Tuscan Kale Soup, The Girls, and the Power of Layers

Layers are important, and not just when attempting to dress yourself during those weird in-between days in October and April. Apparently, figuring out how to be warm enough in the rain and wind but not overly sweaty after you've had a few cups of coffee in an overheated office was a class in adulthood that I missed. This was a just one of many reasons a trip to San Francisco last weekend was so refreshing.

 Serious question: why are they better than the countless other beautiful houses in SF?

Serious question: why are they better than the countless other beautiful houses in SF?

Flawless weather (perfect for walking around and taking pictures of touristy things like the Painted Ladies), reunions with the best of friends, and an abundance of bakeries and bookstores make SF the perfect place for a weekend destination, if I do say so my not-so-well-traveled self. The highlights included an early morning run to Tartine, where my dreams of seeing giant whisks in action came true, and an afternoon tour of every bookstore in the neighborhood. (Not kidding. I think we got to five.)

At Dog Eared Books, I finally caved and bought The Girls, which I've been dismissing as a beach read since I started seeing it in stores. Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a layered, interesting story that actually made me feel good about having read it. Sure, there was the layer of pure sensationalism, it being about a cult and all. But there were also parts of the story that explored loneliness, identity, and empowerment, and it ended up being so multi-faceted that I've been having guilt pangs for making an assumption about it too quickly. It's almost like someone should start saying some catchy adage like "Don't judge a book by its cover" to spread the word to the rest of the world. 

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Upon my return, I was happy to be home and 100% bummed by the weather (bone-chilling rain). So I made Tuscan Kale Soup, which piles on layers of vegetables, spices, and cheese until your heart is overflowing with flavors, and there's no room left for sadness. It was the perfect dish to have stewing on a cold Chicago evening while cuddling with the cats and enjoying being home.

All that said, I'm still not over Tartine's morning buns, which you can see me eating here, courtesy of Brian's Instagram story. Millennials, am I right?