Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blogiversary Giveaway- Creamy Parsnip Soup, Curried Carrot Soup with Grilled-Cheese Croutons, and Glazed Lemon Mini-Cakes

Since yesterday was my blogiversary, I decided to do a little giveaway. Now, I don't know if anyone out there loves cookbooks as much as I do. Maybe you do or maybe you don't. Whatever the case may be, I am going to give 1 lucky winner a copy of Everyday Food:Great Food Fast. This cookbook is really a great asset. It is similar to the magazine Everyday Food, which comes from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. What I particularly enjoy about this cookbook, is that it is arranged by the seasons of the years, featuring ingredients that are fresh and available during that particular season.
Here is an editorial review that was featured on Amazon.com- "If you are a fan of Everyday Food magazine (and you should be), you will be wowed by Great Food Fast, a gorgeous full-color cookbook filled to bursting with recipes for fresh, flavorful food that is easy to prepare. Organized by season, Great Food Fast features simple recipes for year-round cooking, including no-cook pasta sauces, main-course soups, one-dish meals, and more." --Daphne Durham
I decided to showcase a couple of the winter recipes (since it is still snowing and cold around here) from this book. I made the Creamy Parsnip Soup, Curried Carrot Soup, and Glazed Lemon Cakes. I added the super cute Grilled-Cheese Croutons that I saw in Family Fun Magazine to the Carrot soup, just for a fun topper.
Both of the soups were very good and easy.
The Parsnip soup was a little bit sweet, due to the apples and parsnips, but nice and thick also. I think I used too much of the leeks, which led to a green color soup, instead of the nice white color pictured in the book, but it still tasted great.
The Curried Carrot Soup was the definite favorite. Carrots and curry make a great combination. We loved the grilled cheese croutons on top. I didn't follow the recipe- I just used the same idea. I make grilled cheese sandwiches in my Foreman Grill, which eliminates the need for any butter. The next day we had the carrot soup for leftovers and stirred in some leftover, cooked brown rice.
The Glazed Lemon Cakes were amazing. I used buttermilk in them and that led to a very light, moist cake. I made them smaller than the recipe suggested, but that just meant there were more of us that were able to enjoy them.
So, now that you have a sample of the recipes, in order to win this cookbook, please leave me a comment telling me what your favorite season of the year is and why. I will randomly chose a winner on Tuesday @ midnight and contact you in order to get shipping information. If you don't have a blog, leave a comment with your email address, so if you are the winner I will be able to contact you. The winner will be announced in my post on Wednesday Feb. 25.
My favorite season is Summer. I love hot weather, fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden and lots of sun!
Good Luck Everybody!





Creamy Parsnip Soup from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
Prep: 20 minutes Total: 50 minutes
To prepare leeks: Trim and discard root ends and dark-green parts. Halve lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise. Wash in several changes of cold water until all grit is removed.
Ingredients
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound prepared leeks, sliced (2 cups)
1 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Leek garnish (see below) (I omitted this step)
Directions
Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks (reserving 1/2 cup for garnish). Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
Add parsnips, apples, potato, broth, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return it to pot; stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Leek Garnish.
To make leek garnish, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add reserved 1/2 cup leeks; cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Curried Carrot Soup adapted from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
Prep: 20 minutes Total: 40 minutes
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon curry powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Directions
Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large (4- to 5-quart) saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, curry powder, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add broth, carrots, and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
In a blender, puree soup in batches until smooth; transfer to a clean saucepan. Add more water to thin to desired consistency. Reheat, if necessary. Stir in lemon juice. Serve garnished with cilantro, if desired.
Grilled-Cheese Croutons from Family Fun Magazine
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon thyme
6 thin slices of bread
3 ounces Cheddar, thinly sliced
Step 1 Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the butter and thyme. Spread one side of each bread slice with the butter mixture. Place 3 slices in the pan, buttered side down. Top with the cheese, then with the remaining 3 bread slices, buttered side up. Cook, turning once, until toasted on both sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
Step 2 Remove the sandwiches from the pan. Let them cool slightly, then cut them into 1-inch squares. Makes about 60 croutons.
Glazed Lemon Cakes from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
Prep: 15 minutes Total: 50 minutes
Ingredients
Makes 6.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tin
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for muffin tin
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk, or plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated, plus juice, plus 2 tablespoons more lemon juice for the glaze
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6-cup jumbo muffin tin(I used a normal sized muffin tin). In a medium bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon zest and juice of 1 lemon. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk mixture.
Divide evenly among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in tin, then cool completely on a rack.
Set rack over wax or parchment paper. In a small bowl, stir confectioners’ sugar with remaining lemon juice until smooth. Pour over cakes, spreading to edges with a knife.

Up Next- Tuesday's with Dorie- Caramel Crunch Bars and a Mixed Berry Cobbler Rewind

66 comments:

Barbara Bakes said...

The lemon cakes look perfect for my favorite season - I love warm summer nights, all the wonderful fruit and the long days.

mesa para 4 said...

I always visit your blog... it´s great...my favorite season is definetly Winter...love the hot chocolate...all things cooked in the oven ...the white snow...the fireplace...big hug

Marthe said...

I must agree on you, summer is also my favourite season: people seem happier, sunshine, lovely berries

Anonymous said...

I truly love all seasons but down in the southern hemisphere we have had a bit of wild hot weather so I am looking forward to Winter this year - slow cooked roasts, steamy soupy laksas on Sunday afternoons, homemade baked beans and pork sausages and Mum's bottled Summer fruits are always beautiful in the winter, warmed and served with hot custard!
Anna

cathaj@scotch.wa.edu.au

Risa said...

My favorite season is fall. I love the smell of the crisp air, the colors of the trees, going to the pumpkin patch. You can tell am ready for fall again.

Steph said...

All those pictures look so good! As usual, I loved your butter saving ways. Despite all the baking I do, I try to save butter whenever I can too. My mom is the total opposite and she's all about the butter (but no in an Ina or Paula kinda way..haha).

My favourite season is summer, especially the beginning of summer just before spring ends because it's not scorching hot yet.

Lisa said...

Your food looks great. Thanks for the giveaway. My favorite season is summer. I love having longer nights, going to our swim club and having fresh produce from the farmers market and my garden.

Jessica said...

I love Everyday Food Mag and would enjoy the cookbook greatly! My favorite season is Spring; I love fresh asparagus, green beans, mixed lettuce, and rhubarb!

Jill said...

My favorite season is fall. I love the smells, the crisp air, the harvest. I even love canning everything that grows. I love the food that is available fresh in the fall.

Angie said...

These look awesome - I love soup! In the winter, I think my blood turns to soup.

Sophie said...

Congrats on the blogiversary :)! I'm so envious of your pretty soups! :) I'm not sure if I will win, but my email can be found on my blogger profile if I do!

The Clanton Gang said...

Yummy!! When you move back to GA, will you PLEASE be my next-door neighbor? :)

Also, I've been meaning to tell you about the annual Weight Watchers cookbooks. Yeah, I know you're thinking "No way," but they have awesome recipes--especially for fish, chicken and veggies--that taste wonderful! I try to get one every year when they come out.

Brooke said...

I love spring. Summer in Florida is just so dang hot. We have a beautiful spring with lots of blooming flowers and the birds chirp constantly. Can't wait.

Natalie said...

autumn is my favorite! love the crisp air & making warm treats!!

Amanda said...

Happy blogiversary!! My favorite season is winter because of Christmas!

n.o.e said...

Mary Ann, congrats on your blogiversary! You do a wonderful job of featuring a variety of delectable food - consistently high quality photography - and nearly every day! I always love reading your posts.

As for seasons, my favorite is Fall - love the crisp days. Somehow they always speak to me of promise, even though everything is actually dying back for winter. But my favorite season for eating is summer because I love throwing fresh ingredients together.

If I win, let me know (because I haven't won anything in a long time and it would be exciting!) but then pick out another name - I have this cookbook already and I love it too!
Nancy

lissel said...

Happy Blogiversary! Look at you go...first an article placing you in the top 10 Utah food blogs (congrats on that) and now your first giveaway! Look at you go! My favorite season is spring. I love April showers, the budding of trees and flowers, and just the fresh new feeling that comes with the earth awakening from its winter slumber.

aubrie said...

Congrats on the blogiversary! I discovered your blog a couple of months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed it since. My favorite season is definitely fall--I love the crunch leaves, the cooler weather, the hearty food. It doesn't get any better than that.

The Food Librarian said...

Mary Ann, I made those lemon cakes too! Weren't they yummy? I used plain yogurt b/c I didn't have any buttermilk. We have/had this book at the library but someone went through and ripped out pages! UGH! I mean, it is FREE from the library...why people do that drives me crazy!

Andrea and Casey said...

Just found your blog and I'm already loving it! Great food and now a giveaway!! Yahoo. My favorite is fall. I love all the colorful leaves and going on walks in the crisp cool air.

Maria said...

fall is my favorite! I love the leaves, apples, and football! Great giveaway!

Jaime said...

I love spring and fall, but if I had to choose, fall the best b/c I love the weather, colors, and foods. I love the idea of the cook book organized by season!! I like to cook according to season to have the freshest ingredients! cool idea! happy blogiversary!

Prudy said...

Hooray, a give away! I want that carrot soup-I love to make some for Easter. My favorite season is fall for sure. But winter down in Southern UT is pretty tough to beat too.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Happy Blogiversary! And I don't know any foodie who doesn't like cookbooks! My favorite season is summer!

Tooele Brezoff Family said...

Congrats on the 1 year mark.
I would love to win a cook book, Who knows maybe if I had a good cook book I just might cook more?!

Aaron, Vicki Tunell said...

My favorite season is fall, it is so nice to have cool weather and beautiful colors.

Tiff said...

Happy Blogiversary! My favorite season is Spring - when the flowers start to bloom and the weather is cool. Plus there's my birthday too!

Mandy said...

That cookbook sounds splendid. It would find a very loving home here!
I am a summer girl for many reasons. I would love to live where it was perpetually (early) summer. That said, my favorite foods to prepare are winter foods- go figure.

Laura said...

Happy Blogiversary! I'd have to say that my favorite season is Fall. I love the leaves changing color and the cool crispness in the air. I also love all the fall foods with pumpkin and apple. And thos cooler days are perfect for soup and fresh bread! LOVE IT!

Gabrielle said...

I LOVE spring- because it is the farthest away from winter!
Love love love grapefruit tho- a Utah winter item.

Lauren said...

My favorite season is fall. I love it! The crisp weather and changing colors. The recipes of the season are always rustic and hearty. The fall houses my birthday, my son's birthday and my wedding anniversary!
LOVE your blog!

Lauren
http://friedpicklesandicecream.blogspot.com/

Mia said...

Awesome! My favorite season is summer. I love having sun in my eyes.

Aggie said...

Happy 1 year!! You have cooked SO much this past year! You know I'm a big Mary Ann fan! I would LOVE this cookbook...I get the mag and love their easy great recipes!

tawnya said...

I LOVE fall. I love the cooler days and crispness to the air. I love pulling out sweaters. But mostly I love the start of fall tv and back to school shopping...

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! My favorite season is Summer! I love playing outside with the kids and working in the garden!
julipoulsen(at)gmail(dot)com

Jacqueline said...

My favorite season is definitely fall. Nothing makes me happier than stepping on crunchy leaves!

Cathy said...

Ooh! Must make that carrot soup ASAP!! Lemon cakes too! My favorite season is fall. Love the crisp air, sweater weather, crunch of the leaves under foot, smell of fireplaces, and fall food (apples, pumpkin). One thing I don't like about living in the South is that fall comes too late!

Amy said...

I love fall! And I love pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. I also love your blog!

Kim said...

Looks like I'm not the only one who wants it. Fun idea.

Jane said...

Winter is my favorite season, probably because I love all the comfort food that cold temperatures bring: pots of homemade soups, homemade breads, and lots and lots of baking gets done on those frigid wintry days.

happy mom said...

Okay here I am wanting the giveaway, but I haven't even posted about the yummy apple muffins I made, sorry. I will soon. well it is tough to say what my favorite season is, I seem to anticipate every season and I appreciate every season. I love spring and I have spring fever. I love summer and the fresh ingredients readily available. spring ans summer I can't get enough of sandwiches and fresh fruit. I love fall and the feeling of the harvest and getting ready for winter, and I love the soups, and warm foods. I am working getting better at cooking. Thanks for the sweet giveaway! all of these look great by the way.

Marie said...

Happy Blogiversary Mary Ann! I have enjoyed coming here for this past year and drooling over all your lovely food. My fav season is the autumn. I Love the changing leaves, the cooler nights, the crisp sunny days . . . the smells of harvest.

Snooky doodle said...

this looks delicious. I just discovered your blog and glad I did. I like it :)

rk said...

Love cookbooks! Those recipes and pics look great.

I love all the seasons but winter for only about 2 weeks. My very favorite is probably summer. Good weather to play outside, bbq's, fresh fruits and veggies, vacations, etc...

marmoureus(at)hotmail(dot)com

CRS said...

It used to be that the only summer I LOVED was summer. It's still the case; I love summer. I love heat, and sitting on the beach, and doing things outside... and as a new homeowner, I like putzing in the yard and things like that.
Now, I've come to love the beauty of spring and summer... love those warm days fall brings, as well as the anticipation of spring. Winter, well, I still can't take it.

Engineer Baker said...

Happy blogiversary! I love that parsnip soup - I definitely need to pick up some parsnips and try it out.

Kelly said...

I have to agree with many of the other comments that summer is by far my favorite season for cooking. I love the fresh fruits, vegetables and their vibrant colors during summer time. Happy one year anniversary of your blog. It's a favorite of mine.

ThreadBeaur said...

I love any season that is not winter. I do like soups in the winter, but I much prefer the spring, summer, and fall. I love to be able to go to the local farmers market and pick up some fresh ingredients for a lovely meal. I am so glad I found your blog!

Kelly said...

I love your blog!
My favorite season is spring...when the earth comes back to life.
Nothing is more beautiful than a bouquet of daffodils.

Peggy said...

This is a no-brainer for me. I love the summer. The hotter the better. You can wear lightweight clothes and open toe shoes. You never have to layer. And the fresh vegetables and fruits galore! plus swimming, boating, and all the cookouts and picnics. You can ROCK outside in the summer!! And the sunshine always makes me happier! Congrats on your blogaversary!

Amy said...

I love summer because we get to pick fresh fruit at local farms all summer long!!Not to mention it stays light out until nearly 10:00 at night! Does it get any better than that.

Judi A. said...

I read your blog regularly, even though I don't usually leave a comment, and have tried several of your recipes. They have turned out great,I'm sure because of your great comments and suggestions. I think I like late Spring and early Fall best because they have the beauty of Summer without the hot temperatures and killer humidity.

judi7597@bellsouth.net

Amy said...

I love the fall! Cool, crisp weather, turning leaves, and football!!

Those lemon cakes look yummy!

Carrian said...

Can I have three seasons? HMMMM I guess I will have to go with fall. Many of the days are still warm and so you can still hang out outside, but I love when it starts to turn crisp and everyone starts making soups and getting their sweaters out.

Andrea said...

Wow, a giveaway! Can't pass that up. I would have to say my favorite season is fall. I love fall foods, fall sweaters, fall holidays... yep.

Jessica said...

I love fall. Roasted root vegetables and warm spices... what more could a person ask for?

Hilary said...

I love to cook in the fall. Soups and bread just taste better in the fall.

Cheri said...

I love your site and since I've discovered it I have made several of your yummy recipes. thanks for doing the giveaway. :)

pinkstripes said...

UM! Those soups look really good.

My favorite season is summer. I'm a summer girl through and through. I love the heat. The hotter the better. I love to eat the fruits and salads of summer. I love that it stays lighter longer.

The Blonde Duck said...

I like late summer and early fall--I know it's not an exact season but here in Texas it is. Everything gets exciting with football and school and there's always such hope in the air.

Heather Bankhead said...

i love summer. hi mare!

Jessi A said...

I love fall. After the hot summer I look forward to the cooler weather and comfort foods. All of our birthdays are in the fall. I love all the fall holidays right up through Christmas!!!

jarmstrong@bluevalley.net

Robin said...

I just found your blog and I love it. I also have a small collection of Cookbooks that I am really enjoying. I would love to win!
tastefullyyoursrobin@gmailc.om

Laura Dawn said...

So, I debated commenting on your blog...especially after seeing that there were 63 posts. But, for you Mare I will...and for the possibility of winning the cookbook...
So, my favorite season is by far Fall. It always has been and always will be. Suprisingly, it isn't just because I get to taste and try to make a million things made with pumpkin, or French Vanilla Cool Whip is finally in the grocery store (it is seasonal), or because pumpkin ice cream is available almost everywhere. I love Fall because of the color of the leaves. The leaves that fall on the ground and crunch beneath your feet. Going back to school and starting a new adventure. Getting ready for the holidays and making plans to be with family. Fall feels magical to me and the food that goes along with fall is warm and comforting. I can think lots of yummy recipes, but the one that stands out is the pasta bake, with squash...you know that one Mare.
Anyway,there you go. Happy Blogiversary to you!

b.liz said...

I love to lurk here and try your recipes...you are quite inspiring.

I grew up in Canada hating winter (which lasts almost all year!) but, now that I live in California, I LOVE the winter months. The crisp air, cuddling up by the fire, the soups and hot chocolate...and we can still wear flip flops! Love it.

Andrew said...

i love summer!