Add the basil leaves, roasted garlic reserved from the roasted tomatoes, tomatoes and juice, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring the soup to a boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to low and simmer it uncovered for 40 minutes. As it simmers gently break apart the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. After cooking stir in the slow-roasted tomatoes with any juices and season with salt and pepper. Simmer everything together for 5 more minutes and serve hot. Sprinkle with Romano cheese if desired.

We made it “creamy” by adding a little bit of milk at the end.


Taco Night

Taco night is a universally loved meal for dinner, wouldn’t you agree? So on a recent ski trip long weekend when we were trying to think of something to make for a group dinner, we thought – tacos! But, instead of the typical “seasoning pack mixed with ground beef,” we decided to make beef barbacoa from scratch.

Beef Barbacoa
1 ½ to 2 Lbs beef brisket
1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 C chicken broth
¼ C red wine
2 Tbs lime juice
1 ½ Tsp dried ground cumin
1 Tsp dried ground oregano
1 sliced and deseeded jalapeno
3 Tbs cilantro
1 large thickly sliced onions
2 Tbs olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Marinate meat in all ingredients overnight or at least for 4 hours in refrigerator; turn bag over at least once while marinating. These ingredients can be frozen but needs to be completely thawed before cooking.Heat 2 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the brisket well on all sides, making meat caramelized but still raw in the middle. Place the browned meat in crock-pot. Combine all marinated ingredients from bag in to the Crock-pot; cover and cook for 8 hours on LOW or 5 to 6 hours on HIGH, or until the meat is fork-tender and can be easily shred with a fork.

We served in taco shells with all the fixins…enjoy!


Leggings are so cute on little girls, so when I came across this website, I thought I would share. Polkadot What allows you to design your own leggings! Their motto is “Create what you want” and on their website you certainly can. You pick your “first leg” design from 3 options, then your “second leg” design from 2 options…and voila – you’ve “designed” your own leggings. Sizes start at 2T so I’ll have to wait a couple years to buy them for our baby girl, but here is what I would order…

And here is another design option styled into an outfit…

Meatball Stew

I love meatballs. Spaghetti and meatballs, however basic, is one of my favorite meals. That said, I am always looking for new recipes to make that involve meatballs so we’re not always eating spaghetti.

This past Sunday evening, we wanted to make a stew for dinner and couldn’t think of what stew we wanted. So, I simply Googled “Meatball Stew,” and this recipe came up. It was delish!! As always, we changed a few things…my husband hates mushrooms so we omitted and we added sliced zucchini for another veggie. Last, we added a clove of garlic at the start of the soup for added flavor.

Hearty Meatball Stew
from Giada at Home, Giada DeLaurentis

12 meatballs (uncooked)
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
4 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch strips
1/2 Tsp kosher salt
1/2 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb large white mushrooms, quartered
One 8 to 10-ounce russet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/3-inch slices
4 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch-long pieces
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 Tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 C chicken broth

Sprinkle the meatballs with the flour and turn to coat with any flour still on the foil. Heat a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Drop the meatballs into the skillet, spaced apart. Cook until the bottoms are set and brown, about 2 minutes. Using a flexible thin spatula, turn each meatball onto an uncooked side and cook until the bottoms are set and brown, about 2 minutes longer. Turn and cook a third side, until set and brown, about another 2 minutes, so the meatballs are browned and set all over. Transfer the meatballs to a large plate.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook until soft, 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and the remaining salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, beans, tomatoes, red pepper flakes and broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook until the potatoes are tender and the meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.


Monday Outfit

Big meeting today – I’ll be wearing a similar suit jacket to add professionalism and a splash of color to my outfit. Have a great week!Monday Outfit

Naingirl polka dot blouse
$70 –

Long boyfriend blazer
$68 –

J.Crew cropped capri pants
$90 –

Tory Burch leather shoes
$265 –

Breaking News – Cupcake ATM

So by now we’ve all heard of Sprinkles Cupcakes, they are really the most delicious cupcake bakery, really led the charge in the cupcake fad, and even deem themselves “The Original Cupcake Bakery.” We don’t have any bakery locations (yet) here in the Boston area (to vote for Boston as their next location, click here), but we can buy mixes at Williams Sonoma and make our own, almost as good. I love to make them

Well, have you heard the breaking news? At their Beverly Hills location, Sprinkles has opened a cupcake vending machine where 24-hours a day you can purchase one of their delicious fresh cupcakes. What a cute idea – it’s the “world’s first cupcake automat.” Modeled after an ATM, the machine dispenses in addition to various varieties of cupcakes, the company’s specialty cupcakes for dogs, cupcake baking mixes, and souvenir items. The device is to be restocked regularly with freshly baked cupcakes, dispensed from a small opening beneath the selection screen.

This is what the ATM looks like on the front of their building. What an awesome midnight snack!

*photos courtesy of Sprinkles Cupcakes

Maple Glazed Salmon

We made a delicious salmon meal the other night from a recipe we found in Real Simple magazine. Per usual, it was delish so I had to share, this recipe serves 4.

Maple Glazed Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts
from Real Simple Magazine, February 2012

1 lb Brussels Sprouts trimmed & halved (we substituted zucchini)
1 lg Red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs whole-grain mustard
1 1/2 lbs salmon
lemon wedges for serving

Heat oven to 450° F, with the racks in the upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts (or zucchini as we used) and onion with the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast on the bottom rack, tossing once, until golden and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, mustard, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. After the vegetables have cooked for 12 minutes, place the salmon on a second rimmed baking sheet and brush it with the maple mixture. Roast on the top rack until opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes.

Serve the salmon with the vegetables and lemon wedges.