Creamy Roasted Jalapeño Soup with Hot Sauce Croutons

My husband and I are a very interesting contrast when it comes to food preferences.


I mean, there are some things culinary-related that we agree upon unequivocally. A bread pudding done right is by far one of the best desserts ever, or that my mom’s banana bread recipe is the most amazing breakfast ever.

But then, there are just some areas where we will never agree. The chickpea debate will never result in a compromise; Luke just hates them. I will not touch bacon or sausage with a ten-foot pole, whereas Luke would gladly have them incorporated into every single meal. I hate most shellfish and will readily eat almost any fish, while Luke despises fish but will suck down shellfish like it’s his job. (We both do like lobster, crab and shrimp though.)


There are more examples, but I think you’re getting the picture; we have very different palates, which sometimes is nice (I don’t have to worry about him trying to sample my food at restaurants…I’m not so good at sharing sometimes), but other times can be incredibly frustrating when I’m trying to plan our meals.


Oh, I have two more for you that will lead me into this recipe. Another two things we diverge on: soup and spiciness.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 I love, love, love soup; except for the cream based varieties.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 They’re just too thick and rich and overwhelming, and after about two bites, I’m done. Can you guess Luke’s opinion on them? Yep, he loves them. And the only broth based soup he likes is chicken noodle. At least I know he’s human.


On the spiciness front, I am the biggest spicy scaredy-cat you’ll ever meet. Luke, on the other hand, can handle his heat. So when I had the idea of making him a spicy soup to try and break him of his no-veggie soup attitude, I thought it was genius.

He was slightly less convinced, but ate it, so I maintain that I won the battle. He did love the croutons though, and I made a bunch so he could snack on them as well.


Sorry for the delay of this post, by the way. u00c2u00a0There were some technical difficulties (that I’m still working through some of them) and I had to wait until the husband got home to help me fix them.

One Year Ago: Brown Butter Sage Cornbread

Two Years Ago: Carrot Cake Quick Bread

Creamy Roasted Jalapeño Soup with Hot Sauce Croutons
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
A creamy roasted jalapeño soup with homemade hot sauce croutons
  • 1 lb jalapeño peppers, tops cup off, halved and mostly deseeded
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 3 slices day-old bread, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp hot sauce
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Once the oven has preheated, place the peppers on the prepared baking sheet cut side down and place the sheet in the oven. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the skins start to develop black spots. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until they begin to turn translucent, about 5-7 mins. Add the garlic, spices, salt and pepper and cook for another few minutes, stirring frequently. Roughly chop the roasted peppers and add them to the pot. Cook for another few minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  3. Once the soup is boiling, turn the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  4. While the soup is simmering make the croutons. In a medium bowl, toss the bread cubes with the oil, hot sauce and red pepper flakes until evenly coated. Spread evenly on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cubes are just beginning to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Once the soup has simmered, remove from heat and let cool slightly, then puree in batches with a blender, or with an immersion blender. Stir in the cream, then ladle into bowls, top with croutons and cheese and enjoy!


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Mini Citrus Pound Cake Loaves with a White Chocolate Glaze

Do you have any special plans for the holiday weekend?


We’re heading down to CT to visit with family, as my grandmother flew in from Michigan to see my mom’s new house and celebrate Easter with us.u00c2u00a0 We’re having dinner on Sunday as a whole family unit: mom, dad, stepdad, dad’s girlfriend, brother, grandmother, myself and my husband.u00c2u00a0 This should be interesting….

Sadly, we’ll be leaving our little Easter bunny at home over the weekend.u00c2u00a0 But we’re bringing cake, so fair trade?


It hasn’t really felt like spring yet around these parts, what with our dusting of snow this week, but I’m trying to stay cheerful with some bright citrus flavors.


These little pound cake loaves are super moist, with a dense crumb that’s infused with citrus-iness.u00c2u00a0 The intense flavor comes from a technique I learned from Dorie Greenspan-you rub the citrus zest directly into the sugar, breaking it down and infusing its oils directly into the sugar.


It definitely makes the flavor more delightfully pronounced.u00c2u00a0 I topped these loaves with a white chocolate glaze because I had some leftover from this recipe, and let’s face it, they were begging to be smothered with white chocolate.


