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I felt culinarily inspired after some food shopping, with the chilly nights coming our way, I felt the need for soup. I had emailed my mother a link http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/healthy-fall-recipes_5638fdd5e4b027f9b96a4f43 and among those recipes there was one that had intrigued me, a cauliflower and leek soup. The recipe is extremely easy, however I changed it just a bit, instead of using two leeks, I put in 6 and instead of cutting up one head of cauliflower, I chopped up two heads and roasted them at 375 until nice and toasty brown, I added one potato that wasn’t in the recipe and lastly I added fresh thyme and fresh sage along with chick stock. I pureed it and the all important jury, the kids and the husband, approved the addition to my repertoire of recipes. I would have made it again anyhow because I really like it a lot and it’s so easy to put together.

When  I went into the back to harvest some thyme and sage, I looked over towards my garden surrounding the pond and I saw some beautiful color, a lovely surprise.

The next dish I worked on was just as easy; sauteed shrimp and steamed littleneck clams over thin spaghetti with a garlic lemon butter sauce.

My father showed me a neat trick, once you’re done sauteeing the shrimp, your pan will have nice browned bits from having sauteed the shrimp, those browned bits have great flavor, so to harness that flavor for a sauce, I deglazed the pan with what I have on hand, usually chicken stock, but if you have white wine, that will work even better, so after putting the shrimp off to the side, I put the littleneck clams in the pan with a cover and steamed them in the shrimp infused stock, once they were open, I took them out and worked a  bit more on the sauce, adding fresh lemon juice and a nice amount of butter.  Meanwhile the pasta was cooked and finally I put everythng together and voila, dinner!

I was happy working in the kitchen, chopping, roasting and sauteeing, smelling and gauging how everything was turning out, I love being quiet in the kitchen, focused on my inner dialogue and getting it as right as I can at that moment.