January 11, 2012


First attempt bread making at home. Delicious right out of the oven but could still use something. I suspect more kneading by hand is in order. 

January 3, 2012

fresh pea soup

2011 went by in what seemed like a blur. I spent the year working my toosh off and realizing I shouldn't live to work but rather we should all work to live. It doesn't matter how much overtime or money I might bring in, life is about happiness and doing the things you enjoy most. I plan on finding that balance to keep me content and semi-sane in 2012. The new year brings promise of new and exciting things to come. 
Jarrod and I are heading to New Zealand for a much needed vacation and to finally meet the 'rents come February. I'm excited to say the least. We'll be doing a full circle of the north island while attending a few of his best friends' weddings. Celebrations all around, my liver is quivering in fear.
In preparation for our "Summer" vacation, we're going on a homemade soup rampage(see: diet) for the entirety of January. Should be easy since half of what I normally make for dinner is rustic, simple soups. This bright green soup is delicious and quite possibly the easiest thing you'll make all year.  
My recipe was loosely adapted from Ina Garten's Fresh Pea recipe. I changed a few things based on what we had(ie. no onions, just leeks, sub goat cheese for creme fraiche) and the flavor profile I think of when I think pea soup: smokey pork. I used smoked sea salt to bring out that flavor without having to buy a gnarly looking ham hock. It also saves a whole lot of cooking time(no simmering for hours!) as this really only takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare. 
Here's to a fabulous new year!

Fresh Pea Soup


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 2 cups chicken, vegetable or beef stock
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (more for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped chives, (more for garnish)
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt 


Heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan, add the leeks and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until they are tender. Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. (Frozen peas will take only 3 minutes.) Off the heat, add the basil, salt, pepper and goat cheese. 
Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Stir in chopped chives and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with a crumbling of goat cheese, a bit more chives and a large pinch of smoked sea salt.