Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

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Posts Tagged ‘marjoram’

Roasted Pumpkin Soup 2.0

Posted by terrepruitt on November 12, 2018

As you may know, if you read my blog, we get an organic box of produce delivered. The service we use allows us to actually pick what comes in the box. It somewhat defeats my whole idea of getting a box delivered, but it is also nice. When I get the e-mail, sometimes I forget to log in and pick what I want in the allotted time so I end up getting what they send. I would not have gotten a sugar pie pumpkin two deliveries in a row, but, my fault, I didn’t stop it. I felt as if we had just had stuffed pumpkin so I didn’t want to do that again so I decided to make pumpkin soup. I looked up my post of Roast Pumpkin Soup and I read what I wrote, so I didn’t want to follow that recipe exactly. And since I was going to just make a few minor tweaks I didn’t think I would be posting about it. Well, my husband and I loved it so much I wanted to make sure I made note of it. I will not be using the other pumpkin soup recipe again. Although, this one is VERY similar, I liked the tweaks I made so this one is much better. It didn’t have any of the bitter that I spoke about with the last recipe.

But, as usual, I didn’t plan on posting about it, so I didn’t think to take a picture the night I made it. We had enough to eat on it for three days. So the pictures are of the leftovers.

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup 2.0

1 sugar pie pumpkin
Milanese Gremolata olive oil
garlic salt
2 large shallots
32 ounces chicken broth (Better Than Bouillon)
8 ounces of dry sherry (and then some, for splashing)
1 teaspoons salt (and then some, for sprinkling)
1/2 heaping teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 heaping teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon marjoram (and then some, for sprinkling)
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of nutmeg
1 pint of heavy cream**

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Wash the pumpkin, then cut so that you can remove all the seeds. Then cut it into pieces. Rub the pumpkin pieces with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each piece with garlic salt. Then place the pumpkin – skin side up – on a parchment paper lined baking pan. Bake it for 20 minutes. Take the pumpkin out of the oven – here is where you can salt it again if you would like. Turn each piece over and sprinkle with marjoram. Then bake it for about 30 minutes more. This is where you have to decide if it is done or if it needs more time in the oven. Use a fork, poking each piece to see it if is cooked to your liking. I like it to have the roasted flavor so I bake it until there are some browned spots.

While the pumpkin is roasting. Chop the shallots. Heat up some olive oil in your stock pot or soup pan. Then cook the shallots. Once the shallots are cooked, add the broth. Stir the broth and shallots. Then add the sherry. Stir the broth and sherry. While stirring add the salt and all of the spices. Bring it to a low boil.

When the pumpkin is done roasting put it in your super blender (or perhaps you have an immersion blender*) with a splash of sherry and blend it until you have a pumpkin puree. (I used the “soup” setting on my blender.)

When you have the pumpkin puree add it to the liquid in the soup pot. Stir the mixture until the puree and the liquid are incorporated. Then add the cream. Stir until the cream is incorporated into the soup. Bring it a low boil. Then serve.

*with the immersion blender add the pumpkin to the liquid then blend until smooth

**I actually used 1/2 a pint

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This was really good.

I am including the Milanese Gremolata olive oil as an ingredient because we just bought this magical elixir from Napa and I love it and I am using it in everything. I do think that it really helped elevate the flavor of the soup. But, regular olive oil will work, too.

The first two night we had this with some Pugliese bread from the store. It was very good dipped into the soup. The third night I made beer bread adding, a teaspoon of garlic salt, a teaspoon of garlic, and two teaspoons of marjoram. It paired REALLY well with the soup.

My husband is already pestering me to make this again! I better do it at least one more time before the sugar pie pumpkins are all gone!

Well, now I have two pumpkin soup recipes you can make.  Which one will you make?

