Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

pumpkin black bean soup


While we haven’t officially gone pumpkin picking yet, we’re definitely incorporating pumpkin into our kitchen.

Last Thursday was the kick off our our national breast cancer baking campaign Bake it Happen and our newest campaign recipe is a tasty Pumpkin Oatmeal Chip Cookie.  I made 3 batches with my kids this weekend that we’ll be distributing over the course of the week.

While the weather is undoubtedly getting a bit cooler and jackets are a must, comfort  soups are going to play an integral role in our meal time routines.

Since I’ve got a bunch of cans of pumpkin pure in the pantry (for Bake it Happen), I knew I’d want to make Seriously Soupy’s tasty Pumpkin Bean Soup.  The base to the soup contains a plethora of black beans as well as some sweet potatoes– both attributed to good health and hearty dishes. To enhance the flavors to the soup you just add in some bay leaves, garlic, onion, nutmeg and cinnamon.

After three hours of cooking, voila, the soup becomes creamy and rich.

Don’t hesitate to top your creation with some thinly-sliced Manchego cheese (great pairing with the beans) and serve the soup with crunchy bread.  Other tasty toppings:  salsa, sour cream, crumbed feta….

This dish is ideal for lunch or dinner.

Happy fall.

Apple Butter


I always loved going apple picking with my kids when they were toddlers.  It was a fall activity we wouldn’t miss once the bathing suits were packed away and the routine of school finally kicked in.

However, now that my kids are older, our weekends are jam-packed with sports and other social activities.  Sadly, for me, apply picking and pumpkin picking have moved away from the trees at the orchards and have moved to the farm stands dotting the New York City streets.

But, I’m always happy when I get freshly-picked apples direct from the orchard.  This past weekend, I received a bag full of Gala apples from a friend who went to an orchard in Long Island.

I found myself in my apartment staring down 5 pounds of apples and went about my first order of business- making Apple Butter!

Aside from the effort involved peeling, coring and cutting the apples (unless of course you buy apples already prepared), making apple butter is a non-event.  Your slow cooker does all the work.

You’ll need 10-11 hours of slow cooking so it’s best to plan to make the butter over night.  When you awaken you’ll be greeted to a kitchen wafting with the comforting smells of apples, sugar and spices.

My kids adore this sinfully sweet butter overtop fresh Challah bread. They also combine it with peanut butter.

Leftovers?  Place your Apple Butter in Ball jars as it freezes well and, makes thoughtful housewarming gifts.

Rosh Hashana: Vegetarian Tzimmis

Today’s recipe is from a guest blogger: Gloria Kobrin.  Gloria has cooked her whole life for groups ranging from four to 100. She specializes in creating delicious gourmet food that is approachable to the home cook and that happens to be kosher. Author of the Kosher Cookbook App for iPhone and iPad, Gloria currently shares her recipes and cooking tips on her new website KosherByGloria.com and on her Kosher Cookbook page on Facebook  and on Twitter

With the weekend upon us and Rosh Hashana around the corner, I asked Gloria to share one of her favorite, simple holiday recipes.

Here’s what Gloria has to say:

I grew up eating Tzimmis filled with flanken and bones. We ate it for Rosh Hashana and for the meal before the Fast of Yom Kippur. I continued to make it that way until my daughter became a vegetarian. Now I make two kinds of Tzimmis. One for the carnivores and one for my daughter. This is the very delicious and definitely healthier vegetarian version.

For another wonderfully flavorful and sweet Tzimmis recipe, click here.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Tomato Almond Pesto



We often grill sirloin steaks for dinner. When I don’t have the ingredients to make  Mom’s Mystery Marinade we use on our flank steaks, I’ve started making a new favorite  pesto variation as our replacement topping.

I always have plenty of containers of slivered almonds in my pantry(for Mom’s Mango Chutney Chicken Salad and her awesome Venezuelan Cole Slaw) so I decided to add them to the original basil pesto recipe, in addition to some plum tomatoes.

tomatoes for pesto

Tomatoes sliced and ready

The tomatoes and almonds add a subtle fruity flavor and slight crunch to the pesto base.  And, the best part is that the sauce  sauce freezes WELL so we’ve got at least another 3-4 servings in our future.

While my son still says he prefers the plain pesto, surprisingly, my finicky husband LOVED the sauce.  I’ll take that!

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