Sweet Pea and Leek Soup

13 Apr 2015-04-05 15.08.12 pea soup

It’s been a busy Spring at our house and although I have been rather out of touch, there HAVE been delicious things going on in my little kitchen. This was our soup for our Easter meal and since it is lovely and simple and seasonal, I knew I would eventually get to sharing it with you! It is almost like a bisque, because the texture is that creamy, but there is no cream or milk!

This was a delightful starter for our Spring meal!

This was a delightful starter for our Spring meal!

Enjoy, and happy Spring!

Sweet Pea and Leek Soup

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs butter

2 Cups leeks cleaned and sliced, white part only

1 Tbs fresh thyme

1 Cup frozen peas plus ¼ Cup set aside

1 quart good vegetable stock

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black or white pepper, fresh cracked

In a soup pot heat the oil and butter at medium high. When the foaming subsides, add leeks, stir to coat and lower heat to medium. Cook the leeks, stirring occasionally, until very soft, adding the thyme after about 5 minutes.

Add the peas (setting aside that extra ¼ Cup) stock and nutmeg, Bring to a steady simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the peas are very soft.

Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add the remaining peas, salt and pepper and serve with croutons, if desired, or a dollop of plain yogurt.

Easter Meal – Shellfish, Lamb Chops, Asparagus, Brusssels Sprouts and More

5 Apr

Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy:

Fast forward to 2015 and our Easter menu is very, very similar to this one from a couple of years ago….Happy Easter to all!

Originally posted on Hot, Cheap & Easy:

While it is not set in stone, this is what we will most likely be eating tomorrow for the big Easter meal. We’ll start with shellfish (and Sauvignon Blanc for the growns, flavored seltzer for the kid), then simple lamb and vegetables (probably some couscous with pesto made by the little man as an additional side). We are off to the farm today, so I’ve run out of time…Happy Easter to all, if I don’t see you before then….lamb

Light Mediterranean-style clams

I like the way they turn frilly under the broiler!I like the way they turn frilly under the broiler!

 Crispy Beer-Battered Oysters

Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters Fantastically crisp beer battered oysters

Simple and Perfect Roasted Baby Lamb Chops

Beautiful (and fun for kids to grab and tear into)Beautiful (and fun for kids to grab and tear into)

Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Red Pepper Dipping Sauce

asparagus

Brussels Sprouts – Sauteed and Sassy

brussels sprouts

 Grilled Potato Disks (Like Fries, but grilled!)

Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside! Crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside!

View original

Two New Natural Easter Egg Colors

1 Apr 2015-03-31 08.58.45 easter eggs

New colors for naturally dyed Easter eggs!

2015-03-30 20.56.53 easter eggsA couple of years ago we started coloring Easter eggs the natural way, with vegetable and spice colorings that can be teased out in a few minutes of boiling, steeping and straining. Our first colors were beet-derived pink, turmeric yellow, and blueberry purple-blue.

This year we added two more to our palette: red onion, which gives you a sort of earthy khaki color, and yellow onion, which tints the eggs a marvelous glowy yellow orange.

2015-03-31 08.57.32 easter eggsHere’s how:

Save the papery bits of red onion and yellow onion until you have a generous handful (the papery skins of a two-pound bag of onions should do it). Place each color in its own saucepan with 2.5 Cups water and a teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a lively simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into your dipping container, stir in 2 Tbs white vinegar and you are ready to dip! (For perfect hard-boiled eggs, click here)

And in case you missed it, here are the original three:

Three pots, each filled with 2 Cups water

HOT PINK – 1 large beet, chopped (peel can stay on)

YELLOW 4 Tbs turmeric

VIOLET BLUE – 12 oz frozen blueberries

2 Tbs white vinegar per color

crayons or wax pencils

Put one coloring ingredient in each pot. Bring to a boil, turn off and let steep five minutes. Strain into three separate bowls (removing chunky bits*). Add 2 Tbs vinegar to each bowl. Start blending, dipping and cross-dipping until you achieve the colors you like. Dry in the egg carton and add any decorations you see fit.

 

Natural Easter Egg Coloring Update: How-To, Cheap Tricks…Canned Beets?

29 Mar Featured Image -- 6833

Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy:

This reblog comes because we’ll be doing our eggs tomorrow…and and testing a few new vegetable colorants. Expect a fresh post with even more natural coloring options soon!

Originally posted on Hot, Cheap & Easy:

We colored our Easter eggs the natural way again this year and learned a few things we want to share with you! In this post you will find the basic how-to for red-pink, yellow, and violet blue and you can make your own color blends from there, plus get some ideas for making it easier and more decorative.

