I tried to avoid commenting about big box grocery and stores putting up pumpkins and halloween decor after Labor Day weekend. Mostly, I did my best to ignore it. And then, one day, as I strolled into my closest Starbucks for my you-can-only-have-this-once-a-week indulgence, there it was: clever marketing that let me know….”PSL is here early.”

I forgot everything I ever learned from multiple marketing textbooks and professors. I fell for it. Walking up to the counter, I knew I would order a Pumpkin Spice Latte. As it was made for me, as I drank it, I knew it wasn’t going to be my forever drink. But I had to have it, in that moment. Hazelnut Latte — underwhelming when the lure of PSL is in the air. The reality: I would have preferred my good ole stand by of hazelnut.

What’s more fascinating to me is the media around Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Introduced in 2003, the PSL craze is still strong. As you’ll read in one of the links below, there’s a surprising black market for the Pumpkin Spice Syrup, and a bevy of Pumpkin Spice flavored everything in case a latte isn’t your flavor.

Not a PSL

Not a PSL

 

 

Turkey Meatballs | Kitchen Notes

Happy Friday, beautiful people of the blogosphere! What are you doing this weekend? Enjoying cooler weather as summer shifts to autumn? We’re certainly not — given the still 100 degree temperatures. Perhaps we’ll get up early on Saturday and venture towards a hike or two, since we’re almost at weather conducive to continuing my new year’s resolutions.

For your weekend cooking adventure, I recommend cooking up a batch of stove top meatballs. The below recipe is versatile and tasty. Add to a healthy spaghetti, or serve with some form of pasta. I make meatballs when I’m feeling like a luxurious treat. What an oxymoron that reads like: the good, old fashioned hearty meatball as luxurious fare? Hear me out. Mixing a good meatball together, rolling them, cooking them…takes time and patience. And time is often such a luxury for us these days. Thats why I suggest the weekend.

Turkey Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground lean turkey
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, more if needed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 Tablespoon shallot pepper

In a large bowl, combine the ingredients. Use clean hands to mix together the ingredients until well incorporated. Allow the meatball mixture to chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to incorporate. In the mean time, prep a baking sheet by lining it with clear plastic wrap.

Remove the meatball mixture. With clean dry hands, create smaller meatballs. I used a tablespoon measure and then rolled the meatball mixture between my hands. Place raw meatballs on the plastic wrap lined cookie sheet. Once all the mixture is prepped, heat a large sauté pan with olive oil.

Cook the meatballs in batches, in order to not crowd the pan. Depending on the size of your meatball, cook about 2-3 minutes per side. Use tongs to rotate the meatballs and cook all the way through, about 4 to 6 minutes per batch.

Weeknight | Kitchen Notes

No web find today, just a lovely picture. Our temperatures have cooled off and with them some crazy rains. This above shot is from last week. I think I can survive a few more high temperature days for these fantastic sunsets.

My memory is terrible. Little fragments here or there. Mostly because I don’t spend time tying to remember. So here’s a little fragment for you: I’m definitely under six years old. We’re still living in Germany, and I have a little garden trowel in my hand. Carefully and delicately, I’m using the back side of the trowel to ensure the mound of earth has no cracks. I’m pretty sure I’m not doing anything but playing (in reality); in my mind, I’m tending to the white asparagus crop.

I grew up around white asparagus. Served as a side, served as as soup. Shared plots of land were dedicated to growing this beautiful vegetable. Which explains why I go totally gaga whenever a bunch pops up at the local grocery store. Sure, we’re far away from the normal growing season, but I can’t help myself.

Look at it.

White Asparagus | Kitchen Notes

Beautiful. And haunting. And slightly creepy. And totally mesmerizing. Yes, I know: it’s just asparagus.

Here’s the rub: you can make white asparagus soup from scratch. Saute some onion, add a bit of white wine, thicken with cream or potatoes. Season with salt and white pepper. You could use whole, delicious foods to help you make a delicious soup. Please go with this route. I implore you.

Or, you could be like me, and giddily drive 30+ minutes to the one Germany bakery and shopette in town. There, you breath in the scents of fresh baked bread, oogle the various condiments and sundries, purchase four laugenbroetchen, and pick up a packet of Knorr Spragelcreme Suppe mix. If you were truly me, you’d also hit yourself aside the head a few times on your drive back, specifically for not buying that delicious looking zwetschgenkuchen.

