Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Pretty in Pink Picnic with Spring Radishes

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Happy Spring! We were in Florida over spring break and I was afraid we’d missed the annual DC cherry blossoms blooming — but it turns out they were much later than usual, so we still had a chance to pack a tea party picnic and enjoy eating under the beautiful blossoms. In years past we’ve been able to sneak down on a school day before the crowds of tourists invade, but no such luck this year. The foodie tot was eager to take her new bike for a spin, so we parked on the Potomac side of the Tidal Basin where the path was a little less crowded and biked down towards the Memorial Bridge to find a good picnic spot.

biking dc cherry blossoms |

I made cherry blossom green iced tea (from The Republic of Tea), sweetened with honey, to drink. To eat, we made pink radish and butter sandwiches with — of course — pink salt. The foodie tot was skeptical when I insisted on planting radishes in our garden, but couldn’t help but be intrigued when I picked up a bunch of small pink and lavender radishes at the farmers market.

radish and butter sandwich |

She made peanut butter sandwiches as back-up, but she did admit that the radish sandwich was pretty tasty. My kids will eat butter like it’s its own food group, so using it to make new vegetables enticing is a no-brainer. The butter pictured comes with our milk delivery from South Mountain Creamery.


If you don’t have a local source for fresh butter, look for a cultured butter — it has a richer, tangy flavor that is divine on toast and also adds a great flavor to roasted veggies. But I must warn you it’ll be hard to go back to the regular old sticks from the supermarket. (Though we do buy those for baking.)

pink tea party picnic |

My French breakfast radishes in the garden will be ready to eat very soon — how do you like to use radishes?

ralph lauren polo dress |
What the Kid(s) Wore: I picked up this flare-skirted, petal pink Ralph Lauren dress on sale at The Purple Goose in Del Ray — she loves it for twirling! Worn with bike shorts, of course, for biking and her new very favorite ever “Twinkle Toes” Skechers. Oh, and the coral leather bracelet is from Hanna Andersson.

Spring Pea and Chevre Souffle {#SundaySupper}

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Anyone else wake up to snow on the first day of spring? Thankfully not enough for another snow day, but still. March is always full of crazy weather here in the mid-Atlantic; it was 70 degrees on Monday, before the snow! But as the weather eventually warms up, new fresh produce will soon be appearing at the farmers market. Peas may not be ready quite yet — we just planted them in the preschool garden this past week — but chickens are laying eggs! And it’s kidding season, which means fresh goat cheese (chèvre) from local farms, too.

peas egg goat cheese recipe |

My dish for this week’s Sunday Supper Spring Fling combines all three of these early spring foods in a light dish that’s the perfect counterpoint to all those months of braising and stews. A souffle takes just a little more effort than a quiche, but it is an impressive dish to serve guests or just enjoy around the family table. To make a standard souffle, you prepare a bechamel sauce (butter, flour, mustard, milk), add egg yolks and beaten egg whites. Cheese is standard, and I’ve double-down on the green here by mixing in both a pea and tarragon puree and whole peas.

pea and chevre souffle |

You could serve this springy souffle as a side to a roast chicken or even Easter ham (green eggs and ham, aha!), but I served it as a vegetarian main dish with a big salad. Divide it into four smaller ramekins to make individual servings, or use a souffle pan or large round baking dish.My foodie tot is the designated egg cracker in my kitchen so she’s always game to help me with a dish like this — getting to whisk those egg whites in the mixer is even better.

Recipe: Pea and Chèvre Souffle

Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 cup peas (thawed, if using frozen)
  • 6 fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pinch sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or oil baking dishes — either 4 10-ounce ramekins or a 2-quart souffle pan or round baking dish.

2. Boil peas in a small pan for 4 minutes. Drain and scoop out 1/2 cup peas, reserving for later. Place remaining cooked peas and tarragon leaves in small food processor and pulse until pureed. (May need to add up to a tablespoon of water to help smooth the puree.)

2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash of black pepper and cook, stirring, until smooth and golden. Slowly whisk in milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat and crumble goat cheese into pan, stirring. Add 3 egg yolks and stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in pea puree and reserved peas.

3. Beat egg whites at medium high speed until soft peaks form. Add a pinch of sea salt and beat until peaks become stiff.

