Tuscan Kale and Chicken Meatball Soup

Tuscan Kale and Chicken Meatball Soup via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon

Happy October! We’ve officially made it to Fall, y’all! That means apple picking, cider drinking, pumpkin patching, leaf changing, scarf wearing, pie baking, cozy soup making, and all the other lovely things happening this time of year.

Autumn has definitely set in here in Tacoma. Mornings begin a little slower, with it ever-more-tempting to stay snuggled up under the covers on chilly, grey days. Fiery splashes of crimson and ochre have begun to dot our enduring backdrop of evergreen pines. Pumpkins and gourds sit proudly on display at the markets (and frequently roasting in our oven), and we’ve already sipped on our first batch of homemade apple cider.

We’re transitioning from fresh summer salads for nearly every meal to slow braises, lots of roasted vegetables, and my favorite category of fall eats: warm and comforting savory soups.

Tuscan Kale and Chicken Meatball Soup via forkknifeswoon.com @forkknifeswoon (more…)

Travel // Ten Days in England Pt. 1

Ten Days in England | forkknifeswoon.com

Remember in August, when I sort of disappeared for a whole month? The hubby and I spent ten of those days in England… and I didn’t even take a single photograph of food. I more than made up for it with hundreds of snapshots of other moments, mostly architecture and English roses.

We spent our first few days in London, wandering through the city, exploring museums, churches (Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral…), and lots of touristy attractions (Big Ben, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, The Tower of London…). We rode a double-decker bus (of course) and even had the chance to experience musical theatre in the West End (Billy Elliot!). My architecture-major heart was full.

Next, we took a train to Oxford, where we walked the entire charming city under grey, drizzly skies – a constant element – and basked in academia. We climbed the winding steps of old cathedrals, whispered our way through the oldest library, elbowed our way through sites from Harry Potter, and sipped warm beer at the bar where President Clinton ‘didn’t’ inhale.

The next morning, we spent a rainy half-day at Blenheim Palace, before heading off to the idyllic countryside of The Cotswolds. We dotted our way through the gorgeous, pastoral landscape, stopping in many of little towns along our way to the perfectly bucolic village of Chipping Campden, our resting spot for the night. Stone walls, thatched roofs, creeping ivy, overflowing English gardens… I was in heaven.

Here’s part one!

Ten Days in England | forkknifeswoon.com

Fancy hotel chandelier… above the service stairs to the lobby restrooms!


Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Backyard Abundance

If you’ve ever grown summer squash, I’m sure you can relate when I tell you that we have long since passed the moment when our zucchini plants began producing more than we could reasonably consume.

We planted two black beauty zucchini and a patty pan squash in our garden this Summer, hoping to increase our yield after a lackluster (i.e. zero) harvest last year. Summer squash is pretty easy to grow, but must be physically pollinated – either via bees or other pollinators, or by hand – and I suspect that between the lack of thriving pollinators in our treeless tract home set smack dab in the middle of corn fields, and the wildly unpredictable North Carolina climate, our poor, single potted zucchini plant didn’t stand a chance. At least through natural means.

This year, in a new house (and new growing climate), I was determined to produce a more successful backyard garden. I tended to my plant babies – squash, tomatoes, peas, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, and lots of herbs – religiously, spending the first bit of every morning watering (strategically because of the drought) and generally fussing over them. Maybe it was the super long, languid, Northern summer days, with sunlight stretching late in the evening, or the record warm temperatures, or all that good, new organic vegetable soil, or my good gardening vibes, or all things combined, but they rewarded us in spades, with dozens (hundreds! thousands!) of fruit.

The zucchini just. kept. growing. We were harvesting at least one a day, sometimes two or three, and after a few weeks, I surrendered, and turned half a dozen zucchini into two batches of this dark chocolate olive oil zucchini bread, saving some of the abundance of this season for the cooler, cozier days to come.

Dark Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonDark Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonDark Chocolate Olive Oil Zucchini Bread | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon (more…)