I had a wonderful weekend. In honour of my little brother's birthday (not so little and turing 31) my whole family went to the Salt Spring Island Ales beer pairing at Dolphins Resort's Angler's Dining Room. To really do it up right we rented a room to accommodate us all plus my Granny and her husband to watch the boys while we were pairing the delicious beer with the perfectly complimentary food.
Well Granny got the flu and was unable to make it. It was decided my mom would watch the boys and we would ferry food/drink over to the cabin. Not ideal, but workable. When Carmen (the manager of the resort and wife of the chef, lucky girl) heard of this she insisted on heading over to the cabin and sending my mom back to the dining room. Are you kidding me? Not only does Carmen have five children of her own (wow!) to deal with, she is taking on a two year old and a relatively new baby. Not a problem for her, the kids loved her and we got to enjoy our meal. And what a meal. If you have not been to the Angler's Dining Room you are missing out....go...now. I can't guarantee last minute babysitting though. We eat there fairly often and have never had anything less than an outstanding meal and experience. There is a wine pairing coming up in May....just in time for my birthday...hmmm.
Onto the frazzled. I have had a pretty smooth transition to two children, but yesterday was one of those days. Lots of crying from both boys, a pee on the floor complete with jumping in it to really splash all over, a cut chin, Hudson brushing (AKA hitting with a brush) a finally napping Sawyer, a meager one hour afternoon nap from Hudson, etc. I might have been ready to waltz out the front door never to be seen again. I felt like Braden had been at work for about 20 hours. Then Hudson turned to me and very sweetly told me he loved me and Sawyer gave me a huge, toothless grin.....bliss. All is forgiven. Mommy lives to fight another day.
I feel like I have been in a rush to share this Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup recipe before the weather warms up. Again this recipe is easy, fast (ready in under half and hour) and very tasty. It also has an interesting method. Recipe adapted from here.
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp flour
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 cup skim milk
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small
salt and fresh pepper
4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
1-1/2 cups shredded light sharp cheddar
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or mini food processor.
In a large soup pot, melt margarine. Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth.
Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes.
Add broccoli florets, parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5-10 minutes. Add cheddar cheese, stir well and remove from heat.
Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don't have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit.
Turned out great. I have also made it with a broccoli and cauliflower combo, equally as good. It is very low fat for a cream soup but still has a richness and is quite filling. It also freezes well.
So here's to great food, beer, motherhood, old friends helping out and taking the wild days as they come.
Tiffany McFadden, RD