Thursday, November 21, 2013

Making a Pajaki at Two Hands Paperie, My Favorite Paper Store + Minnestrone Soup, an awesome flavorful recipe

Last night I found my way to Two Hands Paperie in Boulder. It is a paper store that is awesome and inspiring. It makes me want to rise up and make wonderful, artistic creations. We were making pajakis that will be decorations at the Firefly Holiday Market in Boulder. It will benefit the Open Arts.

Here is the one I was part of creating:
(This was my group.)

There were many in the store from which we could draw inspiration:

It was also fun to watch the other groups create their pajakis. Even though we had the same instructions and materials, we made such different pajakis:
You can see why I love the store so much:
I hope you find this inspirational, too.
Happy Early Holidays!
Minestrone Soup with Pasta, Kale and Beans

8-10 slices of bacon, ½-inch-diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups diced carrots (4 carrots, or baby carrots)
2 cups (½-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 pound kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
26 ounces canned chopped tomatoes
1 1/3 cups diced zucchini (1 small)
1 (14.5 oz) can Italian green beans, drained
6 to 8 cups chicken stock
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
4 - 6 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 - 2 tsp dried thyme
1 - 2 tsp dried crushed rosemary
1 - 2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups cooked whole wheat small pasta, such as elbow (about 1 cup dry)
1 (15-ounce) can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1-2 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (Ellie asked for more Kidney beans next time I make this soup)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium low, cook bacon, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from pan and place in between two paper towels set atop a dinner plate. Blot lightly and set aside. Drain most of the excess fat from the Dutch oven. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil,onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté over medium heat, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 8-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes,zucchini, green beans and 6 cups chicken stock . Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Add in the bay leaves, pepper, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, thyme and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and set aside.
Once soup has simmered and the vegetables are soft, discard the bay leaf. Add the beans, cooked pasta, and reserved bacon. Add the kale in batches as it fits in the pot, stirring so that it cooks down. Once kale has lightly wilted. The soup should be fairly thick, but add additional chicken stock as needed. Serve hot drizzled with olive oil and topped with Parmesan cheese.

Serve with Parmesan Garlic toast.

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