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I know that my title of this post makes no sense.

I’m okay with that.

Over the weekend, we had brunch with some fabulous friends. Our friends, Heidi and Aaron, are so mean… they moved away from us 5 years ago. Can you believe it? How dare they, right?

Since they left Ohio for the greener and decidedly colder pastures of upstate NY, they have had career changes and two beautiful babies. It was so fun to catch up with them, to meet their kiddos and to hear about life these days. The hosts of our brunch, Pam and Jeff, live here in the Nati so we have the privilege of seeing them more regularly.

Pam whipped up some awesome dishes- one of which I will be coercing her into providing to me so that I can share it with you. Pam, the sausage dish please!? The one with the magical maple taste. Thanks.

Jeff wore a bacon tshirt to brunch.

Source

And his t-shirt got me thinking about how I desperately needed to rekindle my bacon love affair.

I sat there wondering where we went wrong- bacon and I, that is.

We used to be so close.

It used to be rare that I week went by where I didn’t spend time thinking about or stuffing my face with bacon in some capacity.

I realized that I think maybe somewhere along the way, I developed an unhealthy bacon codependency. I needed time away to figure out how to make a salad without including some crumbled bacon. I needed to remember that chicken without bacon on top was, in fact, a possibility.

So, I stepped away from bacon.

Yes, you read that right.

For better or worse, I did.

But brunch and the bacon t-shirt was like a slap in my face.

FOOLISH.

What was I thinking?

Life without bacon?

GUH!

Might as well commit to live without oxygen or sleep or red wine.

And so, in a quiet brunch moment, I made a silent vow to welcome bacon back into my life immediately.

And I did.

Which brings me to Spaghetti Carbonara. I adapted a recipe from this cookbook:

Right before Christmas, Brad mentioned that he wanted this cookbook.

My husband??

Wanted a COOKBOOK??

I called my mom, and let her in on his confession.

So, this cookbook was a part of my parents’ Christmas gift to Brad.

A few weeks after he brought the book home, I asked him when he was going to make me something from his new cookbook.

That is when he said, “Oh, I wasn’t planning on cooking from that book. I just thought the food looked good, and so can I just tell you what I want?”

Ha.

I should have known.

And in all honesty, I was relieved.

I like my kitchen just a certain way, and the thought of Hurricane Brad doing God Knows What in there invoked a slight panicky feeling.

So, I’m learning to cook and eat “like a man”.

Turns out, I’m pretty good at it.

This recipe serves 2 people, and it starts with… you guessed it, bacon!

You only need 2 pieces for the dish, but I thought I better fry up some more in case I encounter a bacon emergency.

Next, you have to fry up… more bacon!

Well, pancetta to be exact. 2 ounces. The prepackaged pancetta comes in a 3 oz package, and I figured the extra couldn’t hurt!

Drain all of your bacon over some paper towels and wipe out your pan.

Turn your burner to medium, chop 3 cloves of garlic, and put the garlic into the pan.

MMMMM…. bacon and garlic cooking is perfection.

Saffron.

If you have some, add in a pinch.

If you don’t have some, don’t worry about buying it.

Saffron is expensive, and the recipe won’t suffer… much.

Then, pour in 1 cup of chicken stock.

Let it simmer and reduce down just a bit.

Chop up 1 cup frisee lettuce (or spinach would do) and 2 tablespoons of parsley.

And add it to the pan.

Let it wilt down, and then stir in your chopped up bacon.

Add in your cooked pasta, some freshly cracked black pepper, a little drizzle of olive oil and 1 T. of butter.

Finally, add in about 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan.

Stir that up, turn the heat to low and leave it be for the moment.

Now for the egg.

Poached.

EEK.

Scary stuff.

I think it is most helpful to watch someone poach an egg, so here you go:

Boil water, and then add in some distilled white vinegar.

Carefully slip in a cracked egg.

Fold the egg over on itself.

When it is cooked through (with the yolk runny still, of course), pull the egg out of the water with a slotted spoon.

Put your pasta on a plate, and then top it carefully with your poached egg.

Top it off with some pepper.

Red wine on the side is a must, of course.

Welcome back old friend.

Bacon, you’re the best.

XOXO,

Leah

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Whew.

Hi.

I’m Leah.

Remember me?

I sincerely apologize to my tens of readers for my radio silence over the past few weeks months.

There is a lot of newness in our lives these days.

The biggest change for me is that I have started a new job. Previously, I worked for an ad agency. I worked out of the agency office two days a week, and I worked out of my client’s office three days a week. Soon after Henry was born, I realized that I didn’t want to keep up the work pace that I had been accustomed to. I couldn’t bear getting home at 6 or later 5 days a week to see my little guy for dinner time and bed time. It was breaking my heart on a nightly basis.

I thought that I would stay at home, but that decision never sat perfectly with me either. I like to work. I enjoy my job. I like getting out of the house. I like putting my degrees to professional use in a corporate setting.

