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My gran and beef vegetable soup with kale

My gran. She is something else. She has a lot to say about this kale “craze” She thinks it’s just that, crazy. She told me that in her day they ate kale all the time because it was accessible and cheap. So she won’t touch it now. She calls it “poor people food that now rich people like so it’s expensive” I love her more than words can say. She calls me over to open bottles of wine on my way to work so she can have some that evening with her dinner (I finally bought her a cordless wine opener so she can have it anytime) She texts, she has an Ipad and a Kindle, and a cat named Henry (i get daily updates on his eating schedule and how he likes to help her make the bed) 

Despite her annoyance with kale, she said she is willing to test out this new beef vegetable soup recipe I just put together. So enjoy it with or without kale, and be a badass in your 80’s, because you can. 

 

Beef Vegetable soup with kale

 

18 oz chuck steak (4 small chuck steaks) cut into bite size pieces and pat dry

2 thyme leaves

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Soup base

1/3 cup chopped celery

¼ cup chopped carrots

1 medium onion chopped

1 clove garlic

1/3 cup white wine

5 cups beef stock/broth

1 cup water

bay leaf

 

Vegetables for soup

½ cup mushrooms (used bellas)

1/3 cup carrots (baby carrots cut in half)

1/3 cup halved green beans (used fresh) or can of green beans drained

1/3 cup sweet corn (used frozen) or can drained

3 medium potatoes cut in bite sized pieces

 

1/3 cup kale

 

Preheat oven to 375

 

In a heavy pot or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium high heat

Season beef with salt and pepper and add to the hot pot along with the two thyme leaves

Cook until outside has a nice sear, about five minutes

Remove beef from pot and set aside

 

With pot still on medium high heat, add celery, carrots, onion, and garlic

Stir occasionally, until tender, about 6-7 minutes

Add white wine and scrap bottom of the pot to get the brown bits

Add beef broth, water and bay leaf and simmer for ten minutes

Remove from heat

 

Drain broth into a bowl over a strainer, add broth back to the pot

Add the beef and cook in the preheated oven for 30 minutes

Remove soup from oven, add all the vegetables (except the kale) and cook for 30-35 more minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through (season with more salt/pepper to taste)

Remove soup from oven and stir in kale, letting soften for about 3 minutes.

 

Serve immediately or let cool to room temp

Can be kept in fridge for up to one week or frozen for two months

 

 

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Dial up and sweet potato pie

I love the movie You Got Mail. I love, love it. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, sigh. It’s the cutest and the lines are hilarious. I would own a little bookstore, selling cakes and pies to take home with your books and cloth bags. This is my sweet potato pie, which I would put in a foil tin and sell by the slice/pie. Deep down I am a romantic, a lover of cute movies and short haircuts. Make this pie, smile at strangers, sharpen some pencils and welcome the changing seasons. 

This recipes makes enough filling for two pies, so keep one and share one. 

Sweet potato pie

3 medium sweet potatoes roasted and mashed (bake at 350 for 1.5 hours, peel while warm)

1 stick of unsalted butter at room temp

5 oz can evaporated milk

1 3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon 

2 unbaked pie shells

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix first four ingredients in a stand mixer or by hand until smooth

Add eggs until mixed, fold in vanilla and cinnamon

Bake pies for about 1 hour, to 1.25 hours or until middle is set

Cool and serve

Top with homemade ice cream or whipped cream

Can freeze filling for up to two months. Bring to room temp and bake

Can freeze baked pies for a month. 

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Camping (sorta) and butternut squash soup

I had a whole reflective post on camping. Wide open air, peacefulness, one with nature. And then I thought “yeah they want to hear about how I tripped down two steps, got drunk at 3pm, and was on alert for imaginary bears” So that sums up my camping. It was posh, catered, full of laughs and a great time. I took three coats (you just never know) a Kate Spade purse, my Uggs and my Ipad. So let’s just say I wasn’t exactly hunting for my dinner. But I did watch the other girls fish, so I feel I really connected with nature. From a bench. I would go back and do it again, sleep in a queen size bed with a heater, stocked fridge and warm socks. I am so rustic! 

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But Friday night I made butternut squash soup. Which is a great thing to have at a campsite, at home on a cool night, for lunch, or whenever you feel like making soup. 

 

Roasted butternut squash soup 

2 butternut squashes cut up into cubes, or two bags of frozen squash

3 tablespoons butter, cut up into small pieces

1 medium yellow onion diced

2 granny smith apples peeled and diced

2 bay leaves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (you can use chicken if you want, I just made this a vegetarian recipe)

2 1/3 cups water

salt and pepper to taste

*1/2 cup heavy cream and pumpkin seeds for garnish/stir in 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and put cut up squash on a foil covered baking sheet. Sprinkle butter and salt/pepper on squash and bake for about 30 minutes, or until tender

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven. Once melted, add in diced onion, apples, bay leaves, and nutmeg. Cook for about five minutes and turn off heat

Add water, broth, squash and salt/pepper to saucepan over medium high heat until liquid starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove soup from heat and stir in heavy cream 

Using a handheld blender, or a regular blender in batches, puree soup until smooth. Add more salt and pepper if needed, and garnish with pumpkin seeds 

Cool remaining soup to room temp, and store in food safe containers for up to a week. Can be frozen for up to two months. 

*add ins-sour cream instead of heavy cream (use half the amount) cilantro, or crumbled bacon 

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The other parts of my life

I am still working on the apples, but I spent most of my Sunday in a small town for my daughter’s soccer game. It was about 48 degrees, raining, windy, and all the other miserable conditions you can think of. So taking pictures during the actual game was not feasible, seeing as I was wearing three coats, two hats, and a pair of gloves under a cardigan. 

But before they played, during warmups, I was able to catch a few slow rain moments and take a few pictures. Fall is the season I always look forward to, the warm baking, the slippers, the soups, and the leaves changing colors.  So this post is nothing more than a few pictures I took yesterday while waiting for the game to start. I was in a weird mood, not feeling the best mentally, so seeing the beauty and “oddness” in my new surroundings helped me figure out where I was in that moment. 

Recipes back soon. 

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Apple inspired

Candied/caramel apples. I am obsessed right now. I am going to cover them in a zillion different things, photograph it, and post it here like it’s raining apples. 

People who really know me know that sending me an email, link, story, etc with a recipe or a food/dessert is like a holiday to me. I love it. And when I get it in my head to try it, re-create it, tweak it, I can’t let it go (no one can say I have commitment issues, well with food anyway) So here is the first apple-just straight forward, caramel covered and with assorted candies to cover it in. But it’s going to get real crazy around this blog soon, so stay tuned.

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