February 29, 2012

soup's on

This week I found myself scrambling for a last minute dinner and didn't have much in the house so I decided to take stock of the fridge and go from there. It turned out there was a head of celery on it's last day of being crisp and onion, lots of onion... green, red, and these lovely sprouted ones I have been growing for a month or so now by just letting them sit in water on the kitchen windowsill soaking up the sunlight.
I decided to make a soup and based it on a few old recipes I had for similar dishes. It happily turned out to be just a delight!

  • 1 head of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large handful of spring or green onion
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large peeled potato
  • 6 cups of vegetable stock
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • white wine
  • heavy cream
  • fresh parsley
  • thyme
  • crushed red pepper
  • salt & black pepper

  • chop celery (including leaves) and all onions
  • transfer to a large deep pot over medium-high heat and saute' in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 10 minutes
  • add a tablespoon of butter and a 1/4 cup of white wine, cook for 5 minutes more
  • pour in broth and a large pinch of thyme and crushed red pepper
  • add cubed potato and rough chopped garlic, cover and cook for 30 minutes
  • take off heat and salt & pepper to taste

  • at this point blend the soup in a food processor in batches or with hand blender right in the pot
  • once blended return to a low heat and stir in a 1/4 cup of heavy cream
  • garnish with parsley and chopped green onion
This soup is light and refreshing. A perfectly pleasant dish for celebrating the end of winter as we transition into spring. The cream gives it a winter warming quality, you could omit it and I still think it would work just fine since the one potato is really what gives it body. A nice crusty bread and triple creme champignon brie is a perfect accompaniment to a bowl of this simple but delicious fare.

February 24, 2012

salty & sweet

This lovely quote, that I couldn't agree with more, comes from the Baronness Karen von Blixen, who, under the pen name Isak Dineson, wrote Out of Africa. A fascinating woman that I did a bit of research on and now have a strong need to get my hands on a biography of. I also need to work the baroness thing into my own repertoire.

February 7, 2012

gather 'round

starting the day off right
photo by nathan williams of kinfolk magazine
I have been spending the better part of the past three days compiling and organizing the link above entitled "Kindred Spirits". It is my link to all the blogs I feel a strong connection with, a likeness to or I am just plain inspired by and enjoy. Instead of letting that page sit idle, waiting to be stumbled upon, I have decided to profile these noteworthy blogging endeavors on the main page and share them with you. I want to make this a regular (hopefully weekly) new feature-- link love. First up is my freshly discovered Kinfolk Magazine. According to their manifesto, Kinfolk was created with the intention of bringing together "a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings... We have come together to create Kinfolk as our collaborative way of advocating the natural approach to entertaining that we love. Every element of Kinfolk—the features, photography, and general aesthetics—are consistent with the way we feel entertaining should be: simple, uncomplicated, and less contrived. Kinfolk is the marriage of our appreciation for art and design and our love for spending time with family and friends." 
Their website is a starting point for the quarterly magazine's subscriptions, a calendar for their regional dinner parties and a showcase for their short films. Being someone who adores an intimate gathering, cooking and cocktail parties, the aesthetics of Kinfolk completely appeal to me. I am also deeply impressed with their knack for marrying the traditions of entertaining with a modern and simple flair. See for yourself!

February 5, 2012

the good life

This week I stumbled upon another great internet discovery. What a gem! Through the ever-growing world of Instagram I was able to peruse the lush and lovely photographs of Miss Nicole Franzen. I followed the link to her blog and there I was delighted to find more of her wonderful photography married quite nicely with recipes and cooking tips, musings on travel, city living, and the finer things in life.
With post titles like "The Weekend is for Eating Cheese..." and photographs of a homey and rustic marscapone iced carrot cake I was immediately sucked in. Also, anyone with a love for pickles, aged Irish cheddar, and finding a home somewhere by the sea is someone I can immediately have a fondness for. You can find out more about this Brooklyn based blogger and self taught photographer and cook at La Buena Vida. Enjoy!

February 2, 2012

seaside once again

Just returned from a strangely balmy four days on the tail end of January by the coast with my parents. This time was for recharging and focusing on healing, happy thoughts and the challenge of living in the moment.