This is one of my tried and true soup recipes and frequent request at Sunday family soup lunches. It is so delicious and even better with slices of crusty delicious homemade bread.
Debbie’s Italian Wedding Soup
1-1/2 pounds sweet OR hot Italian sausage (find it w/o casings-much easier!)
1 package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
3 clove garlic, pressed
3 Tablespoons butter
3 (three) 32-oz. boxes chicken stock
1/2 large package chopped frozen spinach
1/2 cup ancini de pepi (tiny pasta used n frog eye/ambrosia salad)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
Sale and fresh ground pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: Dash crushed red pepper flakes, to taste if you aren’t using hot Italian sausage
In a microwave safe bowl, break up sausage and cook 3 minutes at a time on high, chopping and stirring meat between cycles until cooked. While cooking the sausage, in a large heavy stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat, or in a slow cooker on high, melt butter and sautee mushrooms until soft. Add onion and garlic and stir to coat. Add stock, spinach, oregano, marjoram and cooked sausage. Stir in pasta and season with salt and pepper to taste and optional red pepper flakes.
Bring soup just to a boil stirring occasionally (to keep pasta from sticking) and reduce heat to low (slow cooker reduce to Low) Stove top, simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Slow cooker for 3 hours.
Serve soup with Romano or Parmesan cheese. Keep the red pepper flakes on hand for those who want it spicier! A good loaf of crusty bread and or a big spinach salad is the perfect addition to this yummy soup!
Almost Mad Sourdough
- 4-6 cups unbleached AP flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon quick/rapid rise yeast
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sourdough starter (see HERE for instructions)
- 2 large eggs (one for dough-one for egg wash)
- Sea salt or Kosher Salt
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, salt, and dry yeast. Stir in milk, honey, softened butter and 1 lightly beaten egg. Add starter. Mix in flour gradually. Dough should be still be sticky. ((Not glob to your fingers sticky)
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Yes, you read that right. Is necessary to obtain the proper texture of your baked bread.
- Place in a greased bowl, turn once to oil surface, and cover. Allow to rise until doubled in volume.
- Punch down, and let rest 15 minutes. Shape into two loaves. (Round or oblong for artisan loaves or use greased loaf pans) Place on a greased sheet pan. Allow to rise 30 minutes to an hour or until doubled.
- Score the loaves, diagonal, lengthwise, crosswise, hashtag; whatever you like. Brush egg wash over tops of loaves and sprinkle tops with a little Sea or Kosher Salt.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes, or till done golden brown. Sift a small amount of flour on loaves for that beautiful sourdough finishing touch.
**NOTE- Sourdough starter takes around two weeks to prepare for use. The link to the blog Yumarama.com is a very concise set of instructions on preparing a starter. I wish I had found this before I started mine. Much easier and More understandable. For family here in town, I can save you the time of starting your own by sharing the starter I ladle off every other day or so to prevent a sourdough starter takeover.
I'm stepping outside of my normal blog posts here to do something I do everyday. I do it well if I might brag on myself a bit. Something I didn't include in the description about me is I'm a pretty darn good cook. I have a knack for re-creating recipes into something different and often better then becoming my own. I'm also good at opening the fridge, freezer and pantry and whipping up something new and delicious when I haven't planned anything for dinner or just feel like something new or different.
I love hearty, creamy delicious macaroni and cheese. I’ve followed many a recipe and watch many shows featuring mac ‘n cheese, but something always seemed to be missing. That something was the flavor of CHEESE. Taking what I learned, I set out to create what I craved. The following is what I accomplished. It tastes like, well cheese!
- 3 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 3 cups milk (heat in microwave to a simmer-don’t boil)
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (the sharper the better)
- 6 oz. Velveeta cheese cubed
- 1/3 cup AP flour
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 –3/4 cup diced onion
- Water if needed to thin cheese sauce
- 1/2 cup Shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Panko bread crumbs
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for five minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, while the macaroni is cooking, in a heavy 3 qt. sauce pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add flour and whisk until flour is “toasted”. You may have to add some extra olive oil if the roux is too thick. Slowly pour in hot milk and whisk constantly to avoid lumps. This should be the consistency of gravy. Add dry mustard and cheeses a handful at a time, alternating the cheddar and Velveeta. Stir until melted and smooth. If the mixture is too thick (like paste instead of gravy) add water until it is the right consistency. (Again, like gravy). Season to your taste, and definitely taste!
