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Monday, March 19, 2012

Lasagna Soup

BEST SOUP OF 2012!!!

I found this recipe Here, and whipped up a batch yesterday for dinner with my sweet inlaw's who had our girls sleep over and then drove a whole hour to bring them home! I LOVE loovvee this soup! YOU will not be sorry!
Picture from 
Lasagna Soup
for the soup:

2 tsp. olive oil
1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage 
3 c. chopped onions 
4 garlic cloves, minced 
2 tsp. dried oregano 
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
2 T. tomato paste 
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes 
2 bay leaves 
6 c. chicken stock 
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta (we used radiatore since that was what I had on hand) 
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves 
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta 
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese 
1/4 tsp. salt 
pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
Method: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy and absorb all the soup broth. You may even want to consider cooking the noodles separately, and then adding some to individual bowls before ladling the soup over them. This would be an especially smart move if you are anticipating any leftovers. Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Servings:  8

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chicken & Blueberry Salad

This recipe reminds me a lot of the  Zupa's salad that I love! I would eat it every night if my kids and husband would let me get away with making the same meal every night! :)

Chicken & Blueberry Salad2 servings spring mix lettuce mix
1¾ cup pulled cooked chicken meat
2 each Granny Smith apple diced
½ cup blue cheese
1 cup blueberries fresh
 cup almonds sliced & glazed or toasted

¾ cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp sea salt
½ cup rice vinegar
1 cup olive oil, extra virgin
1½ tsp ground mustard

Dressing: Place all ingredients into a blender and mix on high for 1 minute/ Serve at room temperature
Salad Place the salad mix on a plate or in a bowl, sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over the top of the salad. Drizzle the dressing over the entire salad, ENJOY!

Orange Cupcakes

Orange Cupcakes

1 ¾ cup cake flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs (room temp., or closeto it.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup orange juice (fresh squeeze) 
1 tsp Orange zest1 stick of butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside.
In a separate bowl combine butter and sugar then cream until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, orange zest and vanilla, Mix together thoroughly.
Add dry ingredients to creamed ingredients, 1/3 at a time alternating with adding portions of the orange juice to the creamed mixture.
Place cupcake liners into tins. Fill cupcake liners, until ½ full.
Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes completely before frosting with Cream Cheese Icing. Garnish with a small pinch of orange zest.