PInterest Recipe of the Month- Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice

This weekend I decided I wanted to find recipe to re-boot my ‘Recipe of the Month’ idea.  With the short, cold days we’re experiencing in Minneapolis, I thought soup would be perfect.  After doing some browsing, I found this onion soup recipe and traced it back to one of my favorite blogs, ‘Smitten Kitchen’. I’ve made a few things from the blog before, so I knew it would I could trust it.  I made a couple of tweaks to the recipe including; substituting the Blue Cheese for Gruyere and using a mix of fresh parsley, chives and dried basil.  You can find the recipe right HERE.

ONION SOUP

It’s a bit of a time consuming process to cook both the rice and the onions, but the smell in the house was worth it.  It also gave me a chance to master my old nemesis, the mandolin. I used it to get nice even slices of onion and it went much faster than trying to slice them all by hand.  The soup itself was mild and pretty filling.  The recipe called out 4 servings but we could have easily done 6.  I have to say my favorite part was the pieces of baguette and cheese on the top.  After a few minutes of it soaking up the broth, it was the perfect blend of mild and sharp flavors. I could have eaten a full baguette myself if I had enough soup to soak it in.

I hope this gives you something to make the next time a Polar Vortex comes rolling through.  It seems to be once a week now around here.  Check out the rest of the recipes on ‘Smitten Kitchen’ as well, including an all time favorite; ‘Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake‘.  Follow the link for that, just do it.

Pinterest Recipe of the Month- Herbs Preserved in Olive Oil

So someone knew exactly what my next step with my herbs was.  I saw this project on TheKitchn.com and knew I had to use it as a way to keep fresh herbs for later into fall.  It’s one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that’ moments.  I used thyme and rosemary since they were both in abundance.  They’re also on the suggested list for freezing this way.  Honestly, it took more time to prep the herbs to put into the ice cube trays more than anything else.  It was really easy.

Prep your herbs.  You can just run your fingers down thyme to strip the leaves from the stem.

Rosemary was a bit more work than that, plus it got a rough chop to make it easier to fit into ice cube trays.

Fill a little past half way with your herbs

Add your olive oil

Wait overnight

Pop them loose

And store for later

We also have plenty of mint in our herb garden.  It’s crawling all over like it owns the place.  So, to put a little bit of a twist on this, I added some fresh mint leaves to regular ice cubes.  I gave it a real rough chop (just to make it easy to fit) before filling a few trays and popping it in the freezer.

Test run in a glass of water has been pretty good.  I think it’ll be a nice addition to lemonade, ice tea or a few drinks just a little bit stronger:)

 

Also, here’s a shameless plug for following me on pinterest.  Lots of food plus some more fun stuff:)

Dessert of the Month/Pinterest Recipe of the month- Strawberry Vodka Collins Popsicles

I’m trying to do a 2 for 1 post to make up for my lack of posting during the month of May.  I’ll do a second post for both in another week or so.  Anywho…

I’ve been seeing popsicles of all kinds all over blogs, pinterst and magazines for quite awhile now and have been itching to try one.  Garden of Egan had some fresh strawberries at the farmer’s market on Saturday so I used that as my starting point for picking out my popsicle recipe.  I chose the Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Popsicle recipe from EndlessSimmer.com.  I altered a bit since we didn’t have fresh peaches to work with.  I’ll walk you through it as I go.

First up, I started working on flavoring my simple syrup.  We still had quite a bit from making Manhattans a few weeks ago.  I place of the peaches, I picked some mint leaves from the garden and used a pestle to get the flavor to come out of the leaves and into the syrup.  If you can, do this over night at a minimum.  I used about 6 leaves for the 1/4 cup of syrup I used.

With that sitting off to the side I got started on pureeing my strawberries.  The recipe called for about 10 berries but these were a bit on the small side so I ended up using about 15 to reach the 6oz. needed.  I added in the vodka while the strawberries were still in the blender to make sure it was well mixed.

I started dividing my strawberry/vodka mix into my popsicle forms.  They were a little larger than the recipe suggested so I ended up with just 8 popsicles instead of the 12.

Next I pulled the mint leaves out of the simple syrup and added in my tonic water and the remaining vodka.  After a quick stir so make sure it was well blended, I divided the rest of the liquid between the molds and popped it in the fridge.  Then waited until the next evening to pull one out to try.

They tasted pretty good and refreshing.  The vodka wasn’t very strong, and I think you’d probably have to finish the whole 8 before you really felt effects, but they’d be fun to bring to a summer BBQ.   One thing I would change though is the tonic.  I didn’t realize it until after the popsicles were in the fridge but the tonic we had was lime flavored.  The lime flavoring really came out and while it didn’t taste bad it just wasn’t what I was hoping for.  I’ll stick to regular next time.  I was surprised at how well the popsicles held up too.  I thought with the alcohol mixed in it would turn to slush pretty quickly, but it held up about as long as you would expect any other fruity popsicle to.

When these are gone I’ll try a couple other flavor combos.  With all the mint we have growing out back I’m thinking some mojito pops would be about perfect!