Saturday dinner 01/30/2010

It was going to be a cold day Saturday so when I was thinking about dinner for our friends I decided soup was the way to go. The original recipe I used came from a copy of Redbook from February 2000. The basic recipe has just 5 ingredients and it comes together in 30 minutes tops. Here’s the menu…

White Bean & Kale Soup
Baked kielbasa & chorizo
Saffron & Herb Bread with salt & pepper crust (thank you ted_badger)
Hot fudge & caramel sundaes for dessert

And here’s the recipe…

White Bean & Kale Soup
– serves 4

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth (I make it using Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base)
2 19 oz. cans cannelini beans, drained & rinsed
4 cups of kale, chopped or hand shredded into bite size pieces


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the garlic for about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the beans, bring back up to a simmer, reduce the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove 1 cup of soup with beans and puree in a blender until it is smooth. Add the puree back to the soup. This helps thicken the soup and gives it a creamy taste without the use of any dairy.
  5. Add the kale and simmer for another 5 to 7 minutes. The kale should be tender.
  6. Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve.

The original recipe called for 8 oz. of kielbasa to be thinly sliced and cooked first in the pot. It is then set aside and added back with the kale. To make the recipe vegetarian friendly we cook & serve the kielbasa separately. The soup is great either way.

I made a triple batch of soup to have enough for the 12 folks eating dinner. It was all eaten.

I cheated with respect to the garlic this go around. We have a jar of Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Garlic and Onion Jam in the fridge gathering dust. I used two heaping tablespoons of the jam instead of the fresh garlic in this batch. I thought it fit in well.

Ted’s bread this week was particularly tasty. A lovely yellow hue from the saffron the flavor matched well with the soup and the salt & pepper on the crust was a great addition. We went through 1 1/2 loaves of it instead of the usual single loaf.

Saturday night – 01/23/2010

One of regular guests isn’t a fan of cheese and they weren’t going to be at dinner this week. I guess I could have gone cheese crazy but we kept it to one dish.

Sauteed chicken with a balsamic lemon sauce
Macaroni & cheese (from the Joy of Cooking)
Roasted Butternut squash
Baked beets with walnut oil
Homemade bread ala ted_badger

Chocolate fudge cake with peanut butter filling and chocolate ganache icing

Saturday night – 01/16/2010

For some reason I thought I was going to have a heck day and wanted a menu that would let me throw it all together at the last minute. There was also about 2 pounds of roast pork loin left over from the holiday party last weekend that I wanted to use up along with some red peppers and an odd can of chick peas that I didn’t need.

Roast pork loin
Penne with tomato sauce
Green salad with lemon vinaigrette, roasted red peppers and chick peas
Homemade bread

Dessert was something like an upside down strawberry snack cake.


The 2009 After-the-Holidays Holiday Party

Well we definitely had a houseful last night. Everyone seemed to have a good time. ted_badger and I enjoyed cooking all day. I will say that we couldn’t have gotten everyone done without the help of Isaac, Sylvia & Dave. You guys rock.

Here’s the menu.


Main dishes


Links to recipes are provided however they are often only used for gathering ideas rather than the actual creation of a particular item.