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Really?! A Cutting Board?

September 5, 2010

The other day, Kath posted a really pretty picture of some mushrooms on a bright blue backdrop.  I asked her how she got such a pretty, color-popping background, and she replied, “A cutting board!”  So simple!! Today, when we were out running errands, I found some bright-colored boards for my own kitchen, and I had fun experimenting with them tonight!

Yesterday at the farmers’ market, we picked up some beautiful fresh chard.  Today was cool, off-and-on sunny, and downright fall-like—perfect weather for soup!

With my new cutting boards, I got to chopping:

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The chard stalks remind me of those old-fashioned striped licorice candies!

We enjoyed this (funny) wine while we were cooking:

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The soup was really tasty! Here’s the final recipe:

Chard, Barley, and Sweet Potato Soup


5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

One bunch of fresh chard, chopped

salt and pepper

3 cups vegetable stock

2 cups water

1/3 cup pearl barley

1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-sized cubes


In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat olive oil.  Add garlic and cook for a few minutes.  Add chard, and cook down for 5-10 minutes, until chard has slightly wilted.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add liquids, barley, and sweet potato.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until sweet potato and barley are fully cooked.

We enjoyed ours on the back porch with some red wine and nice, crusty bread:

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Perfect meal for what felt like the first day of fall!

Our fall dinner didn’t end there.  For dessert, I whipped up a few easy, individual apple oat desserts.  I chopped an apple into thin slices and tossed with a teaspoon of maple syrup, then layered the apple slices into ramekins.  For the topping, I mixed 1/3 cup of oats, 1 tsp. maple syrup, 2 tsp. Earth Balance vegan butter, and some cinnamon and salt to taste.  I mixed this with my hands until everything was mixed together, and topped the apple ramekins with it.  Popped it into the oven at 350 and baked it for 15 minutes, and voila! Dessert!

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Hope you’re having a great weekend! Good night!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 5, 2010 2:09 am

    I love that cutting board idea! We actually have a bright blue board but I’m going to get some more colors and steal your (and Kath’s) idea. So much prettier than my ugly kitchen counters. 😉

  2. September 5, 2010 2:48 am

    The soup looks delicious, and I love the new cutting boards. What a great idea.

  3. September 5, 2010 3:31 am

    Wow those cutting boards are beautiful!

    I might have to go out and get some too. I do hope they come in pink! 😀
    although that blue is pretty amazing as well.

    And sweet potato soup? Totally adding that to my list of things I want to cook.
    (Holy cow my list is getting long.)

  4. September 5, 2010 3:43 am

    Wow! That is a really FUN addition to your pictures. I love the way the colors jump out at you, and it makes the food look so…graphic. amazing advice!

  5. September 5, 2010 6:55 am

    Swiss chard is soo gorgeous!And so are your bowls- I love the shape!

  6. September 5, 2010 11:43 am

    I want that dessert. And the cutting board background is a good idea.

  7. September 5, 2010 12:29 pm

    Those pictures look amazing and I would have never guessed a cutting board

  8. September 5, 2010 12:59 pm

    i am so inspired to do something fall-esque for dinner tonight! yum!

  9. September 5, 2010 1:36 pm

    Ah what a perfect sounding fall dinner. We had a day very similar, well start and finish, it did get up in the upper 80’s but no humidity. But, you’re from the south so you know what I mean.

  10. September 5, 2010 2:03 pm

    That garlic photo could deck the halls of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC…it should be in an exhibit called “Food As Pop Art”. What great color composition on the rest of these photos as well… Rainbow chard is such fun too!

  11. greensandjeans permalink
    September 5, 2010 3:11 pm

    I love the pictures of the chard! I’m so jealous of all the fall weather going on pretty much everywhere except here…

  12. September 5, 2010 3:46 pm

    Glad you are enjoying the first days of fall! Wheat a beautiful meal! I hope you have a great Sunday!

  13. September 5, 2010 6:34 pm

    Wow the cutting board idea it SO SMART! I need to try that trick 😉

    The fall dinner sounds awesome, I’m inviting myself to your house for dinner next time! Bookmarked for sureee.

  14. September 5, 2010 7:18 pm

    my cutting boards are so scuzzy that i wont even show them on the blog. they used to be white, but are stained with kale and plums and beets. real “pretty” if you know what i mean 🙂

    yours rocks!

  15. September 5, 2010 8:33 pm

    Hahaha.. that is cool how the cutting board makes the background POP!

  16. thehungryscholar permalink
    September 5, 2010 9:38 pm

    Wow, that cutting board trick is pretty brilliant.

    I’ve missed your blog and blogging in general. Thanks for the 90210 heads-up. I should of had school off that day.

  17. September 6, 2010 12:02 am

    I like the garlic on the cutting board – thanks for sharing the secret!

  18. September 6, 2010 12:50 am

    Those little desserts look so delicious!! Definitely bookmarking that for a good fall dessert- or even a breakfast!

  19. September 6, 2010 1:47 am

    I just love the things we get excited about as food bloggers. LOL I want a cutting board now. LOL

  20. September 6, 2010 4:46 pm

    The soup sounds delicious! And your table setup is GORGEOUS!

  21. September 6, 2010 4:59 pm

    What a brilliant and easy dessert. I am going to try this just as soon as I get some oatmeal. And apples. 🙂

  22. September 7, 2010 1:39 pm

    That all looks delicious. I’m excited for Fall desserts!

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