May 9, 2013

Coconut Curry Carrot Soup

Let me just say, sometimes I need clean. ASAP. Clean kitchen, clean clothes, clean floors. Can I get an amen?!

My reality... not so clean. Children running a muck, subsequently unraveling my latest accomplishments.  Makes my eye twitch.  

Coconut Curry Carrot Soup

And then I find that happy place in fresh clean, easy food. Something so euphoric I melt, and a great healthy escape from the days' mayhem. Oh, yes please.

I love coconut anything, put it in my food and I'm like a witch in a broom factory. Oh, did I tell you I'm a rabbit as well? I have an affinity for great tasting carrots, fresh and sweet. Glad that's out of the bag!

Today's recipe, adapted from Fast Paleo, creates a savory merger of both worlds. You can thank me later!

Coconut Curry Carrot Soup
Bliss From Scratch | Printable Version

  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
  • 2 heaping cups thickly sliced carrots, about 4 medium-size
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 3/4 teaspoon red curry paste, add more for additional spice
  • NOTE: I used golden curry, which is very mild, and it was still heavenly.
  • salt and pepper to taste (I let my guests add what they wanted to their individual bowls)
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked, lightly seasoned and cubed or shredded (optional)
  • Toasted bread of choice for dipping

Precook chicken, cube or shred, set aside.

In a pot, bring carrots to boil over med-high heat. Let boil for 4-5 minutes, then reduce heat to low. Let simmer until just tender, set aside.

In a deep sauce pan, heat butter over med-high heat. Saute ginger and finely chopped onions until translucent.  Pour in coconut milk, broth, and curry paste, mix well.

In a blender, add 2 cups of  soup mixture and the strained carrots. Blend until smooth (be careful when blending hot soup!), pour back into the remaining soup mixture, stir until well combined.  Add cooked chicken and stir.

Garnish with fresh cilantro, a must have for the symphony of flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy a bowl of heaven!

Apr 28, 2013

Gingham Salad

Gingham Salad. It's worthy of an intro.

As a teeny bopper I "life guarded" at one of the local country clubs. Let's be honest, it's a country club, and the few senior members that did make it down to the docks didn't have the energy to swim once they made it there.  And I don't blame them.

Subsequently, I was paid to be the bronzing beauty that guarded... the "dock" and my lunch plate.  Free gourmet country club food?  Worth every hour, hello.

The Gingham Salad was the pinnacle of my summer bliss.  It's a perfect symphony of fresh berries, mandarin oranges, feta, candied pecans, grilled chicken, and a dressing that is heaven in its self. You will not have lived until you taste THE Gingham Salad. Oooooh the dressing... don't get me started. So simple. So fresh. So perfect.

Adapted from the Hayden Lake Country Club's Gingham Salad.

Tell me what you think!

 photo AcaleySig_zpsdd802c52.jpg

Gingham Salad
Bliss From Scratch | Printable Version

  • Candied pecans (recipe follows or can use store-bought)
  • Gingham dressing (recipe follows)
  • Canned mandrin oranges
  • Fresh blue berries
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Black berries*
  • Raspberries*
  • Grilled chicken*
  • Feta or blue cheese
  • Salad greens of choice
  • *optional, but highly recommended

Assemble greens, berries, fruit, and chicken. Top with cheese, nuts, and dressing--skimping on these ingredients is like trying to do jumping jacks without legs.  Let your mouth and mind be blown away.  This is my all-time favorite meal, ever.

Gingham Dressing
No substitutions will work.  Believe me, I've tried.  Dressing will last in the fridge for weeks, but using fresh onion with reduce the shelf life.  You'll make it again soon after, I'm confident of that. wink-wink.

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder OR 1 tablespoon small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup salad oil (canola or olive oil)
In a blender, mix all of the ingredients for 1-2 minutes.