Hope your holiday weekend is bright and sunny!

Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Nutella Cheesecake Muffins

One Year Ago: Nutella Swirled Brownies with Hazelnuts


Adapted from Itsweet and Savory

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Breakfast Snacks

Garlic Spinach and Mushroom Snack Frittata

Ever have a day where you wake up and your mind clears right away, but when you try to get up, you fall off the bed sideways with almost every part of your body complaining, especially your head?


Last weekend was like that for me, which is why I have no dinner party pictures to share.u00c2u00a0 Sad face, I know.u00c2u00a0 I spent Saturday between the kitchen and the couch, cooking feverishly one hour, then strapping an ice pack to my throbbing head the next.

Thankfully I managed to get the meal on the table and the headache finally started to abate that evening, but even into Sunday and the work week I was feeling off.


I’m blaming the weather.u00c2u00a0 We still have a large bedspread that we sleep with, and even though I’ve adjusted my sleeping clothing to reflect the warmer temperatures, I made the mistake of wearing thermal pants to sleep on Friday night.u00c2u00a0 For some ungodly reason, I become exothermic when I sleep and exude heat like nobody’s business.u00c2u00a0 In the winter it’s nice, but right now I wake up a sweaty, unhappy mess with dehydration headaches.

Just bring me breakfast in bed ok?u00c2u00a0 I even cut it up into little snackable pieces so my husband doesn’t have to worry about handling a knife.u00c2u00a0 I love frittatas because they are so versatile and full of all the good things the body needs in the morning after sweating out every conceivable nutrient overnight.


I’m taking two of these and I’ll see you on Friday.

One Year Ago: Miso Braised Beef with Shiitake Mushrooms

Two Years Ago: Shrimp Scampi

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Breads Snacks

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Sweet Potato Soft Pretzels

This weekend is going to be interesting.


PAX East has returned to Boston, and yet again I shake my head at the immense excitement building up in my husband as the conference approaches.u00c2u00a0 It’s that time of year when he gets to nerd-out like no other, and this year, he’s even got friends going with him from other parts of the country and Canada.u00c2u00a0 Nerds unite!

I mean that in the best way possible; I do find their passion for all things online gaming slightly adorable, even if I don’t understand it.u00c2u00a0 I’ve been known to kick back with a vintage gaming system myself (does anyone else still love playing Zelda on their Nintendo 64 from 1998?) but the whole online MMO-RPG thing is just too much for me.


I’ll just slink back to the kitchen and eat my curry, thank you.

But since there will be a convergence of online friends, and we do live just outside the city, we’ll be hosting a dinner party on Saturday.u00c2u00a0 I’m excited, since I’ll have nothing to do that day anyway while they’re all at the conference, so hopefully I’ll be sharing some photos of that later on.


We all know how much of an exertion it is to play video games all day, so I made some refueling snackage of the highest order.u00c2u00a0 Soft pretzels laced with roasted sweet potato and warm spices, sprinkled with cinnamon and turbinado sugar.u00c2u00a0 I even took some of the drizzle from this recipe and went to town on some of them, which may have been a bit overindulgent, but oh well.


It’s the weekend, after all!u00c2u00a0 Hope it’s a good one!

One Year Ago:u00c2u00a0Frittata Cups

Two Years Ago:u00c2u00a0Baked Cheddar Pierogis


Adapted from Top with Cinnamon

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Veggie Mains

Homemade Chana Masala

I can’t believe this is my first chickpea curry recipe on this blog.


After two and a half years of spouting my love for the little legumes, I’m finally posting a dish that’s totally chickpea-centric: the culinary wonder that is chana masala.


Did I also mention it comes together in less than half an hour and tastes AMAZING, no matter how many dirty looks your chickpea-hating husband throws at you while he’s eating his reheated leftovers from two nights?

Sometimes a girl just needs a little face-time with a delicious curry, you know?


There are a few small Indian markets in my town where I picked up some of the more special ingredients for this dish, but if you’re unable to locate them in your area, I’ve also included a a tip on how to recreate those authentic flavors.


When I put the first spoonful of this curry, I pretty much did a little dance around my kitchen as a pat on the back.u00c2u00a0 This. Stuff. Is. Good.


