Winter minestrone

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I’ve never been much of a minestrone eater. But I saw this Winter Minestrone featured on another blog and it sounded good because A) it’s been 9 below in Ohio, B) the recipe calls for above-average ingredients like pancetta, cannellini beans, fresh rosemary and Swiss chard, and C) I had 70% of the ingredients on hand.

So voila! I doubled the recipe so I could take some to the office lunch potluck, and to my mom since she’s still recovering from hip surgery.

On a cold day, with some good bread for dipping, it hits the spot. Here’s the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis.

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Three things

I’ve been on a break from blogging. A couple reasons: I’ve been insanely busy between work, running around with the kids’ activities, other stuff. But there’s something else. Lately, when I talk to girlfriends or read other lady blogs (e.g., an old friend’s amateur blog, the nationally popular and impossibly perfect Cupcakes and Cashmere, the fashion-loving Le Catch) the overriding feeling I get is inadequacy. Why aren’t I hosting an Oscar-watching party? Why don’t I do a fancy manicure and make my kids heart-shaped pancakes for Valentine’s Day? Why doesn’t my home look like that?

Lately it feels like everything everywhere is one big “see how perfect my life is.” I hate that I could be contributing to that, or making someone else feel like I think my life is perfect. It’s not. It’s messy.

Three things I’m appreciating this week:

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{Fresh Balsam 3-wick candles from White Barn have been the fragrance of our winter this year}

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{Barrak picked up a bottle of If You See Kay red wine for us tonight. It’s nice and not too expensive.}

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{a cute homemade Valentine’s Day card from Patsy to the kids}