Monday, April 16, 2012

Pea and Basil Soup + A Gwyneth Paltrow Cookbook and Essie Giveaway!


My Dad had wanted to name me Tatiana. More to come on that...

I know it might not sound super exciting to most people, but when I saw this recipe and saw the ingredients involved, I knew I was going to make it ASAP. This is one of the first recipes I tried in Gwyneth Paltrow's "My Fathers Daughter", which happens to be my favorite cookbook this year. (You might have noticed, ahem, and ahem). I love that something as boring as pea soup could be given new life, a beautiful green color, and a fresh taste thanks to the basil. This comes together in a hot second, too. You do no more than saute an onion before adding peas and stock to the pot and bringing to a bubble. Just blend everything with some basil and salt and pepper until smooth and voila! You have yourself a beautiful, nuritious, chic spring lunch. Round it all out with some sweet potato fries or a side salad if you'd like. The simplicity here is tres magnifique!

Excuse my French. I just read "Sarah's Key."


So, I just found this out in talking to my Mom the other day:

*My Dad wanted to name me Tatiana. It means "fairy queen or peacemaker".
(There was a popular perfume out at that time with the same name and he thought it sounded exotic.)


Introduced in 1975, Tatiana perfume by fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg is a lovely white floral scent. Like the designer’s famous wrap dresses that she is known for, Tatiana perfume is an easy-to-wear fragrance that is versatile, yet glamorous. Sweet orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose and musks meet to create a beautiful blend that is the perfect choice for a chic woman.
At least the man had taste, even if the name wouldn't exactly suit me. I'm Italian, Irish, Spanish and Danish. I'm also a white girl, so...
*Meanwhile, my Mom wanted to name me Sari. Which means "princess".

*They both agreed on Jessica. Which is a name Shakespeare made up, but is most likely derived from "Jesca" which means "to see". My Grandpa Burgos hated the name Jessica. (He worked with someone horrific bearing that name)

Back to the drawing board.

*My Dad liked the name Chris for a boy. Turns out, I was a girl. He still liked the name Chris. My mom thought the name was too plain, especially for a girl in 1981.

*My Mom liked the name Christalynn. It used Chris, after all. She says she was persuaded out of the name because every time she told someone about it they would say "Oh. Hmmm. Have you thought about seperating the two? Like Christa for the first name and Lynn for the middle? That way it wouldn't be too long. Christalynn is a long first name."

It was a gentle way of saying it was a horrible name. Thank God, or my nickname in school might have been "Crystalmeth"

And so, It came to be. She spelled my name with a "K" and a "Y" to be different. She spelled "Lynn" with two "N's" to be different. Which turned out to be totally embarrasing for my dad in later years when he got my name tatooed on his arm in Brazil. He was probably drunk, becuase he emerged with my name on his arm alright. "Krysta Lyn". One "N". Oh, the humanity!

*My given name: Krysta Lynn. It means "Follower of Christ" and "waterfall" respectively. They got it right. Finally. All is well.

Hey, do you know what Gwyneth means? "Happiness, or white and fair". I think the lovely Gwyneth Paltrow embodies those things, which brings me to my giveaway! Who wants her cookbook? I'll also throw in a couple spring nail polish colors from Essie, just for fun. Colors may vary.

Les cookbook de stars, Tome I recommandé par l'hôtel du Cadran



****Just be a follower of my blog (or regular reader) and leave me one comment and you are entered. That's it. If you want, tell me what your name means. I'd love to know. Winner announced on Thursday.

Cold Pea and Basil Soup
adapted from My Fathers Daughter, by Gwyneth Paltrow
serves 4

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 small or 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
4 cups frozen peas
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (this tastes best using chicken bullion and water for stock)
15 fresh large basil leaves, plus a few finely sliced for garnish if desired (more if desired)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Sour cream or your best highest-quality olive oil, for serving ( I use olive oil or Greek yogurt)

Heat the olive oil in a small soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the peas and stock (or chicken bullion and water), bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the whole basil leaves and more salt and pepper to taste. Whiz in a blender until smooth and serve.

Gwyneth likes this soup cold. I do not. If that's your thing, let the soup cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Serve garnished with a spoonful of sour cream and the finely sliced basil.

I always end up adding more basil to blend into my soup. I love it.


  1. The soup looks very tasty and is perfect for spring cleaning!

  2. Stephanie means crowned. My middle name is Rae which means grace. Rae...really?! I hate them both and always wished I was named Emily (hence my daughter Emma is actually named Emily) after my great grandmother. Instead, I was named for Stevie Nicks. The horror!!

  3. As always, looks and sounds delicious! You're amazing! <3

  4. Cool - I'm one of your followers and I'd love to win this book. Thanks for the opportunity to enter.

  5. I am a follower and love all your recipes! Such a fun giveaway!!

  6. I stayed in the hospital for three days without a name because my parents couldn't agree ( I also think they were totally unprepared because they hoped I was a boy!) Before they could leave they had to name me. My mom wanted Anita (yuck!!) and my dad wanted Andrea. Finally they settled on Angela, after an old Italian lady my mom knew named Angela Vittone. Not a drop of Italian heritage in me! Angela means Angel or Messenger.

  7. How fun! I follow you and have that book on my list to get. :)

  8. You're right! Gwen does mean white, that's my name, too. I'd love to win this cookbook, thanks Krysta:)

  9. Laurie sue means victorious spirit, full of grace. Oh and you were always going to be named ryan shawn if you were a boy. I am going to make this soup. I have all the ingreedience. Looks simple but yummy! Oh and what a fun blog!

  10. i love hearing stories of how people get their name. i love your name krysta. my grandma wanted my parents to name me mickey mouch (mouch is my maiden name), i am thankful they didn't listen to her. and i am definitely a follower. i want her cookbook and the essie colors, i love pastels for spring!

  11. uh..Kelly means princess warrior! I would say my parents got it RIGHT! hahahahahahahahahahah LOL!!!

  12. Im OBVI a follower and love your little blog :)

  13. Listen up girl... my name means "God is my Judge" (no wonder I have such issues with guilt, it was ingrained in me from day 1 that I better not mess up) .... and if you don't pick me he will be your judge too!! ;)

  14. love your blog! i am danielles aunt/2nd cousin or something close to that. you young beautiful chickees are so much fun!! ps i'd like to win too!

  15. Apparently my parents wanted to name me Ryan, they didn't know the gender of the baby, when they found out I was a girl they really had to scramble, though I guess I could've ended up named RyAnne or somesuch....

  16. Tatiana! I have nothing against the name, but you are no Tatiana! Haha. The scent sounds lovely though. Great story about your name. Soup looks delicious. caroline ("Little Woman"--weird, I know)

  17. P.S. Ryan Shawn! You could have had a rapper name. :)

  18. Following you now. I've heard good things about this cookbook.

  19. I've had my eye on this wonderful book for some time. The soup looks fresh, healthy and fantastic! I would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for hosting! I thought it was so cool growing up that there was a Queen Candace (mentioned only once as far as I know) in the Bible. She was Ethiopian. I'm quite sure my parents, Bible readers themselves, did not know that when they named me. Dad rejected Sarafia. Mom rejected Peggy. Dad agreed to Candace; but only if she added Michelle....and there you have it. I think "Candace", in some books, is said to mean "glowing white". I'm not sure that fits. :)

  20. I've always heard wonderful things about this cookbook!! Thanks for the opportunity to win it!