Spargel Suppe Fix | Kitchen Notes

 

Food blog fail, right? So here’s an experimental recipe I would use to make Spargel Suppe from scratch. Let me know how it goes and what tweaks you would make. Then, next time, instead of being silly and buying a pre-made mix, I’ll just make it from scratch.

Spargel Creme Suppe

  • 1 bunch white asparagus, peeled. Tips removed and set aside
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 or 2 small to medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup white wine, such as a Reisling
  • 3 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of cream
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Fenugreek powder (yes, seriously, try it)

In a large stock pot, sauté onions with butter or olive oil (maybe 1/2 tablespoon). Once the onions have started to brown, add in the wine and the diced potatoes. Add the stems of the white asparagus. Add 3 cups of water or vegetable broth, cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Salt and pepper to taste. I suggest adding a 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek powder at this stage as well. Using an immersion or stick blender, blend the soup together. If the soup is too thick, add more water and or the cream at this stage. Add the asparagus tips and simmer for about 5 minutes, until tender. Serve in shallow bowls with a parsley sprinkle.

Spargel Suppe | Kitchen Notes

Eggs have a mixed reputation. And it turns out they also have mixed handling.

I remember my first trip to the Franprix below my mother in law’s apartment. The eggs sit on a shelf, next to the refrigerated section, not in the refrigerator. While I don’t specifically remember thinking, “That’s odd,” it did spur a memory I have of my Omi leaving an unopened glass jug of milk on the counter. When this article arrived across my inbox, specifically about eggs (not ultra high pasteurization, which is often used for milk), I couldn’t help but share it with you.

Paris Market | Kitchen Notes

 

I’m not sure where I got it into my head that dinner held a certain shape or form over the years. Growing up abroad, I lived the experience of sitting down to and eating your main meal in the early afternoon. For dinner, or abendbrot, maybe some bread, cheese, meats, or spreads. Light but filling enough until breakfast the next day.

As a kid growing up, my mom would serve popcorn, apples, and cheese for dinner on occasion. It’s still a go to of mine when cooking isn’t in my mindset or I’m having chefs block.

I tell you all of this because when I served Casey these tartines as dinner, I couldn’t stop apologizing for not serving a “real” dinner. Truthfully, there are many of you who might not believe it’s a real dinner. I accept that. Which is why the apologies were there in the first place. I’m since over the incident, and say dinner should be what you want it to be. Healthy and nutritious is important. But I will not judge you if you eat popcorn, apples, and cheese occasionally. Or a bowl of cereal with fruit. Or a full fledged breakfast. And to be completely fair, I will not just you if you eat your dinner left overs for breakfast. I’ve been there. It’s delicious.

So people of the blogosphere, gather up some delicious bread, sliced thinly and toasted in a sauté pan; spread some fig butter or quince jam on one side of the bread; add burrata and procscuitto. Enjoy with a glass of wine on the patio (if it’s cooler there yet. It’s certainly not cooler here). There’s your Friday night dinner. Quick. Delicious. And you start your weekend in style.

Tartines | Kitchen Notes

When I was thinking about sharing the below, I didn’t think to realize there was little (factually speaking no) food related content. Rather, it really is a true Wednesday Web Find. Ikea holds a special/strange place in my memory and the collective memory of my family. Growing up in Europe, Ikea was the place we went for furniture – much of which is still functioning and intact these 27+ years later. Ikea is also where we played while my mom picked things up for the house. Unlike today’s US stores, one could actually climb up those bunk beds and slide down the slide attachment. (PS: not sure they make bunk bed slides anymore). 

As an adult, I find Ikea trying at times. Sure, there are the environmental concerns. But really it’s the crowds that irk me more and more when I visit the store. I liken it to going to Trader Joe’s in any major urban location: lots of crowds, crazy lines. Despite all this, I can’t help but share the creativity in this recent Ikea add for their 2015 catalogue. When I received this bookbook in the mail, I sat down with my cup of coffee and enjoyed the pure tactile touch technology and pre-loaded, high definition pages. I even book marked and circled “particularly inspiring pages.”

 

I’ve also shared my second favorite Ikea advertisement. Look at all those happy cats!

Please note, this post was not sponsored by Ikea. These are my own thoughts and opinions. 

Source: Ikea Singapore Youtube channel

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