I can’t believe it has almost been a month since I’ve blogged! I’m sorry to have been away so long….not my intention, and I hope I’m never gone this long again. I’ve missed blogging!! A lot! So many times I’ve had things to share, but alas…I have been pulled in many other directions. Good directions such as my daughter’s 7th birthday to celebrate and a party to throw! My mother-in-law visiting from almost halfway across the country, Thanksgiving and time with family and friends, my husband’s 40th birthday (the big 4-0), so much cooking and baking and realizing I missed many photo opportunities for my food blog (I’ve spent so much time in the kitchen this past month, but that left me with even less time to blog about it)! With Christmas around the corner, I’m not sure how often I’ll be blogging, but I will try to get in at least 1 post a week. Hopefully more!
Life is full and rich, and I have really been enjoying spending time with my daughters and husband, but I know I need to carve out some time for Creative Kitchen. I have so many recipes I want to file away here. A thought I twittered the other day (or is that tweeted?) is that FOOD BLOGGING has changed my life for the better. I thought I had experienced taste sensations before, but nothing has prepared me for the onslaught of new kitchen knowledge, new foods, new pairings and the inspiration that has been kindled just by starting this blog!! The friendships that are starting to be formed are such a blessing! I cannot believe the community of food blogging that is out there. I guess I never really knew there were so many others out there like me….that felt that cooking was their creative outlet, that love to try new things out in the kitchen, that love to share that passion with others! The amazing new dishes I’ve been trying, combinations I never would have thought of on my own….my family and I are well fed! I’ve especially been on a soup kick lately.
The latest soup I just made Sunday night….Zuppa Toscana. It’s hearty and delicious!! I had written this recipe down last summer from the internet (unfortunately I forgot where), and as usual changed some things.
1 lb. ground sausage*
3 large red potatoes, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup half n’ half (or heavy cream)
freshly grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
* I used ground beef from whole foods to make my own sausage and it turned out great! I browned it in a soup pot with 1 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp nutmeg mixed in first. We use hormone-free meat and this was a good way to substitute sausage.
Brown meat in soup pot. Then add chicken broth, potatoes, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are tender (about 20 min). Then slowly add cream. Serve in bowl topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I was out of red potatoes so I subbed about 7-8 medium idaho potatoes which worked well. I can’t wait to try it with red though. I also only used 3/4 of an onion (yellow), and I prefer to cook with sweet onion. Was still tasty!
This soup was so delicious. The next day I found myself thinking about dinner (leftovers) all day!! It seems like a good soup to have as part of our Christmas Eve spread (we like to do appetizers) or to share with others at a potluck. Everyone at our house liked the soup, and I found it incredibly easy to make. A trick for the toddler….she wants her food asap, and not always do we have the time to cool it down. This was one of those nights. I decided to add a dollop of sour cream to mix into her soup to help in the cooling down process…worked like a charm! She’s one of my biggest soup fans!