I walked past these pretty ladies on my way to the farmer’s market this morning. The plaza near my building has lots of big pots, and I’m glad that someone had the foresight to plant tulip bulbs in them. They were a welcome sight this morning for sure! The sun was shining and the weather was… cold. The wind was blowing like nobody’s business! I knew it was serious when I got to the farmer’s market and the vendors had decided to forego the usual canopies. As one lady told me, the innocent canopies were turning into guided missiles today. Yikes!
Before I headed off to check out the farmers’ wares, I made a quick breakfast. I didn’t have oats for the first time in days? Weeks? I was hungry for eggs, so I sauteed some swiss chard and made a little scramble. There is some smoked mozzarella in there too and a little Tabasco on top. I still needed my chocolate and strawberry fix, so I pulled another slice of my cottage cheese bread out of the freezer, and had a piece of toast with Dark Chocolate Dreams and berries. It was… dreamy!
There was a pretty good crowd at the farmer’s market this morning, but the produce selection is still pretty slim. I’m expecting the market to make like the planter of tulips and burst into bloom anytime now. Even though there isn’t a lot of produce, there is still plenty to see. I bought some more Greek yogurt from the Blue Ridge Dairy folks. I think it is the best I’ve ever had so I got two! I also bought another pork tenderloin from the Ecofriendly Farms folks:
I made some pork chops the other night, and I was so disappointed in the lack of flavor. The chops didn’t even come close to the awesome pork tenderloin I got from the Ecofriendly folks the other week. I’m all set now with one in the freezer. Yes, I put something IN the freezer. I’ll tell you about some things that I’ve taken OUT in a bit.
I also saw these for sale, but decided on a photo rather than a purchase:
Seeing the forsythia in bloom was always a sure sign that spring had come to my parents’ yard when I was growing up, and what’s not to love about pussy willows! The other fun thing I saw today was a booth of honey products. I don’t know if they are new to the market or if I’ve just not been paying attention, but Bees ‘n Blossoms had some very fun things for sale:
I decided to try their bee pollen and lemon balm tea bags as well as their honey and pomegranate jelly:
I haven’t sampled my new purchases yet, but I’m planning on making a cup of the tea after I finish writing this post. I’ll let you know tomorrow what I think about it. I don’t see how that jelly could be anything besides fabulous! I’m imagining it in my Greek yogurt right now!
After I got home from the market, I enjoyed my first link of Italian turkey sausage for the day. I took the last three links out of the freezer to thaw, and I was planning to use them all in the soup I made this evening. I decided, instead, that I wanted a sausage pizza for lunch, and quickly browned a link up in the skillet, chopping it into bits as I stirred it around. It went on top of a piece of my Trader Joe’s naan, with the rest of the roasted vegetable tapenade from my little jar and some smoked mozzarella.
Not too shabby if I do say so myself! I had a bowl of TJ’s roasted red pepper and tomato soup on the side, dipping bits of the lovely crust in my soup as I made my way through the bowl. So good! I followed it up with an old and sort of sad Edy’s Creamy Coconut popsicle that has been in the freezer since, well, last summer. I hate wasting things, and it was still enjoyable… once I knocked the ice off. I had a few other snacks this afternoon, including a Brent & Sam’s Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookie, a bit of granola and a graham cracker with PB. I needed a little PB before I headed off to the gym! I’m a snack photo slacker, but I’m sure you can envision them with little trouble!
I made a bit of progress today on “Project: Clean Out the Freezer.” Yesterday, I took out the Italian sausages as well as a package of frozen spinach and the remains of a sad little bag of frozen peas. I had thought that I would make a pasta sauce of some sort, but that didn’t turn out to be what I was in the mood for when cooking time rolled around. I won’t say that I’m planning to sacrifice flavor in the name of cleaning out the freezer, but I wasn’t expecting to like today’s pot of soup as much as I do. It isn’t pretty, but it was very soothing and homey and just plain good! There’s also quite a bit of good nutrition in this bowl, and I’m glad that the freezer was able to supply me so well! Since I liked it so much, I’ll give you the recipe:
“Project: Clean Out the Freezer” Spinach and Sausage Soup
1 tsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
3 portabello mushroom caps, chopped
2 links of lean Italian turkey sausage
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 10 ounce package of frozen spinach, thawed
4 cups of Veggie or Chicken broth
4 cups of water
1 cup of frozen green peas, rinsed and thawed
Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Scoot the onion/mushroom mix over to the side of the pot and brown the Italian sausage, chopping it up as you stir it around. Once it is mostly browned, mix the mushrooms and onions back into the middle of the pot with the sausage and continue to cook for about 2 minutes, just to allow the flavors to combine. Add the spinach, broth, water and peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
This made 4 BIG servings!
It was easy, made for a very satisfying bowl, and reminded me a bit of Italian wedding soup– which I love. I liked the sweet little pop of the peas too. I’ll be eating it for lunch this week, and I’m going to be looking forward to it!
The freezer is starting to look a bit better. My goal is to use up the things that are in there unless they are so freezer burned or so old that I don’t feel safe about it. The popsicle was still enjoyable despite the need for ice removal.I did have to toss the remains of a bag of frozen shrimp today, and I felt really bad about it. I’d probably feel worse, however, if I ate them and got sick. Hopefully, they will be the only freezer fatality. I don’t mess around with shellfish! I had some more ice cream with a vitatop for dessert this evening, all in the name of cleaning out the freezer, of course!
I was hoping to make my way down to see the cherry blossoms today, but the wind was just too ridiculous for me. I checked the weather forecast, and tomorrow is supposed to be better. Assuming the blossoms didn’t all blow off of the trees today, I should have some flowery pictures soon! Now, I’m off to make a cup of bee pollen tea. I’m excited! I love trying new things!
Here’s a question: If you were given a couple of Italian turkey sausage links, a block of frozen spinach and some peas, what would you make with it? You can add other ingredients, of course!
I hope you all enjoy the rest of the weekend! Ciao for now!