Cinnamon Crumb Coffee Cake

Everything in moderation. It is something I’m still working on for myself. But I also want to be able to impart that bit of knowledge to Olivia.  There are all these blog forums and sites, many of which I peruse and participate in, that have people who go crazy making sure their child has nothing but vegetables and vitamins and fiber. They go insane talking about what is appropriate to give to their children. Fish? It’s got mercury! Muffin? Boo to sugar! Rice? Sure, if you want to poison your child with arsenic!  Look, I’m as passionate as the next mom about their child’s health.  We exclusively breastfed (literally not a drop or bite of anything else) for the first 7.5 months of Olivia’s life. Then, up until she turned one, Olivia had every vegetable, fruit, nutritiously-cooked recipe you could imagine. Everything was whole grains, no-or-low sodium, high protein, high fiber, full of iron, etc. I am so glad I did that. Olivia has an appetite like no other. And she likes it all. She loves her vegetables and fruits and will even gulp down my freshly juiced green drink chock full of veggies. She eats spicy food like a champ.  But look – when she turned the big ONE, we decided that we wouldn’t go crazy and let her have some sugar (vs. making a fruit ‘cake’).  She had a delectable cake that she ate a bit of.  I respect all you parents out there who decided to go that route and before you bash me for having given Olivia sugar, hear me out.  

Sugar, like everything else, is a part of life.  Sure, there are some people out there who literally do not eat a drop of sugar or salt, etc. But that’s not us. And I’m guessing, that won’t be Olivia.  So, sugar is a part of life. And rather than keeping her from it, I’d rather teach Olivia that nutritious food is amazing and a little treat every now and then never hurt.  So, yes, she’s had a bite of our favorite churro from Disneyland. And yes, she has tried some fried tacos. But more often than not, she eats incredibly healthy and delicious food. I’m not worried.  

Now, onto our indulgence. Yesterday, I decided that I was hungrily wanting some coffee cake. And, lucky for us, we had all the ingredients on hand. This coffee cake is absolutely delectable. A real treat for your weekend.  Now, let’s start with the recipe.

What You’ll Need:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup sugar 

1/2 cup butter, melted 

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 tablespoons butter

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. To make the batter, you’ll sift 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.  In another bowl, beat the egg until it is frothy.  Beat in sugar and butter until combined.  Add milk, sour cream, and vanilla.  Add to flour mixture a little at a time and mix on low until combined. Be sure not to mix it too much.  If the batter is too stiff, then just add a touch more milk.  To make the crumb topping, combine the last 4 ingredients (make sure your butter for the crumb topping is chilled) in a small bowl and mix. Set aside. 

Put 1/2 the batter into an 8×8-inch greased pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 the crumb topping over the batter.  Repeat with the other 1/2 of the batter.  Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  And there you have it!

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A delicious way to start our Sunday that Tastes Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~

 

Homemade, Nontoxic Paint

Oh – this blog IS called “Tastes Oh-So-Good”. You’re right. But will you just indulge me for this post? It’d be greatly appreciated. Plus, this homemade paint is nontoxic/edible – so, does that count? Though, we did try it – and we have to admit, it tastes just awful. Absolutely awful. Good news is – we intended it to taste awful. You know, so baby won’t want to eat it. Nasty taste mission accomplished.

Olivia is just shy of 16 months-old now. And while we probably should have gotten her into arts earlier, we just aren’t the craftiest of people.  So, for us to stay up way past our bedtimes (and yes, as parents, our bedtime is just around 10pm now – don’t judge) to make some homemade paint. Well, we must truly be in love with our little girl.  This recipe didn’t take too long to make. The longest part of this process was waiting for the concoction to cool down.  And, I have to admit, it was sort of fun to make!  This mixture made about 4.5 cups of ‘paint’.  Ready to make some art with us? Let’s do it.

