Close Shot Friday 075

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Hover and click.

We visited Niagara-on-the-Lake last week as part of our road-ramble. It’s an old haunt.

N-O-T-L’s main street is lined with shops and restaurants, befitting the tourist destination which houses the Shaw Festival.

Speaking of the Shaw Festival, we were able to catch one of the last performances of The Philadelphia Story while we were rambling through. It was highly entertaining. The 2015 Season is already up on the site for your inspection. Choices, choices, choices.

I digress.

Strolling along the sidewalk, I spied this.

Heh.

TGIF, baby.

You know what to do. Meet you in the bar in 3…2…1… Costume optional.

H A P P Y  H A L L O W E E N !

Elen

Let’s Just Shake Up Hump Day…

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Let’s just shake up Hump Day with a recipe.

If you follow my Insta, you know that I sometimes throw things up on Instagram from the kitchen. Mostly man food.

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I’m no food blogger, but I eat. Doesn’t everybody?

And here’s the thing. I like comfort food. Cold weather food. Autumn and winter food. Things like soups and stews. Roasted meats and root vegetables. And squash as a category all its own.

Food that goes with a good red wine and a wood fire. Crackle and pop.

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It’s only October and I’ve made two batches of this smokin’ potato soup.

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Potato Leek Soup with Smoked Back Bacon and Spinach

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 90 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large leeks (white parts and a good bit of the green)
  • 6 medium potatoes (6 cups peeled and diced)
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, 1 Tablespoon of butter (It’s a lot of potato and leek.)
  • A nice bit of smoked back bacon, about 6 slices. Chop it up, but not too fine.
  • A couple of generous handfuls of fresh spinach
  • Approximately 6 cups of chicken broth (enough to cover) I use half reduced salt/half no salt. Homemade is good, too.
  • 1 cup milk. Whole, 2%, 1%, Skim, whatever. It’s your soup pot. I use 2%.
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Salt, if you insist.
  • Some nice fresh minced parsley. Approximately 2 Tablespoons.
  • Some smoky, grated cheese (optional, but oh, so fine)

Note: This is approximately 30 mins of prep time and 60 mins of cooking time. How fast can you chop?

Take the white parts and good bit of green, rinse and thinly slice. Pull those slices apart. Your leeks now have a perm. Set aside. Next, peel, rinse, and dice those potatoes. Set aside. Rinse and stem the spinach. Use only the good bits. Set aside. Chop that smoked back bacon and try not to swoon. Yep. Set aside.

Haul out a soup pot or dutch oven. A big pot. Put it on a burner over a medium high heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When it sizzles, toss in the potato, leek, and bacon. Stir enough to keep it from sticking while the leeks soften and become a bit translucent, and the potatoes start to lose some crunch. Forget about the bacon. It’s magic.

Cover with chicken broth and bring to a low boil. Turn the heat down, cover, and let simmer until the potatoes are soft. Go ahead. Do a taste test.

Now. Add the milk and stir. (I heat that milk in the microwave or ladle out some of the broth to combine with it, so that it’s approximately the same temperature.)

Add the parsley and spinach and give it a few turns with a big spoon. You want that spinach to wilt.

A fresh grind of pepper would be good about now.

Ladle into bowls and top with the optional grated cheese. Some baguette would not go amiss.

Soup by Elen

This recipe is loosely adapted from Jane Brody’s Potato-Leek Chowder/Jane Brody’s Good Food Book.

Shew! I don’t know how you food bloggers do it. Day after day. Week after week.

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Let’s just slurp right over Hump Day.

Elen

Single Shot Monday: A Twofer…

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Today.

Because it’s Monday.

Because I’m on the road returning from a week long road-ramble.

Because I’m so in love with Dufferin Islands that I want to put a tiny house there and never leave.

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You get a twofer.

Two for one.

A double shot of Dufferin Islands beauty.

Can I get an amen?

Shout it loud, because I’m zipping down the yellow brick road to home.

And Monday is in the house.

Elen

Single Shot Monday: Sideways Trunk…

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Last week, I zipped around Lake Ontario to visit writer friend, Keziah Fenton. We were meeting at one of her favorite haunts at Niagara Falls — Dufferin Islands. Let’s just say I can’t believe I lived in the Niagara Region for 11 years, and did not know about Dufferin Islands. Mostly, I ran up and down the Niagara Parkway. Anything that was on the Niagara Parkway — and there was a lot, including the falls — was thoroughly traveled. The rest of Niagara Falls, not so much.

Clearly that was an oversight on my part.

Dufferin Islands will be visited again and again.

I didn’t get a lot of clicks this time, as the conversation was flowing hot and heavy between us. The G-Man was sent out to shoot as much as he could. I’ll be sharing some of his shots here later. Thank you, Mr. G.

This image has a subtle beauty. What caught my eye was the crop of yellow-green branches growing out of the sideways trunk. The water is actually moving and the bright, little, red leaves are rushing along.

Do not go to Niagara Falls without visiting Dufferin Islands. The end.

Hover and click.

Autumn is in full swing here. I’m trying to drink in as much of it as I can.

And Monday rushes in sideways.

Elen