Hi, I'm Rachel.

A few years ago I could barely boil water.

True story.

Determined to be a kick ass wife, I developed a love for football and learned to cook in my tiny Jersey City kitchen. I spend my days working in Manhattan, my nights and weekends chasing after a rambunctious toddler, and the hours in between cooking with my husband and feeding my TV habit...oh, and I blog about it all! 

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Entries in soup (6)


Rainy Day Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is doused in olive oil, salt and pepper, roasted to perfection and blended with vegetable broth for a decadent yet healthy and simple soup!


I have been having a love affair with soup lately.

It's gotten chilly here in NYC and my office especially knows how to keep the cold air in. We have a loft-style office with high ceilings, concrete floors and a few tiny radiators along 10 foot windows {I love our office space so much} and well, most days it can end up feeling even colder inside our office than outdoors. I kind of secretly love it. I love wearing big sweaters with skinny pants and boots to work. I love wrapping myself up in a knit Nordstrom shawl if I have a chill. And I really love sipping on a piping hot cup of tea to warm up my hands and my soul.


And most of all? I love having a rich bowl of soup for lunch. I totally slacked on any sort of food prep this week, and so for the first time since I can remember, I ended up buying lunch this entire week {--->wallet = unhappy}. Each day I've walked up to Hale & Hearty for some of their amazing soup. They have the most intriguing concoctions, taste like they are freshly poured and they provide calorie counts for each soup. 

I just love soup so much. I find it so filling and comforting and would happily eat it for most days through the cold months.

This is not a sustainable addiction. It's a pretty $7+ a pop {we are talking meal soups here} and I tend to overindulge in the soups that are probably not the healthiest choices. My solution is to begin making my own soup, and I'm starting with this incredibly easy roasted butternut squash version.


I made this soup a few weeks ago and can't wait to make it again. I really took the easy way out with this one by using basic ingredients that I could just throw together and wasn't sure how it would all turn out. Luckily, it was truly delicious and will now be a staple in my soup repetoire! It's so easy, reheats like a charm, and is special enough for a holiday table. I hope you enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 butternut squash, peeled & cubed*

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt (or more to taste)

1/4 tsp ground pepper (or more to taste)

4 C vegetable broth

1/2 C fat-free milk

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay out cubed butternut squash on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until squash is tender and soft.

In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable broth and cooked squash to a boil. Remove from heat and blend thoroughly with an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender in batches to blend, then put back into the saucepan). Stir in the milk and nutmeg. Adjust seasonings to taste. 

The soup will keep for 3-5 days in a tight storage container in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen and reheated.

*I purchased a pre-cut and peeled squash at my local grocery store. More expensive, but Mama just doesn't have the time to peel and chop that thing.

So there you have it, one beautiful bowl of soup!

Are you a soup person? What is your favorite?




Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup + Zombie 5K

Well helloooo! How are you on this Monday? I'm not going to lie, Monday came much too fast for me :) I had a great weekend though! On Friday we went out for our good friend's birthday, Saturday I had a girls day and sleepover with my sisters and Sunday was Shaun's cousin's birthday party.

Whew! Can you tell why I'm exhausted?!

So I was reading an article on CNN about the Run For Your Lives 5K. Have you heard of this? It's a 5K in which people dressed up as zombies chase you while you are running, not to mention various spooky obstacles throughout the course. How's that for motivation?! I think this idea is so fun and kind of hilarious. It hasn't come to New York or New Jersey yet, but the next one coming up will be in Massachussetts.

You know I love zombies, so I'd be all about it.

Would you run the zombie chase 5K?


Meanwhile, it's supposed to be a chilly one in the northeast today and so I thought it was about time to share some soup. I realized that I never told you about this delicious cheesy chicken tortilla soup from a few weeks back.

I love this soup. It's a little high in points, but perfect for an indulgent dinner when you are still trying to keep close to your diet. It's so warm, so comforting and I'm really wish that I had a batch waiting for me today.

