Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brew Review: Pliny the Elder


Beer: Russian River Brewing Co. Pliny the Elder
Date: 1-20-12
Alcohol: 8%
Location: Sonoma County, California  <----woot woot!
Packing Type: 1 pint bottle
Price: $3.99
IBU's: 100

Aroma: Strong hops, pine, citrus, bitter smell, but almost refreshing.

Appearance: Golden and relatively clear, great white head.

Body & Texture: Full body. Low carbonation. Smooth, not a strong alcohol flavor.

Aftertaste: Hoppy but not as much as expected. Bitter aftertaste.


Overall Impression:
Pliny is pretty famous around these parts. It's a double IPA, and it's also rated the number 4th  most popular beer on BeerAdvocate. I really wanted to give this beer a great rating since it's from Sonoma County! Yay! Unfortunately, I feel like something may have been off with this particular bottle. It had very little carbonation, it was almost nonexistent. I've had Pliny at their brew pub in Santa Rosa before, and it tasted different.

One aspect that I liked about Pliny was that it wasn't totally overwhelmingly hoppy. The aroma is so hoppy that I thought I wouldn't really be able to handle the 100 IBU's but it wasn't a problem.

Would I buy this beer again?
I wouldn't buy Pliny again, but it's often in my fridge thanks to David. 

This bottle didn't leave a lasting impression on me, but both David and I thought their might have been something wrong with the bottle. It had just been bottled on 1-16 & we drank it on 1-20. Maybe it wasn't in the bottle long enough? I'm not really sure. I'd order it at the brew pub again to give it another shot.

Also, if you're ever in Santa Rosa for some reason, make sure to go to their brew pub. They have some of my favorite pizza in town! I love it.
Circa 2008

Have you ever heard of Russian River Brewing before?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pumpkin Quinoa Chili {with turkey!}


I'm one of those people that creates a recipe and wants to name it Kelli's Chili. How original, huh? It seems like recipe names are so long these days, but I understand why. We want to know what's in the recipe without reading every ingredient. At least I think that's why...I mean, I wanted you to see this chili has PUMPKIN in it. That's pretty cool! I wanted you to see that there is QUINOA in this chili! That's very cool! But, I felt like naming it Pumpkin Turkey Quinoa Chili is too darn long. But, then I had to tell the vegetarians, yes, this one has meat. I'm sorry, but sometimes it happens in my house. Sometimes, I splurge for the good stuff.


I'm going with Pumpkin Quinoa Chili because that's really what makes it different than most chili recipes, right?


You know what really makes chili amazing? The fixins', the toppings, the garnishes, whatever you wanna call them. In my book, chili must be served with fixins'. I like cheese (duh!), cilantro (duh!), jalapeno, more onion, sour cream/greek yogurt. Whatever floats your boat.


I hope you meat eaters try out this very satisfying different chili recipe. I think you'll be pleased with the outcome.

Pumpkin Quinoa Chili {with turkey!}

2 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped
1 pound ground turkey
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon corriander
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup quinoa

Toppings: cheddar cheese, jalapeno, and cilantro

1. Heat large pot over medium high heat. Pour in a swig of olive oil and saute onion and peppers for about 3-5 minutes. Add in ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add in garlic and stir for 1 minute. Pour in all seasonings and stir to coat evenly. Pour in tomatoes and pumpkin puree; stir to combine. Add quinoa, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until quinoa is thoroughly cooked through.

What are you favorite chili toppings?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Lemon Sherbet


Did you notice there wasn't a Random Thoughts Thursday? Probably not, but if you did notice, well, I just didn't feel like doing it this week. Sometimes, I get really sick of things. I'm not saying I won't do them anymore, but I definitely needed a week off. Should resume normally next week.


This literally is the week of lemons on my blog. My blog this week is allllllllll lemons, minus one post on beer! It's like I have a lemon blog. 

