31 January 2010

Perfect Pina Coladas

My mom and I took a long walk on the beach this morning. It was fabulous! Even though it is kind of rainy here in Florida, we are still having fun! I blended up some pina coladas despite the drizzly weather. And guess what...? They were the perfect thing to brighten up a dreary day!

My grandpa graciously hand-squeezed some key limes to make key lime pie! Here is my evidence:

Perfect Pina Coladas
(Adapted from Food Network)
Yield: 2 Servings

1 1/2 C. Ice
1/2 C. Diced Pineapple, frozen
2 oz. Pineapple Juice
2 oz. Coco Lopez Coconut Cream
2 oz. White Rum
Pineapple Slices (for garnish)

Put the ice, frozen pineapple, juice, coconut cream, and the white rum into a blender. Blend until smooth and frosty. Pout the drink into 2 glasses and garnish the rim with pineapple slices.

30 January 2010

Grouper a la Marco

I am in sunny Florida for two weeks! Last night, I made Grouper a la Marco (a recipe I found from my grandma's old Marco Island cookbook). She's no longer with us, but it is fun to go through old cookbooks and see her handwriting. "Try this" and "looks fabulous" are some of her scribbled notes in the margins. It is super easy to make and we enjoyed it with a spinach salad, rum-grilled pineapple and a nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

Grouper a la Marco
(Adapted from a Marco Island cookbook)
Yield: 4 Servings

1.75 Lb. Fresh Grouper (or other white flakey fish)
1 Packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
1 C. Plain Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp. Paprika
1/8 tsp. Pepper
1 C. Sour Cream (low fat)

Cut the fish into 4 equal portion sizes; set aside. In a shallow dish, mix together onion soup mix, bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, paprika, and pepper. Dip the fish in sour cream, then roll in dry mixture. Lay in a greased baking pan. Bake at 425F Degrees for 30 minutes (cooking time will vary with the thickness of the fish). Serve with lime or lemon slices and fresh parsley.

26 January 2010

Chinese Chicken + Broccoli

I love following Annie from Annie's Eats. She always posts such delicious recipes (like this Chinese Chicken and Broccoli recipe)! Thanks Annie! Her Brain with Blood Clot Cupcakes made me laugh out loud and I'm thinking about making them for Doug's 30th birthday because he even thought they were hilarious! If you haven't already checked out her blog, I'll warn you now... You'll be drooling at your desk! Personally, I was craving Chinese food and this actually looked pretty healthy (and it tasted so yummy that we made it twice this week)!

Chinese Chicken & Broccoli
(Adapted from Annie's Eats)
Yield: 4 Servings

1 Tbsp. Peanut Oil, divided (or vegetable oil)
1 1/2 tsp. Sesame Oil
3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
4 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
1 tsp. Fresh Ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
4 C. Broccoli Florets
6 Tbsp. Chicken Broth, divided (I make my own base)
2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
1 Tbsp. Hoisin Sauce
4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 1/2 tsp. Cornstarch
3 Scallions, chopped
Sesame Seeds, for garnish

Heat 1/2 Tbsp. peanut oil and 1 1/2 tsp. sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast pieces to the pan and saute until golden brown and no longer pink. With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a bowl and tent with foil. Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the garlic and ginger; saute until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add the red pepper flakes and broccoli florets to the pan. Pour in about 1/2 of the chicken broth (it will steam and boil quickly). Allow the broccoli to cook until al dente and the broth will be mostly evaporated. Add the oyster sauce and hoisin sauce to the pan. In a small bowl, whicks together the soy sauce and cornstarch; add to the pan. Stir in the remaining chicken broth. Return the chicken pieces to the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from the heat. Serve over jasmine rice and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions.

25 January 2010

Sparkling Pear Mimosa

I saw all of these scrumptious recipes for sour cream pancakes, mushroom and thyme omelettes, brown sugar waffles, and honey fromage blanc... and all I had was some champagne and pear nectar. Not that I'm complaining... but it would be nice to wake up to some warm goodness without making it myself (hint, hint). Doug and I splurged and bought some champagne to make these pear mimosas. It was well worth the extra moolah because these were GREAT! We were inspired by our date night in downtown Minneapolis at Manny's (The Living Room at the W Hotel - Minneapolis) and decided to create our own. Enjoy!

