Saturday, May 24, 2014

Update and Kale and Kielbasa Soup

I'm back!!!!

It has been an incredibly hard semester what with a falling out with a former roommate and best friend, the even more endless winter than usual, my anxiety disorder getting out of control, and dealing with some stuff from my past which I hope to feel strong enough to share with you at some point. That said I just got my grades back and I passed all my classes (yes I was actually worried about that, told you it was a hard semester), and better than that I got  a 3.78 (out of 4.0) GPA. Guess all that Xanax worked after all.

Now I'm home, and it is a well known (and often joked about) fact that I clean like I demon when I first get home. I'm not exactly sure why I do it, but my guess is it's due to post finals stress. My target this time was the kitchen. To my Mom's relief I don't have any before pictures, but here are the after ones for you.

What have I been doing with this beautifully clean kitchen? Cooking of course! I didn't have much time  or motivation to cook when I was at school, but I'm working on picking it back up now. One of the few things I cooked this past semester is Kale and Kielbasa soup. This is one of the recipes that I call a refrigerator recipe, which means it's purpose is to use up as many things sitting around in my refrigerator before they go bad. As such the recipe keeps changing and I never actually measure anything, but I'll give you my best guess. For instance this time I made it I didn't actually use Kielbasa, but rather Bratwurst since it was on sale at the grocery store. You can add or subtract anything from this recipe that you want to fit what you have lying around.

And of course this wouldn't be my blog without a picture of a dog so here's one of my ever present helper.

How much of me needs to be on the linoleum before I count as in the kitchen? 

Kale and Kielbasa Soup

about a Tbs of olive oil
A small yellow onion, minced
2 cloves of garlic, also minced
4-6 medium potatoes
Some carrots. Okay, okay, around 3 or 4 large carrots.
32 oz chicken (or other) stock plus as much water as needed for desired consistency. (Watering down stock is one of the greatest cooking tricks I know, make stock stretch farther but tastes pretty much the same.)
2 tsp basal
2 tsp fresh or dried rosemary
1 tsp parsley
1 bunch of Kale (roughly 6 or 7 lightly compacted cups. This is one of the few ways I get vegetables into my diet at school so I like to cram in as much as possible.)
3/4 cup uncooked wild rice
1 link of Kielbasa (or 2 links of Bratwurst*, because hey it's not like Kielbasa in the title or anything)

Mince the garlic and onion then cook in the olive oil over medium until translucent (or you get bored). While onions are cooking dice potatoes and carrots, then add them to the onion and garlic. Add the stock at this time and bring to a simmer. Pull the Kale leaves off the stalks, then tear into bit size pieces before dropping them into the pot. Add the herbs now too. Either add the rice now if there is enough stock or you can cook it separately and add it at the end. Cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are soft. Slice Kielbasa and add to the pot. Serve when Kielbasa is throughly heated.

*if using uncooked sausage, put the whole sausage in the pot at the beginning with the onions and keep it there through the whole cooking process then slice at the end.