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Roast Pumpkin Soup, My Way

Posted by terrepruitt on December 12, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitOh, it has been too long since I posted on Monday.  Just so much to think about right now it is difficult to focus on what to write for a blog post.  I was busy with another project today so I was barely thinking about dinner much less a blog post.  I had a sugar pie pumpkin that needed to be used.  Normally with sugar pie pumpkins I make Pumpkin For Dinner but I didn’t feel like making that.  I don’t know why.  I LOVE that.  But I just didn’t want to make it.  So I thought I would make pumpkin soup.  I have never make pumpkin soup before.  I was certain there was a recipe online I could use.  But when it came time to make dinner I didn’t feel like looking at a bunch of recipes to figure out which one to make.  Or which ones I could use to make soup so I just made up something.  For me . . . it was too bitter, but my husband loved it.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitPumpkin Soup

1 sugar pie pumpkin
olive oil
garlic salt
1/2 large onion
32 ounces veggie broth
1 pumpkin beer
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Wash the pumpkin, then cut it up in quarters.  Removing all the seeds.  Rub the pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each quarter with garlic salt.  Then place the pumpkin – outside up – on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Then bake it for 30 minutes.  Take the pumpkin out of the oven and turn each piece over, bake it for about 20 minutes more.  This is where you have to decide if it is done in 20 minutes or needs more time in the oven.  Use a fork, if needed, mine was kinda brown.  It might have been more than 20 minutes.

While the pumpkin is roasting.  Heat up some olive oil in your stock pot or soup pan.  Chop the onion.  Then cook the onion.  Then add the broth.  Then add the beer.  Add the salt and all of the spices.  Just let it barely boil.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhen the pumpkin is done roasting put it in your super blender (or perhaps you have an immersion blender*) and blend it until you have a pumpkin puree.

Add the pumpkin puree to the liquid in the soup pot.  Stir until incorporated.  Then serve.

*with the immersion blender add the pumpkin to the liquid then blend until smooth

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo, I didn’t have anything to serve this with.  I think I would have put some creme fraiche on top or some cheese.  But I wasn’t sure.  Strangely I didn’t taste it before I served it.  As I said, I have a lot of things on my mind and I was doing three other things while I was cooking, so dinner was super late in the evening, and when I first tried to taste it, it was too hot.  I didn’t try again.  But it was ok.

My husband really liked it.  He said it had a finish that tasted like Taco Bell’s Hot Sauce.  Can’t say I am happy about that exactly, but then again, it allowed him to like the soup, so ok.  But to me, it was too bitter.

So, help me out.  Why was it bitter?  Is cardamom bitter?  Is cumin?  Would cutting back on either of those help with the bitter?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Dwight’s Delicious Dinner

Posted by terrepruitt on April 8, 2014

In a recent post I asked for help with the items I received in my produce box. I received some great ideas. One of them was from a Chef, he is the owner of Burke’s Grill in Douglasville, Georgia. He came up with a great idea to use EVERYTHING in the box in one dish. I never would have thought to do that so I just had to try it. I hope I didn’t ruin his recipe by not having sweet basil. I used marjoram instead. Not the same, but I love it. Also, the wild rice he recommended would have added another layer of flavor but I just used the white rice that I had. His comment of the original idea/recipe is on my post Can’t Come Up With Ideas. Below I have arranged it in more of a recipe format and documented it as I did it.

In his comment he said, “First,this is advice from a chef’s view point. Organize your items from the ground up. Onions, radishes, carrots together.  Then chard alone (it’s special). Then kiwis,grapefruit and apples. Now we are cooking.” Oh yeah, now we are cooking. Here is what I did.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaIngredients for Dwight’s Delicious Dinner:

2 white spring onions
2 pippin apples
4 carrots
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 grapefruit
2 radishes
salt
pepper
1/2 – 1 teaspoon marjoram
balsamic vinegar
1 lb (or so) ground turkey
4 HUGE leaves of rainbow chard
white rice (enough to make a “bed”)
two kiwis

Chop the onion. Cut the apples and carrots into bite size pieces and saute in 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until warm. (You don’t want to cook them too much because they are going to be used as a salsa and as an addition to the meat mixture.) After you are done, split the mixture in half. Half will be the salsa used a a topping. The other half will get added to the meat.

