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Monthly Archive for April 2010

soup spoon in hand

Lentil & Swiss Chard Soup

The recipe for this soup should have arrived on this site months ago.  Years ago, even.  In the many days between my first batch of this brothy lentil soup, marbled with emerald strands of Swiss chard, and today, I have made the soup countless times, returning to it for its heartiness, its restorativeness, its ease.  And I’ve thought several times about sharing the recipe with you, believe me, I have.  But, until now, I’ve always decided against it in the end.  I know exactly what’s stood between this soup and me on the one side and you out there in the Internet on the other side—and I’m not proud of it.

Lentil & Swiss Chard Soup

It’s this: Vanity.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 30 2010 » 17 comments

to feed them

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

My parents are passing through Chicago on Wednesday night.  They’ll be en route to the Kentucky Derby, a trip they have always wanted to make.  Our home, conveniently located midway between St. Paul and Churchill Downs, will make for a perfect pitstop.  They are scheduled to arrive after sunfall and (knowing them) they’re likely to leave before the sun rises the next morning.  It’s about as short as a visit gets, but it’s a visit still.  I’ll be able to hug them, to see my mom’s silvery blonde bob, to hear my step-dad’s chuckle—a devious kind of giggle.

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

Even if the visit will likely clock in at under 12 hours, most of which will be spent sleeping, I’ve got to find some way to feed them.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 26 2010 » 29 comments

certain springness

Warm Farro with Red Cabbage & Feta

Here’s what I propose: a picnic.  In Chicago.  Later today.  Say, around noon?  Don’t be late because I hear there’s a cold front moving in along the lake this afternoon.  Assuming we can beat that, I think this city will make a fine location for our picnic.  It’s that lovely tulip-y time of year and we’ll surely find a swatch of open grass in Millenium Park.  Somehow, I’ll try to secure a few blankets—big ones, so there’ll be plenty of room for all of us.  We’ll eat cool, colorful salads that have been packed into jars and containers; we’ll sip lemonade; we’ll eat slices of a homey cake wrapped in parchment paper.  It would be my first picnic of the season and there’s a certain springness to that that makes me smile.

sunny spring afternoon

sunny spring afternoon

It’ll be great, don’t you think?
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Okay, perhaps this plan is a little impractical.  Short notice, day jobs, blah, blah, blah.  But can you blame a girl for daydreaming?  The change of season has got me feeling restless.  I can see the trees outside, first budding, then blossoming, now bursting and lushly green, and I want to be out among them.  I want to be wandering through the city’s streets; sitting on the edge of Lake Michigan watching the waves wash over the beach; driving out of the city and into the quiet; reclining on my deck, squinting into the sun.  I want to be anywhere but inside, and I want to be there all the time.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 21 2010 » 19 comments

the sun shines warm

Brown Sugar Ice Cream

This time of year, I spend an inordinate amount of time checking the weather.  Various media (a widget on my iPhone, Tom Skilling’s Twitter feed, weather.com, the ticker that inches across the bottom of any news channel, a little snapshot in the corner of my firm’s home page) have only fueled the fire.  During the cold months, I abandon these media, knowing full well that the forecast contains only two choices: cold and colder.  If a dusting of snow is on the way, I’d rather be surprised by it; if a big-bad-whopper of a storm is predicted, I’d rather not fix my hopes on a snow day that will never come.  But with spring’s arrival comes my return to the forecast.  I hang on every change in degree, every expected rain drop and, all the while, I hold my breath hoping against hope for a perfect day, when the skies open up and the sun shines warm.

Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Kevin gets in on the forecast fixation too and has been known to pontificate about arctic blasts and low pressure systems and southerly winds.  (To his good fortune and mine, I happen to find this all incredibly attractive: we’re married.)  Last week, we joined forces, training our sights on the weekend forecast—that most important of all forecasts (save for, Wedding Day Forecast, which is in another category altogether, especially when you get married in a garden).  And this wasn’t just any weekend forecast, it was Kevin’s birthday weekend forecast.

Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 16 2010 » 23 comments

today of all days

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Bars

It’s entirely fitting that I post this recipe today of all days.  Today is Kevin’s birthday and if I know one thing about the man, it’s that he loves the magical combination of peanut butter and chocolate.  He’ll take it in a variety of ways, showing no great preference for the complicated (a chocolate-lined peanut butter pie, which, as it happens, will be served tonight, a flickering candle set in its middle; multi-layered brownies; chocolate-enrobed peanut butter balls) over the simple (a spoonful of peanut butter adorned with bittersweet chips; a square of chocolate spread with a thin smear of peanut butter).

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter BarsChocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Bars

This recipe falls somewhere in the middle of the complicated-to-simple continuum.  It’s got the stripped down qualities similar to the straight-up chips-and-peanut butter concoctions.  Indeed, the ingredient list calls for little else beyond peanut butter and chocolate—a mere handful of additional ingredients.  But the end-result lends the appearance of a more complicated confection—a stout little square, dense, cakey and incredibly peanut-buttery, set beneath a thick band of chocolate.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 11 2010 » 34 comments

undeniably of this season

Asparagus & Farro Soup with Pancetta & Black Pepper

The thing about spring is that it’s awfully confusing.  If spring were a person, I’d accuse her of moodiness or, at the very least, a serious case of indecisiveness.  Take the clichés, for instance: in like a lion, out like a lamb; April showers bring May flowers.  Which is it, spring?  Are you a lion or a lamb?   Are you showers or flowers?  Hands on hips, right toe tapping, I ask this question day in and day out this time of year—as I try to determine the proper attire for the day, whether to tote my umbrella, whether I will feel light and bright under a canopy of sunny skies or downtrodden and sluggish as thunder clouds gather overhead.

Asparagus & Farro Soup with Pancetta & Black Pepper

The answer, of course, is not forthcoming. But I think I’ve devised a solution for dealing with spring’s wild mood swings, in the meal deparatment, at least.  And it’s as simple as this: soup.  Specifically, asparagus soup, which will serve you well during both spring’s good and bad sides.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 07 2010 » 14 comments

some explaining to do

Chickpea Stew with Chard & Tomatoes

Let’s review, shall we?  DoughnutsChocolate Pudding Cake (and, oh yes, Banana-Chocolate-Walnut Cake, too).  Cocktails.  An oozing pasta.  A little pot full of butter.  Those are the recipes that have marched across this site in recent weeks and, well, I think I have some explaining to do.  Don’t you agree?

chardmosaic

That’s not how we normally eat.  Really, I swear.  Where those recipes are time-consuming, most of our meals are quick, almost slap-dash affairs.  Where those recipes are decadent, most of our meals are more austere; they’re hearty, but in a nourishing, not toothaching, way.  Where those recipes reside mainly in the dessert category, dessert is a course that is not typically a part of our meals.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 02 2010 » 23 comments