I went through my entire childhood being a pea-hater. My poor mother put peas in all sorts of dishes, only to be met with me sitting in my corner, picking every single one out. I was sending a very clear message to her (and anyone else that would notice) about my pea-intolerence.
Even as I became a more adventurous eater, I steered clear of peas. It wasn’t until a few springs ago when I warmed up to the idea of them being on my plate. I mean, they’re so adorable in their little pods. A few dishes later featuring perfectly cooked peas, I realized that I don’t hate peas; I actually just dislike the starchy, overcooked peas of my youth.
This soup celebrates the sweet and deliciousness of peas. The spring onion bulb and shallot are roasted, adding a wonderful hint of onion that works so nicely with the sweet peas. A few dollops of fromage blanc cream adds a touch of decadent creaminess. I can’t think of a better way to consume the season of spring.
Spring Pea Soup With Fromage Blanc Cream Serves 4
1 shallot, peeled
1 spring onion bulb
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, divided
1 pound peas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups water
1 1/4 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt
4 ounces fromage blanc
1/2 cup whipping cream
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the shallot, spring onion bulb and 1 tablespoon of butter in the center of a sheet of parchment paper, folding it over like a business letter and sealing it on the sides. Bake for 20-25 minutes and until the shallots are translucent and soft. Allow the shallot and onion to cool enough to touch. Using a small knife, cut off the outer layer of crispy skin around the spring onion and discard. Set the spring onion bulb and shallot aside.
2. To a medium saucepan, add the peas and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the peas are slightly softened. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, until melted. Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, and add the shallot and spring onion bulb; purée until smooth. Add the salt and adjust according to taste. Pour the puréed soup back into the saucepan and heat over medium-low to keep warm.
3. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the fromage blanc and whipping cream. Whisk the mixture together until smooth. Salt to taste. To serve, divide the soup between bowls and top each soup with a dollop of the fromage blanc cream.
With summer approaching it is time to start stocking up on those summer essentials to keep our skin happy and healthy. But be wary of what you put on your body.
The average drugstore sunscreen contains toxic chemicals as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals that studies have shown to promote skin cancer growth as well as free radicals in the body. Many of these ingredients are even found in some “all-natural” sunscreens.
Making your own sunscreen is simple, but it does require some tools and materials that cannot be found at your local grocery store. If you prefer to stick with the store bought stuff or need some sunscreen on the go, stick to the brands listed here. These are the best on the market. My personal favorites are Badger and California Baby, both relatively easy to find at your local Whole Foods and some drugstores.
Be aware that the sun provides are bodies with vitamin D, an essential vitamin for health. We need about 20 minutes of full face and arm exposure (no sunscreen) every day for adequate vitamin D absorption, even more in the winter months. As most people do not work outdoors, it can be a challenge to get enough sun, especially when the majority of people apply lotions or makeup with sunscreen on a daily basis. Vitamin D deficiencies have increased with the rise in use of sunscreen products as has skin cancer.
Do not use sunscreen every day and steer clear of any sunscreens with harsh chemicals. When planning for a long day in the sun, limit your exposure by wearing a wide brimmed hat and clothing that provides more coverage. In a situation in which sunscreen is required, either pick up one of the brands noted above or try this homemade remedy from Wellness Mama:
Natural Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:
1/4 cup oil (coconut, olive, almond or grapeseed are good)
5 tsp Zinc Oxide (available online or in many stores on the diaper aisle, just make sure it is pure zinc oxide)
1 TBSP Beeswax or emulsifying wax
3 TBSP natural aloe vera gel (not the kind with alcohol or propylene glycol)
1/2 cup distilled water or brewed green tea (strained)
2-3 capsules of Vitamin E oil (optional)
10 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)
Essential Oils of Coconut Extract for scent (optional) [Note: do not use citrus essential oils since they can actually cause burning]
How To Make Natural Sunscreen:
Heat Oil and beeswax on double boiler until just melted.
Remove from heat, and add vitamin E and essential oils.
Put into bowl that will not be used for food, and add zinc oxide powder, set aside.
In small pan, heat water or tea and aloe vera until just warm.
Add the water/aloe mixture slowly while whisking vigorously or use an immersion blender.
Add any additional essential oils or fragrances (except citrus)
This sunscreen is not completely waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask
This recipe has an SPF of about 20, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
Being a huge fan of lobster rolls, when I saw this collection by Time Out New York it could not go ignored. The article can be seen below and here is a link to the full version. I will definitely be hitting up these locations in the near future. Please leave a comment if you’ve been to any of these or have a favorite stop of your own for lobster rolls! Enjoy!