Like, I might have to designate a night for it every week: Chana Masala Thursdays. u00c2u00a0What do you think? I can feel the evil glares emanating from my husband already, but it is just so tasty I’m not sure I care….

One Year Ago: Green Tea Mochi Cake

Two Years Ago: Mole Chicken Chili


Adapted from Use Real Butter

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Breakfast Snacks

Green Tea Mochi Crepes

I encountered a lovely surprise when I woke up this morning.


I rolled over groggily at 5:30 am to shut off my alarm, and then opened my Gmail app.u00c2u00a0 In my line of work, it’s quite common for me to wake up to anywhere from 30-50 emails from our company’s team in China.u00c2u00a0 It looks like my phone is set to rave mode, as it essentially turns into a strobe light, lighting up with each new email.

So imagine my confusion this morning at checking my phone to discover I had all of 3.u00c2u00a0 3?!?!?!u00c2u00a0 Wha?!?u00c2u00a0 Is my Gmail app broken?


Fortunately, no, my app isn’t broken.u00c2u00a0 No one told me this past weekend was the Tomb Sweeping Festival in China (u00e6u00b8u0085u00e6u0098u008eu00e8u008au0082), a time when families go to visit the graves of the relatives to clean them and pay their respects.u00c2u00a0 The holiday runs to Monday, which explains my lack of well, work.


Well, this easy Monday morning calls for a little something special in my opinion, so good thing I made these green tea mochi crepes over the weekend!


They are the perfect slow-your-Monday-morning down breakfast; the middles are slightly chewy from the glutinous rice flour, but the edges are nice and crispy.u00c2u00a0 I gave my crepes a little white chocolate drizzle because white chocolate and green tea is one of my all-time favorite pairings.


Hope your Monday brings you something delightful as well!

One Year Ago: BBQ Shrimp Minestrone Soup

Two Years Ago: Lemon Ricotta Cookies


Adapted from Babble

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Sesame Miso Carrot Soup

Real estate update: our house has been agreed upon! (AKA kind-of sold.)


It’s a relief to know that I no longer have to get texts asking about showings all the time, and that we can put the pet carrier back in the basement for storage.u00c2u00a0 Izzy has been in that thing more in the last week than she’ll be in it for the rest of her life.u00c2u00a0 (Rabbits don’t have shots or anything, so she’s only been to the vet twice in almost 3 years.)


Anyway, I felt like we were torturing the poor thing.u00c2u00a0 She usually never runs from me, but after being stuffed in the dreaded plastic cage of doom, she grew cautious very quickly at my approaching footsteps.


I also feel a little guilty that I might have tortured her a bit while setting up for this shoot.u00c2u00a0 I’m pretty sure she can hear the sound of the refrigerator crisper drawer from wherever she is in the house, and always comes running.u00c2u00a0 She watched me lay out the carrots with a look that said, “What, none for me?”u00c2u00a0 Or maybe it was “Why did you use up almost all my carrots for your silly soup?!?”


Well, because it’s delicious, of course.u00c2u00a0 Root vegetables make such dreamy soups, and in this carrot soup, the cumin, paprika and sesame all swirl around to weave a rich tapestry of flavor.u00c2u00a0u00c2u00a0 Add in a little umami kick from the miso, and you’ve got a soup that will become part of your dinner rotation.


Seriously, I’ve made it three times already! u00c2u00a0Plus, isn’t the color just lovely?u00c2u00a0 Orange is the new delicious.

One Year Ago: Potato and Paneer Curry

Two Years Ago: Chai Spiced Muffins


Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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Bar Desserts

Almond Guava Crunch Bars

Don’t forget the CliqueMe sponsored SimpleHuman giveaway ends today at 12pm EST! u00c2u00a0Click here for details on how to enter!!

I had such grand plans for catching up on some seriously needed blog material this weekend.


But as I’m sure you can already tell, by the mere fact that I started this sentence with “but,” we both know that didn’t happen.u00c2u00a0 Having your house on the market is the pits.u00c2u00a0 We had to spend Saturday at my in-law’s house, (so I lost the whole day) and then just as we were leaving, we got another showing request for an hour later, which is right when we’d be getting home.u00c2u00a0 Ugh.


