Monday, March 28, 2016

Our Easter

Sorry for the tardiness of this post! I intended to post this menu before Easter, but last week was very busy with church services during Holy Week, work and life in general. I hope your Easter was wonderful. Ours was, despite the damp, chilly weather. However, today is beautiful and I have the day off to enjoy the sun and warmer temperatures. 

I thought I'd share our Easter brunch menu with you. After attending 7:30 am Mass yesterday, I prepared a broccoli-cheddar quiche with a pre-made Whole Foods gluten-free crust (like this quiche; it's probably my favorite). As a side, I made honey-glazed carrots and a fruit salad. We also enjoyed mimosas made with Moscato d'Asti -- delicious!! The fruit salad was super easy and very pretty with fresh pineapple, kiwi and mandarin oranges. 

The carrot recipe was a new one for me, and we all loved it. I rarely make carrots as a side dish, but they are actually one of my favorite veggies, so I have vowed to make them more often. Sorry about the lack of photo, but here is the recipe. Do try them!

Honey-glazed Carrots


6 medium or 8 small carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon pure honey
2 tablespoons dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
Finely chopped fresh cilantro (1 to 2 tablespoons)

In a large skillet, combine carrots and olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Add just enough water to cover carrots (about 1-1/2 to 2 cups). Increase heat to medium-high and cook until water is evaporated and carrots are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. After the water has evaporated, continue to cook, tossing frequently, until carrots are light golden, about 2 minutes. Add the honey and wine and cook, stirring, until carrots are glazed, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Serve immediately.

After brunch, we watched the movie The Intern (Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway). It was a cute movie, light entertainment. I actually enjoyed it more than I had expected to. I found De Niro very likeable as the senior intern (a funny line was when Anne's character Jules asked if her new intern was a senior in high school or college). And of course, being a Nancy Meyers film, the interiors were lovely with lots of attention to detail. Loved Jules' brownstone and the Brooklyn setting.

I ended my Easter day making a batch of chewy oatmeal-raisin cookies following this recipe. Be sure to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper so the cookies won't stick. 

Here's wishing you a wonderful week. Hopefully I'll get motivated to post more regularly here on the old blog. I need some serious inspiration!


Monday, March 14, 2016

Leek and Potato Soup

I love soup, and leek and potato is one of my favorites. It's a soup my mother used to make, so I have fond memories of it. It's simple and quick to prepare and only requires a few ingredients. Leek and potato is one of my go-to soups in the spring, and if you like cold soups, leek and potato (a.k.a. vichyssoise) is a good summer option. Personally, I prefer soup when it's hot. What's your preference? Do you like leek and potato soup served hot or cold?

Leek and Potato Soup


4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 tablespoons butter
5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
32 ounces vegetable broth (for a non-vegetarian option, you can use chicken broth)
1-3/4 cups water
3/4 cup half-and-half
pinch of nutmeg
2 teaspoons coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
fresh or dried chives for garnish

1) Halve the leeks lengthwise and slice into 1/4-inch half-moons. Rinse very well (or swish in a bowl of water, drain and repeat to remove all dirt); drain. In a 5-quart pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until tender, but not brown, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.

2) Add chopped potatoes, broth and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat.

3) Purée soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender (working in batches, not filling blender more than half full), until smooth. Stir in half-and-half, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with chives. 

Bon appétit!
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