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Purple Cauliflower Eater

February 21, 2011

Hi friends! I kind of dropped off the face of the blog world this weekend—and it felt good! On Friday, Ryan and I drove to Pittsburgh to meet up with an old friend for dinner.  Then, on Saturday, I caught up with another friend over a 2 hour crepe lunch (yum), and on Sunday, we headed to State College to do a little ice skating with some friends! It was a packed weekend!

Yesterday, after our ice skating extravaganza (Ryan and I did a lot of triple lutzes and heavy lifting.  He is the Jimmy MacElroy to my Chazz Michael Michaels), we headed over to the Bryce Jordan Center on campus to witness a Penn State phenomenon—THON! My students talk about ‘Thon all the time—it’s basically a year-long fundraising effort that culminates in a 46 hour (46 HOUR!!!) dance marathon— utter craziness! It’s actually the biggest student-run philanthropy in the WORLD—pretty impressive, I’d say! They raised 9.5 million dollars this year—all of the money goes to efforts to combat pediatric cancer. 

Here’s a glimpse of what we saw yesterday:

It was really an amazing site to see—thousands of students were packed into the center, dancing their hearts out.  Such a cool event—I’m glad we got to witness it firsthand!

Once we got back to Altoona, we headed out yet again—this time to meet up with friends for a few beers.  We were definitely social butterflies this weekend!

It’s fun to see some of the traditions and institutions of Pennsylvania and Penn State while we’re living here.  ‘Thon is a huge deal here, but I’d never even heard of it until we moved to Altoona last year. 

Of course, while I enjoy witnessing PA traditions…I’m a Louisiana girl at heart! And this time of year really means one thing—Mardi Gras! Mardi Gras is late this year (March 8th), but when I spotted this beautiful purple cauliflower at the market, I knew I had to create a Mardi Gras-themed recipe with it.

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Isn’t it pretty?  The Mardi Gras colors are purple, gold and green, but for this recipe, I just stuck with the purple.  I decided to roast the cauliflower and then turn it into soup—despite our beautiful weather last week, it’s been cold, rainy, and dreary all day today—soup, therefore, sounded perfect!

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Soup


1 head purple cauliflower (or regular)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1 onion, chopped

8-10 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tsp. olive oil

1 cup vegetable broth

3 cups water

additional salt and hot sauce for seasoning


Core and chop the cauliflower.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.  In a 350 degree oven, roast cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, until just starting to brown. 

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil.  Add onion and cook for 10 minutes, until starting to soften. Add garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, careful not to burn.  Add roasted cauliflower, broth, and water, and bring to a boil.  Boil for 10 minutes, then reduce heat and cook for another 30 minutes. 

Puree until smooth with a submerging blender. 

The roasted cauliflower was really lovely:

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The soup, on the other hand, was more of a mauve or a lavender.  Still pretty…but nothing like the vibrant purple of the roasted cauliflower!

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This soup is very mild-tasting—it would go great with some crusty bread and sharp cheddar—which, incidentally, is how we’re having it tonight!

Hope you’re having a great Monday!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2011 8:27 pm

    LOVE that purple cauliflower – so vibrant!

  2. February 21, 2011 8:31 pm

    Wow–it’s so beautiful!

  3. February 21, 2011 9:32 pm

    Love the purple cauliflower! So pretty! The soup sounds delicious! I’m glad you had a great weekend!

  4. February 21, 2011 9:54 pm

    I love taking a break from the Internet–thats what I did this wknd as well. Sounds like you had a fun wknd–I’m trying to visit Pittsburgh next month (thinking of places to move to next and I know a lot of people there and hear its a fun time)

    I want to do a dance marathon like that–that looks like so much fun!!

  5. February 21, 2011 10:20 pm

    Interesting – kind of looks like applesauce. I love cauliflower and should experiment more with the purple variety!

  6. February 22, 2011 1:39 am

    Cool! I didn’t even know purple cauliflower existed. And congrats on your nephew. 🙂

  7. February 22, 2011 1:55 am

    Isn’t thon incredible? Its amazing how much money college kids can raise! I was in a sorority at PSU- so Thon took up a good chunk of my time for a few years :). Glad you had such a fun weekend. And the soup looks spectacular! I love all of the different/hybrid varieties of cauliflower.

    • February 22, 2011 1:59 pm

      I can’t imagine how much time it must take up in the students’ lives!!! It was so incredible!

  8. February 22, 2011 1:56 am

    cauli, crusty bread, and cheddar — those three C’s belong together! ❤ enjoy!

  9. February 22, 2011 1:57 am

    I have yet to try purple cauliflower. It is so pretty!!!

  10. February 22, 2011 2:03 am

    love the purple cauli! For about a year, i had purple cauli as my blog header!

  11. February 22, 2011 3:03 am

    Purple cauli??? How have I never seen this before?!

  12. greensandjeans permalink
    February 22, 2011 3:12 am

    Okay, so I was catching up on past US Weekly’s at the gym today and I read all about LC’s failed reality show, but I was oddly relieved to learn that her and Lo still live together.

  13. February 22, 2011 5:31 am

    What a fun weekend, I haven’t ice skated in years! And just wow on THON! Love the cauliflower, I need to track it down. And the soup sounds wonderful, thanks for the recipe. Glad you survived such a packed weekend!

    • February 22, 2011 1:58 pm

      Ha, I hadn’t ice-skated in about ten years before Sunday! I was a little shaky at first… 🙂

  14. February 22, 2011 1:18 pm

    Sometimes falling off the face of the blog world is a nice break 🙂 Your weekend sounds wonderful and that ‘Thon…wow. 9.5 million!? That’s absolutely wonderful! Warms my heart just to hear about! And the purple cauliflower – jealous! I’ve never even heard of purple cauliflower!

    • February 22, 2011 1:59 pm

      It is very heart-warming indeed! It’s really something to see!

  15. February 22, 2011 3:10 pm

    What a colorful veggie!

    Bloggie breaks are so refreshing 🙂

  16. February 22, 2011 4:39 pm

    That cauliflower is beautiful. I have never seen it look so vibrant.

  17. February 22, 2011 4:52 pm

    It’s so nice to unplug sometimes huh? And that ‘Thon thing looks pretty freaking amazing. 46 hours? Wow!

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