What You’ll Need:

– 6 Tablespoons of Sugar

– A dash of corn syrup (maybe a teaspoon or two)

– 1 Teaspoon Salt

– 1 Cup Corn Starch

– Just Shy of 4 Cups of Water + White (or Rice) Vinegar to top off to 4 cups of liquid

– Food Coloring

What You’ll Do:

On low heat, you’ll want to combine all the ingredients above (except the food coloring) in a medium saucepan.

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Stir frequently until it thickens. Once it reaches the desired consistency, remove the saucepan off the heat to cool. (We stopped when it became a bit thicker than the picture below – plus, during the cooling process, it thickened up even more.)

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Once the mixture is cooled, divide up the mixture into Ziploc baggies.  We put about a 1/2 cup of ‘white paint’ into each baggie.

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Drop some food coloring into each bag and, while the baggie is zipped up, mush and mix away.  Keep adding food coloring until you get the color you want.

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We had these little 8oz mason jars that we divided the paint up into to store. And there you have it! Gross tasting, nontoxic, homemade paint!   (Oh goodness…please forgive my dirty grout in the kitchen…blasphemous!!!)

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We ended up painting the next day and the paint, by that time, had gelled up a bit.  We used foam brushes to paint.  The colors were surprisingly vibrant!

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What do you think of Olivia’s first masterpieces (the one on the right is our family painting – we all had a hand in that one!)? I may be biased, but I think we have a little artiste on our hands!

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Thank you for letting me stray away from my food posts – and I hope you have as much fun making these paints and masterpieces as we did!  Because this is fun – but I can assure you (as my husband can attest to), this does NOT taste oh-so-good.

~ M ~

Creamy Tomato + Spinach Pasta

Ahh…family dinner time.  What a wonderful concept, right? A gathering of your most loved ones around the table eating a healthy, delicious meal with fuzzily loving conversations going on.  This happens every night in your home, right?! Sure, in theory, this is wonderful. But what I’ve learned as a new mom is that getting together a family dinner that is nutritious, delicious, easy/fast, and affordable is…well…it’s not always so feasible. Or, at least, I don’t always have the energy for it.  I’d love to think I could be that mom who could whip up together an amazing meal my family fawns over every night, but I’m not.  When I’ve had a particularly rough day, sometimes the food bar at Whole Foods will just have to do (hey, at least it isn’t fast food, right?!).  However, there are those few tricks up my sleeve that I can pull out on those days I have the energy to pull together such a meal.  Pasta is always a safe bet in most households.  You probably have all the ingredients you need in your pantry at any given time to make this quick pasta dish.

Delicious? ✓

Nutritious? ✓

Fast & Easy? ✓

Affordable? ✓ (In fact, I priced out this dish, and it comes out to roughly $0.90/serving!)

Did those check marks pique your interest?  If so, then let’s get started, shall we?

What You’ll Need:

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic, minced (minimum 4 cloves! Throw in more, like we did, if you love garlic!)

1 (15oz) can diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 Teaspoon dried basil

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Fresh cracked black pepper

Pinch of salt

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

2 ounces Mascarpone cheese **

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 pound of Penne Pasta

A big bunch of fresh spinach (about 9 ounces or so)

What You’ll Do:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the penne and cook until tender (or according to your package directions).  Drain the pasta.  While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the diced onion and minced garlic until translucent – about 5 minutes.

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Add the diced tomatoes, with the juices, oregano, basil, red pepper, salt, and black pepper to the skillet.  Stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and 1/2 cup of water. Stir until the tomato paste is dissolved.

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Add the mascarpone cheese to the skillet.  Turn your heat down to a medium-low.  To help this go a bit faster, you can use a whisk to stir the sauce until the mascarpone has fully melted in and the sauce is creamy.  Add half of your Parmesan to the skillet and whisk again until it is melted.  Add the rest of the cheese in and whisk again.  Add the fresh spinach and gently stir until the spinach has wilted. Don’t forget it will look like a LOT of spinach at first, but spinach wilts down considerably!

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Add the pasta and stir until everything is well coated in the sauce.  Salt & pepper as needed.

