December 14

“Dad! You’re supposed to close your eyes!”

This project makes me laugh more and more each day.

December 13

One of us had zero chill during this briefest of shoots. And it wasn’t me. #dpp2017

December 12

Today my brain is mush. My featured subject, however, has enough brains and beauty for the both of us.

Koselig Cooking: Kale, Sausage and White Bean Soup

Hooray hooray hooray! I finished my seminary semester yesterday morning with an exam (my cohorts were a-mazing and encouraging and we did a great job collectively!) and after having a celebratory lunch and a celebratory nap, I braved Super Target at dinnertime to both replenish our pantry and buy ingredients for dinner. We needed to eat something besides fast food, and my body felt sure it required a vegetable. And since I, the resident chef, loves soups, this recipe was a winner. I picked out Kale, Sausage & White Bean Stew from Jenny Rosenstrach’s Dinner: A Love Story and that was that. Livia did not exactly love it, but she ate it. She said the french bread tasted bitter—which honestly made me question my own taste buds and, man, am I losing my tasting abilities now that I’m 40??–so I dolloped some strawberry jam on her already-buttered slices and called it good. Feeding children is a game, right? I wanted to “win” by not having her ask for a snack before bed. It’s bean soup and bread or NOTHING, my friend. It worked, all was well, I had a mom win, amen.

One last thing… if you’re curious about the word “koselig” read my first blog entry in this series. Really, this series began as a justification for my Le Creuset purchase. It’s all worked out well, I’ll admit.

Kale, Sausage & White Bean Stew

1 onion, chopped
3 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
S&P, to taste
1/2 t red pepper flakes
4-6 links (about 1.25lb) Italian chicken or pork sausage, casings removed
1-32oz chicken broth
1-14oz can diced tomatoes
2-14oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed & drained
1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed, chopped into small pieces
Drizzle of red wine vinegar (about 2 T)
Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Saute onion in a Dutch oven over med-high heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, s&p, pepper flakes and cook, stirring 1 minute.

Add in sausage and brown until cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes and beans. Bring to a boil. Add kale, simmer until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in a drizzle of red wine vinegar and serve stew with parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

**I substituted 1lb milk pork sausage for the links, and—gasp!—didn’t have any garlic in my pantry but made do with garlic powder.

December 11

If you all think it’s weird to look at so many pics of people with their eyes closed, trust me when I say it also gets weird to take that many pics. Everyone has been cooperative though!

The other thing I’ve noticed is how this project might feel more cohesive if I had shot everyone in the same spot under the same lighting conditions. This shot of Yinka was taken 25 feet away from yesterday’s shot of the mini drummer. Amazing what a difference a few feet can make. #dpp2017

December 10

Such cuteness! Such a good sport, too. #dpp2017

December 9

Asking people to pose with their eyes closed is a hoot. I highly recommend it. Featured today is one of my favorites artists. This one astounds me on a regular basis with her creativity. #dpp2017

December 8

This one, she radiates joy.

December 7

THIS GUY. We both work from home and we laugh together every day. Today’s DPP poses were hilarious.

For those who don’t know my incredible husband, you can get a bit more insight into his life via this piece from Storyhook. Not having hands means struggling every single day with something… zippers, buttons, cutting a steak for dinner or rebooting a computer. If you really want to empathize, toss on a pair of oven mitts or mittens for 30 minutes and see how easy life is! All kinds of things become hard or seemingly unfair when you don’t have hands, but Jeremy is not a complainer. His willingness to deal with hard situations encourages me. Sometimes we both have physical hardships, but I couldn’t create a better partner for me than this guy. God knew what he was doing when Jeremy and I met. Despite all our ups and downs, I’m grateful for him! He makes me better. #dpp2017

December 6

Me at 40.