Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story


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Surprises {A Summery Salad with Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette}

This peppery and lemon doused spinach and arugula salad was the ultimate pairing to my daughter’s graduation celebration dinner of rich mornay topped seafood crepes. It was filled with sweet English peas and dried blueberries, and was given a nice crunch from the toasted pine nuts and barely blanched green beans.  For a final layer of flavor, I chopped up some fresh tarragon and made a tarragon lemon vinaigrette. It was the perfect refreshing bite to counter the sultry, salty and cheesy bites of crepe.

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MIA and a Perfect Breakfast of Poached Egg over Warm Lentils

Yes, I have been M.I.A. If you were to look for me, it would have been rather easy to spot me. I have been the one holed up in my home office either typing twenty-six essays for my daughter’s humongous History project or as I fondly refer to it…the “F’in History project”, OR I was shouting random AP US History questions at my son from a box of cards which I affectionately like to refer to as the “F’in box of cards”. FYI, I don’t actually use the bad, bad word…I’m not sure my acronym is any better but it seems better to me.

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An Easter Parade…Foodie Style!

Happy almost Easter everyone! I am hosting Easter this year for our crowd of about 30 or so, and I have included what I am planning to serve as well as some yummy things I have seen around the blogosphere so enjoy! All photos have been taken from the blogs mentioned in this round up.

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Snowed-In, Rained-In Mushroom Soup

Valentine’s Day is over, and I am very type-A when it comes to my posts, and it literally makes my skin crawl to have red, pink and hearts spread out on my home page so here is a repeat post just to hold us over for a day. I have a lemon souffle I will be posting by tomorrow (or sooner) so don’t fret. Feel free to skip this post or read it. It’s totally up to you; I’ll never know the wiser.

Here it is crazy cold (all of 47 degrees F. in So Cal and Yes, I am a big baby), and I just made this soup last night so I thought it was quite appropos.

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Take Care of Yourself Creamy Spinach Soup

Hi All! I have been enjoying the holidays far too much to stop and take photos. Last night I cooked a prime rib, Yorkshire pudding (popovers—will post these soon!), roasted Brussels sprouts, pan roasted potatoes, and the list goes on including these amazing Chocolate Mint Parfaits. They were the perfect light and airy, minty finish to a heavy meal.

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Vampire Fangs in Heirloom Tomato Soup

This Heirloom Tomato soup is honestly the best soup I have ever eaten.  I kicked your average tomato soup up a notch by adding Heirlooms to the Hothouse Tomato bunch and ended up with an addicting soup that has already got me planning my next batch of it.

Soup that you dream about all the next day,  knowing it’s in your fridge and just waiting to be dunked into by a rustic grilled cheese sandwich.

Heirloom Tomato Soup for Blood Sucking Vampires!
 Serves 5-6 bowls
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cloves minced garlic
1-2 Large Heirloom Tomatoes, chopped (not peeled)
4 medium-large vine ripened tomatoes, chopped (not peeled)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves,
3-4 cups “no chicken” vegetarian broth or chicken broth
2 t. sea salt or to taste
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup half and half or whole milk
Toasted grilled cheese points for serving along side
Possible toppings: nonfat Greek yogurt, dolloped or put in a pastry bag, fitted with a small, round tip and swirled on; chopped fresh basil, grated cheddar if you are not serving with grilled cheese, grated gruyere on a crouton on top of soup.
*Add a few drops of red food coloring if you want your soup “red” for “vampire blood”.

For the Soup: Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and saute for about 10 minutes until very tender.  You want the onions to be carmelized. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, sugar, tomato paste, basil, stock, salt, and pepper and stir well. Bring the soup to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down and are very soft.

 Add the half and half to the soup, stir and process the soup through a food mill into a bowl, discarding only the dry pulp that’s left.  Or if you don’t have a food mill, roll up your sleeves for the following steps: Send it through a blender in small batches. LEAVE THE LITTLE CIRCLE IN THE TOP of your lid open or off and PLACE A CLEAN TOWEL OVER THE HOLE or you will get burned. I have an immersion blender and I just pureed the soup with that. Then push your soup through a large sieve or strainer. This took me a while, like 15 solid minutes of forcing the soup through the strainer but it was SO worth it. Really.

Reheat the soup over low heat just until hot and serve with any of the suggested toppings and a grilled cheese sandwich…cut in tooth shapes if you want it for a Halloween themed dish.  Enjoy…I know you will!


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A Maple Roasted Pumpkin Salad Coercion

Hello Fall,

Nice of you to stop by for maybe a minute or so. Was I not welcoming enough? Did my three batches of pumpkin cookies, one batch of pumpkin muffins and my huge pot of sweet potato soup not convince you to stay?!

Well, too darn bad! Because I am going to push onward and continue to whip up Fall dishes like this earthy maple glazed pumpkin salad despite your stealthy escape. I am going to win you over…I am sure of it. As sure as I am of loving chocolate and hating Mondays, I am positive that I can get you to plant yourself for at least a couple of months…illusiveness aside. Continue reading