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It is snowing here in Cincinnati.


I’m starting to think this whole Global Warming thing is a hoax. Because this winter has been so. so. cold.

I have a few standby defenses against cold weather.

1. A fire in the fireplace

2. A hot beverage- coffee, tea, hot toddy, hot chocolate… I’m not picky, just as long as it’s hot!

3. A big blanket. I have at least one throw blanket in every room of my house (except the kitchen), and I am constantly burrowing myself under them.

4. Slippers or shoes. I never go barefoot as a rule. I grew up in a house with my dad, a podiatrist. After hearing the horror stories of various items getting lodged in the bottom of peoples’ feet (and sometimes even getting to see a slide show of such incidents- lucky me), I learned to protect my piggies. Even in the summer, I prefer shoes. And in the winter… shoes keep my toes nice and insulated and warm. And, of course protected- thanks Dad.

5. Soup. I’m obsessed with soup in the winter. I particularly like a spicy soup for it warms me doubly. So, with the snow falling, I whipped up a batch of Spicy Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup.

I first had a soup similar to this at my friend Heidi’s house a few years ago. A group of girls got together regularly for book club. At some point, those pesky books were getting in the way of our imbibing and socializing. So, we became a wine club. Pretty smart, huh?

Anyhow, during weather similar to what we are having now Heidi whipped up this spicy delight and I have been hooked ever since.

I should mention Heidi moved to Rochester, NY. And that is far too far away.

Here is what you’ll need for the soup (if you want to serve 6-8):

1 lb. of sausage- I bought the links because I wanted hot sausage, and they didn’t have that in the bulk packages. If you aren’t into the spicy foods, go for some mild Italian sausage. If you aren’t into pork sausage, go for a turkey or chicken sausage. Right in the regular grocery store there are a plethora of sausage options.

4-5 pieces of bacon, all chopped up

1 onion- I used yellow, but a white or red onion will do

3 cloves of garlic

6 cups of chicken stock

1 1/2 cups of water (oh, I hope you can find this ingredient- it can be a toughie)

4 small potatoes- NEW DEVELOPMENT: I recently read an article that told me that non-organic potatoes are one of the top 10 worst foods to ingest. So, guess what? I switched exclusively to organic, and in my Kroger store they are the SAME price as non-organic potatoes. You really have no reason not to switch.

1 cup of heavy cream

1 bunch of kale

Salt and pepper and possibly some red pepper flake if you are feeling crazy

Start off by browning your sausage. I like a good non-stick pan for this job. It leads to easy clean up, and easy draining of excess fat.

If you are using chicken or turkey sausage, you may need a tablespoon of olive oil to help brown off the meat.

While that is browning in a skillet, pull out your soup pot and put the heat on to medium-high. Drop in your chopped bacon to get that on its way to crispy deliciousness.

Back to the sausage.

Drain off the excess fat. I drain mine into an empty can (usually found right in my recycle bin).

Put your cooked sausage on a plate lined with paper towels. This should grab even more of the excess fat.

Now, back to the bacon.

It should be looking pretty good and browned. Drain off the excess fat… why do I feel like a broken record?

Again, drain the fat into a container and not your drain. You will thank me when you don’t have to call a plumber to come unclog your sink.

Side note: To avoid calling a plumber, you should also never attempt to shove an entire burned lasagna down your garbage disposal. It will most certainly clog your sink. Only an idiot would do something like that.

Chop your onion.

And drop it into the pan. Stir it up.

Then, add your chopped cloves of garlic.

I seriously love my Pampered Chef garlic press.

Stir it again, and let it soften for 5ish minutes. I turned down the heat a bit at this point to medium. I wanted the onion and garlic to soften, but I didn’t necessarily want them to caramelize.

Once softened, add your chicken stock (or broth).

I prefer stock because it has a bit more depth of flavor than broth.

I also added about 1 1/2 cups of water. If you use broth, give the soup a taste. If it doesn’t taste overly salty, go ahead and skip the water step.

Now, crank up the heat to get all of that liquid boiling.

And dice your potatoes.

Now, just imagine that I remembered to take a picture of the potatoes.

And then toss those taters into the boiling stock.

Toss them carefully!

I diced my potatoes pretty small, so they were done in about 10 minutes. The larger the chunks of potato you have, the longer they will take to cook.

I think the best method of testing doneness is actually scooping out a potato and tasting it.

Now, we shall prepare the kale.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a mad love affair with kale.

It is so so good for you, and it is hearty and delicious.

Kale comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and any of them would work in this recipe.

Kale is extremely high in fiber (good for keepin’ ya regular-I’m just saying!), high in Vitamin A, and high in calcium. Love it.

