Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Best Laid Plans...

Since that first post, I had my apartment recarpeted because of a flood resulting in the great pleasure of Spring cleaning just in time for Fall. Sadly, we also lost our pet sending us into an unexpected emotional swing and then, behold the Holidays were upon us.

During the "move", my kitchen was packed to the gills with stuff rendering it useless for a couple of days but also the realization that you can get allot of stuff into a tiny apartment kitchen. This led me down one of those funny "memory paths"...you know the kind that you come back from & think "how did get I get there?"...one of those...

My apartment kitchen is a one-butt kitchen. It can be a two butt-er in a pinch, but I'm really most comfortable alone in this particular kitchen...which is a shame, because I really do love preparing a meal with a friend (or more).

I have classified kitchens this way for a very long time. I suppose my love for cooking led me here...along with my love for cooking with friends. In the numerous times I have been on the hunt for a new kitchen (in a plethora of moves...but that's another story), I have evaluated the appeal based on how many butts could comfortably prepare a meal together in that kitchen.

My current kitchen is the smallest...no complaints though...it does open up to my family room making it quite pleasant. My largest was what I fondly refer to as the 12 butt-er. It was my favorite & holds many great memories (the sweetest being a baking day with Nana Ellen & Rachel). There was also a very special Valentine dinner prepared there with the Celestes, Parkinsons, Combests & the former "us"...8 butts cooking at once...& a beautiful meal it turned out to be :)

That's all for memory lane today...

I prepared a really scrumptious soup last night. It was a cool crisp evening so I had to pull together something warm & cozy. This is what I had on hand & the savory comfort it turned into:

Mushroom & Swiss Chard Soup

1/2 yellow onion, diced small
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
32 oz organic free-range chicken broth
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup cooked chickpeas (or 1 can organic chickpeas, drained)
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems cut away & greens roughly chopped (can sub kale)
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp white pepper (depending on personal taste)

In a large Dutch oven, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add mushrooms and saute until they are cooked down and very soft. Add broth, seasonings, and chard. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes. Add chickpeas and prepared rice. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Bon Appetit,


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