Apr 7, 2015

Chorizo, Spinach & White Bean Soup

Have you ever had a bowl of soup that changed your life? I think this one did.  So the original recipe is here, but when the hubs and I made it – as good as it was – we made some changes.

It’s a hearty, filling soup that is so flavorful… I couldn’t stop thinking about it. {To be honest, as I’m typing this up, I’m starting to drool a little at the memory. } Its salty without being overpowering and the white beans give it an almost creamy texture without falling back on actual cream.

The original recipe called for links of sausage, but it made more sense to me to use bulk chorizo.  And as someone who adores garlic and smoked paprika, I bumped up the amount on those two.

This soup is so delicious, I will make it in the middle of a Phoenix summer {120degree weather won’t stop me from getting some of this deliciousness}


Olive Oil

1 lb bulk Chorizo

1 Onion {finely diced}

6 cloves Garlic {minced}

1 tsp ground Thyme

1 tsp Smoked Paprika

2 {15oz} cans Cannellini Beans, divided rinsed and drained

2 cups Broth {your choice}

Salt & Pepper

10 cups Spinach


 } Clean your spinach, removing stems. Set aside to drain.

} Buzz half of your cannellini beans in a food processor or blender.

} In a large skillet, cook Sausage in 1 Tbsp oil. Turn occasionally, until meat is browned and cooked through. Transfer to plate.

} Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in same skillet at medium {If you don’t have a big enough skillet, use a stock pot}. Add onion, garlic, thyme, and paprika to the pot, stirring to keep from burning.

} When onion is soft, add all beans and broth. Cook  8-10 minutes. {I know this isn't going to look like enough broth. Trust me, It'll work out in the end}

} Add your chorizo, then your spinach by handfuls and cook until wilted {this shouldn’t take too long, you can put a llid on the pot if you're in a bit of a hurry}

} Ladle into bowls and devour.

Jan 22, 2015

Spicy - Organizing spices

Minced Garlic, Parsley, Chipotle Peppers, and Paprika make up part of the front row
I've been reorganizing the pantry. It's an odd processes, but it's made me feel better about the whole kitchen.

I had hoped it would be ready to share today, but alas - it's not. Instead, I'm here to talk to you about spices! Or, more specifically, the organization thereof.

Up top, you can see the method I went for. Since I have the space, and love the colorful look, I went with half pint mason jars.

Tip: We buy almost all of our spices in bulk and if you haven't, consider it, the savings are phenomenal!

What I love about this method of storage is that you have the ability to use the natural beauty of the spices to add some extra color to your shelves. And, because I'm able to place them on a shelf that is jus below eyelevel, it's super easy to read the labels on the tops.

I do it this way because I have the space and because I buy in bulk... but there are other options if you don't have the space, and if you keep you spices in the bottles/tins they come in from the store.

1. This magnetic spice rack from Practically Functional
2. This awesome use of an IKEA drawer organizer from It's The Life
3. This awesome use of the side of your cabinets from Confessions of a Serial Do-it-yourselfer

Jan 8, 2015

Happiness in Haircolors

Over the years, Allison and I have gone through several different hair colors.

First, let's talk about where we started.

Weren't we adorable? (Allie's dressed for normal Oregon Coast weather and... whoever dressed me as an angel/fairy/princess had no idea what I'd grow up to be.)

Allison has always had a beautiful mix of color that was mostly blonde and I've always had dark brown hair.

But because we live in a world where hair colors are changeable, these are not the only colors we've had!

Allie - 

As I started this blog post, I realized that I've only ever been around Allie as a blonde. We were in (different physical) places every time she decided to move away from her (admittedly beautiful) natural color.

While Allie is a gorgeous blonde, she'd done a brilliant flaming red in homage to her grandmother who's natural hair color was as vibrant as they come!

However, her part as Jo March in the EOU production of Little women forced her to dye her hair brown to match. 

She played with brown a few times after, with a pixie and some fun highlights too!

Amy - 

So for the most part, I've spent the vast majority of my life in some variation of brown, from copper to black brown, to what I'm at now (basically the picture that has the least of my face in it)

But I had the crazy notion to go red in 2012... and I LOVED it. (You can see in the bottom small picture that the color lasted well enough for me to get a rather unfortunate amount of grow out)

I don't really know why I dyed it back? But I did go back to a dark brown (Actually, I think the picture in the bottom left corner of the browns - purple shirt - was post red).

And then I decided I wanted to go Silver! And I did... for all of 3 days. And Blonde isn't the best look on me, so I tried again, and it just wasn't going to work, so I had to live with the blonde, blown out hair.

The second to last picture is me CRAZY happy because I got do do a dark wash on my hair the next day. The result was not the best thing ever, but it was better than nothing.

Jan 1, 2015

Fresh and Shiny New Start

This morning, I'm sitting down to write this with a big cup of Red Velvet tea and staying indoors. Earl and I went to our favorite cocktail parlor in Phoenix for a NYE party and at about 10pm, it started to snow.... in Phoenix! It didn't stick. In fact, it melted almost before it touched the ground, but it was really cool.

2015 is here and I'm excited to be back at work on this blog and to get things rolling again. For the time being, posts will go up on Thursdays and other days of the week will slowly be added on.

Happy New Year!