Perfect Pumpkin Soup for Winter

[vc_row center_row=”” margin_right=””][vc_column][vcex_image_grid columns=”2″ thumbnail_link=”none” img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″ image_ids=”2650,2643″][vc_column_text]We are non-conformists, so this is going to look a little different from normal recipes. I don’t have a ton of time, and I really hate having a dirty kitchen (since my husband and his German-self yells at me). Every part of the below process, except the bread, goes in 1 bowl, 1 pan or 1 dish.

This is certainly not a quick dish, but it is the kind of dish you can walk away from and let cook while you do something else. As with all soups, it is always better the next day, which makes a dinner party very easy on the day of if you can plan ahead.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][vc_column_text]

A L L   T H E 



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(10) 10oz bowls of soup including garnishes & 10 slices of bread





  • Crunchy topping (Toss and sauté.)
    • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
    • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
    • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
    • 1/2 tsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp salt
  • Base (Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients, form into a frisbee, cover with a kitchen towl and set aside to let rise for 1 hour. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.)
    • 3 cups of gluten free all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp xantham gum
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 2 eggs (cold)
    • 2 tsp yeast + 1/4 cup hot water
    • 1 cup water


  • Base (Peel pumpkin and cut into 1″ chunks, bake with half of onion, 3 cloves of garlic and cubed potato for 30 minutes, then switch to broil for 10 minutes. Meanwhile chop and sauté all the remaining ingredients (except herbs) until the onions are clear and the rest is a nice golden brown. Add water to the middle of your large pot and put a lid on it until boil. Pull out everything from the oven and toss into the soup. Let cook for 30 minutes. Put in herbs and add additional salt or herbs as needed for flavor. Add more water as needed. When ready to serve, add in coconut milk and use an emersion blender to make a chunky substance. You can substitute using a blender, but only do up to 1/2 of the soup. Do not blend entirely.)
    • 1 medium green, yellow or red pumpkin
    • 1 large yellow onion
    • 6 cloves of garlic
    • 1 potato
    • 4 small carrots without tops
    • 3 stalks of celery
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & pepper
    • Handful of fresh thyme & oregano
    • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds (Toss and bake.)
    • Seeds from pumpkin leftovers
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & pepper
  • Carrots (Toss and sauté.)
    • 20 peeled small carrots with partially cut tops
    • 1 tbsp honey
    • Salt
    • Olive oil
  • Flat pancakes (Mix together and fry.)
    • 2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp xantham gum
    • 1 tsp ground flax seed + 2 tbsp warm water (let this stand for 2 minutes)
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil
    • 1 can Aranciata San Pellagrino
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • Water as needed for consistency
  • Crispy kale topping (Toss and bake.)
    • 1 bunch of curly kale
    • Olive oil
    • Salt & pepper




Make sure that you are properly making your pumpkin nice and crispy by putting it first on bake around 300 degrees for about 45 minutes, and then broiling at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. You want it to be a dark, golden color. Make sure to rotate often.

Timing is everything. If you can get the bread mixed and rising while you get the pumpkin cut and in the oven, you will have enough time to lower the temperature of the oven and put in the bread before the soup is done. Juggling is what parents do best, so this shouldn’t be a challenge!




Your taste buds are different then mine, so I am going to leave the olive oil, salt and pepper quantities to you. Salt enough to bring out the flavor, but don’t overwhelm. Leave the option to your guests to add a second helping of salt if they desire.

Arrange the soup and its toppings however you think it will look best. Don’t feel shy to give it a go and try something a little outrageous with the presentation and don’t feel obliged to make it look like our version. You can even put a side plate with the pancakes and the carrots and bread if you choose.




What you will have at the end of your labor, is a hearty and tasty meal. It is more than just a soup, and it is perfect for parties where you just want to sit around the fire or the coffee table, without messing with a formal sit down meal. This is a great meal to have with friends because it is thoughtfully prepared, and in some ways labored over.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row center_row=”” margin_right=””][vc_column][vcex_spacing][vc_column_text]

D O N ‘ T   H A V E   T I M E   T O   M A K E   I T   F R E S H ? 


Buy Instead

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M E A L   W I T H   F R I E N D S


Monica’s House, Fall 2011

[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][vc_column_text]What fun! I had been staying with my friend Monica on a trip back to London, just having given up my apartment and have moved back to the States and I wanted to see all my friends. Monica let me host everyone at her house. For some reason many of the photos are lost, but the food ones remain and the two photos of my best friends, Surrinder and Monica. I loved being able to cook dinner for everyone and it was a great way to catch up on a sunny, but chilly weekend day.[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][vcex_image_carousel items_scroll=”page” item_width=”230px” min_slides=”4″ max_slides=”4″ img_width=”500″ img_height=”400″ image_ids=”2670,2654,2669,2653″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vcex_spacing][vc_column_text]

D E C O R A T E   Y O U R



[/vc_column_text][vcex_spacing][vcex_feature_box style=”left-image-right-content” heading=”” content_width=”70%” media_width=”30%” img_width=”9999″ img_height=”9999″ image=”2656″]Celebrate the season with something unique on your table or at your seating area. Decorate for the fall with leaves, or even use mini pumpkins for the serving bowls. Found a few ideas through Blovely Events, too.