Sparkling Pear Mimosa
(Adapted from Manny's)
Yield: 1 Serving

3/4 oz. Pear Nectar, chilled
5 oz. Cava Brut, chilled
Lime Wedge, for garnish
Bosc Pear, for garnish

Take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of a champagne flute. Pour pear nectar into a champagne flute, top with cava or champagne, and serve. Slice a bosc pear and place a sliver in each glass. It's that easy!

24 January 2010

Tortellini Tomato Spinach Soup

I woke up this morning to some sunshine - it was lovely! I worked out, then went to school to study for a while, and called my sister to wish her a happy birthday. She is my best friend. Don't you love that??! I do! We went through the typical years of hating each other, but now we love each other. I couldn't imagine my life without her! I was studying ALL DAY, so Doug went to the grocery store and picked up some ingredients to make this soup. I probably spent a total of 30 minutes on this soup... and it is delicious! Now we are watching the football game. It has been a nice Sunday to say the least! Happy birthday to Sarah and Goooooo Vikings!

Tortellini Tomato Spinach Soup
(Loosely adapted from Food Network)
Yield: 4 Large Servings

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 White Onion, minced (about 1/2 C.)
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
4 C. Chicken or Vegetable Broth (I make my own base)
1 (14 oz) Can Whole Tomatoes, crushed through your fingers or coarsely chopped
1 (9 oz) Package Fresh Tortellini (We used Chicken & Prosciutto Tortellini)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1/8 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 tsp. Dried Herbs of your choice (I used thyme)
3 C. Fresh Spinach, loosely packed; chopped
Freshly Grated Parmesan, for garnish

In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring often until onions are translucent (about 5-7 minutes). Add broth and tomatoes; turn heat up to high and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook to package instructions. When tortellini is almost done, add spinach and taste, adjusting seasonings with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and dried herbs. Serve immediately. Garnish each serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

21 January 2010

Turkey Sausage + Herb-Stuffed Shells

I made this recipe with the intention of posting it for my sister, Sarah. For those of you who have been following for a while, you'll know that I primarily started this blog to post simple yet fabulous recipes to inspire the chef inside of her. You see, Sarah has the talent, but she doesn't put it to use all the time. Well, Sarah (and other Thyme for Wine-inspired followers), you need to try this recipe. All the steps can be done in advance. You know what is the best part of this recipe? It makes wonderful leftovers! I almost thought these stuffed shells were better the next day! A little protein for breakfast? Sounds good to me!

Turkey Sausage & Herb-Stuffed Shells
(Adapted from Pink Parsley)
Yield: 6 Servings

For the Filling:

1 lb. Lean Mild Turkey Sausage, casings removed
1 (15 oz) Container Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg
2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 C. Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
1/2 C. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
1/2 C. Spinach, chopped
2 Tbsp. Fresh Herbs of Choice (Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Parsley, etc.)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

Brown the sausage in a large skillet, breaking into mall pieces, Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients. Add cooked sausage to the cheese mixture and set aside.

For the Sauce:

2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 C. Red Wine (optional)
1 (28 oz) Can Crushed Tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1-2 Tbsp. Tomato Paste
2-3 Tbsp. Fresh Mixed Herbs, chopped (or 1-2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (if you like a little "kick" to your sauce)
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar

Using the same skillet as the sausage, add garlic and simmer for 2 minutes until fragrant. Remove pan from heat and add wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Allow to simmer for at least 15-20 minutes. This makes plenty of sauce (you might even have some leftover).

For the Shells:

1/2 Box Jumbo Shells
3/4 C. Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 C. Parmesan, freshly grated

Cook shells in boiling water, 7-9 minutes. Do not let the shells cook all the way, as they will complete cooking in the oven. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 8x8'' baking dish (or whatever you have). Stuff each shell with a few tablespoons of the sausage, herb, and cheese filling, and place them in your baking dish. Spoon the spaghetti sauce over the shells and top with cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 375F degrees for 30 minutes, removing the foil for the last 10 minutes.

19 January 2010

Mint Chip Cookies

I have a feeling that my classmates in my night class are going to LOVE me! I made this batch of Andes mint chip cookies... and I'm pretty much in heaven. I know a few of us have been on chocolate-overload from the holidays, but how can you pass up this recipe?! I saw it on Natalie's blog and knew I had to give it a try. I couldn't (for the life of me) find the Andes mint baking chips that she mentioned, so I just chopped up a bag of Andes mints and it worked out just fine. I wrapped up some of the cookies in cello bags for my finance friends and tied them up with mint green and chocolate brown ribbon. Scrumptious!

