Healthy Creamy Vegetable Soup

This Healthy Creamy Vegetable Soup is perfect for cold winter days and curing the winter cold or flu.

healthy vegetable soup

While living in Europe during my exchange student and newlywed life, I realized that most Swiss people have a rotation of about 10 meals that they make throughout the month. Each and every one of these meals has been perfected throughout the years and is absolutely delicious. Even though I like change and to get creative with dinner, this is really a smart way to go on busy evenings filled with sports, homework, and life in general.

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This soup was on regular rotation in my host family’s home. My host father would always make enough for about 3 full meals. There was always a big hunk of Gruyere cheese to be freshly grated over the top and warm apple tart for dessert. You never had this soup without finishing off the meal with a slice of apple tart.

winter soup

Even though the fresh apple tart has not made its way into regular rotation, this soup has. It is easy to make, flavorful, and most importantly healthy. With little added fat, you won’t feel guilty about a second bowl (or in my case- eating for breakfast!).

healthy winter soup

This recipe makes a lot of soup. Like so much that you need to use to large pots if you do not have a stock pot, but it freezes beautifully in large ziploc bags. If you have time and want to really impress your family, make a loaf of this perfect No Knead Bread or these mini Heart Apple Pies.

Healthy Creamy Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick) or olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 4 medium red potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 2 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 medium cauliflower, diced
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
  • 1/2 large cabbage, sliced
  • 1/2 celery root, peeled and diced OR 2 cups sliced celery
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon harissa (if you like it spicy)
  • Heavy whipping cream and grated Gruyere Cheese for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat butter or olive oil in a large stock pot.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions become translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add remaining vegetables and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour over chicken broth and enough water to fill pot 3 inches above vegetables.
  5. Add seasoning and stir to combine.
  6. Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to medium low heat.
  7. Simmer until all vegetables are falling apart, about 40 minutes.
  8. Once cooked, transfer vegetables and broth to a blender and blend until smooth or use an immersion blender to puree. *If using blender method, this will take several batches.
  9. Serve immediately with freshly grated cheese and a tablespoon of cream, but this is optional.
  10. To freeze, allow soup to cool completely then store in large ziplock bags or tupperware.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2015/03/02/healthy-creamy-vegetable-soup/

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

strawberry shortcake cake

February marks the 3rd anniversary of The Seaside Baker! So, essentially it is my alter ego’s birthday! This blog has opened so many doors and I am really proud of what it has become.

cake slice

Personally, my “Seaside Baker” alter ego has given me so much more confidence. I still remember going to my first food blogging conference. It was a huge step for me as I am normally a very shy and reserved person. Putting myself out there to meet new people and learn new things was a personality ice breaker. Fast forward three years and I have become totally comfortable and confident attending blogging events and have met some lifelong friends. Because of the blog, I finally have a social life that I adore and am constantly meeting people with the same passion.

strawberry shortcake cake 1

Not only has The Seaside Baker helped me gain confidence, but it has also given me a bit more self-worth aside from being a mother. Don’t get me wrong, I love motherhood, but when the bills came in and we were scrambling, I used to feel guilty for not being at work. Now that my blog has a revenue, it has enabled us to be a lot more comfortable financially and has reduced a ton of our stress.

strawberry cake

However without all of you none of this would be possible! I appreciate each and every comment, FB like, Instagram heart and so on. I love love love when people try recipes and love it.

cut cake slices

To celebrate this wonderful milestone, I made this Strawberry Shortcake Cake. It was DELICIOUS! I added strawberry yogurt to the batter which made it somewhat dense like a pound cake, but oh so fresh because of the strawberry. And of course the Plugrá European Style churned butter adds delicious creamy moisture! The graham cracker crust layer was a last minute decision to use up some open packages, but was certainly the best!!! It’s like all of your favorite spring desserts in one! The whipped cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut tied up the cake perfectly. This seriously may be my favorite cake to do!

cake slice 2

I hope you will celebrate with me and make this cake too!

