Category Archives: Cat

Remember that one time we forgot to blog for almost a year?

So, it turns out that grad school, part-time employment and composition for J and full-time employment, tutoring, and applying for grad school for myself means that we forget to blog. Oops. So, rather than say “let’s make a goal to blog once a week” as a New Year’s Resolution, let’s start now!

This week is a big week full of concerts, work, and cleaning the house for weekend guests. Sundays have traditionally been cooking days for me, where I try and get lunches prepared for the week (portioned out for J and I to reheat at work/grad school), as well as make ahead breakfasts and maybe even dinner for Sunday night. Today is no different. Today I spent time making a “lasagna” soup. It includes sweet sausage, tomatoes, bow tie pasta, and heaps of ricotta and parmesan at the end. It transports well in lunches, warms you up in the cool of early December, and is souper delicious. Yep, I went there.

We made this soup back in 2012, but never posted the full recipe for it. I also changed the recipe a bit because the first time I made it we made buckets full since I wasn’t paying too close attention to how much we were putting in the pot… so here it goes:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. pasta (I like to use bowtie pasta because they are cute)
  • olive oil (I never measure this…not gonna lie)
  • about a pound of sweet Italian sausage ( I usually buy bulk, but I accidentally bought links, so I had to take the casings off. Ew.)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • some oregano (again, I never measure)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 big spoonfuls of tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • Salz und Pfeffer
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided into 1 cup amounts)
  • dried basil
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta (indulge a little)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parm
  • frozen peas (optional)

What to do:

  1. Cook the pasta to al dente, as it may cook a little more once it hits the soup and you don’t want mush. While this is cooking, brown the sausage in a big soup pot.

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2. Once the sausage is browned, add the onions, garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a couple of minutes until onions are soft. Stir  in tomato paste and combine everything together.

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3. Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. I like to use a whisk to stir this in to make sure all of the tomato paste gets evenly distributed- no one wants chunks of tomato paste in their soup.

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4. Add a little s and p, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to simmer without lid for about 30 minutes (stir every once and a while to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom).

5. While the soup is simmering, I like to mix together the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, the Parm, salt and pepper, and a little more basil.

6. Right at the end I like to put in some frozen peas for a little veg, but it is up to you. I also add the other cup of mozzarella directly to the soup at this point.

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  1. To serve (or in our case, to prep for lunches), I put a scoop of pasta (you decide how much), a ladle or two of the soup, and a healthy dollop of the ricotta stuff.

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*Note: You can also make this in the crockpot, as we have done as well. All you do is brown the sausage, dump everything else into the crockpot (cheese stuff not included) and cook on high for 2-3 hours. The pasta I usually put in after an hour, and the peas typically go in with about 30 minutes to go).

 

 

I hope you enjoy this reconstructed lasagna soup as much as we do- I probably make it a couple of times each winter.

Enjoy!

-L (and Bingley who stayed nearby throughout the cooking process)

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Emerging Columbus Artist Breaks from Convention (and Sanitation)

A rare photo of the artist sitting still, next to her work.

A rare photo of the artist sitting still, posing by her work.

Working under the name “Bingley”, young artist Froderich H. forayed into post-modern deconstructionalism this morning with the opening of her new installation, Papier.

Bingley has a tendency toward using more flexible and chewable substances as a medium. Previous work with these materials include What is carpet for? (A daring neo-conceptual piece wherein carpet becomes comestible), and Kittypoop Sports, an interactive exhibit.

Though it has no particular focal point, the only use of color in the piece is found on the knocked-over trashcan, salvaged from the artist’s apartment.

When asked by YPH representatives if the irony of using adhesives formed from her own body to attach pieces of material commonly used for sanitary processes was intentional, the artist regarded them silently with a blank, disdainful stare (pictured above).

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This newest installation is not without a sonic element- the artist herself had a hand in its marketing, announcing its completion by dancing around, very early in the morning, saying,

“Mow mow mow mow mow MMMRRRRRROOOOOOOOOWWWW MROW MROW MROW MROW.”

Other images of the work can be seen below.

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TOTS TOTS TOTS TOTS (THE TATER TYPE)

Our Grandmas both used to make this casserole. We ate it and it tasted like home.

Not literally, like we were eating bits of our house or something.

Just tasted homey, my homies.

Bingley always sits on the counter and supervises when we cook.
Bingley always sits on the counter and supervises when we cook.

 

GRANDMA’S CASSEROLE TASTINESS

OM NOM NOM NOM
OM NOM NOM NOM

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 1 big onion (or 2 little ones)
  • 1 pound of ground turkey (because sky turkey is harder to find.)
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 Tbs. Whooshshooshshter sauce
  • 1 bag of frozen tater tots
  • about 8 slices of american (or cheddar) cheese
  • Olive oil

DO THIS STUFF:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Cut the onion in half, then slice into half-rings, and punch them out.
  3. Sauté onions in a pan with olive oil until they are translucent.
  4. Put them in a bowl and set them aside.
  5. Sauté the turkey in the same pan until browned.
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the mushroom soup, ketchup, and wooshywoosh sauce.
  7. Dump the browned meat into the large bowl, and stir it all around until the meat is coated.
  8. Grease a glass baking dish (9×13) and spread the meat mixture around in the dish. (This will be the bottom layer of the casserole.)
  9. (Next layer): Spread the onions around on top of the meat.
  10. Layer the cheese slices on top of the onions.
  11. Layer the frozen tater tots in rows (doesn’t have to be perfect) on top.
  12. Bake for 25 mins.

Enjoy!

J+L

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Butter and Chocolate and Mysteries

L is making something in the kitchen.

And she won’t tell me what it is.

There’s chocolate, and butter.

WHAT IS SHE MAKING.

I’m sneaking in and taking pictures when she’s not looking, and narrating the whole thing in film-noir-type voices. I’ve been kicked out of the kitchen three times so far. I’m sure she’ll tell me what it is when she’s done, but this way is way more fun.

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The butter has been melted and mixed with some cocoa. It just went into the microwave.

Apparently it takes 13 minutes to bake.

Apparently it takes 13 minutes to bake.

No recent activity to report. In the meantime, I'm having a Shiner Holiday Cheer brew- it's fantastic. Highly recommended. Nice spicy/caramely/Christmasy beer.

No recent activity to report. In the meantime, I’m having a Shiner Holiday Cheer brew- it’s fantastic. Highly recommended. Nice spicy/caramely/Christmasy beer.

Here are the adorable stockings she made for us earlier, plus a li'l one for Bingley.

Here are the adorable stockings she made for us earlier, plus a li’l one for Bingley.

 

This is Bingley, not caring.

This is Bingley, not caring.

Here she is, not caring under the Christmas tree.

Here she is, not caring under the Christmas tree.

Here she is not caring IN the Christmas tree.

Here she is, still not caring, IN the Christmas tree.

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STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME, HUMAN
STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME, HUMAN
I AM BUSY TRYING TO DESTROY YOUR STUFF

SOMETHING IS COMING OUT OF THE OVEN.

It’s a chocolate cake.

Now she’s frosting it.

And having some issues.

There’s a lot of frosting.

TOO MUCH FROSTING

She is apologetic.

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Also, she’s…Sony?

Oh. Sorry.

Isn’t she the greatest? All is forgiven, honeybabe. You didn’t have to bake me a cake!

But let’s eat some, since we have it.

Happy Christmahannukwanzikkagiving, everybody!

-J

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Meet Bingley.

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She’s been with us for a few weeks, getting accustomed to domestic life…

She doesn’t think much of it yet.

I had to buy her a collar with an ID today, since she sneaked out the door onto the sidewalk when I had the door open for an instant. In her spare time, she enjoys eating and scratching window blinds, spiders, shower curtains, toes, and basically anything that isn’t nailed down or doesn’t have infinite density. She refuses to simply sit on the cat bed we got her (she much prefers eating it) but inevitably, the BOX IT CAME IN is an IDEAL DWELLING. In between long stretches of seemingly endless energy, she will snuggle for about half an hour, if it doesn’t damage her mighty-hunter ego.

Good thing she’s so cute.

In the mean time, here’s what I’m making for lunch:

Meatball and Veggie Crock Pot Soup

I used something resembling the recipe in the Taste of Home Healthy Cooking book, but didn’t really follow it exactly…

I skipped certain parts, like “measuring”, or “using the ingredients on the list”.

YOU WILL NEED:

  • A crock pot
  • 1 bag of frozen meatballs (the recipe says to thaw them. I didn’t.)
  • 1 bag of frozen veggies (I used California Blend- broccoli, cauliflower, carrots- the recipe says to thaw them. I didn’t.)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of beef stock (how do they even make  that stuff? Do I really want to know? NOPE. JUST LOOKED IT UP. NOPE NOPE NOPE.)
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes (not really sure what that means, either.)
  • black pepper
  • fancy spices of your choosing
  • 1-ish box or package of your choice of pasta

WHAT TO DO:

  • Dump all that nonsense into a crock pot, except for the pasta.
  • Cook on High for 4-5 hours. While you’re waiting, make sure your cat hasn’t disintegrated its collar.
  • After 4-5 hours, add the pasta, and cook for another 20-30 minutes.

-J

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