Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Potato and Leek Soup Tutorial

If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead...Julia Child would be right up there in the top 3.

A few Christmas' ago, my husband bought me her cookbook collectors set. I was inspired after seeing "Julie and Julia" to cook more of Julia's recipes. But, an 18 month old and an infant, well...it just wasn't going to happen.

But now my children are 2 years older and, again, I'm inspired after watching "Julie and Julia" so I pulled out my cookbooks and cooked the first thing I saw that I had the ingredients on hand for. Potato and Leek Soup.

My husband doesn't like soup. It's not hearty enough I suppose but he seemed on board with the idea since I was actually using the cookbooks he bought me. Can I just tell you that he BEGGED me to save enough for him to take to lunch tomorrow.

My husband likes soup now.

Potato and Leek Soup

Ingredients

4 medium-sized potatoes (about 1lb) (peeled and diced)
1 leek stalk (dark green parts cut off, washed, and chopped)
8 cups of water
1 Tbs salt (more to taste)
5 Tbs heavy whipping cream
Dried Parsley for garnish

Step 1



In a large pot, add the potatoes, leeks, water and 1Tbs salt. Simmer for 45-55 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through and easily pierced with a fork.

Step 2

When the potatoes are cooked through, remove from heat. Now, there are a few methods on achieving the soup consistency. You can either use an immersion hand blender (like me) to blend it in the pot OR you can strain the potatoes and leeks with a slotted spoon, place in blender with a little bit of stock and blend until smooth and pour it back into the stock and stir, OR you can simply mash it with a potato masher- although this method won't produce a perfectly smooth texture.

Step 3

With the soup removed from heat, add the whipping cream, and stir. Then add salt to taste. I ended up adding almost another whole tablespoon.

Step 4


Sprinkle with a little dried parsley to garnish. Serve warm.














Saturday, September 1, 2012

Marie's Sweet Shoppe 2nd Birthday!

Happy Birthday to Marie!! My sweet Marie turns two in a couple of days and we had her party today. A Sweet Shoppe themed party! Here's the breakdown of everything I did:

The decorations were cheap and easy. 


6 balloons of each color of the rainbow, blown up, tied  to a piece of ribbon, and hung from the ceiling in the order of the rainbow. I put three colors on each side of the window.


The fans are just sheets of construction paper (each fan is 3 sheets total). Basically, all I did was fold each paper accordion style, long-ways, then bent the accordion in half and taped the two sides that met together. I had 1/3 of a circle. Repeat with 2 more sheets of paper, then tape the three "semi-circles" end to end to end to make a complete circle. Then I hung each fan from the window. In the order of the rainbow.


This was the spread, I'll include links to each recipe below:


This was her cake. I called it the Chocolate Milkshake Cupcake Cake. No recipe to link, it was really easy. I bought a Giant Cupcake cake pan for the party. I used Funfetti cake mix to bake it. I whipped up some vanilla buttercream frosting, piped it on using a large open star tip, sprinkled with chocolate chips, and pressed Dark Chocolate Pirouline cookies along the bottom, and two sticking out the top. Two "straws" for 2 years old. Done.


These are homemade marshmallows. I cut them using "M" and "2" shaped cookie cutters. Then dipped the sticky edges in rainbow sprinkles.

http://amandathevirtuouswife.blogspot.com/2011/10/happy-halloween.html


The Cake Batter Chocolate Bark was a big hit! And easy too! 

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2010/12/cake-batter-chocolate-bark/


A tray of Homemade Peanut Brittle for the peanut fans out there! The link is for Pecan Brittle but you can substitute any nut you want.

http://amandathevirtuouswife.blogspot.com/2011/12/pecan-brittle-tutorial.html


Chocolate covered Oreo pops were fun to make and delicious! I just dipped one side of the Oreo. =)

http://easybaked.net/2012/02/17/easy-oreo-pops/


Homemade Microwave Caramels. These were so good but so sticky! Most people couldn't get the wax paper off of them. 

http://www.food.com/recipe/microwave-caramels-367414


These looked so cute and they were just plain white cupcakes, with with buttercream frosting, and a square of Candy Dot papers on top. I bought the Candy Dots at Cracker Barrel. 


 I just have to have mini-cupcakes at a party. I think they are so cute! White mini-cupcakes, vanilla buttercream, rainbow sprinkles, and a cherry on top.



I rounded out the treats with some store-bought cookies and candies.


 My husband had to get a picture of me in front of the decorations. =)


 Me and the birthday girl!


 Stealing some treats before the party started.


 She tried to eat it all in one bite, but no...it didn't work.


 Sat on the floor for most of the party, doing her puzzle.


Cutting the cake...with a mouthful of cupcake. Lots of cake...





Marie's 2nd Birthday pictures were taken by my sister-in-law at Martindale Media Group. We did a paper fan background, with balloons, and bubbles- in our dining room. I love them!

Marie's dress is from VintageStitches on Etsy. It was seriously the cutest thing ever.

I also ordered a lollipop bow for her hair but thanks to Hurricane Isaac, the mail got backed up and the bow didn't make it in time. Bows by SJ, she makes the CUTEST bows!

I think Marie's 2nd birthday was a huge success! I gave away little goodie bags, too. A book of Sweet Treats stickers, a cupcake Memory Card game, and a lollipop notebook and pen set. It was so much fun and I'm so blessed to be able to give my kids great birthday memories!