Mint Chip Cookies
Yield: 40 cookies

1/2 C. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, room temperature
3/4 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 (10 oz) Bag Andes Mint Baking Chips (I used an 8.5 oz. bag of Andes mints & chopped them up)

Cream butter in a bowl of fitted with an electric mixer. Add both sugars and beat until light and airy. Add the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (excluding the mint chips) and add to the butter mixture until fully combined. Mix in the Andes chips last. Chill the dough for at least one hour before baking. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease lightly with non-stick spray. This dough makes 40 small cookies. Roll the dough into small balls, set on baking sheet, and slightly press with the bottom of a glass (to flatten slightly). Bake the cookies for 8 minutes (they will be pale in color). Cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to the counter or baking rack to cool completely.

18 January 2010

White Chicken Chili

My mom and sister called me from Minnesota yesterday. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon and they were enjoying some of my mom's homemade white chicken chili, drinking some pinot grigio, and watching the Vikings game. It made me miss home. It made me miss my mom's soup. So I took a gander through some of the food blogs I follow and stumbled across Jennifer's White Chicken Chili recipe. Her blog is called "Bakin' & Eggs" and it is super cute, so you should check it out! Enjoy this recipe on a cold day like today!

White Chicken Chili
(Adapted from Jen at Bakin' & Eggs)
Yield: 8 Servings

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Medium White Onion, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced (to taste)
2 (4 oz) Cans Diced Green Chilies
2 lbs. Chicken Breasts, diced
2 (15 oz) Cans Great Northern Beans, divided
2 (15 oz) Cans White Shoepeg Corn Kernels
2 (14 oz) Cans Chicken Broth (I make my own base)
1/4 tsp. White Pepper
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 C. Fresh Parsley, chopped (or 1 Tbsp. Parsley Flakes)
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano
1 Small Jalapeno, diced
2 Bay Leaves

Saute the onion, green pepper and chilies in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat in a large stock pot for about 5 minutes. Add in diced chicken and garlic; saute about 8 more minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink). Meanwhile, drain corn and beans. Puree one can of beans in a food processor. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Garnish with: Sour Cream, Shredded Cheese, Diced Tomatoes, Scallions, Hot Sauce and/or Fresh Herbs

15 January 2010

Lemon Biscotti with Sour Lemon Drizzle

Ready to do some baking this weekend? I made lemon biscotti with a sour lemon drizzle for one of my Junior League meetings this week. I only kept two of them, but gave the rest away. Doug enjoyed the ones pictured below with a nice cup of coffee. I love biscotti because they freeze very well and can be enjoyed morning, noon or night! Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Lemon Biscotti with Sour Lemon Drizzle
(From Toast to Omaha)
Yield: 2 1/2 Dozen Cookies

1/4 C. Butter, softened
1 C. Sugar
3 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Lemon Rind, grated
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, divided
3 tsp. Lemon Extract, divided
2 3/4 C. Flour
1 Tbsp. Baking Powder
2/3 C. Powdered Sugar

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, lemon rind, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract. Mix in flour and baking powder. Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead 8 to 10 times. Divide the dough in half and roll into logs. Flatten to 1 inch and place on greased baking sheets. Bake for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Cut the loaves into 1/2-inch slices. Place the slices, cut-side up, back on the baking sheet and return to the hot oven. Turn off oven. Leave the biscotti in the oven overnight until cooled. For the glaze, in a small bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and 1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract with the powdered sugar. Drizzle over the top of the cooled biscotti. Store in a tightly covered container.

14 January 2010

Artichoke Olive Crostini

I had some of Doug's med school buddies over (well, they are my friends too!) for some drinks and apps this past weekend. I wanted to make something that I could do earlier in the day and not have to worry about when they were here. Because I didn't know if some of them didn't like meat or fish, I decided to play it safe and make something vegetarian. This artichoke olive crostini was perfect for the evening!

Do you see the cute "Thyme for Wine" apron in the picture? My sister and her hubby gave it to me for Christmas! So adorable - I love it! Thanks guys!

