Tomato, Kale and Orzo Soup w/ Turkey Meatballs

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Hi all! Sorry for being MIA. I feel so apologetic all the time on the blog since i haven’t posted very much, and I keep telling myself I want to write more and learn to code. Haven’t done this New Year’s Resolution yet, but have worked on the other goals for the year. I have a great feeling that 2016 is going to be a great year for my friends and I. Change is coming (and has already as I moved a month ago) and I am SO ready.

Btw, it has been raining for 5 straight days in Northern CA. I know this year is going to be a great year because even through the rain, I am still out and about and in a great mood to be spending time with friends and family. Also, it has been a great time to make hearty soups. I am very fond of orzo, but had a un-love affair with orzo for a long time. I think I just hated the fact that it literally soaked up every ounce of liquid in everything. But for some reason, this time, I was actually craving those little morsel pastas.

Also, I have my hands on some real Burmese fermented tea leaf paste. I plan to make tons and tons of tea leaf salads in the future. Will post here once I do. Can’t wait!

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It’s Pumpkin Time!!!

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It’s Pumpkin Time!!! Finally! My favorite food season is upon us! Happy October 1st ya’ll! Trader Joe’s has rolled out their plethora of pumpkin goodies – did you know they have Pumpkin Bagels and Pumpkin Mochis? This world has gone pumpkin crazy! I love how pumpkin has gone to super duper mainstream in the recent years – I mean look at Starbucks – they rolled out their Pumpkin Spice Latte a month or two ago! Everyone is getting creative with pumpkin nowadays, and you should too! There’s definitely more to pumpkin than pumpkin pie – trust me.

These are 4 of my Pumpkin recipes that I enjoyed making last year! I can’t count how many times I have made this pumpkin bread – you know it’s great when even I make it again and again – my go to recipe for pumpkin bread. This year, I hope to post up some Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin Pie, and some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!!! Stay tuned for those in the coming weeks! I LOVE PUMPKIN!

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Chicken Noodle Soup!!!

Ahh the clouds have settled in. I am freezing cold. My body hates me. I need to recuperate. And fast because Halloween is fast approaching! I am so excited this year!!! Even though my favorite Halloween has got to be Halloween 2011 where I spent one night in Vegas with the girls and had an amazing time hahaha. Also because I made my favorite costume. normally I don’t like Halloween- it comes at such an inconvenient time, especially when you are in school, this is when shit gets real, the holidays are fast approaching, deadlines come and go, and finals are creepin. This year I plan to go to A&B Halloween Therapy and then straight to Portland for a weekend trip with the best friend. This year, I plan to be a cat, a rose, and a mermaid. Although I am not excited about my costume choices this year, the memories I will make this Halloween weekend (2 weekends hell yah!) will be worth it. Hehe I will do a Halloween costume post later. 🙂 What are your plans for Halloween?

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Chicken Pho (Pho Ga), Turtle Tower Way!

I frequently claim I don’t like pho- which is true most of the time. When I am forced to go, I usually order chicken pho because I like the broth slightly better than the beef one. However, one of the main reasons I don’t like it is pho noodles. I just don’t like the texture or the weird after taste of them. But when I had Turtle Tower for the first time, it changed my life! Apparently they are more of a Northern style pho, with fresh flat noodles instead of the dried skinny ones. Fresh flat noodles are similar to Chinese chow fun noodles, which I grew up eating anyway. And Turtle Tower’s broth is similar to plain chicken soup, which is perfect for the soul. So when I became sick, I immediately craved the TT chicken pho, but obviously I can’t get it here because no Viet place in SD serves it like TT does. So I set out to make my own. I have heard stories about the broth being cooked for hours, sometimes even all day to achieve that delicious broth. And believe me, after making it, that’s very much true! Time is essential in creating this broth. I suggest making it at night, and letting the chicken simmer for hours into the night, when you sleep. Therefore, the next day at lunch, you can have a hot bowl of pho! 🙂 I have to say that this recipe’s broth actually comes pretty close to the taste of TT. You can always adjust the salt (or msg) if you want :). Happy eating!

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Tomato and Basil Soup!

Tomato soup is one of my favorites-I sure wish I had a grilled cheese right now! I used to get the boxes of Trader Joes Tomato soup and drink it all the time. I really wanted the opportunity to make it myself because its obviously less processed and you can make it with the ingredients you like. I substituted heavy cream with light sour cream [or greek yogurt] and used some fresh tomatoes and basil. I got to control how much salt I put in and the consistency of the soup. I bought an immersion blender literally to make tomato soup haha. I dont really like creamy soups; I typically prefer broth-y ones. The blender is so handy to use! Through my search for an immersion blender, I figured there are two kinds that are similar: hand mixer and an immersion blender. They both look almost the same, but if you have a regular mixer or a stand alone one, the hand mixer is of no use. Immersion blenders puree food! So if you want to make hearty and creamy soups, I suggest you get one! I love my Cuisinart one!

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Beef and Barley Soup!

                                         
Mmm beef and barley. Usually at restaurants, it is super salty and I always have to add water. Why not make it at home? The meat used is lean so it isnt as oily. I added kale and mushrooms because those are like my two favorite things. Did you know barley is part of the grass family? Weird, I  know. It is also used to ferment for beer and other distilled beverages. It is a high fiber and high protein grain- perfect for my obsession to get skinny with protein and lots of fiber. It is so delicious, I am so happy with the way it turned out!

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