Lowfat, Low carb Cauliflower & Parmesan soup

creamed cauliflower soup

A couple of weeks ago I had the most amazing cauliflower soup. It was rich, creamy and so wonderfully decadent. A couple of weeks ago I was also full throttle into holiday eating and let’s just say I wasn’t feeling very comfortable in my own skin. I adore soup. I could eat it morning, noon and night. It’s filling, satisfying and comforting. The other day I had a hankering for the cauliflower soup but I wanted to eliminate the fat and calories. I didn’t want to add cream, corn starch, potato or any other thickening agent. I was pretty sure I could get a really thick soup by cooking down the cauliflower and pureeing it with an immersion blender. The end result, although quite different was delicious and indeed satisfying.

(Pardon the photo above taken with my phone and in terrible lighting. I wanted to give you a sense of how thick the soup is. )

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets or two bags of frozen florets. (I used Trader Joe’s grilled cauliflower pieces)
1 container of mirepoix - carrot/onion/celery that can be found in the grocery store with the produce or 3/4 cup of each finely chopped.
2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
1 32 oz carton of chicken broth
1/2 - 1 cup of grated Parmesan
Nutmeg, pepper and sea salt to taste
1 -2 tbs olive oil

cauliflower parm soup

Directions:
In a large pan add the olive oil and mirepoix and cook until soft and onions become translucent.
Toss in the cauliflower pieces, a little bit of salt and pepper and about half of the chicken stock and let simmer on medium low for about 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are all soft to the touch and the liquid has been absorbed.
Remove from heat.
Add the remaining chicken broth and Parmesan and puree with an immersion blender and until smooth. (If you don’t have an immersion blender you can do this in a food processor or blender.
Puree until desired consistency.
Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

The Very Best Eggnog Pound Cake

I first posted this recipe nearly a decade ago and every year around this time the recipe circulates around social media. It really is worthy of sharing and baking. This eggnog pound cake is rich, decadent and like no other. And it really is so easy to make.

The best ever eggnog pound cake

The best ever eggnog pound cake

Equipment

stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer and large bowl)
12-cup Bundt pan or tube pan or two large loaf pans, 6 small loaf pans greased and floured

Ingredients
2 sticks unsalted butter
3 cups (525 g) granulated sugar
6 eggs
3 cups (339 g) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup (240 ml) eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon golden rum or rum extract (But you could add more!!)

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 325° F/165° C.
2. Cut butter into chunks and cream. Gradually add sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
3. Stir together flour and nutmeg. Alternate flour and eggnog: one cup flour, 1/2 cup eggnog, one cup flour, the rest of the eggnog, and then the rest of the flour. Keep the mixer going slowly, scraping down the edges as necessary.
4. Stir in  the vanilla and the rum, 
5. Pour into prepared pan(s) and place on the cookie sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 90 minutes (in bundt pan).
6. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve. Also good with a scoop of ice cream on the side or freshly made whipped cream.

If using mini loaf pans check for doneness after 30 minutes, and then every 5 minutes or so, depending on how high you have filled them and whether you have used them (as I did) in conjunction with a regular sized loaf pan.

The best ever eggnog pound cake

The best ever eggnog pound cake

I slice the bottom off so that the cake lies flat after I remove it from the pan.
Below, a little powdered sugar dresses up the cake to give it a festive flair.

Eggnog Pound Cake via The Entertaining House

Eggnog Pound Cake via The Entertaining House

Eggnog Pound Cake - The Entertaining House

Eggnog Pound Cake - The Entertaining House

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Tis the season….

Tis the season for merriment, shopping, wrapping, baking, cooking, holiday parties and even the impromptu get together. Tis also the season when ovens turn on and stove tops simmer, so why not invite a few friends over?

