Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup with Parmesan Croutons

I often say that I could live on salads during the summer months and on soup during the chilly months {with maybe a casserole thrown in every now and then for good measure}. I've shared with you an abundance of soup recipes over the past five years here on Joyously Domestic. Recently, I posted a collection of Fourteen Tantalizing and Comforting Soup Recipes and it took off like wildfire here on the blog and on social media. So, I know I'm not alone in my adoration of soup.


Now, with that said, I understand that not everyone particularly digs cauliflower. But, even if you insist that it is the evilest of vegetables, I think you may be a bit surprised at just how amazing it is roasted and spun into a creamy soup. Seriously.

Just the roasted cauliflower alone almost did me in. I had to restrain myself from eating half of the batch when it came out of the oven ... before the soup-making process had really even gotten off of the ground. {I'll definitely have to randomly roast up a slew of cauliflower florets more often just for snacking purposes. For sure.}

The fabulous news about this soup? It is quite healthful. Can you believe the recipe has ZERO butter, milk or cream? It's, basically, a combo of cauliflower, garlic and chicken stock with a few seasoning components. {And, if you really wanna be healthy, I guess one could omit the croutons. But, I would not recommend it, friends.}

NOTE:  Know that the recipe as written only yields four smaller-sized servings. {This soup isn't necessarily one that a big, whopping bowl is needed at one sitting as it's somewhat decadent and rich in taste and texture. It's a pretty easy recipe to double, however, to feed a larger crowd if needed.

Yields 4 servings.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Sweet and Salty Halloween Bark

You can't go wrong with chocolate {or any type of candy really} this time of year. The spirits of ghosts and goblins may be in the air. But, truth be told ... sweets are on our minds. {What parent doesn't look forward to raiding those Trick-or-Treat buckets after the kiddos' bedtime on the night of October thirty-first?} As if we didn't get enough sugar this month, I give you Sweet and Salty Halloween Bark.


My kiddos and I love making different types of bark for different seasons. Besides the fact that it's a simple enough of a "recipe," barks are just so darn fun to make and they really allow for an abundance of creativity. What you include is pretty much up to you. It's a very adaptable, customizable recipe. By starting with a base of melted bittersweet/semi-sweet chocolate, you create a foundation for whatever candy, nuts, dried fruit, sprinkles, etc. that suit your fancy.

NOTE: I highly recommend some sort of pretzels or salted nuts to create that ideal sweet and salty combination. The salty component really counteracts the amount of sweetness present. Furthermore, some coarse salt can be sprinkled on top of the melted chocolate, if desired, to really drive home the salty flavor.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fourteen Tantalizing and Comforting Soup Recipes

Fall is upon us. Winter will be here before we know it. In my household, this time of year means SOUP. I've complied some of my favorite and most-popular soup recipes from Joyously Domestic. Some are for the slow cooker. Some are vegetarian. A few are cream-based soups. A handful of them are more-healthful and good-for-you versions. Basically, there's something here for everyone.  
 
 
Just follow the links to check out the recipes for each soup. And, if you'd like to browse through all of my soup recipes, you can visit my RECIPES page here and look through the SOUPS, STEWS AND CHOWDERS section.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cheesy Stacked Enchilada Skillet Bake

Getting a wholesome, comforting meal on the table at dinnertime doesn't have to be a hassle. This recipe is such a simple one - quick and easy enough for busy weeknights. Layers of corn tortillas, ground beef in enchilada sauce, corn kernels and lots of cheese come together in bubbly, beautiful harmony to create a meal that kids and adults love.


I think you'll appreciate just how versatile this recipe is. Shredded cooked chicken can be subbed in for ground beef, for example. A drained can of black beans can be layered in with the corn if you so desire. A little Mexican rice can be tossed in. And, frankly, this would be perfect to throw together using up leftover beef, chicken or pork after Taco Night. What a fun, creative way to reimagine leftovers into a whole new meal.

A large, ten-inch cast iron skillet is recommended for this recipe. However, a medium-sized casserole dish would work fine if necessary.

Serves 6 - 8.


