Happy 4 weeks little Madeleine!
It’s so hard to believe that it’s already been a month since you’ve entered our world. Seems just yesterday you were our teeny little newborn, completely content to sleep around the clock, that is, until the minute we left the hospital! You’ve already given me so much — more love than I can contain, more patience than I knew I had and more happiness than I could ever imagine. I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life repaying that to you by giving you everything I possibly can. XOXO
10 days ago this little bundle of joy entered my world, and I still can’t quite believe it! Little Madeleine arrived last Monday, October 17th at 6 lbs 3.5 oz and we were both blessed to have a speedy delivery and recovery. I’ll be in and out to share updates as I get to know our little girl and settle into my new role as a mother (really?) so I hope you guys will continue to stop by and visit.
Meanwhile I’m learning quite fast and have become a pro at a few new things this week, including:
• How to text with my left hand.
• How to scarf down a Double-Double in 2 minutes flat.
• How to talk endlessly about nothing, to soothe the baby.
One thing I am failing at miserably though is restful sleep. And I hear that part doesn’t get much better…
Our first CSA box came with three bunches of broccoli. Though I’m not a fan of the vegetable in its regular form, I do love myself some cream of broccoli soup! Picked up this recipe from Emeril Lagasse/Food Network and made a few tweaks. It turned out delicious, even good as leftovers microwaved the next day.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup yellow onions or sliced leeks (white parts only, well rinsed)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (I used freshly ground black pepper)
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, thawed and separated (I used 1 lb organic broccoli, floreted)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used 1/2 cup 1% organic milk)
- 1 1/4 cups shredded medium Cheddar (I used 6oz aged white cheddar from Trader Joe’s)
In a medium pot, melt the 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme cook, stirring, until fragrant, for 20 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture is well blended and smells fragrant, 2 minutes. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook, stirring, until tender, for 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and puree with a hand-held immersion blender. (Alternatively, in batches, puree in a blender or food processor and return to the pot.)
Add the cream and bring to bare simmer to heat through. Add the cheese and cook over low heat, stirring, until melted. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons cold butter, stirring to blend.
Remove from the heat and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle croutons over the top of the soup and serve immediately.
I am loving pureed soups lately, time to save up for a handheld immersion blender!
These mashed potatoes were somewhat guilt-free as it takes less butter/milk/cream than most recipes. The sweetness and flavor comes directly from the sauteed leeks. This recipe is also easy to divide — I used 1/4 of the ingredients and it was still too much for 2 people! Use different potatoes for different textures: choose red or boiling potatoes for a creamy mash and russets for a ufer mash. Yukon Golds add a touch of sweetness and soft yellow color.
Serves 8 to 10.
- 4 lb. large Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and preferably organic, scrubbed
- 8 Tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 leeks, white and light green portions, finely chopped and rinsed well
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature (I used creme fraiche)
- 1 cup milk, heated to a simmer
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
Cut the potatoes into large, uniform chunks. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover partially and cook the potatoes, stirring once or twice, until they are very tender, about 40 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, in a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until tender and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Return the potatoes to the saucepan and place the pan over low heat. Transfer the potatoes in batches to a ricer and pass through into the saucepan. Alternatively, using a potato masher, mash the potatoes thoroughly. Stir in the leeks and their buttery juices. Add the sour cream and stir well. Add the hot milk, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1 tsp. pepper and stir vigorously until light and uffy.
Remove the pan from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Picked up the recipe for this one in a GOOP newsletter, definitely one of the better cakes I’ve baked! I used organic Washington Gala Apples from this week’s CSA delivery and substituted the cloves with more nutmeg. The cake came out soft and crumbly and the caramelized apple top was perfect — I only wished there were more apples!
- Melted butter for greasing the pan
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 apples (I used tart Granny Smiths, but any firm crunchy apple will do), peeled, cored, sliced thin
- 2 cups self-rising flour (For each cup of all-purpose flour, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.)
- 1 ½ sticks sweet butter
- 3 ounces honey (Use a full flavored honey packed in a jar with honeycomb for more intense honey flavor.)
- 3 eggs beaten at room temperature
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a deep 8” diameter cake pan with the melted butter.
- Combine ½ teaspoon cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of the sugar and sprinkle over the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Line the base of the pan with the apple slices, overlapping them so there are no gaps for the cake mixture to seep through.
- Sift the flour with the remaining cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
- Cream the butter with the sugar until it is light and fluffy. Gradually pour in the honey in a stream, beating continuously.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, to prevent curdling.
- On low speed or by hand, add 1/3 of the flour, ½ the milk , another 1/3 of flour, the rest of the milk, finish with the flour.
- Pour the mixture into the greased and sugared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, depending on your oven, until a cake tester comes out clean and dry. (Bake at least 40 minutes to caramelize the apples)
- Allow to cool for 15 minutes, then turn cake out onto a cooling rack. The apples should be caramelized and the cake a rich golden brown.