We’ve decked our halls and decorated our trees. Our homes have taken on the wonderful aromas of freshly baked pies and cookies, roasting hens and hams, aromatic savory spices and sweet flavors of cinnamon, cardamom, maple and vanilla. Turn on the music, light the candles and the tree and with your well stocked pantry, you’re ready to entertain at the spur of the moment. While the food might take center stage, don’t make it complicated or fussy. Something simple will do. An old fashioned casserole, an oven roasted chicken, even an evening of appetizers and finger foods is perfect. Offer a signature cocktail, spiked mulled cider, bubbly, wine or craft beers, whatever tickles your fancy. Again, it’s not what you serve that matters… it’s the gesture and the celebration of the season. A little food and drink and voila!


A Well stocked Pantry

Basic soup stocks: Beef, vegetable, chicken
Oatmeal for hot cereal, apple crisp and other warm treat
Canned tomatoes, whole and chopped, and tomato sauce for homemade pasta sauces and soup bases. 
Really good quality pasta sauces, like Rao's, for those days you don't want to cook.
Flour, Sugar, Baking powder and baking soda, for baking
Cocoa powder
Chocolate chips and other assorted chips for cookie cravings
Beans, assorted, for soups, chilis and those Mexican cravings
Pasta, assorted varieties
Rice, brown is healthier!
Couscous and quinoa
Stock up on your olive oilsbaking oils (Canola and or corn) and vinegars
Jiffy or other non-microwaveable popcorn for movie nights!
Assorted nuts - peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts
Crackers and flatbreads, plain and flavored for impromptu get togethers with friends
Dried fruit such as apricots, raisins, cranberries, dates for snacking on, baking and creating beautiful cheese platters
Assorted chips (I love to serve them in silver bowls)
Peanut and assorted nut butters
Soy, Worcestershire, Sriracha 
and assorted sauces and liquid seasonings
Potatoes, garlic and onions - though some keep these in the fridge
Assorted mustards, Dijon, whole grain, honey
Jarred sun-dried tomatoes
Jarred pesto
Mayonnaise
Honey

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry


Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

A well stocked spice cabinet

Ground cinnamon
Allspice
Nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks
Star anise
Assorted salts, sea, himalayan and flavored
Pepper, fine and coarse
Red pepper flakes
Chile powder
Cumin
Oregano
Herbes de Provence
Italian Seasonings
Basil
Curry powder, red and yellow
Paprika
Bay leaves
Vanilla extract
Vanilla Bean
Almond Extract
Cream of Tartar




A Well stocked fridge

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Milk
Cream, for cooking
Eggs
Butter
Assorted cheeses, for cooking and for last minute guests
Parmesan cheese, grated or block
Hummus
Assorted salamis
Assorted jams
Maple syrup
Bacon
Greek yogurt (for sauces, dips and in lieu of sour cream)
Lettuce
Soup vegetables such as:
Carrots
Parsnips
Radishes
Apples
Oranges/grapefruits
Lemons
Limes
Olives
Cornichons
Capers
White wine
Rosé
Champagne, Prosecco, Cava


Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

A well stocked freezer

Ice cream, sherbet, gelato (These can quickly turn into the most delectable desserts)
Good bread (such as French or Italian)
Sausages
Phyllo and pastry dough
Homemade soup stocks
Frozen berries - to be used in quick breads or for breakfast smoothies
Frozen bananas
Frozen veggies
Chicken breasts
Ground beef
Chicken, ham, pork, etc bones for making homemade stocks
Baked goods - I love to freeze baked goods such as cookies and brownies. They keep beautifully in the freezer and you can take them out in a pinch for entertaining purposes.
Vodka


Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

Everything you need for a well-stocked Holiday Pantry

A Well Stocked Liquor Cabinet/Bar Cart


Assorted bottles of wine: red, white and rosé (see fridge)
Assorted bottle of prosecco, Champagne (see fridge)
Gin
Vodka
Rum (White/Dark)
Tequilla
Vermouth
Port
Sherry
Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
Chambord
St. Germain
Lillet
Bailey’s
Sour Mix
Whiskey/Scotch/Bourbon
Campari
Aperol
Simple Syrup (should be stored in fridge - keeps 2 weeks refrigerate)
Club Soda
Tonic Water
Club Soda/Seltzer
Ginger Beer
Lemons
Limes
Orange Juice
Grapefruit Juice
Apple Cider

Assorted beer (should all be refrigerated)