Butternut Squash and Parsnip Soup with Maple Bacon Crumbles

Personal Chef Austin Texas

The fall is upon us again and you know what that means….. Root veggies. I love the fall as usual as most who follow our blog know that already. It is football season, and usually cooler weather is upon us as well as the holidays are right around the corner too. I love to have a nice hearty soup when the weather gets cooler it is a nice way to warm up and always a comforting dinner after the day is done. Everyone seems to like a good butternut squash soup, I just wanted to ass some parsnips to the recipe but you can go all the way with butternut squash if you prefer to omit the parsnip. I have actually made the soup with carrots and parsnip without the butternut squash it was rather sweet but still tasty.



6 cups chicken broth

2 pounds butternut squash diced

1 pound of rinsed and diced parsnip

1/2 onion small diced

1/2 cup of cooked maple bacon

2-3 sprigs of thyme, stem removed

1/2 – 1 cup of heavy cream

1/2 tsp of allspice

1/4 tsp of ginger

salt and pepper to taste


1. Sauté 1/2 sliced onion with a pinch of thyme in butter until soft. Add salt, pepper, 2 pounds diced butternut squash, 1 pound of parsnip diced, and 6 cups chicken broth along with the spices. Simmer until tender, then puree.

2. When pureed add the cream and stir until blended, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Top with crumbled bacon and serve.


Gourmet Beef Pot Roast Recipe

Beef Stew The Texas Food Network

You can make pot roast in a slow cooker if you wish but I like to make mine in a dutch oven. I am not saying that slow cooker pot roast is bad in anyway but I prefer to take the extra time to make it a little more special in my opinion. When you use the flour dredge you seem to get a more velvety sauce them using cornstarch thicken and it just gives it a better mouth feel. In my line of work I have definitely used both flour and cornstarch slurries and I can tell the difference, some people can and some will not notice.

I will sometimes add peas to this recipe to give it something a little different, the peas add a little sweetness to the recipe. If I am running low on potatoes or carrots I will use whatever I have in my pantry to make up the difference. I suggest you experience this for yourself, recipes are all about preference and using what you have as long as it makes sense and you like the ingredients you are using. I have added corn, tomatoes, poblanos, cilantro and peppers too to make more of a Mexican Beef Stew.

When cooking or developing new recipes I always have to play with the recipe to see if I can improve upon it, there have been many failures as well as many great new recipes 🙂 Have fun and enjoy the cooking process!

3 pounds cubed beef stew meat
6 cups water
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
6 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup large sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup of red wine
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of fresh minced garlic
1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary (preference – I love rosemary so I use 2)
1 teaspoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of salt and pepper (for flour bag)
1 large Ziploc bag

1. Take your flour, salt and pepper and add to Ziploc bag and add stew meat and give it a good shake to coat the stew meat.
2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat your oil add your garlic and onion and cook for about 3-5 minutes until onion and garlic bloom, then add the beef and cook until brown.
3. Add your wine and tomato paste to deglaze the pan and cook for about another 5 minutes or so and then add your water, rosemary and thyme and additional flour left from Ziploc bag. Cook for about 45 minutes to an hour and a half or so until the meat is getting tender. This is creating your beef stock so you don’t have to add a bullion.
4. Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion into the pot. Cover and simmer until done. Add salt and pepper to taste garnish with fresh parsley or additional fresh thyme. Serve with dinner rolls or cornbread, enjoy!

Next Stop Pinterests:

Gourmet Magazine 10 Easy Appetizers for Thanksgiving







I came across this in my inbox this morning, and I love Gourmet Magazine. With the Holidays fast approaching I thought this might help someone out! I know I am always looking for something a little different than the traditional Holiday meal. I think it is definitely time to liven things up. I hope that you will get some use for these appetizers whether it is for Thanksgiving or any other event you might want to use them for.

When it comes to the biggest, most
hyped meal of the year, ease your way into the overindulgence with pre-dinner
nibbles that will ignite palates without ruining appetites. Serve one or two of
these stylish, seasonal hors d’oeuvres, and you can skip a first course,
impress your guests, and keep your wits in the kitchen. Each recipe
below serves 6 to 8 guests, unless otherwise indicated.