When I was typing this post I wrote Lemon Sherbert. Am I the only one that calls it that? I loved orange sherbert sherbet when I was a kid. It was probably one of my favorite desserts, right Mom?

What can I say about this lemon sherbet? Well, for starters, it's AMAZING! Seriously, that's pretty much all I need to say. Homemade ice creams are the best desserts. EVER. Please make this someday, and if you do, let me know. I want to know you experienced the awesomeness that is this dessert.

Lemon Sherbet
recipe by David Lebovitz
The Perfect Scoop

3 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
3-4 lemons for zest an 6 tablespoons juice

1. In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup milk and sugar together. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Zest 1 lemon into the saucepan and stir. Remove from heat.
2. Pour into a bowl or 4 cup measuring cup. Add remaining 2 cups milk and refrigerate until cold.
3. Stir in the lemon juice.
4. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.

Notes: I chilled my milky sugar mixture for about an hour.
I churned my mixture in the icre cream maker for about 20 minutes on speed 1. Then I transfer it to the freezer. It was in the freezer for about 2 hours before I served it.

It should probably be known that my serving was more than that ramekin.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sparkling Lemonade


What do you do when you have an abundance of lemons? Well, make lemonade of course! 

  
Last weekend was pretty dreary. It rained lots and lots! I was happy for the rain since it's been quite a dry winter. Unusually dry. In the middle of all that rain, I was lucky enough to have more of those meyer lemons I told you about on Monday. It really was a weekend of lemons. 


I've made lemonade lots of times in the past when I've had copious amounts of meyer lemons around the house. While I was out at Whole Foods doing my weekly shopping, I picked up a bottle of sparkling water and knew exactly what I was going to do with it.


I'm so glad I made some sparkling lemonade because it was the perfect thing to break up the middle of the day. It also didn't hurt that it reminded me of summer. I love that meyer lemons are in season in January. It's kind of fun drinking a summer drink in the winter. 



Sparkling Lemonade
 
Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water

For Lemonade:
Simple syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup meyer lemon juice
Sparkling water

1. In a small pot or saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar; stir until sugar is melted.
2. In a pitcher; combine simple syrup, water, and lemon juice.
3. Pour half a glass with the lemonade and top with sparkling water, ice, and lemon slices.

Note: This recipe produces about 3 glasses of sparkling lemonade. Doubling the recipe is a good idea if you're making for more than you and one other person.

Oh yah, Ryder really liked playing with the half a lemon I let him have. 



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Brew Review: Kona Brewing Fire Rock


Beer: Kona Brewing Co. Fire Rock Pale Ale
Date: 1-20-12
Alcohol: 5.8%
Location: Kona, Hawaii
Package Type: six pack 12 oz bottles
Price: $7.99

Aroma: Malty, slightly sweet, with mild hops.

Appearance: Not very pale. Kind of an orange color with some haziness.

Body & Texture: Medium to light. Crisp.

Aftertaste: Light hops leaves more of a bready aftertaste.


Overall Impression:
Let me start off by saying, I like Fire Rock. I'm probably bias since it reminds me of my trip to Kauai in December. I opened this on a very rainy night, and the flavor brought me right back to the resort's beach. The number one beer on tap during our trip was Fire Rock, so I became pretty accustomed to it. Fire Rock is tied to good memories and fun times for me. 

If you're not quite used to IPA's then Pale Ales are a fine place to start. They're a great introduction to hops since their less bitter. I think Fire Rock is very drinkable. At $7.99 a six pack I would definitely buy it again. It's a crisp beer, that might make you feel like you are on a beach in the tropics, or at least make you wish you were. If you're still getting used to craft beers, definitely give Fire Rock a try.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes


My Nanny has a meyer lemon tree, and about twice a year I get more meyer lemons than I know what to do with. On Friday I brought home a huge bag of meyer lemons, so it only made sense to start using them up on Saturday morning. Plus, what's better than pancakes on a weekend morning?!


