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Mushroom Risotto

I am beyond¬†excited to share a recipe today from one of my favorite food bloggers, Jenna Weber. But the even more exciting news is that this recipe is actually from her brand new¬†book that was released this week — White Jacket Required.

I have long adored Jenna’s beautiful site, Eat Live Run, and the charming, honest, faithful, stylish, and inspiring life she leads. So it was wonderful to follow along in this “culinary coming-of-age story” to hear even more of the journey behind the scenes that has led her to today. From the entertaining and brave stories of venturing through culinary school, to finding and losing love, to pressing on in some of life’s darkest moments, and to finding hope and new adventures again, Jenna invites us along on the amazing journey that it has been. And of course, the charming conversational style of writing we all know and love from her blog carries you through, making this a page-turner I happily flew through.

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Lobster Bisque

Today I made one of my favorites for a special treat — classic lobster bisque.

I have a long list of restaurants I whose lobster bisques I adore, but for some reason I had never before tried making it at home. (Somehow lobster tails don’t seem to make it into my budget too often!) But my recent discovery of a bag of frozen chopped lobster meat from Trader Joe’s inspired me to give it a try. And I’m pretty sure now that this soup may make it into “the rotation” (as my friend Christin calls it) of favorites from now on.

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Summer Squash & Corn Chowder

Mmmmm…I love this time of year. We’re caught in between of two of my favorite seasons, and it’s glorious. Some days are filled with sun and heat in the 80′s, but then days with cool breezes and occasional autumn thunderstorms are sure to follow. And then more sun. And then more rain. And back again. :) Ah…I love the Midwest.

So to celebrate this fun dance between seasons, wanted to introduce this delicious summer squash and corn chowder. I absolutely love this one. The fresh summer squash and (two types of) corn anchor the soup with their delicious, mild, and sweet flavors. And then the bacon, green onion, and cheddar mixed in balance the soup out perfectly.

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Easy Grilled Vegetables

Pretty much anytime we heat up our charcoal grill, I round up whatever veggies we have in the house and pull out my little grill pan to put on a side of grilled veggies. They are the perfect side, or even a good veggie main course, and also make fabulous leftovers!

Literally, you can use just about any fresh vegetables you’d like for this method. Just be sure they are all cut to a similar size, tossed in a bit of oil, and then voila — delicious, slighty-charred, caramelized vegetables can be yours to enjoy with very little effort. I love to them top them with a simple roasted garlic dressing and/or some fresh herbs, but honestly, they are also fabulous with just some olive oil, salt and pepper. Whatever works. :)

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Stuffed Artichokes

Pretty sure fresh, delicious, gorgeous artichokes were on sale at our local grocery store last week for $0.99. Um…YUM. Definitely a deal I couldn’t pass up. :)

But rather than going with my usual steamed artichoke and buttery dipping sauce combo, decided to try stuffing an artichoke for the first time! I imagined it would be pretty time consuming and challenging, but it was super easy!! And don’t be fooled by the long recipe instructions – stuffing the artichoke was also super speedy.

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Roasted Garlic & Brie Soup

When I asked my 7-yr-old piano student yesterday to tell me what was new in his world, he rolled his eyes and matter-of-factly informed me that “Um….it’s cold outside again”. So true, so true. After a month of gorgeous spring weather, the temperatures in Kansas Cty have randomly decided to dip over the last week, forcing everyone to pull out long-sleeved shirts, turn on their car heaters, and switch back to hot instead of iced coffee. Boo.

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Spring Vegetable Minestrone

Ok, I wasn’t really planning to post this one. But it turned out so amazingly delicious I decided to at least snap a final photo and pop it on here! :)

Don’t be at all scared by the long list of ingredients. This soup — like all minestrone soups — is so much more about the method than the specifics. So feel free to just toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand. Since it’s Spring, I happened to have some fresh spinach, asparagus, and snow peas in the fridge waiting to be used. (Along with the carrots, celery and onion that I recommend always having on hand!) But really, you can toss in whatever veggies you like!

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Creamy Roasted Asparagus Soup

Wow – asparagus seems to be everywhere right now! And since those beautiful, bright green stalks are apparently irresistible to me at the store (especially when they’re on sale!), we’ve been enjoying lots of asparagus lately in my kitchen. Roasted, blanched, in pesto, in gnocchi, you name it…we’ve enjoyed it!

But this week, I revisited a favorite recipe I remember trying last spring — asparagus soup! And once again – it was wonderful!! As a spin on the original recipe from Gourmet, I decided to try roasting all of the veggies (similar to this simple method for this roasted tomato soup). And sure enough – loved how it kicked the flavor up a notch!

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