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Sunday Supper and Dancing Dahlias

The white dahlias looked too good to pass up at the Market, so they set the theme for the Sunday supper table last week-end. They danced down the middle of the table in low clear drinking glasses. I cut the stems super short so the heads sat right on the rim. It can make a simple bundle of blooms much more significant. To me they become the focal point of the table. If they were massed together in a vase in the middle, they would be less prominent. These beauties needed to sing! Or dance! Or maybe both. Then it was about pulling a bunch of blue things to pull the table together.



Red Geraniums Set The Tone

The Sunday supper table was all awash in red. Our geranium collection grows, as TPS keeps planting away. Our friend Peg gave us this cool vintage white kitchen pot for Christmas. Beyond usage for cooking, I know she knew we would give it new life. I punctured holes in the bottom for water drainage and off we went. It became the the main feature of the table, really setting the tone. Then it was pulling all sorts of red things to pull it all together. The super long cutting board adding a bit of earthy light brown, playing nicely with the bamboo handles of the silverware. Steak and scallops were on the menu. I found a new red we quite liked that I will write about tomorrow. Then it was lighting a few candles and were set.



A French Rosé Tasting

A shout-out to our friend Jeanne for snapping the above photo as I had put my phone away and did not take a single image last Sunday supper. Wine Wednesday is about doing a little tasting at your next dinner party. In this case, I chose some of our very favorite French rosé. We are super casual about it and just have guests taste which ones they would like. You can certainly be more regimented and taste one at a time and chat about each as you go. You could also choose wines from a certain region, or all from one vineyard. 3 is fine, 5 is what we prefer. Tons of possibilities. My number one rule is it must be fun!



Italian Parsley In A Pinch

It is rare I am not inspired by the flowers when I make a quick dash in to do a little grocery shopping. But it was the case this week-end, so the Italian parsley we already had sitting on the counter at the house was called into action for this heavily blue table setting. The lacy greens adding a nice color balance. Add an assortment of shells from past beach walks and we were on our way to Sunday supper at WestWard.



Leeks, Kale, Lemon & Parmesan

This is a super tasty warm salad our niece Haley made for us last night out at WestWard. TPS made meatloaf with mashed potatoes–quite possibly the most comforting, homey duo ever. Her leek & kale salad a lovely balance. She walked me through it after supper, as I was taking a quick nap when she whipped it up. Ohhhhh, I do love Sundays…

Start with the kale, cutting away all the spines on the stems, leaving you with just those glorious leafy greens. Chop them up. Haley likes to put them in a big bowl and massages in salt, which helps to start break down a bit of the roughness kale can have. It just sits soaking up the salt while you get everything else ready.

In a good sized skillet, heat up extra virgin olive oil and add your cut up leeks. Sauté until soft and a bit browned. Then add another glug of olive oil and add the salted kale. Cook for just a few minutes to wilt the kale. Then turn off heat. Add the juice of half of a lemon and the zest of the entire lemon to the leek and kale mixture. The lemon will mix about with the olive oil creating just the lightest vinaigrette. Add a few cracks of pepper and a handful of Parmesan and the warm salad is ready to be served.



Roasted Romanesco

We were excited to head to the island yesterday for a little WestWard time. No guests this week-end, so a simple chèvre stuffed chicken breast, baked potato and a little Romanesco was on the menu. It has become a favorite veg–one for the taste but I also think they look cool, slightly other-worldly. And they are green! The grocery store had quite small versions, so I bought 2. Slathered them with extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted them whole in the oven while the chicken and potatoes cooked away. I put them on a sheet pan and began to roast them whole in a 400 degree oven. Towards the end of the cooking process they were not looking as cooked/golden as I wanted, so I split them in half, putting the core side down on the baking sheet, where I let them cook away for another 15 minutes. Just the right amount of time to give them that golden hue I was going for. 



Sunday Supper Stoup

20151005-080920.jpg TPS was in the kitchen yesterday at WestWard doing the cooking, so I asked if he would be so kind to write his recipe of the above bowl. It was just so tasty I really wanted him to share it with you all.

One of our favorite traditions is making chicken stock, and we almost always have some in the freezer. When the cool air of Autumn comes on, we’re thinking of what Mr. Watson has dubbed “stoup” and nothing is a better base than homemade stock!

Stoup in the Watson Sive household is a hearty bowl of above stock, with whatever veggies and proteins we have on hand and are inspired by. It’s thicker than soup, but not quite stew. This version was inspired by kale TKW saw at the Pike Place Market on Saturday, and some sausages we had on-hand.

Defrost 2 quarts of stock and heat up while preparing fillings.

Coarsely chop one sweet onion and 1 cup of carrots.

Medium chop 3 tablespoons fresh herbs (tonight’s were the last of the oregano and thyme from our summer pots).

Julienne or tear into pieces (after cutting out the stems) one bunch of hearty kale.

Heat some olive oil in a heavy casserole or soup pot and cook up 4-6 sausages, until just barely cooked. Remove from heat and when cool chop into 1/3 inch chunks.

In the same heavy pan, add some olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots until they’re sweaty and just soft. Mid way through add the fresh herbs.

Add the stock to the onion, carrot and herb mixture and bring to low boil. Add 1 1/2 cans of drained white beans and the chopped sausage. Heat to low simmer; then add the kale and cook at a low simmer.

While the stoup is bubbling away, purée or mash the remaining 1/2 can of beans. Add to the stoup.

After 5 minutes or so turn up to a low boil and add 2 cups of dry egg noodles. Just before the noodles are done, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so.

Ladle into a big bowl, top with some grated Parmesan, and you’re set. A medium dark beer and some crusty country bread are great accompaniments.

(A note: I find one of the tricks to good soup is to not overcook. For example, in this recipe the onions and carrots and sausage will all continue to cook in the stoup, and while you want the flavors to mix, a light touch in cooking time keeps the component flavors fresh and bright.)



Clementine Soup

20141028-065936.jpg Soup on these chilly, rainy days/evenings can be such a comforting thing. If the soup is nice and hearty, even better. Our friends’ 10 year old daughter Clementine, who is like a niece to us, came up with a hearty soup I was dying to try. Sunday supper was this crazy good soup using 5 ingredients cooked up in one pot.

Cook 1 lb. sweet Italian ground sausage. Remove from the pot. Sauté 2 leeks that you have cut up into small pieces in the pot. Add back in sausage. Add chicken stock (2 boxes) plus 1 lb. of bite sized white sweet potatoes. Bring all to a boil, then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Then add a bundle of chopped kale at the end. Done. Serve with crusty baguette. This will be now known in our house as Clementine soup.