a dose of spring

This little lady has brought a breath of fresh air on an otherwise gloomy day.  Most of our friends to the north and even the south are buried in a foot of snow or more so I just had to share this unlikely February sight.

blooming geranium in February

I think unanimously everyone is looking forward to spring.  Actually, I am sure of that.  In the meantime, I’ll bring spring to your computer.

blooming geranium in February

Did you know that you can successfully overwinter geraniums?  And if conditions are optimum, your geranium might just put out a rare winter bloom.

Here’s how…

  • Before the first frost (usually in October ’round these parts), bring potted geraniums indoors.  You can transplant geraniums from your garden beds into pots if you’re up for it.
  • Dead head any spent blooms and wilting leaves.
  • Keep geraniums in a cool (50-60 degrees), sunny area over the winter.  This potted geranium lives in my office which is typically about 60 degrees believe it or not.  Optimum geranium-overwintering conditions!
  • Don’t over water it!  That is the most common mistake made with all potted plants really.  Generally speaking, water when the soil is dry to the touch.

over wintering a geranium

And of course my favorite vintage McCoy planter is home to this geranium.  A cute planter is a must.  I have a collection of yellow McCoy planters.

blooming geranium in February

Ahh,  we’re in the home stretch now friends.   Soon we’ll all be looking at gardens lined with hot pink geraniums.  Soon.

blooming geranium in February

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you in October how you were feeling on this particularly stormy winter day so you remember to dig up your geraniums and nurse them  through the cold months so they’ll bloom indoors for you next winter.  Or you can just pin this as a reminder…

overwintering geraniums

the frozen sea

We felt a bout of cabin fever setting in over the weekend so we headed out on a mini road trip around the area to take in the polar vortex sights.  A dusting of snow was coating the already frozen Delaware Bay when we approached.

Frozen

It was unbelievable to see in person and may be hard to tell in these photos that the water is not cresting but is merely frozen in that position that we are so used to seeing.  We couldn’t hear the presumable sound of the surf crashing.

Frozen (1 of 7)

In fact, it was eerily quiet. And gray but in the most beautiful way.

Frozen Cape May

With the temperatures reaching above freezing yesterday and the sun peeking out, we actually ventured onto the beach.  The water was crashing in this location but right next to huge snow mounds.  What a crazy sight.  There is nothing like playing in the sand and snow at the same time.  Can you tell where the snow ends and the water begins?

Snowmound Beach

frigid weather soup

On a frigid cold day, like today ’round here, there’s nothing like hot spicy soup.

Tortilla soup, that is!

Spicy Tortilla Soup

I adapted part of this recipe from Happy Herbivore (which I am a big fan of) but gave it my own spin.

It all started with a jar of salsa and a 15 oz can of pinto beans.  Not the most glamorous ingredients in the world of eating fresh plant-based foods but the pantry choices were slim and we were in the midst of a snowstorm.  So my friends, the two main ingredients came from a can and a jar.  And I think it’s quite genius in a pinch.

Puree 1 cup of salsa, 1 cup of the beans with 1 cup of broth.  Fortunately I made my favorite French Onion Soup the night before so I simply drained a cup of the flavorful broth from there.

Spicy Tortilla Soup

Once blended into a creamy broth (you know how I love creamy soups, right?) I transferred into a stock pot.  Adding a fresh diced mango, another half cup of salsa and a teaspoon of cumin.

mangoes

I let the soup simmer on low while juicing mangoes.

sliced mangoes

The perfect drink companion to spicy tortilla soup.

freshly squeezed mango juice

The soup was served with feta cheese and Late July brand tortilla chips, which I also love.  Yep, I go heavy on the feta.

Spicy Tortilla Soup

There you have it, spicy tortilla soup in a bind.  Super tasty and ready in under 30 minutes!

Let me add that in the future I am going to make this as a follow-up to Taco Tuesday.  Usually there are diced tomatoes, peppers and more left over that I am going to try as a fresh substitute for the jarred salsa.

Spicy Tortilla Soup