Tag Archives: spring

Sweet Pea and Leek Soup

13 Apr

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.

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Garden Update (Whew! Maybe I wasn’t too late after all)

25 May

In the past few years I have assiduously reported on our developing vegetable garden. This year, shame and nothing doing and too busy with other stuff has kept me from sharing.

These we planted back in October...of 30 garlic cloves planted, 29 are looking fab and the other, well who cares?

These we planted back in October…of 30 garlic cloves planted, 29 are looking fab and the other, well who cares?

BUT, it turns out my lackadaisical approach, followed by periods of intense industry that last about an afternoon, have worked out so far!

Will they be ready in time to plant outdoors?

tomatoes from saved seeds: Will they be ready in time to plant outdoors?

Maybe it’s that the raised beds make life easier. Maybe we know what we are doing somewhat more. Maybe the crazy cold winter and early spring meant that a late start was all one could do.

baby kale and chard: forgiving and vigourous (and delicious when you put the ones you thin into raw salads

baby kale and chard: forgiving and vigourous (and delicious when you put the ones you thin into raw salads

Whatever the reason, the vegetable garden is going WELL and we’ve started harvesting and I might even have Puerto Rican calabaza going this year.

This may or may not be arugula babies: I need reading glasses these days so I can't tell! but in the garden I just taste

Peas are also very forgiving: plant early whenever and they just go for it!

So…garden pictures. And especially for parents who are trying to garden with their kids, a cool idea for radishes that engages their interest (even if your handwriting sucks). Write their name in radish seeds and watch the early sprouts delight them!

The first few letters looked great. The last few...well it's N-D-R-O

The first few letters looked great. The last few…well it’s N-D-R-O

Looking good! Who woulda thunk it?

Looking good! Who woulda thunk it?

Keep your dedos cruzados that this Puerto Rican pumpkin works out...didn't think it would work, so I don't have a transplanting location or plan!

Keep your dedos cruzados that this Puerto Rican pumpkin works out…didn’t think it would work, so I don’t have a transplanting location or plan!

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake – A Crowd-Pleaser, Homemade or Not!

11 May

It is spring and the rhubarb is out and the strawberries are actually in season (even though the season is in California and not here just yet) so it’s time to make fresh strawberry rhubarb jam and smear it over everything you can! So welcome to Strawberry Short Cut.

Mind you, I did it the long way. We were invited to our first barbecue of the season (Thanks to the Orr-Ciarlo’s for a wonderful evening!) and charged with bringing dessert. Me being me (and having made strawberry-rhubarb jam recently), I thought it would be a great idea to do a pound cake berry pile-up topped with whipped cream. And then of course I had to make the pound cake myself…and then wouldn’t it be fun to have the kids make the whipped cream?

And it was. So…here’s how

Make or buy strawberry rhubarb jam (What is rhubarb? you ask? Click the image for my easy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam recipe — no pectin required– and a run-down on Rhubarb  – one of Hot, Cheap & Easy’s top posts ever! ).

We're jammin'. we're jammin', hope you like jammin' too

We’re jammin’. we’re jammin’, hope you like jammin’ too

Make or buy pound cake

Homemade pound cake - click image for recipe!

Homemade pound cake – click image for recipe!

Buy some strawberries (if you can’t afford or find organic, make sure to wash thoroughly and take out the white core — I have heard tell that that is the part that holds a lot of residual pesticides), core, slice and marinate in a teaspoon of sugar (or not)

Whipped!

Whipped! Click for easy recipe!

Whirl up some fresh whipped cream (don’t buy this if you don’t have to…fresh is much, much better, so, so, easy, and so entertaining for the kids!!! They  all had a turn at the non-electric hand beater  –there’s no school like the Old School)

Then pile them up in bowls and enjoy the prettiest, sweet-tartiest, creamiest, lightest, fruitiest, just-rightiest dessert spring has to offer!

Strawberry Shortcake...a crowd pleaser!

Strawberry Shortcake…a crowd pleaser!

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