Parmesan Frico

Transform a single ingredient into a
crispy, salty cracker in 10 minutes or less: Line a baking sheet with parchment
paper or a Silpat, then cover it with thin layers of shredded
Parmigiano-Reggiano in small circles spaced about 4 inches apart. If you wish,
add a nutty crunch to each bite by sprinkling the cheese with chopped
pistachios or walnuts before baking. Bake at 375°F for about 10 minutes, or
until golden, then remove the frico with a spatula. Serve in a glass dish to
best display the enticing hue and lacy look of these crispy wafers.

Roasted Butternut Squash Bruschetta

The season’s standout squash plus
tangy feta make the ultimate topping for garlic-rubbed toasts. Toss 1/4-inch
peeled cubes of butternut squash with a few teaspoons olive oil, place in a
baking dish, and roast at 450°F for 15 to 20 minutes. While the squash is
roasting, slice a baguette into 1/2-inch rounds. Lightly toast the rounds on a
baking sheet underneath the squash until golden, about 5 minutes, then
immediately rub them with a clove of garlic cut in half lengthwise. Portion the
roasted squash atop the toasts and sprinkle with feta crumbles. Make-ahead
hint: The squash can be roasted and the bread toasted one day in advance and
stored in separate airtight containers. Simply rewarm the squash in the
microwave or oven and assemble the bruschetta when ready to serve.

Crustless Mini-Quiches

Crustless mini-quiches are an easy
crowd-pleaser, especially for carb-conscious guests. While a mini-muffin pan is
needed to make single bite-size quiches, a regular muffin pan works well, too,
since you can quarter the larger quiches into smaller servings. For 36 to 48
mini-quiches, whisk together 6 large eggs, 6 large egg yolks, 2/3 cup milk, 2/3
cup heavy cream, and your choice of fillings (peppers, onions, cheese, fresh
herbs, and any other leftover odds and ends). Grease the pan with cooking
spray, portion the egg mixture into the cups, and bake at 375°F for 15 minutes,
or until puffed and cooked throughout.

Savory Tapenade Palmiers

Whip up a simple, savory bite using
store-bought puff pastry. Roll the pastry into a 10-inch square on a lightly
floured surface, then brush it with a thin layer of pesto (store-bought or homemade) or
tapenade, and top it with shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Roll the pastry
inward from both ends (like a scroll) so that the sides meet in the center.
Using a sharp knife, cut the roll crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (you’ll
have about 20 palmiers). Bake them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at
400°F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked throughout.

Asian Glazed Shrimp Skewers

Fresh shrimp take on big flavor with
the addition of a sweet and tangy glaze. Using 2 pounds of shrimp, skewer 3
medium shelled and deveined shrimp on each skewer (if using wooden skewers,
soak them in water for 20 minutes first). Whisk together 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
with 1/2 cup orange marmalade and set aside. Place the skewers on a rimmed
baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the baking sheet from
the oven and brush both sides of the shrimp generously with the glaze. Return
the shrimp to the oven and broil for 2 more minutes. Serve warm on skewers or
tucked inside lettuce cups.

6. Greek Salad Bites

Rework the classic Greek salad into finger-friendly hors d’oeuvres. First,
peel a cucumber and slice it into 1 1/2-inch sections. Use a melon-baller to
scoop out the center of each piece without piercing all the way through. Fill
the cucumber cups with a mix of crumbled feta, chopped fresh black olives, and
diced tomatoes. Drizzle the cups with red wine vinaigrette and serve chilled.

7. Make-Ahead Chipotle Meatballs

Smoky chipotle and cumin give meatballs a Southwestern spin. Our recipe
suggests shaping the meatballs into bite-size portions and skewering them on
sticks for easy eating. Best of all, the meatballs can be made a day in advance
and rewarmed. Serve with a few slices of lime.