 

Strawberry Shortcake Cake

Ingredients

    Graham Cracker Bottom
  • 1 and 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • Cake
  • 1 cup Plugrá butter, room temperature
  • 1 and 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup strawberry yogurt, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
  • Frosting
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup toasted coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8 inch pans OR 3 6 inch pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter then combine with graham cracker crumbs and sugar and mix with fork.
  3. Distribute crumb mixture into pans and lightly press into bottom of the pans.
  4. To make the cake, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, scraping the bowl before each addition.
  6. Mix in vanilla.
  7. In a separate bowl combine cake flour, baking powder and soda, and salt.
  8. With mixer set to low, alternate adding flour mixture and yogurt mixture into the butter/sugar/egg mixture, beating on low until just combined.
  9. Distribute batter into pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife is inserted and clean when removed.
  10. Cool for five minutes in pan, then remove from pan and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  11. Frosting
  12. Combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
  13. Place cream cheese mixture in another bowl and wash and dry mixer bowl. You may want to freeze your mixer bowl for about 10 minutes to ensure it is nice and cold.
  14. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and pour in the heavy cream.
  15. Beat until stiff peaks form.
  16. Slowly fold in cream cheese mixture until smooth.
  17. To assemble the cake, place one layer on a cake platter. Layer with frosting and sliced strawberries.
  18. Repeat step until each layer is used.
  19. Frost the entire cake and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Garnish with strawberry slices.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2015/02/24/strawberry-shortcake-cake/

Thick and Chewy M&M’S Cookies

If you are looking for a thick, giant, chewy, soft M&M’S cookies, this is your recipe!

Perfect M&M'S cookies

The Oscars are coming up tomorrow and I can’t wait to watch them. In a perfect world, I would be creating a menu with each dish or course reflecting the nominated movies. However with three kids and a long to do list, this will just have to wait a few years.

Thick and Chewy M&M's cookies

These Thick and Chewy M&M’S cookies make Acadamey Award watching so much more enjoyable. Paired with a delicious craft brew or a glass of cab, you’re set for an evening of critiquing! So here is my plan- at the beginning of the awards I plan to make a batch of these cookies. That way I can peacefully watch the red carpet commentary while the kids carefully position the M&M’S onto the cookie balls. I would even go as far as to say that this is a great fine motor skill project for my toddler :)

cookies

M&M’S and movies go together perfectly and are an ideal match for enjoying an award show or movie-watching experience. Peanut M&M’S are my husband’s only request for movie nights. That is, until he tried the crunchy M&M’S! After having just been re-released in January, this was the first time my he had ever tried them. He loved the delicious crunchy center almost as much as the peanut center.

M&M's

This year, M&M’S® is commemorating the biggest night in Hollywood by debuting a commercial on national TV that shows M&M’S characters invading the movies. Also, make sure to check out the ever so famous Red and his very useful Red Carpet Tips! Remember…there is no such thing as too much collagen!  I would love for you to comment below with how you watch the Oscars!

perfect thick and chewy cookies

Perfect Thick and Chewy M&M's Cookies

Yield: makes 2 dozen large cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 bag mini M&M'S
  • 1 bag Milk Chocolate M&M'S

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars with your mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add vanilla.
  5. While mixer is running on low add eggs, one at a time, mixing and scraping down the bowl in between each addition.
  6. Gradually add flour to wet mixture and mix until just combined.
  7. Stir in mini M&M'S.
  8. Scoop out large 2 inch balls and roll.
  9. Place on cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  10. Top with regular M&M'S.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2015/02/21/mmcookies/
 

This post has been compensated however all opinions are 100% my own.

