In my quest to improve our social life, I invited some folks over, cleaned up and cooked up a storm in the hopes that eventually I would be invited to someone else's house, where they'd do the cleaning and cooking. Anywho, we had a fun old time, watching a pretty darn exciting football game while the kids wavered between all out transformer battles and snuggling with their daddies on the couch. One of K's school buddies came over with his dad, giving his very pregnant mom a chance to rest and nest in peace.
First up, Trader Joes, 17 bean and barley soup, which this link calls "self-serving" since the recipe calls for several of TJs products.
First I soaked the beans, aren't they pretty?
Sauteed this lovely new product (who's name I forgot), essentially a base for lots of soups - chopped onions, celery and carrots, voila!
I added chopped pepper, frozen TJs garlic and sauteed the whole thing in olive oil with a bit of soy sauce. Added this to the beans with a can of chopped tomatoes, some chopped mushrooms and I bought some of this herb paste and topped the whole thing off with various liquids, including more chicken stock, wine and the leftover beer from my next concoction.
I kept reading about beer bread on various blogs, but of course lost all the links. I found this really easy recipe here, and will for sure be making this again. It is so easy to make, really moist yet holds really well together. I added cheese to the whole wheat version.
And because I am the BEST MOM EVER we also whipped up this vanilla cake, added chocoalate chips (which sunk to the bottom and were scraped off the bottom of the pan and into my mouth) and frosted the three boys names on the cake.