Dutch Tomato Soup

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 T.W.O. spent some time in Amsterdam over the Holidays and discovered how amazing their tomato soup was.  The Dutch made it the right way – hearty, full of flavor and fresh tasting.  Each afternoon we escaped the cold and went into a café ordered some mint tea and a bowl of soup.  Most (well maybe all) of the time the tea was followed by a glass of craft ‘bier’ that was on tap…Heineken, Witte  Brouwerij ‘t IJ, Amstel, the list goes on.  We had to do as the locals do! Anyways, we got home to the States and decided to recreate the tastes and flavor of the tomato soup in our own kitchen.  In our eyes, we pretty much perfected the Dutch recip.  We were missing one thing though…the ambiance.  There is no place like Europe!

Hope you have fun making the soup; we did!  Also, make sure to check the blog next week we will be featuring a portion of our Europe trip! #BritTwoDutch


Ingredients
-3 lbs fresh tomatoes (we used tomatoes on a vine)
– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 2 cups sweet onion, chopped
– 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
– 1 cup celery, chopped
– 2 Tablespoons garlic, chopped
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 cup fresh basil,chopped
– 2 large sprigs thyme
– 2 large stalks Italian flat-leaf parsley
– 1 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
– 1 15oz canned tomato sauce
– 1 Tablespoon sugar
-5  Tablespoons tomato paste, divided
–  Salt
–  Pepper
– Red pepper flakes

Instructions
1.  Take the tomatoes and cup in half.  Remove the seeds using a stainer making sure to save the juice in a bowl underneath.  Place the tomatoes in another bowl.  Take the liquid left in the strainer bowl and add to the tomato halves.
2. In a large heavy bottomed pot, add olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves. Cook over medium high for five minutes. Add tomato halves with juice.
3. Add half of the fresh cut up basil. Tie whole thyme and whole parsley together with twine and place in pot.
4. Add broth, tomato juice, sugar, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes.
5. Remove and discard bay leaves, thyme and parsley.
6.Add second half of basil to the soup. Stir in pepper flakes and butter. With a food processor, blend soup until completely pureed.
7. Add the soup back into the pot and cook for 10 minutes.  (If you like it thick, add the remaining two tablespoons of tomato paste. )


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Happy Cooking,
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Lemon Goat Cheese, Artichoke, Mushroom Pizza

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It’s Friday. It’s Lemon Week. So why wouldn’t we end it with our famous Friday Night Pizza Night- using lemons! This Lemon Goat Cheese, Artichoke and Mushroom Pizza satisfies all taste-buds.  It’s zestful, sweet, spicy and appetizing.  How so?  The zesty and tart taste comes from the Meyer lemon, then complimented by the creamy, sweet goat cheese. The spice – well that comes from the garlic! And what wouldn’t be more appetizing than marinated artichoke hearts, mushrooms, all covered with a fresh arugula salad? T.W.O. has the perfect pizza to finish off this Lemon Week!

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Ingredients:
– Pizza dough
– Cornmeal
-Flour
-2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-2 Meyer lemons
-1 large log goat cheese
– 2 Tablespoons dried basil
-1 cup Crimini mushrooms, sliced
-1 small can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and cut
– 5 garlic cloves, diced
-3 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard
– Arugula

Preheat oven to 425ᴼF.
Roll out the pizza dough on a floured/ cornmeal surface. Once the dough is evenly rolled out, transfer the dough to a greased cookie sheet.

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Spread the olive oil on the dough using a spoon. Sprinkle the dried basil leaves on the dough, making sure to evenly distribute. Add 3 of the diced garlic cloves.

In a bowl, mix the goat cheese, dried basil and the juice one lemon. Set aside. Add the mushrooms and marinated artichoke hearts to the pizza dough. Place small spoonfuls of the goat cheese mixture onto the dough about ½ inch apart from one another. Make sure the cheese reaches the edges.

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Let the pizza rise for about 15 minutes. Note – you don’t want to put the pizza in a cold oven, so make sure your oven reaches 425ᴼF. Once the oven is ready, place the pizza in the oven and watch closely. Do not open the oven door, as you want to keep the heat in. The pizza will take 15-20 minutes.

