Carrot soup

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Carrot soup was always on the menu at The Mulberry Tearooms where I had worked for a short time. It is creamy and delicious. The grated carrot added after the soup is pureed compliments with a little texture. This soup was a favorite with all the customers and me! It was served with a warm baguette and butter. I loved to dip it into the soup. I penned down as much of the recipe as I could while at work on part of a menu. I took my penned notes and what I remembered when making the soup and came up with this recipe. Always use the freshest ingredients. I know you will love this comforting soup as much as I do. Enjoy!

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Carrot Soup

2 Tablespoons of butter

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 ¼ lbs. fresh organic carrots, peeled and cut into 2inch pieces

4 oz. finely grated organic carrots

1 large onion, sliced

1 large clove garlic, minced

¾ teaspoon of kosher salt, or to your taste

¼ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper, or to your taste

31/2 cups good vegetable stock or chicken stock

¼ cup heavy cream

Good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Crème fraiche or sour cream

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pot. Add the sliced onion cook for about 5minutes just to sweat the onion. Add the garlic cook for 1-2 minutes then add the cut carrots, and salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the carrots are fork tender. Puree soup in a food processor or emersion blender. If using food processor put the soup back in the pot. Add the grated carrot, fresh nutmeg. Cook 10 minutes more till soup is heated through. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream. Serve with French baguette or sour dough bread.

Note: If you don’t want the extra calories of the heavy cream you can omit it. You may need to add just a little extra stock after you puree.

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Breakfast on High Street

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I was watching a cooking show a few days ago on the cooking channel. The host was making delicious sandwiches with French baguette. I found myself day dreaming of a favorite outing with my children. When we lived in England we would go into town on the weekend. Our destination was the High Street in Reading. There was a lovely coffee shop that sold scrambled eggs and bacon in a French baguette. The baguette was lightly toasted and spread with soft butter. Then freshly scrambled eggs and bacon were stuffed inside. The tasty sandwich was wrapped in parchment so you could manage to eat and walk around the High Street and window shop. My children loved this sandwich with the exception of my youngest son. Timothy was not a fan of eggs but he loved bacon. His sandwich was buttered and stuffed with just bacon. I still make it with just bacon for him to this day.

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Lemon Curd

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The recipe for this lemon curd is so rich and delicious. I love the deep yellow color that appears as the curd becomes thick. It takes a little patience at the stove stirring, but is well worth the effort. This lemon curd was made at the tearoom I had worked several years ago. It went between two sugared and baked rectangles of puff pastry and topped with fresh whip cream.  On the menu it was called a lemon puff. It was a refreshing and delicious little treat. I could however, seriously skip the dessert and just eat the lemon curd until I was full. The lemon curd goes beautifully with scones as well as toast. It is a very special treat, one that I love to serve at tea parties. I have even given it to my guests in little jars as a gift to take home with them. It is always appreciated.  I will be sharing the lemon puffs recipe for you in my next post.

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Melt the butter over a double boiler. I used a pot and a bowl. Just have the water on low heat to simmer.

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Add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

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Slowly stir in the eggs.

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Stir continuously about 20 minutes.

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Curd will coat the back of a wooden spoon when it’s done. It will thicken more as it cools.

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Strain through a sieve.

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Pour into your favorite jars. Seal and store in the refrigerator.

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Lemon Curd Recipe

8 oz. butter

16 oz. granulated sugar

5 lemons, freshly squeezed

Zest of 5 lemons

6 eggs and 2 egg yolks, whisked together

Melt the butter over a double boiler over low heat. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate the ingredients. Slowly stir in the eggs, stir continually as you incorporate. Continue to stir over low heat. It will take about 20 minutes for the curd to become thicker and a deep yellow color. The back of the wooden spoon should have a thin coating of the curd that coats the spoon.

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Sweet Corn

The 4th of July is quickly approaching; I’m already dreaming of my favorite sautéed corn. I know it will have to be on the menu. Local corn is now popping up at the farmers market near my home. This sauté tastes so sweet, with fresh corn, zucchini, red peppers, shallots, fresh thyme, and fresh basil. It’s delightful! I’ve made this many times, even in the winter with frozen corn, it still tastes amazing. I served the corn sauté at my Christmas dinner a few years ago; my sister-in-law said “anyone that can make corn taste that good can cook.” I was pretty happy to serve something everyone truly enjoyed. So, year round fresh or frozen, this corn sauté is always welcome on my family table.

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4 Ears fresh corn on the cob, remove corn from cob, frozen corn may be used

2 Medium shallots, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 small zucchini, diced

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon butter

4 Sprigs of fresh thyme, remove from stems

5 fresh basil leaves, julienned

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

In a large skillet over medium heat melt the tablespoon of butter and add the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook 3 minutes, add the red pepper, and fresh thyme leaves cook 4 minutes, add the zucchini, salt and pepper cook until tender 4-5 minutes. Add the corn removed from the cob cook 4-5 minutes more. Finish with a sprinkling of fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste.

