Carrot + Ginger Soup

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Birthdays look so different when you’re in your late twenties.

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Especially when you’re just super lame.

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Garr turns 29 tomorrow and the ways in which we are celebrating are similar to that of a 49-year-old and a 9-year-old.

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The man wanted a gold wedding band to replace his silver one – of all things. He’s a true catch. The best is that me and my friends told him to get a gold wedding band originally, but apparently 5 years ago gold was not kewl. Now, only gold is kewl. I digress. In addition to his ring, he has to have lil treats for tomorrow! So I grabbed some of his favorites – chocolate chips for midnight snacks, diet Dr. Peppers that we can’t typically keep in the house because he chugs them and cinnamon rolls for breakfast this weekend. For his birthday dinner, I told him I would make anything in the world. He asked for biscuit breakfast sandwiches. It’s like he’s 90 years old and just wants to visit the local McDonald’s for a nice sausage biscuit breakfast.

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I also have a pan of brownies cooling for him to take to his classmates tomorrow. He’s basically in the second grade.

 

 

Time: 1 1/2 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of carrots, peeled + washed
  • 1 knob of ginger, peeled + diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 14oz. can of full coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. of coriander
  • 1 tsp. of italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Pumpkin seeds, for serving
  • Cilantro, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Arrange carrots on a lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Bake for 40 minutes, flipping at least once
  • While the carrots cook, heat remaining oil in a dutch oven over medium heat
  • Add onion + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add garlic + ginger + coriander + Italian seasoning + crushed red pepper + S+P, cook another minute
  • Once carrots are cooled, chop them up + add to pot
  • Add broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat + simmer for 15 minutes
  • Turn off heat + blend using an immersion blender
  • Once almost completely smooth, add coconut milk + lemon juice, blend until super duper smooth
  • Serve warm with pumpkin seeds + cilantro
  • Curl up on the couch in as many blankets as you can get your hands on + slurp on your soup until you turn into a knob of ginger or a carrot, whichever happens first

Rainbow Carrot + Asparagus Tart

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How can I ever accurately express the impact Celine Dion has had on my life?

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I suppose I’d have to go back to the beginning. When a six-year-old Rachel sat in the movie theatre after her first screening of Titanic and the credits rolled. Something inside of me just clicked.

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My Heart Will Go On became the first in what would become a collection of ballads I would memorize and sing at all hours of the day staring at myself in the mirror performing in a melodramatic fashion.

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And now, in less than one year, I will see my idol in person. I will breathe her angelic air and hear her golden voice live. Because my mother knows me to my core, she was determined to get these tickets. She joined a Celine fan club to get early access to tickets and on the morning they went on sale, she was prepared to fight the masses with two cell phones, an iPad and a laptop. After we lost out on Adele tickets in 2016, she was not taking any chances! After about 73 failed attempts, she gets them. 8 tickets for me, her and 6 of my BFFs. It’s not until after she’s paid she realizes she accidentally bought us VIP tickets. Like, OK, do I smell a meet and greet in my future?!?!! After further research, we discover the 8 VIP tickets we purchased give us 8 commemorative lanyards and 1 CD. A single CD. For the 8 of us to share. We’ll be creating a rotation schedule so everyone gets equal amount of time with the disc.

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And we are also all going to channel different Celines for our wardrobe and makeup, so we or may not go viral.

 

 

Time:  1.5 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 4 rainbow carrots
  • 1/2 a bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Thaw puff pastry for 40 minutes
  • Arrange carrots + asparagus on two lined baking sheets
  • Drizzle each with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Roast 20 minutes, tossing once in the middle, remove the asparagus, cook carrots a couple more minutes
  • Meanwhile combine basil + walnuts + nutritional yeast + garlic + lemon juice + S+P in a food processor, process on low + add in remaining olive oil
  • Spray a baking sheet with oil + place puff pastry on sheet
  • Spread pesto on thawed puff pastry, leaving edges plain
  • Cut carrots in half, length wise + place them + asparagus on top of the tart in whatever order your heart desires
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until crisp to your desire
  • Cut in quarters + serve warm
  • Take a quarter in your hand + crunch it up over your tilted mouth letting the crumblies fill your pie hole

Buffalo Chickpea Burritos

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What kind of backwoods, boonies town do I live in that we just got recycling cans like yesterday??

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For months, my plastics and cardboard have gone into the TRASH.

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The deforestation and pollution I must have caused. I shudder!

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To make up for the many trees I undoubtedly destroyed, I decided to take a couple of proactive measures. First, I purchased a reusable straw. These are very in right now. It came in a stylish lil pink container with an easy cleaning tool! I used it like 4 times and every time I whipped it out I felt like an environmental crusader, just doing my part one sip at a time. Then I left it at a restaurant, obviously. To compensate, I offered to take the recyclables home after volunteering at church on Sunday. We’re leaving and I throw a giant trash bag full of milk cartons over my shoulder. Garr stops in his tracks and is like, “What are you doing….?” I explained and he is all, no, nope, not happening, we are not starting this. Apparently, he thinks taking recyclables from church might be a gateway drug. Like, eventually I’ll start calling random restaurants and offering to pick up their salvageable materials.

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Ha! He’s funny. I’m not ready for that, I’m still working on my spreadsheet of local shops that don’t recycle.

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 cup of carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup of buffalo sauce
  • 1 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • S+P, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Tortillas, for serving

How to:

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add onion + S+P, cook for 3-4 minutes
  • Add garlic, cook another minute
  • Add chickpeas + onion powder + garlic powder + paprika + cumin + chili powder + S+P, cook 4-5 minutes or until starting to crisp
  • Add buffalo sauce, coat + cook another 2 minutes
  • To serve, lay out a warmed up tortilla on a flat surface, top with chickpeas + tomato + carrots + cabbage + avocado
  • Roll up, folding the sides in as you go, until you have a nice lil burrito baby
  • Repeat with remaining ingredients
  • Hold burrito in both hands, length wise, and nibble on it like a corn on the cob, terrifying all your pals