25 March 2015

Ottolenghi's Sweet Potato Galettes

Kate called the house the other afternoon, as she was walking home from the market. She was all about these little sweet potato galettes that she was going to make for a small dinner party she was having at her apartment. The recipe was coming straight from the first Ottolenghi cook book. As she was talking about them, I began to think that that recipe seemed all too familiar and when I went to my copy of the cook book, I found the recipe marked with a post-it note. Yup, mother and daughter think alike sometimes ...especially when it comes to food!

20 March 2015

Cream of Chicken Soup

I've made this soup so many times over the years, but it never gets old. I tend to make it for potlucks and also when someone in the house has been under the weather. It's rich and gives a person a boost of calories when their appetite's been off. It's also especially comforting with a handful of small crackers to scoop up with the silky broth. I know we're all about Springtime and new greens and asparagus and pastel cakes and treats and all, but there will still be days when all you want is a hot bowl of comfort and a hunk of bread or a handful of crackers. Here's a soup that fills the need.

18 March 2015

An Aside ...

I've decided that making quilts for others is a very good thing to do ... and when you can make and give one to someone who really needs one, well that's even better. Check out this neat on-line project. I discovered it at Sarah Craig's blog called Confessions of A Fabric Addict. Imagine placing a two month deadline on yourself to get a quilt made and sent off to a chosen charity. That's where I'm at, folks!

I recently posted a short blurb on my Facebook page ... time to put my money where my mouth is!

If you're of a mind, the link to this charity quilting project sits on my sidebar, both here at The Spice Garden and at Buch Handling. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to look in the fabric stash!

10 March 2015

IHCC's Mystery Box - Bacon, Leeks, Thyme

Chicken + Bacon + Leeks + Thyme = Tasty Supper

09 March 2015

Lemon Bars with Rosemary Scented Shortbread Crust

Lemon bars are a thing of beauty, don't you think? 

Served with a hot cup of tea, they seem so very proper.

08 March 2015

Black Bean Salad with Shrimp and Pickled Onions

This is an extremely fast and easy salad that is put together in the half hour it takes for the pickling brine to do its magic on the purple onions. While the pickled onions absorb the spices and tang, the black beans are drained and rinsed. Limes are juiced. The cheese and cilantro are prepped, some garlic is thinly sliced, and the shrimp are peeled and de-veined. Two minutes before you want to sit down to dine, do a fast pan sear of the shrimp in olive oil and slivered garlic, toss everything together and serve the pickled onions on the side. Delish!

I apologize for the picture quality ... eating at nine o'clock at night makes for poor available light when photographing. I had to quickly capture the salad plate before Kate, my oldest sprout and I fell on the salad like wolves! We'd spent the day at an art museum and came home late to sip wine and throw together a quick, healthy supper. I'd been telling her about a new cook book that was all about different salads, so we stopped to pick up the ingredients for this one.

05 March 2015

Apricot or Prune and Pine Nut Jam in Hamentaschen

My friend, Amy came for a snowshoe outing and lunch the other day. As we were sitting over our soup and sandwiches, she was saying that Purim is here! Purim is a Jewish holiday that involves remembering Esther's success in defeating the evil Hamen's plot to crush the Jewish population in Persia of the 4th century BCE (nutshell story - for more info on Purim, do a Google search or read the Book of Esther in the Old Testament). Modern day Purim celebrations include games, tricks, costumes, and special foods that symbolize the Purim story and characters involved. Amy said that hamentaschen are a traditional treat prepared ... and they sounded tasty ...

04 March 2015

Smothered Pork Chops with Mustard and Thyme Butter

Normally, at this time of year, I'm perking up and looking for the first asparagus at the market and poking around the edge of the grey cottage's foundation for the first crocus spears, hoping for their happy golden and purple splashes of color against the brown of earth and crust of melting snowy patches. Ahem ... someone please give a whisper in Mother Nature's ear! It's snowing ... again. The joke is old, Mother dear.

Instead of flinging open windows to bring in a Spring-ish breeze, I'm poking more logs on the fire and contemplating what bit of warm Winter-ish comfort food I can concoct for dinner that will use the oven. Diana Henry's Mustard and Thyme Pork Chop Bake sounds good ... and the smells are fantastic.