Saturday, January 25, 2020

Super Simple Cauliflower Soup

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning


This cauliflower soup recipe will change your life.

I'm not kidding.

You're going to be so surprised at how easy it is to make that you're going to start making it from scratch all the time.

I promise.

p.s. a few links throughout this post will bring you to amazon.com and enable you to shop while supporting good girl gone redneck.

You CAN make this soup with just three ingredients if you want to.

It's really as easy as a box of stock/broth, a head of cauliflower, and some butter or butter alternative. You'll obviously need a good pot (with a cover!) and an immersion blender. You can use your regular blender but I hate transferring hot soup from one container to another. This all-in-one space process is much preferred!

You can make it vegan and use cauliflower, vegan butter/spread, and vegetable stock. You can make it Paleo or Whole30 and change out the "butter" to ghee. I've done this soup every which way and it's been delicious each time.

Here, today?

I am going to share how I doctor it up and turn it into a Cauliflower Soup with Spinach and Chicken Sausage. I chose this to share because it's absolutely amazing that way. But I have made it as simply as I've described above, and you know what? It was a success that way, too. No additional steps. You can also make the 3-ingredient version as a base for different soups, and then decide what you want to toss in.

Cauliflower Soup Steps

Break up the cauliflower and toss it into a pan with your butter/spread/butter substitute.

Cook for just a bit, no real work here, just cook in the pan for a bit to take the sharp bite out. They don't have to be soft, the next step will take care of that.

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Pour in your container of stock or broth. I tend to prefer stock because it gives me a stronger base.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

You can start off with onions and garlic before you put the cauliflower into the pan. I just happened to be doing a few things and decided to cook those up separately and toss them in when they were ready. Plus? The scent of onions and garlic simmering on the stove? So. Good.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

Let the cauliflower and stock come to a light boil. It'll bubble up some and you can lower the heat, cover, and let it simmer until soft.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

Meanwhile, I will start cooking up some chicken sausage in the previously used onion and garlic pan [and yes, this pan photographs so beautifully - I know it leaves a bit to be desired - trust that I know]. I tend to opt for a fresh sausage, but this time I didn't have that on-hand, so I opted for Applegate's frozen chicken and sage sausage. It's so good. Obviously if you are going vegan or vegetarian, you can use Morningstar Farms crumbles, or other vegan sausage options - pick your fave or skip it entirely. I like it because with the chicken stock it gives it a wonderful flavor.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

Once the cauliflower is soft, bust out your immersion blender. Blend to your preferred texture.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

I like the soup smooth, but leave a few florets in there because it works wonderfully with the chicken sausage and my final ingredient.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

Spinach! Fold that spinach in slowly and let it soften. And y'all know when using spinach it's important to over-fill the pot. Because that green just shrinks up and seems to disappear in seconds.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

Add the chicken sausage (yes, the lighting over here is ridiculous and I was a bit lazy on some of these pics and left them as-was when they were taken, sorry!).

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

And viola! Cauliflower Soup with Spinach and Chicken Sausage. Ready to serve.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning


Looking for the super quick version of the recipe?

Ingredients: 

box of chicken or vegetable stock
1 head of cauliflower
butter or butter substitute

Optional Ingredients:

onions
garlic
chicken sausage
bag of spinach

Steps:


Optional starter steps:

  • Cook your onions and garlic in the same pot you're going to do all the rest of these steps. 
  • THEN go to the mandatory steps below!


Mandatory steps: 

  • Cook your cauliflower in the butter/butter substitute until it's not-so-raw (yes, that's a cooking term, what of it?).
  • Pour in box of preferred stock. 
  • Cover pot and let simmer until cauliflower is soft. 
  • Use your immersion blender to puree until you reach preferred consistency. 


