Saturday, April 16, 2011

First Garden Pics of the Season

Little garden, ready for spring:
 Brussels sprouts (they survived over the winter and are now growing):
 Kale and greens (and we planted the asparagus right outside the fence!):
So excited to get going in the garden this season!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring is Here!

We planted peas, spinach, and asparagus in the garden yesterday. I was so excited that I found asparagus crowns to plant from the Neighborhood Farm Initiative booth at Mount Rainier Better Block Party on Sat.  They are so cool-- to plant them, you need to dig a small ditch.  Then, the crowns are supposed to go 10 inches into the ground and then get covered with 6 inches of dirt. Another plus: my roommate and I were thrilled because we got to use our compost for the first time.  All in all, it was a great start to spring.

Dreaming about peas and asparagus....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting Ready for Matzah

Passover is around the corner and my mother and I just discussed the plan for the menu.  This is going to be year two for our homemade gefilte fish. My mom is going to make her famous vegetable stew but we might not serve it this year at the first night seder, instead we are going to have asparagus and potatoes. We will eat the vegetable stew during the remainder of the week.

We are planning on the following this year:
- Chopped liver, hummus, and matzah
- 2 varieties of charoset
- Chicken soup with matzah balls
- Homemade gefilte fish
- Spring salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing
- Roasted potatoes
- Roasted asparagus
- Oven braised barbecued brisket

Yum!  I can't wait for next week.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bacon and Leek Risotto

Ready for spring?  I am.  The new Bon Appetit is getting me so excited for spring vegetables.  Here is the first recipe from this month's issue I tried and it is out of this world.  I don't eat much meat anymore, so this was a special treat with some bacon from the Takoma Park Farmer's Market.

Please, please try this.  I am strongly considering changing my blog to cover risotto exclusively because of how much I love making it! I'm sad I didn't take any pictures of this meal.  But, I guess that means I will have to make it again soon to share them with you. Also, this was our first meal of the season that we enjoyed in the backyard with a fire keeping us warm. Amazing.

Bacon and Leek Risotto (from Bon Appetit)

What You Need

- 6 large eggs
- 5 cups vegetable broth (recipe calls for chicken stock)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 large--which is a bit more than 2 cups but don't worry, use it all)
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice (about 10 ounces)
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley (from our containers here at home)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese (I used more, closer to 4)
- Fresh Italian parsley leaves (for garnish)
- Additional finely grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)

What You Do

  1. Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan; cover to keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally.
  4. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
  5. Add leeks to drippings in pan; cook until soft but not brown, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer 2 generous tablespoonfuls leeks to small bowl; reserve for garnish.
  7. Add rice to pan; stir 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add wine; stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  9. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to saucepan; stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat adding broth and stirring until rice is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is creamy, stirring almost constantly, about 23 minutes total.
  10. Add bacon, chopped parsley, butter, and 2 tablespoons cheese.
  11. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  12. Meanwhile, poach eggs.
  13. Divide risotto among 6 bowls. Top risotto in each bowl with poached egg. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley leaves, additional cheese, and reserved leeks.
This recipe was wonderful and perfect for celebrating the beginning of spring.


Yesterday, I made Bacon and Leek Risotto and all I have to say is: WOW

Recipe and details coming soon!