**VARIATIONS**

If for some reason you don’t like mascarpone cheese (huh?!) or simply can’t find it, you can substitute cream cheese, which is a bit denser and creamier.

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Tonight, we served up our dish with a hearty side of sauteed tomatoes (simply sautee the cherry tomatoes in olive oil and garlic until they blister and turn soft).  So yummy!

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This dish is not only chock full of healthy veggies/fruits, it is also a great affordable family meal that Tastes Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~

Mini German Pancakes

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I can’t believe it is already 2014! 2013 went by in about half a blip. Having a little baby in the home will do that to you! Seeing Olivia grow so quickly and change so much in a year made this year just fly by! I do hope your holidays and last night’s NYE shenanigans were phenomenally wonderful!!

Now that those pleasantries are over with, I am so sad I haven’t posted in so long. Once all those holidays hit, we have sort of been running all over!  Well, here is a brand new post for the brand new year! 

Seeing that babysitters can be a bit hard to come by, we stayed in last night for NYE. Not too big a deal. We did miss out on a dear friend’s party, and though we would have loved to have gone to ring in the New Year with them, we aren’t the biggest of partiers, so a cozy night in works just fine for us.

Instead, this morning, we headed over to another dear friends’ house and made breakfast. They, too, have a baby so we knew they would be awake early 😀 We brought over some champagne and orange juice for mimosas (Buck’s Fizz?), our Savory Breakfast Pudding, and we made some Mini German Pancakes.

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Who doesn’t love pancakes for breakfast or brunch, right? The problem we always run into with making pancakes for people is that it always takes so long since you want to make them to order so that they’re warm. Or you make them jist before everyone eats, and inevitably they’re all a bit too cool by then.

This recipe solves that problem while still being simple (dare I say, simpler than “regular” pancakes?) and delicious.  Plus, they look impressive so you look like a kitchen savant.  I’m sure I’ve piqued your interest by now, so let’s get started.

What You’ll Need:

1 cup milk
6 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. orange zest (optional, but recmmended..duh!)
1/4 cup butter, melted

What You’ll Do:

Ready for how simple this is?
Preheat the oven to 400º.  Throw everything, except the butter, in a blender (we, of course, used our wonderful Vitamix). Blend the batter until smooth and there are no lumps in the batter. Slowly pour in the melted butter and blend a bit more. You’ll want to pour it slowly because the butter is hot – you don’t want to inadvertently cook up the eggs in the blender!

Once it is blended up (and keep in mind that the batter is much more liquid-y than regular pancake batter), lightly grease a muffin tin (or if you have a phenomenally well-working non-stick muffin tin, then go ahead and skip that step) and pour the batter into the muffin tins, evenly. You’ll want to fill each little muffin “well” up about halfway.  Set your timer for 15 minutes and pop the muffin tin into the oven.  15 minutes later, the pancake batter has “magically” formed little pancake “cups” all on their own.

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Fill your pancakes with whatever you want! We filled ours up with fresh blueberries & freshly diced strawberries, a touch of maple syrup on top, and a dusting of powdered sugar. So easy, delicious, and seemingly-impressive…and all the pancakes are done at the same time! Plus, depending on how you dress up your pancakes, this recipe is relatively low in sugar! Good for everyone in the family and Tastes Oh-So-Good!

Savory Breakfast Pudding

Ahhh, Fall.  My very favorite season.  I’ve lived in Southern California for most of my life now so we, unfortunately, don’t get too much of an Autumn chill and I miss it so (I spent my childhood on the East Coast where there are actual seasons).  Nonetheless, Fall remains one of my favorite seasons.  The chill in the air (though today is supposed to be a toasty 85 degrees) and the start of my favorite holidays (um…hellloooo Thanksgiving!).  

