Tag Archives: crock pot

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:


  • 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.


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.


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.


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.


  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.








*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.


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

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We Planted a Garden.


We have been wishing and hoping for a garden since we moved in together (remember our first attempt at plants? Poor parsley…)

We have successfully planted a garden! Now that we have some outdoor space, and the approval of our leasing office staff, we have planted flowers and herbs.






Hydrangeas- always remind us of our honeymoon to Nantucket, as well as our favorite vacation spot of Chautauqua, NY 🙂


Purple petunia and some fuzzy purple martian plant. We don’t remember what they are called. So we have renamed it “fuzzy purple martian plant.”


Pink begonias!


Our herb box (minus the cilantro awaiting its own herb receptacle). Planted in alphabetical order, due to my crazy organizational needs: basil, Greek; basil, sweet; dill; mint; and parsley, flat. This photo upgraded to hipster status by J’s bike.

We have been making so many great food dishes with all of our herbs the past two weeks! Omelets with fresh parsley, dill and Greek basil, and looking forward to fresh mint in our sun tea.

One of our favorite dishes from the week? Coq au Vin. I can never pronounce this correctly, so we call it “Fancy French Chicken and Wine Stew.”



In a Crockpot, layer:

1. Diced onion (I think I used 2)

2. Pint of button mushrooms, sliced

3. Diced crispy bacon (I used about 6 slices…totally used turkey bacon, no judgment)

4. 3 boneless chicken breasts, whole

5. About a box of chicken stock (low sodium)

6. Some red wine. Don’t even know how much I put in…just kinda poured it all over. And drank some. Also not sure of the quantity I consumed there.

7. A little S&P.

*Cook on low for about 8 hours. It will make your house/apartment/yurt smell amazing. We served it over egg noodles. I added some fresh parsley at the end, but forgot to take a picture of that…just know that it was delicious.

Now that summer has begun for me, hoping to get back into this blogging thing more often. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post: chicken arugula hummus tarts.

-L (& J and Bingley)

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Ridiculously Easy Beef Stuff

Hi, YPHers!

J here, to tell you how to make beef stroganoff, but more importantly:






Ok. That’s done.

Now on to stroganoff!


  • a crock pot
  • 3 cans of condensed cream-of-mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • a packet of dry onion soup mix (1 ounce)
  • 1 package of stew meat (2 lbs.) (bleh. bleh. bleh.)
  • 1 package of egg noodles


  1. Mix together everything except the meat and noodles in the crock pot.
  2. Take on the inevitable task of opening the meat package and dumping it into the crock pot. (L managed to find some that came pre-cut into cubes, saving me from having to touch the stuff too much. Is this an irrational dislike? Maybe.)
  3. Mix all o’ that together with a wooden spoon.

Put ’em together and whaddya got?



Tasty, right?




Cook it on HIGH for 3 hours, put it over some cooked egg noodles, and you get:



See? It was all worth it.


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Meet Bingley.


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”.


  • 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


  • 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.


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