It's filled with cheese, chicken, bell peppers and onions and topped with a few crumbled tortilla chips and sour cream. Yum

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Serves 6; about 1 1/2 C per serving

9 WW Points+ per serving

1 tsp olive oil
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp margarine
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C fat-free milk
3 C fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp half-and-half
1 1/2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
14 oz can diced tomatoes with chiles
2 1/2 C reduced fat cheddar cheese, shredded
kosher salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
tortilla chips, for topping
sour cream, for topping

In the bottom of a stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the peppers and onions. Saute until soft.

Next, add the margarine and melt. Whisk in the flour until combined. Cook for about a minute, but don't let it burn.

Whisk in the chicken broth and milk and bring to a light boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Once simmering, lower the heat stir in the cheese and half and half. Stir until completely melted and combined.

Pour in the chicken and diced tomatoes and mix. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Adjust any spices as you'd like. If you like it spicy, add some cayenne pepper.


Serve in bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and 2-3 crushed tortilla chips.

So what do you think?

Do you like hearty soups like this?

Would you ever run the zombie 5K

How did you spend your weekend?


psst...I'm going on about my new nail polish finds on The Peach & The Pit so hop on over to check it out!


Black-Eyed Pea + Kale Soup

Don't forget to enter our blogoversary giveaway! You have until 6pm EST tonight! Enter to win a copy of Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This! cookbook, one of my personal favorites. And it has nothing to do with the many photos of an attractive-looking Rocco strewn throughout the book.

Shaun and I are still going strong with our meat-free eating. I’ve been downing lots of fruits, veggies and Chobani yogurt, not to mention very lightly salted fresh popcorn for snack. On the morning of day 4, I’m starting to realize a few things:

1. Today I’m heading to Philly for a business trip and was initially wishing for a Philly cheesesteak. I know Shaun is secretly hoping I’d bring some home for us.

2. I don’t really miss meat. You know, aside from the above.

3. I’m very hungry. I had zumba and pilates on Tuesday night (which rocked my world) but yesterday I was ready to chop up my desk and start downing it, Cookie Monster-style.

4. I have significantly less energy. Though I think this is caused by the overall lack of protein, aside from some beans and Greek yogurt. Whew! I knew I made a mistake by not accounting for the lack of protein I’d be getting, but I swear, getting out of bed yesterday I thought my legs were filled with lead.

5. I’m kind of into the less meat thing and once I get some of the kinks worked out (like wanting to nap all day long), I feel confident that this might actually work.

So that aside, I’m excited to share another delectable recipe that I got from my Food Network Magazine. It was chock full of great stuff this month!

I had been wanting to experiment with kale so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity. It’s kind of like spinach but...different. Leafier. But tasty. I also love black-eyed peas (not to be confused with my hatred for actual peas). I whipped up this soup on Monday evening so that the man and I would have lunch for a couple of days. And guess what? It was good! And filling! And meatless! We all win! Hurrah!

Black-Eyed Pea + Kale Soup
*Adapted from Food Network Magazine
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 small onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped with ribs & seeds removed
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ teaspoon paprika
2 14 oz cans low-sodium vegetable broth
1 pound kale, ribs/stems removed and roughly chopped
1 can black-eyed peas
Parmesean cheese, for serving if desired
Brown rice, for serving if desired

In a large pot (I used my big stockpot, though an oversized saucepan would work too), heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the flour and mix until combined and golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the onion, pepper, celery garlic, 3 tbsp water, ¼ tsp kosher salt and few hits of black pepper.

Continue cooking on medium heat until the veggies are very tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and paprika, stirring to combine. Add the 2 cans of vegetable broth and mix altogether, scraping up the brown bits of delicious on the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil.

I used this opportunity to rinse and chop up the kale. I simply ran my knife along both sides of the stem to remove the leaves and then bundled it all up to give it a nice rough chop.

Add it to the soup along with a can of drained black-eyed peas. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover with the lid slightly ajar so that steam can escape. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.

To make the rice, I simply cooked it in some veggie broth and put a little scoop into the soup to serve. Shaun had the idea to put a few parmesean shavings on top.

So there it is a soup-er dish. Did I take it too far? It's not overly brothy, so if you want it that way, I recommend adding more vegetable broth during the cooking. In the shot above, most of the broth sunk down over the rice - but it was pretty fabulous this way. So what do you think? Have you ever tried kale? And any tips to share about getting more protein sans meat?