Decking the Halls…Uhh, Kind Of

My plan for today was to get our Christmas tree lit and decorated.
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I tried?

Depsite having the day off, I got caught up in doing work from home for awhile. And then I felt obligated to get some homework done. I’m not very good at this “day off” stuff. So before I knew it, it was 1:30 & I hadn’t yet showered. Not that a shower was tooootally neccessary for the day…

At any rate, I did get some decorating done.
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Hanging snowman towels counts as decorating, right? Riiiight??

If I’m being honest, the idea of a home cooked meal took over my desire to decorate. It’s been a crazy few weeks/months and I can’t really recall the last time I cooked a legit meal. I wanted to do something simple, yet yummy and that’s just what I did!

The main course was a super easy French onion soup that I’ve dubbed Beery Easy Onion Soup.

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Beery Easy Onion Soup
yields 4-6 servings
Ingredients:
2 tbsp. butter
1 lb. yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dark beer (I used a stout that I found in the fridge.)
32 oz. chicken stock
32 oz. beef broth
salt & pepper
1 small loaf French bread
garlic salt
shredded cheese (I used Swiss & mozzarella.)

Directions:
1. Melt butter in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
2. Add onions, a few dashes of salt & pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until browned & wilted.
3. Pour in beer and garlic, stir.
4. Allow to cook down until everything is nice and caramelized and syrupy.
5. Add chicken stock & beef broth. Simmer for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat broiler. Spread a few slices of bread with butter & sprinkle with garlic salt. Place in broiler for a few minutes, flipping once & watching very carefully.
7. Ladle soup into large ramekins or oven safe bowls. Place toasted bread on top of soup & pile a generous portion of cheese on top.
8. Broil for approximately 5 minutes, until cheese is melted & slightly browned. Watch carefully!

That’s all. Told you it was easy. Hubby & I agreed the soup could use a little something. I didn’t follow any sort of recipe, but just did a little research. I would suggest adding a bay leaf or two. Maybe some parsley & thyme. Whatever tickles your fancy.

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And if you crack open a bottle of birthday gift wine to pair it with…even better!

But the real star of our dinner was the salad.
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Luann’s Kale Salad, that is.

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When Kristin posted this recipe a few months ago, I knew I needed to try it. I don’t know what took me so long, but Kristin’s sister-in-law, Kerry just made it too and when she turned it into an adorable Christmas wreath (srsly, check it out), I just HAD TO HAVE IT NOW!!

Here’s Kristin’s recipe, with my modifications noted:
Ingredients:
1 bunch kaleI only used a half a bunch
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced red onion we were eating onion soup…
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped OR 1 cup fresh pomegranate arils –I used dried cranberries AND pomegranate arils
1 apple, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped (could use walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds)-I went with pistachios
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar –balsamic 1/2 teaspoon sugaragave nectar
Pepper
**I didn’t measure a thing.

Directions:
1.Wash kale, then tear leaves from tough stems and pat dry. Cut or tear leaves into bite sized pieces then add to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and massage with fingers for two minutes, or until kale is dark green and tender. Add red onion, dried cherries (or pomegranate arils,) chopped apple, and peanuts ingredients, then toss to combine.
2.Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, and pepper to taste in a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake to combine then drizzle over kale salad and toss well.

We don’t often sit down and eat at our table. Turns out it’s quite enjoyable eating dinner at the dinner table.

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Neither of us could stop eating the salad. Lucky for me, there’s a perfect amount left for breakfast in the morning!

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Do you ever trade what you should do for what you want to do? I sure hope so. I definitely can’t say that I wasn’t productive today, I just didn’t neccessarily do what I had planned. And you know what? It was liberating!

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