2014-04-15 Easter eggsAnd we’ll answer the question: Can I use the juice from canned beets?

We got some interesting colors and cool effects! We got some interesting colors and cool effects!

Click here for the original post from last year or just follow these simple instructions. Scroll past the recipe for more ideas, advice and suggestions!

DO wear an apron! DO wear an apron!

Coloring Easter Eggs the Natural Way

1 dozen hard-boiled eggs, cooled (make patterns with crayons or wax pencils before dipping)

Three pots, each filled with 2 Cups water

HOT PINK – 1 large beet, chopped (peel can stay on)

YELLOW 2 Tbs…

View original 420 more words

Vinny’s Brown Sugar Bacon

27 Mar 2015-03-22 08.54.45 bacon

We recently had a wonderful weekend out in the wine country – Long Island’s North Fork is one of our favorite places to go…farmland, vineyards, the bay and the sound on either side and dear friends we’ve made over the years.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

I had a baby shower to go to, so after a bit of lunch at Love Lane Kitchen with our friend Ashley and a little wine-tasting (me) and Scrabble (them Exhibits A and B) across the street at the Roanoake Tasting Room, I took Leandro to our friends Vinny and Carolyn’s  to hang out while I met Ashley back at the joyous shower at Paumanok Vineyards.

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

The bacon theme seems to have started at dinner for them, as they ordered him bacon mac and cheese at the Blue Canoe.

This is how morning breaks in the North Fork

This is how morning breaks in the North Fork

And then the next morning it was bacon again, but this time Vinny upped the flavor profile, introducing us to his decadent Brown Sugar Bacon, which he says is a simplified adaptation of something he had elsewhere.

Vinny shows his style

Vinny shows his style

It is barely a recipe, more of a seasoning, but the results are salty-sweet, crispy and juicy and I will be doing it here at home this weekend.

How it looks going in...note the relative quantity of sugar (this is a recipe you eyeball more than measure)

How it looks going in…note the relative quantity of sugar (this is a recipe you eyeball more than measure)

I am hooked. Mind you, with hospitality like that, it’s a wonder Vinny and Carolyn ever get rid of us!

And voila! Special bacon....

And voila! Special bacon….

Vinny’s Brown Sugar Bacon

Rashers of thick-cut bacon, preferably smoked

light brown sugar (not dark brown, as it won’t crisp)

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the desired number of strips of bacon flat on the paper. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Place in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes or until you start to smell that bacony smell. Turn and cook another ten minutes or until you reach the desired crispness. Serve with whatever breakfast food you like!

We Won! I Won! Thank You for Your Support! #2015EDDYs

24 Mar Featured Image -- 6794

Thanks first to the judges for selecting the package of my writing, Cameron Prather’s recipe and Doug Young‘s photos of Watermelon Mojitos as a finalist in the EDDY Awards – Edible Communities’ way of recognizing and celebrating the best in food and beverage writing (as well as blogging, video and imagery).

Thanks second (but not less) to the readers who voted for us (many of you daily for two straight weeks!)…..in the final round to win the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Drink Recipe. We took the prize and we are so pleased!

Featured Image -- 6794Edible Long Island and our family of downstate New York magazines Edible Brooklyn, Edible Manhattan and Edible East End did very well, winning a collective 11 awards for 2015!

So once again, thank you so much for your support. I have not been blogging as actively as I would like as other parts of life (like writing for Edible) pull me away, so it is very lovely to know that you continue to keep me in your orbit. I feel pretty honored an grateful all around.

xo Natalia

Filete de pescado entomatado (Fish filets in spicy creole sauce!)

20 Mar Featured Image -- 6802

Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy:

Tonight’s choice for Lenten dinner…easy and bold in flavor!

Originally posted on Hot, Cheap & Easy:

In the supermarket the other day, Leandro asked for fish for lunch. This is not in itself odd…everyone in this family is island-born somehow, we all love fish, and he is a huge fan of River Monsters on Animal Planet (which I strongly encourage, because I think Jeremy – the mad fisherman — is quite hot and much better to watch with my son than Diego the animal rescuer – why, why, why do he and his bloody cousin, Dora the Explorer, have to shout everything they say? –  or Phineas and Ferb – who are quite sweet, but not nearly as compelling as flesh and blood Jeremy and his sunburnt, craggy-faced, understated British delivery, rod-wielding self ).

