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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Zuppa Toscana (sausage and potato soup from olive garden)

This is a household favorite. We have LOVED this soup since the first time we have tried it at olive garden. My fiance asked me to make it one day, and I must say it tastes pretty close to it, if not exactly like it. I have never tried Kale until I made this soup, I actually had a hard time finding it the first time i went to the store because I didn't know exactly what it looked like ha ha, but its right next to the collards and similar types of greens.

Here is what you will need...

2 cups Kale
1 lb Hot ground sausage
4 strips Bacon
1/2 Onion diced
1 cup Heavy Cream
4 cloves Garlic minced
2 large Russet Potatoes Sliced 1/2 inch thick
5 tablespoons Chicken Bouillon
1 teaspoon Crushed Red Peppers
8 cups Water

In a Large pot, fry the ground sausage with the crushed red peppers, until cooked.

Once its cooked, empty the pot onto a plate lined with a paper towel to drain the excess fat.

Now in the same pot, add your four strips of bacon, you can add more if you like. The more bacon the merrier...but four strips is what I like to use. Once the bacon is cooked in the pan take it out with some tongs or a fork, and leave the bacon grease in the pan (which helps flavor your soup) and now chop your bacon into small pieces.

Now chop your onion...

And add it to the pan with your bacon and fry together until the onions are translucent and soft

OH! add in the garlic

AND the chicken bouillon!

Now that you have your base which will create the amazing flavor to your soup, add in the water.

Then add in the potatoes until soft

Then add in the heavy cream, the kale and reintroduce the sausage. Boil for about 5 minutes...

Then serve with a nice glass of wine and a salad or pasta =]

Thursday, March 15, 2012


This is my rendition of "picadillo". This dish is a easy "go to" dish for me when I cant figure out what to make, and my fiance and son are hungry. Its a one pot wonder :) I hope you like it.

Here is what you will need...

-1/2 teaspoon Garlic salt
-1 Can tomato sauce ( I believe its a 4oz can)
-1/3 cup Frozen corn Kernels
-1 can green beans
-1/2 tomato
-1/2 onion
-2 potatoes
-1 table spoon Lawry's seasoning salt
-1/2 teaspoon Black pepper
-1 lb ground beef
-2 cloves garlic
-1 yellow Chile

In a large pan cook your ground beef until done (when there is no pink left). Then rinse, peel, and cut your russet potatoes into small pieces like so.

Now add the potatoes into your ground beef right away on medium heat covered with a lid, mixing every 3-5 minutes. I cover the potatoes so they can cook right away.

This is the time to also add your seasonings (Lawry's garlic and seasoning salt, and pepper)

While they are cooking together, go ahead and roughly chop your tomato, onions, garlic and Chile.

add this to your pan once the potatoes are almost fully cooked. I check my potatoes by taking the biggest piece out and poking it with a fork. If it goes right through it with no resistance then your good to go =]

Mix all your veggies with your meat and potatoes, and cover. Cook until the onions become soft and translucent. Once they are cooked, add in your corn kernels and your green beans.

You can also add in your tomato sauce at this time.

Mix in the tomato sauce until the whole mixture is well blended, lower your flame to low and let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes so all the flavor can blend. Once it is finished I like to plate on top of white rice. You can use Mexican rice which I do as well, or you can eat it by itself. Either way it's good. OH! Serve with some avocado slices and tortillas if you'd like.