Rinse it off.

Then pull most of the leafy part off of the stem.

Grab the stem with one hand, and then pull off the leafy part with the other.

The key is to get the bottom, more woody part of the stem off of the veggie.

Once de-stemmed, give it a rough chop.

Right before adding all of that glorious green kale into your soup pot, turn your heat down to medium.

And add in your sausage.

And then, add in your cream.

I ended up using about 3/4 of a cup (because that is all I had left), and it was just lovely.

Doesn’t that just look purty?

Time to toss in the greens.

Mix it all together to incorporate the greens to the pot.

Soup is done!! I turned the heat down to very low while I prepared a little crusty side dish.

I had a ciabatta roll, some salt (again the red clay kind), pepper, a garlic clove, butter and parmesan.

Split your roll.

Slather it in butter. The more the better.

Cut your garlic clove in half.

And rub the cut side of the garlic all over your bread.

Give them a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Add some shreds of parmesan.

Put it on some foil, and pop it into the oven on 400 degrees until the cheese gets melty.

You’ll have to imagine the melty delicious bread because I was pretty drool-y by the time it was done. I was ready to eat!

This soup will warm you right up on a snowy winter day. It is comfort food at its best.

And may I humbly suggest ending the meal with a Light-ish piece of Chocolate Cheesecake accompanied by some raspberry sorbet?

You should make this.

I found the recipe on Bake at 350.

It is making my life these days.

Happy eating friends.



Do you eat kale?

This is an ingredient that I discovered way too late in life.

I know now that kale makes my life.





If you like cooked spinach, I’ll bet my bottom dollar that you’ll like kale.

It is a little heartier, and I think it actually has a little more flavor.

This recipe is delicious, hearty, and perfect for a simple lunch, a healthy snack, or a great side dish for dinner.

Here is what you’ll need:

A bunch of Kale- this kind is called Lacinato Kale, but any type of kale will do

6 mini portobellos or 3 large portobellos

A handful of cherry or grape tomatoes

4 garlic cloves

1 box of couscous

Vegetable or chicken stock

Put a little of the extra virgin goodness in the pan.

It is essential that you put the oil in the pan in a very fancy pattern like a spiral.

The dish just won’t taste right if you don’t create a super special olive oil design in your pan.

It is a proven fact.

Now, chop 4 cloves of garlic to add into that pan (should be over medium-low heat).

If you don’t want to chop, you can use your handy-dandy garlic press.

This one is fromĀ Pampered Chef, and it really is quite delightful.

It saves my hands from smelling like a hoagie.

Get your bellos ready.

Use a damp cloth to wipe them off.

Pull off the stem.

Then, give ’em a rough chop.

Portobellos like it rough.

Or so I hear.


We must remove the woody stalk.

Grab the stalk.

And pull the leaves off.

Easy Peasy.

If you don’t get the whole stalk, don’t sweat it.

Take off all of the stalks and make a big old pile of kale.

Give it a rough chop.

Did you know kale is anti-inflammatory?

Kale contains sulforaphane which (especially when chopped) is a chemical believed to have anti-cancer properties.

Or at least thats what Wikipedia tells me.

Add the chopped kale to the pan o’ mushrooms and garlic.

Add in a little stock.

Probably about a half cup.

Mix it around.

Fairly quickly, the kale will start to wilt down.

Add in a handful of cherry or grape tomatoes.

Isn’t that so pretty?

How about a sprinkle of salt and pepper?

Yes, please!

Now, we shall prepare our couscous.

These are the directions from the box.

Put 1 1/4 cups of water in a small pot.

Add in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

And dump in the included spice packet.

I used the Wild Mushroom and Herb variety, but you can use whatever suits your fancy.

Once that mixture comes to a boil, add in your couscous.

Stir it up, put a lid on the pot, and turn off the burner.

After 5 minutes, take the lid off and fluff it up with a fork.

That is what the directions say to do.

And quite frankly, I’m not so sure that I know what that means.

I almost always start by “fluffing” with a fork.

That quickly turns to stirring with a spoon.

Toss the couscous into the vegetables.

And combine it.

I also decided about halfway through the recipe that some pine nuts would be delicious all toasted up.

So, I did that.

Put a big ole’ heaping pile on your plate.

I put some pine nuts on top.

I was feeling kinda crazy, so I threw on a few raisins and some goat cheese.


Yes, raisins and goat cheese.

I like the contrast of the hearty, savory, salty couscous with the sweetness of the raisins and the sharpness of the goat cheese.

Try it.

It tastes like fall.

And for goodness sake, if you’ve never had kale… what the heck are you waiting for?

Happy Monday my dearly beloved friends.



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