We had another bunch on Sunday, all spaced randomly enough that I never had a solid chunk of time to work with.u00c2u00a0 I managed to bang out dinner and make cookies, but sadly, the latter were a real flop and shall not grace these interweb pages.

Luckily, I had the fortunate idea last week to light a fire under my butt about cleaning out our pantry.u00c2u00a0 Since I still had 2 bricks of guava paste, I figured it was high time to get cracking on that supply.


These bars are amazing.u00c2u00a0 The crumbly crust is made with coconut oil, which adds to the tropical flavor imparted by the guava.u00c2u00a0 Plus the crunchy almonds and turbinado sugar I sprinkled on top are a great contrast to the smooth guava paste.u00c2u00a0 These babies are winners in both the flavor and texture categories; which makes me feel a little better about my flop yesterday.


Don’t have guava paste? No worries, substitute your favorite fruit jam, and have a great Monday!

Two Years Ago: Mushroom Ravioli


Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Breads Sides

Honey Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Popovers

Don’t forget about the CliqueMe sponsored SimpleHuman giveaway which closes Monday. u00c2u00a0Click here for details on how to enter.

There are a couple things I’m really excited for when it comes to the kitchen in the new house.


It’s not an amazing kitchen with immaculate granite countertops and perfectly sanded and painted cabinetry, but it is much more open and has a ridiculous amount of space with a walk-in pantry and extra shelving leading into the living room.


It also has a nice big window over the (double!) sink that is not one foot away from the neighbor’s driveway and 3 feet away from their actual house.u00c2u00a0 One perk of moving to the “country.”


But let’s get back to all that space.u00c2u00a0 It’s going to be awesome and I just can’t wait to have ample room in which to store all my random shit valuable kitchen tools. u00c2u00a0Like my popover pan.u00c2u00a0 Gotta make room for your popover pan, so that you can make honey roasted garlic parmesan popovers in them.u00c2u00a0 Or sriracha swirled popovers for your husband before you go away on a long business trip.



I’m not really sure I understand the science behind what makes popovers do what they do, but I certainly understand that they are tasty fabulous.u00c2u00a0 I love how dense and chewy they get after they sink back down after sitting at room temperature for a bit.u00c2u00a0 The flavors of garlic and parmesan are just right in these, well pronounced, but not overpowering.


Maybe some will pop into your kitchen this weekend?u00c2u00a0 (Don’t mind my corny jokes….but do have a good weekend all the same!)

Two Years Ago: Chive Parsley Pesto

One Year Ago: Guava Cheesecake Torte


Adapted from Just a Taste

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Malted Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

I think my sunny bunny rubbed off some good luck, because we now have a signed agreement on the house!


It hasn’t sunk in yet.u00c2u00a0 Not one bit.u00c2u00a0 But I’m definitely the kind of person tries not to let things like this really affect me until I know about them definitively.u00c2u00a0 Yes, we have an agreement, but first we have to sell our house, and get approved for the new mortgage, yadda yadda, you get the idea.


Sure, I’m hopeful and happy, but I always try to maintain a tiny bit of stoicism, just in case.


However, when I baked these cookies, I was elated.u00c2u00a0 I made them so that I could give some to our realtor.u00c2u00a0 She did put up with some annoying shenanigans from us, with taking our house off the market, re-thinking our entire future, and then plunging forward again (and looking at a lot of no-go houses along the way).u00c2u00a0 I think if we had decided to stay put in our current house, I would have baked her an enormous layer cake.


Since we’re now going to be moving (in like 1 ½ months thanks to an early commitment date), it’s time for this girl to start emptying the pantry.u00c2u00a0 Be prepared for some non-seasonal delights folks.

These cookies are the result of a large bag of dark chocolate chips and an equally large bag of malted milk powder (why did I think I needed 5 lbs of this stuff?)u00c2u00a0 The result is a soft, chewy, slightly tangy chocolate chip cookie with just the right amount of sea salt to balance out the milk powder and chocolate.


If you’re looking for a mid-week pick-me-up, you might have just found it.

Two Years Ago:u00c2u00a0Cinnamon Scented Sweet Potato Chipati

One Year Ago:u00c2u00a0Blood Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies


Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

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