Tag Archives: randoms

Chicken Toscana Soup

A few weekends ago, I was invited to participate in a “soup swap”. Living in the ‘burbs, I’m learning that there are far more domestic things going on out here…including “soup swaps”. So I took to twitter and asked for soup recipes because come on, I certainly don’t have any. Within minutes I had 3 ready to go. With the urging of my sister, I chose to go with Chicken Toscana Soup.

toscana chicken soup

Ingredients
Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion
2-5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
3-4 cups cooked chicken (I recommend a store bought rotisserie chicken)
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 mini gnocchi packages
1 1/2 cup half-and-half
2-3 cups skim milk
2-3 cups spinach leaves (torn)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
fresh basil

Directions:
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil. Add chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add the gnocchi, cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and tomatoes, simmer. Sprinkle in cheese, simmer for 5-8 minutes. Add cream and milk. Add spinach. Stir together.  Top with basil.

Remove from heat.

From my one attempt, I thought that leaving this soup on a low heat for a while afterwards really thickened this bad boy up. And the flavors just blended incredibly well together.

I hope you enjoy this soup half as much as I did.
Happy Friday!

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White Trash Wednesday – Oreo Truffles

Sometimes, no matter how white trashy, a recipe just sounds tasty. And this one, well, it sounds tasty. I admit it. I’m secure enough in my Alabama heritage to admit that I don’t exactly have a refined palate.

So when a recipe is called “Oreo Truffle”, you can bet your sweet hiney I’m gonna be a fan.

 

You’ll need:
1 Package crushed Oreo’s
8 oz cream cheese, softened
Chocolate (of any variety: milke chocolate, semi-sweet, white…)
Powdered Sugar

To make:
1. Mix crushed Oreo’s and cream cheese until blended
2. Refrigerate mixture for 2-3 hours
3. Meawhile, melt chocolate over low heat in a saucepan, stirring frequently
4. Shape into balls and quickly dip into the melted chocolate
5. Dip into sugar, top it off with crushed Oreo’s, drizzle with chocolate.
6. Freeze for 10-15 minutes until chocolate has set.

Enjoy.

Recipe adapted from Suzie’s Recipe Box.

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In the kitchen

Or what I should have titled, “What I’m coveting for my kitchen”…

It’s probably not much of a secret, but I spend my evenings sitting in front of my computer. Most nights I’m trying to catch up on all my friends’ blogs. (For the full list, please look to your right and then when you’re done with that, click on Link Love ♥.) That might explain why the flooring in my house is coated in dog fur. Thinking I should give up one night of internet reading for running the vacuum cleaner. But one of the other time sucks in my life is soaking in all of the food blogs out there.

Reading about photography tips from Helen from Tartelette.

Wondering if I’m brave enough to attempt some recipes.

Questioning if I’m silly for even thinking I belong in this food blogging world.

But more than anything, I spend the time drooling over food bloggers’ props.

So during my lunch break, I headed straight for Anthropologie because really and truly, there’s no better source for adorable kitchen props.

And these, my friends, are stinking adorable.
Kind of like this pie dish my friend, Christina, gave me. Just so happens that it, too, is from Anthropologie.
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C&O Trattoria, Venice

I give up. I’ve been fighting the back to reality, reality since Sunday night. As Ali from three baking sheets to the wind put it, “keep the daydreamy vacation bubble floating”…and that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

Because, to quote Ben Stiller, reality bites.

So I’m going with it…I’m reliving my mini-vacation through this here blog…photos, foods, and all.

Our second to last night out West we went to C&O Trattoria over in Venice. It’s just one of those places that makes you happy to be there. The atmosphere, the food, the environment make the restaurant what it is.
Well, that and the garlic knots.
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The plate, after plate, after plate…of garlic knots. No, seriously. It’s like they keep an endless supply of “butter balls” in the kitchen. It’s just not right.

And the rigatoni al forno, which I attempted to recreate tonight (attempted being the operative word)…
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And the sausage penne in cream sauce…
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Can I just stay in this vacation bubble forever?
My creation

It’s much prettier here.
Promise I’ll write and tell you all about it.

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White Trash Wednesday! The Tailgating Kind

So even though we were in Southern California we still white trashed it up. We went to the Virginia/USC game on Saturday and because the majority of us flew in for the event, we didn’t have the big tailgating tents, tables, plasma tvs, or generators, but had food and beer.  And that my friends is a perfectly good tailgate. A little white trashy, but just fine for someone like, say, me.

Did I mention our tailgate was on….
An actual tailgate?
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Oh yeah. It was. And it was chock full of food.
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And libations…and more food.
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And because we were in Southern California, the weather was perfect…and at times, slightly chilly. You know, the kind of weather that makes you happy to be outside.
Eating. And drinking.
And the kind of weather that even makes you forget to open your eyes when someone’s taking a picture of you…
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Yeap, just your average white trash tailgate.

My tailgating wish for you is that you’ll follow suit this weekend.  Order your food from a local bbq joint, pack your beer in a styrofoam cooler, and crank some tunes from your car stereo.

And have one heckuva tailgating party in the process.

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It’s About Thyme

No, really. This blog post is about a quaint little cafe and market in Santa Monica called Thyme. But don’t kid yourself, that title up there totally wrote itself in just about the lamest way possible.

Hey, I can admit it.

Well, if you hadn’t guessed from my previous post, I was on vacation.
In Southern California.
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Forgetting about all things remotely related to my real world life. And it was freaking fantastic.
But I’m home now and reality is sinking in. You know…those fun things like work, cubicles, commuting, bills. So while I’m still in complete denial vacation mode, I’ll throw some photos from my trip up here…

thyme in pictures

These are from that seriously adorable cafe I was referring to up there called Thyme. And unlike some other cute little bakery/cafe/market, these guys were nice enough to let me take some photos inside their place of  business.  (You know who you are Miss Bakery lady.)  And I’m glad Thyme was so gracious, because I really wanted to share these photos.  Beside the obvious fact that the food was incredibly tasty (that would be my grilled cheese with bacon falling out of it), the store itself was adorable.  And packed.  And I’d bet money that this time next year, you will have heard of it.

So see, I wasn’t lying.  It was about Thyme.

More from my trip to Santa Monica coming over the next few days.  That’s right. Suck it up. I’m not leaving my little vacation mentality bubble for quite a while.  Buckle in.

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Smoothies by Chef Natalie

Since being healthy is nothing more than an exercise in futility for me, Chef Natalie was kind enough to indulge me by preparing smoothies for our little get together.

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She made us mango-pineapple smoothies.
And because they were so simple to make, I’m already making smoothies for myself. {I know, it’s as if hell has frozen over.}

Natalie made a few simple changes to a normal smoothie recipe and it tasted delicious…and I didn’t even notice that it was in fact completely healthy.

Mango-Pineapple Smoothie
{printable recipe}

frozen mango chunks
frozen pineapple chunks
greek yogurt
honey
vanilla soy milk
2-3 pieces candied ginger, optional

Toss all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.

{Last night I even prepped a berry smoothie for my morning commute. I’ll be healthy yet…even if it kills me.}
Thanks Natalie for giving me this kick start! My jeans thank you as well.

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