Tag Archives: fall

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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Fall foods!

We decided to spend what turned into a rather rainy day as a fall feast day. As our first full weekend home in about 2 months, we had missed cooking together, and decided it was time to break out the fall foods.

First thing made? Pumpkin Nutella poke cake.

Recipe found at Something Swanky, a great blog to find tasty desserts. This morning we had decided to go ahead and make the pumpkin poke cake, but happened across her pumpkin Nutella poke cake and fell in love.

Ingredients:

*yellow boxed cake mix

*pumpkin puree

*sweetened condensed milk

*whipped topping

*Nutella spread

*heath bits (hers called for chocolate hazelnut candies, but we decided to go with the toffee bits-yum!)

*chocolate syrup

1. Mix pumpkin and cake mix (we added some cinnamon and ginger, because we never follow the instructions anyway…)

2. Bake the cake at 375 for 35 minutes.

3. After cooling, poke it a whole lot with the end of a wooden spoon.

4.  Pour the milk over the cake, letting it soak in.

5. Mix whipped topping and Nutella, and spread on top.

6. Top with chocolate syrup and heath bits.

7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or, if you are like us and are in a time crunch for someone’s birthday tonight, freeze for two!)

Currently, we don’t have pictures of the cake, as it is cooling. However, we cannot wait until we share it tonight! Our first friend to join the quarter century life club- so exciting!

Dinner was also fall themed.

Photo on 10-5-13 at 5.48 PM

I have thoroughly impressed myself, as well as J, with my lack of instruction reading (say, for how much pasta this recipe was going to make- more on that in a minute), but also with my skill for making things after I see it done on TV multiple times.

Today, we give you: sweet potato-ricotta gnocchi with brown butter-sage sauce.

YUM.

If this dinner doesn’t scream fall, I am not sure what does.

*5 sweet potatoes

*container of ricotta

*salt and pepper

*sage (needed twice)

*5 tablespoons butter

*3 cups of flour

*pinch of red pepper flakes

*some ginger

*some garlic

*lemon juice

1. Boil sweet potatoes (bringing cold water to a boil) until soft.

2. Mash together with salt, ginger, sage and ricotta.

3. Mix in flour, one cup at a time.

4. Roll out on floured surface and realize how much pasta you have just made…six pounds to be exact. We ended up freezing them in pound increments to auction off to family members later.

5. Cut into bite size pieces and roll over the tines of a fork.

6. Boil in water in batches, until they float (about 4-5 minutes).

7. While J cooked the pasta, I made the brown butter sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter with sage, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes. Whisk over medium heat until golden brown.

8. Toss gnocchi in the brown butter sauce.

9. Eat.

-L and J

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FALL…

…is here.

We have been waiting for fall…cool weather, decorations, all things pumpkin and apple cider related. Yum.

To welcome the season that shall arrive quickly, we made a wreath on our door this afternoon.

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How we made this:

*one foam wreath

*roll of burlap (ours was about 3 in. wide)

*bunch of fake flowers (whatever you like- we liked the size and color of these)

*a wooden letter (and perhaps some paint, if you like the chevron look we made)

*wide ribbon (again, whatever you like- we chose orange wire ribbon with gold polka dots and and brown/white patterned ribbon)

….we also made some warm, hearty foods. Well, food…but made in TWO ways.

FOOD(s) 1:

Ratatouille over Baked Potatoes

Photo on 9-7-13 at 1.16 PM

You will need:

*2 baby eggplant

*2 baby zucchini

*a red and a yellow bell pepper

*2 onions

*can of diced tomatoes

*2-3 stalks celery

*olive oil

*salt and pepper

*oregano, parsley and basil

*potatoes (baked in the oven)

1. Chop all the vegetables into about the same size pieces (diced-ish)

2. Drizzle olive oil into crock pot.

3. Dump in everything else, with an extra drizzle of olive oil.

4. Go to the farmers’ market for 5 hours while this cooks on high.

5. Serve over baked potato (we paired a lovely red wine with this for lunch).

FOOD(s) 2:

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Photo on 9-8-13 at 6.52 PM

You’ll Need:

*leftover ratatouille (no potatoes necessary)

*chicken stock (1 cup)

*provolone cheese (or whatever type you may want on top)

1. Purée ingredients 1 and 2 in a blender.

2. Heat in pan.

3. Serve with cheese on top.

We enjoyed both of these this weekend, and they were each great in their own way!

 

-j and l

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