Artichoke Olive Crostini
(from a card in my recipe box)
Yield: 1 1/2 Cups of Tapenade

1 Garlic Clove, peeled & smashed
1 C. Large Green Pitted Olives
1 Tbsp. Capers, rinsed & drained
1 (15 oz) Can of Artichoke Hearts, drained
1/4 C. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
8 Large Slices of Crusty Bread

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. In a food processor, process the garlic, olives, capers, artichokes, and olive oil to a coarse paste. To make the crostini, you just take some good french, sourdough, or herb bread, slice it, place it cut-side up on a baking sheet, drizzle olive oil over it, and broil it for a couple minutes on each side until crisp and browned. Spread the olive paste thickly over the toasts and serve.

Do Ahead: The olive paste can be refrigerated for two days. Let it return to room temperature before serving.

13 January 2010

Coffee Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Yes, you read the title correctly. Coffee chocolate chip banana bread! Can you put any more fabulous ingredients into one little loaf of bread? I don't think so! I was so happy that I found this recipe on Baking Bites because I had two perfectly overripe bananas on my counter. Want to know what I'm doing right now? ...Drinking my morning coffee and enjoying a slice of this bread to celebrate my 100th post! Woo hoo!

You will see in the recipe below that you can either make one large loaf or two small loaves. I made two small loaves and used 5x3'' disposable foil loaf pans (perfect for gift-giving). I wrapped up the other loaf and gave it to a friend!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Yield: 2 small loaves or 1 large loaf

2 C. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Instant Espresso Powder
1/2 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Brown Sugar
2 Medium Bananas, mashed (approx. 1 C.)
1/4 C. Vegetable Oil
1/2 C. Buttermilk
1 Large Egg
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 C. Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Lightly grease two 5x3'' loaf pans (or use disposable foil pans). In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, instant espresso, sugar, and brown sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together mashed bananas, vegetable oil, buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth and well-combined. Pour into dry ingredients and stir only until no streaks of flour remain. Add in chocolate chips and stir to evenly distribute. Divide evenly into prepared pans. Place pans on a baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (if you are making 1 large loaf, increase baking time to approx. 60 minutes). Cool in pans on a wire rack.

Chef's Note: I found that this bread freezes very well.

12 January 2010

Spinach with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette

I made dinner for two on Sunday night.  It was lovely.  We enjoyed this salad so much, that I made it last night too!  The freshly roasted red peppers and warm balsamic vinaigrette are perfect for a cold, winter night.  Actually, I found that the red onions and goat cheese complimented each other perfectly.  I didn't include this suggestion below, but toasted walnuts would be a fabulous addition to the salad.  Stay warm out there!

Spinach with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette
(Found on an old notecard in my recipe box)
Yield: 6 Servings

2 Pounds Fresh Spinach, torn & coarse stems discarded
2 Red Bell Peppers, roasted, seeded & cut into strips
4 oz. Goat Cheese, crumbled
1 Red Onion, halved & thinly sliced

For the Vinaigrette:
1/3 C. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
1 Tbsp. Honey
1/2 tsp. Poppy Seeds
2/3 C. Olive Oil

Combine vinegar, mustard, honey and poppy seeds in a small saucepan.  Whisk in olive oil.  Bring to a boil over medium-low heat.  Remove from heat.  Meanwhile, arrange spinach on individual plates and drizzle with vinaigrette.  Top with red peppers, goat cheese, and red onion. 

08 January 2010

Grapefruit Grigio

I am in the middle of America with a blizzard and negative temperatures.  All of my girlfriends are vacationing in Florida this weekend.  I cannot go because I am taking a winter MBA class.  Hear me whine.  Did someone say wine???  Yes, please!  I think this grapefruit grigio will help heal my winter blues.  Plus, it is getting me excited because I'm going to Florida at the end of this month (when class is over) and will be there for 2 whole weeks!  

Grapefruit Grigio
Yield: 6 Servings

1 Bottle Pinot Grigio
1/2 C. Gin or Vodka, whichever you prefer
1/2 C. Simple Syrup* 
1/2 C. White Grapefruit, cit into half-wheels
1/2 C. Ruby Red Grapefruit, cut into quarters, then sliced
Soda Water, as needed

Combine all of the ingredients except the soda water in a large ceramic or glass container.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours (best if overnight).  Serve over ice and top with soda water.

*Simple Syrup: 1/4 C. Sugar + 1/4 C. Hot Water.  In a small bowl, combine the sugar with the hot water and stir until completely dissolved.  Let cool completely before using.

