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Second Choice Soup

Sometimes things just don’t work out. Okay, well this happens a lot in my kitchen. But when it happened recently, I didn’t moan and groan or stomp about like I normally do. I merely tossed that disastrous swordfish and re-evaluated my options. Hmmmm…lettuce, waffles, ice cream (oooh could have made waffle sundaes!), rice or taco shells? Wait! Is that a can of crushed tomatoes and a small can of cannellini beans I see? Within 15 minutes, magic was made. We had a hearty, healthy meal that quite honestly tasted like some of the better tomato soups I’ve had in the city. The secret? I happen to think it is the white beans. Those little devils added a nice, “stick to your ribs” consistency to the tomato soup. And since the meal was so healthy, why not have some of that ice cream for dessert?


Quick and Easy Tomato Cannellini Bean Soup

  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 28 oz. canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. marjoram, 1 tsp. basil, ½ tsp. sage)
  • 1  teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup milk (or even just a few splashes of cream)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and chopped onion.  Saute until the onions are soft. Add crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Let everything simmer for a bit and then add your seasonings, milk or cream and beans. Bring soup to a light boil. Remove from heat and grab your trusty immersion blender to puree into a nice semi-thick consistency. Serve with rolls, biscuits, or even a nice green salad.


All I Want For Christmas

TREEWhen I was a kid, we had a go to foodie gift for all – hoagies. When your dad owns a hoagie shop (and your mom doesn’t bake much), you give out a lot of sandwiches as gifts. Heck we even mailed them to people. In fact, I bought my first car with a bag of hoagies in tow to get a better deal. But in my kitchen, I’m interested in a different take on food as a gift. Particularly around the holidays.

My sub par baking efforts have been well documented on this blog, but my first attempt at making Peanut Butter Cups (vegan no less!) and Coffee Toffee actually turned out quite well and made for a nice holiday gift for family and friends a couple years ago.

I wanted to share some of my new favorite finds for holiday food gifts, which make great hostess gifts or presents for your friends and neighbors. Everyone makes cookies so stand out from the crowd this year with these unique homemade foodie gifts. 

Dipped Pretzel Rods – cute and creative! These easy-to-make treats are a great project for kids and adaptable to any holiday or occasion.

Homemade Mustard – add a little savory to the sweet treats with a Dijon Mustard and Bourbon Brown Sugar Mustard recipe from Food in Jars.  

Infused Vodkas – cucumber, horseradish, hibiscus. Experiment with some new and interesting flavor combinations for your favorite vodka lover!

Homemade Nutella who doesn’t love chocolate + hazelnut? One of the highlights of our visit to Paris was Nutella crepes and this David Lebovitz inspired version looks divine.


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