Category Archives: Food & Recipes

Zuppa Toscana Soup: Copy Cat Recipe

We love soup in our house. Especially during those early spring late winter months. So now is the perfect time. I also love it because on nights like tonight when I have two kids at baseball practice (yes outside in the cold after 4 pm) I can come home and enjoy something warm and hearty with very little extra work. I can even prepare the sausage the night before and set all of this up in the crock-pot and have it ready for when we come home. GENIUS! It is a rather simple recipe to follow, and my kids love that it is just like the soup we all enjoy at Olive Garden when we go as a family. Here is a simple and easy-to-follow recipe for at home. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Zuppa Toscana

What You Will Need:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage (casings removed if necessary)
  • 4 oz bacon (about 4 slices), diced into small pieces*
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 3 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed then sliced into halves, halves diced into 1/6-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed**
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 1/2 cups packed chopped kale
  • Finely shredded Romano cheese for serving, optional

What You Will Do:

  • Heat olive oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Crumble sausage into 1-inch pieces and add to saucepan. Cook sausage, stirring occasionally until cooked through. Drain sausage onto a plate or baking dish lined with paper towels, set sausage aside. Add diced bacon to saucepan, return to heat and saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add diced onions to bacon in saucepan and saute mixture until bacon is cooked through and onions are translucent, about 3 – 5 minutes longer.
  • Add chicken broth, water, sliced potatoes, sugar, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring soup just to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in cooked sausage. Cover saucepan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are nearly tender, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add in kale then simmer until potatoes are soft and kale is tender, about 5 – 10 minutes longer. Stir in half and half and warm through. Use a spoon or ladle to remove excess fat from top of soup if desired. Serve warm topped with Romano cheese.

Simple Dinners: Asian Cuisine without the wok!

We love Asian cuisine in our house. Its flavors are so exotic and range from the mild to the wild. We love to try new things and after a recent trip we discovered the fun of having Chicken Ramen as a meal. No we do not mean those plain and boring Ramen packets, or noodles in a cup, but you can use those to create a delicious and decadent meal with very little effort. This recipe is one of our current favorites, and it has been a life saver during these last few cold weeks.

Asian cuisine without a wok

Easy Chicken Ramen in the Crockpot

Slow Cooker Ramen Noodles Recipe

Chicken Ramen Noodles made easier in the crockpot! These Slow Cooker Ramen Noodles may be simple in preparation, but they’re completely packed with flavor!
  • Course
    Main
Servings
4 people
Prep Time Cook Time
10 minutes 3 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts* raw
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 1 (4 oz) package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (3 oz) packets ramen noodles seasonings discarded

Optional for serving

  • 4 large eggs soft boiled*
  •  Spinach
  •  Drizzle of sesame oil
  •  Sesame seeds
  •  Crushed red peppers
  •  Sliced jalapeños
  •  Carrots sliced or cubed
  •  sliced green onions
  •  chopped cilantro

 Instructions:

  1. Grease your crockpot.
  2. Place chicken, onion, garlic, broth, soy sauce, vinegar, milk, mushrooms, ginger, and pepper into crockpot.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours.
  4. After 3 hours remove chicken and let rest on a cutting board while you up the heat to HIGH on your crockpot and stir in the ramen noodles.
  5. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until they’re done to your liking.
  6. Thinly slice the chicken and stir it back into the broth.
  7. Taste and re-season if necessary.

Serve with optional toppings and enjoy!

This recipe is so simple to make, you do not need to have any knowledge of how to make Asian cuisine and the result is so great. We have a favorite restaurant that we order this meal from and this recipe is almost its twin! So try jumping out of that comfort zone and creating something new and delicious for dinner tonight!

Christmas Goodies!

The Holidays are one of those times that we enjoy everything and try not to worry about what that means. Especially when it comes to cookies and sweets. Family and friends get together more during the holidays than any other time of the year, and they often bring sweets. So if you and your family are getting together this year for a fun family gathering and its your turn to bring something yummy, then we have a recipe for you that is simple and sweet, and really good to eat.

This amazing and simple (did we mention simple? It is that time of year where we are all busy so simple is the magic word!) recipe is from Small Town Woman, a cooking and entertaining blog written and coordinated by Beth Pierce. She knows how to pull together a party and she knows just what sweets you should share this holiday season. This delectable dessert not only looks delicious, it is delicious, and its festive without being too much work. So head on over to Small Town Woman for the full details on this incredibly sweet and simple treat. While you are there check out some fun and fast ideas to improve your entertaining this holiday season and all year long.

Christmas goodies

Peppermint Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

What You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 28 unwrapped peppermint kisses

Now head on over to Small Town Woman for the full tutorial including amazing easy to follow pictures.