Bloody Mary Tomato Soup

IMG_1345You ever have one of those days where its  9 am and your ready to call it a day? . Yesterday was one of those day for me. Its spring vacation around here (more like an  arctic vacation) and I had volunteered my day to babysitting/ hanging out with 2 of my nephews, ages 11 and 13. (I know, I am the greatest sister). I had all of these great ideas and plans of things to do, but when it came down to it, they wanted to do nothing but play video games and not really listen to anything I said. I basically had to drag them outside to go for a walk we me and that's all I could get them to do  My great little nephews, I love them so much, but yesterday they had their minds set on being little monsters.

I needed a drink. And I needed lunch. And so I was inspired to make this bloody mary tomato soup. Its got all the essentials to a great drink, the tomato, the spice, the zingy flavors, but warm and thick to eat as soup which was a perfect lift for a freezing cold dragging day. And no, I didn't add the vodka to it because that would be irresponsible of me.  I am not about to serve up lunch soup to a couple  young boys with alcohol in it. I am not a dumb ass…Save the vodka for when the kids go home!

IMG_1308 What we have going here…... Chopped up onion, celery, and carrot in a pot. Stick that pot on the stove for a few minutes on medium heat to start the cooking process.  While that happening get the other stuff ready.  A big can of diced tomatoes, hot sauce, worcestershire sauce*,  prepared horseradish*, celery salt, garlic powder, salt and pepper And last but not least a good squirt of yellow mustard. Now add it all to the pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to low and stick a lid on it.

*I used  the horseradish that is made with only horseradish and vinegar…..You can use the other stuff that contains sugars and milk, but I don't know how tastes. And the worcestershire sauce I used did not contain fish but be aware that a lot of the popular brands do, so if you care, check labels!

IMG_1323After about 20 minutes the veggies should be soft and the flavors should all have melded together. Taste  soup as it is cooking and add any more spice that you want.

Now in goes the emulsifying stick of fun! (Or dump in a blender) Blend blend blend!  

IMG_1366I stopped when I got to a smooth consistency with the littlest bit of texture.

And now the soup is now ready for the bowls!

IMG_1361And there it is…served with a stock of celery and a wedge of lemon (I forgot to add them to the pictures!)  A bloody Mary to take the edge off any drag of a cold weather day. And best part..   left over soup is great served chilled with a shot of vodka to loosen this Mary up!

Have a Happy Day!


Bloody Mary Tomato Soup

The Stuff

Side note…The spicier sauce, horseradish, and worcestershire sauce are pretty flexible. My advice is to start with the lesser amounts of the ingredient and work your way up until you get to your happy soup place.

  • 32 oz can of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 stalks or celery plus more for garnish
  • 1-2 teaspoons horseradish
  • 1-2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons hot sauce or  ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 
  • A lemon cut into wedges (To squeeze on as a garnish)
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and cracked pepper to taste

Dice up carrots, onion and celery and place in a large pot and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Once the  veggies are slightly soft, add in the rest of the ingredients plus one tomato can  worth of water. Bring to boil, cover and turn heat down to low. Cook for another 15-20 minutes or until all the veggies are super soft and the flavor have all developed.  Add salt and pepper, taste and add any additional spicier spices that you want.

When happy with taste, either  in a blender or with a hand emulsifier, blend soup until smooth (or to your desired constancy) Soup is now ready to serve.

Ladle or pour into bowls  and serve with a stalk of celery and maybe a wedge of lemon. Crackers or croutons are welcome too.

Eat with a Spoon

Soup left overs are great refrigerated and served cold. Add a splash of vodka to make it fun.

Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles

IMG_0744Because it is cold outside. Because I had an hour to kill before I needed to leave the house and because I wanted to make a sweet treat for the mister (who had been dealing with frozen pipes all day) and for the little littles that I was going to hang out with.  My original idea was to just make regular old snickerdoodles, but as  I was riffling around my tea drawer for a mid day tea (it's usually coffee, but I am trying to cut back on drinking one thousand cups a day) I got hit with a little inspiration. Chai tea spiced snickerdoodles. Yes! a nice black chai, full of flavors or cinnamon, ginger, cardamon, allspice, and pepper. So many good time tastes.  And while I am at it, why not add some chocolate to that mix, because, well just because.

Chai, chocolate, and sugar equals….Bada da da….. awesome Cookies! And who doesn't want awesome cookies?

IMG_0679The stuff…Flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and allspice. Cocoa powder, brown and white sugar. Veggie Oil  (you can use butter, or vegan butter instead for a chewier cookie) vanilla, a little vinegar and a nice cup of  chai tea...  Also a little bowl of cinnamon and sugar to doodle the cookies.

