It has been a hectic week! The kids are on Spring Break, the hubby is off of work; there has been a flurry of activity at home. We had a friend visit from Houston on Monday night and he stayed till Tuesday and so we were busy getting ready for him and I was busy cooking dinner on Monday. I made a baked ziti and we had that along with my house salad and fresh, home made bread. For dessert: a steamed treacle pudding with lots of custard…yum. The next morning I whipped up a batch of my favourite yeasted Belgian waffles. So good; crispy on the outside and custardy soft inside. Everyone was content, alhamdulillah.
Since Trace is also off this week, we have been doing yard work and he has been working on his “to do” list. We did take some time yesterday to go for a nice picnic up by Longs Peak. The weather was gorgeous, a bit nippy up in the mountains, but with deep blue skies and a beautiful view, we overlooked the chill. We drove through Boulder and stopped at Whole Foods to grab some of their bread and then headed west, with no destination in mind. We ended up at a picnic area across from Longs Peak and enjoyed our bread and cheese; and the focaccia with caramelised onions. We walked around a bit and then piled into the car and headed towards Estes Park.
Lake Estes was out in its glory; beautiful sparkling water, rippling slightly with the soft breeze that was blowing across the surface. Elk herds were out in numbers yesterday, just grazing wherever and not minding all the photographers who were snapping away at them. The mountains surrounding Estes Park were just beautiful, standing majestically with their white, snow cloaks wrapped around them.
After Estes Park, it was time to head home and relax for the evening and catch up on some recorded shows on our DVR. Leftover pasta for dinner. Love it when I don’t have to cook.
Today was yard work day. Trace did most of that. We did go to Home Depot and I bought some herb seeds and pots. I am going to start the herbs in pots inside for now and replant them in bigger pots when it warms up a bit. We are thinking about starting a vegetable garden here but wondering if we want to put forth the effort. I had one in Houston and always got plenty of tomatoes and peppers from my plants. I love having a garden and growing my own vegetables. There is nothing more satisfying than eating produce that you worked so hard to grow. I think it will also be a great education tool for Laith. Kids are fascinated when they see food growing on plants and realise that’s where it comes from and not the super market down the street. I will post our progress once we decide to get going!
Today for lunch I made up a pot of some delicious, pappa al pomodoro soup. It was getting a little chilly outside and I needed to use up a box of ripe tomatoes, so a pot of soup sounded really good. I also had a chunk of the home made bread from Monday night. If you are not familiar with pappa al pomodoro soup, it is an Italian rustic soup, from the Tuscany region, made from tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, garlic and thickened with some hearty bread.
I looked up a couple of recipes and one had a long winded way to peel the tomatoes and de-seed them, another had chicken stock, and one didn’t, one had you toasting the bread and rubbing garlic on it, and so on. Well, I wasn’t in the mood to do any of that. I wanted to make this quickly, eat it and get on. So, I didn’t de-seed and peel the tomatoes, I didn’t toast the bread and I added vegetable broth because that’s what I had in my fridge. I also puréed mine because Noor doesn’t like chunks of tomatoes (and neither do I) but traditionally, you leave the soup somewhat chunky. Topped off with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some fresh, fragrant basil; the soup was satisfying and warming. It’s easy to make, so have a go if you find yourself with a surplus of tomatoes and especially, in the summer time when tomatoes and basil are at their peak.
about 20 minutes.
you may need more or less)
then skip this part.
then add the chunks of bread.
if you want the soup a little sweeter and not so acidic.