Parade.com: Saffron Butternut Squash Soup

Saffron Butternut Soup

Finland. Summer 2003. Lunch outside of a mild summer day. The server presented steamed salmon in a saffron creamy broth. It was simple dish, but the memory of its taste is grand. Recently, when I made Saffron Butternut Squash soup as an idea to include in a Thanksgiving menu, the first spoonful didn’t have me thinking of smoked turkey. Instead, forgotten memories of Finland returned.

It was the summer of learning about organic food, becoming environmentally-conscious and riding Copenhagen’s public bikes. The flavorful produce was fresh, bruised and unwaxed. Large chickens looked liked American cornish hens. Fingerling potatoes enclosed in a thin papery skin roasted into a buttery softness. I would return to occasionally trying to recreate the Saffron Creamy broth. It’s a simple sauce, in which I’m surprised to not have successfully created it. Perhaps, the simpleness of the sauce is underestimated. Ten years later into today, I would unwittingly recreate the taste with different ingredients, but the memories come courtesy of saffron. It’s distinct flavor beautifully infuses every dish.  Read more

Parade.com: 3 Ways to Spice Up Your Acorn Squash

Spicy Roast Acorn Squash

Even as a so-called health nut, I love winter squashes roasted until they’re buttery and sticky-sweet. They’re drizzled with olive or coconut oil, or a little soft butter is brushed on slices. Perhaps they’re sweetened with brown or coconut sugar, maple syrup or honey. A bit of sea salt and fresh black pepper are sprinkled here and there. In my creative mind, winter squashes are flavored with any combination of herbs and spices. Read more

The Art of Making Cream of Mushroom {and Chicken} Soup, Not Inspired from the Can

A Mushroom Tribute to Andy Warhol
A Mushroom Tribute to Andy Warhol

Strolling through a museum, a friend asked if I liked Andy Warhol. The answer is usually automated: “Yes, he’s one of the greatest artists of the 20th century!” On that day my perception of art was being challenged, for I wanted to think about my answer. “I don’t know,” was my response, “My opinion right now is based on what art classes tell me to like.” Andy Warhol spiced up his creativity by using ordinary objects in pop culture. He screen printed an image of the canned Cream of Mushroom soup because of its banality of flavor. That day, I had the lovely pleasure of viewing artwork from other artists made with dirt, sticks and clay shaped like unmentionables. It was artwork inspired from the can. Read more