Monday, August 27, 2012

Tuscan Sausage Soup

Here is another Pinterest recipe, compliments of Feast on the Cheap. I am a big soup fan and since fall is almost here...I felt like trying this recipe out. I actually cut it in half because the original makes tons and I was fairly certain it wouldn't fit in my stock pot. Enjoy the taste and the delicious smells that will fill your house.
{Tuscan Sausage Soup}
1 lb Italian sausage (I used chicken sausage to cut back on fat)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrots, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 qts chicken broth, low sodium
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
handful of fresh spinach, chopped
dried basil, salt, and pepper
parmesan cheese for toppings
Remove your sausage from the casings, if necessary, and brown in a large stock pot. Once sausage is done, add in onions, carrots and garlic. Saute until veggies are tender and golden. Next add in diced tomatoes with  juice, beans, chicken broth, pasta, and dried basil to taste. Bring mixture to a boil, cover and simmer until pasta is tender...about 7-10 minutes. Add in your spinach and stir until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese on top!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Garden Style Lasagna

I found this recipe from Rachel over at Bliss Events by Rachel. I actually like it more than the Paleasagna that I blogged about here. It is a great way to slam lots of veggies into one meal. Thanks for the great new dish, Rachel! We will be making this often!

{Garden Style Lasagna}

olive oil and cooking spray
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
1 squash
1 zucchini
1-2 heads broccoli
2 carrots
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup parmesan
salt, pepper, and nutmeg
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
lasagna noodles

Preheat your oven to 375. Chop all of the veggies up. Start with sauteing your onions. Add in some garlic and enjoy the incredible smell. Move the onions to a bowl and throw in your squash and zucchini. Make sure you add in extra olive oil with each round of veggies. Cook until the veggies are tender, and add them to the onions. Last, add in your broccoli and carrots. I used mini carrots and ended up with about 1 cup chopped carrots. Cook until tender and add to the veggie bowl.

 If you love using as few dishes as possible, like me, then add your flour and milk to the same skillet you cooked the veggies in. Or you can use a new one:) Whisk the milk and flour until well combined. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Since I used an already heated skillet, I had to really stay on top of stirring my mixture right away. It was thick and ready to go in no time. Remove the skillet from the heat and add in your parmesan cheese, spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. I just did a dash of each seasoning. I prefer to add more once it's done if I think more is needed.

In a separate bowl, combine the cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese. Even though it only calls for 1 1/2 cups, the container had 2 cups and I used it all. I knew the cottage cheese would go to waste otherwise. Ok, we are ready to assemble!

Grease a 9x13 dish and start with a thin layer of the spinach mixture. Layer lasagna noodles on top. *I love to use no-boil noodles. They are easy to work with and taste wonderful every time.* Add half of the cottage cheese mixture, half of the veggie mixture, and 1 cup of the spinach mixture. Top with lasagna noodles and repeat the layers. Finish your lasagna off with a layer of noodles and the rest of the spinach mixture. I topped the whole thing off with shredded cheese. Cover your dish and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before serving.


Top 10!

1. Garden Style Lasagna tonight....check back later for a delicious recipe!

2. Purse Bingo. Imagine this...a bingo game, but a designer handbag is up for grabs with each bingo win. I went to my second Purse Bingo in Delphos Friday night. Unfortunately for me, there were tons of women there playing, so I did not win my dream bag. At least we had a fun weekend with family in Delphos!

3. I finally finished the book from Hayes's first year. I created and ordered it from Shutterfly. It came in this week and I love it! I think it is a great way to recap a year in his life with fun pictures and stories...especially for someone who doesn't scrapbook.

4. My sweet, red-headed niece, Tenley, turned 1 last week! I can't believe how fast the babies in our family are growing. She had a mermaid extravaganza this weekend and I can't wait to see pictures....ahem Kristin...

