Carrot Ginger Soup

I was given a pdf copy of My Pinewood Kitchen in exchange for my review. I love cooking and I’ve been doing a LOT of it with being home so much. So, needless to say, I’m getting bored with my recipes and dying for something new.

This cook book looked healthy, hearty, and delicious. And I’ve not been disappointed!

I’ve been attempting to make a carrot soup that I like – and my last one was a major bust (as in, sorry kids, you don’t have to eat it) – so I decided to give this one a try. I definitely haven’t tried one with an apple in it before, so I was quite curious as to how the added sweetness would taste.

Short On Inspiration While Dining In? My Pinewood Kitchen Dishes Out Some Quarantine Cuisine Tips

With COVID-19 keeping us at home more and shopping less, home chefs need to get creative while cooking tasty, healthy meals for their entire family. Chef and author Mee McCormick is an expert: she healed herself of Crohn’s disease, gut issues, and other immune system challenges with whole food recipes when doctors couldn’t help her.

The mom/rancher/restaurateur can share tips for “quarantine cuisine” when you’re hankering for variety in your meals but you’re short on ingredients and inspiration. Perfect for social distancing, many of her recipes are made with items you probably already have in your pantry (for example, her Black Bean Chicken Chili and Immune-Boosting Chicken & Quinoa Soup); she can teach home cooks how to repurpose items to reduce food waste (cilantro pickles, anyone?), and reveal the healthiest foods you need in your pandemic pantry.

My Pinewood Kitchen: A Southern Culinary Cure offers more than 100 gluten-free, whole foods recipes that can be customized for Keto, Paleo, or vegans, making it a truly “all-inclusive” eating plan for the entire family. From smoothies, soups and salads, to dinners and desserts, every recipe is gluten-free and gut-friendly.

•    Curb Your COVID Anxiety with healthy chocolate with Mee’s Chocolate Avocado Mousse & Five-Ingredient Fudge Cups
•    Soups for Social Distancing – Black Bean Chicken Chili and Immune-Boosting Chicken & Quinoa Soup (nutritious, delicious, and they use what you likely have in your home already!)
•    Plenty of plant-based offerings
•    Reduce Waste: Learn how to make cilantro pickles from cucumbers, sweet potato chips from sweet potatoes, a falafel burger from canned chickpeas, and how to make your own healthier ketchup and mayonnaise if you run out
•    10 Gut-Friendly Foods for your Pandemic Pantry

Mee McCormick is a rising Southern culinary and wellness innovator, restaurateur, author, TV cooking personality, farmer, rancher, wife and mother. She splits her time between Nashville and nearby Nunnelly, Tennessee; a tiny, unincorporated community in Hickman County, which is also home to her biodynamic farm and restaurant Pinewood Kitchen & Mercantile.

Mee authored her first cookbook My Kitchen Cure, which led to wild success and a book deal with HCI for her second cookbook My Pinewood Kitchen, published on April 14, 2020. She frequently appears on Today in Nashville, and she participates in nationally-recognized food festivals and events, spreading the same level of care and hospitality to audiences everywhere that she has become known for throughout the state of Tennessee. Visit: or

My Pinewood Kitchen: A Southern Culinary Cure/130+ Crazy Delicious, Gluten-Free Recipes to Reduce Inflammation and Make Your Gut Happy
By Mee McCormick
Released: April 2020/ $26.95
ISBN: 9780757323522
Available wherever books are sold

There are some absolutely amazing recipes in this book! Think terrific and tasty family meals, and the Carrot Ginger Soup did not disappoint!

Carrot Ginger Soup


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or ghee

1 large white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

1. pounds carrots

1 apple, chopped and skin on

4 cups Chicken Bone Broth (page 120) or Vegetable Broth (page 121) – directions in the cookbook

2 cups water

1/4 cup raw cashews

3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk

1 tablespoon miso

Sea salt (to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


1) In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil or ghee. Add the onion and sweat until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 3 minutes.

2) Add the carrots, apple, broth, water, and cashews. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.

3) Transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the coconut milk and miso paste. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.

Incredibly easy and delicious! I paired this with some leftover ribs and steamed broccoli for an absolutely amazing dinner with the family!

Chick Fil A Upcycle Challenge

I’m part of a ChickFilA mom’s panel and for February they are having a upcycle challenge with the Chick Fil A soup bowls.

IMG_20170215_131146104Which, if you haven’t tried their soup. You need to. My kids love the chicken noodle and the southwestern chicken is my favorite, even though I don’t usually enjoy spicy foods.

Then we took our soup containers and the girls made little jewelry boxes. This was a fun and easy craft and we made something useful – just maybe their jewelry will end up in these boxes and not all over the floor!



  1. ChickFilA soup container – washed and dried
  2. Paint – we used acrylic paint and some puffy paint
  3. Newspaper – for covering your surface, you don’t want to be cleaning acrylic paint off your table
  4. Paintbrushes – we used foam brushes and regular brushes, it’s all about how you prefer to paint
  5. Cup of water – for rinsing brushes
  6. Paper towels – for drying brushes, wiping hands, etc.
  7. If your kids are doing the painting I also recommend an old shirt or paint smock for them.



  1. Wash and dry your containers
  2. Spread newspaper over your work surface
  3. Paint containers with the acrylic paint. You might want a couple of coats if you want more coverage, I tried to convince my kids to use more paint but they really liked the textured look they were getting with just one coat. Rinse and lay out your brushes to dry. Let your containers dry completely
  4. Add designs with the puffy paint. My girls attempted to draw jewelry with their paint. They even traced the Chick Fil A logo on the lid of their containers because they love Chick Fil A and thought it was so cool to have Chick Fil A jewelry boxes. The puffy paint is also great for keeping the containers from sliding around on hard surfaces. Let this dry overnight or however long your puffy paint says.
  5. Fill with jewelry 🙂

This project was so much fun and let the kids get super creative.




Favorite Flavors of Ireland – Recipe & Review


I was so excited to try out this new cookbook in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. I love cooking, but haven’t tried out a lot of Irish recipes.

I was actually surprised at how simple the food is. There’s a lot of bread, meat, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots in this cookbook. I found so many recipes that I like that it was hard to pick one to share. I’m all about the basics and ingredients that I know how to use. This cookbook is awesome and has so many different and delicious ways to make all of your classic Irish foods.

IMG_20160222_180908463I tried out Soda Bread (which is not only tasty but super easy!), Champ Potatoes (basically mashed potato deliciousness), Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing (DELICIOUS!, luckily, I’m the only one in my family who likes carrot cake, so I got to eat it all), and Carrot Soup. Next on the list to try is Cheese Potatoes, Blueberry Muffins, and Rib eye.

I finally decided to share the carrot soup recipe because this is my kid’s favorite – I think it’s delicious as well. For some reason my 5yr old has this great love of carrot soup, so I’ve tried out many, many carrot soup recipes. This recipe is simple, and honestly the best tasting carrot soup I’ve made yet. She’s already asking me when I’m going to make it again!

Before I share the recipe, here’s the cookbook. Favorite Flavors of Ireland by Margaret M. Johnson. It also features Kerrygold Butter, which is way creamier than my usual Kroger store brand butter. It comes in a block, and I had no problem finding it at Trader Joe’s.


The book captures Ireland’s culinary beauty season-by-season, and includes more than 100 recipes. There’s a section of Spring recipes like Lamb with Port and Mint Sauce. Summer recipes like Fish ‘n Chips. Autumn recipes like Peppered Pork Loin Roast. And, Winter recipes like Shepherd’s Pie.

You can purchase your own copy of the book and find out more about it here.

The author, Margaret M. Johnson is author of ten cookbooks—Christmas Flavors of Ireland; Flavors of Ireland; The Irish Pub Cookbook; Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools; The Irish Spirit; The New Irish Table; The Irish Heritage Cookbook; Tea & Crumpets; Cooking With Irish Spirits; and Ireland: Grand Places, Glorious Food. As a food and travel writer she has contributed to publications in both the U.S. and Ireland including Intermezzo Magazine; SIP, For the Love of Drink Magazine: Cooking Light; Cara, the inflight magazine of Aer Lingus; Dublin’s Food & Wine Magazine; the Irish Echo newspaper; and to online sites such as, and She frequently appears at Irish food and cultural events, and when she’s not visiting her ancestral home in Ireland, she lives in Westhampton Beach, NY.

I’m thoroughly enjoying her Favorite Flavors of Ireland cookbook.

Carrot Soup with Bacon Bread Crumbs

Bacon Bread Crumbs
2 slices American Bacon
2 slices firm white sandwich bread
2 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tbsp. Kerrygold Irish butter
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs./900 g carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
10 whole cloves, wrapped and tied in cheesecloth
4 cups/1 L homemade chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Pinch of sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 tbsp. heavy cream
Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

  1. To make bread crumbs, in a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon for 7 – 9 minutes, turning frequently, or until crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 2 tbsp. fat from the pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the bread 8 – 10 times to medium-fine crumbs. Transfer bread crumbs to bacon fat and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until golden. Transfer to a small blow.
  3. Pulse the bacon in the food processor to fine bits and stir into the bread crumbs. Stir in the parsley and pepper. Set aside.
  4. To make the soup, in a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter and oil. Add the carrots, onions, garlic, and cloves and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft but not browned.
  5. Add the stock or broth, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, or until the carrots are very soft. Remove the soup from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Discard the cloves.
  6. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. (or, puree in the pot with an immersion blender.) Return the puree to the saucepan over medium heat and stir in the lemon juice, sugar, and cream. Simmer until heated through and season with salt and pepper.
  7. To serve, ladle the soup into 6 shallow bowls and sprinkle with the parsley and bread crumbs.