Candied Pecans
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

In a small skillet, melt butter and sugar over med-low heat.  Add pecans and spices, stir until pecans are fragrant and well coated (they should appear sticky with the melted sugar coating them).  Remove from heat and spoon the mixture onto parchment paper, break apart as desired if the nuts are clumping together.  Cool completely before serving.

Apr 25, 2013


Feeling pretty lucky today.

I've successfully coerced my ultra lovely and talented sister Caley into becoming a full fledged Bliss From Scratch contributor.  She's an amazing and instinctive home cook extraordinaire, in fact, our tastes are so well matched that I'm certain our recipes will blend seamlessly.

Additionally we'll be posting with more frequency, and I'm quite beside myself in anticipation of all of her forthcoming drool-worthy offerings.  Stay tuned.

And without further ado, here she is:


My name is Caley, and I love to be busy.  I used to be "busy" chasing the soccer ball at indoor soccer fields and my education at Boise State.  But, I have since graduated with a B.A. in Public Relations and M.A. in motherhood.  The latter being my profession of choice.

I have one daughter, who more than lives up to the red-head stereotype.  My little ginger snap is a bright little firecracker.

I love to cook and enjoy finally having the time to do it!  Believe me, my husband is just as happy about it.  I love fresh clean food that doesn't make me regret eating it.  I enjoy good authentic food... and coconut.

So enjoy the scrumptious new additions I'll help bring to your table!


(this girl is the spunky, life-of-the-party, comedian of the family, you'll love her!)

Apr 3, 2013

Easy Veggie Bars

We've had sunshine today.  Glorious therapeutic sunshine, man, I'm so ready for Spring.

Today's recipe is a solid favorite, and would be an excellent appetizer for your Final Four party madness.  Did I mention it's ultra easy?  Plus we can all pretend that since its covered in veggies, it's totally guilt-free.

I've taken it to many gatherings and I'm always left with an empty pan and requests for the recipe.  Flakey crescent roll crust, a layer of garlicy creaminess, and fresh crunchy veggies.  They all pair perfectly for a scrumptious, crowd pleasing finger food.

Make this, and enjoy that sunshine!

Easy Veggie Bars
by Bliss From Scratch, inspired by my friend Kari Meeker | Printable Version

Note: I halved this recipe for my photos.
  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 bunch green onions, sliced small
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 5 cups finely chopped veggies, use whatever you like; broccoli, carrots, olives, sweet red peppers, radishes, cauliflower, etc. 

Gently unroll crescent rolls, keeping them attached in their rectangular shapes, and gently press into a large ungreased cookie sheet.  They may not cover the entire pan.  Bake at the temperature shown on the package for 10-12 minutes until golden.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, finely chop/dice veggies.  In a small bowl combine softened cream cheese, mayo, green onions and garlic salt.  Spread on cooled dough.  

Spread chopped veggies evenly over top of cream cheese covered crust, very gently press to help the veggie stick.  Cut into bars and serve immediately or refrigerate.  Can be chilled for hours in advance or even over night.  Enjoy! 

Mar 21, 2013

Udon Peanut Stirfry

First off, my apologies for the severe case of blog neglect.  I'm back, well rested, and with a fresh trove of recipe inspiration up my sleeve.  Stay tuned.

This dish has landed squarely on our weekly menu rotation.

Feb 1, 2013

Cashew Chicken Salad Croissants

Cashew Chicken Salad Croissants

Today I've got another recipe from my Brinn's birthday party.  

I was introduced to these croissants sandwiches by my Mom and sister Shawny a few years ago, and its been true love ever since.  They pack such a symphony of textures and flavors; light crunchy cashews and sweet fresh fruit balance perfectly with creamy shredded chicken.  All enclosed in a flakey, buttery croissant. 

Jan 28, 2013

Best Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

Best Chocolate Cake with Fresh Strawberry Buttercream

This cake is extremely moist and dense, without being overly rich.  It really is the best chocolate cake recipe I've come across thus far.

Jan 20, 2013

Brinnley's 4th Birthday

I know it's been too quiet around here this past week.

So here's a little peek at what I've been so preoccupied with.

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