italian butternut squash soup

by Eva Felis on November 24, 2015

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It’s the midst of fall and I think we all enjoyed a fair share of all kind of pumpkin treats by this time. And we are not stopping yet, keep them coming! This recipe for Italian butternut squash soup takes a different approach on the regular pumpkin soup with adding rosemary, onion, tomatoes and garlic. It’s an Italian family recipe from someone I once worked with. She scribbled it on a piece of her sandwich paper and I copied this recipe in my notebook years ago. However the main ingredients should be carrots instead of pumpkins, but I just can’t make myself eat so much of it. It doesn’t need a genius to substitute one orange ingredient for another, yet it took me years…

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For this recipe you need a deep pan to catch all the flavorful juices. We want those veggies nicely roasted, but don’t need them crunchy. The beauty about this recipe is that it really takes just a few minutes to prepare. A little peeling and chopping and the soup cooks itself in the oven without further ado.

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italian butternut squash soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (about 1¾ pounds)
  • 10 campari tomatoes (see notes)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 rosemary springs
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 500 ml / 2 cups + 2 Tbsp. vegetable stock
  • blue cheese, crumbled
  • green onions
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 205 C /400 F.
  2. Layer the butternut squash, tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking pan with a rim.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the rosemary springs on top and roast for 60-70 minutes or until tender and brown around edges. Let slightly cool.
  4. Remove the rosemary springs and transfer the roasted vegetables with the juices to your blender. Add a few rosemary needles but not the woody stems. I usually add the needles of one spring, and add more if necessary later.
  5. Pour in the vegetable stock and purée the soup until smooth. You might have to work in batches, depending on the size of your blender.
  6. Place the blended soup in a saucepan, reheat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve garnished with the crumbled blue cheese, fresh ground black pepper and green onions.
I used campari tomatoes, they are smaller, very juicy and sweet. Use more or less tomatoes depending on the size.
For the original recipe swap carrots for the butternut squash and sage for the rosemary.

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pear & poppy seed pudding

by Eva Felis on November 19, 2015

pear & poppy seed pudding

Pear & poppy seed pudding is going to be my life saver today! I have an appointment this afternoon, one of the worst ones. It’s with my dentist and I know for sure he is going to drill the heck out of my tooth. He is a very nice guy, polite and charming. He is going to greet me and ask me, how I feel and I am going to answer: give me the local anesthetics -now. As soon as my face stops being numb, I will eat this pear & poppy seed pudding and I will try to forget all this happened.
The poppy seeds taste nutty and are fun to eat. You can go either way with this pudding: with almond flavor, like I did in this recipe, or add lemon zest instead for a citrusy flavor. You can also use apples, if you are not really into pears, but don’t skip it. Mr. F called it a pudding/cake hybrid and reheats it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Isn’t he a gourmet?

pear & poppy seed pudding


pear & poppy seed pudding


pear & poppy seed pudding
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 500 ml / 2⅛ cups milk (2%) or almond milk
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. poppy seeds
  • 170 g / ½ cup honey
  • 200 g / 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. amaretto liqueur or 1 tsp. almond extract / or lemon zest
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Forelle pears or small apples
  • 2 Tbsp. jam or jelly of your choice
  1. Heat your oven to 175 C / 350 F.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat bring the milk, the poppy seeds and the honey to boil, remove from heat and let soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile peel the pears, cut in half and then in quarter, remove the cores and cut quarters in thin wedges. Set aside.
  4. Add almond flour to the milk-poppy seed-mix.
  5. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, cornstarch and amaretto liqueur (or almond extract). Slowly pour egg mixture to the saucepan with the milk, stirring rapidly.
  6. Cook over medium heat until pudding thickens, for about 2 minutes. Continue stirring. Remove from heat.
  7. Add the butter and stir until melted.
  8. Pour pudding in six ramekins or other shallow heat-proof dishes.
  9. Arrange the pear wedges on top of the pudding and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Heat the jam until liquid and brush over the top of the pudding. Let cool.
You can use almond milk for a diary free version.

pear & poppy seed pudding

glazed pear & poppy seed pudding, gluten and diary free


appled dark ‘n’ stormy

by Eva Felis on November 17, 2015

appled dark ‘n’ stormy

Who is afraid of the dark? Torrential rain? Thunderstorms and lightning? Anyone? Bummer! I would raise my hand, because it’s the best excuse and occasion to enjoy this appled dark ‘n’ stormy. This cocktail is named after the “color of a cloud only a fool or a dead man would sail under”. At the time I lived in Kansas City, tornadoes occurred frequently and my friend Susan told me, she would take her dogs, a pitcher of margaritas and drive over to her mom’s house. The two of them would chat and have some drinks in the basement, while over their head all hell breaks loose. What a great way to use otherwise lost time! Luckily tornadoes are rare in Atlanta, but I can close my curtains and pretend… and mix some appled dark ‘n’ stormy. Read more >>