5. College football starts this weekend! Ryan is already getting pumped up for the 9 a.m. Notre Dame game. Thank goodness we are parents to a toddler and wake up far before 9 every weekend;)

6. I am obsessed with fluffy, chocolate chip pancakes.

7. We are officially in the 3rd trimester! I will do a preggo update post later this week. I still can't believe how fast it is going...might need to get onto ordering those baby supplies soon...

8. Ryan's wise cousin, Emily, shared some interesting information with me last week. Puttanesca, which I blogged about here, means "whore's style spaghetti." Turns out, the loose ladies of Italy used to make this dish to lure men in. Well played, ladies. Well played.

9. Watched the Hunger Games this weekend. I read the books and loved them! The movie was good and actually pretty accurate. I still like the books better, but I enjoyed the movie too. Can't wait to see the next one!

10. Pray for everyone who will be affected by the hurricane brewing in the gulf!

Sunday, August 19, 2012


I had never heard of this Italian dish until this past week. A patient's wife shared the recipe with me and I am forever grateful to her for it!

It is another meatless dish, but who cares! You don't even really notice between the amazing flavor and smell, load of veggies, and pasta.


1 can artichoke hearts, drained
black and green olives, minced
2 cans chopped tomatoes, drained
sliced mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
olive oil
Italian spices
angel hair pasta
parmesan cheese

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet. I just poured until I felt like I had enough...maybe a couple of tablespoons. Add your artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions. I did not mince my green olives because I only had whole ones in my fridge, but I did cut them in half. Add garlic and Italian spices to your liking. Bring your mixture to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. I covered my skillet while simmering. Make sure to stir often and stop simmering when the liquid starts to evaporate. Some juices are good for your pasta. When your mixture is coming close to being done, cook your angel hair pasta. Serve the veggie mixture over pasta and top with some parmesan. Yum!!!! Enjoy!

Top 10

1. We had such a great, relaxing weekend. It was much needed.

2. Took a family outing to the mall Saturday. Even though it wasn't planned, all 3 of us got 2 new pairs of jeans. You know what they say, the family that does denim together...stays together. Trust me on that one...

3. We had so much fun at the park today. It is really wonderful to live within walking distance of one. Hayes loves the swing and slide.

4. We had an amazing dinner tonight...Putanesca. I will be sharing soon!

5. I have decided to have maternity pics taken with this pregnancy. I didn't with Hayes and I totally regret it.

6. I am obsessed with my Kindle. If anyone is in need of book recommendations, just let me know;)

7. Even though Hayes says a new word everyday, his favorite word is still "no." Shocker, right? A toddler who loves the word no...

8. Football season is so close. I can't wait! New LSU and Notre Dame t-shirts came in for a special little boy this weekend.

9. Rookie Blue killed me this week! Sam and Andy broke up and another character died in the line of duty. Oddly enough, it was the break-up that made me bawl more. Ugh. Hormones.

10. You never know what someone may be struggling with in their life. Pray for all of your co-workers and friends!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Veggie Alfredo

Tonight's meal was inspired by a little pin on Pinterest. A sorority sister, Emily, pinned a dinner she whipped together one night that looked super tasty to me. Emily and her brother own a restaurant in Baton Rouge called MikeWillie's. Since I live so far away, I have never eaten there...but I have heard amazing things about it! So, Emily must know a little something about cooking, right? That is why I was intrigued by her pin. I added some extras to Emily's recipe based on what I had in my fridge and what the baby wanted to eat. Enough about that, let's get to the meal!

{Veggie Alfredo}

1 onion
1 bell pepper
4 stalks celery
2-3 cloves garlic
1 cup broccoli
1 zucchini
8 oz feta (I used sundried tomato basil flavored)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pesto
2 tomatoes
2 big handfuls fresh spinach
cooked quinoa

Ok, ready for the veggie party? Start by chopping all of your veggies. Saute your onions, celery, and bell pepper in a large skillet. Add in garlic, broccoli, and zucchini after a few minutes. At this point, I put the lid on my skillet for a few minutes. It helps the broccoli get tender faster.