I might add, that this makes a lot of soup! It re-heats well though, so we enjoyed carrot soup for a couple of days.

I received this product free for purposes of my review. All opinions are my own.



Food Friday – Crockpot Vegetable Soup

I’ve been on a soup/stew kick this past couple of weeks. Mainly because we’re super busy and it’s easy to toss everything in the crockpot before heading out the door for the day. And then supper is ready when I get home!

For this vegetable soup, you can toss in just about any vegetable if you don’t like the veggies I used.

Crockpot Vegetable Soup

2 Large Tomatoes – cut in chunks
Handfull Chopped Cauliflower
4 Sliced carrots
1 Beet peeled and grated
3 Radishes sliced (I’ve noticed the spicier the raw radish, the sweeter it is cooked)
1 Cup chopped greens (I used swiss chard)
2 Cups chicken broth or chicken soup base
1 Cup cooked meat (I had some leftover hamburger and pork chops that I cut up and put in)

Put all ingredients in the crockpot. Add extra water to full cover vegetables if needed. Cook on low 6 to 8 hours.

Bacon Potato Soup

I’ve been trying for years to find a potato soup recipe that my husband will love. He really likes O’Charley’s potato soup and I’ve been hunting for something similar. It’s been a good year of recipes for me, a sugar cookie recipe, and now a potato soup recipe!

I finally found what I was looking for! I made this soup then left for choir practice planning to eat when I returned. My husband, friend, our two little kids left me about half a bowl to eat!

Bacon Potato Soup
8 pieces bacon
7 medium potatoes
8 cups water
1 1/2 T onion powder (you could probably do an onion and saute it with the garlic, my husband just doesn’t like the onion chunks)
1 clove garlic, diced
2 C velveeta cheese

Using a large pot, fry the bacon. Set it aside to cool. Drain off bacon grease, leaving the drippings in the pan.

Saute the garlic (and onion if you’re not using onion powder) in the bacon drippings. Add 4 cups water, potatoes, onion powder, and crumbled bacon.

Bring to a boil and boil until the potatoes are very tender.

Stir in velveeta until fully melted and mixed in.


Roasted Beef, Mushroom, and Barley Soup

I made this soup last fall and love it! I’d been thinking about making it again and when I found mushrooms and stew beef on sale today (no I did not use sirloin steak as the recipe calls for) I decided that I had to make this soup again.

The kids are napping, and I just finished eating a bowl, and it was just as good as I remembered it!

Unfortunately (or fortunately for me) my husband does not like mushrooms so I’m planning to freeze most of this in individual serving sizes so I can enjoy it for lunches throughout the winter.

I discovered roasted soups last year and I love them! Roasting the meat and mushrooms in the oven before you add the ingredients to the soup brings out a lot of  flavor. It adds a pan to wash but it’s definitely worth the extra dish.

Roasted Beef, Mushroom, and Barley Soup

1 lb Sirloin Steak (I used stew meat) cut into 1/2 in pieces
1 pound mushrooms cut into 1/2 in pieces
2T olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 C low-sodium chicken broth (I used beef broth – and it was not low sodium) or water
1/2 C quick-cooking barley
Handfull of chopped parsley

Heat oven to 425, toss meat, mushrooms, and oil in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beef and mushrooms are browned, about 30 minutes.

Transfer to a medium pot and add broth, parsley, and barley. Bring to a boil and simmer until barley is soft, about 13 minutes.


Chicken Barley Soup

While not a fan of cold weather I do love trying all all sorts of new soups this time of year. The nice thing about soup is it freezes well and it’s usually a one pot meal! My first new soup of the season turned out really well. We ate half and I froze half for later this year when I’ve run out of soup recipes to try!

Chicken Barley Soup

1T oil
4 carrots, diced small
4 celery stalks, diced small
1 med onion, diced small
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 in pieces
salt and pepper to taste
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 T thyme
1 C quick cooking barley
5oz baby spinach (5 cups)

1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat oil over medium0high. Add carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until chicken is opaque at edges, about 2 minutes.

2. Add broth and thyme and bring to a boil. Stir in barley. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until barley is tender and chicken is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Add spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Few ingredients, simple, and easy to make, and very tasty!