I've been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately, a natural reaction to colder weather. The more I looked at those corner cabinet the more I thought I needed to paint the backs of them. The natural light isn't great today as we are enjoying a gorgeous rainy day. The backs are actually the same color as the studio. I love how that little bit of difference helps the dishes pop. I don't love how it makes me want to buy more dishes. Or maybe I do.
I'm always amazed at how small things like paint and knobs can make me so happy. Clearly a little of that paint needs to go on the cabinet doors too. ;)
This space is one long room with the kitchen being on the other side. This time of year we start to dream about redoing the fireplace. This is our only one and the nicest thing I can say about it is that it's better than not having one. It has gas logs and is very dated. We've updated it as much as we can without calling in the pros. Here's a nice before picture for you from when we were house hunting.
We want to convert it to a wood burning fireplace if that's even possible. I don't even know who to call to see about such things. We also want to have a real surround and mantle and maybe even a real hearth and built-ins on the sides. Big dreams for this space. Outside those french doors is our covered porch which we would like to turn into our dining room one day and keep this area as a hearth room with cozy seating and make it a great place for entertaining, reading and knitting. It's fun to dream.
I guess I promised you a soup recipe. First let me say that the number one most important tool for soup making is an immersion blender. Guard it with your life and do not let your moody teenage daughter use it and break it so that you are forced to use one that you bought at a garage sale for $2 until it finally, blissfully dies and your teenager moves out and you are able to justify buying a new, good quality one again. Just take it from me. And honestly you could use a food processor or blender but it's way more work and mess.
4 oz cubed pancetta (or bacon)
1 bag frozen leeks (Trader Joe’s)
3 baking potatoes, peeled and small diced
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
4 c chicken stock
1 c water
¼ cup heavy cream
½ c half and half
Salt and pepper to taste
In a dutch oven or large pot cook pancetta over medium heat. When finished remove pancetta only and set aside. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to pot. Add leeks and onions and cook approximately 10 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and cook a few minutes more. Add chicken stock, water and potatoes and simmer for about 20 mins or until potatoes are tender. Add heavy cream and half and half and use immersion blender to puree to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with pancetta and if you are anything like me you will want to also garnish it with blue cheese and homemade croutons. It will change your life. Or at least your dinner.
Tonight I'm making this recipe for Spaghetti Squash but with chicken sausage rather than bacon and I might make this bread again for the 27th time in 3 weeks.
Clearly I'm going to have to give up my cozy spot in the corner and spend 25 quality minutes letting Jillian kick my butt before I even think about baking that bread.