For the past few years, our dear friends have hosted a Fall Breakfast at their place.  Oddly enough, even if we are lucky enough to have a chilly weather streak, without fail it is always unseasonably warm the day of Fall Breakfast!  This year, with our friends having moved into a beautiful new place, Fall Breakfast was a wonderful way to help break in the new place.  Only thing is, our friends also have a brand new baby.  Those of you who have been through new parenthood know that the last thing you want to do is to host a party and cook up a storm.  The natural solution? Your friends do most of the cooking and you just sit back and enjoy.  And that’s what we did.  All the friends were responsible for a dish or two and breakfast came together quite nicely.  It was also Olivia’s first Fall Breakfast with our friends and their baby girl’s first official Fall Breakfast.  Quite momentous.

For our dishes, we thought we would do one sweet dish and one savory dish.  TJ and I figured that he’d make some pumpkin pancakes at their house the morning of.  I decided the savory dish to complement that would be our Savory Breakfast Pudding.  It’s a bread pudding – but savory.  That description kind of throws people off a bit, but I promise you it is delicious.  It is like a breakfast sandwich – in casserole form.  I originally got this recipe from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.  I’ve changed a few things about it to suit out tastes a bit more.  Either way you go, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

What You’ll Need:

2 tablespoons of butter + 2 tablespoons of melted butter

1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin rings

About 6 ounces of bacon, roughly chopped

About 6 ounces of sausage, casings removed and crumbled **

Few teaspoons of minced garlic

8 large eggs

3 cups of whole milk

1 cup of heavy cream

1 teaspoon of Essence (recipe below if you want to make your own, which I highly recommend)

Large pinch of salt

Pinch of fresh ground black pepper

8 stale croissants, torn up into 1/2 inch pieces

2 cups of grated Fontina or Gouda

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1/2 cup grated Paremsan

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.  We just lightly greased our dish with butter.  In a skillet, melt 1.5 tablespoons of butter and toss in your onions.  Saute the onions until they are soft and starting to caramelize. Throw in your chopped up garlic and cook another few minutes.

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In another skillet, melt the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter.  Add your bacon and cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel.  In the same pan, cook up your crumbled sausage for about 3-5 minutes until browned.  Remove the sausage and drain on a paper towel.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs up.  Whisk in the milk, cream, salt, pepper, and Essence.

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Once it is all mixed in, throw in your torn up croissant pieces.  Make sure the croissant pieces are covered in the egg mixture.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

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Now, throw in your sausage, bacon, onions, and 2 cups of grated Fontina or Gouda (we used Fontina here because..well, because that’s what Trader Joe’s had on hand that day!).  Stir to combine and let sit for another 5-10 minutes.

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Pour the mixture into your lightly greased baking dish.

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Bake covered for 40-50 minutes, until almoat completely set.

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What we did is prepare the dish the night before the breakfast.  You can assemble it up to this point (before you pop it in the oven).  Cover it with foil and pop it in your fridge, unbaked, for 8 hours/overnight.  The next morning, we simply started by uncovering the dish and baking it for the 40-50 minutes, as directed above.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs (feel free to use seasoned bread crumbs, etc. It is quite delicious), grated Parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter.  Uncover the pudding (if you’ve covered it with foil to prevent crazy browning) and spread the Parmesan bread crumbs evenly over the pudding.

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Increase your oven temperature to 375 and pop the pudding back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes (yup, pop it in while the oven is increasing in heat…no need to wait for it to fully get to 375).  It is done when the top is nice and toasty and the rest of the pudding is set (just insert a knife and see if it comes out rather clean). Wait 15 minutes before eating. There you have it! This is best served hot.

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** VARIATIONS **

Play around with the type of sausage you’d want to put in.  Hot sausages are great to use and gives this dish a nice kick.  We have even used Kielbasa and just chopped it up super small.  Whatever you’re in the mood for, try it out!

This is a great dish to bring over for a potluck, great for holiday breakfasts when the family is all gathered around.  It is so easy and you can just let it soak up all the great flavors overnight.  Next morning, pop it in the oven and there you have it – a great breakfast ready for the family (or friends, of course!) that Tastes Oh-So-Good.

Emeril’s Essence

This is a great combo of seasonings to have on hand and you can find his recipe here.  I have also listed out the ingredients below for your convenience (I’m so nice, right?!).

2 1/2 tablespoons of Paprika

2 tablespoons of Salt

2 Tablespoons of Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon of Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder

1 Tablespoon of Cayenne

1 Tablespoon of dried Oregano

1 Tablespoon of dried Thyme

MIx it up. And, in the words of Emeril – “BAM”! You’ve got yourself some Essence.

~ M ~

Vegetable Casserole

On the menu tonight is macaroni & cheese and our vegetable casserole.  The macaroni & cheese we are making tonight is my Mother-In-Law’s recipe and it is a closely-guarded secret.  Unfortunately, for you, that means I won’t be sharing that delectable recipe here!  What I can tell you about the recipe, though, is to use large elbow macaroni.  I’m telling you – it’s genius! It means all the yummy, cheesy goodness is guaranteed to get into all those large nooks & crannies.  So good.

Because we didn’t want to bring over just macaroni & cheese (because, after all, a new mama needs some veggies to help her stay nourished and strong), we decided to make our vegetable casserole.  This casserole dish is a great way to get a ton of veggies in one bite.  I got this recipe from a friend, originally, and she put in bell peppers.  I’ve got to admit. I’m not a bell pepper fan.  Never have been.  Interestingly enough, I asked my mom and she doesn’t like them either.  Perhaps I don’t like them because they were rarely cooked in our household (although we rarely ate artichokes and I could bathe in artichokes I love them so much).  Because I don’t like bell peppers, I omit them from my own recipe and tweaked a few more things about it to suit our tastes.  This casserole dish is incredibly easy to throw together and from start to finish takes only about an hour.  It is a great dish for dinner parties and is a welcome side addition to many of the heavy, creamier casserole dishes typically found at parties.  Ready? Let’s get started.

What You’ll Need:

1 medium potato, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium yam, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 medium carrots, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces

5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 red onion, sliced thinly into rings

2 small zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick pieces

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Cayenne Pepper

2 large red tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices

1/2 cup (or more) of freshly grated Parmesan

2-3 Tablespoons of Italian Bread Crumbs

A few fresh springs of basil, for garnish

What You’ll Do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the potato, yam, and carrots and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 9×13 baking dish.  Sprinkle with the pepper, salt, garlic powder, cayenne (really, any seasonings you’re prone to!) and toss to coat the vegetables evenly.

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Make sure the vegetables are spread evenly at the bottom of your baking dish.  Now, arrange your onion slices evenly over the vegetable mixture.  Think of it as your ‘lasagna’ noodles, if you will.

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Next, arrange the zucchini slices on top of the onions evenly.  Drizzle another 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the zucchini and sprinkle a bit more salt/pepper/seasonings.

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Top it off with your slices of tomatoes.

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In a separate bowl, combine the grated Parmesan and bread crumbs.  Once it is mixed, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tomatoes.  Drizzle your last remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top.

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Bake uncovered until the veggies are tender and the Parmesan bread crumbs are toasty brown.  This will take you about 40 minutes (it could be longer depending on your oven, etc.).

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Garnish with your fresh sprigs of basil to finish.  And there you have it!

Our macaroni & cheese with our side of vegetable casserole was delicious and hit the spot!  Though I can’t give you the recipe to my Mother -In-Law’s mac & cheese, here is the final product, fresh out of the oven!

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Our dinner was comfort food at its finest! Easy, Simple, and Tastes Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~

New Toys: Vitamix Tomato Soup

My mom is a funny woman. She is a very frugal woman – saves money like crazy, rarely ever shops for new clothes for herself, refuses to spend money on cable and other luxuries.  But the woman also knows how to splurge on fun items – things she deems ‘worthy’.  She rarely spends money on clothes, but a luxury watch? Check. She won’t spend money on cable, but loves to travel the world.  Saves every container that food comes in so she doesn’t have to buy new Tupperware, but likes to buy the newest camera out there.  You see, while she is frugal on items that she sees as fleeting (clothes – fashion goes in and out of style so quickly), she thinks everyone should have a good quality watch.  She loves to travel and see the world because, let’s face it, the TV ain’t got nothing on the beauty of the world.  A recent addition to this splurge list is the Vitamix.   My mom kept trying to tell us that she would get us a Vitamix and insisted we needed one.  We weren’t so convinced.  While we had heard wondrous things about it, we weren’t sure we needed such a luxury.  My mom kept insisting and then, during a sale at Costco, she bought us one.  Boy, are we happy & grateful she did.

