It’s finally here – the sometimes loved, sometimes dreaded, Valentine’s Day.
This time, it’s an entire weekend. Thankfully, here in Canada (depending on your province) we have Family Day on Monday, to recharge after this weekend of either romance, loathing, or indifference. Some people hate Valentine’s Day, and I get that. But I love to bake, so personally I love this day – single or not, I love baking for Valentine’s Day even if I end up being the only one enjoying the finished product.
I’m getting ahead of myself – let’s start with the main course; Wedding Soup with White Bean Balls and Kale from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook. Seemed daunting, lots of ingredients and paragraphs of instructions. So I took Julia Child’s advice as I began this soup and adopted a ‘what the hell’ attitude. Maybe it will be terrible, maybe it won’t, I just don’t care either way I’m going to try it. And so glad I did, this soup was actually pretty kick ass! I used to eat wedding soup with real meatballs before going vegetarian and I loved it. This was better than I remember it, seriously. Check out these ‘meatballs’ before they went in the oven – don’t they look like legit meat balls??
For once, breadcrumbs and beans worked out really well for me. I think I added a bit of extra water when the mix was too dry, then they held together perfectly. Of course once they hit the soup, not so much but that’s what you want. Very simple to put together and the spices were spot on – they actually kind of smelled like meatballs, how I remember them. So these bake for about 30 minutes and while that’s happening, you put together the soup. Pretty easy as well, lots of broth, a cup of orzo, carrots, celery, basil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, kale….yum!
Ta-da! The finished product:
Honestly, it tasted great. The broth itself was amazing I could eat that without the bean balls, but they were great too. It was perfect to eat on a night when the temperature here in Ottawa dropped to a cool -40 with the windchill.
The next day was a perfect day to stay inside eating more soup and baking sugar cookies 🙂 I found this cookie recipe on Pinterest originally (I think?) and it’s extremely simple and quick. You do have to roll the dough out – I have no rolling pin so I improvised with a combo of cans and tall coffee mugs. When you want cookies, you just gotta make it happen. I’ve actually made them once before a couple weeks back, but they’re quite plain so this time I decided to buy some vegan icing (Duncan Hines, what whaaaaat) and colorful sprinkles.
These cookies were pretty great – VERY sweet with icing on top though. As an adult, I’ve lost my sweet tooth. Not completely but it’s been a pretty drastic change. I used to eat so much sugar and candy, it was just no problem. But in the last couple years, sometimes sweet things make me feel nauseous just thinking about them.
That last part might not be very believable after this next picture, but I swear these beauties took a long time to finish because I can’t have three cupcakes in one day, it just doesn’t work that way for me anymore, growing up suckkkkkksssss.
These gorgeous little cupcakes are from Thimble Cakes – an awesome bakery located on Bank Street in Ottawa. These cupcakes are indeed vegan and you would never know that by tasting them, they taste amazing. My favourite in this box – that pink frosted one, strawberries and cream flavoured. These were an early Valentine’s day treat that I purchased part way through a stressful day knowing that when the day was over, around 7pm, I could have these as a reward. It was definitely a great strategy that I will be using again and again.
So I’ll be trying out some more recipes in the next couple weeks if I’ve got the time…less and less time for cooking is available these days which sucks. Making this soup was really fun for me, probably because it was a challenge. The fact that it also tasted amazing was just the cherry on top 🙂
Happy Valentine’s & Family Day weekend ❤