IMG_0707    IMG_0716The sugars, oil, tea, vinegar, and vanilla go into a big bowl. Beat for a minute on medium, then add the rest of the stuff and beat some more until fully incorporated…. Simple simple. 

Preheat the oven to 375 and get the cookies all dressed up in a cinnamon sugar suit by taking globs of dough and kind of rolling it into ball (perfection is not necessary) Drop dough balls into the cinnamon sugar and toss around to fully coat. Place on cookie sheet and give a good smoosh to flatten the cookie balls out to about 1/2 inch thick. Now into the oven for about 9-11 minutes to bake. 

IMG_0747Aahhhh…….pulled from the oven and placed on a rack to cool. Fluffy, chewy, pillowy soft and spicy cookies. Oh the smell of so good!IMG_0732Made extra large to make extra little littles happy. The best part? I made each little sing me a song for a second cookie… I am the greatest!

Heres to a Happy Hump Day!


Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles 

The stuff-
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Chai teabag steeped in 1 1/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cups vegetable oil (can substitute butter or vegan butter for a more chewy cookie)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons each of cinnamon and white sugar to coat cookie balls in

Preheat oven to 375

In a cup, steep tea bag in 1 1/4 cups boiling water. Let tea steep for 10 minutes.

In  Large bowl, add sugars, oil, vanilla, vinegar and steeped tea and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (besides cinnamon and sugar for coating) and beat on low until everything is fully incorporated. 

 Add the cinnamon and sugar to a small bowl and mix together. Take globs of dough and roughly formed  ball then drop into cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Place coated balls on cooke sheet and smoosh down so cookies are about 1/2 inch thick. Place in oven for about 9-11 minutes or until cookies are just barely cooked through. Remove and let cool on a wire rack.

My suggestion for sharing….If they want one, make them sing and dance for it!

Focaccia with or without stuff

IMG_9014One of the best things about winter is that I can have something in the oven at any time and not worry about how hot the house is going to get.  I get to spend my free time (or my in between free minutes) baking up all the thing that I would not dare bake in the summer. (lots of bread and cakes) Yeah, I might complain a little about how cold it is outside (to my defense, -20 is kind of a bitch) but then I think of the super hot humid days that come during the summer and cringe.  At least when its cold out I am able to get warm, (que oven)  but when its super hot and humid, I just turn into something that border lines a wet towel and the rabbit animal… Not so pleasant.   I much prefer cooler weather. So no big surprise….I made bread.. or focaccia to be exact. And now you should too because first off, you want to eat it, and secondly, you can probably whip this up faster then it would take to get all of you winter warmies on and leave the house. Don't leave, just turn the oven on.  IMG_8863The stuff, which isn't a whole lot… Flour and salt.  A mixture of honey, water, and yeast. And olive oil. Its pretty much my pizza dough recipe, tweaked with the addition of oil, less flour and no kneading.  IMG_8891Mix together the wet and dry…I used my nifty dough whisk, but a wooden spoon or even your hand works. Mix mix mix. The dough should  be really slack and sticky.  And guess what.. no need to knead! Just make sure the dough is uniformly incorporated…hehe.. uniformly incorporated… sounds weird.  IMG_8902       IMG_8931Drizzle the dough (don't worry about making it into a ball, a blob is good) with a little oil and place in a nice warm place topped with a towel to rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size. Once is has fully risen, drizzle 2 tablespoons oil in two 9 inch cake pans.  Divide dough in half, and kind of smoosh dough into pans. Cover and let rise for another 20 minutes or so. IMG_8977When dough has finished its second rise, drizzle each  with another tablespoon of oil and with your fingers, fill out the pan and indent the dough, kind of like playing a piano or tickling a puppy(?)….Then layer your toppings (if you want any)  Start with any herbs, then the veggies. Then last, any cheese you got. I used thyme, cracked black pepper, tomato, onion, topped with parmesan cheese. And the other one is just plain old salt.  IMG_9021Pulled from the oven when nice and golden brown..set on a wire rack to cool for a few minute and removed from the pans. IMG_9083The mister was practically salivating waiting for a slice… and he was so not disappointed. Crispy outside with soft airy insides… Everything a perfect focaccia should be. The one with the toppings was the favorite for the first night, but for a peanut butter and cheese panini for lunch the next day…plain is the way to go.. My suggestion, do what I did, jazz one up and leave one plain. And then make more if you need too because the forecast call for another week of below zero!!! Oh the things that I'll get to make! (me being positive) Stay warm! -C

Focaccia with out without stuff

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 2 teaspoons for topping (can use more or less if you want)
  • 2 teaspoons active yeast (or one package)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar if vegan)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil

Optional toppings

  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Thyme or any other spices
  • Thinly sliced tomato
  • Thinly sliced onion 
  • Parmesan Cheese 
  • Anything you want!

