Crazy-fun night, oh my god how I laughed, ouch. Kim and Susie (here with Nathan), two of the funniest people on the planet, came for dinner. Our goal was to actually do some work – ha! – on Feminine Hijinx… Our soon-to-be podcast! Of the three of us raving various subjects together – the concept and name of which Susie brainstormed. And, she wrote the theme song, and of course it’s fantastic! The plan was to meet here, eat a quick bowl of soup (tortilla) with the family, then retire to the newly fabulous (ha) downstairs to nail down a format. W..e..l..l…we talked and laughed in the dining room for a couple of hours, keeping Nathan from his homework, since he loves to hang with Susie and Kim too. We then ended up in our bedroom, looking at family photos, and naturally (?) posing for photos of our own. Finally, we made it downstairs, and did talk about the podcast, and everything else under the sun, and when the yawns were more than the laughs, we called the evening over. I rolled into bed (this time, with John) at some point after midnight, still laughing. I don’t know what it is about the three of us that makes us dork out like silly, giggling (actually, shrieking) schoolgirls, but I’ll take it!
So, tortilla soup. One of my favorites, and in my mind a healthy way to tame that craving for Mexican food that was born in, of all places, Grand Forks, North Dakota, at what was then La Campana restaurant. They put some drug in those beef burritos, because I still crave them, powerfully. Stephanie Sanford, Kim Borgen, and I still email each other about LaCampana, and whenever we’re together in GF, which isn’t often enough, we head there (or actually, to its heir, Paradiso) right away and chow down. And now we can also have a beer (woo hoo!), which we couldn’t in highschool of course. Since there’s no equal to Paradiso here in the Twin Cities (and most people would be glad about that, especially John!), I whipped up some tortilla soup. Simple, healthy, little spicy, little salty, full of chicken, avocado, a few tortilla chips, and topped with a sprinkle of cheese and a dab of sour cream. Delicious, and on the table in less than thirty. Yes! Recipe is in comments, below. (I have to confess, I didn’t have the soup hot enough when we ate it last night – sorry about that guys, I was too busy talking; when it’s hot, it’s truly a fantastic meal-in-a-bowl…)
Today I’m preparing a little appetizer for our neighborhood women’s association meeting. The group gets together every-other month throughout the year at a different home each time. SO fun. Lots of gabbing, laughing, and drinking wine – my kind of get-together. Such a girlie week! Which will continue right on into the weekend, as I mentioned yesterday, at a family bridal shower on Saturday. The only drawback is I’m hardly seeing John this week – Thursday night is usually our “date night,” since both kids are always with their other parent on Thursday nights. Next week (or Sunday night?) I’ll have to come up with something fun for dinner, maybe John’s favorite, some/any version of chicken & rice (and make up for the triple-pork and polenta I put him through this week).
I’m bringing two spreads, one a Spuma di Tonno, from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking (lovely book), a smooth tuna spread that is salty and delicious with something crisp. The other, just a simple herb butter, made with what I think is the holy grail of butter, Hope Creamery. John just laughs at me that I can’t even buy this stuff and keep it in the house because I can’t stay away from it. And I can’t. Thin, cold slices of this on anything – bread, a cracker, or nothing at all (sick, I know, but I think of it as cheese to make it seem OK)…sublime. So I really don’t buy it unless I know I’m going to use it up real fast. I figure I’ll use half today for the herb butter, half tomorrow for one of the two coffeecakes I’m baking. I’ll get my one (small) taste of it, and then get it the hell out of here. I’ll post recipes for both the Spuma di Tonno and herb butter in comments (below).