8. Pumpkin, Corn, and Lemongrass Soup Shooters

Our favorite autumnal soup
is a bracing blend of pumpkin, corn, and lemongrass, perfect for pre-feast
individual sips. Make-ahead hint: This soup can be prepared 2 days in advance,
chilled, and then rewarmed. Portion the soup into shooters and garnish with cilantro
leaves or additional corn kernels.

9. Crispy Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

Bypass potatoes in favor of this chic leafy green seasoned with salt and
vinegar. To make crispy kale chips, wash and thoroughly dry curly kale, then
tear it from the stem into bite-size pieces. Drizzle the pieces very lightly
with vinegar and olive oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Arrange the kale
pieces in a single layer on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake the kale
at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes or until crispy but not burned. Remove and serve,
or stash them away in an airtight container until right before the big feast.

10. Roasted Chickpeas with Sage

Cooked at high heat and brightened with fresh herb flavor, the humble
chickpea turns irresistibly crispy and downright addictive. Preheat the oven to
425°F and toss two (15-ounce) cans of drained and rinsed chickpeas with 2
tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, and salt and pepper to
taste. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet greased
lightly with cooking spray. Roast the chickpeas for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring
halfway through, until they’re golden brown. Remove the chickpeas from the oven
and let them cool slightly before serving in parchment paper cones or ramekins
for easy snacking.

Bio on Chef Shelley Pogue: R&D Chef, Personal Chef and Caterer located in the Austin, Texas area. Texas Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Blue Graduate, with honors Cum Laude.

Original Source: http://www.gourmet.com/food/gourmetlive/2012/110712/thanksgiving-appetizers?currentPage=1



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Food Cooking: Gourmet.com.

Warm, Wintery Mushroom Soup

Warm Mushroom Soup, It Will Take The Chill Out Of A Cold Winter Evening

Living in
Texas we do not get the opportunity to have warm soup that often. But
when it is could outside I love to make fresh hearty soups. Mushroom
soup is one of my favorites, but I do love quite a few. I feel nice
soups are very comforting especially when it is cold outside, or even of
you are a little under the weather.

Tools needed

Tools and Utensils you will need

* cutting board
* good knife
* clean towel
* stock pot

Food Items

Ingredients Needed

2 Quarts chicken stock or mushroom stock – Directions on how to make mushroom stock listed below.

2 cups of fresh mushrooms slice

2-3 large carrots – small dice

2-3 stalks celery – small dice

1 med-large onion – small dice

1 fresh thyme sprig

1-2 bay leaves – depending on size two if they are really small, or one large one

1 tablespoon minced garlic salt & pepper to

****If you are wanting to make your own mushroom stock and use instead
of chicken stock you will need : 1 gallon of water and 6 cups additional
cups of fresh sliced mushrooms.
You will saute the mushrooms in the stock pot with 3-4 Tablespoons of
canola or olive oil along with 1 Tbsp. of minced garlic. When you start
to smell the garlic it is blooming, do not burn it, add your water and 1
sprig of fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves and cook until reduced by half. (
This will make your mushroom stock)

Cooking Instructions

Directions for making your soup

Wipe mushrooms with a clean towel to remove all dirt and then slice the mushrooms.

You will need to peel and slice on a bias or use a small dice 1/4″ x 1/4″ for the carrots, celery, onion. The small dice will look better if you decide not to puree your soup.

You will then add all ingredients to 2 quarts of chicken stock, or the
mushroom stock if you decided to make your own. You will cook on medium
heat until done/tender. I would start checking after about 30 minutes to
see how the vegetables are coming along. You do not want to over cook

Remove the thyme
and bay leaf before you puree or serve your soup, it was added just for
the flavor component it adds during cooking – it will not taste well.
Then adjust seasonings salt and pepper to taste. I personally like to
puree the soup and run through a strainer; most of the time. I do
however sometimes like to have a rustic looking soup. The soup is
delicious either way, you have to decide on the texture you want.

If you have some left over fresh thyme or any green garnish you can add to the top of your soup. I always like to saute a few pieces of mushrooms and add them to the top for garnish as well. Enjoy!