Life in a Northern Town

Sunday Photo Safari & Souffle

Sunday photo safari is becoming a regular thing. We grab our cameras, hop in the car and head out to parts unknown. Last week, we went down Star Route, took a right on a logging road and kept our eyes peeled for a place to stop. Adventures are a good way to stay connected— we talk about school, what pictures we want to take, if we should take George next time, where they want to go to college, what I am making for dinner. As they get older, I feel the quiet coming. I want to embrace the chaos, noise and beautiful mess with both arms while I still can. Photos give us instant access to moments in time and I am so thankful for these moments with my kids.

We were looking for an abandoned house or barn but settled for a bunch of rusty stuff in a field. We didn't run into any wild animals, snakes or hornet's nests— success as far as I am concerned.

When I told the kids I was making blue cheese souffle for dinner, I heard crickets. They had quesadillas and Ted and I ate souffle, it worked out well. It is the perfect dinner with a green salad, a baguette and good butter.

Ina Garten's Blue Cheese Souffle

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the dish

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup scalded milk

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pinch cayenne pepper

Pinch nutmeg

4 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

3 ounces good blue cheese, chopped

5 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Butter the inside of an 8-cup souffle dish (7 1/2 inches in diameter and 3 1/4 inches deep) and sprinkle evenly with parmesan.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Off the heat, whisk in the hot milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the cayenne, and nutmeg. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thick.

Off the heat, while still hot, whisk in the egg yolks, one at a time. Stir in the blue cheese and the 1/4 cup of Parmesan and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Put the egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, on medium speed for 1 minute, then finally on high speed until they form firm, glossy peaks.

Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the cheese sauce to lighten and then fold in the rest. Pour into the souffle dish, then smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with the spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the middle of the oven. Turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (don't peek!) until puffed and brown. Serve immediately.