Tag Archives: Padula Potatoes

Weekend Hodgepodge

This weekend, I actually spent a fair amount of time out of the Lehigh Valley, both in NYC and in the Pocono Mountains. I took a vacation day on Friday, so my weekend actually began Thursday night.

The DInner Party

Thursday evening, I joined about 20 other people from the Moravian College community for an homage to Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party." We each created a place setting in honor of a women of our choice (I chose Juliette Low, the founder of Girl Scouts). We all shared dinner and presented our place setting and brief biographies of the women.

Blog Award Celebration

Just after I arrived home from the Judy Chicago event, I found out this blog won "best neighborhood blog" in the My Choice, My Voice contest. To celebrate, we picked up a pint of Ben & Jerry's and enjoyed a nice, stiff drink.

Central Park

Friday morning, we were up bright and early to catch a bus with the art department to New York City. We spent the first part of the day visiting with my sister and geocaching in Central Park.

JG Melon

For lunch, we stopped by the cozy J.G. Melon to try one of their famous burgers. They lived up to the reputation- Juicy and flavorful.

Violinist Archway

After lunch, we walked back to Central Park to find a couple more geocaches. This musician was taking advantage of the archway acoustics to practice.

Wrought Iron

In our meandering around the upper east side, we came across some really ornate architectural details, like this fence.

Whitney Biennial

After lunch, we headed to the Whitney Museum to see the Biennial exhibit. This wasn't my favorite Biennial ever, but there were several works I really enjoyed.

Performance Art

This artist was doing a sort of performance art/social experiment, having moved her entire studio into the Whitney. She works in her studio for 8 hours per day, living in front of the museum visitors.


This arrangement reminded me of a Tim Burton sort of composition. I liked the use of space and the wiry feel of the birds.


After the Whitney Biennial, we trekked back up to 80th St. to visit Eli's, a great food store with all sorts of specialty items and fantastic breads.

Granola French Toast

Saturday morning, I attempted breakfast again, with this crunchy granola coated french toast, topped with honey yogurt.

Eli's Purchases

We quickly gathered a few purchases before catching the bus back to Bethlehem. We picked up some erryngi mushrooms, fresh squeezed juice, challah bread, and a chocolate croissant (to snack on during the trip home!).

Basil Fried Rice

After the bus dropped us off, we picked up some food from Thai Thai II and relaxed after all of the running around we had done.

Padula Potatoes

Saturday was the first day in quite a while that I didn't have something major planned. I visited one of my Girl Scout's mothers to help her set up a blog, then drove out to Padula Potatoes to pick up my last bag for the season. I took some to my friend's home and ended up chatting over tea for much of the afternoon.

Ramp Stuffed Potatoes

Saturday evening, I made these ramp (or wild leek) stuffed potatoes for dinner.


Saturday night, a strong storm came through our neighborhood and left hail covering our porch.

Jumbars New England Omelette

Sunday morning began with a New England Omelet from Jumbars.

Camp Hidden Falls

Sunday afternoon, I visited Camp Hidden Falls, a Girl Scout camp in the Pocono Mountains, to see how it might work for our service unit camping trip.

Moss Flowers

Just before the rain began, I noticed these beautiful moss flowers at the camp.

Rainbow Trout

We ended our weekend with a meal centered around some rainbow trout Kevin caught for us (it was the first weekend of fishing season). I had never prepared trout before, but this dish, topped with ramps and bread crumbs, was delicious!

Velvety No-Cream Potato Leek Soup

I know I’ve talked about my Polish background in posts about kielbasa and pierogies, but there’s more than the Polish half to me. If you haven’t guessed by my name (Colleen, meaning “girl” or “maiden” in Gaelic), I am part Irish, too. The O’Briens, on my mother’s side, passed down some fiery Irish genes to supplement 1/4 of my background. I competed in Irish step dancing from when I was 4 until I was 15. No, I wasn’t crazy like the ones on TV, but I do know the difference between a reel and a jig and am acquainted with the term “poodle socks.” I remember those dancing years, during this season, we’d be carted around from one smokey bar to the next, with stops at nursing homes in between, to perform as part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Aside from step dancing, enjoying potatoes and whiskey, and a healthy admiration of Celtic knots, I’m also fascinated by the tales of Irish immigrants that settled in the regions near to here, like the Molly Maguires in the coal region.

So, in honor St. Patrick’s Day and my Irish heritage, I am posting this recipe for potato leek soup. This recipe doesn’t call for any milk or cream, making it not so bad for you (vegan, in fact!), and very inexpensive to whip up. If the soup is too thick for your taste, you can add some extra water after you purée it. Serve this with some crusty bread and an Irish beer. This weekend, I plan on experimenting with some bangers and mash, so perhaps you’ll see that recipe, too!