David & I have a favorite oatmeal pancake recipe that I make almost every weekend, so it's nice to change it up and this was the perfect recipe to do it with.


You know what I love when I'm making pancakes? I love those tiny perfect bubbles you get right before flipping them. Their the perfect indicator that it's time to flip. See, I'm talking about those bubbles! Below...


That short little stack was alllllllll mine, baby! Yes, I ate all three. More than David even. I'm kind of a pancake monster. I also really enjoy jam rather than syrup. Am I ka-ray-zee?


Meyer Lemon Buttermilk Pancakes

1 egg
1 cup flour
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest


1. Preheat your griddle/pan. This is important! You want it hot when your batter is ready.
2. Beat egg in a medium bowl with a whisk. Mix in all remaining ingredients until just combined.
3. Pour batter onto lightly buttered griddle. Flip when small bubbles form.


What's your favorite weekend breakfast to make?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random Thoughts Thursday


1. My smoothie brings all the boys to the yard, And there like, Its better than yours, Damn right its better than yours,  I can teach you, But I have to charge.

Yes, that is my first random thought. I am in looovvveee with my green smoothies! So much smoothie talk on the blogsphere. Can't stop. Won't stop.


2. Last weekend David & I brewed. It was lots of fun, but also lots of work! It's called Ryder's Rye IPA. It's named after none other than little man.  In honor of Ryder, we used the spent grains and made Ryder some dog treats. Pretty exciting, right? We live on the wild side.


3. We also feasted on our favorite burrito. For $9.99 we get a Carnitas Grande Burrito with Green Sauce. They also give you chicken tortilla soup AND chips and salsa! All this food feeds both of us. Pretty darn good deal! Look at the size of my half burrito! If you share it's not as bad for you...


4. Have you read Katie's 12 Blogger Bad Habits? I think they are pretty hilarious. I also had fun reading the comments. I will try not to do any of the 12 habits, but I can't make any promises. 

5. I realize I post a picture of Ryder every week, but I'm not going to stop. I believe my Nanny reads my blog (right, Nanny...?), and I like to show her weekly updates on how big he is getting. Well, I also just like to post a picture of my little man.


6. I wanted to do a collage of Ryder. I took about 75 pictures of him last weekend, but I decided I wouldn't be that annoying mom, this week...

7. I finished The Hunger Games, and am now reading Catching Fire -- duh. I can't wait to see the movie! YEEE! I haven't been this excited for a movie since HP7! I thought I'd never be that excited for a movie  ever again. I had even said I probably wouldn't go to the movies ever again. I'm glad that wasn't true. 


8. Whenever I hear that Rihanna song on the radio, "We fell in love in a hopeless place...". I keep thinking of The Hunger Games. I wonder if anyone else has thought that -- I doubt it.

9. Last Saturday, David & I watched Anger Management. Remember that movie? Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson? It's hilarious. Its circa 2003, so I think it's time you watch it again.


10. Yoga was soooo hard last night! I was in so much pain. I don't think I was the only one, either. It seemed like the whole class was dying. The only thing that kept  me going was by the time I looked at the clock for the first time (bad yogi), it had already been 35 minutes, thank god! I really dislike leaving a workout and feeling like I did terrible. I felt pretty weak and scared for next week. Maybe it was just an off day...I hope.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup {Easiest Soup Ever}


Soup, soup, soup!

Believe me when I say, I know I post a lot of soup recipes. I'm not going to apologize though. I love soup! When I was in culinary school, people would ask me, "What is your favorite thing to cook?". I think that's a very broad question, but I would always reply, "soup". Call me lazy, but I love the easiness of soups. They usually require very little dishes; cutting board, knife, spoon, and pot. Clean up is very easy which is always a plus! I love that you saute everything up first and then simmer for a while. 

Well, this soup, doesn't require much, hence it's the easiest soup ever.