In a large bowl, (I used a 4 qt. glass bowl) add the macaroni and pour the cheese sauce over and stir. Add 1/2-3/4 cup of Panko bread crumbs.
Pour into a greased baking dish (8-9 inch square or 3 quart round) and sprinkle top with parmesan cheese and top with 1/2 cup of Panko.
Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. It will be bubbly and the Panko will be lightly browned.
Allow the Mac ‘n Cheese to rest for 5-10 minutes.
My unfocused, scatter blogging is taking another turn into the world of cooking. A fellow blogger, A Bloggy Mom asked followers and friends what they are doing for Thanksgiving and I responded,
"turkey purchased so dinner at my house. Wanna come? I make an awesome gravy and my sweet tater casserole is heaven!"
To which she responded,
"how do you make your sweet potato casserole?"
Last Fall one of those shows that visits awesome restaurants went to a place the made a coleslaw that had bleu cheese and bacon in it. Frankly, it had me at bleu cheese so I was game for coming up with something in my own kitchen. The result was delicious.
This is an excellent variation of the typical side dish served with BBQ. The bleu cheese is a welcome addition and depth of flavor.
Deb’s Bacon & Bleu Coleslaw
- 1 bag shredded cabbage
- 1/2 cup Light Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon sugar (I use raw sugar – the kind with big brown crystals)
- 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
- 1/4 cup real bacon bits/pieces crisped in the microwave or 4 slices cooked crisp and crumbled
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, mayo, vinegar, Dijon and sugar. (It shouldn’t look like the coleslaw is “fully dressed”It should seem like it doesn’t quite have enough mayo) If you like more dressing, add some more mayo, vinegar and Dijon. Do this at your own peril the lightly dressed is my preference so I don’t know amounts.
Add cheese and bacon.
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Overnight? Even better. This helps to draw out some of the moisture and when you serve, it will be lightly dressed (I hate the over soupy over dressed coleslaw—bleh!)
This morning a post from a cooking blogger friend showed up on my Facebook feed. Andrea at Recipes For Divine Living posted her Shrimp and Sausage Pasta with Creamy Sherry Tomato Sauce. I really wanted to make this, but one of the ingredients is a seasoning with a high amount of MSG. Hubby is extremely sensitive to MSG, so it was a no go. I reviewed the base ingredient and went shopping and then I came home and started creating. What came about is a Deliriously Delicious pasta I had a hard time stepping away from once I finished my plate.
Delirious (Delicious) Shrimp and Sausage Pasta
- 3 slices turkey bacon chopped
- 1/2 package turkey smoked sausage sliced (I used Oscar Meyer)
- 12 oz. raw peeled, deveined, tail off shrimp (60-80 ct per lb)
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 cup sliced baby portabella mushrooms
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoon Butter
- 2 Tablespoons AP flour
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup sundried tomato pesto
- 3 cloves garlic chopped or pressed
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- dissolve 1 Tablespoon chicken base into 1/2 cup hot whole milk
- 1 package whole grain angel hair pasta cooked
Heat olive oil in large frying pan over medium/medium high. Add celery and bacon. Fry/sautee until celery is softening and bacon is near crisp. Add sausage and mushrooms. Continue to sautee until sausage and mushrooms begin to brown.
In a sauce pan on medium low heat (while other ingredients sautee) mix tomato sauce, pesto, garlic, coriander, cumin and pepper. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low and continue to simmer while other ingredients cook.
When the meat and vegetables have browned, add butter and stir in flour to coat then add the shrimp and cook until the shrimp just turns pink. Reduce heat to medium low and add the sauce mixture and stir. Pour in milk mixture and stir until heated through and sauce is creamy.
Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl and pour sauce over and toss to coat the pasta. Serve with a garnish of chopped parsley.
For those who like some spice, put a jar of Sambal Oelek (chili paste) out and spice lovers can season to their taste.
I like soup. No, that’s not right. I love soup. I haven’t made or had any soup in months. Summer doesn’t always make me want soup, but we’ve been having some cool evenings finally and it’s put me in a mood. Today I decided we would have soup for dinner. Blossom wanted Chicken Noodle soup a couple of days ago and I thought,
“Yeah, that sounds good.”
So off to the grocery store to purchase the necessary ingredients to create a fabulous batch of chicken noodle soup. It was doomed from the start when I couldn’t find the Grandma’s frozen noodles. Yes. You read that right frozen noodles. Don’t judge. Then in the meat department there were no boneless skinless thighs and I was not in the mood for deboning chicken.
