Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Potato Spinach Leek Soup

     April brings spring. When you live in the South the temperatures are already rising. We've still had lingering cold nights and chilly mornings, but as the month ends they are fewer and farther between. I've been wanting to try out leeks for a long time and decided earlier in the week that soup was the way to start. This is perfect for those lingering cold nights and great for the terribly stormy nights we've been having lately.

Potato Spinach Leek Soup


Soak leeks in water to get all the grit gone!

1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Leeks, trimmed, tender parts only.
2 Cups fresh baby spinach
1 Clove garlic, minced.
3 Large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped.
32 Oz. chicken broth
1 Cup half-and-half
Salt to taste
Parmesan for garnish, optional
1.  Heat oil in medium soup pot to med-high heat. Cook leeks, stirring often until soft. Reserve 1/4 cup cooked leeks for garnish. Add garlic to pot and cook for 2 minutes with leeks.
Add chicken broth and potatoes. Bring heat to high and cook covered for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
3. Add half-and-half , spinach, and salt to taste. Spinach will wilt. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Garnish with reserved leeks and parmesan. Enjoy with crusty bread and a nice salad.

This is a great comfort food. Mr. P really liked it and he usually doesn't prefer any kind of potato soups. As for me, I'm a soup fan already so this was right up my alley. What are your favorite soups? I'm thinking of trying out cold soups this summer!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pink Lemonade Bundt Cake With a Citrus Honey Sauce

This post has been sitting in the draft box since October. I caught a terrible cold that turned into a terrible cough. It took me a whole month to get completely better and the winter then decided to fly by. I'm a horrible blogger, but I will become a consistent, reliable blogger eventually!  *

Mr. P had family in town recently and we all got together at his grandparents. Conflicting work schedules usually hinder us from attending many family events or creates a mad dash for us to make it in time. Somehow the stars aligned just so and we were both off work on the same day. I used my time before hand to bake. I haven't made a sweet treat in a while and a family dinner is the perfect opportunity.

I'm beginning to have an overstock of boxed cake mixes that are taking up too much space. I prefer to make my desserts from scratch but sometimes it's easier to spruce up a box mix. I used a Pillsbury Pink Lemonade mix. I added some extra lemon flavor by adding a little lemon juice to the batter. If you would prefer to make your cake from scratch I would follow a lemon cake recipe and add pink coloring. You could also use a lemon flavored box mix and add the coloring if you can't find the specific Pink Lemonade mix. What makes this cake special is the homemade citrus honey sauce and candied lemon slices that garnish it. I chose this sauce over a traditional powdered sugar glaze because it's a larger quantity and the leftover sauce has multiple uses. It also adds the pop this box mix needs.

Pink Lemonade Bundt Cake with a Citrus Honey Sauce

Ingredients: for the cake

Pink Lemonade box cake mix
1/4 cup lemon juice
The next three Ingredients will vary depending on mix used. Follow specifics on the recipe you have chosen.
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups water

Ingredients: for the sauce
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
5-6 tbsp. honey
2 small lemons sliced
White granulated sugar for candied lemon slices
Powdered sugar, enough for decorating.


1. Pre-heat oven to 375° F. Spray bundt pan with non stick spray/bakers spray.
Follow cake mix instructions adding a quarter cup of lemon juice. Mix for two minutes until smooth. Pour batter evenly in bundt pan.

2.  Bake for 32-35 minutes, follow your box mix or cake recipe directions.

3.  While the cake is baking start the sauce. Combine all liquids into a sauce pan. Add lemon slices. Heat on medium heat to boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Until slightly thicker. Let cool while cake is baking.

4.  Remove lemon slices onto a lined baking sheet. Sprinkle sugar over slices.
When cake is done and a toothpick inserted comes out clean allow to cool for ten minutes before removing to baking rack. Place lemon slices in oven and bake for ten minutes. Broil for two minutes. Let slices cool.

5.  Once cake is cool to touch place in a shallow pan or plate. Poke a couple of holes throughout with a skewer. Pour a generous amount of sauce on the bundt cake. Leaving about a cup leftover.
Let cake absorb sauce and sit for about half an hour.
Decorate with the candied lemon slices and powdered sugar.

You can store the leftover sauce in the fridge for about a week or so. It will become more syrupy with time.
You could throw in some orange or lemon slices in a tupperware and let soak for two days. Japanese style citrus dessert.
Add it to your sweet iced tea!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Navarre Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope your week has been going well. Today is my last day off of the week, so while you are probably slaving away and getting ready for your weekend,  I'm relaxing. I work every weekend but was able to take a peek at The Navarre Beach Sand Sculpting Festival this past Saturday. For the past 3 years I have worked at the restaurant that provides the lunches for the sand sculpture artists. So every year I hear about this festival but something has always prevented me from attending. This time I was able to scoot across the street and see what it was all about. Finally using the perk of working on the island.

The judging took place on Sunday so the sculptures weren't completed, but part of the fun is watching the artist work. Here are a few of the pictures I got to snap. The texture and detail is quite amazing. Click here to see the official website and information about the artists or here for pictures of the completed sculptures.

The HUGE castle that displayed all the sponsors.

One of my favorites. It won first place! By: Meli Beauregard
This one was called Storm. By: Fred Mallett
Very tranquil. By: Morgan Rudluff
People's Choice! By: John Woodworth

There were vendors with Pina Coladas and beach artwork (naturally). The air smelled of salt water and funnel cakes. I picked up a souvenir from the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station booth. I'll be rocking my new shirt and have the magnet on my car. I'm happy to support them! It's great to have children educated about our remarkable beach.

I wasn't able to stay long but enjoyed finally being able to see the sculptures! Since I went after work I was alone and I'm awkward in social gatherings. It was a hit and run kind of deal. What kind of festivals happen in your town? Do you ever attend them? Many around here are more family and child oriented so I tend to pass on those. They won't let me in the bouncy houses.