Simply Soup

What’s your favorite food? Mine is pizza. I could eat pizza every…single…day, but I can’t, so I won’t tease myself into thoughts of of warm bread and chewy cheese more than once a month (okay maybe three or four times). One thing I do love, so very dearly, and will eat anytime my hungry heart desires is soup. My adoration for soup, more than likely, is a result of two things:

  • My obsession with anything and everything related to being cozy-I make just as much soup throughout the summer as I do in the fall and dead of winter. Except chili, I try really hard to wait until fall to make chili so that doesn’t come out until the end of August (which is fall)
  • Bread and butter-Oh I have to live off one thing for the rest of my life? Fine, give me bread and butter. What goes better with soup than some B&B? Nothing…except a glass of wine..maybe…depends on the day. 
Making a huge pot of soup also eases the pain of cooking meals each night of the week, so on a typical Sunday I prepare a large pot and then have lunch and/or dinner for the next few days. As winter quickly turns to patio weather spring, and PWS turns to bikini clad summer, I’ve started to choose lighter recipes for our weekly meals. While at the grocery store a couple weeks ago I picked up the Jan/Feb copy of Food Network Magazine which featured “Yep, it’s Light!!!”, which is not at all what caught my eye, it was the delicious pot of soup on the cover, Meatball-Tortellini Soup.
Rarely do I come across a soup recipe that I don’t feel the need to touch up by adding different broths, spices, sauces etc. This recipe was incredibly simple, inexpensive, fun to make, and DELICIOUS. I substituted spinach for kale since I had an abundance in my refrigerator and it was great. I also added freshly grated Parmesan cheese since I had a block on hand, not necessary, but oh-so good. Other than that, I made ZERO changes to the recipe. The craziest part? I didn’t even feel the need to pair it with B&B! Baby steps…baby steps towards springtime patio margaritas in a maxi dress and my little black bikini. 

Fifty Shades of Pink

Do you like Valentine’s day? If you were to ask me this question a week ago I would have shrugged and said “yeah, it’s fine”, if you had asked me on Friday night around 6:00 p.m. I would have been ecstatic and told you I LOVED it as I finished the final touches of turning my home into cupid’s love nest covered with heart shaped love notes taped in various places, a tower of sweets that was better fit for a baby shower, and massive preparations for an unforgettable dinner made by yours truly. Believe it or not, I really don’t care about this holiday all that much, what I do care about is any opportunity that involves decorating and cooking. So when I, oh so innocently, slipped out on Thursday evening to buy some peanut butter hearts for my beaux, I fell victim to the holiday decoration temptation section of Target and suddenly I was a woman on a full blown V-day mission. Heart shaped plates, and cookie cutters, and red dye, oh my! To Lululemon! To PaperSource! To Sur la Table! 
I’m going to share my Valentine’s recipes with you, however, it must be said that I completely, one hundred percent, hate to admit, didn’t have a choice, I work, I can’t do it all, not all the time, half assed this since it was more for presentation purposes and was planned very, very last minute (less than 24 hours). SO, if you don’t like to make anything from scratch, have no time, and /or no money…this recipe will be just perfect for you. 
Bang Bang Sugar Cookies: Buy a package of pre-made sugar cookie dough, spread flour on your work space, flatten out dough with a rolling pin, make shapes with adorable cookie cutters, bake, decorate with pre-made icing (cringing), sprinkles, colorful sugar etc. 
Cakes Cupped with Love: Buy a package of pre-made cake (chocolate) mix, prepare as directed on box (knife my heart), pour batter in adorable cupcake liners, bake, cool, ice.
**Icing-I purchased red food dye to mix with the white icing and had some fun creating different shades ranging from light to hot pink. I kept the cupcakes fairly simple, besides for some sprinkles on the white iced cakes. 
So there you are, a Valentine’s day spread that was simple yet made with love. As for our dinner that evening, that was made with blood, sweat, and tears, but I’ll save that for another day.