Bacon Bourbon BBQ Chicken Kebabs

Bacon Bourbon Barbecue KebabsOftentimes, I find an simple-looking recipe, tag it for a weeknight on sight, and go about my business.  Come the weeknight in question, I gather up my ingredients only to realize upon reading the recipe that the recipe has some weird quirks that make it not quite so simple. It might be lots of prep (endless chopping, anyone?), or a sauce that needs a bit too much attention at an hour when my children are both seemingly losing their minds, or, worst of all, the use of more than the absolute minimum requirement of pots and pans.  Recipes that sound simple, but aren’t, are the bane of my weeknight existence.  Sure, there’s a place for involved, slow, layered recipes.  Tuesday night is not that place. [Read more...]

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Meatball Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing

Meatball Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese DressingThe jig is up.  I think it’s become pretty apparent that I have a weakness for putting things on top of a pile of lettuce and calling them salad.  Steak Salad.  Falafel Salad.  BLT Salad. Cheeseburger Salad, for goodness’ sake.  If you’ve eaten it on a bun, in a tortilla, or on a stick, I’ve most likely made it into a salad at some point.  So why not meatball salad?  It was the next logical step.  Would you like some blue cheese with that?  Yes, please. [Read more...]

Kohlrabi and Celery Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette

Kohlrabi and Celery Salad with Dijon VinaigretteHello, Team Kohlrabi!  I’m so glad we’re all on the same page about kohlrabi by now. We are, right?  We all agree that we all love, love, love it and it’s one of our favorite, most versatile veggies?  If not, I’m kind of surprised you’re still here, and not completely annoyed by how many kohlrabi recipes I share.  But I can’t help it!  Every time I think I’ve got it all figured out, that I’ve tried kohlrabi every way I would ever really wish to have it… I discover a new way.  I can’t keep that love to myself. [Read more...]

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea SoupI’ve come out of my major denial that fall is here. I know, it’s about time, seeing as in a few measly days it will be October.  October, for goodness sake.  The month of corn mazes and Halloween and apple cider and tall leather boots and chunky sweaters.  It’s time.  Split Pea Soup

I don’t know what my hesitation is all about- I love autumn.  I’m a sucker for apple orchards and pumpkin patches, loaf cakes filled with spices, warm cocktails, and sitting by bonfires wearing oversized sweatshirts.  It might even be my favorite season, if only it weren’t the harbinger of my foresworn enemy, Winter in Chicago.  Hell hath a name and that’s it.  So for me, fall is like one long Sunday evening… so relaxed and lovely, but still tinged with a fair amount of dread, knowing that Monday is nigh.  But I digress.  It’s still time for fall.Split Pea Soup

Nothing says fall to me like soup- but really, moreso, a certain kind of soup.  Soup that warms you up from the inside out, sticks to your ribs, makes a meal in itself. This split pea soup is the epitome of that kind of soup.  Rich, flavorful, flecked with bits of ham, and a few chunks of vegetables that don’t get whirled into the creamy broth by the immersion blender.  Every time I make it, I’m amazed that it has so much flavor, and so few ingredients.  And it manages to be incredibly creamy, even with a negligible amount of dairy.  I’ve made lots of version of split pea soup, and this simple version is my favorite.  It’s perfect in its simplicity, like all good fall staples should be.  It also freezes well, so even once fall has passed us by and we are in the death grip of winter, a bowl of this pulled from the freezer will remind you of happier days.Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

Split Pea Soup

adapted from Bon Apetit

This is a great use for leftover ham bones after a holiday meal. Smoked hams are the best for this, but any kind will do.

  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped peeled carrots
  • 1 1/2 pounds leftover ham bone, smoked ham hock, or something pork-y
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 1/2 cups green split peas
  • 8 cups chicken broth

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add pork and marjoram; stir 1 minute. Add peas, then water, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover pot; simmer soup until pork and vegetables are tender peas are falling apart, stirring often, at least an hour and a half.

Transfer ham to cutting board or plate. Puree soup with an immersion blender until it's reached the consistency you like. (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender and do this part in batches.) Pull pork off of the bones and shred it at you go. Return pork to soup. Season with salt and pepper. Serve right away or refrigerate overnight and re-warm to serve the next day.