Best lobster rolls in NYC: Five restaurants top our list
Littleneck, Red Hook Lobster Pound and more top our list for the finest lobster rolls in New York City.
By Time Out editors
Fifteen years after Rebecca Charles pushed the first lobster roll across the marble counter at Pearl Oyster Bar, the simple summertime sandwich has become a New York staple, with dozens of versions on menus all over town. We tried 17 lobster rolls—at no-frills upstarts, elegant midtown power players and new-wave clam shacks—weeding out tough meat and flabby buns to find the five best versions in NYC.
At this refined clam shack near the Gowanus Canal, chef Joe Atonte poaches live lobsters in house, and nestles the picked meat in an airy, toasted split-top bun from Lepage Bakeries in Maine. Squirt the accompanying lemon wedge over the stunningly sweet meat—barely dressed with Hellmann’s mayonnaise, lemon juice and bits of diced celery—to add an extra hit of brightness. On the side: semi-sour and homemade bread-and-butter pickles. • (718-522-1921). $18.
288 Third Ave, (between Carroll and President Sts)
High Line visitors can pop into chef Dan Silverman’s airy brasserie for his chefly update on the seaside classic. He tosses ocean-fresh lobster—plucked from 1.25-pound crustaceans after briefly boiling for six minutes—with homemade mayo, lemon juice, black pepper and finely chopped celery. A smoky grilled Pepperidge Farm roll cradles the bright seafood salad topped with fresh chives and microgreens, while a paper-lined copper cup of crispy french fries completes the meal. • (212-645-4100). $22.
Maine native Luke Holden—who trapped lobsters throughout his childhood summers in Kettle Cove, Maine—and partner Ben Conniff now operate five New York locations, plus a roving food truck, for their growing seafood empire. Holden’s story is now a part of New York lobster lore: The real-estate investment banker gave up a promising financial career to start a lobster-roll business, with his pops, Jeff, who sources the picked and cooked crustaceans directly from Maine fisherman. For his simple roll, Holden sprinkles the meat with a proprietary seasoning blend, flavored with celery salt and oregano, along with lemony butter. It’s stuffed with a smidgen of mayo in a golden-toasted New England–style bun from Country Kitchen in Lewiston, Maine. • Visit lukeslobster.com. $15.
At the 2009 Brooklyn Flea, Susan Povich and her husband, Ralph Gorham, became the first to bring the lobster roll—already popular at full-service restaurants like Pearl Oyster Bar and Mary’s Fish Camp—to the streets of New York. Today the couple still operates that weekend market stand, plus a takeout shop in Red Hook and roving trucks in New York and Washington, D.C. Their unadulterated Maine lobster roll showcases improbably perfect claw and knuckle pieces. The tender meat is kissed with mayonnaise, zipped up with scallion and deposited on crisp shredded lettuce in a buttery bun. • Visit redhooklobsterpound.com. $16.
Inspired by childhood summers in Kennebunkport, Maine, Rebecca Charles opened her West Village restaurant in 1997, practically launching “New England seafood” as a restaurant category in New York. A decade and a half later, her lobster roll is still a knockout. She griddles the top-loading bun to give it a beautiful, browned crunch. It’s practically flattened under the weight of a heaping mound of home-cooked lobster salad: The huge chunks of the crustacean—boosted with a slick of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, and enlivened with lemon juice and chive—taste of pure ocean. • (212-691-8211).
18 Cornelia St, (between Bleecker and W 4th Sts), 10014
One of my all time favorite summer desserts are chocolate covered frozen bananas. I used the following recipe from Martha Stewart to make a delicious treat for me and my brothers.
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 popsicle sticks or wooden skewers
2 bananas, peeled and cut crosswise into thirds
1/3 cup coarsely chopped salted peanuts
Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of gently simmering water. Stir just until melted.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Insert a popsicle stick in one end of each banana piece. Dip banana, one piece at a time, in chocolate, spooning on additional chocolate to cover.
Sprinkle each banana with peanuts, and set on prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, 20 minutes, or up to 3 days.
As I like my frozen, I froze my bananas before dunking them in the chocolate and placed them back in the freezer to set. I also used chopped roasted hazelnuts instead of peanuts. Delicious! What are your favorite summer treats?