4. Fold egg whites into the pea/bechamel mixture and scoop batter into prepared baking dish(es). Bake for 25 minutes for small ramekins or about 45 minutes for large souffle, until puffed, brown on top and set (if it jiggles a lot, continue baking for a few more minutes).  Serve immediately.

spring pea and goat cheese souffle recipe |

(PS Those daffodils were my taking a stand for spring despite the snow Friday. They sure brightened the kitchen!)

Read on for links to many more fantastic dishes to welcome spring from the Sunday Supper bloggers!






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Foodie Tots in the Garden: Planning & Planting

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Our first year kitchen garden experiment didn’t yield a whole lot in terms of edibles, but the pride in the four-year-old’s face as he told people (family, neighbors, total strangers in the garden store…) about his garden made it all worthwhile. He may not have liked the sungold cherry tomatoes, but he loved to pick them whenever we had company and pass them around.

This year we’ve got a head start with strawberries already flowering! A rhubarb plant I was sure I had killed — let’s just say it never quite made it out of its plastic pot on the deck last summer… — grew back this spring and is more than ready for a permanent home. I tasked the boy with choosing his four plants for this year, and here’s what he drew:

foodie tots kitchen garden

In case you’re wondering, that’s a hot dog plant between the sunflowers and strawberries. The fourth plant is peas.

We’ll plant the sunflowers elsewhere around the yard, and together we’ve come up with the following list for our garden bed:

  • strawberries
  • multi-colored carrots
  • peas (a warm-weather variety this year)
  • French breakfast radishes (my choice)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • basil
  • peppers

I have a pot on the deck to replant with mint and rosemary, plus my window sill box for the rest of our herbs. I’d also like to put a few berry plants in but we’re still figuring out what to do about our rolling hillside gently-sloping backyard. Also, I’m pretty sure we have a resident groundhog (??) about, as something got through my bunny fence last fall and made of with the carrots while we were out of town.

Have you planted seeds yet this spring? What are you growing? (And don’t forget, there’s just about 24 hours left to enter to win your own copy of The Whole Family Cookbook.)

At Market: Chilled Asparagus Pea Soup

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

What comes after asparagus and strawberries? Fresh peas! I bought both English peas (for shelling) and sugar snap peas this past weekend at the Falls Church Farmers Market. The English peas joined some Black Rock Orchard asparagus in a cold soup for a hot and steamy evening.

While the boy’s favorite vegetable is actually peas, he generally prefers them frozen. And though I couldn’t coax him into helping me shell, he did snatch a handful of fresh shelled peas out of my bowl. (He even tried a sugar snap pea with its pod last night, rather than slurping out the peas as though it was edamame in his usual manner.)

Recipe: Chilled Asparagus Pea Soup


  • 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas (or frozen if that’s all you have)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6 leaves fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup half and half (or cream)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Warm olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus, a pinch of salt and pepper, and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; then reduce to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Add peas and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Asparagus should be just tender when pricked with a fork. Remove from heat and let cool a little. Add mint (torn into small pieces).  Process in small batches in a blender until smooth. Stir in half and half.  Pour into a bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. (You can also accelerate the cooling by setting the bowl into a larger bowl with ice and water.) Garnish with additional mint leaves. Serves 4. Enjoy!

Note: Make this with vegetable broth for Meatless Monday.

(Sorta Meatless Monday) Coconut Basil Shrimp Stir-Fry

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I’m not sure if there’s an official rule about seafood on Meatless Monday, but I’ve generally avoided it thus far. Since part of the purpose of Meatless Monday is to raise awareness of the environmental impact of our food choices, I figured I’d make an exception for a farewell to Gulf shrimp. This dinner was loosely inspired by Aimee’s coconut rice, in that I had the two ingredients on the mind. The snap peas came from the farmers market, and were just as crisp and sweet as they look. And the basil was the first harvest from my freshly-potted herb planter.

Recipe: Coconut Basil Shrimp Stir-Fry


  • 1 pound wild Gulf shrimp
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 cups snap peas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper

Instructions: Toast coconut in cast iron skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside. Warm olive oil in skillet and cook garlic until soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook until pink and cooked through. Add soy sauce, snap peas and coconut and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle basil over top. Serve over rice. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

The FoodieTots family participates in Meatless Mondays, cutting out meat one day a week for our health and for the environment. (When we do eat meat, we choose local and grassfed whenever possible.) Visit the Meatless Monday pledge page to learn more, and sign up for weekly tips and recipes you can use to go meatless, too!