07 January 2010

Pork Chops with Parmesan Sage Cornbread Crust

If you haven't had a good pork chop in a while, give this recipe a chance. In fact, Doug said that it was a "must try!" It was juicy and delicious. He said that it was the best pork chop he has ever had! Woot woot! Perhaps it was the cheesy, lemony, cornbread and sage crust... or perhaps it was because I didn't serve it until 9:00PM (and he was a bit hungry). At any rate, this is a keeper. I am definitely going to use this recipe in the near future and substitute chicken breasts in place of pork chops!

Pork Chops with Parmesan Sage Cornbread Crust
(From the Toast to Omaha Cookbook)
Yield: 6 Servings

1 Large Corn Muffin, processed into fine crumbs
1 C. Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
1/4 C. Fresh Sage, chopped
2 tsp. Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1 tsp. Lemon Zest
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 Egg Whites, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Butter
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
6 Bone-in Center Pork Loin Chops
Lemon or Orange Wedges for garnish

In a pie plate or cake pan, combine cornbread crumbs, Parmesan, sage, lemon pepper, lemon zest, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg whites, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt. Pour into another pie plate. Dredge each chop in egg mixture, turn to coat. Press chop into crumb mixture, turning to coat completely. Let rest on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes to allow coating to set.

In a large skillet, melt butter with oil over medium-high heat. Add chops and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Cook, turning often until internal temperature reads 140-145 degrees, about 20 minutes. Baste chops with pan juices while cooking. Transfer to serving platter and let rest, lightly tented with foil, until internal temperature reads 150-155 degrees. Transfer to plates, and garnish with lemon or orange wedges.

Chef's Notes: The pork may be browned for 3-4 minutes a side and baked in a 400 degree oven until done. This recipe also works well with boneless chops and bone-in chicken. **I used boneless chops and baked them.

06 January 2010

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Last night, a guy in my MBA class asked me how I like to cook Brussels sprouts. My response: definitely Ina Garten's recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts. It is a fool-proof way to make these each time (I made them tonight and they turned out delicious... as always). Apparently he didn't have too much luck with his recipe when he sautéed them because they tasted like "wasabi." Yikes! I told him to simply roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. His response was, "How do I do that?" Then it hit me... some of my readers might not know how to roast veggies properly. Therefore, I've included Ina's recipe below and you can use it with pretty much any veggie you want to roast. Easy and delightful!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Yield: 6 Servings

1 1/2 Pounds Brussels Sprouts
3 Tbsp. Good Olive Oil
3/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt (if desired) and serve immediately.

05 January 2010

Tuscan Vegetable Soup

Here is a healthy recipe to start the New Year!  I've been craving soup lately, but figured that I should whip up something besides turkey chili, chicken tortilla soup, Mom's chicken noodle soup, or roasted tomato basil soup because I haven't blogged in a while!  My readers are starving!  I get it!  I was a bit hesitant to try this veggie soup at first because it originally didn't call for a protein, rice, pasta, or potato.  The good thing about soup is that you can pretty much throw whatever you want into the pot and it will still turn out delicious!  I decided to add some small red potatoes into the mix and it made it a little heartier for this cold weather.  Ham, sausage, turkey, chicken, or beef would also be nice additions to this soup if you are looking to add some meat.  I just have to keep some special readers in mind and make some veggie options every now and then!  

Cheers to 2010!  Thanks to all of my readers for following my blog and leaving me such lovely comments.  You definitely keep me motivated to post my creations on Thyme for Wine! XOXO

Tuscan Vegetable Soup
(Loosely adapted from Ellie Krieger - Food Network)
Yield: 6 Servings

1 (15 oz) Can Canellini Beans or Northern White Beans, drained & rinsed
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Medium White Onion, diced
3 Carrots, diced 
3 Stalks Celery, diced
1 Small Zucchini, diced
4 Small Red Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
2 tsp. Fresh Sage Leaves, chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper, freshly ground
32 oz. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth (I make my own base)
1 (14.5 oz) Can of No Salt Added Diced Tomatoes
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 dash of Cayenne Pepper
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated (optional)

In a small bowl, mash half of the beans with the back of a spoon, and set aside.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, potatoes, garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper; cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender (about 7 minutes).

Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil.  Add the mashed and whole beans, and the cayenne pepper (about 3 minutes more).  Turn it down to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes or more.  Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.