I first made this soup back in 2006 for my family. I wrote in the book that it was the easiest soup I've ever made. I'd say that's still true today.

Pumpkin & Black Bean Soup
adapted from Rachael Ray Veggie Meals

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, in juice
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
 1/2 cup heavy cream
S&P to taste

1. Heat a pot over medium heat, and add olive oil. Saute onion about 5 minutes or until soft. Add broth, tomatoes, black beans, and pumpkin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and stir in curry powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt/pepper to taste. Simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream. Serve.

See...easy!
Enjoy!

Do you like pumpkin in savory dishes?
I do!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brew Review: Ninkasi Brewing Total Domination IPA


Beer: Ninkasi Brewing Total Domination IPA
Date: 12-3-11
Alcohol: 6.7%
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Package Type: 22 oz bottle
Price: $3.99

Aroma: Mildly hoppy

Appearance: Tan, dark deep golden, and hazy. White foamy head.

Body & Texture: Smooth, easy to drink, medium bodied, good carbonation.

Aftertaste: Slight bitterness, but not overwhelming.


Overall Impression: This IPA was very easy to drink and not too hoppy, so I would recommend it to anyone starting out tasting IPA's. I've noticed that different breweries vary in hoppiness. One breweries double IPA might be another breweries regular IPA. It seemed like a very standard West Coast IPA. Although it's everything I would expect from an IPA, nothing is too memorable about it. Nothing left me saying, "This was a great beer!".  I thought the price was great at $3.99. David picked this beer up on a whim while we were at BevMo one night. We like trying out breweries we've never heard of before, and I'm glad we gave this one a chance. Since it was a pretty positive experience, I wouldn't be hesistant to buy another of their brews in the future. Cool little fact, Ninkasi is the Sumerian Goddess of Beer! I love that name for a brewery, so props to them!
Would I buy this beer again?
  Since there are so many different IPA's to try, I probably wouldn't, but I do think it is worth a try if you've never had it. If I were ever in Eugene, Oregon, I would definitely go to the brew pub, and order one on tap.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Spinach Lentil Soup


Last Monday I shared a lentil soup recipe, which I proclaimed as my favorite soup of the season so far. That says a lot, since I've been eating about two soups a week for dinner. This spinach lentil soup is in place of this soup. I mentioned in that post I was working on a vegetarian lentil soup, and this is the product. It's delicious and hearty without the meat. Even David really enjoyed it. Of course, what isn't enjoyable with a mound of parmesan cheese on it?


I hope this soup makes it's way into your kitchen this winter. It's a great way to add some some key nutrients into your diet, such as fiber and iron.

Spinach Lentil Soup
heavily adapted from Cooking Light January/February 2012

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup brown or green lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 (6 oz) package fresh baby spinach
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to top

1. Heat a pot over medium heat. Add oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add onion, celery, and carrots; cook for about 8 minutes or until tender. Add bay leaf and dried thyme; cook for 1 minute. Add lentils, vegetable stock, and water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaf and remove from heat.
2. Place 2 cups of lentil mixture in a blender and puree until smooth. Make sure to remove the blender lid, and place a kitchen towel over the top. Return pureed lentils to the pot. Add baby spinach, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste. Stir until spinach is wilted.


Notes:
I used my new awesome green Cuisine Art hand blender to puree the soup. I love that thing! If you have one of those, it definitely makes it easy.

I think I've got my lentil obsession out of the way for the winter but who knows! I may be back this winter with another lentil recipe. Until then, enjoy this one!

Do you own a hand blender? Do you think it's a waste of space, or do you absolutely love it?
I had one at my parent's house, but when I moved out I never took it with me. 
I received a Sur La Table gift card over Christmas, and used it to purchase 
my new beautiful bright green one! Thanks Mom & Dad!
BTW, I think they are totally useful! I mean, I've been getting by for 2 years without one, 
but it was so nice not to drag out my blender.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies


This is the classic chocolate chip cookie recipe.
You really don't need another chocolate chip cookie recipe if you have this one.
It just doesn't get better than this.
Go ahead, try out the other recipes.
Try making them healthier (ha!)
Try adding fancy browned butter.
Try allllll the other recipes.