Optional add-ins:

  • Add in chicken sausage.
  • Fold in spinach until wilted down. 
  • Serve.

soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning


Desperate for more soup recipes to get you through the cooler weather? Houseful of Soups has got you covered! We're excited to team up for the first time this season - and I can't wait to check out what everyone else has cooking. Be sure to let me know your faves!
soup recipes, blog hop, community of bloggers, recipes, soup, winter weather recipes, meal planning



Want another recipe that I can say firsthand is one of my favorites? 

Check out my Corn Chowder. 

Friday, January 17, 2020

What To Read: January New Releases

reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, nonfiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations

So I have been trying to finish a post for days and days and days now.

It's a post with a new book recommendation for each month of this year.

ALL the new 2020 books. Yay!

Thing is, I am having the hardest time finding books to wrap the year up with. Dang it.

But I'm having no trouble at all finding January releases.

No trouble at all, y'all.

So I've created a list of January books I'm planning on getting my hands on.

And I think you should, too.

* As always, all books throughout this post include affiliate links to ensure you have a quick and easy shopping experience. If you use these links I'll make a few pennies off of your purchase - so thanks! *


New Books Coming Out in January 2020


January 6

reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations, Dear Edward, Ann Napolitano


January 7

Mr. Nobody, Catherine Steadman, reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations


January 14

Followers, Megan Angelo, reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations


January 14

reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations, Little Gods, Meng Jin


January 14

reading, Kindle, Goodreads, nonfiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations, Say Her Name, Zetta Elliott, Love is Wise, Black Lives Matter


January 14

The Better Liar, Tanen Jones, reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations


January 21

American Dirt, Jeanine Cummins, reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations


January 21

reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations, A Long Petal of the Sea, Isabel Allende


January 21

reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations, The Majesties, Tiffany Tsao


January 28

reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations, Don't Read the Comments, Eric Smith, young adult


And because December new releases could always use a little bit of love, here are a few you might want to pick up right away!


reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, books, new releases, reading recommendations, The Playground, Jane Shemilt, December 2019 book



Regretting You, Colleen Hoover, reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, December 2019 books, new releases, reading recommendations, books



reading, Kindle, Goodreads, fiction, January 2020 books, new releases, reading recommendations, Karma Brown, Recipe for a Perfect Wife


Let me know if you have read any of these. And be sure to stop back if you decide to give any of these titles a try. I'd love to hear what you think. And if you're looking for more recommendations, check out some of these lists:



Thursday, January 9, 2020

The Echo of What Was.



I came up with the title of this post a few weeks ago.

Before the new year began.

I was talking to a friend and we were discussing certain aspects of our lives.

We spoke of history. Or, I should say, her-story.

We spoke of today. The current day. The days that pass by so quickly, and yet, so not.

We spoke of the combination of the two and how they make us who we are.

Honestly, maybe we didn't speak of all of that.

We talk daily and I tell her things, and she tells me things, and so it doesn't matter if it all happened in that same conversation - or if it was scattered over the course of hundreds of messages.

It happened.

I said these words.

The Echo of What Was.

I had no idea how much I would need them.

I had no idea how much more they would resonate within the coming week.

Because seriously, if they didn't hit me in the gut, knock the wind out of me and - take hold all at the same exact moment.

It's hard to describe.

What's that Friends quote - it's Rachel - she's talking about Ross and Julie.

Isn't that just kick you in the crotch spit on your neck fantastic?

Doesn't it feel, sometimes, like life just is that exact way?

We move forward.

Make changes.

See things.

And yet.

We're surrounded, on occasion.

By the echo of what was.

And that echo is so very strong.

That echo resonates beyond what any actual sound can or will.

That echo.

Damn it all if it isn't just the most powerful thing you can experience.

And all it takes is one sentence.

One question.

One instance.

All it takes is one person.

One shift.

One touch - or lack of.

To find yourself surrounded.

By change.

By questions.

By broken memories.

All it takes is one breath.

One inhale.

One exhale.

All it takes is one smile.

One laugh.

One sob.

To find yourself surrounded.