So I picked up some wild caught tilapia to accommodate him, and because I suddenly got a strong craving (antojo) for fish in salsa criolla.

Fortunately, I had all…

View original 297 more words

The Best Ever Slow Cooker Beef Stew

16 Mar Featured Image -- 6796

Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy:

Why the reblog: In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I am making this beef stew in the slow cooker….It is easy to do and I have prepared it until the broth and slowcooker stage. I will “set it and forget it” tomorrow morning when I leave for work….

Originally posted on Hot, Cheap & Easy:

I’ll tell you more about the party I made this large amount of Beef Stew for, but I can’t tell you right now, because I am still recovering from the fun and therefore just going to do a workmanlike job on this post…can’t manage much more…

Brown those veggies...I don't even like celery, but this worked beautifully! Brown those veggies…I don’t even like celery, but this worked beautifully!

(…let me tell you that getting the little man to soccer at 9 a.m. this morning was a testament to a mother’s love. Actually two mothers’ and one dad’s love, as right there beside me this morning were two of last night’s guests cheering on their kid in the freezing cold! We came home and ate this for leftovers!) 

Don't skip the browning of meat and veggies...it really draws out sweetness and adds complexity Don’t skip the browning of meat and veggies…it really draws out sweetness and adds complexity

But for now, all you need to know about the party is that the theme was Anglo-Irish (Think…

View original 290 more words

HELP ME WIN an EDDY AWARD! Vote now….

14 Mar Featured Image -- 6794

Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy:

This is the LAST DAY TO VOTE! Let’s make one final push to make sure I win this one. THANK YOU for your support!

Originally posted on Hot, Cheap & Easy:

Edible Feast has chosen my piece on Cameron Prather’s Watermelon Mojito Recipe

as a finalist for the EDDY Awards in the DRINK category!

Please vote for us (and photographer Doug Young)  by clicking here. Thank you and ¡SALUD!

Doug’s gorgeous photo….

!

View original

KID IN THE KITCHEN: Banana Nut Maple Mini-Muffins (Simplified)

6 Mar A veritable army of mini muffins to deploy round the neighborhood.

(Don’t forget to vote for my Watermelon Mojito story for a #2015EDDY award for food and beverage writing. Vote daily till March 15. Thanks!)

Today was yet another snow day in a winter that has been the coldest in decades and during which we’ve been snowed on an awful lot. Most of us are well sick of the disruption and the winter coats and gloves and hats and the shoveling and the slush.

The bakers did very well!

The bakers did very well!

But there are small pleasures with unexpected days off…like sleeping in and — if your seven-year-old shuts up long enough to allow you to complete a thought or a blog post or pay a bill or anything for the love of God — finishing little tasks you wouldn’t have time for otherwise. And then there’s baking, because the best defense against the bad weather blues is a house that smells like sweet, warm, doughy things.

The muffins were not all exactly the same size, but that's part of the charm of home-made!

The muffins were not all exactly the same size, but that’s part of the charm of home-made!

So I decided to try a simpler version of our Banana Walnut Maple muffins with my little man and his friend from across the street after they’d been playing in the snow for a couple of hours (remember when you considered that kind of thing fun?) and I had actually completed one report.

Cute, no?

Cute, no?

It was a great success, both the making and the fragrant baking and the tasting, plus being able to send the neighbor home with muffins for her family and having muffins for the guy on the corner who cleared the driveway with his snow blower and for the sweet couple in their 90s across the street. Mini-muffins go so much farther than standard size muffins!

And we still have plenty left over for lunchboxes!

And we still have plenty left over for lunchboxes!

Banana Walnut Maple Mini Muffins II (simplified)

2 Cups all-purpose flour (or 1 Cup all-purpose and 1 Cup whole wheat)

1.5 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

4-5 overripe bananas

1 Cup light brown sugar

¾ Cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

¼ Cup maple syrup

¾ Cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375˚F and grease or line with cups 2 standard muffin tins (12 muffins) or 4 mini-muffin tins (48 muffins) plus be ready to do an additional six standard muffins. This makes a lot.

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. In another, mash the bananas, then add the sugar and mix well with a fork. Add the melted butter, egg, vanilla and beat well. Fold in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and maple syrup gently with a rubber spatula. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins to fill about halfway.

Bake 12 minutes for mini-muffins and 20 for standard muffins. Allow to cool for a minute before planning them on a rack to cool further or just serve warm. These store well in an airtight container for about three days and also freeze well. I take them out of the freezer and pop them into my son’s lunchbox frozen and they are good to go by snack time.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,134 other followers

%d bloggers like this: