Feb 23 2012

tomato cauliflower soup.

Until a few years ago, I never would have came within 10 feet of tomato soup. The thought of it always brought back repressed memories of a vile can of warm tomato paste claiming to be “soup”. Gag. I never really though there was any other kind of tomato soup, until my sweet {now} husband bribed me into tasting some from a local restaurant. He wanted me to like tomato soup so bad that he offered to see the lasted hit chick flick in theater, with me. I mean, how on earth could a girl pass that up? So, I tried not to gag while looking at it, took a deep breath and tasted what would be a new flavor sensation for me. I was amazed, floored actually that tomato soup didn’t have to taste like the terrible watered down tomato paste from my childhood. The basil, the onion, the cream, I was sold.

I had to learn how to make it.

Recently, I found a wonderful recipe for it on How Does She?, but being me, and totally unable to follow directions, I found another recipe on The Pioneer Woman, and decided to mix them together.

Tomato Cauliflower Soup.

28 oz canned of tomatoes (reserve juice) -whole is best, I don’t recommend diced.
2 TB brown sugar
4 TB butter/margarine
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
2-3 TB flour
30 oz chicken or veggie broth
2 fresh red peppers roasted
1 cup prepared pesto
1 1/2 cups half and half – I used fat free

Cut the red peppers in half, and remove the seeds, place them skin up on a foil lined pan and broil until the skin starts to blacken and sizzle (about 15 minutes). Carefully remove from the oven + flip over to broil the insides for a about 5 minutes.

While the peppers are in the oven, chop the onions + cauliflower. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450*. Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and cut in half, place on a foil lined sheet. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake until tomatoes begin to caramelize (about 30 minutes).

In a soup pot, sauté the onions and cauliflower with the butter/margarine. Once the vegetables are well sautéed. Add the flour. Then add the broth + reserved tomato juice. Once the tomatoes are well caramelized, add them to the pot. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy. (I recommend taste testing it here, if you would like to go dairy free – it tastes amazing.)

Add the pesto (I would recommend using homemade, but given the current season, its absolutely ridiculous to attempt), and the half and half. Mix well, and serve. (the husband recommends it topped with sour cream + tortilla strips)

Feb 12 2012

Not the cone of shame!

I think the hardest part of having a pet who is recovering from surgery is attempting to keep them mellow. Our little lady is as crazy as ever. Despite hiding all of her “fetch” toys, she still randomly comes bounding down the hall-through the office- over the bed-back to the living room. Despite all my attempts to calm her, walk her, and keep her generally calm; I am failing.

We’ve thought of giving her the middle name of “chainsaw” for the hackjob of scrapes we have attained over our past months. (shes a love jumper, and man those claws are sharp!) But then her initials would be PCP, and well that just sounds wrong. However, her behavior sometimes makes me wonder if our dog food is tainted with it.

After many countoursonist acts, she has been deemed untrustable, and placed under close supervision. Work schedules have been re-arranged, and to her enjoyment, sleeping arrangements also have been changed. Instead of having her sleep in her crate in another room (while a terrified me dreams of her opening her stitches + having an evisceration)… We’ve tried having her sleep on the floor of our room, but moments after we were all snuggly settled she would come bounding up on to the bed and happily slink into the center of the bed. Cone and all. After nights of fighting over “her bed”, “our bed”… We broke, we gave in, we started a habit well have fun attempting to break once she is medically clear. Over many nights of her stiff legging me for my 1/2 of the bed, she has finally settled for the lower unoccupied center.

Feb 7 2012

5 months today.

Our little miss is 5 months old today! She is currently relaxing on the bed next to me, snuggled into the blankets, probably dreaming of puppy friends and peanut butter. In her occasional repositions, she attempts to leave a large laceration on my face with her Elizabethan cone… I think she is secretly trying to take my head off for allowing those horrible, horrible, people to cut into her yesterday. She seems to miserable, it makes me so sad. Not like it is slowing her down very much, she keeps bringing her balls to me, wanting me to go run down the hall with her. Alot of people say their pets demeanor changes after they are spayed or neutered, but our little lady as of yet, is still her mischievous little self. When I got out of the shower this morning she was on her back, curled up with her legs over her head trying to contort herself to have access to her stitches. At one point she got her back leg into her mouth and tried to chew the coban. Sigh. She needs 24 hour supervision until she is healed… We let her sleep in our bed last night after many failed attempts to get her in her crate, or even just to sleep in her own bed. It started out ok, but she soon decided she wanted to sleep on my pillow, and she stiff legged me, slowly gaining more and more space in the bed for herself. I highly considered sleeping on the guest bed. I bet Sawyer + Penny had it planned. Its a conspiracy I tell ya!

She continues to grow like a weed and is now weighing in at 27lbs, and is nearly at my knees in height. She is 20″ tall and 28″ long. She loves playing in the snow, and leaves, and off leash time is brings about this crazy side of her – she still listens very well, but she goes crazy exploring every new thing. We can not wait until she has a backyard to consitently run around in. She still really struggles with jumping on people, but we are excited to start Puppy Kindergarten in a few weeks! We hope that you all get to physically meet her soon!

hugs and loves.