Monday, September 10, 2012

Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup

Summer is pretty much over. 

But you know what?
I am ok with it. 

Actually at this point, I am welcoming fall. I have had some serious soup cravings lately and let me tell you what...this soup won. 

Usually I am the girl that wants it to be 95+ degrees all year round with NO SNOW EVER. 
And I'm sticking with that last part.

BUT since having a kid...and taking care of said kid in a house with only a window air conditioner... I am ok with the heat wave heading on out. 

Also, I was like a billion pounds pregnant last summer when it literally was 95+ degrees every single day... and it wasn't fun. 

And this year was fun, but you can't take a 6-9 month old child to the beach for 8 hours in 95+ degree weather.. No. 

And you can't tell a 6-9 month old baby to go run through the sprinkler when it gets so hot we can't even breath. 

So goodbye summer. 
Hello fall. 

Fall means soup and cute sweaters and scarves and pumpkin and snuggling to get warm and pretty leaves and holidays and last minute attempts to enjoy the outdoors and coffee and hot cocoa and and and... 

And soup. 

Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup

1 15oz. can great northern beans or cannellini beans, drained
1 lb ground sausage
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
6-8 cups chicken broth
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup ditalini pasta
grated parmesan or mozzarella

Brown the sausage in a large pot and remove when done. Remove most of the grease (if any) and add olive oil, carrot, and onion and saute about 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic and saute another minute.

Add tomatoes, 6 cups broth, thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper, beans, and sausage and cover. Cook on low for an hour at a simmer. Add pasta and cook uncovered until pasta is tender. At this point you can determine if you want to add more broth. I made 8 cups of broth just in case, but only ended up using 6 cups.

Top with grated cheese before serving. (Parmesan is preferred over mozzarella)

Recipe slightly adapted from: The Italian Dish

I told you this soup won. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chocolate Chunk Oreo Chunk Chocoholic Cookies

Oh hi! Remember that time when I told you I was pregnant? 

Ya. These are pregnant lady cookies. 
Meaning these are "I don't care if it's 10 o'clock at night. I need chocolate cookies now!" cookies. 

And the truth is, I feel like these pictures are kind of crap. 

They just don't do these cookies justice. 
Because everything about these cookies makes a pregnant lady happy. 

So that's a good cookie. 

Chocolate Chunk Oreo Chunk Chocoholic Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cup chocolate chunks
10 slightly crushed oreos (the original recipe calls for 20, but I only had 10...add however much you want)

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. 

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time until blended. Add vanilla and beat until mixed. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour mixture until fully combined. Stir in the chocolate chunks and oreos. 

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 minutes. They will look slightly undone, but leave them on the sheet for a couple minutes before moving them to cooling racks. Overbaked chocolate cookies are no good. 

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies. 

Recipe slightly adapted from: Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

Also, like I said, it was 10 o'clock at night and I had to make so many adaptions to this recipe that I didn't even know if it would turn I wasn't really planning for pictures. But SO delish they were!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

I have had some SERIOUS happy cooking mojo lately.

This is another pinterest recipe gone good.

And other than being a little time consuming, it was SO easy. I'm definitely putting it on my "recipe staples" list.

We've been updating our laundry room this week...

And by updating I mean we poured concrete counter tops, ripped out and patched, mudded, and sanded drywall, painting, etc. etc.... bla bla bla.

And by WE I mean my husband did almost all of that by himself... (I'm pregnant...I have excuses.)

So needless to say I have been NOT cleaning. And NOT doing laundry.

Other than playing with my adorable baby kid all day, I'm starting to get kind of bored.

Solution: Make everything I want from Pinterest.
You should do it too.

But first, make everything from my blog. :)

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

3 chicken breast, cubed
salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup sugar
4 TBS ketchup
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 TBS soy sauce
1large garlic clove, minced or grated

Fried Rice:
2-3 cups cooked brown rice
3 TBS olive oil
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce

For the Chicken:
Preheat oven to 350.

Season the cubed chicken with salt and pepper. Coat completely with cornstarch and then dip in the eggs. Heat the oil in a skillet and cook the chicken until browned but not COMPLETELY cooked through.

Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Pour the chicken in a greased 9x13 dish and pour the sauce mix evenly over the top of the chicken

Bake for an hour, flipping the chicken every 15 minutes. (This is the relatively time consuming part.)

For the Fried Rice:
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. Saute the peas, carrots, onions, and garlic until softened. Lower the heat to medium, push the vegetable mixture to one side and scramble the egg in the center of the pan. Once the egg is cooked add the rice and soy sauce and mix everything together. Fry until completely heated through. 

This is the first time that I actually made fried rice successfully. And by successfully I mean it tasted like the kind you get at a restaurant. 

Recipe by: Life as a Lofthouse

I paired this with baked egg rolls....YUM-O.