By all the things.

And yet.

None.

All it takes is closing your eyes.

For one second.

One minute.

One moment.

To find yourself surrounded.

By the echo.

Of what was.

And is no more.


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Feel All The Things.

grief, loss, emotion, mental health, therapy, sadness, crying, tears, happiness, laughter, love, memories, holidays, family

Good day, internet friends, and happy holidays.

'Tis the season for love, laughter, baking, drinking, eating, happiness! And, of course, decorating alllll the things.

But it is also the season for pain. Grief. Loss. Reminders.

And. Of course. Tears.

Allow yourself these tears.

Whether you realize it or not, you need them.

Tears are a catharsis of sorts for the body.

I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on TV, but I know that a good cry is healing for us all.

My mental health experience reminds me that crying is 110% permitted whenever you need it.

And my own personal experience - as someone who cries often - both, silently and loudly, when needed, shows that it is such a welcome release you don't acknowledge until after you are done.

Scientifically speaking, tears release the stress hormone cortisol, which is something we need to release - so as to ensure that the build up in our bodies does not become too much for us to handle. Psych Central indicates that if we do not release this hormone, our bodies may experience medical issues/ailments, along with a drastic shift or impact on our mood.

Yes, we often hate to cry in public, or in the presence of people who might feel uncomfortable or make US feel uncomfortable. Not everyone cries as freely as I do, I'm aware.

But we're allowed. And we shouldn't be embarrassed. And we shouldn't hide our tears.

Tears come when we're sad, sure, but they can also come when we're happy.

Recently someone did a favor for me, offered in kindness, and it completely made my day-night-week, and I cried. Softly. Quietly. Without sound. But I felt it and allowed myself to.

And I felt better for it.

You might be thinking, well, you're a therapist, of course you expect people to cry freely - it's practically in your job description.

Sure. Sure. It's a part of therapy. It's the joke everyone makes about the requirement of tissues in the therapist's office and the red-faced client walking out with their head down so as not to be seen in the waiting area.

But it's so much more than that.

Therapy is a place where you will find that you permit yourself to feel all the things.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER:

This will happen IF AND ONLY IF you have a therapist you trust.

Sure. You may cry even if you're unsure of your therapist. But the likelihood of you moving past that initial bout of tears will be slim if you don't trust them. Allow yourself the time you need to determine your comfort level with the practitioner you have chosen. Find a new one if you need. Ask me for help in finding one. I'll help you.

Now - back to feeling all the things for one final moment - you may find that in therapy when you're feeling all the things, whether openly sharing or just caught up in your own thoughts, that you think you're going to cry.

Go ahead.

It's okay.

If we're sitting across from you we'll pass you the tissues.

If we're on the phone we'll listen silently, acknowledging that you've opened up your heart.

If we're having a virtual session we'll nod, remind you we see you, let you know that we're there.

And if you're not in therapy, or if you are and you're carrying your emotions around with you outside of your sessions? (Listen, all of us do, we don't resolve and release every.single.thing in therapy - your therapist is human and they know this is not possible, truly.) Let yourself feel. Process those feelings. Or don't. Just let them out when you need to. Seriously.

Go ahead.

Cry.

Laugh.

Scream.

Sit in silence.

Feel.

All.

The.

Things.

'Tis the season.

And we're allowed to be happy, sad, overjoyed, and in pain, all at once.


If you are struggling with your emotions, grief, loss, or pain this holiday season (or ANY day at all), or if you are in crisis, please reach out to 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for help. Someone will be there to answer your call. You do not have to struggle through on your own. Permit yourself to share with someone who can listen without judging. Allow yourself to safely feel all the things. Know that you are not alone.


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Holiday Dessert Recipe Round Up!

It's never too early to plan your holiday desserts. I've got a round-up for you that you're going to want to look through and pick your future favorites from.

desserts, recipes, cookies, jell-o shots, lattes, hot cocoa, hot chocolate, cookie cake