Perfect White Cake

Perfect white cake

I have deemed this year the year of entertaining. Since finally having moved out of the shoebox we lived in for 7 years, I now have a home and a great backyard that is great for entertaining (or at least it will be). I already have 3 big parties on the calendar, with the first being in one week.

perfect white cake 2

If you visit my Pinterest page, over half of my boards are party related. The problem with this is that you, and by you I mean me, get so inspired that you buy everything to make absolutely every detail from scratch, then get so overwhelmed that you end up with barley half of what you had planned. I have vowed that this will not be the case this year, so I have a very detailed to do list.

white cake

Like last year, I want the birthday cake to be the “piece de resistance.” However I am not the best cake decorator so this should be interesting. In an effort to get organized, I have been testing cake recipes for the last month. I wanted a cake that was stable and could hold up multiple layers.

ombre cake

Well folks, this is the recipe. It is delicious and will be perfect for my multi layer cake. The recipe comes from Add A Pinch. Basically the only thing I did differently was use all buttermilk. It was moist and delicious! I used my favorite Italian Meringue recipe because it makes a ton and is beater licking delicious! I highly recommend this cake for your next birthday cake baking!

white cake 2

Perfect White Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • Italian Meringue Buttercream
  • 1¼ cups sugar, divided into 1 cup and ¼ cup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup Plugrà European salted butter, very soft cut into pieces
  • 1¼ cup Plugrà unsalted butter, very soft, cut into pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease 3 9 inch cake pans with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Cream butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing throughly in between each addition.
  4. Mix in vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.
  6. Add 1/3 of the flour to the butter/egg mixture, mixing on low.
  7. Mixing just enough to combine, add 1/3 of the buttermilk.
  8. Continue until all of the flour and buttermilk has been incorporated, again mixing until just combined (do not over mix!)
  9. Evenly distribute cake batter into pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly in cake pans for about 5 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Frosting
  11. To make the Italian Meringue combine 1 cup of sugar and water in a small sauce pan.
  12. Heat sugar and water on medium until boiling (you want large bubbles).
  13. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat egg whites and sugar until frothy.
  14. Increase your mixer speed to high and beat egg whites until hard peaks form.
  15. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly and carefully pour into egg whites.
  16. Slowly increase the mixer speed again and beat until the mixture is no longer hot or warm and is fluffy. (mixture needs to be as close to room temperature as possible before adding butter).
  17. With the mixer set at medium speed, slowly add butter pieces. Mix until smooth.
  18. Separate buttercream into 3 bowls, and color with your preferred frosting colors.
  19. Fill each layer with buttercream and stack cake.
  20. Frost assembled cake.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2015/02/18/perfect-white-cake/

Southwestern Potato Skins

Southwestern Potato Skins

Potatoes how I love thee. I love them baked, fried, mashed, blended, and even added to my cinnamon rolls to create the most flakiest roll ever. Married to a Swiss man, potatoes will always be a staple in our home. Just like Americans, the Swiss LOVE their potatoes!

potato skins

However in the diet world, they seem to perceived as not so good, which is a common misconception. Potatoes are actually a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates, and contain loads of Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, and B6.

potato skins

A few weeks ago I attend a wonderful dinner sponsored by the Idaho Potato Commission. There they asked us to write a post this month for Heart Healthy month. I thought this would be a great opportunity to proclaim my love for the spud here on the blog!

pre topped skins

I actually made these Southwester Potato Skins for the big game a couple of weeks ago. They made a wonderful and delicious appetizer and were perfect for transporting. They would also make a delicious side to accompany a piece of meat for a weeknight dinner. For more heart healthy potato recipes, visit the Idaho Potato website!

idaho potato skins

Southwestern Potato Skins

This recipe is great for potlucks, appetizers, and as a side dish. It makes 8 large potato skins.

  • 4 large Idaho Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • Toppings
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 3/4 of a white onion
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • Avocado
  • Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.

Wash and dry each potato and rub olive oil and a dash of salt around each potato.

Pierce potatoes with a fork a few times and place on cookie sheet.

Bake potatoes until tender, about 45 minutes.

Once baked, allow to cool slightly.

Once cooled, cut each potato in half and scoop out the insides (you'll want to leave about 1/4 inch layer of meat.

Sprinkle potato skins with shredded cheese, black beans, and corn kernels.

Bake potato skins until the cheese is melted, about 10-15 minutes.

To make the toppings, finely dice onion and tomato into.

Combine onion and tomato with chopped cilantro and sprinkle in salt and lime juice and mix.

