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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Minestrone Soup

This is a recipe that I thought was already on my blog but I am not seeing it.  I make it at least a few times a year and with the boys feeling under the weather this week, this was a request.  We all enjoy minestrone soup and it is an easy one for mom to whip up as well, so a win-win all around.

-1 diced onion
-2 diced carrots
-2 diced celery spears
-2 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 chopped cabbage
-1 quart vegetable broth
-1 pint tomato sauce
-2 cans kidney beans
-1 can garbanzo beans
-2 diced zucchini
-1 tbsp dried basil
-2 tsp dried oregano
-S&P to taste
-1/2 cup little pasta

Add onion, carrot, celery, and olive oil to soup pot on medium heat, let the veggies cook for just a few minutes until the onions are starting to brown.  Next add cabbage, broth, tomato sauce, basil, and oregano to the pot.  Bring it to a boil, then cover and turn the heat back to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.  Now add beans, pasta and zucchini, cover again and let it simmer another 15 minutes.  Lastly add your salt and pepper.  I add the zucchini last as I don't like mushy zucchini.  Also I generally do not add pasta but Phillip wanted pasta in it tonight.  So if you leave the pasta out or add a gf pasta, it is gluten free.  I like crushed tomatoes in this as well, but my boys don't like the texture of tomatoes in soups, so I use tomato sauce for them.  The taste is delicious either way.  You could also have some Parmesan cheese on the side for those that wanted a little cheese on top, that would be yummy too.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Elderberry Syrup

Here is my recipe for elderberry syrup.  I pulled it from the internet somewhere a few years ago, and adapted it just a little.  
 This is a double batch simmering on the stove

1/2 cup elderberries
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
1 inch of ginger root sliced
2 cups water

Simmer this until it is reduced by 1/2.  Then strain and add this liquid to 1 cup honey.  Stir, bottle and refrigerate.
Here is the final product

My boys prefer this to the elderberry tincture, so I keep it on hand to take by the spoon full or to add to tea. Great for cold and flu season,  it boosts the immune system, and will help prevent you from getting sick as well as cut your down time if you already are.  We start taking elderberry syrup (and/or tincture) as soon as we think we might be feeling something coming on.  So we don't wait until we are sure, LOL.  We start right away.  And it works for us. If you google elderberries you will find lots of info on the uses of elderberries.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Penne with Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

I found this recipe on the Food Network site, it is from the show, Giada at Home.  I don't watch the show but the recipe sounded delicious and I can say that Phillip, Jackson and I loved it and I will definitely be making this again.  My oldest son Dallen was more middle of the road, he said "I have had better and I have had worse.  LOL

The original recipe is on the Food Network site.  Here is my recipe:

1/2 butternut squash cubed
1 onion diced
8-10 sun dried tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz. goat cheese
S&P to taste
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 pound penne pasta
Grated Parmesan cheese

Put a large pot of water on to boil.  Then in a large saute pan add onion and O Oil.  Saute the onions until tender.  Add squash, marinara sauce, sun dried tomatoes, basil, a pinch of S&P, and about 1/4 cup of water.  I turned the heat back to medium and covered the dish.  Let it all cook.  I kept checking back to make sure my pan was not going dry, and added just a bit of water (1/4 cup) if needed.  While the squash was cooking, I added the penne pasta to the pot of boiling water.  By the time the pasta was done the squash was also done.  Strain the pasta and add that to the veggies.  Now crumble up your goat cheese and add it to the whole dish, stir until the goat cheese is all creamy good.  You might have to add just a bit of water here to get the desired consistency.  I added another pinch of S&P here at the end.  And I set out the Parmesan cheese for my boys to add to the top if they wanted it.

Here are the veggies cooking, I took the lid off to get a nice shot to share

This could easily be made GF by using a gluten free pasta.  Also I thought next time I would use veggie broth instead of the water to see how that turned out, I just didn't have any veggie broth on hand last night.