Friday, October 23, 2009

"there's barely time for us to breathe"

the food: Swiss Chard, Mushroom, & Carmelized Onion Bruschetta
the song: "There's Never Enough Time" Postal Service

Yaaaawwwn. Is it the weekend already? This week has flown by with little time to stop and breathe. We've been working on various projects, some together and some separate (this link is John's. If I linked to one for me, it would be this one. Boring!) Weeks like this can get a girl feeling a little down. I come home exhausted after a day with the little ones, and want nothing more than to shower and climb into bed until my alarm goes off the next morning. But I don't. Like everyone else, I am faced with questions when the clock hits 5: are the clothes washed? are the dishes put away? do we have cat food? is it trash night? do we have (enough) beer in the fridge? Inevitably, the most important question is always "
what's for dinner?"

I really love food. I love reading about it, looking at pictures of it, talking about it, and writing about it. I love growing it, shopping for it, chopping it, and cooking it. But most of all, I really love eating it and sharing it. It has become my way to unwind, even when I
think all I want to do is fall into bed. All that chopping and simmering, smelling and tasting, "mmm"ing and belly rubbing. When I can't motivate myself to do anything else, I can usually muster up something to eat. The dishes might not get finished that night, but bellies in my house will always be full when the lights go out. Seriously...if I ever am too tired to eat, rush me to the hospital.

This was an exceptionally good dinner, at the end of a long day when there was very little energy left. It came together very easily, with homegrown Swiss chard, fridge leftovers from last week's shopping trip, and a quick stop for good cheese and fresh bread. I felt immediately rejuvenated after taking my first bite. Served with a nice salad, this will be a new staple in our kitchen for a busy week night meal.

Swiss Chard, Mushroom & Carmelized Onion Bruschetta

for the topping:
big bunch Swiss Chard, thick lower stems removed, sliced into bite size strips
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
8-10 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup vegetable broth

for the rest
1/2 loaf thick, airy bread
1/2 cup gruyere or mozzarella, shredded
1/4 cup feta
olive oil

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion then cook until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and garlic. Stir for about 20 seconds until you are hit with the aroma of the garlic then immediately add the broth and the greens. Adjust the heat to medium-low then cover the skillet. Cook until the greens are almost tender, about 5 minutes.*
Meanwhile, slice your bread width-wise down the middle. Throw it into a 350 degree oven, sliced side down, laying side by side for about 5 minutes. When your topping is ready, remove bread from oven and flip it over. Brush sliced sides with olive oil and top with a good covering of gruyere (or mozzarella) and chard topping. Sprinkle on a little feta, or any other of your favorite salty cheese, and pop it back in the oven for about 10 minutes, until everything looks melty. Slice into stips and eat every last bite.

*The method for cooking the swiss chard and onions comes from the beautiful Not Without Salt blog. Can't wait to try the taco version one day!

So there it is--an awesomely easy dinner to round out a tiring day. I'm so glad it is the weekend. This is a big one, too. The Austin Flying Saucer is hosting their 2nd annual Fall Beer Fest (yay!), and my parents are coming down for it (double yay!). My step-dad is a big beer drinker- might be where I get it from- and I'm super psyched to see them. I want to wake up tomorrow and bake cookies, but I probably will do something less fun like wash last night's dishes.


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