Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Onion Soup - Easter Dinner

I'm joining everyone over at Between Naps  On the Porch
for another edition of  Tablescape Thursday.  Look for lots
of Easter tables this week!

I'll also be linking up to Michael Lee's Foodie Friday with a
recipe for her weekly party over at Designs By Gollum.

The centerpiece is comprised of a pre-made egg wreath sitting on some faux greenery, a pedestal cake plate with a flat glass cake plate on top of it.  The "vase" is an old lab beaker filled with faux easter eggs and silk flowers. All is then decorated with eggs, geese and rabbits.

The candlesticks are from Home Goods, egg plate from Walgreen's for $1,
glassware from Pier 1, flatware from Macy's.

The place settings are ruffled gold chargers that I've had forever, dinner
plates from Anthropologie, salad plates are vintage Rosenthal,
and the covered onion soup bowls are from Wisteria.

The milk pitcher is vintage Homer Laughlin China.

A cutwork bowl from Home Goods and another vintage Homer Laughlin China milk pitcher.

Vintage Rosenthal "Helena" coffee pot and tea pot.
The tea pot was recently featured on a post entitled "Tea With Helena"

The covered onion soup bowls were the inspiration for Spring Onion Soup as a first course.
This is the creamiest soup ever and so very tasty! The perfect start to an Easter Sunday Dinner.

Creamy Spring Onion Soup
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 bunches scallions—white and tender green parts cut into 1-inch lengths, green tops thinly sliced
4 leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 cups dry white wine
3 cups water
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 ounces fresh goat cheese (1/4 cup), softened
In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the white and tender green parts of the scallions, along with the leeks, fennel and onion; season with salt and white pepper.
Cook over low heat, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften, approx. 15 minutes.
Add the wine and boil over high heat until reduced to a few tablespoons, 12 minutes.
Add the water and cream and bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are very tender and pale green, approx. 15 minutes.
Add the scallion green tops and cook just until softened, about 2 minutes.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor , return it to the pot and season with salt and white pepper.
Whisk the buttermilk with the goat cheese in a bowl, ladle the soup into serving bowls, drizzle with the creamed goat cheese and serve. Garnish with chives or parsley is optional, serve with very thinly sliced sour dough bread rounds.
You can make this soup ahead, keeping the soup and the creamed goat cheese refrigerated in separate containers overnight. Reheat just before serving. So easy and you'll hear your guests rave!

Have a wonderful Easter dinner and hope to see you again next week!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ready Set Vignette: Easter Is Coming!

I'm joining a new party called Ready Set Vignette over at The Stories of A to Z today!

Here's a sample of some of the seasonal scenes that seem to be multiplying
like rabbits around my house this month.

Cloches, rabbits, flowers, little chicks!
It all started with St. Patrick's Day and now the animals seem to be
taking over everywhere.

This Week In My Garden

I'm joining Outdoor Wednesday over at A Southern Daydreamer again this week.
Check out all the beauty Mother Nature has to offer.

It is Spring in my garden ....... looking up close to see the
rebirth that is happening almost before my eyes.

Spoon Daisy
Sedum dendroidium
Japanese Maple
Fatsia Japonica
Carolina Jasmine
Succulent Euphorbia
Potato Vine
Spirea by our front gates

Catlin's Giant Ajuga
Wild Lupines growing on our back hills

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Bear In Rabbit's Clothing

I'm joining Marty over at A Stroll Through Life for her Tabletop Tuesday party!

The Easter Bunny and his furry friends held their last meeting before the big day,
which is drawing very close now. A simple tea in the garden with plans for
"the best egg hiding place" being one of the main talking points.

Mr. Bear, wearing his favorite "I'm a Bunny at heart hat" gave the keynote speech
on "Easter Safety Tips for Household Pets"

1. Easter floral arrangements should be kept out of the reach of household pets,
especially those containing Lilies, amaryllis, and kalanchoe.

Chocolate is toxic to pets due to the ingredient theobromine. Different types of
chocolate contain different levels of theobromine, but any amount is considered
dangerous. Any candy containing Xylitol can be toxic to pets.
Please do NOT hide chocolate in your garden where it might be found by a pet.
Some of the other food stuffs that may be dangerous to your pets:
Alcoholic beverages
Apple seeds
Apricot pits
Cherry pits
Coffee (grounds, beans, chocolate covered espresso beans)
Hops (used in home beer brewing)
Macadamia nuts
Moldy foods
Mushroom plants
Mustard seeds
Onions and onion powder
Peach pits
Potato leaves and stems (green parts)
Rhubarb leaves
Tea (caffeine)
Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)
Yeast dough

3. Cellophane Easter Grass
Easter grass is the close cousin to Christmas tinsel and it can be a serious pet safety
issue as well. The strands can get caught in the intestinal tract which can result in
life-threatening obstructions. Replace cellophane Easter grass with a safe alternative
like shredded newspaper.

4. Table Scraps
Table scraps can pose lots of health hazards to your pets. Many table foods can not be digested by
dogs or cats which can lead to gastro-intestinal upset. Remember that improperly handled Easter eggs pose the same threat to your pets that they do to you.

5. Baby Chicks and Rabbits
Instead of purchasing a live chick or a bunny for a child's Easter basket, consider a
stuffed animal instead. The toys don't pose potential health risks, can withstand tight
squeezes, and don't end up at the local animal shelter by May Day.

Sir Homer of Laughlin was the delegate in attendance from the "Household Pets United Association."  He kept his distance, but was very attentive during the safety tips presentation.

Please have a SAFE and Happy Easter!
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