Slow Cooker Cabbage Roll Soup

Cabbage Roll Soup

September is almost upon us and the shortening of the Summer’s daylight hours is just starting to get more noticeable. So in honor of the impending Fall weather I thought I would make a hearty slow cooker soup to celebrate. This soup’s humble ingredients go perfectly together and create a delicious and satisfying dish. This soup is pretty much a deconstructed cabbage roll recipe and the broth is flavored with herbs, Worcestershire and paprika. The cabbage and beef becomes fall apart tender after slow cooking it for hours. Garnish with grated cheese and parsley.
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Beef & Guinness Hand Pies

Beef & Guinness Hand Pies

I never knew how diverse hand pies could be until I started looking around for them. Turns out hand pies can be made savory or sweet, depending on what you fancy. In theory, you could have hand pies for dinner AND dessert if you so desired. You can definitely get creative with these recipes, but hopefully not as creative as Sweeney Todd (sorry). These are actually a lot of fun to make though they are a bit labor intensive. Probably best for a weekend project since it will take you a couple hours assembling the dough and pies together. The process of making the filling made the kitchen smell amazing and after this I resolved to start cooking with Guinness more often! The alcohol burns off and what you’re left with is a wonderful flavor from the Guinness. The filling is also flavored with Worcestershire, thyme and aged white cheddar. The outside of the crust is made with pastry dough which gets nice and flaky after baking.
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Banana Bread Scones

Banana Bread Scones

Using over-ripe bananas in baking goes way beyond standard loaf bread! These are not your typical dry and crumbly scones. They are a lot more moist, but just as dense as a typical scone. The insides are more light and fluffy and totally delicious! A lot of banana bread scone recipes call for a brown sugar glaze but to cut down on the sweetness I only topped the scones with cinnamon sugar and a dusting of powdered sugar. Which still sounds like a lot right? But it actually turned out being not overly sweet at all. If you have a bunch of over-ripe bananas languishing on your counter give these scones a try!
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Italian Sausage Soup with Roasted Cauliflower and Yellow Squash

Italian Sausage Soup with Roasted Cauliflower

This soup is perfect for rainy summer nights or chilly fall days. It combines roasted cauliflower, yellow squash, red potatoes with fresh fennel and thyme. You start off the soup by broiling the cauliflower until just charred. I used homemade chicken stock which lends the best flavor to the recipe. I couldn’t get enough of these flavors combined! The spicy sausage combined with the charred flavor from the cauliflower with the fresh herbs really took this soup to the next level. Serve this soup with some fresh parsley, grated parmesan cheese and a crusty baguette.
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Chicken Vegetable Soup with Acorn Squash and White Beans

Chicken Vegetable Soup with Acorn Squash and White Beans

Spring is around the corner but in many places winter is still raging. This soup is loaded with healthy veggies but is still hearty enough to combat the winter chills. For the stock I used my go to recipe for Homemade Stock. You can either use what you have pre-made or make it for the soup–either way works fine and instructions will follow. I packed this recipe with tons of veggies such as acorn squash, spinach, corn, peas, carrots and cabbage. The recipe is surprisingly hearty and flavorful. It has been one of my favorite go-to winter soup recipes over the past few weeks!
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Green Chile and Chorizo Soup with Smokey Croutons

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I love soups and tex-mex food and this recipe combines the best of both worlds! This soup combines a delicious mix of green chilies and tomatillos, chorizo, hominy, potatoes and spices.  I went a little overboard with the garnishes and topped the soup with crumbled queso fresco, green onion,  fresh lime, cilantro and smokey baked croutons.  Even the croutons alone in this recipe are stand out awesome and could easily be snacked on alone!  The recipe does require a lot of ingredients and time to prepare but it is totally worth it in the end. I actually never made anything with hominy before and I thought it worked really nicely with the other ingredients.  The soup was hardy, with multiple layers of sweet, spicy and savory flavors.  I chose a beef chorizo for the meat but soy and pork varieties would work fine in this soup.  All of the ingredients blended together so well and I was happy with how it came out!

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North Indian Tomato Chutney

North Indian Tomato Chutney

To go with the batch of Veggie Dumplings, I wanted to make the perfect sauce to go with them. I read about Momos and how they are frequently paired with a tomato based sauce so I settled on a sweet and savory chutney. I loved the flavor of this sauce. The combination of spices and herbs with the acid from the lime and apple cider vinegar was so delicious. The best part was that it didn’t take long to make this and most of the ingredients I already had on hand. It made me want to double the recipe and just have it as a snack by itself!

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Veggie Dumplings with Tomato Chutney Dipping Sauce

Veggie Dumplings

I love little steamed dumplings with all their different types of fillings and sauces. These dumplings, also called ‘Momos,’ hail from Tibet and can have a wide variety of meat and veggie fillings.  This recipe is vegetarian style with a mixture of beans, spices and tender veggies.  The filling is seasoned with soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, and green chilies which help provide some heat.  I chose a Chinese ‘Bao’ style dough for the wrapper which has a somewhat thicker consistency along with a little more sweetness.  A word of warning, these dumplings are addictive and it was hard to stop eating them!  Luckily, the recipe makes a lot of filling and enough for several days of Momos!  The  dumplings paired perfectly with the Tomato Chutney which was also out of this world.

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Persian Chicken Noodle Soup

Persian Chicken Noodle Soup

This recipe is so perfect for rainy Spring days! Chicken noodle soup is one of my favorites and I love trying different versions of the classic. This soup is filled with veggies, vermicelli noodles and herbs. The fresh ingredients give the recipe a lighter effect which is great for the current season. The broth is simple and clean, seasoned with cilantro, parsley and lime juice. While I’m used to the thicker egg noodles in chicken noodle soup I really liked the thin vermicelli noodles too. You can make the soup easily with just 4 drumsticks but I chose to make the stock and soup out of the whole chicken. I like the mixture of white and dark meat in the soup; plus the whole bird flavors the stock nicely. I can see this becoming a regular meal on colder days!

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Dark Chocolate Orange Scones

Ever since I made Irish Soda Bread Cranberry Scones I have been thinking about making another batch with a twist. I loved the fluffy texture of the previous batch and I wanted to keep that going. I took the basic ingredients of the first recipe and added chocolate chips and orange zest. It was so easy with great results! The texture and consistency was just like before only with the added bonus of orange and chocolate. The orange zest and chocolate were balanced perfectly and it reminded me more of a dessert than a breakfast scone. These were a huge hit so I will definitely be making these again!

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