cider-braised turkey thigh with chorizo

by Eva Felis on November 11, 2015

cider-braised turkey thigh with chorizoWith Thanksgiving Day around the corner and ideas for decoration, recipes and survival tips popping up everywhere, it’s hard to avoid thinking about turkey. With all the craziness about this bird, I am not looking forward eating leftovers for weeks. I don’t want to be a party pooper here, but turkey don’t come in XS sizes. So what’s the alternative? A miniature turkey aka chicken? I hear a voice in my head scream sacrilege. Not an option! Instead of making the turkey smaller, I picked my favorite part of it, the turkey thigh. I also craved sauce, lots of it, I wanted my turkey swim in a pool of sauce. With so much sides going on, I wasn’t in the mood for peeling and chopping extra veggies. Instead I flavored the sauce with chorizo, very manly of me. This recipe for cider-braised turkey thighs with chorizo is a great alternative for smaller Thanksgiving gatherings or Sunday suppers. Read more >>


blackberry-thyme-lemon infused vodka

by Eva Felis on November 9, 2015

blackberry-thyme-lemon infused vodka

Halloween had been just the start of the fall parties, and the holiday season is upon us! Those colder months are my favorite time of the year! The days are getting shorter, the nights longer, and that means more time for parties and to get together with friends. It’s the season for red wine, bourbon and those drinks, that are able to warm you from the inside. I started infusing vodka again with the intention to build a selection. Blackberry-thyme-lemon infused vodka is one of my favorites so far. The flavors blend so well together and all I need is some soda to enjoy a ruby red drink. Read more >>


sweet potato and peanut stew with kale

by Eva Felis on November 5, 2015

sweet potato and peanut stew with kale

It rained all day last Sunday. It was cold, dark and unpleasant outside. I loved it! We cozied up together on the couch and sipped on hot chocolate laced with dark rum. It was my turn to pick a movie from my infinite list and I chose Hector and the Search for Happiness. At first my choice raised some hackles, but soon we both liked it a lot. Have you watched it? The recipe for sweet potato and peanut stew with kale is inspired by this movie. Now we could theorize about happiness, but it will go beyond the scope of a blog post. Can we both agree on: you can find happiness in cooking sweet potato and peanut stew with kale for you family? Read more >>


roasted cauliflower with whipped feta-tomato dip

by Eva Felis on November 3, 2015

roasted cauliflower with whipped feta-tomato dipI am a dip and smear person, lover of hummus, guacamole, salsa and aioli – you name it. Unfortunately the vessels to transport these sauces into my mouth, are for the most part unhealthy pita chips (yum), nachos (also yum) and in best cases baby carrots (healthy but…). The plan behind my roasted cauliflower with whipped feta-tomato dip is the balance of healthy, creamy and flavorful. I have to admit my veggie of choice was determined by having this big head of cauliflower sitting in my refrigerator. Read more >>


oatmeal hazelnut and cranberry cookies {gluten free}

by Eva Felis on October 30, 2015

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Earlier this week an incident caused a need for these oatmeal hazelnut and cranberry cookies {gluten free}. But let me explain…  A couple of maintenance trucks rolled down the street and stopped right under my window. Soon a few guys jumped out and decorated the street with orange traffic cones. One of them positioned himself Rambo-style in front of the waiting cars. Needless to say those drivers were not happy about the traffic jam and made good use of their honks. Read more >>


jalapeno jelly glazed Brussels sprouts

by Eva Felis on October 27, 2015

jalapeno glazed brussel sprouts

It seams like there is a new restaurant opening in Atlanta every other day. On the other hand, some are also shutting their doors for good. One of the recent closed restaurants, I would never shed a tear over. Sure I am very sorry for the employees, they had been the best part. However the food? Nah. Won’t be a great lost. Saying this with my big mouth, one of my friends agreed and also disagreed. Of cause there is an exception to what I just said. Did I ever order their jalapeno jelly glazed Brussels sprouts, she asked. I didn’t. How could I miss them? I love roasted Brussels sprouts, just think about the kung pao Brussels sproutsRead more >>


baby kale with red beets, grapefruit and apples

by Eva Felis on October 23, 2015

baby kale salad with grapefruit, apples, red beets

The days still feel sunny and warm here in the South, but the nights are chilly and I pulled out my blankie weeks ago. The summer is officially over and ordinary lettuce doesn’t cut it anymore. With dropping temperatures a salad has to offer me more than just a “healthy” label. Lately I am really loving baby kale, the tenderness and the flavor makes it very tasty and also versatile. I added roasted red beets for the color and because it is so sweet and earthy. Also it can handle the grapefruit with it’s bitter citrus and the tart apple slices. All comes together with a tangy caramel dressing with dried cranberries. I roasted some hazelnuts and sprinkled them all over for some crunch. Read more >>