Sunday, January 13, 2019

Italian Wedding Soup

 The first snow of the winter official makes it "Soup Season" for me.

One of my favorites is Italian Wedding Soup.  While it is a labor of love, it is worth it!


4 Chicken Thighs
(Seasoning for Chicken: Garlic Salt/ Pepper/ Italian Seasoning)
Whole Celery Stalks
Whole Carrots
1 Large Onion
4 Boxes of Chicken Stock
Head of Kale or Endive
2 eggs
Anci De Peppe

1/2 lb of Ground Beef
1/2 lb of Ground Pork
1 egg
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup of Milk
1/2 cup of italian bread crumbs
1/2 tsp of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, basil and pepper

Preheat oven to 350*

Mix seasoning together for chicken thighs

Spray chicken thighs with cooking spray/olive oil
Sprinkle seasoning liberally on the chicken thighs

Place in the oven, flip over after 10 minutes, and repeat steps of cooking spray and seasoning.  Continue to flip chicken thighs every 10 minutes for up to 45 minutes until chicken skin is crispy.

Meanwhile, while chicken is cooking start the soup

Dice up large onion
Pull apart celery, and just dice up the leafy insides and the tops, keep the carrots and celery whole
Place everything into large stock pot, including a tablespoon of italian seasoning

Let simmer, and once chicken has baked for 45 minutes, place into stock pot
Add some of the "juice" from the chicken as well

I typically allow the broth to marry for a solid 3-4 hours before starting the meatballs.

  Make sure you make the meatballs small, remember they need to be bite sized for the soup
Bake at 375* for 20 minutes.  Let sit for at least 10 minutes before removing them from your cookie sheet.

While waiting on your meatballs to cool, remove the chicken thighs, carrots and celery from the stock.  If you would like, you can shred the chicken and add it back to the soup.

Add the meatballs once everything has been removed

Chop the endive or kale and add it to the warm soup and let it wilt.

Whisk 2 eggs
From a foot above the stock pot, pour in the eggs and stir your soup.

Continue to allow the soup to simmer for several hours to have all the flavors marry.


Follow the instructions for the Anci De Peppe

I do not add the Anci De Peppe to the soup, I keep it separate so it doesn't absorb the broth of the soup.  I keep it separate and add it when I make each bowl of soup.

While it truly is a labor of love like i mentioned before, it is worth it!
What is your favorite soup?  I'm always looking for new ones for "Soup Season"

Enjoy friends!


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Make Me A Meal: Stuffed Zucchini

When a co-worker offers you a homegrown zucchini
**that dwarfs the size of a football**
you make stuffed zucchini
my way of paying homage to my late great grandpa
Growing up my mom would take my sister and I out to my Great Grandparent's farm
And I just remember how big his zucchini's were - compared to the little ones we used to get at our local farm - and just hoping that my mom would bring it home to make stuffed zucchini.
(I found out when asking my mom for the recipe for her stuffed zucchini that my great grandpa used to brag about how large he could grow them... apparently being not appropriate at all times runs in my family!)
It's one of those meals that will always take me back - regardless of how old I am!
As much as I enjoyed making this dish, I enjoyed walking down memory lane while cutting up the onions, mushrooms, and browning the sausage.. and I was giddy with excitement for it to be cooked so I could enjoy it!

1 homegrown, as big as a football zucchini
1 lb Italian Sausage (I used turkey sausage - out of the casing)
1 medium diced up onion
1 small package of mushrooms
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes
Italian Bread crumbs
Garlic, Oregano, Salt and Pepper

Cut end off of the zucchini, and slice in half

Scoop out the middle of the zucchini with all of the seeds
Once the seeds have been removed, shell out a little more of the actual zucchini
and save for later to use in the stuffing
Microwave the zucchini for 10 minutes to give a head start on the cooking
(This will be the perfect amount of time for you to cook the stuffing)

Brown sausage, onion, mushrooms, and garlic

Add bread crumbs just enough so the stuffing is still tacky - and not too dry
Add 1 cup of mozzarella - and it will begin to melt
Season lightly with oregano, salt and pepper

Place stuffing inside the microwaved zucchini boats
Bake for 15 minutes on 350

Pull zucchini out of the oven and top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese

Place dish back in the oven but under the broiler
Until the cheese is golden brown


I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did!
There is something special about making something that is so memorable from your childhood!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

All things loved in July

I cannot believe the month of July has already come and gone.
Here is a look back on a few things that I have fallen in love with this month!
1. Open Table
If you don't have this app yet - download it now!
It makes making reservations so easy.  
It is similar to urban spoon that they have recommendations of local places
along with menus, and reviews.
And even better yet, after so many reservations you
get money back!

2. Smirnoff Sorbet Light
This is my new go-to summer drink.  One shot of this 78 calorie liquor in one of these Sparkling Ice drinks and you've got yourself a refreshing, low cal sweet drink.  Perfect for the pool!

3.  Garth Brooks Radio on iHeartRadio and Y2Kountry
After Garth announced that he was going to go back on tour, I decided I wanted to listen to the songs that me loving country music nearly 20 years ago.  I started listening to Garth Brooks on iHeartRadio.. and let me tell you, its the good stuff! The un-auto-tuned Taylor Swift, the days when Tim McGraw used to be enjoyable to listen to (white tee shirt days), and plenty of John Michael Montgomery and Garth to go on for days!  
Then SiriusXM tested out Y2Kountry a few months ago, and finally made it a station.  I can now listen to the songs of the early 2000's in the car.
It's nice to have a new variety of songs to listen to, although I do still love me some Luke Bryan!



