Beer cheese soup

I tried a new recipe tonight, for beer cheese soup made with roasted garlic, IPA, white cheddar cheese, and a hint of spice. It sounded amazing, and it smelled even better. But the verdict? Yuck. Too salty, too much earthy garlic, too thin (although that last bit is almost definitely due to the whole family dipping into the bowl of grated cheese before I put it in the soup).

After some half-hearted attempts to eat the soup, we all gave up and went for the salad and crusty bread and last night’s leftover pizza. Still, I want a good beer cheese soup recipe, one that’s a keeper for the recipe box, to be pulled out on crisp fall days like today.

Better in real life

Kate’s friends

We organized a little playdate for Kate today, with two of her pals from school. The girls made cookies (her friends have never cooked, which explains their moms’ shock and surprise and possibly dismay when I told them the girls made the cookies all by themselves with no help from me).

I already posted this on Facebook, but have to put it here too for my parents.

I love that Kate is making friends and putting down her roots here in Maryville. She loves it, too.

Nearby grandparents

So I’ll admit that I was unsure how this whole “having the grandparents nearby” thing would all play out. After all, we haven’t lived by family for more than ten years, I’m a German Lutheran, and change is hard. But it’s been great, not the least because my kids get to create memories with their grandparents that they will never forget. We moved away from Boise when I was seven, but I have so many good memories of sleepovers, afternoons, and dinners at my grandparents’ house. (One of my favorite stories, which happened on a trip back during my dad’s seminary years, was when I wanted to make some cookies, and there were mealworms practically crawling out of the flour. Grandma, being a child of the depression, told me to just sift them out. I was too horrified to even move–there was no way I was going to touch that flour, let alone sift worms out of it, use it, and eat the cookies–when my mom came to the rescue and announced we were going to the store to buy some flour that was less than a decade old. I’m still grateful for her intervention. Pretty sure I wouldn’t have cooked or baked another single thing ever if she hadn’t stepped in.)

So now my kids have that (not the worms–the memories) and I can go to St. Louis and to Texas and to work knowing that they’re safe and happy and loved, not just by Derek and me but by their extended family.


Speaking of the grandparents, they came to the rescue yet again last night when Derek surprised me by planning a Real Date. We don’t have these often because, well, because babysitting is expensive and we like to do a lot of things as a family. So dressing up and going out to a fancy restaurant was lovely. It felt like our anniversary, only 20 degrees cooler than in August.

We brought a vintage Champagne from a tiny little Champagne house in France, which I brought back from my trip last year. It was lovely and complex and perfect. The Champagne Collard-Picard house was one of my favorites, and they even have two adorable boys I’d like to set up with my girls so I can drink this stuff all the time.

Anyone read French? I snapped a shot of the back label.


Yawn. Bed is the best place to be, in real life, when you’re tired on paper. To that end, good night.