It is almost the end of May and that means two things: Memorial Day Weekend and the start of Summer!
I don't know about you, but I have a very full weekend of fun planned. Which means, by Monday, I should be exhausted from my restful week-end. I wasn't sure what I wanted to put in this post, so I decided that I would put in a little bit of everything.
First, my exciting news, or at least it is exciting for me; after years of wanting turquoise/green hair my husband finally decided that I should go for it and gave me a gift of a trip to Lee Caro's Salon in Baton Rouge. What I was asking was no small feat. I wanted to go from red to green and I wanted to do it in one sitting. It took a team of five skilled technicians and four and a half hours, but I left the salon with the anime hair that I have always wanted! (And for those of you who are wondering, no my hair isn't brittle, it is just as soft and healthy as it was before. They are wizards!)
|This is me having all of the red pulled out of my hair. I look like some sort of cyborg. And, even trying to do Zoolander's Blue Steel pose doesn't make it look any sexier. And let me tell you, that get up was heavy!|
|In my husband's truck right outside the salon in the sunlight rather than florescent light.|
|And here's the hair as it looks now. I love to wear snoods and this one is one of my favorite that was made special for me by Tanis, the owner of the shop Gin Poodle on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/shop/GinPoodle?ref=shop_sugg I love this shop! And I love snoods. I especially love it with my turquoise hair.|
|And another one in front of my bird tree!|
In keeping with the spirit of green things, I planted my herbs, a couple tomato plants and some cucumbers at the beginning of April and boy are they starting to grow! They're not anywhere near where one of my friend's garden is. But I'm not retired and don't have a whole spot of the yard designated to vegetables and hours to spend maintaining my garden - so I'm pretty happy with where I am at. Although I am thinking about putting in some raised beds this summer.
Here are some pictures of my veggie babies:
|Here's a teeny tiny cucumber with the bloom still on the end of it. This particular cucumber plant is an heirloom variety that doesn't grow huge cucumbers. I thought that would be cute and adorable for a family of two, so that it what I got.|
I had checked out a new cookbook by Meike Peters called "eat in my kitchen". (This book has some really delicious recipes and I really think that I may have to break down and purchase it - or put it on my Christmas list for things that I really want.) Of course, I didn't have all of the ingredients the way that she described them in the recipe, so I had to modify the recipe. So below is my recipe for Fresh Summer Tomato Soup that I came up with instead.
Fresh Summer Tomato Soup with Bacon and Cream Cheese
This recipe is super quick and super easy! It is a summer tomato soup because you don't roast the tomatoes ahead of time and then skin the tomatoes. You just let those puppies cook down on your stove top for a little while. This soup may be thinner than what you are used to in a tomato soup, but it thickens up when you add the cheese. Remember, this is a summer soup, so you want it to be lighter than it's winter counterparts.
Sorry I don't have pictures for this. But I had a minor disaster with my new blender and pictures were the last thing on my mind.
1 tbsp. olive oil (If you can find it, use a Tuscan Herb Olive Oil or Garlic Olive Oil)
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely minced or flattened into a paste
Kosher salt, to taste
1/4 cup homemade chicken broth, hot (You can use low sodium store bought chicken broth or vegetable broth, but the homemade is better.)
1 tbsp. sun dried tomato paste (you can also use regular tomato paste)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar (Needs to be a good balsamic that tastes sweet, if it is not, you will want to add more sugar.)
Pinch of sugar
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 handful fresh basil, finely chopped (or 1 tsp. dried basil)
2-3 sprigs fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried dill) I actually put more than that in, but I really love the taste of dill with tomatoes
3-4 slices bacon, crumbled or finely chopped
2 tsp. per bowl cream cheese (The original recipe called for ricotta, which I think would be delicious! But, I hardly ever have ricotta in my fridge and I almost always have cream cheese so, cream cheese it is.)
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated, when it starts to shimmer or cold water "dances" when you sprinkle it on the surface of the pot, add the tomatoes and the garlic and saute, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes.
2. Add the hot chicken broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, balsamic vinegar, basil and dill. Stir until well blended. Taste with a small spoon to check the seasoning and acidity. Add a pinch of sugar. Depending on your tomatoes, you may have to add another pinch of sugar to get rid of the acidity.
Add freshly ground black pepper to taste. (You may also add salt here, although I frequently don't use any.)
3. Bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for five minutes.
4. Remove the soup from the heat and remove the bay leaf.
5. Very carefully pour the soup mixture into a blender or food processor. Blend the soup mixture until smooth. (I never find that my mixture is too thick, but if yours is, you can simply add more chicken broth to the mixture at this time.)
6. Put a fine sieve over the same heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven and pour the soup back into the pot through the sieve. This is a very important step, otherwise, you will have what my husband and I call tomato "bones" in your soup. These can be eaten, but they aren't very pleasant so I like to remove them from my soup.
7. Taste the soup. At this time you can add more pepper, salt or balsamic vinegar if it suits your fancy.
To Serve: Put the soup into bowls and top with the crumbled bacon and 2 tsp. cream cheese per bowl/serving.
See! I told you it was going to be easy!
Well, that is all that I have for tonight. We have a long weekend coming up, so I may actually get a chance to post again this week-end. Maybe a Memorial Day weekend post. If I don't post again until after that, y'all have a great and safe Memorial Day weekend!