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Friday, May 15, 2015

It's What I Do

I know it's been awhile.  I'll admit it.

I've been cooking.  I just haven't been blogging.  And I have an excuse.  I just haven't been in the mood.  There's just been a lot going on -- nothing bad -- but a lot going on nonetheless.  So let me bring you up to date.

Charlie applied to law school.  Let me tell you, that's one long process.  Between the LSAT, the applications, my constant need to manage (and his constant need to tell me to lay off), and finally the acceptance letters, I feel like it's been about a year.  And it's been close.  The good news is that he's all set and will be off and running come fall.  All good news.  You may ask why I was so busy with Charlie's law school odyssey.  After all, he's an adult and he was the one applying to law school.  Well, the simple answer is that I wasn't.  I was just distracted by it.  Charlie had it all well in hand and barely conferred with us on important issues, let alone the minutiae, yet for some reason I felt compelled to obsess about it almost daily.

I'm a mother.  That's what I do.

Kate is... Kate.  Always lots going on in her life and somehow that translates to lots going on in my life.  I would like for there to be less of Kate's life going on in my own, and we are working on that.  She too has it well in hand, yet I obsess.

I'm a mother.  That's what I do.

The simple truth is that my kids have been distracting me of late.  To be fair, Ted has been distracted by them as well, but he's better at compartmentalizing than I am.  I'm working on that.

So, in an effort to move forward and not be so obsessive about things over which I have no control, I have made a commitment to start blogging again.  It's summer and all those delicious summer fruits and veggies will make this easy.  I hope.

Today's recipe from my fav Smitten Kitchen is something that, to be honest, wouldn't generally interest me.  I haven't jumped on the kale bandwagon with the same vigor as many others, but I guess the presence of bread and melted cheese somehow made the kale sound a whole lot more enticing.  In any case, this is a delicious one pan meal, quick and easy, and guaranteed to ease whatever you happen to be obsessing about.

Recipe:  Mushrooms and Greens with Toast
Adapted just a little from Tara O’Brady’s Seven Spoons Cookbook

Serves 4


3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and torn into bite size pieces (see suggestions above)
2 thick slices bread from a large, crusty loaf (I’d use 4 from a smaller loaf)
2 cloves garlic or 1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or more to taste (I used 2)
1 fresh red chile, stemmed, seeded and minced or red pepper flakes, to taste
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces chopped fresh greens (kale, chard, spinach or nettles)
8 ounces of a good melting cheese, thickly sliced (Chèvre, mozzarella, burrata, taleggio or fontina)


Melt 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil together in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. One fully hot, add mushrooms to pan and cook, stirring regularly, until they’ve released their water and started to turn golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill or toast your bread.

One the mushrooms have a nice color on them, add the garlic or shallots and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Drizzle with vinegar, most of the chile or chile flakes, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the greens; pretty much any kind aside from baby spinach will benefit from about 5 to 8 minutes cooking time, just until collapsed. If you’re me, you’ll add 1 more tablespoon vinegar for brightness at this point. Stir in remaining tablespoon butter and adjust seasonings to taste. Rip bread into irregular croutons and push them into the sauteed vegetables. Lay pieces of cheese atop everything. Turn the heat down to medium low, place a lid on the pan and let the cheese melt, which will take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the pan and the kind of cheese you used.

Sprinkle with remaining chile, “hand out forks, then bring the the pan to the table.”