4. Spanx

Yes, I proudly bought my first pair this summer.. and yes, they are a game changer!
Why diet and exercise when you can wear these and they make you 2 sizes smaller?
Can we say these are a GEM in a maxi dress?
They smooth you out and suck you in.. yes please!

5. Body Buddy

I was complaining to my grandma over Memorial Day weekend that it's not easy putting sunblock on your own back.  She told me about this Body Buddy that she bought for my great grandma.
You put your lotion on the applicator and put it behind your back, and it applies the lotion evenly so you do not miss a spot.

I use it for not only sunblock but also moisturizing lotion.

Thank you Nonna for buying all of us girls one of these! They are awesome!



Monday, July 28, 2014

Unexpected Lessons from my Puppy

Things I never thought I would learn from my puppy:

(1) Brushing her hair the day before going to the groomers is this same equivalent as flossing your teeth the day before you go to the dentist.

(2) She has expensive taste in shoes as chew toys... Only the best, Jack Rogers, Tory Burch, Ugg Slippers... forget the Old Navy flip flops or the Target flats.

(3) I buy 14lb bags of dog food for a 4 lb dog ... Oh the irony

(4) She specializes in finding cool air return vents.. regardless of where we might be

(5) Poor girl has more nicknames and probably will never learn that her name is Calloway... and not Callie, Girlfriend, Pipsqueak, Little Miss, Little Bit, Little Shit (I mean that in the nicest way possible!)

(6)  She too has a complex when she gets a bad haircut, or has a bad hair day.  The first few days home from the groomer she is not pleased with the way she looks.

(7) Small dog toys are a joke to her.. in her eyes, the bigger the better.

I cannot wait to learn more from this little fur child of mine.

She certainly keeps me on my toes, but makes being at home that much more fun!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Make Me A Meal: Caprese Pasta Salad

Happy Monday!
We had our first (of many) pool parties at my parent's house this past weekend.
I offered to bring pasta salad as my contribution.  I have made this before, but didn't remember it being this good!
It's a different twist than your typical pasta salad, but so fresh (and easy)!
1 package of 9 oz Whole Wheat Tortellini
1 container of Mozzarella Cheese Balls
Handful of Fresh Basil
1 package of Cherry Tomatoes
Balsamic Glaze
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon of Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning
1/2 Tablespoon of Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp of salt
Make dressing up and allow to sit for at least an hour.
Cook pasta according to package (7-10 minutes).  Slice mozzarella balls in fourths.
Cut tomatoes into fourths.
Slice fresh basil.
Toss the pasta with the dressing.
Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the bowl of pasta.
And Enjoy!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Taking a leap of faith

A year ago this week I decided to make a life changing decision…

I put in my 4 week notice, at a place that I had been for 8 years.  A team that I was completely comfortable with, a company that was nationally recognized as being one of the top 100 places to work for the past 6 years in a row, and a job that I was becoming routine, (although my candidates made it the furthest thing from boring).. to do something completely different!
I took a leap of faith…  It wasn’t just a new job.. but a new career.
I had many concerns leaving my structured, HR position, and moving into a laid back, creative, commercial printing customer service job.. however, I had to trust that I knew what I was doing.
I was going to work for my family business.
I had been given an opportunity to work with a sales rep that knows the business very well, and is very dedicated to the company as well as her career.  If I was going to learn the business, and take a new position in a field I knew NOTHING about, I knew I wanted to work under her.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t also concerned about working with my family every day.  I would go from seeing my dad and sister every Sunday, to seeing them every day but Saturday.  That’s A LOT of family time. 
I can’t say there weren’t days that I haven’t left the office confused, frustrated and upset… but that’s to be expected when I have been cherry picked from my everything I have ever known and dropped into a whole new setting. 
There were days that I felt as if I was never going to understand printing, or figuring out all the processes that were put in place (in a not very process oriented company I might add), or that I was never going to fully comprehend working directly for someone, (I was now not just representing myself, but also my sales rep, and the company)… but I have muddled through it.  It certainly has been a SLOW learning process at times, but looking back, I had a major learning curve to overcome.
In the past year I have had to learn new vocabulary words (that could be a whole blog post just for printing terms!), new processes, 130 associates names, job titles, machines used, and  getting used to smelling of aqueous coating every day when I get home from work.
But in the end, I think I made one heck of a decision.
Looking back at nearly one year into my new career… I have to say, I am beyond proud to say I work for my family business.  I’m so glad that I have been given this opportunity.  I have more appreciation daily for what my grandfather has created in a company, and what my dad has been able to maintain for almost 50 years.
It certainly wasn’t an easy decision, but one that I have no regrets making.
I leave my desk every day feeling fulfilled.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DIY Patriotic Door Hanger

When can you be more American than a World Cup Game and the 4th of July all in one week????

..Exactly what I thought!

You need to show your pride anywhere and every where you possibly can...

so why not include your front door!
Supplies needed -
Wooden Letter - Michaels
Paint - Navy and Red
 Painters Tape
Star Stencil
Paint Brush
Burlap (not pictured)
I marked off the red and white stripes with painters tape.  It was easier for me to just have the stripes be 2 rows of blue tape thick - and I started half way down my letter.

Add caption

Unfortunately part of the painters tape pulled the original white paint off of the letter - I had to go back and touch up the white

I used a stencil to trace the white stars 

Hot glue the burlap to the back of your letter

Tie a bow around it and you are good to go!

Place your hanger on your front door proudly!

Happy World Cup Day and 4th of July week!!!