Keeping things simple in a not so simple world

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spring in the air

Yes, I realize that we are having a spring snow. But I am in denial. Sometimes, mother nature is too much.

This lovely spring soup has brought us lovely spring goodness to our home and comfort to a dear friends. Our community gardener, someone who has become family to us, whose daughter is our sitter, sister and friend, passed away suddenly Monday. This soup was a small token in a time of hurt.

To spring and happier times…

carrot dill soup

4-6 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1-2 quarts vegetable broth
1 bunch of fresh dill, finely minced

In a large stock pot, heat olive oil until shimmering and add the vegetables, saute for 4 minutes or until onion is soft and golden.
Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil and then simmer until the vegetables are soft.
Using a hand-blender, food processor or blender, puree the soup until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add the dill.



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going garlic

This past winter holiday, we received a lovely card with a picture of a garden plot full of garlic and the caption, “Ajo up the Wajo!”  (Ajo is Spanish for garlic.)  This card was announcing a very sweet gift of a plot of garlic.  Can I just say that this was the best holiday present ever?!?!?!


Well, that lovely plot has flourished!  And this week we harvested some of the scapes.


These lovely plants have all the flavor of garlic and are great for pesto.  I made a large batch, freezing two jars and keeping the other for a recipe I hope to share with you tomorrow.

Garlic Scape Pesto

The amount of pesto you make depends on how many scapes you have. I recommend about 6-8 for one good jar.
You should be able to purchase scapes at your local farmer’s market.

6-8 garlic scapes, cut into large pieces
1/8 cup olive oil
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup nuts – pine, almond or walnuts

In a food processor, process all ingredients together, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides. Adjust ingredients as needed.
Store in a glass jar. Freeze for up to eight months.

Serving suggestions:
Use like basil pesto on pasta.
Mix with eggs or in a frittata.



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rhubarb strawberry soup

The end of rhubarb season is upon us.  It is truly such a short season.  Though, many grocery stores do sell frozen rhubarb, it is not quite the same.

A favorite rhubarb treat of ours is rhubarb strawberry soup. It is nice on its own, as a breakfast treat or a great replacement for strawberry shortcake.

Rhubarb Strawberry Soup
It is important to use organic apple juice. Half of all pesticides used on produce are for apples because they attract so many pests and diseases. Also, a lot of those pesticides contain arsenic.

1 large bundle rhubarb cut (about 2-3 cups)
1 large container strawberries, cored and sliced (32 ounces)
1 jug organic apple juice (64 ounces)
1 large or 2 small cinnamon sticks

In a large stock pot, place the juice, rhubarb and strawberries. Bring to a boil and add cinnamon sticks. Reduce to a simmer and cook until somewhat thickened (about 15-20 minutes). The rhubarb will literally melt and the strawberries will become very mushy. Remove cinnamon stick(s). Puree in a blender or with a hand/stick blender.
Chill and serve.

Serving options:
Serve with sour cream or creme fraiche.
Pour over biscuits for a strawberry/rhubarb shortcake.
Add some silken tofu just before blending for a boost of protein and serve for breakfast.


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breakfast salad

I regret to say that I did not take any pictures of this lovely salad.  Everyone was so hungry after a trip to the pool, it was inhaled too quickly to  take pictures.  It is a salad perfect for brunch or a quick dinner after a dip in the pool.

Breakfast Salad

1/2 package of bacon, fried to a crisp and cut into tiny pieces
1-2 eggs per person, poached
Mache salad greens (also known as lamb’s lettuce)
Balsamic vinaigrette

Place a large handful of mache on each place with a sprinkle of bacon and 1 or 2 poached eggs. Drizzle some balsamic and freshly ground pepper, serve.

As an addition, some nice crisp asparagus would be a nice addition to this salad.