And then something amazing happened. My former client, Kimberly-Clark (they are a CPG giant responsible for products like Kleenex, Huggies, Kotex, Cottonelle, Depend, etc) offered me a too-good-to-be-true job share position. I’m working three days a week (Mon-Wed, and Brad is off on Mondays so Henry goes to our sweet babysitter’s house two days), and I’m job sharing this position with a fun, smart, hardworking mama-to-be. It is an absolute dream situation for both of us.

The icing on the cake? I’m still working with the same folks I have been for the past 5 years. I love love love my coworkers, and I’m thrilled that I can continue to work side-by-side with them. Also, our sitter (whom I love and appreciate more than words can express) lives approximately 2.3 minutes from my office.

Amazing, right?

Last week was my first week in the new role, and I’m incredibly excited. And I’m so grateful to Kimberly-Clark for offering flexible work arrangements. They have truly made my dream of being home with Henry the majority of the time while continuing to work in the corporate world a possibility.

So, it has been a busy time for me wrapping up my former role while starting up a new job.

On top of that spring has sprung!!

Ohio has been unseasonably warm, and I think every Ohioan is loving it.

March in Ohio can mean snow and sleet or as is the case this year, it can mean sunny and 80!

We have been to the zoo (dressed in our finest apparel, I might add).

The boy and the ding-dongs have spent countless hours on neighborhood watch.

There have been bike rides.

Please note that my son is nearly 9 months old, and that helmet is for 12 months and older.

The kid has a LARGE head.

Ha.

And yes, I have been cooking!

In fact, today I am sharing a new recipe.

Maybe the easiest recipe in the history of this blog.

The other night, we had a break in the heat. The temperature outside was in the high 50s, and it was the perfect weather for soup. I love soup so much. I think it is the only thing I look forward to as the weather turns cooler in the fall.

This soup is the easiest soup you will ever make in your whole dang life. I freaking guarantee it. If you don’t count water, salt and pepper, the soup has 3 ingredients.

If you don’t fancy yourself a cook, I promise with everything that I am that you CANNOT mess this soup up. If you can boil water, you can make this soup.

My brother, Justin, is responsible for introducing me to the super simple broccoli soup. He served it at a family get together, and when I heard what all went into it, I just about choked on said soup.

Are you ready?

Here is what you will need:

-Broccoli (I used about 1 1/2 heads of broccoli for 4 servings)

-Water

-Salt and Pepper

-Some sort of cheese to sprinkle on at the end. I personally like goat cheese. But cheddar would work or parmesan or boursin or pretty much any other cheese that you can think of.

-Olive oil

Um. That’s it.

Start with broccoli.

I used all of the florets from the bunch on the left, and I used all of the good green (not the brownish yellow) florets on the right.

Toss those pieces of broccoli, chopped into  uniform sized chunks into a pot.

Cover the broccoli with water, and turn your burner on high.

Once your water is boiling, add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I use coarse Kosher salt.

Your soup is almost done.

Seriously.

If you are bored with your broccoli routine, this soup shall invoke a new kind of love.

Once your broccoli is fork tender, transfer it with a slotted spoon into a blender. Reserve your green “broccoli stock” in the pot you cooked it in, because you are going to need it in a second.

Add in about a cup of the water you cooked the broccoli in (your “broccoli stock”, if you will), and blend it all up.

Continue to add in the “stock” until you get your puree to a soup consistency that meets your fancy.

My blender automatically turns soup into neon colored creations.

I’m bad at taking pictures at night.

I like my soup a little thicker, so I ended up using a little less than 2 cups of stock.

When you get your soup to a desired consistency, throw in 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 t of black pepper.

A whole 1/2 t. of black pepper does add a decent amount of spice to this dish, so if you are serving kids I would taste test the soup as you add the pepper to get the flavor right for the mouths you feed.

Blend that salt and pepper in.

And. You’re. Done.

Pour some soup into a bowl.

Put some cheese on top.

Give the bowl a drizzle of olive oil, and there you have it!

My soup was still warm enough when I added the goat cheese that the cheese instantly incorporated and turned the dish into a creamy delight.

I reserved a small batch of this soup prior to adding the salt and pepper to the blender for a couple of serving of baby food.

I know that this soup sounds uninteresting, but I think you will be totally wowed by the amount of flavor.

It is like a little broccoli party in your mouth.

I hope to be back to blogging somewhat regularly. I have missed you all so much.

How is your spring? Are you loving this weather? Traveling? Grilling?

Have a great week, my friends.

XO,

Leah

Please watch this.

Yes, I know it is 30 minutes long, but I think you’ll be glad you did.

Know more. Do more.

This is our world.

Thanks.

XO,

Leah

An oldie but a goodie.

Love this song all over again.

And the haircuts make it even better.

And seriously, this one just makes me plain old misty.

Yep.

Have a good weekend!

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