While the pizza is cooking, make your arugula salad for the top. In a bowl, mix together the juice of the remaining lemon, 2 diced garlic cloves, spicy brown mustard and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the arugula and mix. Set aside.

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Once done the pizza is done, take it out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the arugula salad and then cut your pizza. It’s time to eat!

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Hope you all had a great Lemon Week, because we sure had fun making it!

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make a Lemon Infused Pizza!

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Pesto, Potato and Garlic Pizza

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Friday Night Pizza Night with T.W.O.! This week we are featuring a hearty pizza that includes pesto, potatoes and garlic. We adapted the recipe from one of our favorite pizza parlors in San Francisco – ZA Pizza! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Ingredients

– Pizza dough*
– Cornmeal
– Flour
– Pesto**
– 2 red potatoes, thinly sliced
– 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2-3 cups mozzarella

*T.W.O. used pizza dough from VJB Deli.
** T.W.O. used Bolani Basil Pesto (all natural, low fat)

Preheat oven to 425ᴼF.

Season the thinly, sliced potatoes with salt, pepper and oregano. Place the potatoes on a greased cookie sheet and cook for 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, roll out the pizza dough on a floured/ cornmeal surface. Once the dough is evenly rolled out, transfer the dough to a greased cookie sheet. Next, take the pesto and spread it on the dough, making sure you reach all the edges. Then add the mozzarella to the pizza. Take the garlic and sprinkle it evenly on top of cheese.

Once the potatoes are done (they should be soft, but not mushy), add the slices of potatoes to the top of the pizza.

Let the pizza rise for about 15 minutes. Note – you don’t want to put the pizza in a cold oven, so make sure your oven reaches 425ᴼF.Once the oven is ready, place the pizza in the oven and watch closely. Do not open the oven door, as you want to keep the heat in. The pizza will take 15-20 minutes. Once done, take the pizza out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes prior to cutting.

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That’s amore!

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Leg of Lamb

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With the holidays in full swing, there are parties to attend and parties to host. And with hosting a party, it might mean that you are responsible for the meal. You are in luck-T.W.O. has a fabulous recipe for your main entrée- Leg of Lamb! We absolutely love this dish- it is easy, full of flavor and perfect for a group of people. Plus, it makes for great leftovers!

Ingredients

-4 ½ lb. boneless leg of lamb
-5 garlic cloves, halved
-Montreal Steak Seasoning
-Apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 425°F. Begin by washing the leg of lamb. Place leg of lamb in a roaster pan. Using a knife, poke holes in the leg of lamb for the garlic cloves. Make sure to do this for the bottom of the lamb. Take garlic and stick into each hole.

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Next, season both sides with Montreal Steak seasoning.

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When the oven has reached its temperature, place the lamb in. Roast for 15 minutes at 425°F. After 20 minutes, turn heat down to 325°F for the remainder of the time. Leg of lamb should be roasted for about 20 minutes per pound or reach an internal temperature of 145°F. A 4 ½ pound lamb takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  About 15 minutes before the lamb is ready, cover spread apricot preserves on the lamb. Make sure to put a good amount on the top and sides.

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Once the lamb has reached an internal temperature of 145°F, take it out and cover with foil. Let the lamb sit for about 10 minutes.

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After it has had time to sit, you are ready to slice and service!

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 Bon appetite!

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White Artichoke Pizza

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Happy Friday Night Pizza Night!!

Just got paid…Friday night… and T.W.O. is feeling alright! Our aprons are ready for some pizza making! This week’s pizza is a delicious white pizza with artichokes, mushrooms, garlic and fresh mozzarella.

Ingredients:

– Pizza Dough*
– Cornmeal
– Flour
– Fresh mozzarella, about 9 large round slices
– 2 Tablespoons olive oil
– 1 – 1 ½ cups marinated artichoke hearts, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2 Tablespoons dried basil

 * T.W.O. used VJB Cellars pizza dough which is made with 00 flour.

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Preheat oven to 425ᴼF. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured/ cornmeal surface. Once the dough is evenly rolled out, transfer the dough to a greased cookie sheet. Next take the olive oil and spread it on the dough, making sure you reach all the edges. Sprinkle the diced garlic and basil evenly on top of the olive oil.