Veggie, Lactose-Dairy Free, Gluten Free Quiche

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]RaCo Life Egg Crustless Quiche

Sounds like this would be limited in flavor, taste and excitement, but it is a fabulous treat to have for breakfast. Kurt and I are partial to salad as a side, instead of fruit, when we have vegetable quiche and it is a perfect compliment to this simple recipe.


Red Silicone Quiche RaCo Life Silicone Whisks Shun-Classic-Chefs-Knife-0

RaCo Life Egg Crustless Quiche 2



  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Thinly slice the onions and garlic and sautee in olive oil until a nice golden brown color. Set aside to cool.
  3. Crack and whisk all 6 eggs, adding a little salt and pepper to taste. Add the almond milk and continue to whisk until a slight froth forms. Add the onions and garlic to the batter after they are cooled.
  4. Chop the kale and basil into thin slivers and add to the batter. Switch to a spatula and gently fold into the batter. When complete pour into the silicone quiche holder (since these tend to be a little flimsy it is always best to put onto a baking tray first).
  5. Put in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour depending on your preference. The top will not crust over (since you don’t have cheese) and the edges will only slightly brown so it is important to check frequently with a toothpick, etc.
  6. Wait 5 minutes after taking out of the oven so it can continue to cook inside. Then slice and serve with a side of greens. We have a terrific 12 year aged white balsamic and olive oil we typically add to the salad.




Lomas de Tzununa

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Truly the most spectacular views of the lake, Lomas de Tzununa will take your breathe away. It is not an easy feat to get to – it requires a boat and walking up 380 steps, or taking a treacherous tuk tuk ride from Tzununa’s public dock (a ride my step-father Drew will NEVER do again). But when you reach the top you know why it was so much work… beauty doesn’t come easy. Luckily from our house it is just a 15 minute walk and we are at the same altitude, so the effort is significantly less.

We have fallen in love with Maria and Terry’s vision and expert style in our short-time on the lake. They really know how to do something right. it is not only a 280º view of the lake, but it offers the best sunset and best sunrise viewing I have ever seen. Kurt enjoys sitting outside on the deck and playing one of Terry’s fabulous guitars he leaves for his guests. I love having a glass of wine and enjoying the view. Really I could sit up there all day and look out.

We have not stayed at the hotel yet, but we can imagine it is a lovely stay. There is a pool and plenty to do with a spa and lots of walking around the area. The hotel is set into a forest and the buildings are structured like some kind of beautiful Swiss Chalet in the Alps. It feels upscale and yet still comfortable. Kind of the perfect blend of experience.

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Galletas Con Avena Con Pasas

You can’t get good home made GF cookies in Guatemala. Well, good is a relative term I guess. But for us, so far, not really. I’m not sure if they have the same GF problem here on the lake like they do in America. Sin gluten? No se!

So we decided to have the girls bake us some GF oatmeal raisin cookies from a recipe on the back of a Bob’s GF oats bag. Like many indigenous people here, Claudia and Katy eat copious amounts of tortillas at all meals. Probably 3-4 each, breakfast, lunch and dinner. It has to do with poverty and it’s messed up. So we try to get them to eat other things like greens, smoothies, potatoes, salad, and healthy cookies like these when they are eating lunch with us. Honestly, they hate raw or cooked greens and always politely say no when we ask if they want a salad. Oh well. They are pretty young and not unlike anyone else at that age that wants to and can eat less than healthy food. So we are going with the cookies.

Anyway, I’m getting off to track. So we got them started with all of the ingredients and showed Claudia the recipe which was in English. She is extremely intelligent and exceptional at translating our horrible Spanish and usually getting to the source of what we need. So we thought it would be a snap. How wrong could we were!

Rache went back upstairs to work in her work lair and I went out to check on the fellas to see how they were doing disassembling the eyesore of a broken down floating dock in our lagoon (another post to come). The girls promptly went to work.


After a while I came back in to work on some web stuff and strolled into the kitchen to see how the girls were doing. The first thing I noticed was this:

Unbeaten eggs on top of the raw oats? Fail!
Unbeaten eggs on top of the raw oats? Fail!

Uh oh, mucho problemas!

I quickly realized they had no idea what was going on, understandably so as they may have never made cookies, let alone with a recipe in English, and with no sugar or wheat flour to boot.