While the above is cooking/warming . . . squeeze the grapefruit for the juice.

I used the same pan to cook the turkey, since the mixture is set aside.   Cook the turkey in 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until almost done. While it is cooking chop the rainbow chard. When the turkey is almost done add the chard. Salt the chard and stir. Cook this until the turkey is fully cooked and the chard is how you want it to be done.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaAdd the half of the onion, apple carrot mixture you are not using as salsa. Then, add a sprinkle of grapefruit juice. Only cook for a few minutes.

WHILE the turkey is cooking, mix half of the onion, apple carrot mixture with the two thinly sliced radishes, salt, pepper, and 1/2-1 teaspoon marjoram, and sprinkle of balsamic vinegar. Let that set. Add the grapefruit juice after it has set for a bit. Using as much as you want to get the right bite you would like. I probably just used a tablespoon.

At some point in all of this you need to cook the rice. We have a rice maker so I usually put it on when there is 20 minutes left of cooking. This time I forgot and my hubby came to the rescue.

Also, peel and slice the kiwis.

Once the rice is done and all is done cooking. Put the rice on your plate, spoon the turkey, chard, onion, apple carrot mixture on top of the rice. Then the onion, apple carrot salsa on top of that. Garnish the dish with the kiwis. But be sure to eat the kiwis WITH the turkey/rice/mixture, the flavors blend perfectly. This was a very happy dish.

Something I really needed. So brilliant. I never would have thought to do this. I never would have thought to add all these flavors together. I love that Dwight came up with something that used EVERYTHING in the box that I received.

Thank you so much, Dwight!!!!!!!

So . . . even if you don’t receive a box with all of these items in it . . . I will tell you it is worth it to get to the store and actually purchase these ingredients and make this dish for yourself. It is like a party for dinner.

Well, what do you think?Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Chakras And Single Essential Oils

Posted by terrepruitt on April 13, 2013

In my post Balancing The Chakras With Essential Oils I shared a technique for balancing chakras that was adapted from a specific essential oil company using their specific blends.  It seems like most companies that sell essential oils have their own blends with their own cute little names.  As I stated in that post, I have a sample of one of the blends and it smells terrific, I really like it.  In case you are not interested in buying the blends that are named in that post I did a little research on the internet about single essential oils that associated with balance and/or unblocking the chakras.  Just like with pretty much everything there is a ton of information out there.  I am not an essential oil expert nor a chakra expert.  I created this list off of various websites.  I picked the oils that I saw associated with each chakra on multiple websites.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaAs all oil is not created equally I would use these oils topically with a carrier oil or diffuse them.

•   Crown chakra:  sandalwood, lavender, jasmine

•   Third Eye chakra:  sandalwood, frankincense, sweet marjoram

•   Throat chakra:  bergamot, chamomile

•   Heart chakra:  peppermint, eucalyptus

•   Solar Plexus chakra:  peppermint, ginger, coriander, rosemary

•   Sacral chakra: sandalwood, bergamot, ylang ylang, orange

•   Root chakra:  sandalwood, frankincense, ylang ylang

As you can see sometimes one oil can help with multiple chakras.  So that is helpful in itself.  Instead of buying seven different blends you can buy one oil, say sandalwood, and use it for four of the seven chakras. Using that formula, you could buy peppermint for another two, and then bergamot or chamomile for the last one.  That would be only three oils.  Since good quality essential oil can be expensive, to me it helps to figure out a way to get more uses out of one oil!  That is just an example.  I am sure there are many more combinations.

Of course, you might find that you use one oil more than another and you just want to have it on hand.  There are many ways to use essential oils so I am sure you can find other uses.

Here is a little bit of information on the oils, herbs, scents, etc. listed:

Sandalwood is actually fragrant wood from specific trees.  Thought to have a calming effect.

Lavender is a plant used both as a flavor in food and a scent.  It is believed to have a calming, relaxing effect.

