Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Cooking with Love (Wild Mushroom Soup with RECIPE!)

Blogger will not let me post this picture with the right rotation, so sorry if it looks odd

Hello to all you Bad Kitties out there!

Life has been crazy as usual. Now, my husband is back home for a while, and with the love of my existence back with me, I am super excited to get back in the kitchen!! After all, I am Scottish and Italian, so nothing says ‘I love you’ more than feeding someone.

I think that is something I have learned over the last few months – food has to come from a place of love. The recipes have to be written with love, and created with intent… not just the intent of having something. There is a place for those recipes, but even they can be crafted with love. Yes, falling in love in five minutes is possible, just as anyone who has gone bar hopping in Tempe.

Getting back to making carefully crafted comfort food has been fun. Now, I have a few recipes under my belt and I get to share those with you. My lastest creation is a Wild Mushroom Soup. It has wild rice and beef seitan, with a salty broth, so all you really need is a hunk of bread to make this the perfect fall meal.

Hopefully this will inspire you to get in the kitchen and get creative.

Hugs and talk to you soon,

Queen of the Bad Kitties


Wild Mushroom Soup
Makes about 4 servings
1 medium onion
1 cup of diced shitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup of diced oyster mushrooms  
1 tablespoon of olive oil.
6 cloves of garlic
1 package of ‘beef’ seitan, 12 oz
8 cups of water
1 package of dried wild mushrooms, 1.7 oz (Trader Joes)
1 cup of wild rice
6 cubes of bouillon, a combination of mushroom and ‘beef’ or just no-beef  
6-8 bay leaves
Sprigs of thyme

Dice the onion.
Heat a soup pot over medium heat and add the onions.
Cook until caramelized.
While waiting, dice the shitake and oyster mushrooms.
Mince the garlic.
Dice the seitan.
Set all to the side.
After the onions are caramelized, add the olive oil.
Once the oil is hot add the oyster and shitake mushrooms, and cook until the start to reduce in size and turn golden.
Add the garlic, cooking for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add the water, bouillon cubes, seitan, wild rice, bay leaves, and wild dried mushrooms (crumble them first if they are too large).
Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes until your rice is tender.
Remove from heat.
Garnish with sprigs of thyme.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Butternut Pear Soup with Recipe!!

Hi everyone! I am getting ready to do a little travel! Those who know me best will laugh that faced with teaching a nearly impossible class, the thing I am the most nervous about is actually driving in an unfamiliar city. I know, but it’s me.

This is an odd time of year in many ways. Here in Phoenix it has been verging on 100 degrees. I am still wearing t-shirts and staring wistfully at long sleeves. Yet, in Colorado where my friend Anne lives, it snowed Monday and was in the 30’s. Some of us are wishing for cool weather, and some of us are freezing and wishing for things to warm up.

Here is a soup I whipped up that should be good for warm weather falls, cool weather falls, and all temperatures in between. It is silky, smooth, and just a little sweet.

Butternut Pear Soup

Serves 4 large servings

1 medium butternut squash

1 package of vegan sausage (I used Tofurky Italian Sausage)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion

4 cloves of garlic

8 cups of vegetable broth

4 medium ripe pears (I used Bartlett Pears)

1 large bunch kale

Salt and pepper to taste


In a 375 degree oven, place the whole butternut squash and cook for about 20-30 minutes, until it can be easily pierced by a fork.

Remove from oven and allow to cool, then remove the top and bottom, and peel the shell away.

Scoop away any insides and seeds from the squash. Chop the remaining squash into large cubes.


In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Slice and add the sausage.

Brown until slightly crisp, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.


Dice the onion, and add it to a soup pot over medium heat.

Allow to cook until translucent, then add the garlic.

Cook an additional 30 seconds, or until you can smell the garlic.

Add the broth and the squash cubes.

Take the pears and remove the core, but add the rest to the soup.

Simmer for about 30 minutes Blend until smooth.

Slice and add the kale and sausage.

Add salt and pepper to taste.