Archive for October, 2015

Roasted Tomato Cream Soup

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

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This fickle Georgia weather has my heart confused today. The day started off crisp and chilly, only to warm up to a bright, sunny afternoon. High 70s in November? At least the trees are screaming fall; reds, golds and burnt orange. I am reminded of the words of one of my favorite songs by Allison Krauss and Robert Plant, Killing the Blues

Leaves were falling, just like embers,
In colors red and gold, they set us on fire
Burning just like a moonbeam in our eyes.
Somebody said they saw me, swinging the world by the tail
Bouncing over a white cloud, killing the blues.

Early this morning I decided my day was going to end with a piping bowl of roasted tomato cream soup. Spicy garlic, sweet cherry tomatoes and basil, the last of our summer harvest, make this soup irresistible… no matter the temperature.

Roasted Tomato Cream Soup

6-8 large tomatoes or 4 pints cherry tomatoes

2 carrots

1 onion

4 large cloves of garlic

Olive oil

1 cup fresh basil

1 quart chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup heavy cream

1 tbs. salt

1 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

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On a sheet pan drizzle tomatoes, onions and garlic cloves (in their skin). Roast vegetables at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, until slightly charred and softened.

I typically add white sugar to this soup to cut some of the acidity and highlight the sweetness of the tomatoes. However, I decided to try something new. Roasting carrots! The carrots provided a rich sweetness that rounded out this lovely soup. Roast the carrots alongside your vegetable mix.

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Allow vegetables to cool slightly, add to food processor or blender along with fresh basil. Be sure to pop the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins. Blend until smooth. Add tomato puree, chicken broth, salt and pepper into a soup pan. Bring soup to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes.

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Last, stir in the heavy cream and sprinkle in red pepper flakes for a little spice.

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Serve with bread, grilled cheese or toast up some tortilla chips (made by Jude) to dip into this creamy soup. Creamy and rich, this soup is sure to get you in the fall spirit!

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Soup. Smores. Fall festivals. How are you enjoying your Autumn?

 

A Coffee Date

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

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It has been awhile friends…
My past few months have been occupied with growing a little baby bear, well boy, but Bear is his name. I took some time off of blogging to focus on family and keeping healthy during my pregnancy. Also, I’ll be honest, working on new food creations in the kitchen did not seem too fun between vomiting sessions. Oh, what we go through for these precious little babies.

Grab a cup of coffee and let us catch up.

For several years my son has begged, even pleaded for a sibling. In my pregnancy, we would be fulfilling his dream of becoming the perfect Berenstein Bear family; Poppa, Momma, Brother and sweet Baby Bear. Now, with a 5 year old come the questions of why and how on having a baby. I wasn’t quite ready for these conversations. As I hung my head over a toilet my compassionate little boy was always there with a cup of ice water, when my belly swelled he wanted to feel little kicks, but his main concern was how and when his new best friend would make his way into the world. For him 9 months was the length of eternity. Thankfully, I had a scheduled c-section so mommy could be honest when explaining that the doctor would simply cut a little hole in my belly and pull brother out. Simple. So I thought! Jude had an extreme meltdown a few days before his baby brother arrived. Screaming and crying big-fat crocodile tears,

“Momma please don’t let the doctor do that to you, please Mom!!! Can’t you just throw the baby up out of your mouth? You throw up all the time anyway!”

“Honey, a baby cannot fit out of my mouth.”

“Yes they can mom, babies are small!!!”

I never planned to be the mother of two. Wife, mother, business women, ministry, blog… I was fast and furiously running through this life that I loved! I rarely slowed down. We worked hard and played harder but time was not something we ever had enough of. I rarely paused to see the beauty of this growing family around me. My creativity, my ability to dream and to just plain have fun had begun to fade.

God had just the right plan, one I think may have been crafted through the prayers of a little 5 year old boy. We would become a family of 4.

“In order to communicate beauty, you must first see it. Beauty is not about pace, it is about insight. You learn to see when you take a pause.” – Timothy Willard

Meet Bear Westerburg, MY PAUSE.

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In mid October my friend Krissy, Bear & myself drove to Greenville, SC to attend The Allume Conference. Yes, only a true friend would attempt with you a girls weekend toting along a 5 week old (thanks again, Krissy!). I felt that attending this women’s conference would be a great aid in refocusing my dreams and vision. The overwhelming theme I brought home, one that had been long in progress was… I’ll let you guess.

SLOW DOWN.

Each beautifully word spoken reassured inside my soul that I had to make changes. Life is meant to be lived; not managed, controlled, stressed, guilt-ridden or scripted. I am only now realizing that burn out not only affects me but also my people. Rachel Macy (Hands Free Mama) gave these practical habits to get me started in the right direction:

Habit #1. Establish a designated distraction free period each day. Even if just 10 minutes. Your spouse and your cildren cannot kiss a moving target, right?

Habit #2. Give yourself permission to not DO, just BE.

Habit #3. Take the pressure off. Don’t let that internal bully, YOU, pressure you to do too much. Fall in love with today!

I am thankful for maternity leave, 12 weeks off to soak in moments with my boys. Breathing in my new baby’s smell. Tickling Jude. Cuddling. Long lunches with my husband. Nursing my little Bear. Coffee dates with friends. Time in the kitchen… time with YOU. I feel my heart beat growing stronger once again!

As I move forward I am left with these two thoughts:

“Stress plunders the soul.”

&

Be still and know that I am God! -Psalm 46:10

Flying Paper Airplanes