In a bowl or jar, mix honey (or sugar), yeast and warm water together and let sit for about 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and starts to foam In a large bowl, whisk together flour and 1 tablespoon of salt. With either a wooden spoon, dough whisk, or if you have one, a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix the yeast mixture with the flour. The dough is going to be really sticky so mixing might get a little gloppy, but keep at it until everything is full incorporated.. for about 3-5 minutes and don't be afraid to use your hand… you can wash it off.  Once mixed drizzle with oil and cover with a towel. Let rise for about an hour or until dough has dubbed in size. When dough has double, coat two 8 or 9 inch cake pans each with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Dump dough onto floured surface and cut in half. Take each half a place in pan. cover and let rise again for another 20ish minutes. preheat over to 400 degrees After second rise, lightly take your fingers and push down dough, making little indents all over the surface. Drizzle each with another tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle each with a teaspoon of salt. If using spices or any other toppings, nows the time to layer them on. And do any cheese last! Place in oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. When done, place on a wire rack and let cool a bit before removing  from pans. Done!!  To store, place in a paper bag.. best eaten within a few days!

Oatmeal Fresh Cranberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies


It hasn't stopped snowing, the temperature is dropping fast (it's getting to the point the dog doesn't even want to be outside) and the mister is busy hand shoveling three long driveways. So I figured that in between all the laundry folding, plant watering , and all around sitting on my butt  that I am doing  INSIDE, that  I would be so super nice and crank the stove up and make my love some cookies.I love making cookies, especially when I have chores to do. I think part of it is that cookies are baked in batches which breaks up the chores and gives a sort of rhythm to things. Plus everything is nice when the house smells like cookies.  I was going to make chocolate chocolate chocolate cookies, but realized that I didn't have cocoa powder, so I went with fresh cranberries (I just scored a pound of organic cranberries for 89 cents!) coconut flakes and chocolate chips. Plus I wanted to make them oatmeal because the mister likes oatmeal and oatmeal makes the cookies a little more hardy. (We need hardy when the temperature dips below zero)The verdict….. chewy, soft, slightly sweet oatmeal, bittersweet chocolate, nutty floral coconut, and the zing and pop of the fresh cranberries. He told me to hide them… hide so he will stop eating them….. because they be amazing!


The base of this cookie….We are using regular old fashion oats and flour.  Salt, baking soda and baking powder.  Vanilla, chia seeds in hot water, coconut oil  white and brown sugar…. You know, all the cookie stuff.  Then all the goodness.. Chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and fresh cranberries. Goodness.Oh yeah, and they are vegan…if that matters to you.Warm the coconut oil and mix with the white and brown sugars. Then add the chia seeds soaked in hot water.  Stir until nice and silky smooth.In goes some more stuff.  I just dumped all the dry right on in that bowl and mixed it up nice and nice.Chopped the fresh cranberries into chunks… One at a time……Just kidding, I actually laid a cutting board on top of the cranberries, applied a little pressure and sliced through the cranberries.. Does that make sense? I hope so, because its is much easier and faster and the cranberries don't all roll away.The chopped cranberries, coconut flakes and the chocolate chips go in to be mix all up. I used my hands to form the balls and gave each mound a little smoosh, but not completely flat.  Then into a preheated 375 degree oven for about 13-15 minutes or until a nice golden brown.A cup of hot coffee and a plate of warm cookies… I am the nicest, right! (After his nice cookie rest I proceeded  to do a little nagging, so the day evened out)So today is probably a great day for everyone to make cookies. It's freezing out,  its saturday and well, just cause. You might even be looking for a great recipe to make for that big party your going to.You should make these cookies. Have a Fantastic Weekend!!!-C

Oatmeal Fresh Cranberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Coookies


  • 1 cup old fashion oats
  • 1 1/4cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon chia
  •  4-6 tablespoons hot water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 375To start, take the chia seed and soak them in the 4 tablespoon hot water for a few minutes. Then in a large bowl, mix together the white and brown sugar with warmed coconut oil. Add in the gelled chia seeds and vanilla and stir until silky and combined. (the warm chia seeds will help everything mix together nicely) Now mix in all the dry. I start with the oats, dump on flour, toss in the baking powder and soda and salt. Mix until fully combines. If the dough seems to dry, add in another tablespoon or two of hot water. Chop the fresh cranberries into halves or smaller and dump them, the coconut and chocolate chips into the bowl of dough and mix.Using a scoop, spoons, or your hands, make little balls and place on a cookie sheet, giving each ball a little smoosh. Into the oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.Remove and cool on rack.Eat a few and hide the rest for later.