Trust me when I say I know from personal experience.
You'll come back for this one.























Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe by Betty Crocker's Cookbook

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 bag (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Beat sugars and vanilla in a large bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and egg. Beat again and scrape down the side of the bowl if necessary. On low speed, beat in flour, baking soda, and salt until just combined. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips with a spoon.
3. Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. 
4. Bake 8-12 minutes or until light brown. Cool for 1 minutes on sheet; remove cookies to wire rack.

Happy Friday!
I hope you have a great weekend!

Do you have a classic chocolate chip cookie recipe you use?
Whenever I make chocolate chip cookies, I'm always reminded of that FRIENDS episode where Monica is trying to recreate Phoebe's grandmothers (?) recipe. Monica makes tons of batches, and then it's revealed it's Nestle Tollhouse's recipe. haha! I love it!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Random Thoughts Thursday

1. i started the Hunger Games per David's request. Funny thing is, I recommended the Hunger Games to David, but I hadn't read them myself. Now he's dying for me to read them so we can discuss them. Oh, and go see the movie together when it comes out.


2. my feet are ALWAYS cold in the winter. I'm talkin' icebergs! I worry that when I'm old I will have these scary black and blue frozen feet. What can I do to help my circulation?!

3. do you ever come across a blog, and you're surprised by how many people are following it?

4. do you ever come across a blog, and you're surprised by how hardly any one is following it?

5. I bought flavored sparkling water at WF's last weekend. I thought it might be good for when I'm feeling like something besides water. Usually the only other beverage we have in the house is beer, but I don't really drink during the week. I'm really loving this stuff right now.



6. Have you seen Our Idiot Brother? I hadn't even heard about it until I was browsing what to watch on the plane ride home from Kauai. It was pretty funny!


7. Puppy boy will be 8 months tomorrow. They grow up so fast! Seriously, they do...



8. For Christmas I got a Kindle Fire. I love that device. I'm having so much fun with it. It's nice for me because I don't have anymore room to store books. When you live in a small place, storing books is not easy.
9. That picture of Mad Men on the Kindle reminds me, does anyone watch Mad Men? I recently started watching it with David. Am I the only person that think all the men in that show are pigs?! Maybe I'm not far enough (Season 2) but I'm not sure what is great about this show. It's kind of depressing. 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Does Your Smoothie Say About You?

All over the blogsphere (I love that word), bloggers have been sharing green monster recipes, and other smoothie recipes. While I think it's a funny time to be posting smoothie recipes (Hello! It's January!), I understand why.

Smoothies are a great way to pack in multiple high-nutrient foods into your diet. With the new year beginning, people feel more inclined to try to be healthier, and that's something I completely support. I usually enjoy smoothies year round but way more often in the warmer months. My house is already cold enough in the winter without me slurping down an ice cold smoothie!

Last winter I was really into adding oatmeal to my smoothies for extra fiber, but eventually my smoothies were getting too heavy. For now, I've cut that out. In all honesty, I don't usually add spinach to my smoothies. I'm not saying I never have, but it's not always a requirement. This year, I'm going to make it a point to add more spinach into my diet. Smoothies are a great way to do this!


The three main ingredients that ALWAYS go into my smoothies are:
Strawberries
Blueberries
Banana

I usually use water as my liquid, but if I have it on hand, I use coconut milk. I LOVE it. It makes any smoothie taste tropical. It also really covers up any spinach taste. Some people have said spinach has no taste, but I'm really unsure of what they're talking about. Spinach does have a taste!


