In case you missed it on instagram, we are finally moved in to our new/old home and gearing up for more cooking and eating adventures. We miss the keys already (mostly the water!), but are so happy to be back among family and friends. I wish I had a picture of it, but all our kitchen equipment arrived safely in two enormous plastic bins. I even got a bonus kitchen treat upon arrival – my mother’s Hummel spice rack! There is a mysterious lid to a missing jar (that probably broke during one of our 17 moves from my childhood), and I cannot for the life of me figure out which spice it might hold.
In any case, I break into a smile every time I see my little rows of spice jars. I can’t wait to fill them all up. Mr. Foodie and I have only just re-started to cook for ourselves in the kitchen, having hooked up the gas (omg, I missed my gas stove SO MUCH) and procured basic groceries. We still have occasional hang-ups that remind us we are not fully back to normal – and it is amazing how much I take for granted having certain things on hand all the time (tin foil, tape, olive oil, flour). Because we purged before leaving, we have the added issue of having some things, but not others. I am probably the only woman on the planet who still has her citrus zester while lacking a toaster. Whereas I am used to settling a house in three days or less (my mom was very good at the moving thing), Mr. Foodie has had to reign me in – we can’t go buy all new stuff right now, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I kind of like starting over a little. I had been living with the same things I had since college for years. Now we can take our time, comparison shop, read reviews, etc. It also feels more like “our ” home this time around. Before, it was *my* home into which Mr. Foodie brought clothes and games. Now when we get something new, we decide on it together.
As I scroll through my instagram and remember the crazy, wild year we’ve had, I’ve also made a resolution to transplant some of the enthusiasm I had for Kansas or the Fl Keys into my life here. It is easy to feel curious and excited about a new place, but I want to try to feel that way (even just occasionally) about my old/new home. I guess one upside of traveling this year has been to snap me out of my rut. I’m back in the game, and it feels great!
I’ve already shared with you our weekly ritual of making homemade chicken stock, but below I offer the recipe to our Kale, Cannellini, and Chicken soup. The first version I made included mild italian sausage instead of chicken, which I prefer, but #weddingdiets. The beauty of this soup is you can mix it up – have ground turkey instead of chicken? good! prefer black eyed peas instead of cannellini beans? go for it! You can change the greens too, although I’d recommend staying in the family of tough greens that stand up to time -this soup is good even three days after I make it, and the Kale keeps its crunchy, bitter bite even then. A sprinkle of parmesean on top and some cracked pepper sends this soup over the top. Pair with some white wine and crusty bread (if you’re not on a #weddingdiet) and enjoy!
Kale, Cannellini, Chicken Soup
2 Quarts (8 C) of Chicken Stock (homemade or store-bought)
2 15 oz Cans of Cannellini Beans with juice
1/2 Bunch Kale Leaves, chopped
2 Cooked Chicken Breasts, shredded (or less if the breasts are large – mine are smaller as they come from the chicken whose bones I use to make the stock)
salt and pepper to taste
garnish of parmesean cheese
Bring stock to a boil and add beans, kale leaves, shredded chicken, and pinches of salt/pepper. Boil for 4-5 min until Kale leaves have darkened and wilt (they will keep their texture for the most part, but boiling softens their bitterness). Ladle into bowls, add garnish and taste for seasoning. You can substitute the chicken with ground turkey or sausage and the kale for other bitter greens if desired.