In my life as a blogger I have realized a couple things. One is that I rarely document actual meals. I'm more of a baked treat sort of gal. You know, mama by day renegade baker by night--sort of thing. Two is that I tend to throw out a lot of posts in one week and then sit back the next couple. But I find I'm really fine with that. Well, in fact, I'm fine with both number one & two.
I think the other reason I don't document many main dishes or side dishes is because they're finicky. They require a person, say a mama of two small kids, to actually think out how to get the food to the table by the only source of light on the main floor for a picture (we live in a cave of a condo), while corralling in the children (get utensils, plates, & whiny one year old who should have eaten like 20 minutes before the photo shoot) to eat said food and remember all the ingredients & steps, which went into making the dish. That's too much folks. I don't get paid for this gig & baking is so much easier (& for me--so much more fun).
But, I have actually taken pictures of a couple food items outside of the "flour, sugar, butter" category and feel like it might be as good a time as any to showcase them. Here's how I make dinner. I'm not a planner really. I have flops along with the successes. My kids are not relatively picky, but if I served them an all-you-can-eat fruit buffet, they would never mind. Some vegetables are hit and miss, but I never stop serving them. My oldest enjoyed broccoli till 10 months then rejected it every single time until recently. I give them way out clauses written into dinner, because there are foods I might love most of the time, but at a certain moment it just doesn't sound too good.
The most planning I have when it comes to a meal is making sure I've taken the meat out of the deep freezer the night (or two) beforehand or making dough a couple hours before baking. I enjoy cooking from scratch. I love being able to know all the ingredients by name that I'm putting into my families' bodies. And that's why I love to bake as well. Sure, eating only baked goods isn't healthy alone or done in excess, but when it's me doing the baking (instead of say Nabisco) than I know the ingredient list is something I recognize.
Okay, I feel like I'm ranting at this point. Sorry, I'm done at this point and time. Maybe it's because I watched Jaime Oliver's Food Revolution and read Animal Vegetable Miracle on my vacation. Both encouraging us to know where our food is coming from, getting back into the kitchen & using fresh/local ingredients. I have been encouraged to post more recipes that are relatively easy to get those of you who don't really like to cook--to get in the kitchen and enjoy it more. So I thought I would post this wonderful soup, which is seriously only like six or seven ingredients. It's hearty and not fussy. And more importantly, my family ate it all up. Soups are always a sure win in our house for the girls and I hope it is the same for your house.
Italian Sausage Kale-Potato Soup (printable recipe)
This recipe is adapted from Epicurious. I buy Isernio's sausage & freeze it. When dinner was coming up quickly, I simply defrosted the chicken sausage & it was cooked in the pot 10 minutes later. I love Isernio's sausage. Also, I keep a bottle of Chardonnay in my fridge with a good cap sealer for cooking. It's not the freshest, but I know in most recipes that call for a dry white wine, it is usually at most using 1 cup.
- 1-2 Tb olive oil
- 13.3 ounces Isernio's Italian Chicken Sausage
- 3 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth
- 1 pound small red-skinned potatoes or yukon, thinly sliced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 5 cups thinly sliced trimmed kale leaves (about 3/4 of medium bunch)
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Remove casing from sausages & crumble the sausage into the heated pot. Sauté sausage until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth, sliced potatoes and white wine and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Add kale and fennel seeds to soup. Simmer soup uncovered until potatoes and kale are very tender, about 10 minutes longer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately. Top with Parmesan cheese.