So I went through each ingredient, showed them the measuring devices for the ingredients, crossed my fingers and went away while they busily proceeded to make the cookies.

We modified the recipe on a Bob's bag.
We modified the recipe on a Bob’s bag. They couldn’t really read it.

It seemed all was going well, then I came back in after they had the cookies in the oven for a while and this is what I saw. Hilarious.

They spaced the cookies about 1/4″ apart. Hmmm…

We finally pulled them out after cooking a little longer, I tasted them and I said ” Muy rico, pero no bonito!” which translates as ” Very tasty, but not pretty!” I’m working on my rhyming skills in Spanish.

So all in all we had a blast and had some funky tasty cookies in the end.






Manischewitz, “It tastes like a hangover.”

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]I have had the fortunate experience to know what Jewish cuisine tastes like for my whole life. I am happy to also say, I do not seek it out on a regular basis, but it is something I have during high holidays. While now I cannot try many of the items (most of it is made with unleavened bread – wheat), they are tradition, and many of the flavor profiles and products stem from wonderful stories recounted during each holiday.

The most wonderful grammy in the world is my Grammy Dolen. She lives in Orlando, and when we used to visit her at holidays we would have to fly to her, so she became known as Airplane Grammy. Like any good Jew, she provides a ‘menu dialogue’ upon arrival. A menu dialogue goes like this;

G: Oh sweetie, I am so glad to see you. You must be starving after your journey. What would you like to eat?

R: Nothing Grammy, but thanks.

G: I made the most delicious soup yesterday for you. What about a nice warm bowl for you?

R: Wow, that sounds so tasty. But I am not hungry right now. My stomach is a little yucky from the flight.

G: Oh no… well how about some Matzah? Maybe I could add a little peanut butter on top?

R: I’m okay right now, thanks so much, though.

G: Maybe some grapes? Or how about some cottage cheese with melon? I made a fruit cocktail this morning with blueberry Activia and it was wonderful. Perhaps I could make that for you?

R: How about in a little while? Maybe just some water for now.

G: Perfect, dah-ling. I will get that right away. Maybe you would also like ice? I also bought some chocolate Ruggalah which you might enjoy. For dinner I am planning to make stuffed cabbage with raisins, but that won’t be for a few hours. I think it would be really better if you had a little snack.

R: Okay Grammy. I would love to have some of your soup now. Thank you.

G: Right away sweetie. I’m so glad you will try it.

One of the best things about her is that she always wins, and I know she will from the beginning… there is just something so wonderfully familiar about the menu dialogue. It makes me smile just recounting.

So, I have gone off on a little tangent to explain how important food is to our family… only to share a fantastic video with you that will perhaps change your life forever. For those Jew’s out there, I hope you die laughing, because I did. For those non-Jews maybe this will inspire you to join a seder during a high holiday. It is so worth it for the stories, not the food (but I suppose also for the the food, since it is ultimately the basis for the stories).

And for the record: my favorite food is of course Matzah Ball soup… and yes, I have made this Gluten Free and vegan for my grandmother and even she likes it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vcex_spacing size=”30px” class=”” visibility=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_video link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Winterfest Menu

Winterfest Veggie Table Display

RaCo Life Ithaca Lake Cayuga Winter 2012

What do you do when the weather sucks? Host a Winterfest, filled with fresh food! This is a very easy day to craft and it makes all the difference to do it with friends and family in attendance.

RaCo Life Eric and Rache in Kitchen IthacaRaCo Life Rache CookingSunday, in the middle of an up and down weather day with winter and spring (high temps, low temps / snow, sun) we had a delicious Vegfest, complete with locally grown winter veggies, and a variety of other options.

A small and intimate group, this offered us the chance to try out a few new options and really relax into the day. What a wonderful moment.

On the Menu (Everything is GF, V, SF, LDF, WF, MF, with the exception of the Tangerine Pudding and the Veggie Pancakes which had 1 egg in each batch):

  • Mushroom, Asparagus, Leek, Onion, Garlic and Brussels Sprout Scramble
  • Marishya’s Veggie Soup w/ a Parsley Dusting
  • Zucchini and Carrot Pancakes for Dipping
  • Tomato, Pine Nut Italian Salad
  • Fresh Green Salad w/ Mustard Seed Dressing
  • Hummus and Veggie Crudites
  • Broccolirabe Salad with Sesame Seeds
  • Tangerine English Pudding Squares w/ Tahini Almond Butter

And for Dessert:

  • TILT Raw Chocolates
  • Dehydrated Honey Dipped Orange Slices
  • Rosemary and Olive Oil Apple Chips
  • Roasted Sweet and Savory Mixed Nuts

For any recipes, please contact us and we are happy to send your way.