A Little Love and Home Cookin’

Yesterday was Rick and my sixth anniversary!  Wow, how time flies!  We can’t believe it’s been six years already… that we have a two year old and another on the way, all the things that have happened over the last six years!  Wowie!

We decided to celebrate by taking the weekend in up in Kremmling, CO at Rick’s uncle’s cabin where we spent our honeymoon.  Our plan was to relax, get in a little snowshoeing, and play in the powder with H.


Unfortunately, H had other plans.  Sick again.  We still got in plenty of relaxation, but we stayed inside the cabin by the fire.  Poor kiddo was burning up the whole weekend.

I feel like we’ve lived in a sick house for the last month or so.  H’s been sick and well three times now I think.  Rick’s still not over whatever’s been plaguing him for the last two weeks, and I even took a turn (something I hope I don’t repeat!).

Through all that I’ve made several pots of soup, including a few new recipes that I wanted to share. These first two are both from this month’s issue of Everyday Food magazine:

Tortilla Soup with Black Beans (this is a great way to use up items in your pantry).


  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 TBS fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving

1.  In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium.  Cook garlic and chili powder until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes (with juice), beans, broth, corn, and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper.

2.  Bring soup to a boil; reduce to a simmer.  Add tortilla chips; cook until softened, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in lime juice, and season with salt and pepper.  Serve soup with lime wedges and, if desired, more chips.

Serves 4.  Total time to table: 15 minutes.  (And for my readers counting protein, 12.8 grams per serving).

That’s it!  It was so simple and tasty, we ate the leftovers for three days in a row, with no complaints!  And it was just as good the third day as the first, making it great if you want to cook once and eat for a few days!

The next soup incorporates escarole… a leafy green, and since I’ve been really trying to get more greens in my diet, this soup get bonus points!  Also, as a side note, this month’s magazine had several escarole recipes.  We’ve tried a couple of them, and all  have been wonderful!  It’s my new favorite leafy green… move over kale and spinach!

Light Italian Wedding Soup

italian wedding soup

  • 1 lb ground dark-meat turkey (93% lean)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 heads escarole (2 lbs total), cored, trimmed, and coarsely chopped

1.  In a bowl, combine turkey, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Using 1 TBS for each, roll mixture into balls.

2.  In a large pot, heat oil over medium.  Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add broth and tomatoes (with juice); bring to a simmer.  Add meatballs; cook without stirring, until meatballs float to surface, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add as much escarole to pot as will fit.  Cook, gradually adding remaining escarole, until wilted and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Thin soup with water if desired; season with salt and pepper.  Serve soup sprinkled with more Parmesan.

Serves 6.  Total time: 25 minutes.  Protein: 23.6 grams per serving.

This was also so easy and good.  Next time I will brown the meatballs before adding to the soup, just because I didn’t like the pale look of them.  Also, Rick and I agreed that one tablespoon per meatball was too big, and next time we will roll them smaller.  But it was still delicious!

The last recipe I wanted to share, we made last night (it’s not a soup).  It uses eggplant.  I’m not a huge eggplant fan, and this summer we got quite a few from the CSA.  I didn’t want to waste them and I didn’t know what to do with them, so we sliced and froze them, hoping I’d come up with something before next summer.  I didn’t, but my Great Food Fast cookbook did:

Whole-Wheat Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes


  • 1.5 lbs eggplant, peeled in alternating stripes and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, halved and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 pints (4 cups) cherry tomatoes
  • coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 lb whole-wheat penne
  • 1/4 cup sliced pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 450.  In a medium (11×15 inch) roasting pan, combine the eggplant, onion, tomatoes, 1.5 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and oil; toss well to coat.  Roast until tender, tossing mixture halfway through, about 30 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente according to the package instructions.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

3.  Add the roasted eggplant mixture, olives, and Parmesan.  toss to coat, adding 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water, if desired.  Serve immediately, sprinkled with more cheese.

Serves 6.  Total time: 45 minutes.

We easily halved this recipe for last night.  And the eggplant was better than any I’ve ever had.  It was de-lish!  Rick said to add it to the regular menu, and to make it again.  So yay!  A success!  And a tasty way to make eggplant, finally!

So after all that home cooking, the perfect way to top it all off… Baskin Robbins’ February flavor of the month: Love Potion #31.  My favorite!  And my gift from Rick for Valentine’s Day!


Categories: Food, Recipes, Recommended Reading | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “A Little Love and Home Cookin’

  1. awww, poor henry! too much illness running about. hang in there. glad that you made the best of it on your outing though.

    happy anniversary! six years. good for you both. best wishes for a fantastic year and many more happy years together.

    xoxo, rach

  2. Pingback: UH Boot Camp: Menu Planning Made Easy « The Lazy Homesteader

  3. Pingback: Removing Bitterness from Eggplant without Salt « The Lazy Homesteader

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