tortellini kale sausage soup

12.09.2018

It's soup season!

My life is a little different these days so I don't necessarily need "travel friendly" meals like soup as much - but it is just so hard to fight the urge to make soup. When people say they don't like cooking for just one person, I feel like they haven't tried soup yet. It is just the easiest thing to put in the freezer and have again when you don't feel like cooking for one.

I found this original recipe from a food instagram account that I love to follow. Despite wanting to eat a bit healthier, I have a hard time resisting a meat based soup. They are just so filling and satisfying. I often want to try and be more vegetarian but an enticing soup like this keeps me from trying harder.

I did make a couple modifications to the original recipe to keep my life a bit easier.
  • ground pork instead of Italian sausage // I absolutely hate removing sausage casing. It is the worst. So instead I grabbed some ground pork and then added additional seasoning to it (thyme, clove, nutmeg, pepper). I was really satisfied with this approach and will absolutely do this again.
  • skipped the cream // I absolutely overlooked this ingredient when I was making my shopping list... but I'm not that upset about it. I don't really love cream based soups... unless its a pure tomato soup. Skipping the cream keeps the soup lighter and healthier which is a win.
Here's how it goes.
  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the sausage, onions and garlic to the pot and and sauté until the onions are soft an translucent, about 5 minutes. (Drain off any excessive fat.)
  3. Add the chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Whisk until tomato paste is fully incorporated.
  4. Bring to a boil, season with salt then simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Add the kale and tortellini.
  6. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until the kale is wilted and the pasta is tender.
  7. Serve with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes if desired.
original recipe from the Modern Proper sourced via The Feed Feed
Shopping List
1 lb mild Italian sausage, ground
1 onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart chicken stock
1 (14 oz can) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 (10 oz) bag tortellini

Raspberry Frangipane Tart

At some point before Thanksgiving I discovered the "Great British Baking Show" on Netflix... and since then I haven't really looked back. I like it so much that I won't watch it as I'm falling asleep because I need to pay attention to who is star baker and who doesn't quite measure up each week. 

So when I was planning a little brunch for some girlfriends, I wanted to raise the bar from my default (but creative) scone offering. I also wanted it to be approachable. While I love each recipe challenge on the show,  sometimes they can be a bit much for a casual Sunday brunch in fuzzy socks.

And that is how I ended up making a raspberry frangipane tart.

This recipe is literally beyond easy. While we were sitting around enjoying the spread, someone asked me how it was on scale of 1 to 10. I think it's a 3 if you use a store bought crust. It's a 5 if you make the crust from scratch and it's your first time making crust. But also making crust is easy. You just need faith ... and to follow the steps.

Crust
  1. Place the flour and sugar into a food processor and give a quick pulse to combine. Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour and sugar. Pulse until mixture resembles a course meal, about 10 seconds. 
  2. With the food processor running, gradually add the egg yolk and then the ice water. Process until the dough just comes together.
  3. Using hands, form a rectangular disk with the dough and tightly wrap with plastic wrap. Chill dough for at least one hour.
  4. Roll dough on a floured surface into a 16 x 6-inch rectangle. Line the tart pan with the rolled dough and fold over the edges to fit. Press the edges of the pastry into the tart pan.
  5. Preheat your oven to 375° F and bake the tart shell (no need for pie weights) until it is lightly golden. If the shell puffs up while baking, carefully use an offset spatula to gently press them back into the pans. Repair any cracks that may have formed with your leftover dough. Cool the shell on a rack while you prepare the rest of the tart.
Frangipane and Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium high speed with a stand mixer. Add the egg and egg white and mix again on medium speed. Add the almonds, rum, cornstarch, and vanilla extract. Beat together until smooth.
  3. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and filling is set. If the top is turning brown too quickly, cover with foil. (I covered mine with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking.)
  4. Cool on a rack for about an hour for frangipane to set.
  5. Decoratively add the raspberries in rows on the tart and sprinkle a light dusting of powdered sugar on top. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Shopping List
Crust
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons ice water

Frangipane
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 tablespoons rum
1 egg
1 egg white
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pints raspberries
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar

matcha green tea cookies

12.04.2018

I haven't been cooking nearly as much in recent months so when I saw my friend Becca was coordinating a cookie swap.... I signed up fast. I needed a push to experiment... and what better than to try and impress strangers via the mail.

This recipe is a combination of two forces. One? I did win my office Christmas cookie contest last year. So, I didn't want to put simple chocolate chip cookies in the mail. Two? I've been watching a lot of the Great British Baking show on Netflix. So in my head I was giving myself some Paul Hollywood criticism about imperfect shape and not perfect chocolate melting skills. All true facts. I've never been interested in perfect cookies and never been good at melting chocolate.

I'm not sure exactly where I found this recipe on the internet but I'm glad I did. I've never cooked with matcha before. To be honest, I sometimes love the flavor and sometimes do not. These cookies are just small enough to be a good balance in my opinion - especially when coupled with the white chocolate. I'm a sucker for white chocolate.

A few notes:

  • The original recipe I was referencing had these cookies being piped out. I think this batter is way too thick for that. If you want to do that, I think you need to make some modifications to the flour ratios. I tried to do one and then called an audible. 
  • Not a fan of white chocolate? No big deal. Dip them in any other flavor. I think it would also be great with some nuts too. 


Here's how it goes.


1.     Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. Sift flour with matcha in a medium bowl.
2.     Beat butter, sugar and salt in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, until fluffy. Beat in egg. Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Dough will be firm.
3.     Spoon the batter onto some plastic wrap or wax paper. Shape into a long cylinder. Wrap securely and refrigerate for 10 to 15 min. Dough can be prepared and refrigerated (or frozen) for several days in advance!
4.     Preheat oven to 350F. Slice the dough into small slices, like ¼ inch or so. Place on a cookie sheet with about 2 inches in between.
5.     Bake until you begin to see an itty bitty bit of light brown on the edges. Depending on thickness the time may vary between 10- 15 min. Cool on sheets for 5 min. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat.
6.     Melt chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate, shaking off excess on edge of bowl. Place on parchment-lined sheet and sprinkle candy balls over chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm, 30 min. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

Shopping List

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup chopped white chocolate
2 tbsp small white or silver candy balls or coarse sugar
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