Lentil Soup alla Momma

I’m bustin’ out another family recipe this week. This one is inspired by the call of cold winter evenings and cozy meals from home. My mom made this soup a lot growing up — quick, easy, and oh so comforting. I’ve never made it myself until now. When I asked my mom if she would let me in on her recipe I discovered it’s actually my grandma’s recipe (!!) For me, that makes it even more special. I think that’s what I enjoy so much about food. Besides the fact that I just really like to eat, I enjoy that it’s all been pasted down. All of our recipes and ideas about food came from someone before us — it’s like history. And most of what we learn about food comes from those that feed us — it’s like love. Food is love, ya know. ☮ ✌

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x m a s * c o o k i e s

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‘Tis the season for lots and lots of cookies! In my home it seems to be family tradition to make enough cookie in the month of December to feed the whole block for a entire year. By new years the kitchen is stuffed with more round tins filled with cookies than we know what to do with. But the season just wouldn’t be whole without each and every one of them and I’m going to do my very best to share as many as I can with you.

First up — sugar cookies

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A Little Vietnam

This past weekend I had the pleasure of accompanying Travis on a trip back home to visit his parents. I had already met the ‘rents once before, but had long await the chance to spend time with them in their home… and kitchen :) Originally from Vietnam Mr and Mrs Young have established themselves in Garden City, KS. Although a great distance from home, this small meat packing town in the middle of almost nowhere western Kansas seems to have all the right accommodations for his family. Asian markets, authentic restaurants, a lively vietnamese community — I simply could not wait to experience it all. I’ll spare you all the details, but you know I can’t resist sharing with you some of the yummy things I got to enjoy!

Now, you all know I like food. I like making food, I like eating food, I like learning about food, and most importantly I like sharing food. Sitting down and sharing a meal is treasured time and is just as special, to me, as having company in the kitchen. I might have unintentionally dragged Travis into the kitchen with me a time or two, but to my great delight his curiosity is growing! After a few conversation we decided it would be cool to learn how to make a few vietnamese specials together. Not only is it important to Travis in getting in touch with his roots, but it’s something new we can learn together and allows me to get to know more about his culture and where he came from. Plus we spend wayy too much $$ on asian food and it would be much more cost effective to learn how to make some of it ourselves :)

Soooo our trip to his family’s home couldn’t have come at a better time! We were both excited to learn a thing or two in his mom’s kitchen and during our time there we both made a point of paying close attention to the cooking and asked lots of questions. I think Mrs Young was a little surprised her son was so eager learn, but glad to see that we were both interested. At the tail end of the trip she took us to the asian market and pointed out all the things we need and explained as best she could just how to create what we were after.

Now that we are back home and our pantry is fully stocked with rice paper, noodles, dried onions and hoisin we are officially good to go! Spring rolls and pho are in our near future, no doubt! But first thing’s first: COFFEE

I had heard rumors that vietnamese coffee was something worth talking about, but never tried it until this weekend. Little did I know that not only is it a tasty treat, but it’s fun to make as well. Check it out!

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Focaccia Focaccia Focaccia

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There’s a lot of things that I miss about Italy and I won’t name them mainly because 1) there’s too many to name and 2) if I think about it for too it makes me sad that I don’t know the next time I’ll be lucky enough to visit again. However, I will say that one of the things I find myself longing for is the focaccia. No matter how simple of a desire this may seem to be, if you have experienced real Italian focaccia made with real Italian love and real Italian passion, then you know this is no joking matter. Italians aren’t big on breakfast, but when they do THIS is what they go for!

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