What’s that? You don’t know what a Vitamix is? Simply put, it’s a blender.  But saying that a Vitamix is a blender is like saying Superman is just a man.  The Vitamix is a crazy, high performance blender that can blend, puree, grind, chop, cream, purée, and so much more.  From smoothies to juicing, from soups to frozen desserts.

Tonight, we planned on having dinner with our friends (our friends who just had the baby less than 2 weeks ago).  We wanted to bring over or make some sort of comfort food.  For me, one of the quintessential comfort food combos is tomato soup + grilled cheese.  And while I can make a grilled cheese, as I’m sure most of you can, TJ makes an amazing grilled cheese.  So, while TJ got the grilled cheeses going on the stove-top griddle, I got to work on the tomato soup.  This recipe is super easy and with the help of a blender, you’ll have a great rustic tomato soup in no time. If you’re lucky enough to have a Vitamix (or similar awesomeness brand blender), then you’ll have a velvetty smooth tomato soup in no time!  Ready?  Let’s go.

What You’ll Need:

6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 large sweet onion, chopped

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

1-2 tablespoons of butter

1 (28-ounce) can of whole peeled tomatoes, in their juices, preferably San Marzano

1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water

2 bay leaves

1/3 cup heavy cream

What You’ll Do:

Heat the oil and butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  Once the butter starts to foam up, throw in your onions and a large pinch of salt and saute for about 5 minutes.  Throw in your garlic and stir occasionally.

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Cook until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown.  Add the tomatoes (everything, tomatoes + juice) and stir to crush up the tomatoes (though if you have a Vitamix, this isn’t too necessary).

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Add the broth or water (but come on…I really mean broth) and the two bay leaves.  Bring to a simmer and leave to simmer until the tomatoes start breaking apart (around 10 minutes).  Discard the bay leaves and let cool for about 10 minutes.  If you have a blender, your run-of-the-mill blender, you’ll want to puree up your soup carefully and after the soup has cooled down quite a bit.  If your blender is too small, you may have to do it in batches.  Then, just transfer it back to the saucepan and warm it up to your desired heat level.  Now, if you have a Vitamix type blender (and yes! I’m one of you now!), you don’t have to let it cool too much and you won’t have to warm it back up in your saucepan.  In fact, with a Vitamix, you can even cook up the soup in your blender! Yes, that’s right! It is so fast and powerful, it creates so much power and heat that it cooks up the soup while you blend!  I let our tomato soup cool a bit and then transferred it to our Vitamix.  Our model (Vitamix 6300) has a “Hot Soup” program.

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We hit start and it started blending – maybe 10 minutes or so?  When the Vitamix was done, I was so incredibly impressed at how incredibly smooth, light, and velvetty this soup was.

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I was never able to get our soups this smooth in the past with just a regular blender or our immersion blender.  Amazing.  The soup came out piping hot, too!  Once the Vitamix was done, we stirred in 1/3 cup of heavy cream. And there you have it.  Creamy Tomato Soup!  This recipe is perfect for a dinner party of 4.

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**VARIATIONS**

You can imagine you could add quite a bit to this soup, depending on what you like.  No garlic (well, that’s just silly, now isn’t it?!), add in oregano & thyme, parsley, red chili flakes, a touch of ground cloves.  You get the picture!

With TJ’s perfect grilled cheese sandwiches and these amazingly smooth tomato soups, our very ordinary comfort food turned into something a bit more elevated. And as always, it Tasted Oh-So-Good!

~ M ~