Wasn’t summer yesterday? All of a sudden the wind sends shivers down my spine and I’ve heard the word “snow” in more than one weather conversation. Fall is my favorite season; I just didn’t expect it to get here so fast! With outdoor activities waning, it’s time to step inside and get back to indoor activities. I’ve been working hard metalsmithing, reading up on Nikola Tesla, and cooking up Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
What I’m working on…
For the moth of November, I have five pieces of jewelry on display, and for sale, at Allied Arts, a local art gallery. The pieces I have on display include three rings, one necklace, and a set of byzantine chain mail bracelet and earrings. Metalsmithing has become my passion over the last year. I have taken several classes to expand my knowledge beyond the basics. Two more classes are scheduled before the end of the year — PMC (Precious Metal Clay) and Overlay Silver Ring Workshop. I have also been working on getting my Etsy shop up and running for those who have been inquiring! Look for an opening announcement soon!
What I’m Reading…
I have been struggling my way through Wizard: The Life and Times of Nikola Tesla. The theme for my Writer’s Book Club was biography and I chose this book because I find the time period of Tesla fascinating and the amount of invention astounding. While the information about the process of invention really is fascinating, the author goes into exhaustive detail, which in a biography translates to boring! I am determined to finish the book, however, because of the little treasures hidden within all the junk.
While looking for something to read this summer, my friends and I happened into a Goodwill store and I found The Last Breath among the stacks. It was the best sounding book of all the books I could find in this small town, second-hand selection. And it was summer after all, so I was looking for something light. I read the prologue several times but was always interrupted before I could get any further. Finally this fall, while sitting in the car without anything else to do, I picked the book up again and was able to get a little further into it. I thought the story was pretty straightforward and I could spot the twist, but I was wrong. There was just the right amount of lust and mystery to make this a page turner.
what I’m cooking…
BROCCOLI CHEDDAR SOUP
For me fall means soup. There’s nothing better than a hot bowl of soup to chase away the chill in the air and warm your insides. Broccoli cheddar soup is not a recipe I’ve tried, but after searching through a number of recipes I came up with a plan. I am more of an inventor rather than a rule follower when it comes to cooking. I measure by sight, not spoon and improvise to make a meal tailored to my family’s tastes often adding or omitting as the mood strikes.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 4 broccoli stalks, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ slices
- 2 cups cheddar cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- salt and pepper to taste
- crumbled bacon
- shredded cheese
- Cook 1/2 pound of bacon, and set aside.
- Cut broccoli florets from 4 stalks and set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the tough outer layer of stalks and then cut stalks into 1/4″ slices.
- In a large pot, melt butter and saute diced onions until translucent. Then add garlic and stir until fragrant.
- Add stock and broccoli stems. Bring to a boil and then simmer until stems are soft, approximately 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the mixture to desired consistency. This process both thickens the soup and add a hearty broccoli flavor that isn’t overpowering.
- Add shredded cheese, cream cheese, and heavy cream to the mixture and stir over medium/low heat until cheeses are melted.
- Ten minutes before serving, add broccoli and simmer in soup until just tender.
- Serve each bowl with shredded cheese and bacon on top.