Potato Leek Buttermilk Soup with Smokey-spiced Croutons and Chive Oil

potato leek buttermilk soup

Winter.  It’s here.  In a big way.  We just got an inch of ice, 8 inches of snow, and my son’s school is cancelled again…for the FOURTH day in a row!  Snow-soaked coats, gloves, hats and boots have lined our entryway for the past few days as neighbor kids come in and out from the blindingly white wonderland that is our front yard.  I love times like this when there’s nowhere I need to go, nowhere I CAN go.  I am literally stuck in my house, forced to peer out at the beautiful North Pole-esque scenery and spend my days cooking and watching movies.  I can deal.

It’s moments like this when one needs soup.  Comforting.  Soul-warming.  Even nostalgic.  And this velvety-smooth potato soup is just that.  Plus it’s really easy and there are only 7 ingredients in the recipe, and that includes water and salt.  The short ingredient list allows the simple flavors to shine:  potatoes, leeks, and garlic.   The buttermilk adds rich silkiness and just a bit of tang.  Spice it up with homemade seasoned croutons and chive oil and call it a day.  Game over.   {christmas} Lights out.

CSA Week 1: Spinach Quesadillas with Chimichurri Sauce

I’m pumped.  So very pumped.  CSA season just started back up and my little veg head is exploding with organic veggie excitement!  I may be slightly odd in that I’d much prefer to open a box of veggies than unwrap a birthday present…um, unless that birthday present IS a box veggies…and maybe it includes a bottle of gin, and some aged balsamic vinegar, or some smoked sea salt or fancy dutch-processed cocoa powder, or several jars of my grandma’s homegrown, canned tomato juice that I would totally use to make killer Bloody Marys with…whoa, settle down.  Hmm, I wonder if you can register for organic veggies as a wedding gift.  I’m already married, buuuuut….how freakin cool would that be to have one of those gift registry guns that you could take to a farm.  I’d go nuts with the kale.  Yeah, forget engraved towels…give me kale and tomatoes!

I digress.  So, after some crazy weather, Laughing Stalk Farmstead is back to delivering me a beautiful box of fresh, organic fruits and veggies every other week!  They started with a couple special deliveries of strawberries and rhubarb, but the full-on seasonal eating adventure has officially begun with a box that packs a powerful superfood punch…it’s a mean green veggie machine!

Grilled Spring Veggie Pasta with Blue Cheese and Balsamic Syrup

In my house, the dude is NOT the grill master, it’s this dudette (thumbs pointing at myself).  Nothing makes me happier than sweating bullets in the hot Missouri sun standing in front of a flaming veggie-covered grate with my face about to melt off from the heat of the grill, tongs in one hand and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in the other.  It’s pure joy.  I get so stoked when spring arrives because one of my favorite things to grill is asparagus, I could eat mountains of it…and when you combine them with grilled portabella mushrooms, blue cheese, balsamic syrup, and garlicky pasta the birds sing, rainbows beam, and fairies flutter about doing a happy dance…at least that’s what happens in my head…what, too much wine?

Ok, let’s get it on!  Grilling, that is.

Ginger Pancakes with Roasted Strawberries

Strawberries are just now coming into season.  They’re a little later than usual because of the cold, rainy weather we’ve had.  But they’re starting to arrive and I’m happy.  I love strawberries.  They’re just so darn pretty.  Ruby red bulbs speckled with tiny yellowish seeds and green spikey leaves…they’re kinda punk rock.  I like that.

Boozy Tea Party!


I am usually very skilled at killing plants.  Though my intentions are good and I try my best to keep them alive, they’d much prefer to croak than endure my underwatering/overwatering/too much sun/not enough sun/is this the right kind of soil efforts.  If having a green thumb is necessary to sustain the lovely gifts of nature, then I’m all fingers.  Until now.  About a month ago I was given a gorgeous peppermint plant and somehow have been able to prevent the thing from succumbing to it’s Jaime-induced demise.  In fact, it’s growing like crazy!  So what’s a girl to do with all this beautiful mint?  I decided to have a nice, little tea party.  Mint-themed, and with gin. Heck yeah!

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Muffins


It’s been fairly chilly lately.  And very rainy.  I’m ready for warm spring weather, bike rides, farmers markets, and fresh seasonal fruits and veggies.  It’s getting closer, but mother nature has decided to keep us waiting a bit longer.  Must.  Be.  Patient.  (i’m not good at that)

Spring also gives us a push towards rejuvenation, towards wanting to treat our bodies better and gear up for the heat and activity that’s about to greet us in the coming weeks…or it’s just that we don’t want to shove these jiggly, sun-deprived thunder thighs into a pair of shorts.  (for real, i’m not ready, not even close) 

Spicy BBQ Tempeh Joe’s


Sloppy Joe’s…you either love ’em or hate ’em.  I love them; my husband hates them.  He thinks they’re annoying and unnecessary.  They’re messy; they drip all over your hands.  As you eat them, you’re increasingly left with less between the bun and more on the plate…but that’s one of the things I love about them!  When you’re finished noshing the sauce-soaked bun, you get to scoop up all the sloppy-laced fixins that lay strewn about on your plate.  Maybe you politely scrape them up with a spoon…maybe you dig in with your fingers and shove the fallen goodies in your face.  I’m just sayin.  

Asparagus & Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

This salad highlights the transition from winter to spring by combining tangy, juicy oranges with tender, nearly-sweet emerald spears of asparagus.  It’s the baton hand-off in the relay of seasonal life.  Orange tips it’s hat in farewell while asparagus extends it’s arms in a welcome “Hello”…Spring has arrived!

Roasted Carrot Risotto


I was recently given a huge amount of carrots (we’re talking about the size of a small toddler) from a couple farmer friends of mine.  The carrots had surprisingly survived the winter and I got to be one of the lucky recipients.  My family loves carrots…in a major Bugs Bunny sort of way.  So aside from packing them in lunches, I’ve been coming up with recipes that feature these lovely, orange-gold vitamin A-packed veggies.  I’ve made a Spinach, Carrot and Brussels Sprout Pizza, Indian-spiced Carrot and Black Bean Stew, and Carrots and Brussels Sprouts with Penne and Peanut Sauce.  We might be starting to turn orange at this point…I guess we’d fit in with the tanning-for-spring-break crowd.  And yet, we just can’t get enough.