Comfort Food + A Leap Day Giveaway!

Winter persists here in Massachusetts, so comfort food is essential. I made Mango Scones last week and enjoyed them with lots of hot drinks. I haven't forgotten about my Homemade Bread Pledge.

The Roasted Vegetable Soup made a nice dinner a few nights ago and will hopefully keep me going this week. And something else keeping me going this week is a Free Giveaway! I'm so excited! Read more about it after the recipes.

For the scones, I used my standby Raisin Scone recipe, but used freshly chopped mango instead of raisins. The baking time was much longer though, closer to an hour.

Since I took a shortcut with the vegetables in this recipe, I decided to roast several winter vegetables for a nice soup. I made up the recipe as I went along and based on what I had handy. I tried to write everything down as I was making it, so I can make it again. The measurements are approximations and will vary based on the size of the vegetables and how spicy you like your soup. I never knew that parsnips were such a sweet and lovely vegetable. I'm going to buy them on a regular basis now and will probably try a roasted parsnip and onion soup.

Roasted Vegetable Soup
2 parsnips
2 sweet potatoes
3 carrots
1 red onion
1/4 cup canola oil
1 T garlic powder (unsalted)
2 T butter
1 T ground thyme
1 T light brown sugar
6 cups water
2 chicken bullion cubes
*Updated* 1 T crushed ginger

Peel and chop parsnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, and onion into large chunks. Place onions and sweet potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Place the parsnips and carrots on a separate foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle canola oil over vegetables. Sprinkle garlic powder on the vegetables, so they are well coated. Bake in 450 degree oven for about 50 minutes. The carrots and parsnips will probably roast in about 25 minutes, so you will remove them from the oven first.

In a medium soup pot, add water and bullion cubes. Bring to a boil and make sure bullion cubes are dissolved. I did not have any vegetable stock, so I used bullion cubes. Add roasted vegetables to boiling water. Add butter, thyme, sugar, and *crushed ginger. Stir, cover and let boil for about an hour. Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth. Serve warm and enjoy!


We all know that it can take a lot of time to come up with different meal ideas each day. I recently learned about Meal Mixer, which is a service that can help. This service creates a new menu specifically for your taste, diet, time, and family size. You're allowed to change your menu, swap recipes and meals, switch serving sizes and do what makes the plan work for you. You print your plan, which includes a shopping list, menu, and recipes. Read more about Meal Mixer here.

I haven't tried Meal Mixer myself, but it sounds like a pretty cool service that could help a lot of people. A one year membership is only $52.00. And the best part? They have graciously offered to give one of you a free Meal Mixer membership! Yes free!

So if you'd like to win, please leave a comment here telling me what is your all-time favorite meal, of course including dessert. The meal can be a real one that you enjoyed or a fantasy meal. Also, please let me know where you're from (city, state, and country). I'll do a random drawing of the names, so all of you have an equal chance of winning.

You don't need to have a blog to win, but please make sure that I have an email address for you if you don't have a blog with contact information. If you prefer, you can also email me instead of leaving a comment. My email address is

You have until midnight EST Leap Day, Friday, February 29th to enter. I'll announce the winner by the end of Monday, March 3rd. I hope to hear from many of you, especially those of you who may not have left a comment here before. This would be a great time to delurk!

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AVIANA said…
i'm so jealous of your privilege..i can't eat this stuff!! i got a photoshoot coming! ugh!!!
Anonymous said…
That sounds like a cool service! :) Thanks for the giveaway!

My fav meal of all time is everything my mom ever cooked! :) It's been years since I've had any of her homecooking and I miss it all :)

I'm From Cedar Rapids, IA - USA
Suldog said…
Mmmmmmm. I love a really good vegetable soup. I don't believe I've ever had one with sweet potatoes in it, either. And I love sweet potatoes. So, this looks like something I'm going to have to try out!
Jenna Z said…
I LOVE a good veggie lasagna with cream sace, garlic bread dripping with butter and for dessert, cold, creamy tiramisu! Mmmm, that was a dinner I had at a friend's house and the lasagna was perfect and packed with veggies! Delish!
Cynthia said…
Mango scone, what an exciting experiment!
Tera said…
Anali that looks magnificent!!! I am going to have to copy and paste that recipe and try it!

P.S. I guess I'm off to lunch now!
Lisa Johnson said…
aviana - Good luck on the shoot!

anastasia - Welcome! A mom's cooking is always the best! ; )

suldog - It's such a great way to get all your vegetables! And tastes great too!

jenna z - Welcome! That meal sounds delicious! I haven't had tiramisu in a long time...

cynthia - It was fun to mix it up a bit! :D
Lisa Johnson said…
tera - Thank you! Tell me what you think and enjoy your lunch! ; )
phxbne said…
Sounds like a great service. My favorite meal ever was my only Michelin star meal at Mugaritz in Spain. Too many courses to remember details, but the restaurant even had its own steak knives made!
Liz Dwyer said…
My favorite meal? It's SO hard to pick one but I'd have to say it's from Blind Faith Cafe in Evanston, IL. It's a vegan place and I miss their food so much. When I head back home, I go there at least two or three times, especially since my mother-in-law now lives around the corner. She's not mobile and they unfortunately don't deliver so I always take her some goodies from there.

Starter: A plate of steamed kale seasoned with vinaigrette. LOVE IT!

Main Dish: Mongolian Stir-Fry which has "seitan, broccoli, red bell pepper and scallions in a spicy mongolian sauce served with brown rice".

Dessert: A slice of vegan chocolate cake. This is hands down the best chocolate cake I've ever had. I don't know how they do it.
1Northeast said…
I really fancy that mango scones! We have plenty of mangoes here year round and I love scones - but I haven't tried mango scones :) Hmmm... great!
Lisa Johnson said…
shelly - Welcome! It does sound really helpful. And your meal must have been wonderful. I've never been to Spain, but I can imagine that it must be hard to find a bad meal there.

los angelista - That sounds like a wonderful place. I'm looking to make a vegan dessert and chocolate would be a good place to start. I'll have to do some research...

foodhuntress79 - The scones were really good. Lucky you with all those mangoes! Maybe you'll be hunting some down soon? : )
So So Simple said…
I think I have to nominate a homecooked meal as a fave...A corned beef dinner with all the trimmings...carrots, onions cabbage, mustard sauce and mashed potatoes, preceded by another old fashioned favourite a beautifully made prawn coctail...topped off with a Lemon delicious Pudding accompanied by whipped cream

Anonymous said…
My favorite meal comes from Outback Steakhouse-Blue Cheese Chopped Salad, followed by the Toowoomba Pasta, and then if I have any room at all, the Chocolate Thunder From Down Under dessert. I could eat it every week!
Lisa Johnson said…
so simple - Sounds good! And I haven't had lemon pudding in a while. Hmmmm...

elizabeth - Welcome! For me dessert is always a priority when I eat out. I only eat half my meal to make sure I have room for dessert. Then I save the other half for lunch or dinner the next day.

Thanks for your entries everyone! I'll announce a winner by the end of Monday, March 3rd.
Jessica Brogan said…
Hi there. I am just commenting on this post because it intrigued me the most...i have never heard of, nor tasted mango scones. are they really that good?! thanks for coming to my blog! i look forward to some more creative recipes here at yours :)
I really like the sound of the mango scones and will definitely keep it in mind! The veg soup also sounds delicious!
Lisa Johnson said…
jessica - Welcome! I really enjoyed the scones. They are long gone! I'll be making them again. Looking forward to seeing you here again! : )

mike - Thanks! They were really good. I'm looking forward to your strawberry event!

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