Now, I'm not providing you with a recipe because I just don't understand smoothie recipes. I think smoothies are meant to be thrown together. I can't picture myself measuring out frozen fruit to blend together. I just throw stuff in and adjust if it needs it. The blender above was not just for me, I shared with David. I also ended up adding about a cup of water. I recently added some left over natural apple juice from Whole Foods and that tasted mighty good! I love that you can add any liquid to it; water, coconut water, milk, coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, juices, etc.


I'm not sure what my smoothie says about me. I don't add protein powder to my smoothies. I really hate the texture it gives them. I know tons of people do though. I would really love to stock up on some Super Foods and add some of that scary looking green stuff to mine in the future.

I guess you could conclude that I'm not worried about my protein intake. Does the addition of coconut milk make you wonder if I care about fat content? Does the spinach show you I'm trying? Who knows.

When I make a smoothie, I'm trying to get some more fruits (& possibly veggies) into my diet. Smoothies are easy to make and I happen to love them. After yoga on Thursday nights it's usually too late for me to start cooking, so dinner might result in a smoothie. If I don't have much on hand for a weekend lunch, I make a smoothie. If dinner was a light salad, and I'm still hungry an hour later, I make a smoothie.


I'm interested in knowing what you think your smoothie says about you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Brew Review: Deschutes Black Butte Porter


Beer: Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter
Date: 12-11-11
Alcohol: 5.2%
Location Brewed: Bend, Oregon
Package: 12 oz bottle
Price: Unknow. Bought 1 bottle for this tasting.

Aroma: Dark malts, creamy, cream soda

Appearance: Black straight on, but in the light very dark brown

Body & Texture: Smooth going down the throat. Medium bodied. Lighter than expected. SO easy to swallow.

Aftertaste: Malts, caramel, clean finish, not very bitter.

Overall Impression: I was really impressed with this porter. It gave great beer burps! I'd say this is the best porter I've tasted yet. It was just so easy to sip on. It's so balanced, and nothing is overwhelming. I think Black Butte Porter would be a great porter for anyone starting to try out porters. David & I shared this porter after eating dinner, while wrapped up in a blanket on the couch, with a fire going. It was the perfect ending to our night. Sometimes I like to have a little taste of a beer like this as my "night cap". This is definitely a beer I would buy again. If I had a dream beer fridge, this would definitely be in it.

I highly recommend trying this porter!
It's easy to taste because you can buy one (12 oz) bottle at BevMo individually. No excuses!

Oregon is known for their craft beers and I have to say, Deschutes Brewery has been impressing me lately. If you're ever visiting Portland, stop by their brew pub, and pick up one of their pretzels. They're so good! They also sell great root beer, if you're into local root beers.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sausage & Lentil Stew


I saw this recipe back in September in Rachael Ray's magazine and immediately tore it out. It sounded so good, I knew I'd be making it this winter. As soon as January rolled around I felt like I needed a hearty soup and this recipe fit the bill perfectly.

I deemed it my favorite soup that night. Looking back at it and writing up the recipe, I'm pretty much salivating. Is it lunch time yet?!


I'm sorry vegetarians, this soup is not for you. But don't worry, I'm actually working on a vegetarian lentil soup right now. It's simmering away as I type this up. Maybe I'll share that one next week. That is, if it turns out to be a success.

I can't really recommend this soup enough. If you're a meat eater (I am in limited quantities), and you love sausage (I DO! more than bacon, people), then this soup is a keeper. 

Sausage & Lentil Stew
Adapted from Rachael Ray Every Day October 2011

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb. ground sweet Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup lentils (brown or green, not red), rinsed
1 quart chicken broth
1 bunch kale, rinsed and torn roughly into pieces

1. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned; using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl.
2. Add onion and carrot to the pot and cook until slightly softened. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning and stir for about 1 minute. Add lentils, broth, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
3. Stir in kale and sausage. Cook until kale is wilted, should only take a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Do you eat lentils often?
I'm not a huge lentil eater, but I really like them. 
I'm going to try to incorporate them into my diet more this year.
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