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Key Lime Pie

Key lime
Key Lime Pie

This tart and creamy pie has become a family favorite over the last few years. It seems even when I have a guest who doesn’t think they will like it, I’m able to win them over.  It is so creamy and the graham cracker crust gives it a nice crunch. Just serve a small piece it is a rich dessert.

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Key lime pie
Key Lime pie

Key Lime Pie

Graham cracker crust:

1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs

¼ cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

Crush the graham cracker to crumbs. I used a zip lock bag and a rolling pin. You could also use a food processor. Put the crumbs in a bowl, mix the sugar into the crumbs and pour the melted butter over the crumb and sugar mixture. Mix with your hands to coat all the crumbs with the butter. Press crumbs into a 9” pie dish that you have ever so lightly buttered. Bake 10-12 minutes, just till golden.

Filling:

2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk at room temperature

1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk

½ cup lime juice

Grated zest of one lime

Beat the eggs for 2 minutes, then slowly pour the condensed milk into the beaten eggs and continue mixing another 3 minutes. Add the lime juice and zest. Mix for 1more minute. Bake 350 for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Top with freshly whipped cream.

Topping:

Serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of lime zest

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Lazy Weekend Scrambled Eggs

A few years ago my husband and I got away for a little trip to Lewis, Delaware. We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast. It was a large old house and the new owners renovated the house from top to bottom. We ate our breakfast on the enclosed front porch. Very romantic! The breakfast we were served the first morning was southwestern scrambled eggs. It was so delicious I had to recreate it at home. I was feeling inspired so I came up with and Italian scramble as well. I call these lazy weekend scrambles. They do take a little extra time but these delicious eggs are worth it.The only thing you need to know about scrambling eggs is they are a protein and need to cook slowly so they don’t turnout like rubber.

Sothwestern Scramble
Southwestern Scramble

Southwestern scramble:
4 large eggs (organic preferred)
1-2 tablespoon of whole milk or goat milk
1 tablespoon green onion
4 tablespoon fresh corn, or frozen defrosted, cooked
3-4 tablespoon red pepper, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
Serve with:
2 slices avocado
Fresh salsa
Blue corn chips
Chop the green onion, and red pepper. In a nonstick pan add olive oil and butter over medium heat, add diced red pepper cook 3-5 minutes, add the corn cook 1-2 minutes add green onion. In a bowl crack the two eggs and lightly beat with a fork, add the milk and lightly beat with the fork again. Add eggs, salt and pepper to the mixture. Slowly stir the eggs with a wooden spoon just till they are set. Remove from heat. Serve eggs with two slices of avocado. Serve with a small amount of salsa and a few Blue corn chips.

Fresh Salsa:
3 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ a lime
3 tablespoons cilantro, rough chop
Place all ingredients into a blender of choice. Lightly blend to mix ingredients. Pour into a bowl chill at least 1 hour 4 hours is best.

Italian Scramble
Italian Scramble

Italian Scramble:
4 large eggs, (organic preferred)
1 tablespoon whole milk or goat milk
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
3-4 tablespoon sweet or mild Italian sausage, remove from casing and break into pieces
3-4 tablespoon red pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 -2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil
Toasted baguette
Put olive in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add sausage, chopped onion, and the red peppers. Crack the two eggs into a bowl lightly beat with a fork, add the milk then lightly beat again with the fork. Add the eggs into the mixture add salt and pepper. Slowly stir eggs with a wooden spoon just till they are set. Add the fresh basil, lightly stir then add Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat. Serve with warmed baguette and butter.

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Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I have been making Irish soda bread for many years. I love the smell of this quick bread in my oven. There are not too many bread recipes that produce such quick and delicious results. This recipe is a result of many years of trying different recipes. I believe it has the right amount of moisture, sweetness, and tang from the buttermilk. I also love the mixture of the currents and golden raisins. I have always added the butter cold to the flour mixture and approached this as a scone. By testing my recipe with melted butter I feel the end result may be just as good and a little easier. To add flavor I use pure vanilla extract it has always been my favorite. You could also add the zest of citrus fruit which gives a unique flavor. I love the sweetness of the golden raisins, the currents are more traditional and I love them as well. You could also just use raisins, and some years I add the caraway seed which really gives a depth of flavor. Irish soda bread is basic dough. Your imagination with adding the flavor you love makes it special. I only bake Irish soda bread right on or before St. Patrick’s Day. It is always something special to look forward to and I only serve it with Kerrygold Irish butter. It’s the best!

DSCF5160Ingredients.

DSCF5163Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add the wet.

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Irish Soda Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 extra large egg, lightly beaten

1 2/3 cup buttermilk

¾ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

½ cup dried currents

½ cup golden raisins

1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)

Sift the dry ingredients in a large bowl. You could also use a wire whisk to combine the dry ingredients. Make a whole in the center of the flour mixture and add the wet ingredients. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Add the currents and golden raisins. Turn out onto a lightly floured board knead just a few times to form a ball. Don’t over mix!! Lightly butter a cast iron skillet or line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly press the ball of dough. Using a knife make an X in the top of the dough. Bake 375 for 45-55 minutes. Bread should be 205 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Cool on a wire rack serve with softened Kerrygold butter.

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