Meet Britt, one of our resident foodies:
From a small farm town in So Cal to the big city of Los Angeles, Britt is living the life (on a budget but it's fabulous). You can catch her shopping her life away at Buffalo Exchange or Instagramming the latest trendy cafe in town. Not to mention a sucker for a killer Chai Tea Latte!
Meet Julie, our Vineal Vixen:
Julie Gauvin, accredited Junior Wine Expert and current serving Spokeswoman and Retail Director of Vine Winery, will be here to lend her expertise regarding all things wine. But most importantly, she’ll keep it interesting, light and fun for your drinking pleasure. Stay tuned as she helps you figure out what you like, where to find it, and what to pair it with. This newfound knowledge will give you that extra edge at the dinner table with friends, family or even on that hot date you have tonight. Check back every Wednesday to see what's new!
Meet Kasey, our LA Food Blogger:
This East Coast girl has recently traded in her New England Clam Chowda for California Rolls! Kasey has been whipping up delectable dishes in her kitchen since she was 10 years old. Combining ingredients and trying new concoctions became her favorite hobby. Kasey is a fabulous food blogger representing Kasey's Kitchen, her self-proclaimed food blog! Kasey attends a ton of fun food events around town and she is sharing her fun, healthy recipes with us every week!
Brittany and I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Johnny Prep over the weekend and he treated us to three new dishes. He started off by showing us how to make Roasted Butternut Squash Soup and gave us tips on making broths. I have to admit, I've never made my own stock and found it pretty intimidating. Stock made from scratch is pretty easy to make and is a healthier alternative to many store options. Whether it's taste, lifestyle or ingredients chicken and vegetable stock are easy to make plus they were a delicious addition to the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Asian Noodle Salad with Thai Peanut Sauce and Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Vidalia Dijon Cream Sauce.
Tips on making stock:
When making chicken stock, use a rotisserie chicken that is roasted rather than starting raw and cooking the chicken yourself.
(You can find rotisserie chicken at most stores in the deli section)
Pour the juices from the container the rotisserie chicken came in, into the pot you are making the broth in.
Start with cold water
Don't boil the stock. It's a slow process and you want to make sure it simmers until ready.
Once your stock is ready, freeze exact recipe quantities for an easy "grab and use" option.
Johnny Prep normally doesn't salt his stock and suggests not to. Of course feel free to add to your liking.
The first recipe was one of my favorites and Johnny Prep shared that it's a great easy way to get kids to eat vegetable without them even knowing it!
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 large butternut squash
2 cups rich chicken stock (or vegetable)
1/2 cup cream (heavy whipping cream, which adds texture)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat over to 350 degrees
Slice squash in half length-wise. Remove seeds. Puncture outer skin several times with the point of a knife. Place squash skin side ip on a half sheet pan lined withy foil.
Pour 1/2 cup water in pan. Place squash in oven and roast until outer skin is very soft and browned well. This should take at leas 1 hour and possibly 11/2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. (The squash meat itself should not be brown. Remove any brown squash meat as it can make the soup taste bitter.)
In a large food processor with a blade, scoop out the squash meat and process until very smooth. You can add 1/2 cup stock to help the processing. Do this in batches if the squash is really large. Place puree in a stock pot. Add stock and stir.
Bring to boil over medium high heat. Add cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Check back to see more of our favorite recipes from our time in the kitchen with Johnny Prep!