Jasmine is also a flowering plant, that is very fragrant.  It is said to help relieve tension.

Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia (from Wiki).  It is claimed to help many things including over all health.

Sweet marjoram is an herb, I use in cooking quite often, the oil is said to relieve pain.

Bergamot is a type of orange the color of a lemon, good for treating skin ailments.

Chamomile a daisy like flower that is commonly used for tea.  Especially tea that is promoting relaxation and even sleep.

Peppermint, most people are familiar with this flavor or scent.  Peppermint has an invigorating effect.

Eucalyptus from the Eucalyptus tree, very aromatic and believed to promote healing.

Ginger, this root is used often in helping with motion sickness and nausea and digestion.

Coriander to me are the little seeds used for cooking . . . doing the research for this post, I learned that the LEAVES are what I know as cilantro!  It has a calming effect.

Rosemary an herb used for cooking.  Kind of like tiny twigs.  It’s oil can be used to stimulate and help with concentration.

Orange, a fruit that which the oil is from the skin.  Orange sent can be uplifting!

Ylang ylang, this oil comes from the Ylang Ylang tree/plant blossoms.  Thought to help relieve stress.

Do you use essential oils?  What do you use them for?

Posted in Chakras, Essential Oils | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Beer Bread – Less Sugar, More Herbs

Posted by terrepruitt on August 27, 2011

I would not be surprised to learn that I was one of the last people to learn about beer bread.  This past June I was at my mom’s and she said she would whip up some beer bread.  As much as I love bread I have never tried to make it because, yeast is a scary mystery to me.  So I was curious as to how she was going to “whip” it up.  I knew that to mean quick and not whipped like whipping cream so I wondered how that could be done.  Yeast has to set, right?  She and my niece did it and I was amazed and thrilled.  It is so easy.  There are really thousands of sites on the internet that have beer bread recipes.  I found that out when I went looking for recipes that call for “self-rising” flour.

Nia classes, Nia teacher, Nia San Jose, Nia Los Gatos, San Jose Nia, Nia teacher loves breadMost of the recipes — the easy ones are 3 cups of self-rising flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 12 ounces of beer.  Bake at 375°F for about an hour.  The first time I made it I actually handled the dough too much and I think it came out tough.  I had mixed it a lot then, had a hard time putting it in the pan.  It kind of sticks to whatever you use to try to push it to the corners of the pan.  Then AFTER I had spent some time fitting it into the pan I realized I should have greased the pan so I popped the dough out, greased the pan, and spent a considerable amount of time getting the dough back into the corners.  Kinda made it tough.

The next time I was careful NOT to play with the dough so much.  And it came out better.  Plus I used less sugar.  I know it is only three tablespoons, but it makes the bread too sweet for my tastes so I probably used about a tablespoon less.  I added salt (yeah, I did), garlic, and cheese.  I used Asiago because that is what I had and I wanted something with a gentle bite to it.  It turned out REALLY good.

I am not sure if I made it again before this very last time.  Hmmmmm . . . . can’t remember.  I don’t think so.  Even though I love bread, my hubby is not so much the bread fan, so that means I end up eating most of it and I don’t need to do that.  Even though I love that fact that there are less chemicals and stuff in this bread it is still an uber refined carb and I can always use to eat less of those!

This last time I made it with two tablespoons of sugar.  I have yet to pour the butter on top as most recipes instruct.  My hubby and I usually put butter on it so I don’t feel we need to have double butter.  In this batch I used garlic salt, garlic powder, and marjoram.  I love marjoram.  So I sprinkled some into the dough.  It is good.  It could even do with more marjoram.  I just wasn’t sure so I did use a lot, but now I know it works I can put more in.  You can barely see the flakes in the bread.

