Jen’s West African Peanut Soup and a stunning knife

Twenty-something years ago, when we were still newlyweds, I asked my husband if there were any favorite foods he had that I wasn’t making. He thought for a minute and said, “Yeah. Peanut soup. When I was in basic training, we had it once when we were out on leave, and it was one of the best things I’d ever eaten.” Huh. I’d never heard of peanut soup before.

It’s a West African dish, filled with all kinds of nutritious stuff. I had to make it. It was amazing! I kept it constantly in the rotation, tweaking it to my heart’s content, because it’s just as delicious as it is good for you. Perfect.

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Cookbook Review: Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World by Sam Kass

I was just listening to the end of Marcus Samuelsson’s Yes, Chef, when he mentioned that Sam Kass introduced him to the Obamas, and that’s how Marcus got to cook dinner for them, when this book, Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World, came across my desk. I was very excited to thumb through it and see what a president gets to eat, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Beautiful book. I was surprised by the simplicity of the dishes. Kass’ style is simple preparations of nourishing food, with easy, perfect techniques that develop a lot of flavor. It’s good for you, feel good food, and it’s yummy. It’s all family pleasers. The kids have enjoyed the dishes as much as my husband and I.

Who’s this book for? I’d recommend it to anyone that wants nice healthy, nourishing food without cutting anything out. The recipes are on the easy end of the spectrum, and my kids love them, so I think it’s a good fit for anything from someone’s first apartment to the experienced cook. Continue reading “Cookbook Review: Eat a Little Better: Great Flavor, Good Health, Better World by Sam Kass”

Jen’s raclettes. Cheesy, melty, oozy deliciousness, and the most relaxing party you can host. Yeah.

I put 5 miles on my sneakers on most days. Yesterday was 9 because it was so nice out. I started in a winter coat this morning, and pretty quickly tied it around my waist because it was t-shirt comfy outside. I’m down in Texas, loving the spring blossoms everywhere, but feeling pretty guilty about all this sunshine when I see my buddies up north posting pics of snowy windows, and having one more cup of coffee before grabbing their shovels. Brrrrr! I grew up in Wisconsin, and lived most of my adult life in New York, so I remember big old banks of snow all too well. So this post is for my friends in the frozen tundra. A peace offering for all my flowery posts.

chefThere used to be a show on Public Television called Chef. Oh, it was great! Lenny Henry played Chef Gareth Blackstock. In a few episodes, Chef sets up meetings with illegal fill-in-the-blank suppliers in the woods in the British countryside. He’s always the most wonderful blend of absolute nervousness and excitement. Awesome. When those Facebook quizzes come out asking if a friend ever saw you in the back of a police car, what would it be for, my friends would tell you it would involve cheese. My husband knows that it would be the height of romance if he could arrange a questionable cheese transaction in England for me. Holiday made.

Continue reading “Jen’s raclettes. Cheesy, melty, oozy deliciousness, and the most relaxing party you can host. Yeah.”