Top each potato skin with the homemade Pico de Gallo and add chopped avocado and a spoonful of sour cream.

Serve immediately.

Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie


This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WarmUpYourDay #CollectiveBias

cinnamon roll apple pie

If you follow me on social media, you may remember me asking you to cross your fingers that this concoction came out, because if it did it was going to be EPIC. Well, I am happy to report that it did in fact turn out and it was beyond epic!

lattice cinnamon roll apple pie

My kids get bored extremely easily with food, so I have to change things up quite a bit. They love when I make pie because they always get to enjoy a slice the next morning for breakfast. They also absolutely love cinnamon rolls and they are a real Sunday morning treat. In an effort to change things up, I decided to combine their 2 favorite things….Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie.

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sofab1

I used two cans of Pepperidge Farms Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls that I purchased at Walmart. The first can of cinnamon rolls I rolled out together to form a crust. It then layered the pie with a simple apple mixture (a bit of sugar and a nob of butter). Finally, I unrolled the contents of the second can and weaved them on top of the apples. I covered the pie lightly and baked it for about 45 minutes. Easy peasy.

cinnamon roll crust

 

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To be honest, I actually made two of these, because I knew that the sweet cinnamon and apple aromas would wake the family up and the would insist on eating it warm. I was right. Thankfully I had another that I was able to photograph before it was gobbled up the next day. Served with a fresh glass of Florida Orange juice and a side of fruit, this is a fun and delicious way to start your day. This apple pie would also make a pretty delicious dessert!

apple breakfast pie

 

Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cans Pepperidge Farms Sweet Rolls
  • A sprinkling of flour for rolling
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into thin slices
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. On a clean, lightly floured surface, place 6 rolls slightly on top of each other (corners overlapping).
  3. Roll out rolls until dough is 1/2 an inch thick, and place on the bottom of the pie plate.
  4. Combine apple slices with sugar and cinnamon. Pour into pie pan.
  5. Cut butter into thin slices and place nobs all over the apples.
  6. Unroll remaining two rolls and weave on top of the apples to create a lattice effect.
  7. Sprinkle with the pecans from the can.
  8. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until a knife is easily inserted into the apples.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2015/02/10/cinnamon-roll-apple-pie/

Hugs and Kisses Cupcakes

hugs and kisses cupcakes

Last year when I attended the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco, I was introduced to many new products. Among those products, I connected with Sweet Works, and their products are some of my favorite decorating items. From using them to top cupcakes, to decor for parties, they always add a special pop of color. I have big plans for these babies for my upcoming parties!

valentines day cupcakes

When thinking about Valentine’s Day recipes I knew I wanted to make cupcakes. It seems like it has been a while since I posted an adorable little cake!

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Garnished with pink and red Sweet Works Celebration Sixlets, these cupcakes are the perfect way to say I love you. The cupcake and frosting are a delicious vanilla studded with fresh vanilla beans. To be a bit more festive, I dyed the cupcake batter pink for an extra surprise.

XOXO cupcakes

Of course my daughter loved these cupcakes for the cute decoration, and my sons gobbled them up. I think these be a great class craft too!

XO cupcakes

Hugs and Kisses Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes:
  • 2 sticks butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or regular vanilla
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with a splash of white vinegar)
  • Pink food coloring
  • Vanilla Bean Frosting
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder and soda and mix.
  3. In your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend butter, sugar and vanilla at medium speed until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Add a few drops of pink food coloring.
  6. Reduce speed to low and add a cup of flour followed by 1/3 of the buttermilk.
  7. Repeat this 3 times, until you have incorporated all the flour and buttermilk.
  8. Spoon into greased cupcake pan, and bake for 18-20 minutes.
  9. Cool completely before removing.
  10. Frosting
  11. Beat butter and extract for 2 minutes.
  12. Add powdered sugar and milk or cream. If the frosting still looks to wet, add more powdered sugar in 1/2 cup increments.
  13. Beat with whisk attachment for 3 minutes on high.
  14. Frost cupcakes and garnish with XOXOs.
http://theseasidebaker.com/2015/02/08/hugs-kisses-cupcakes/