Saturday, January 7, 2012

lasagna soup

photo & recipe adapted via Closet Cooking

This was the first time I had tried lasagna soup and I was thrilled with the results! I am pretty sure this soup will be made time and time again (in addition to taco soup & chili) over the winter months. LOVED it!

1 tablespoon oil
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 cups chicken broth
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound Fucilli (or similar pasta)
4 ounces ricotta
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
2 cups mozzarella, shredded
1 handful basil, chopped

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, breaking it apart as you go. Add the onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes; set aside.

Saute garlic, red pepper flakes and fennel until fragrant (about one minute). 

In a large pan, add above ingredients. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper; bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil; add pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes and remove from heat.

Mix the ricotta, parmigiano reggiano and mozzarella and serve the soup garnished with a tablespoon of the mixture along with the basil.

*I made two changes to this recipe: 1) Boil the pasta separately from the soup. 2) Reduce the cheese mixture to half.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

birthday cake for danny

photo & recipe via Sweet Kat's Kitchen

1 ½ c. all-purpose flour

1 ½ c. sifted cake flour
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 3/4 c. granulated sugar
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 c. sour cream
1 T. vanilla extract
2 T. honey

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt or 10-inch tube baking pan or spray with nonstick baking spray containing flour.

Sift together the flours, baking soda and salt. Sift again. Set aside. Combine the sour cream, vanilla extract and honey in a small bowl. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 10 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with the sour cream mixture and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix just enough to blend the batter after each addition. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. 

Bake for 65-75 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 25 minutes. Remove the pan and place the cake on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

*I served slices of this pound cake with strawberries and whipped topping! Super moist and dense, just like a pound cake should be.


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