So I stood in the aisle with a blank look on my face and my Mad Scientist brain flipping through the possibilities. I saw Italian Sausage and that took my brain to Ravioletti, which I love in soup and the train was rolling down the track. I grabbed a few more ingredients and had a recipe in my head that I hoped would end up in a pot of delicious soup.
It did. You win because I’m sharing.
Scrumptious Sausage Soup
- 4 Italian Sausage Links
- Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Cup sliced celery
- 2 cups sliced petite portabella mushrooms
- 4-6 cloves minced garlic (I probably used 8 but who’s counting?)
- 1/4 cup fresh chiffonade basil
- 6 baby bell peppers sliced
- Jar Marinara
- Can Petite Diced Tomatoes
- Can of Garbanzo Beans rinsed & drained
- 2 Marinara Jars water
- 2 tbsp chicken base
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2/3 box of Ravioletti
Heat a skillet to medium-medium high heat. Brown sausage links on two sides. A 1/4 cup of water, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and slice.
Heat a stock pot or large cooking pot to medium/medium high. Add olive oil, sausage and all drippings from skillet, celery, mushrooms, bell peppers, basil and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, then add remaining ingredients. Bring to a low boil, add ravioletti and stir. Give the stock a taste to be sure it’s seasoned correctly. Reduce to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Ladle up a good bowl and float some Cheez-it crackers (is there any other?). Now dig in!
I teased with a question on my Facebook wall, “Who wants my BBQ rub recipe? I actually measured it out tonight and I’ll share if anyone is interested.”
Same day cousin Rikka replied “ummm yeah share please!”, to which I replied “Okie Dokie. I’ll get it typed up tomorrow and post it.” That was four weeks ago.
Forgot it was there, and that I’d said I’d provide the recipe until Judy responded today “Yep – would love to have it!”
Luckily the note pad with the recipe is sitting right here beside me, so the question, that was heartily responded to is finally being answered.
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup AP Flour
- 1/3 cup Chili Powder
- 2 Tablespoons Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Celery Salt
- 1 teaspoon Dried Dill
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Combine all ingredients into a storage container with a tight fitting lid.
Now shakeshakeshake! shakeshakeshake! Shake your booty, shake your booty!
It’s more fun if you dance while your shaking things up.
Spread this liberally over ribs, Boston Butt Pork roast or chicken before smoking, barbecuing or roasting in the oven. You can let it dry marinade (in a suitable covered pan, ziploc container or wrapped in foil) up to 24 hours ahead, but even a short 30 minute room temp marinade will add plenty of flavor if you follow the rule “low and slow” for cooking.
You might as well cook up a batch of my Super Mad BBQ Sauce while you’re waiting. Go ahead. Click. Cook. Enjoy
The last time I made these I failed to track my ingredients. I promised to provide a recipe but minus the requisite ingredients, I unintentionally reneged on that promise. Tonight I decided to cook Chicken Pot Pie for dinner since I already used the oven to make bread. It gave me the opportunity to grab a sticky note and write things down as I went so you can recreate these wonderful little pies.
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (Save some time and buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.)
- 1 Can of Cream of Mushroom, Celery or Chicken soup plus 1/2 can of water
- 1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I used corn, peas and green beans)
- 1 Tablespoon chicken base
- 1 Tablespoon Wondra flour
- 1/4 teaspoon Montreal Chicken seasoning
- Fresh ground pepper to taste
- 3 Nine inch pie dough circles room temperature (Pilsbury from the grocery store cold case or make your own)
- 1 egg whipped to egg wash the tops
- 3 six inch foil pie tins
Instructions: Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
In a sauce pan stir together the soup, water, chicken base, flour and seasonings. Add frozen vegetables and heat on medium low. You want the mixture to thicken to very thick gravy consistency.
If you use the store bought pie dough circles, here’s what I did to make dividing and rolling out super easy. Remove dough from packaging and place one rolled up dough circle in the microwave for 5-10 seconds on high. You want the dough to be barely warm. Now smoosh it together into a ball. Divide each pie dough ball into two balls – one bigger, one smaller and roll both out. Line the tins with the larger circles. Add 1/3 of the chicken and 1/3 of the vegetable mixture to each. Top them with the smaller circle, crimp edges with a fork and cut slits in the top. Brush the tops of each pie with the egg wash and sprinkle a little kosher salt. Place pies on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Tops will be golden brown.
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. You know the proven fact about the internal temperature of a chicken pot pie right?