Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Zuppa Toscana!

If you've ever been to Olive Garden, you may have tried this soup. It's my favorite of all of their soups. I found this recipe on Pinterest from the blog, Jaime Cooks It Up! You can click here for her recipe. My adjusted version is below.

Zuppa Toscana
adapted from Jamie Cooks It Up!

1 pound Sweet Italian Sausage
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 slices bacon, cooked & crumbled or 4 Tsp. bacon pieces
8 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
2 large russet potatoes
3 cups kale, washed & chopped into small pieces (leaf part only, no stems)
salt and pepper (as needed)

Parmesan cheese, shaved 

1. In a large soup pot, brown up your sausage with the red pepper flakes.
2. While the sausage is cooking, cut your potatoes in half lengthwise, then cut the halves lengthwise again and then cut them into thin slices.
3. Once the sausage is cooked remove it to a plate, and add your onions, garlic and bacon into the soup pot. Saute them, stirring frequently until the onions are transparent.
4. Add the broth and water to the soup pot.
5. Carefully add the potatoes. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the potatoes cook. It should only take about 10 minutes.
6.Once your potatoes have cooked through, add the heavy cream and the sausage. Cook the soup just until it is heated through.
7. Add your kale, let cook for 1 minute and then remove from the heat and serve.
8. Top with shaved Parmesan.
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Pretzel Treats!

I found this recipe years ago on the Family Fun website. Since then I have seen it done every which way possible. Some make it with Rolos and press a pecan on top . . . although I'm not a big caramel fan. You can also make it with Hershey Hugs, Reeses Pieces, Peanut M & M's and well, you get the picture. Let your imagination run wild and have some fun with the kids with this one!

Holiday Pretzel Treats

Bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (Snyder's Snaps)
Hershey Kisses or Hugs
M & M's candy

1. Heat the oven to 170 degrees. Set a number of bite-size, waffle-shaped pretzels (one for each treat) in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped Hershey Kiss or Hug.
2. Bake 4 to 6 minutes (the white chocolate will melt more quickly), until the chocolates feel soft when touched with a wooden spoon. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and quickly press an M & M's candy in the center of each Kiss.
3. Allow the treats to cool for a few minutes, then place them in the refrigerator to set, about 10 minutes.


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Marsala Chicken & Mushroom Casserole!

I found this recipe on Rachael Ray's website. My family loved it, so it is definitely a keeper!

To be honest, I haven't really made many of Rachael Ray's recipes. I feel that some of them have too many ingredients or ingredients that I don't want to buy to use only one time.

Fortunately, I had everything on hand for this recipe but in true Cindi fashion, I changed it up a bit. Her recipe includes rice. My daughter is not a rice fan so I substituted cooked linguine. Click here to go to the original recipe which includes the rice.

Okay, I just realized the picture doesn't look that appetizing but trust me, the flavor is delish!

Marsala Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

2 tablespoons butter 
15 ounces sliced mushrooms 
1 1/2 tablespoons flour 
1 1/2 cups Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups heavy cream 
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper 
3/4 lb. (pre-cooked weight) cooked linguine
2 cups coarsely chopped rotisserie chicken 
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

~Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until just melted. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in for 1 minute. Stir in the Marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes or so. Stir in the parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 
~In a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole, spread the linguine in an even layer; top with the chicken. Pour the mushroom gravy on top. Cover snugly with foil and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes. Discard the foil, sprinkle the Parmesan on top and bake for 5 minutes more.


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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sweet & Sour Kielbasa!

This recipe is perfect to take to a Christmas party or get together. You'll be sure to bring home an empty dish!

It is easy to put together with only four (4) ingredients. Since it takes 3 hours to bake in the oven, I usually do it the day before and just heat it in a slow cooker.

Sweet & Sour Kielbasa

3 lbs. kielbasa
1 - 8 oz. bottle of Chile sauce
1 - 8 oz. bottle of tap water
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1  - can of unsweetened crushed pineapple

~ Slice kielbasa in 1/2" diagonal pieces
~ Combine all ingredients
~ Bake covered at 350 degrees for 3 hours.


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