A trip to Italy is in the works. Did I just say that? Ok, an idea of a trip to Italy is in the works. You’re the second to know… I just informed Jack the other night.
Even though we have a long list of places we have not been to, somehow every few years we (the royal we) feel a calling to go back. Whenever I even hear someone mention a trip to Italy, I become insane with travel envy.
So you can imagine the kind of envy I felt when I heard the story of a couple who moved to the Italian countryside, restored an olive grove and started an artisanal olive oil business. (and with the cutest designs for their packaging, I might add!).
I had the privilege of trying an assortment of their olive oils, sent quarterly, from the Nudo Adopt an Olive Tree program. My favorite (surprise, surprise), was the one flavored with stone ground lemons. It was absolutely perfect for a simple pasta like this. Which I enhanced, of course, with more lemon. And lemon zest.
The French 75 is hands down my favorite cocktail, and this lavender version is just so lovely for spring.
I snipped these little lavender flowers from my garden and simmered them down into a simple syrup. Which sounds sort of romantic except that this lavender plant was swarming with scary bees. I held a pair of scissors at arms length and carefully tried to clip a few without getting too close. (oh, the things I do for this blog!)
The lavender flavor is subtle, but I just love the unexpected herbal hint.
I hope you all have a great weekend and find some time to enjoy a sip with a loved one. After such a scary week, I know I’m holding mine extra close (the loved ones, that is…)
This is what you make when you have a bounty of spring vegetables. Or rather… when you had a bounty of spring vegetables and now all you have left is a random assortment.
This particular day I had a half bulb of fennel, half an onion (why do I always have a half of an onion?)… some parsnips, a couple of carrots and a few chard leaves that were on the wilty side. I cooked these things down into a pretty humble soup, but sometimes a humble soup is just what you need.
To kick it up a notch, make a pistou (a french version of pesto – stronger and without nuts). It’s traditionally made with basil but I took some liberties and mixed in a few tarragon leaves that I happened to have.
Pretend you are eating this peasant meal somewhere in Provence and pour yourself a nice glass of rose. (I realize rose isn’t in my photo above, but ideally it would have been).
I realize this ingredient list may look a bit long, but feel free to adapt this and use up whatever veggies you might have on hand.
I’m really excited to launch this new feature… Jack (my very talented programmer husband), created this newfangled recipe browser. You can now search by season, special diet, meal type, ingredient… and, best of all, a combination of them all.
As you check boxes, the recipe options on the right will narrow down. For example, if you are looking for a spring, gluten free, breakfast recipe with eggs, you can see those options in just a few clicks. A vegan dessert with coconut? Coming right up…
The first year Jack and I were together, he was working in Austin while I was finishing college in Chicago. He’d come visit me nearly once a month. It feels like such long time ago now (11 years, yikes)… many of those early memories are fuzzy, but a few stand out.
Friday nights, I would take the blue line to the airport to “pick him up” and we’d ride back to the city together. I was always late, he was always mad (or madly in love, ha).
Saturday mornings, we would head to the Pick Me Up Cafe where he would read The Onion in print (back then I think they only distributed it in Chicago), and I would eat vegan french toast. He’d read me funny headlines and I would ramble on about how this french toast couldn’t possibly be vegan. It was that good.
This one is close, or maybe better. Even Jack was surprised it didn’t have eggs. I used vanilla Almond Breeze almond milk, millet flour, nutritional yeast, (which seems strange, but it gives it that eggy essence), cinnamon, nutmeg, and lots of maple syrup. I loved it with chewy ciabatta bread, but this would be gluten free if you sub in gluten free bread.