Set the lid aside and add in the feta cheese, stirring until the cheese is melty and amazing. Add in your milk, parmesan, and pesto. You could use half and half if you have it. I stopped buying half and half and whipping cream a loooong time ago in an effort to be more healthy, so I use Hayes's whole milk when a recipe calls for those ingredients:) Let these ingredients simmer for a bit. I put the lid back on at this point for a few minutes.

Now would be a good time to cook some quinoa, or heat up leftover quinoa from the night before if you happen to have that in your fridge. This veggie mixture could also be served over any kind of pasta.

So, we are almost ready for the grand finale! I chose to de-seed my tomatoes. I also sprinkled a little salt on them and let them drain while my veggie mixture was cooking so my final mixture wouldn't be too runny. Once your veggie cheese mixture is all mixed and simmered to perfection, throw in the tomatoes and fresh, chopped spinach. Stir around for a few minutes or until spinach has slightly wilted. Serve hot over quinoa!

You could really do any vegetable combination you wanted to in this dish. For me, the pesto really made the dish...but I am obsessed with pesto so it would make any dish for me. Ryan informed me that if there was meat in it, this would be a top 10 supper for him. What? There's no meat in this veggie alfredo? Sorry honey, must have forgotten it;) I'm not trying to go vegetarian on purpose, I promise.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Top 10!

1. Sorry. I took a few weeks off from my Top 10 posts. My brain needed rest due to a pregnancy, an energizer bunny of a toddler, and a busy work schedule.

2. Tonight I finally made Eggplant Parmesan after talking about it for 3 weeks. It was delicious! I will share the recipe later tonight after the energizer bunny goes to bed.

3. I love watching Property Brothers on HGTV. It makes me want to to run out a buy a fixer-upper...but only if they are around to help me re-do it.

4. Last weekend was full of birthday parties. We celebrated with Brady and Evan for their first birthday and with Landen for her second birthday! That means that my baby will be 2 in 6 months. Ahhhh!!!!!

5. Speaking of Landen, how cute is my niece?

6. Speaking of cute kids and miracles, how cute are Hayes and Landen sitting next to each other, smiling, and kinda looking at the camera?

7. I know we aren't sharing names for our baby...but I will share what I have been thinking for room colors. The baby room is already painted grey with lots of white and a little yellow. If we have a girl, I'm going for coral accents. A baby boy will get navy accents. I am quickly becoming obsessed with navy and coral...

8. Hayes has a few new words to add to his collection this week: apple, happy, and arm. He has quite the vocab collection going...

9. I have been a reading fool lately. I think it's my way of unwinding after crazy days at work. Recent read include The Mind Readers and The Mind Thieves. These are both e-books only, but are really good! I also just finished The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. I love his books, but after reading a few, you feel like you've read them all. I haven't read one of his books in a long time, so this was a really good read for me.

10. A prayer request update: A few weeks ago I mentioned my friend whose husband was recently diagnosed with leukemia. His testing came back with the best possible results for the type of leukemia he has. He is now waiting on some biopsy results to see how effective the chemo has been so far before a more concrete plan is put into place. Keep praying for this growing family!

Meet the baby!

We had a chance to get a peek at McBaby #2 this week and our little one looks perfect! Hayes came along and was quite entertaining during the ultrasound with his "baby" comments and his sweet hugs for mommy. Here is a picture of baby...

And here is something fun...a picture of Hayes from his ultrasound.

 It may not be obvious to others, but Hayes and his sibling look very similar in these profile shots. We are so ok with that...seeing as how we think that Hayes is the cutest child ever.

No gender reveals were made during the ultrasound. Hayes was the only one checking out the screen when the ultrasound tech was measuring in that area...and I have a feeling he won't be letting any secrets slip.

It's hard to believe that I'm already 23 weeks. 2 more weeks and we are in the third and final trimester! I have an excellent list of baby supplies needed...I have not made excellent progress on purchasing those things yet.