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

I think that most of us can agree that Macaroni and Cheese is like, one of the best dishes on earth. It's pretty much one of the ultimate comfort foods in life. I make many versions, but I really like this one because of how incredibly easy it is. It, literally, is just a dump-everything-in-the-slow-cooker kind of recipe. Stir it up, plop the lid on, turn the temp to low and walk away for a few hours. That's it. Seriously. {You don't even boil the noodles first.} The pasta ends up perfectly cooked {not mushy at all}, an amazing creamy sauce is created and the flavors are simply spot on.


This takes just a short time to cook {three and a half hours or so}, so I like that this is something I can get going shortly before the kids get out of school and it's ready just in time for dinner around six o'clock. This, also, would be just perfect as a side dish for Sunday dinner after church.

A warning, however ... this is {obviously} not diet food. It has pasta and butter and cheese and milk and eggs and more cheese. So, it definitely doesn't quite register on the "healthy" scale. But, isn't that what we love about Macaroni and Cheese? It's totally supposed to be a little indulgent and a whole lot of yumminess.

NOTE: DO NOT PRE-COOK THE NOODLES. THEY GO INTO THE SLOW COOKER STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX.

Yields 6 servings {as a side dish}

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Retro Cherry Pineapple Crunch Dessert

This is really taking it back retro-style to a dessert that I recall several of my family members making when I was growing up. And, it was something that my best friend's mom made on a regular basis. First, however, a little disclaimer ... this dessert is the furthest thing from healthy. Like, the ingredient list consists of two store-bought canned items, a cake mix, a little coconut and lots of butter. {Yeah, that kind of "furthest thing from healthy."} So, this is maybe something to make like, once a year on the occasion that you're craving it or simply wanting a dessert on the fly with little effort. What it lacks in nutritional value, however, is redeemed in how darn good it is. {Like, try-not-to-eat-half-of-it-all-by-yourself good.}


This is, basically, a dump cake. But, since I absolutely hate that name, I refer to this method of making a quick dessert as a "crunch cake" or "crunch dessert." {And, actually, it's really not a cake, so let's stick with "dessert."}

I combine both pineapple and cherries in this recipe. I am in love with the pink-hued result of the two fruits. I, also, like the contrast of both texture and flavor ... a little zip and tang from the pineapple along with the sweetness of the cherries. And, the coconut on the top is really recommended, so try not to skip it.

Yields 6 servings.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Easy Falafel Salad with Savory Pita Croutons

If you're a lover of falafel sandwiches, wraps or platters like I am, this is a fun take on the traditional way of serving {and eating} those delectable little chickpea fritters. And, with a couple of store-bought shortcuts, this salad is on the table in about fifteen minutes. It's fresh, healthful and light, yet is hearty enough to serve as a casual meal for two.


I'm always looking for fresh and unique salad ideas. I pretty much could live on salads all throughout the summer months. If you have followed me for any amount of time, you know that I have gravitated towards more-frequent and deliberate meal prep with the focus on what I like to call "Intentional Eating." Instead of aimlessly grazing about my fridge and cupboards during the day {nibbling my way from a string cheese to a handful of granola to a spoonful of nut butter}, I have been trying to keep fresh, healthful ingredients on hand that either incorporate quickly into interesting, cravable salads or grain bowls for myself OR they inspire me to take a little time to meal prep a few days worth of quick-to-grab lunches.

Having frozen or fresh store-bought falafel on hand is especially lovely for me. I adore falafel. I do enjoy making from-scratch falafel, but don't always have the time {nor do I always want to take the time} to do so. I like to get bags of frozen falafel from Trader Joe's to keep on hand. But, I have, also, been noticing both refrigerated and frozen varieties more frequently in regular grocery stores, too.

NOTE: When I have made homemade falafel, I always follow Alton Brown's recipe. It never disappoints.

And while I do often make hummus from scratch, there are many really good brands and flavors of store-bought hummus these days. {I prefer the garlic or roasted red pepper versions of hummus for this salad.} I utilize hummus here as the base for the dressing. With just a bit of water to thin the hummus, you've got a quick, flavorful salad dressing that really ties everything together. With both falafel and hummus already in the fridge, whipping up this delicious salad is a total breeze.

