Butternut squash and lentil curry soup

Adapted from Food Done Light

DSC_0508

Hearty and rich, hot off the stovetop, you’d never know this comforting soup is deliciously healthy and vegan. We found it to be a delightful light lunch, or a more hearty dinner when paired with a side of fresh apple slices or cream biscuits. It doesn’t take long to prepare so you can be easily enjoying this fall favorite of ours for your next meal. It’s packed with a myriad of flavors, from velvety squash, rich coconut milk, and sweet apples, to spicy fresh ginger and warm curry, but it’s also very easily adapted to what you have on hand. Butternut squash can be substituted with sweet potato (I found I actually like a mixture of both), spinach for another heavy leafy green, the curry can be dialed up or down depending on your preference, and if you don’t have fresh apples or coconut milk, they can be easily omitted.

DSC_0502

Ingredients

2 teaspoons + 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or grape seed

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped carrot

1 green pepper, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger

2 – 5 teaspoons curry powder (depending on your love of curry)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup lentils (brown, red, or yellow)

3 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash or sweet potato, or a combination

2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped, optional

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 big handfuls fresh spinach

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk, optional

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for topping, optional

juice of one lime, for topping, optional

Directions

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the 2 teaspoons of oil, onion, carrot and green pepper. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute. Add the curry powder, tomato paste and salt. Cook for another minute. Add the lentils, butternut squash or sweet potato, broth and apples and coconut milk (if using). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Add the spinach and let wilt, it should only take a few minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, if desired. Divide soup into bowls and enjoy.

Advertisements

Cinnamon breakfast buns

From the Smitten Kitchen

DSC_0547

Nothing says Saturday (or Sunday, or Monday, or…) morning comfort like warm cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. Gooey frosting and a cold glass of milk are delightful additions to these soft and tender rolls. Cinnamon is one of my favorite spices, so these rolls are hard to resist (I don’t really try to, anyway!). The great thing is that you do all the work the day before (with your toddler assistant), and the next morning all that is left to do is pull hot breakfast buns from the oven and slather them with frosting. And then share them with anyone fortunate enough to be nearby. 

Myla helped me with the initial measuring and mixing, so I didn’t interrupt the process to take photos. She has become a great helper lately and I love that she wants to be involved when I bake. Here we go!

Make the dough: In the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; stir until evenly moistened. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and let the dough hook knead the mixture on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky.

DSC_0517

Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

DSC_0526

Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, which will take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.

DSC_0528

Prepare the filling: Melt the butter and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set it aside.

Assemble the buns: Butter a heavy (glass or ceramic) 9×13-inch baking dish. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is 18 inches wide and 12 or so inches long. (It’s okay if it goes longer/thinner.)

DSC_0531

Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

DSC_0538

Roll the dough into a tight, 18-inch long spiral. Using a sharp serrated knife, very, very gently saw the log into 1 1/2-inch sections; you should get 12. Arrange the buns evenly spread out in your baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.

DSC_0544

The next morning, bake the buns: Take your buns out of the fridge 30 minutes before you’d like to bake them, to allow them to warm up slightly. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your buns until they’re puffed and golden (the internal temperature should read 190 degrees F), approximately 30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool slightly. Make the icing by whisking the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar together. Spread a little on each bun, or drizzle it over the whole pan. Serve immediately.

DSC_0555

Yield: 12 breakfast buns

Ingredients*

Dough:
4 large egg yolks
1 large whole egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus additional to grease pan
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting counter
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon oil for bowl

Filling:
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Icing:
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Make the dough: In the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add 2 cups of the flour along with the yeast and salt; stir until evenly moistened. Switch to the dough hook and add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and let the dough hook knead the mixture on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes. The dough should be soft and moist, but not overly sticky. Scrape the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled, which will take between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.

Prepare the filling: Melt the butter and set it aside. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon. Set it aside.

Assemble the buns: Butter a heavy (glass or ceramic) 9×13-inch baking dish. Turn the risen dough out onto a floured work surface and roll it into a rectangle that is 18 inches wide and 12 or so inches long. (It’s okay if it goes longer/thinner.) Brush the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle it with the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.

Roll the dough into a tight, 18-inch long spiral. Using a sharp serrated knife, very, very gently saw the log into 1 1/2-inch sections; you should get 12. Arrange the buns evenly spread out in your baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or up to 16 hours.

The next morning, bake the buns: Take your buns out of the fridge 30 minutes before you’d like to bake them, to allow them to warm up slightly. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Bake your buns until they’re puffed and golden (the internal temperature should read 190 degrees F), approximately 30 minutes.

Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let cool slightly. Make the icing by whisking the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar together. Spread a little on each bun, or drizzle it over the whole pan. Serve immediately.

*Check Smitten Kitchen for a variation of these buns, remade as (amazlingly delicious) cranberry orange breakfast buns – you won’t be sorry

Pumpkin bread

From Alexandra’s Kitchen

DSC_0560

Nothing says Fall like the warmth of the oven cozying up the kitchen, perfuming the air with that magical scent of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and pumpkin. This pumpkin bread is as delightful while baking as it is while eating. Really, I wish you could have been in my kitchen this morning to enjoy how wonderful this bread smelled. And it gets even better when you eat a slice, hot from the oven with a nice pat of butter. This bread is perfectly soft and tender, full of fall pumpkin flavor, and all the delightful spices that go with it – plus, it’s a snap to whip up! A definite winner and perfect welcome into the fall season.

DSC_0541

Here we go! Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter or non-stick spray.

Using a stand mixer or by hand, beat sugar and oil together until blended.

DSC_0506

Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition.

DSC_0509

Add pumpkin purée and water and mix until blended.

DSC_0511

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice.

DSC_0504

Add to the mixer and mix only until just incorporated.

DSC_0513

Pour batter into prepared pans.

DSC_0517

Bake for about an hour (if using standard loaf pans) but start checking for doneness after 45 minutes — the loaves are done when center springs back when touched. Note: You can also use mini loaf pans. When using the small pans, the loaves should be done in 30-45 minutes.

DSC_0524

Yield: 2 standard sized loaves

Ingredients

2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
15-16 oz. canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
3/4 cup water
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter or non-stick spray.

Using a stand mixer or by hand, beat sugar and oil together until blended. Add eggs one at a time mixing after each addition. Add pumpkin purée and water and mix until blended.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. Add to the mixer and mix only until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for about an hour (if using standard loaf pans) but start checking for doneness after 45 minutes — the loaves are done when center springs back when touched. Note: You can also use mini loaf pans. When using the small pans, the loaves should be done in 30-45 minutes.