Potato Leek Soup



The ingredients in this soup cost just a couple of dollars! (not pictured: chili powder)

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 4 leeks (Jett’s Produce)
  • 4 stalks celery (Jett’s Produce)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (my garden)
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder, optional
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 6 c. water (or vegetable stock, if you prefer, but not necessary)
  • 6 medium potatoes (Padula Potatoes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • crusty bread (we used Potato Bread from Apple Ridge Farm)


  1. Slice leeks and celery 1/4″ thick. (Great tutorial for cleaning & slicing leeks here. Make sure to freeze the dark greens for making broth!)
  2. Heat olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven. Add leeks & celery and season with salt. Cook leeks over medium heat stirring frequently, until they’re completely soft and wilted, about 5 minutes.

    Leeks & Celery

    Leeks & celery sautéeing

  3. Meanwhile, peel and chop potatoes.
  4. Add thyme and chili powder to leek mixture, cooking and stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add water, potatoes and whole bay leaf.
  6. Cover, bring water to boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.


    Simmering away!

  7. Remove whole bay leaf.
  8. Purée soup with immersion blender (or in small batches in blender(not more than 1/2 full)).
  9. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve hot with crusty bread.
Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup with Potato Bread from Apple Ridge Farm!

(Don’t forget to vote for your favorite blogs in the Best of Blogs contest! You can vote once per category per day.)

Weekend Hodgepodge

Ah, a weekend without a single cookie booth sale! Don’t get me wrong, I love everything I do with Girl Scouts, but it felt great to not have any chunk of time this weekend dedicated to standing at a table in the cold. Instead, my weekend revolved around food, graphic design and recreation. A light coating of snow from Friday night into Saturday morning decorated the landscape without making hazards on the road, so I was able to enjoy the winter scenery, too!


Friday night began with a thick burger, topped with raw milk Swiss, mushrooms and BBQ sauce, paired with homemade pasta & a spicy-sweet sauce and served with a tall beer. Good start to a weekend!

Keepsake Bambi

Saturday morning began with a trip to Keepsake farm for some milk. Farmer John's mom was working in the shop and was kind enough to show me the back of the new facility! I got to see the new milking parlor, which accommodates up to six cows at a time- Smaller than the previous parlor, but very nice for the cows! I also got to meet Bambi, here, who was enjoying the shelter of the new barn. In the new barn, the cows are not confined to stalls and can come and go to the pasture as they please.

Keepsake Cheese Room

From the main store at the new Keepsake Farm location, you can peek through a large window into the cheese making room.

Snow Geese

On the way home, as the snow from the morning was just ending, I saw an extra haze of white in the sky. It turns out, a huge flock of snow geese was coming in for a landing! I never saw snow geese this closely before, so I pulled over to have a look as they gathered in the field.

Padula Potatoes

Another quick errand for Saturday morning was a stop for potatoes at Padula's on the way back from the dairy. I love this place. In a small, dark cellar, mounds of red, white, yellow, and purple potatoes are watched over by an elderly couple who has been working the fields for quite some time. You absolutely cannot beat the prices for these tasty tubers- just a couple dollars for 10 lbs of potatoes!


Tober Water

Kevin and I sat down to enjoy some quiche and tomato soup from Jumbars for lunch, and Tober decided to join us and pretend he was human enough to use a pint glass.

Blueberry Ginger Snap Ice Cream

After an afternoon spent meeting with other foodies and designers, working diligently on designing the logo for the Bethlehem Food Co-Op, I hurried home to put our fresh milk to use in our first ever batch of homemade ice cream! We used our Kitchenaid to concoct this blueberry-ginger snap ice cream. Look for the recipe soon!

Pierogi Casserole

For dinner, I whipped up this PA Dutch/eastern European inspired casserole of kielbasa, red cabbage, pierogies and Swiss cheese. Really simple, inexpensive and tasty! This recipe will be posted soon too.

Tober Scrabble

Kevin and I settled into a Saturday night of board games, playing chess, Boggle, and Scrabble ... until Tober decided our game was over.


Hello Burrito Soup & Wrap

Sunday was freezing cold, so I was exeptionally happy to not have a booth sale! We had Jumbars breakfast, then I spent the rest of the morning preparing awards to distribute at an upcoming Brownie Girl Scout ceremony. At noon, I headed off to Hello Burrito with a friend & colleague to go over what I'd be teaching when I sub for Intro to Design this week. This black bean & salsa soup with a brown rice & black bean wrap was great for fighting the chill outside.

Vagina Monologues

After lunch, I picked up Kevin, and we headed off to Moravian College for a V-Day performance of the Vagina Monologues. I was happily surprised to see the number of men in attendance! The cast did a great job reading the monologues.

Potato Soup

Finally, we capped off the weekend with some Anthony Bourdain, Franklin Hill wine and a pot of hearty potato soup with carrots & rosemary. It was the perfect meal for the cold night.

%d bloggers like this: