Thankfulness

As Thanksgiving approaches, we all reflect on what we have. I wanted to spend this week reflecting on all the things that I’m grateful for; my family, food; cooking it and enjoying it, and the future, still not clear but always bright. This is a food blog and there will be recipes, but first things first…

271453_4650818580930_585824410_oThis has been a life changing year for me, and it has had an impact on my family. I’m grateful for all the support they’ve given me as I’ve worked on creating my DIGITAL CAMERAnext chapter.  I have four men in my life. One bought a house, one moved out (for I think the last time), one makes me proud as I watch him grow into a fine young man and the fourth shows me everyday why I made the right decision to marry him.               Thanks guysDIGITAL CAMERA

Food has always been an important part of my life. Learning to cook from my parents, cooking for my own family, and cooking for friends. There’s so much love there, my mind boggles and I’m filled with gratitude.

Nothing warms the heart like soup (Liquid Love). I make soup at least once a week. This week it was White Bean and Kale Soup. Cannellini Beans and Tuscan Kale in a rich chicken stock. Quick, easy, and delicious.

White Bean and Kale Soup
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This is a soothing soup that could be the new Italian Penicillin. You can add more pasta if you like lots of noodles in your soup, You can add more kale, if you want more greens, or Spice it up with red pepper flakes ...it's all up to you.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
White Bean and Kale Soup
Print Recipe
This is a soothing soup that could be the new Italian Penicillin. You can add more pasta if you like lots of noodles in your soup, You can add more kale, if you want more greens, or Spice it up with red pepper flakes ...it's all up to you.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil and let it get hot. Add the bacon and cook stirring often until it is just crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set this aside for later.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook until the onions begin to soften and the garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently. This should take 5 minutes or so. Add the kale and thyme and cook until the kale is wilted, another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock, cover and bring to a boil. Remove the cover, add the cannellini beans and reduce the heat to simmer. Continue to simmer (about 20 minutes). Meanwhile cook the the pasta.
  4. In a seperate pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the linguini. Stir occassionally as it returns to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is al dente, about 6 - 7 minutes. Drain the pasta, rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking and set it aside.
  5. Remove the thyme sprig (it should just be a stem) and the garlic cloves from the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. To serve, divide the linguini into 4 bowls Ladel the soup on top of the pasta. Garnish each serving with the reserved bacon and the shaved cheese. Sprinkle with a few red pepper flakes if you'd like. Enjoy
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This Thanksgiving marks the first time there will be just two of us at the table. It will feel a little strange, but it has also been a chance to re-think the Feast. There is no whole bird this year. I’ve opted for a boneless turkey breast that I’m going to stuff and roll. 140The stuffing (correct term as it’ in the bird more or less) is Sausage and Artichoke.

Artichokes always appear in my stuffing, an homage to our years in California. This year the Sour Dough is being replaced by  Herbed  Focaccia that I made earlier this week. I had it on hand, and not to sound like a snob, but I haven’t found a good sour dough here. It is complimented by lots of onions and garlic, hot Italian sausage, some roasted red peppers for color and a bit of sautéed Baby Kale for a small dose of healthy.

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As with all my recipes this one is open to suggestions. Change the bread, though I believe hearty or artisan breads work best. I use a relatively small amount of bread, but that’s just me. Add more bread and increase the chicken stock or add eggs and cream to get enough moisture. I find this dressing flavorful enough, but salt, pepper, herbs and even a little lemon zest can be added to make it your own.

Artichoke and Italian Sausage Dressing/Stuffing
Print Recipe
A versatile and flavorful stuffing. Perfect with turkey or chicken. Ingredients can easily be changed to your taste. Bake it in a casserole to create a crisp top and almost creamy interior. it could even be a one dish meal...if your a stuffing fan like me.
Servings
8
Servings
8
Artichoke and Italian Sausage Dressing/Stuffing
Print Recipe
A versatile and flavorful stuffing. Perfect with turkey or chicken. Ingredients can easily be changed to your taste. Bake it in a casserole to create a crisp top and almost creamy interior. it could even be a one dish meal...if your a stuffing fan like me.
Servings
8
Servings
8
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Crumble the sausage into the pan and cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Remove the sausage from the pan and drain on paper towels. Leave the drippings in the pan.
  2. Add the onion to the pan and cook over medium - low heat until the onions are turning golden (About 10 minutes). Add the garlic and artichokes, raise the temperature to medium and saute until everything is golden. (about 5 minutes). If things are getting too dry, add a little chicken stock.
  3. Add the kale and saute until it is wilted (3 - 4 minutes). Add the red pepper toss to combine and continue to cook for 5 minutes longer adding chicken stock to keep things moving. Remove from heat and let cool.
  4. In a large bowl combine the bread cubes, cooled vegetables, and the cheese. add the 2 cups of chicken stock and toss to combine everything The mixture will be quite wet.. Cover and refrigerate overnight. This will allow the bread to absorb the stock and the flavors to meld.
  5. Use this as a stuffing for a turkey breast, a casserole side dish or just a guilty pleasure.
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155 That leaves the Future. Five months of not working has felt odd. It’s the first time in forty years I haven’t gone off to work everyday. I have however, learned that I love cooking and writing about it. It is a job without a name (other than Mama D’s Kitchen of Love). I’m reflecting on the direction I want to go with food. Catering? Food Writing or Cookbooks? Fry cook on Venus? Thanks to a wonderful husband who has given me the gift of following my passion, I can take my time figuring it out. I love you, Jeff.

As you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner this year be thankful for the people you’re sharing it with, the food on your plate, and what tomorrow holds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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