Was your Mother’s Day wonderful? I hope it was.
Mine was super, from start to finish.
Coffee in bed (and now I know I’m not the only one that knows how to work the coffee pot) while I propped up on pillows and read a book. A creamy bowl of old fashoioned oatmeal with cranberries and walnuts (and now I know I’m not the only one that knows how to work the stove), a clean kitchen (my children know how to wash dishes!!!!), and handmade garden-ready gifts. My little boys stayed up half the night painting clay pots to plant in that say, “Happy Mother-D,” which translates to, “Happy Mother’s Day; we ran out of room for ‘s’ and ‘-ay'”. I will plant flowers in my pots and cherish them forever and ever again.
Chad started me an herb garden (complete with chamomile for tea!); he stored away a little snatch of a passing conversation we had months ago and served it up for Mother’s Day. I love that.
Thank you Chad for orchestrating a relaxing morning full of well-behaved little boys and happy surprises. Thank you little boys for the best presents ever! Also, thank you for not being annoying in the car. Great big thanks to my sister, Lindsey, who put on a beautiful brunch for my mom and I (mimosas, chicken salad, fruit salad, mini quiche, potato skins & cookies!) and for having really good taste in clothes. Thank you littlest sister Steph-O for driving in circles, taking the day off, making a fruit tart that we totally devoured last night, for a super cool gift, and for braiding my hair. Thank you Momma for being the most awesome mom on the earth everyday all the time; and thank you for purple African daisies and O.P.I. nail polish.
Last but not least, thanks to all the boys for patiently keeping each other company while us girls fixed each other’s hair and chattered away in between bouts of champagne induced giggles. It was great.
It’s super rainy in the Carolinas today; we are alternating between torrential downpours and spotty sunshine through the rolling storm clouds. Days like this always inspire soup – the ultimate cozy comfort food. Remember on Easter when I was pining away for Easter ham?
Well I never had the ham, but mom gave me the ham bone. I made a creamy corn chowder.
A week or two ago I tried my hand at black beans from scratch. I started with dried beans, soaked them overnight, cooked them with lime juice and fresh herbs and was so excited about the finished product…
I don’t know where I went wrong (the original measurements were weird… I might have gotten confused? sounds about right…) but I was left with a vat of beans that I could not make myself eat. And I hate throwing food away. I have all sorts of guilt about it. So I coaxed the offensive beans into a yummy black bean soup.
Soup is a really simple way to use up all your leftovers or disguise rude pots of beans.
Corn Chowder from Food.com
1 ham bone, all extra meat trimmed off and set to the side (to be added back in later)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups of milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 a large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
salt, pepper & paprika to taste
Make ham stock. Put your ham bone in a stock pot and fill with just enough water to cover it. Bring it to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the ham bone and drop the heat to a simmer, reducing the stock to about 2 cups of liquid. Remove the stock from the heat and set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet and remove from heat. Whisk in the flour until it’s smooth and then slowly whisk in 1 cup of the milk. Return the skillet to the heat stirring until the milk thickens. Then stir in the corn, onion, garlic, and trimmed ham from earlier. Slowly stir in 1 cup of the ham broth. Simmer. Stir in the second cup of milk. Simmer and stir. Add more of the ham stock until the soup is to your desired consistency. Add the salt, pepper, and paprika to your taste.
Black Bean Soup (modified from foodnetwork.com)
1 tablespoon oil
2 thin slices of deli ham (optional), diced into tiny pieces
2 medium onions, finely diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
1 can of Ro-tel OR diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
all your offensive black beans OR 4 cans of low-sodium black beans, drained, not rinsed
salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
juice of 1/2 a lime
In a large non-stick skillet heat the oil. Stir in the ham and onions and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Pour in the chicken broth, canned tomatoes with green chiles, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and chili powder. Bring it to a boil and then stir in the beans. Boil and then reduce the heat to simmer, stirring frequently. Season with the salt and pepper. After about 10 minutes stir in the cilantro and lime juice.
What’s your favorite soup on a rainy day?