broccoli kale soup


This soup sounds a bit like something you'd eat for lunch if you were trying to be really healthy. But in reality it's what I made for the a Downton Abbey Dinner ... except that we were so tired that we opted to instead just watch "How I Met Your Mother". Sometimes you just need a little comedy and no reason to fight that.

The thing about this soup is that I wasn't super in love with it - probably because the vegetable to cheese ratio isn't the way I like it. Plus, there isn't any meat. I love meat. But, it does taste great and Kerrianne loved it. Sometimes I wonder if she just lies to me about whether she actually likes what I cook ... and then I remember her brutal honesty about my cardigan collection in 2001-2003. So, she must be telling the truth.

Podcasts and Snowy Walks


This picture you see here is the most popular Instagram posting I've ever had. I'm not quite sure why. I went to Italy for 3 weeks, spent the summer at the beach, and I love to cook with anything that looks or tastes like bacon. But anyway. I'm super behind in writing. I got an email from my friend Lauren this week that literally went like this:
Recipes that you can expect to see soon:
- Broccoli Kale Soup
- Honey Blueberry Oat Muffins
- Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

The thing is... more than ever I am spending all of my day staring at my computer and thinking hard. The last thing I've felt like doing when I get home is pulling out my computer and editing photos. I haven't even caught up on my celebrity gossip in days. I just barely heard that Justin Bieber was arrested for a DUI in Miami. I'm working on adjusting though to my new days. I don't get to watch nearly as much Charlie Rose in the morning. I take the T to work most mornings because that means I get more Charlie Rose but less exercise.

Maple Oat Breakfast Bread


This bread should really just be called "Vermont Bread". Because, when I think of maple syrup I think of my friend Meghan and her family's house in Vermont. I also think of this picture I once saw of her dad eating a hot dog that he boiled in the maple syrup he was making from his own trees.

So, essentially this bread is really wholesome. I imagine making it when you are having like a whole bunch of guests over. You toss it in the oven when you wake up in the morning and then when all your guests wake up and come down to the kitchen to the smell of fresh coffee... they just cut off a slice. Also, the bread is resting on a gorgeously thick butcher block and all the coffee mugs are at least 10 years old. Doesn't that sound like a romantic weekend? It's a dream. I mean that's pretty much like what happened for me this morning - except that it was just Eleanor and I. Also, no butcher block... but that's fine.

Lemon Sponge Cups


The last chapter in our Downton premiere menu is fittingly ... dessert.

Just to recap the PREMIERE episode meal, we started off with some gougeres as an appetizer then cut ourselves a slice of sausage and kale dinner tart. And because the dinner tart called for white wine, we also drank some white wine. Our dessert is a lemon sponge cup ... which sounds perhaps a bit boring... but it's rather quite great. You end up with this crazy delicate and soft sponge cake on top ... and a sweet custard on the bottom. I hesitate to even write the word "custard" because this now means I can never make this for my mom.

When I was looking for some dessert ideas, I came across a few things that I thought would be good. Then, I saw this recipe for lemon sponge cups and I was convinced. I was really drawn to how simple this whole dessert was from ingredients to preparation. I can almost guarantee that you already have everything in your kitchen right now. In fact, you probably have everything for the entire Downton meal in your fridge... except maybe the sausage or the kale.

Sausage and Kale Dinner Tart


Guys, I saw this recipe and practically fell in love. Like I normally do when I see a hot cup of coffee in an adorable old mug. Not a new mug, but an old mug.

It is simple and a kind of a bit rustic. Kale makes me feel rustic, except I guess in this kale caesar salad. I think people that say they don't like kale are the same people that say they dislike brussel sprouts or asparagus. You can say you don't like these things, but please tell me you have tried them at least 5 different ways. If you need 5 ways, let me know.

I get pretty excited when I'm picking recipes for Downton Abbey dinners. This year for Christmas my family actually gave me a cookbook just for this events. I'm not quite sure what a "dinner tart" is but I don't know that Ms. Pattmore made them in the early 20th century. And if she did, she most certainly didn't have a food processor to quickly whip up the crust - which by the way might be the best crust I've ever mad. It was perfect.

Gougeres (aka Cheese Puffs)


And... we are back to Downton Abbey season!

I feel oddly cautious about burning myself out like I did last year. A three course meal is a fair bit of work for each Sunday evening - obviously, it's not terrible work ... but work none the less. There were some great hits last year. Kerrianne still talks about those deviled eggs like angels made them.

So when I was thinking about this premiere episode I initially thought I would just make a dinner and a dessert. But this morning, I stumbled upon a recipe for gougeres and was shocked to realize that I had all the ingredients already on hand. By the way, gougeres are essentially just another way of saying cheese puffs.

One of those days


It's that time of year when everyone is writing about what they'd like to do/change in 2014. The odds are that I'll do that as well. I did last year. But one of the posts that I read this week said she vowed to spend more time outside because you are rarely going to regret time spent outside... but you might regret the afternoon spent binging on tv. I read that and tried to remember a time I regretted being outside. And I couldn't.

The thing is ... the weather in Boston is seriously frigid. Like, the news forecasts consist of a lot of burst pipes and pictures of frozen ocean ice. But, I knew that the conditions were perfect for skiing and it felt like a day spent inside with Cliff Huxtable wasn't nearly as rewarding. So, I went skiing and it was great. For about 30 minutes, I thought this might be cold enough to lose a finger ... and then I realized if the families with toddlers weren't afraid then I'd probably be fine. And I was.
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