Lasagne Soup

The weather has turned cold(er) or I guess more seasonal.  So I wanted to try another new soup recipe before it gets warmer.  Lasagne is a meal I like to make in Fall and Winter, this soup easily will fit into those seasons as well as Spring.  It is a filling meal that goes great with garlic cheddar biscuits.

soup:

2 tsp. olive oil

1-1/2 lbs. Italian sausage (Des Moines locals>>>GRAZIANOS!!)

1 c. chopped onions

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 small can tomato paste

1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 bay leaves

8 c. chicken stock

8 oz. mafalda pasta

1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves (OR Gourmet Garden squeeze Basil)

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Topping:

6 oz. ricotta

1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. salt

pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and brown for about 5 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente.  Right before serving, stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheese. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheese in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

 

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Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Sweet….Salty…Yum!!

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1  tsp. of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 cup of butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup of tightly packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1 cup broken up pretzel pieces

In seperate bowl mix dry indredients:flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In mixing bowl add butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy. On low speed, slowly add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat to combine, scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the flour mixture and beat just until mixed. Stir in the chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and preztels. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop out well rounded tablespoonfuls of the dough. Leave about 2 inches between each ball. Bake for 9 minutes. If you prefer crispier cookies increase the baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing.

Now to just add caramel to the recipe…………..

Peach and Vanilla Bean Cake

I was tasked (I volunteered, really) with providing snacks for our church small group.  So Sunday after church I decided to make something a little spring-y.  Even though peaches are not in season, I think peaches speak SUMMER!!  No matter if they are just picked from a tree or opened from a can, they are delicious.

Cake Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 ¾ cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste

1 cup sour cream

1 ½ cups diced fresh or canned peaches
Syrup Ingredients

⅓ cup fresh peach preserves

⅔ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350

Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter at medium speed in mixer until creamy. Add sugar and beat at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at the time. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla bean paste. At low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with sour cream.

Place half of the batter in a greased anf floured bundt pan.  Place the peaches on top of cake mix, add remaining mix on top of peaches, smooth with spoon.

Bake cake for 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack.

Combine peach preserves, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat. Using a pastry brush, place syrup generously all over surface of the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before reapplying. Let the cake cool completely.

Enjoy with ice cream or cool whip.