makes 6 servings       prep time: 20 minutes      cook time: 7-8 hours

ingredients
1 zucchini, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1/3 c chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 package spicy andouille sausage, cut into half coins (could be regular smoked sausage instead)
3 roma tomatos, chopped (could use 1 can of diced tomatoes instead)
1/3 c tomato sauce
1/4 c tomato paste
1 3/4 c beef (or chicken) broth
1 1/4 c water 3.5 c water
1/3 c dry red wine
1/4 tsp basil
1/4 tsp oregano
2 T parsley
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)
1 (9 oz.) package cheese tortellini

directions

  1. in this order, add zucchini, green pepper, carrot, onion, garlic, sausage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.
  2. add all the liquids next: broth, water, red wine.
  3. next, add the seasonings: BOP (basil, oregano, & parsley), salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  4. cook in slow cooker on LOW for 7-8 hours until vegetables are soft.
  5. about 20 minutes before eating, boil the tortellini until al dente.
  6. drain pasta and serve.
  7. scoop soup into bowls and then add the tortellini separately to each bowl. tip: store soup and tortellini separately, so tortellini doesn’t get soggy.

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pumpkin delight

November 3, 2015

makes 12 servings        time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

ingredients
1.5 c flour
3/4 c butter, softened
3/4 c pecans (plus 1/4 c pecans to sprinkle on top), chopped
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 c powdered sugar
1 container whipped topping
2.5 c milk
3 sm pkgs. (3.4 oz boxes) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp pumpkin spice (or ginger + nutmeg + cinnamon)

directions

  1. layer 1 – mix flour, butter and pecans together. press into a sprayed 9×9 or 9×13 pan. bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees, then remove and let cool.
  2. layer 2 – blend cream cheese and powdered sugar, add 1/3 of the cool whip topping then spread over cooled crust.
  3. layer 3 – mix milk, pudding mix, canned pumpkin, pumpkin spice and another 1/3 of the cool whip topping until smooth. spread over top of layer 2.
  4. layer 4 – spread remaining 1/3 of whipped topping and sprinkle rest of pecans on top.
  5. let chill for 3 hours or until set.

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makes 4 servings       time: 30 minutes

ingredients
1 c evoo
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 jalapenos, seeded and thinly sliced
1 T red pepper flakes
2 c tomato sauce
1 c dry white wine
20 shrimp (21-25 count, peeled and deveined)
1 lb linguine
4 T fresh marjoram, roughly chopped
1/4 c parsley, roughly chopped
salt and ground pepper

directions

  1. in a large saute pan, add half of the oil and heat over medium heat. add the garlic and jalapenos and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. add the red pepper flakes, tomato sauce, wine and bring to a boil. lower the heat and simmer for 4 minutes.
  3. add shrimp to the sauce and simmer until cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. add the linguine to the boiling water and cook until al dente. drain and toss into the sauce with the shrimp.
  4. place the pan over medium heat and cook for 45 seconds stirring to mix well.
  5. serve garnished with marjoram leaves and remaining 1/2 cup oil.

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makes 6 servings       time: 30 minutes

“a healthier alternative to hamburger helper”

ingredients
1 T evoo
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 T all-purpose flour
2 c drained canned diced tomatoes
3/4 c chicken stock, unsalted
1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 c)
1/4 c parsley
salt & ground pepper, to taste

directions

  1. bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. heat a large skillet over medium heat. heat the oil, then add the onion and season with salt. cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
  3. add the beef, oregano, and cayenne and season generously with salt and pepper. season the beef well at this point because the seasonings won’t get in there if you add them later. cook, stirring to break the meat up into little pieces, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. drain the fat (very important step !) out of the pan and discard.
  4. sprinkle flour over the beef and stir until well mixed. stir int he tomatoes and stock. raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. simmer hard over medium heat for 10 minutes.
  5. while the beef simmers, add the macaroni and 1 tsp salt to the boiling water. cook a minute less than the label directs and drain well.
  6. stir into beef. stir in half of the cheese. if the mixture is too thick and stiff, stir in more stock to loosen it up.
  7. divide among serving bowls and top with parsley and remaining cheese. serve immediately.

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