Saturday, November 22, 2008

Italian Wedding Soup!

I've had Italian Wedding Soup many times but never thought about making it. That is until my best friend, Susan, asked if I had a recipe for it and put the idea into my head. I researched it online, read many recipes from many sites but hadn't decided on one that I wanted to try. I figured that I would end up combining a few of them until I came up with one that my family and I would like. Well as luck would have it, one of the guys brought some into work for all of us girls to try. It was just what I was looking for....almost. He graciously shared his family recipe as long as I promised not to tell his Mother. No problem. My lips are sealed. However, as always, I need to change things up a little bit. It was really good but there wasn't something quite right about his meatballs. When I told a friend at work that I had made it, she immediately said she wasn't fond of the I guess it wasn't just me. So of course, I have modified his family recipe to better fit my tastes and make this recipe my own.

Before I post the recipe, I should tell you that I like a heartier soup. As I've said before, Rachael Ray would call it a "stoup" and that pretty much describes it. So if you like it to be more "brothy," you can add more broth or cut down the amount of the pasta. Also, some people do not like a lot of garlic so I put on the recipe "to taste" so you decide if you want a little or a lot. It's your choice. Make it how you like it and be sure to share with your family, friends and neighbors. This recipe makes a lot and they will love you for it!

Cindi's Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients for Meatballs:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. dried parsley
1 large egg
garlic powder, to taste
1/2 t. salt
pepper, to taste

Remaining Ingredients:
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 20 ounces)
8 cans of College Inn chicken broth
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 box of frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3 large eggs
3 T. grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz. of "Acini Di Pepe" pasta
3 "shakes" of Paprika

1. Boil chicken in water in a large pot until thoroughly cooked. Cool and shred into bite sized pieces.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the meatball ingredients until well blended. Form into 1/2 inch sized meatballs and set aside.
3. Rinse the chopped spinach in a colander until the water runs clear. Drain as much of the water out of the spinach as possible.
4. To make the soup, bring all 8 cans of chicken broth, chicken bouillon cubes and beef bouillon cubes to a boil. Add the meatballs to the pot and simmer until meatballs are cooked through.
5. Add the prepped chicken, chopped spinach and paprika to the pot.
6. Whisk the 3 eggs until it gets foamy. Add 3T grated Parmesan cheese to the eggs. Stir the soup in a circular motion. While the soup is circling the pot, drizzle the egg/cheese mixture in a steady stream being careful not to add it all at once.
7. Add the Acini Di Pepe pasta to the pot, stir and simmer until the pasta done.

Garnish with more grated Parmesan cheese and serve with Italian bread.

One more thing before I go...Allison asked me why it's called Wedding Soup. I told her I don't know...maybe because they serve it at Italian weddings? She replied and said she thinks "it's because the flavors are united together." Well, I looked it up and she was basically right. How did she get so smart?!?!?!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

***Edited to link up to: Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday at Blessed with Grace and Tuesdays at the Talble with All the Small Stuff.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Philly Cheesecake Brownies!

If you haven't ever had or made Philly Cheesecake Brownies, you have to try these. They are so easy and offer up the "Wow" factor. I found this recipe years ago on a box of brownie mix and cut it out. I love cream cheese so I knew this was a must try. I don't know why but I kept it in my recipe box for years before making it. I now regret that decision. I can't believe I deprived myself of these yummy brownies for all those years! Anyway, the recipe is below and as you can see in the picture, I also sprinkle chocolate chips on it if I have them in my cupboard. You could probably stir them in if you like but I like picking them off the top when I eat the little square of deliciousness!

Philly Cheesecake Brownies

1 pkg of brownie mix (I used the basic Betty Crocker mix.)
1 pkg (8 oz.) Philadelphia cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package. Pour into greased 13 x 9 in baking pan.
2. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar, mixing until well blended. Ad egg and vanilla and also mix until well blended.
3. Pour cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture; cut through batter with knife several times for marbled effect.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until cream cheese mixture is lightly browned.

Cool and cut into squares. Makes 24.

Thanks for visiting my kitchen!


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