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Sunday Dinner

February 7, 2010

When I was growing up, Sunday dinners were somewhat of a tradition in my house. Sundays were when we had “family dinner.”

We did not typically all eat together during the week. My mom would fix dinner for me and my sisters. We’d eat early to finish homework and have play time. As the oldest of three sisters, there was always an infant or toddler around. And now having my own toddler, I can see where it was probably not relaxing for my mom to sit down and have a leisurely dinner with a very young child needing constant attention. My dad would eat when he got home from work, and my mom would usually eat with him. So Sunday was the night that my family would all sit down at the table and have dinner together.

While I do cook nearly every night, I do like to reserve something extra special for Sunday nights. It’s as if the Sunday dinner is the last hurrah of the weekend, the final chance to sit and relax before the stress of the work week begins. In fact, the rare nights when we have a family birthday celebration or holiday dinner on a Sunday, I feel let down that I’m not able to cook that night.

I also like the Sunday dinner to be plentiful enough for Monday lunch. Bryan and I bring our lunch to work each day. So being able to enjoy Sunday’s dinner at work the next day helps to start the week on a good note.

I thought I’d share with you tonight’s Sunday dinner – Creamy Tomato Soup and Olive Cheese Bread. I’ve been making the Creamy Tomato Soup for many years. The recipe is from a 2001 edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine. It’s a staple in our house. It’s easy, simple, healthy, and has delicious flavor. I could not find this recipe online, so I’ve written it out below.

The Olive Cheese Bread is a new endeavor and comes from The Pioneer Woman. My friend turned me on to the Pioneer Woman and I am hooked. Her recipes are mouth-watering, and she does a brilliant job of illustrating the cooking process. I highly recommend taking a look at her Web site and perusing the “Cooking” section. This Olive Cheese Bread was incredible and unlike anything I’ve ever eaten. YUM!

Enjoy these recipes – hopefully they’ll become a part of your family dinner collection.

Creamy Tomato Soup and Olive Cheese Bread

Creamy Tomato Soup

6 tablespoons butter

1 small onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup dry white wine

3 pounds ripe tomatoes (4 cups chopped)

1 teaspoon course salt, plus more for seasoning

½ teaspoon ground pepper, plus more for seasoning

1 cup fresh basil leaves

½ cup heavy cream (use half-and-half if you want something lighter)

1.  Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring until onions and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add wine, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook just until tomatoes are falling apart, about 5 minutes. Stir in basil, and remove from heat.

2.  Let cool slightly. If you have a hand blender, blend the soup in the saucepan until smooth. If you don’t have a hand blender, you can transfer it to a blender in batches. Return to saucepan.

3.  Add cream, and adjust consistency with water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.

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