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Add your fresh mozzarella, spacing the slices equally so the cheese will melt to the edges. Next, add your sliced artichokes and mushrooms. If you are an artichoke lover like T.W.O.- you can add more as desired!

Let the pizza rise for about 15 minutes. Note – you don’t want to put the pizza in a cold oven, so make sure your oven reaches 425ᴼ. Once the oven is ready, place the pizza in the oven and watch closely. Do not open the oven door, as you want to keep the heat in. The pizza will take 15-20 minutes. Once done, take the pizza out of the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes prior to cutting.

Is it time to eat yet?!

Sure is! Hope you enjoy this light, fresh and flavorful white artichoke pizza on your Friday Night. Don’t forget to pick your movie to go along with your dinner!

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Roasted Butternut Squash with Swiss Chard

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Picture this: A cold autumn’s night with green vegetables, toasted pine nuts, butternut squash and goat cheese. Sounds T.W.O. perfect, right? Well it is! Check out how to make this dish below.

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Ingredients:

– 1 large butternut squash
– 2 large shallots, quartered
-4 gloves of garlic, skinned and halved
– 1 ½ Tablespoon cinnamon
– 1 ½ Tablespoon nutmeg
-1 large head Swiss chard, stems and leaves chopped separately
-¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
-¾ cups dried cranberries
– ¼ cup honey goat cheese, crumbled
– balsamic vinegar, to drizzle

Preheat oven to 375ᴼ. Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise. Seed the squash and cut into bite-size cubes. Spray/brush the squash with olive oil and mix in cinnamon and nutmeg. Once the squash is coated, place on a baking sheet and cook for about 30-40 minutes until soft. Check the squash periodically and mix.

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At the 20 minute mark, add the garlic and the shallots to the butternut squash on the baking pan in the oven.

While the squash medley is cooking, chop the Swish chard stems and sauté in a fry pan for 3 minutes with a drixzle of balsamic vinegar. After 2 minutes, add the Swish chard leaves.

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Mix in the cranberries and the roasted pine nuts.

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Remove the squash, shallots and garlic from the oven and add to the Swish chard mixture. Once mixed, remove from stove and plate the ingredients. Add the goat cheese to the top for garnish. Serve immediately.

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T.W.O. enjoys having this for leftovers for lunch the next day. Just heat it up in the microwave or on the stove and you will have another tasty meal!

Happy cooking!!!

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Spaghetti Squash “Pasta” Bowls

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Spaghetti squash is one of T.W.O.’s favorite vegetables to eat during fall and winter. It makes for a great side dish, entrée, or even a snack! Spaghetti squash is full of nutrients such as folic acid, potassium, and vitamin A. It is also gluten free! So T.W.O. decided to give your typical “spaghetti dinner” a spin and create a delicious, healthy dish for dinner!

 Ingredients

-Spaghetti squash
-½ sweet white onion
-2 garlic cloves
-Mushrooms
-Broccoli florets
-Pasta sauce
-Fresh buffalo mozzarella or Parmesan cheese
-Salt & Pepper

 Preheat oven to 350°. Using a sharp knife cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove all the seeds. Place squash on a foil-lined cookie sheet and put in oven. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the “meat” of the squash is soft.

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Meanwhile, chop up garlic, onion, and mushrooms and broccoli. Once the squash is done, take it out of the oven to cool slightly. (Keep oven on) While the squash is cooling, sauté the garlic, onion and mushrooms in olive oil. Microwave the broccoli florets in a bowl filled with ¼ inch of water for about 2 minutes.

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Using a fork, scrap out the squash and put into a large bowl. Squash should come out like “spaghetti.” Once all the squash is out of the “shells” place the “shells” aside. These will be used as bowls for the dish.

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Add the sautéed garlic, onions, and mushrooms to the squash and mix. Season with salt and pepper. Next, add in the broccoli and pasta sauce and mix.

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Place the spaghetti squash back into the “shells”, top with fresh mozzarella and put back into the oven. (Parmesan cheese can also be used.) Bake for about 10 minutes. Before taking the squash out, turn the oven to broil. Broil for about 1-2 minutes or until cheese is slightly brown. Now it’s time to eat!!

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Enjoy!

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