Pumpkin Soup

The weather here in Charleston can be deceiving, is it really fall or is summer still holding on? Sometimes the appearance of pumpkin flavored things is the only way we know fall has officially arrived.

soup&biscuitsWe spent hours dreaming about a time when it would be cold enough to make this pumpkin soup from Rachael Ray. Luckily, we’ve been having some fabulous fall weather and we finally got to make it. Well, we tried to make it but you know how things go in the kitchen, sometimes recipes just don’t get followed… So here’s what we did:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 handfuls of brussels sprouts, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

4 tablespoons Cocoa Nib Rub ~ more or less to taste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups beef, chicken, vegetable broth

1 can pumpkin puree

2 cups heavy cream

Heat medium-sized soup pot over medium high heat. Add oil and melted butter. Add onion, brussels, and Cocoa Nib Rub. Cook until tender. Add flour and cook for a minute. Pour in broth and bring liquid to a bubble. Add in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate into broth. Simmer 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add cream. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.

We topped our soup and with chopped pecans roasted with our Pecan Pie Spice and served it with buttermilk biscuits!soup&biscuits

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Asian pear butter

Asian pear butter

Asian pear butter    We’ll admit it, we’re completely biased about Asian pears, we love them. But we think it’s safe to say that this Asian pear butter is perfect for pancakes, waffles, biscuits, cheese plates, and so much more.

Here’s how to make it:

3 1/2 pounds Asian pears, pealed and cored

2 cups asian pear juice (if you don’t have a juicer you can substitute organic apple juice)

1/2 cup ginger sugar

1/2 cup cane sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon poudre douce

 

Asian pear butter

Quarter, peel, and core the pears. Cook the peels and cores in pear juice, covered for about 30 minutes. Strain the juice and discard the solids. Add the pears and all the remaining ingredients to the juice and let simmer, stirring often until the pears are very soft.

Pour about 2 cups at a time into a blender and puree. Helpful hint: Pureeing hot liquids is a tricky thing, so really only do 2 cups at a time, unless you would prefer to end up covered in hot pear juice. You can live and learn, or just take our advice, it’s up to you.

Asian pear butter

Put the pureed mixture into your crockpot and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until butter is the consistency you desire. We let ours cook about 5 hours. You can do this part on the stove as well, but you will need to be more vigilant than if you use your crockpot. Spoon into hot, sterile jars, leaving about 1/3 inch at top, and seal.

Makes about 12 quart jars.

Asian pear butter

 

 

The Honeysuckle

honeysuckle

We’d like to make a toast to sunny days and childhood memories. That’s what this drink tastes like to us.

It tastes like running around with no shoes in the slanting afternoon light searching for the honeysuckles with the sweetest nectar and pretending not to hear when your parents call you in for the night.

And all of this wild child taste is hidden by an elegant and sophisticated exterior that makes it perfect for any occasion.

honeysuckle

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1.25 ounces Asian pear juice

1.25 ounces elderflower liqueur

Brut or champagne to fill flute

honey and ginger sugar to rim glass

Start by rimming your flute with honey and ginger sugar. Don’t be alarmed when the honey starts to drip down the glass, it will add a hauntingly gorgeous look to your cocktails and give your guests an excuse to lick their fingers.

Pour pear juice and the elderflower liqueur into flute, top off with bubbly and enjoy!

honeysuckle

 

Pimento Cheese

pretty darn good

Yup, this pimento cheese recipe is pretty darn good. We kept “testing” it after we mixed it up just to make sure it really was as good as we thought. And it was, every time.

Here’s how you can become an addict, uh, we mean, a great pimento cheese maker:

3 pounds cheddar cheese

3 ounces pimentos

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon adobo

pimento cheese

Combine all the ingredients on a plate and mash together with a fork until combined to your liking. And it’s as simple as that! Eat right away or put in the refrigerator for future use.

pimento cheese

Waffles with Asian pears and prosciutto

Can you feel it?

Fall is in the air!

At least for now, who knows what it’ll feel like tomorrow, but yesterday we were craving warmth and deliciousness. So we made waffles and soup, and the waffles, woah. They were a blissful combination of sweet and savory and happiness:

Prosciutto Waffles

What you’ll need:

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking flour

2 tablespoons sugar (we used vanilla bean sugar)

1 heaping teaspoon of poudre douce

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, separated

2 cups milk

4 to 6 tablespoons melted butter

1 1/2 – 2 cups Asian pears, cut into little cubes

At least 6 strips of prosciutto cut into smaller pieces

Combine all dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until they are stiff but not dry, set aside. Beat egg yolks, add milk and mix with dry ingredients only enough to blend them. Add melted butter. Fold in egg whites and asian pears, mixing only enough to incorporate. Pour batter into your waffle iron according to the iron’s instructions and layer with a strip or two of prosciutto, close iron and let cook.

Serve with fruit, roasted veggies, or a nice warm soup and enjoy!

Prosciutto Waffles

Asian Pear Sangria

Asian Pear Sangria

This sangria is the perfect complement to a sunny day. It’s light refreshing taste is great for everything from brunch to a cookout to afternoon cocktail hour!

What you’ll need:

1 pound green grapes

3 asian pears, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup packed mint leaves

1/2 cup sugar (we used ginger sugar)

1 vitamin C tablet, crushed to a powder

1 1.5 litre bottle of dry white whine (we used a Pinot Grigio)

Combine half of the ingredients in the blender with 2 cups of wine. Blend until smooth. Pour into a fine mesh sieve covered with cheese cloth. Once most of the liquid has drained pick up the cheese cloth and squeeze out any remaining liquid.

Asian Pear Sangria

Asian Pear SangriaAsian Pear Sangria

Pour liquid into a pitcher and repeat with the second half of the ingredients. Pour remaining wine into pitcher and chill for at least 2 hours before enjoying.

Asian Pear Sangria

 

You can serve this drink by itself or over ice. If you plan ahead you can put some grapes in the freezer to make “ice cubes” that will chill your drink but not dilute the great taste!

frozen grapes