Champagne Shopping Binge

"The champagne shopping binge/ is over/ The check is about to arrive/ and nobody knows how much it will be/ I know I don't give a shit not now" -From "FROM A DISCARDED IMAGE" by Franz Wright

Friday, February 10, 2006

Way better than a vacuum...

The best part about birthdays is the parties (see below). The second best part is the presents. (The worst part is the realization that I am getting ever closer to thirty and yet marriage, kids, house ownership and all other signs of true adulthood are just as far away as ever, but that’s another story for another day.)

This year, my fantastic roomies managed to outdo themselves in the gift department. Along with a fab black shrug from Banana (which I love but am still trying to figure out how to wear), they got me the cutest pastel pink apron from Williams Sonoma, with matching pink spatulas. And a subscription to Bon Appetit! Hooray! I’ll admit that the Rachael Ray 365 cookbook has sat on the bookshelf, unopened, since Christmas, but I was determined to actually use the magazine.

And so I have. I started with the white bean and sausage soup featured on the cover, because I figured soup was appropriate for the cold winter weather, and because I wanted the bragging rights of actually cooking something that was on the cover of a magazine. Of course, this winter (until now) has been tropical, but I didn’t let details like that stop me…

I substituted chicken sausage for regular (had some left over from the birthday shindig that I wanted to use up) but otherwise stuck pretty much to the recipe for once. And, miracle of miracles, my soup ended up looking and tasting like soup. It was a long process (have to soak the beans, cook the veggies, simmer the soup, blend, re-heat, etc.) but terrifically easy. Served with a salad and some warm rye bread, it made the perfect Monday night 24-watching dinner. Creamy and delicious, and so healthy too!

A few thoughts for next time:

The recipe originally called for spicy sausage, I think with the substitution of chicken it was a little bland. We added a few drops of tobasco and it was perfect. Need to find a way to make it a little spicier next time.

The recipe instructed me to reserve 1.5 cups of the soup from the blender, I actually did about 2. Even still, it was a little too blended for my taste. Next time, I’ll reserve more for a chunkier texture.


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