And I would do anything for love…

*Warning: This post might offend vegetarians. And anyone with common sense, which I am obviously lacking today. 

The hubs and I, we don’t really do Valentine’s Day. It’s not that we hate candy and flowers, it just one of those take-it-or-leave-it holidays.

So this morning was just like any other morning – we got up with the kiddo when he started squawking from his crib. Hubs let the dogs outside to potty, I plopped the munchkin in his high chair with some Cheerios and yogurt and then we sat down to read the morning news. (Ok fine, we were on Twitter. Shut it.)

After breakfast, Monkey and I read some books and hubs headed to work. A few minutes later the phone rang.

“Some fat guy in a diaper was on our porch,” my husband said.

There’s still a few inches of snow on the ground and the cat refuses to stay out at night, so I was thinking about how uncomfortable that nappied nincompoop must be out there when my husband added, “He was wearing wings.”

Most women would have caught on at this point, but I actually had a neighbor once who checked his mail while wearing pink underwear, a tutu and alien antennae, so instead of thinking “Cupid,” I was thinking “I hope that door is locked. Where’s my gun?”

Then, over the phone, I heard this weird mouth-fart noise that could only be my husband suppressing a giggle.

“You got me a card, didn’t you?” I asked, feeling like crap because I hadn’t done any Valentine’s planning at all.

And indeed, he had. It was punny and silly and perfect, and inside he’d penned a beautiful letter. I thanked him and we hung up.

As the morning progressed, I thought hard about how to reciprocate his spontaneous declaration of love.

Well you know, of course I decided on food.

We were going to have tacos for dinner tonight – not the fanciest fare even if the tortillas were going to be freshly made.

Suddenly, this post I’d seen the day before popped into my head. Restaurant- style steak! Men love red meat that’s dead, having been drowned in butter, but barely qualifying as cooked. (Or at least, mine does.)

Except that he has the car seat in the truck with him at work and it’s not like I can just zip over to the store with a toddler in the trunk of the car, and we don’t have any steak here…exactly.

Oh! But what we did have was a huge beef tenderloin my mother had bought for Christmas dinner. We’d never actually gotten around to cooking it, so it was taking up an entire shelf in my deep freeze.

Now, that’s way too much meat for our little family to consume in one meal and since we’re heading out for a little vacation later this week I didn’t want to waste it by defrosting the whole thing.

“I know,” I thought. “I’ll just cut off a little piece of the end, slice it into steaks and serve them with roasted rosemary potatoes. What man doesn’t like steak and potatoes?”

Armed with my sharpest knife, I headed into the garage to the deep freeze.

I’d seriously underestimated a couple of things.

One, the size of the tenderloin. This was a $70 hunk of beef, y’all.

Two, frozen meat is freaking hard. The knife wouldn’t even scratch the surface.

So there I am downstairs with a hunk of frozen beef that resembles a cadaver leg – trying to come up with a way to lop off the end of it – when I caught sight of hubs’ tool chest.

“I’ll chisel this mother off, “ I said to myself, returning to my beefy challenge with a hammer and a (very clean) wood chisel.

You know, I discovered that would be a great way to cut beef medallions, but it wasn’t going to get me a clean slice through the middle.

Luckily, a more thorough search of the tool cabinet revealed a fresh, unopened package of new hacksaw blades.

Now I’m standing on a pile of dirty towels, this large, plastic-wrapped tenderloin pinned to the top of the washing machine which was the only clean flat surface available, vigorously sawing back and forth while meat confetti flew everywhere.

But I got a chunk cut off that sucker for dinner. Oh yes I did.

It was about 15 minutes later, after I’d cleaned up the murder scene in the garage that I realized he’d taken the car to work and left the truck – complete with toddler car seat – in the driveway for me to use.

Linking up with Yeah Write #44! You should really come check out the posts there. No two are alike. 

In the Kitchen: Sausage and Kale Soup with Focaccia Triangles

I came across a soup recipe last week that I pinned in hopes of tricking my boys into eating some healthy kale and white beans.

This is a monumentally difficult task because my husband could live on chilidogs and Cheez Its and my son won’t touch anything lately that’s not a Cheerio.

When I finally got around to making the soup today, I was missing a few ingredients, but I made some decent substitutions and after serving himself a third bowl, my husband proclaimed, “This is the best thing I’ve eaten in a such a long time.”

Ha. You just ate veggies sir. Score.

Sausage and Kale Soup
(original recipe posted here)

1 pound smoked kielbasa or Polish sausage, sliced
3 medium Yukon Gold or red potatoes, chopped
2 large shallots, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch kale, trimmed and torn
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
1 large tomato, diced
1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
cups water

Heat a large soup pot. Drizzle in oil and sauté sausage, potatoes and shallots. You’ll get a bit of brown on the bottom of the pan, that’s good. We’ll get it later.

Add the garlic and seasonings then stir for another minute or so.

Pour in one cup of the water, and scrape the bottom of the pot to pull up the brown bits that will now dissolve into the broth, adding some fantastic flavor.

Add the rest of the water, the tomato, the beans and the bay leaves. Bring the soup to a brief boil, the add the kale, reduce the heat and stir occasionally while the kale wilts – about 15 minutes.

Serve with triangles of focaccia from this easy recipe for a hearty, warm and immensely satisfying cold-weather meal.

If you expect the unexpected, doesn’t that make the unexpected expected?

Image source

Do you ever come across someone and get that feeling – that certainty – that you’re going to be friends?

That’s pretty much how I felt the first time I met Greta of Not Enough Patience and Never Enough Jewelry.

Although we hang out pretty frequently on The Twitter, we’ve been lucky enough to get together on several occasions in real life and it’s always a good time. (Especially this last girls’ lunch – I can tell you straight up that neither of us has any tolerance for alcohol. One fourth of a Bellini at lunch had me giggling like Piglet.)

When Greta (whom I refer to as G Funk in my head, because you all get secret nicknames) asked me to contribute a post for her Great Expectations series, I got the warm fuzzies. Ok, and also some prickly panic because let’s face it, when you don’t write for awhile, your creative prose muscle starts to atrophy.

If you’ve got a minute, head over to Greta’s place and see what I came up with. Also be sure to check out her four adorable kiddos and then go follow her on Twitter and chat with us sometime.

*Comments are closed so please head over and visit with us at G Funk’s.