Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque

I have been quite obsessed with soups lately.  There is something about a nice, big bowl of warm soup hovering in your hands.  Andy and I have tried so many new soup and chile recipes since the temperature has plummeted below zero here in Wisconsin.  But tonight's is my ultimate favorite thus far.  Sweet and spicy - the perfect balance of flavors on a cold winter night.  I found the original recipe from eatingwell.com, but like most recipes I come across I tweaked it to compliment my palate.  Enjoy!

** I figured out how to create printable versions of my recipes.  Simply click on the link under the name of the recipe and print!! Let me know if it doesn't work though :) 

Sweet Potato Peanut Bisque
Printable Version

2 sweet potatoes
olive oil  
yellow onion, chopped
garlic clove, minced
3 cups tomato juice
green chiles (We still had some New Mexican chilies, but I know you can buy diced chiles at the grocery store.  Remember a little goes a long way!)
2 tsp ginger, minced 
1/2 tsp allspice
vegetable broth, to thin the bisque
1/2 cup peanut butter
ground pepper, to taste
fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Pierce sweet potatoes with fork and microwave until cooked through, set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet (we used our cast iron) over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until lightly brown.  Add garlic, stir in juice, green chiles, ginger, and allspice.  Adjust heat and let mixture boil gently for 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, cut the sweet potatoes in half and spoon out the insides into a blender then add onion mixture to blender.  (You might have to do this in batches.)  Depending on your preference of thickness add a little broth and the peanut butter, puree until completely smooth.  Add more stock and reheat in stock pot if needed.  Season with pepper and garnish with cilantro.

We had a small dried out baguette that I turned into croutons for an additional topping.  I simply cut cube like pieces and tossed them in a little oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper.  We cooked them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  So good!!  






Wednesday, January 8, 2014

2014

Last year one of my New Year's resolutions was to blog once a month ...... I blogged exactly twelve times in 2013! I will try to keep up on that goal for this year too, but there are a few things I want to focus on that are more important to me. The main reason I originally started blogging was for me and my constant feeling of homesickness.  It has helped me greatly and has allowed me to feel the connection of home from far away. Family is very important to me, and it was difficult to leave when we did.  However, I am appreciative of the opportunities that have come my way.  Due to these opportunities, I have met many people who have helped shaped me into the person I am today. I believe that family consists of more than just those related by blood; I have a few friends that I am closer to than my own family. This year I vow to keep in touch with all of the people I love and care for.

In addition to continuing my blog, last year I also vowed to change my life style to be healthier. As you all know I love to eat and drink and I do not believe in dieting, but I have been eating healthier and working out on a regular basis (with the exception of a few weeks during our big move). I joined a bootcamp class in Santa Fe and was very dedicated and learned to love it. Living in Wisconsin it has been a little difficult to find motivation, but I finally found it and have dropped a pant size in just a few weeks. In addition to working out more, I've been eating a lot healthier. Andy and I love to cook together and now we pretty much make everything we eat fresh from scratch, we hardly ever buy processed foods and never go out for fast food (unless I've been craving pizza!). Last week we even made our own blue cheese dressing! I might not look different, but I feel great and won't go back to my old habits.


This year I have added an extra item to my resolution list .... I vow to save more money!! Andy and I want to buy a house and start a family within the next few years, but I started reading up on all the responsibilities of those huge life changing steps and realized there is no way we can afford these changes with the budget we currently use. We've reevaluated our finances and have promised to stick to it until further notice. If we want these big things to happen we have to be serious and take action.


Soo ... this year I will continue to live my healthier lifestyle, keep in touch with the people I am the closest to, and I vow to increase my savings account for future changes. IF I can do all these things this year, I feel I will be prepared and ready for the next chapters in my life.


Thanks for reading and sticking with me - m
uch love.