Yields 2 servings.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Peach and Gorgonzola Salad with Maple Pecans and Honey-Lemon Vinaigrette

I'm gonna keep this short and sweet {just like this recipe} ... this salad rocks. Like, seriously rocks. And, besides being totally delicious, it can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. {I timed myself the last go-round that I made this and it took all of twelve minutes.} It's so ideal for hot summer days when we just want something light, refreshing and quick for lunch or dinner - without having to heat up the house or fret too much.


With peach season kickin' right now, this salad really is a celebration of my favorite summer fruit. {Fresh strawberries, sliced apples or sliced pears could be swapped in if peaches aren't in season as you read this post.}

All it takes to whip this up is spending four minutes making the maple pecans, then allowing them to cool while the quick dressing is assembled and the salad is put together. {The only real knife work required is the slicing of one peach and a red onion.}

If you wanted to invest the time, topping with some sliced, grilled chicken would make this a more-hearty salad if desired.

This recipe yields two servings, but you could easily adapt the recipe to make several servings or even make one large salad for sharing.

Yields 2 servings.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

BLT Naan Flatbread Pizza

If you're a lover of BLT Sandwiches, this is a recipe that you're going to want to try. The ingredient list is a short one and making these little pizzas is a breeze. Bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese, green onion and mayonnaise meet up atop pillow-y, soft naan flatbread. I utilize naan bread to make a variety of pizzas. {My favorite is my Cheesy BBQ Flatbread with Grilled Vegetables.} Using naan as a starting point for a quick, easy dinner is a no-brainer. It can easily be found in the bakery section of most grocery stores these days {I like these} or you can search online for recipes to make your own at home {something I plan to try very soon}.


Our eighteen-year old daughter works at a pizza restaurant that serves an amazing BLT Pizza. I based the development of this recipe upon their concept. But, since we love naan for pizza, I decided to swap it in to take the place of traditional dough. Worked like a charm.

The pizza is assembled by melting a little shredded cheese on top of the naan, then piling on cooked bacon and the vegetables. Drizzle on some mayo before service for the perfect dinner, lunch or snack.

Yields 2 servings.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Cool and Creamy Vegetable "Pizza" Crescent Cups

These Cool and Creamy Vegetable "Pizza" Cups are fun twist on the traditional version of veggie pizza that many of us know and love. They are perfect appetizers for summertime parties or you can even enjoy them as a light meal. They are easily customizable - use whatever fresh vegetables that you love or have on hand - and they seem to always be one of the first things to be devoured at parties.


For the recipe, you'll, basically, need a couple of tubes of refrigerated crescent seamless dough sheets, a few simple ingredients to make a cream cheese/sour cream filling and some fresh vegetables. After a short bit of oven time and a few minutes of cooling, the crescent cups get a dollop of cool and creamy filling before being topped off with your chopped veggies of choice.

From my experience, these can be made up to six hours {or so} in advance. While I do enjoy them just fine the next day {if there are leftovers}, they are best when freshly-made the day of service.

NOTE: VEGETABLES SHOULD BE CUT INTO SMALL PIECES AND BE OF UNIFORM SIZE. THE AMOUNT OF VEGETABLES NEEDED TO MAKE A SINGLE BATCH OF THESE IS VERY MINIMAL. ROUGHLY ONLY 2 - 3 TABLESPOONS OF EACH CHOPPED/SLICED VEGETABLE IS NEEDED. HOWEVER, THE AMOUNT, OBVIOUSLY, WILL VARY DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER OF VEGETABLES USED AND THE TYPE/VARIETY OF VEGETABLES CHOSEN. THEREFORE, I AM NOT PROVIDING EXACT MEASUREMENTS IN THE VEGETABLE SECTION OF THE INGREDIENT LIST BELOW.

Also, note that the recipe yields sixteen "cups," but is easily doubled or tripled for large crowds. And, to clarify, the cups are made in muffins tins with regular-sized wells - not mini muffin tins.

Yields 16 cups.