Somewhere in all of this, I have been dying to write, but just haven't had a chance. I got myself a new notebook to keep in my bag, but it remains as pristine as the day it came home from Target. What kills me is that I have ideas I want to share. I have sticky notes peppering my car with my weird short-hand for subjects to blog about. I have had several people ask me -- in person, no less -- what this weeks recipe is going to be and I've got several pulled, but just haven't had a chance to put my fingers on the keyboard. I know, cue the worlds smaller violin.
This week, the weather has been significantly cooler than it has earlier in the season. It's has become soup weather, through and through. I'm not usually a soup eater; when I go out to restaurants, I cannot be enticed by the soup of the day. I will however, stick my spoon in your soup of the day (by invitation only, of course) and confirm your suspicions that yes, it is 1) delicious 2) just what you wanted or 3) none of the above. For instance, the hubs ordered the soup of the day the last time we had gone out. It was a pumpkin and sunflower seed bisque (I mentioned the bisque). I had ordered a salad, which was delightful, but the bisque was awesome. By the time I was ready for a second spoonful, there was barely enough for me to run my finger around the rim of the bowl. I didn't! I didn't! But I sure did think about it.
Maybe it's more accurate to say that I like thicker, heartier soups. Those would be called stews, right? I'm a fan of the crockpot. I'm a groupie of Le Creuset.
Ohhhh, how I heart my new pot.
Once I got it in the house, I put it to use right away and made the White Bean and Andouille Sausage with Collards. Then I made it again a few weeks later. And again last week. I've started making batches big enough to eat some for a few days and freeze the rest for a later date. And it only gets better with every incarnation! Except for the time I bought the wrong beans (Great Northern Beans instead of Cannellini) and totally changed the flavor profile. The hubs still liked it, but it just wasn't working for me. Clever girl that I am, I strained out all of the Great Northern Beans, put the stock, sausage and collards in a pot and threw in a can (yes, I know) of Cannellini beans. Bing! Bang! Boom! Good as new.
So, for those of you who missed it the first time, here's the original blog item and recipe can be found here. My version is below (and keep reading, because there's another recipe, you lucky duck!).
White Bean Soup and Andouille Sausage and Collards Soup
- 1 pound dried Cannellini beans
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage links
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch collard greens, stems discarded and leaves cut into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
- red wine vinegar
- kosher salt and black pepper
- french baguette or crusty bread for serving
- Brown sausage links in a frying pan over medium to medium high heat. Remove sausage from pan and cut in half lengthwise. Cut each length into bite-sized pieces.
- In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker combine the beans, sausage, onion. Add the broth and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook until the beans are tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours (this will shorten total cooking time).
- Twenty minutes before serving, add the collard greens, cover, and cook until the greens are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the vinegar and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Serve with warm baguette
I don't really cook with chocolate, aside from dumping it out of the brownie box into the bowl or topping a few pancake cups with chocolate chips. The recipes that call for melted chocolate conveniently leave out the fact that (to quote my pal KSC), "your kitchen will look like an episode of Dexter when you're done." Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.
Seeing as we are all about to be caught up in the maelstrom of the holidays, what better way to cap of this post than a recipe for pie. For the past few holiday seasons, I've had the urge to do this:
Pie in a Jar! Pie. In. A. Jar.
I know I don't have to go from peeling apples to labeling jars, but part of me feels like, "Hey, if you're gonna do it, really do it!" Then I can add it to my "Pinned it. Did it." board because, you know, I gotta maintain my Pinterest addiction.
But, back to pie. I'm an apple pie kind of girl, though I have been known to whip up a pumpkin pie from time to time. Real Simple Magazine just had an article about 10 Easy Pie Recipes for the Holidays, complete with a recipe for the crust itself. Call me old-fashioned, or maybe more like pressed for time, but I'm going with the pre-made shell. I do peel and chop my own apples, though! The pumpkin is definitely a puree. In any event, here's a quick and easy apple pie recipe, courtesy of my dad.
Henry's Apple Pie
6-8 Braeburn apples, peeled and sliced.
3/4 c sugar
2 tbs flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 pie shells
1 egg, beaten
1. Combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl.
2. Remove pie crusts from package. Fill one shell with the apple mixture.
3. Top first shell with second shell. Wetting your fingertips, seal the two shells together. Press around the edges with the tines of a fork for flair. Add four small slits on the top for venting.
4. Brush the pie crust with the beaten egg.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes or until golden brown
7. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of Cool "huh-whip"or just eat it "nekkid".
Enjoy, enjoy! And happy Friday (and Saturday), y'all!