I still want to try it with other herbs.  Or maybe even a heavier beer?  And definitely even LESS sugar.  I might even try eliminating the sugar all together.  Since this really is a well-known recipe and I am thinking many of you have made it, what have you used?  Have you added any other herbs?  What typed of beer do you use?  Have any of you tried it with a gluten free flour?  Does it work?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Shopping Step to help Dinner Prep

Posted by terrepruitt on July 16, 2011

You know how Rachael Ray says to clean your veggies when you get home from shopping?  Well that doesn’t work for me, because although I LOVE the idea of the veggies being all ready to go when I want to use them, I think they start to go bad faster once they are washed and prepped. I don’t do that.  I really like the idea, but I don’t do that.  One thing my husband and I do after shopping that helps with dinner prep though is marinate the meat.  I do not like steak or pork that has not been marinated.  I figured out that this is why I thought I didn’t like steak, often steak in a restaurant has not been marinated it is just seasoned.  I like it to have soaked in the flavor.  So when we bring home steak we make up a bag of marinade and put the steak in it then freeze it.  Marinating the meat seems to add a step to shopping, but helps with preparing dinner.

Sometimes we have a big hunk of meat so my husband trims off the fat and cuts it up and we make some sauce then bag it up.  Sometimes he wants to have steak on hand for his beef stroganoff so he will chop it up in little bite size chunks.  We will put the chunks in a bag of sauce and freeze that.  When we need to use the steak we take it out to defrost and it is already marinated.  It has soaked in the juices while it was freeze and while it is defrosting.  Instead of defrosting THEN marinating, it is doing both at once.  AWESOME.

A little while ago he decided he wanted to do that with pork too.  We don’t buy bone on pork chops, my husband buys the thick chops.  I just remembered a funny story, one day he came home with steak and pork and told me to “make up” x number of bags.  He said some of the bags were for pork and some of the bags were for steak.  Not that he minded, but I could tell the difference when we cooked them he had put the steak in the pork marinade and the pork in the steak marinade.  It turned out ok, just a little different.  We always marinate the steak and we marinate the port most of the time, but sometimes we want to cook it another way so we don’t put it in bag with marinade.

As I was sitting here trying to think of something to post, I was thinking, “I didn’t learn anything this week.”  I know that is not true but I couldn’t think of what I learned so I decided to share something I already knew.  I was smelling the grilling my hubby was doing and it made me think of what a time saver the marinade in the freezer is and I thought, “Huh.  Maybe I could share that.”  So I am.

We use zip lock bags and I put whatever we have on hand in it; sherry/wine, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, onions, garlic, marjoram, parsley, garlic, whatever.   Then we squeeze out as much air as possible and freeze it until we are ready to use it.  Cool.  I love that.  When I go into the freezer to get out something for dinner and there is meat in there already marinated I am so happy.  I think we should try it with chicken too, what do you think?

I know you can by meat that is already marinated but you never really know what is in those pre-made ones and for me .  . . one who cannot tolerate any kind of spicy heat, they normally are too hot.  This way you are in control of the flavor you get.

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Celery Soup

Posted by terrepruitt on May 24, 2011

My friend made a comment on my celery post.  She offered the recipe for celery soup (it’s in comment #5).  Awesome, you know I am on a soup kick.  There are a lot of recipes out there for celery soup, of course, but it is nice to have a recipe from a friend.  A nice tried and true recipe.  I made it tonight, but I made some adjustments.

Since I don’t like pepper, I only put a sprinkle in, but I think this might have kept it from having much flavor so I added the marjoram which — to me — tied the flavors together nicely.

1 bunch celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp marjoram
a sprinkle of black pepper
a sprinkle of salt
48 ozs chicken stock

Sautee onion in olive oil, then add the parsnips.  Cook the parsnips for a few minutes.  When the parsnips start to get tender, add the celery and spices, cook it for a few minutes.  Then add the stock.  Let it simmer for awhile, then let it come to a boil.  I let it cool for a bit then blend in blender or with a stick blender.

This is becoming my standard method of cooking soup.  I have just been changing the ingredients.

I will probably try the celery soup with an apple -as my friend mentions- one of these days.  What about you?  I would love to hear what you’ve come up with.

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »