I held my niece last night. I was square-jawed in determination, but my hands trembled as my mother reminded me to support her neck. She is beautiful, fussy. Tiny, curious. She likes her pacifier and doesn't seemed bothered when their dog barks for food. She sleeps a lot, but has the deepest, darkest irises when she's awake.
I love this little girl and I love my sister more for having her. I love the slight disarray of their house, the boxes and recycling piled up. The honesty about the pain my sister faces, the way she can be vulnerable and rely on me to get her a glass of water. We laugh more than we used to, more than we had in years. Decades, maybe. And when the TV is on and the baby is sleeping, her small coos fill the silence, but it's not awkward anymore. Lana brought us all together and I drive the forty miles twice a week to see her, hold her, practice being a better uncle than the ones I had.
I'm baby crazy right now, insane even. The small tufts of hair that stick up after Lana's nap make me grin, laugh, I tickle her feet before putting socks on them. More and more of my friends are having children. It hit me at 25 that I'm the same age my mother was when she had me. I'm happy for all these new families forming around me and if I were the praying type, I'd pray every night for them.
I say all of this because I am beyond happy for Cynthia of Two Red Bowls and her family, who recently welcomed Baby Luke (B3) into their lives. Two Red Bowls is one of my absolutely favorite blogs and I revisit her recipes often for inspiration. Luke is absolutely gorgeous and so lucky to have such a talented, smart, and wonderful mother as Cynthia. When Stephanie and Alana emailed me about participating in a virtual baby shower, I was all in. Here's to you, baby boy bowl, and I can't wait to see your world through your mother's blog!
Cauliflower Harissa Soup
- Florets from one head of cauliflower
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- ¼ medium white onion, roughly chopped
- ½ of a large apple, cored and chopped (leave the skin on if you prefer, as I did)
- ¼ cup olive oil, separated + more for drizzling
- 1 ¾ cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup half ‘n half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- Harissa to finish, to taste
- Preheat oven to 425*F
- On a sheet pan, prepared with aluminum foil, mix together your cauliflower, garlic, onion, apple, and 2 TB of your oil (Note, there is no seasoning here, but you can add a dash of salt and pepper—this is because I seasoned the whole soup after testing the broth for salinity)
- Roast for 25 minutes or until florets are tender – do not let them burn, but the ends will brown
- While vegetables are roasting, warm your stock in a saucepan. I used my trusty Falk saucepan, that I had previous made caramel with here. The stock does not have to boil or simmer, you just want it warmed through to agree with the temperature of the roasted vegetables
- Now, in a blender, combine your roasted vegetables/fruit and chicken stock. Puree as smooth as you can get it – be careful, it will be hot!
- Your soup will be a little lumpy. Add your half ‘n half and remaining olive oil and blend again to smooth
- Season to taste (this much salt, pepper, and paprika were to my liking, but it is not a hard and fast rule how much you use), blend once more with butter
- Transfer back to your saucepan to keep warm, or it stores wonderfully in an airtight container for a couple days
- When you want to eat, you can heat a bowl up and drizzle with oil and harissa to finish, but would also be good with a little bacon and more cream on top!
Here are the links to all other blogs participating in Cynthia's baby shower!
I am a Food Blog | Mac and Kimcheese Dolsot Bibimbap
Fix Feast Flair | Dishoom's Chicken Ruby Murray
The Fauxmartha | Mom Lunches
A Cozy Kitchen | Cornbread Chicken + Dumplings
Cake Over Steak | Salted Caramel Chocolate Crackles
The Pancake Princess | Stovetop Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Snixy Kitchen | Chicken Pot Pie with Chestnut Biscuits
Lady and Pups | Egg Florentine in Pullman "Bowls"
Betty Liu | Honeynut Squash Congee
Style Sweet CA | Date Bourbon Cinnamon Rolls
Warm Vanilla Sugar | Broccoli Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Sauce
A Beautiful Plate | Coconut Cauliflower Soup
Girl Versus Dough | Tomato Grilled Cheese Soup
Fork to Belly | A Big Hawaiian Fruit Bowl
Donny Tsang | Chawanmushi
Wit & Vinegar | Jerk Chicken Chili
Constellation Inspiration | Salted Egg Yolk Custard Mochi
twigg studios | Katsu Udon Soup wth Popcorn Chicken Croutons
Edible Perspective | Acorn Squash Bowls with Pears, Pecans, and Vanilla Bean Cream
Coco Cake Land | Asian Bowl Cut Sugar Cookies
Southern Souffle | Sorghum Apple Biscuits In A Bowl
The Bojon Gourmet | Smoky Sweet Potato & Lentil Tortilla Soup
Flourishing Foodie | Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup
What should I eat for breakfast today | Little Bowl with Creamy Polenta, Cheese, Onions and Mushrooms
Top with Cinnamon | Squash & Crispy Kale Bowls with Pomegranate and Miso-Ginger Dressing
the broken bread | Roasted Celeriac + Fennel Soup
my name is yeh | Corn Dog In A Bowl
Crepes of Wrath | Mini Scallion Pancake Challah Buns
O&O Eats | Persimmon Cobbler