Soup’s On @ 1102

Last Weeks Soup:   Mushroom Soup

My Rating:    ***      3 out of 5

Comments:   This was ok.  I remember it being better the first time I made it.  The best thing about this one, was it had lots of mushrooms, which I love.  I did add a few more that the receipe called for.  It did warm up well, and it was good for lunches during the week.

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While sitting in the lunch room a while back, one of my co-workers was eating soup that his wife had packed in his lunch.  It smelled so good.  I asked him what kind it was?  He said he didn’t know,  just something his wife put in.  (MEN?!?)  But I looked at it and said, “It smells like pizza!”  It had pepperoni, and I could smell oregano, and italian seasonings in the tomato based soup.  Well, in a couple days he said, that he asked his wife and it was Pizza Soup.  She had got the recipe from a co-worker and she would send it to me.

Well, with Superbowl Sunday this week, I am going to postpone my regularly scheduled soup for this week.  Don’t worry it will be here next week.  I figured in honor of Superbowl – Pizza Soup sounded like a good selection.  Now I never got that recipe from work, so I looked one up.  After checking out several, I chose this crockpot one – because during Superbowl you want something that can stay warm, and that you don’t have to fuss over while you’re trying to watch the game.  It works well, on a buffet.

PIZZA SOUP

Ingredients

1 jar (14 oz) of pizza sauce
3 empty jars full of water
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup tomatoes, cut in quarters (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
2 Italian sausage cooked
1 cup sliced pepperoni, sliced in quarters
8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (or 1/2 T dried)
1 T dried oregano
1/2  cup dried pasta
shredded mozzarella cheese (to add later)

Directions

Use a 5 or 6 quart crockpot for this recipe. Serves 8

Wash and prepare veggies. Dump them into the crockpot.

Take sausage out of skin and brown.  (Do a loose chop for bite size sausage pieces).   Add to crockpot.

Add pepperoni,  basil and oregano.  Pour in the pizza sauce, and follow with three empty jars of water.

Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  Everything in this is already cooked, so you are really only heating through and allowing the flavors to meld.

Thirty minutes before serving, add the dry pasta, and turn to high.

Garnish/top with shredded mozzarella cheese for serving.

(Just like pizza you can add what ever you want.  All veggies, No Mushrooms,  Hot Peppers, have fun with it)

Some cheesy garlic bread makes a nice accompaniment.

SUPERBOWL PREDICTIONS – Any one but New England.  Sooooooo

GO GIANTS!

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Published in: on February 1, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102

Champagne Punch

 

With tomorrow being New Year’s Eve, here is a simple Champagne Cocktail that is light and festive, and would be great to serve at your New Year’s Eve Celebration. 

Ingredients

  • 1 thinly sliced peach
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup Simple Syrup
  • 1 bottle champagne or other sparkling white wine

Directions

  1. In a pitcher, combine ice, peach, raspberries, blueberries, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Slowly pour in champagne or other sparkling white wine.

3 Days til 2012

Published in: on December 30, 2011 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Christmas Eve

It’s the Night Before Christmas and all through the house . . .        How are you spending your Christmas Eve?  Now that the shopping is all over and done with, I hope you are spending time with your friends and family.  We’ve been counting down for almost two months, and by this time tomorrow it will be all over for another year.  So, take time to enjoy the the holiday and remember the reason for the season.

Hopefully, you had a party or two that you shared with, friends, co-workers or family over the past few week.  I will just share a few of mine, to remind you that despite the hustle and bustle, there was some fun that was had by all.

My First Holiday Event was our companies Christmas Party.  We had a great venue, good food, and time spent with friends that we talk to often, but don’t see everyday.

Fun  & Dancing

The Smaller House Party

And then the office/store Party, with our Cookie Day!

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So, as I turn in for a good nights sleep, to wait for Santa to stop by my place.  I hope you all had a Happy Holiday Season, and to all a Good Night.

Published in: on December 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102 – Candy Cane Cooler

 

Ingredients

For Infusion:

  • 2 cups fresh mint leaves, de-stemmed
  • 1 bottle quality vodka

Directions

Thoroughly wash mint leaves and place in a decanter or jar. Empty vodka into container and muddle slightly to release the essential oils. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 3 days – longer if you want a stronger taste.

For cocktail:

  • 1 tbs. crushed candy cane or peppermint candy
  • 1 1/2 oz. mint-infused vodka
  • 1/2 oz. B&B (Benedictine and brandy)
  • 1/2 oz. half-and-half
  • Ice
  • Peppermint stick
  • Mint sprig for garnish
Published in: on December 23, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (1)  

Happy Hour @ 1102 – Egg Nog Martini

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice, plus more for garnish
  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups brandy

Directions

  1. Set a large fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Place bottom of bowl in an ice bath; set aside. Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and pumpkin-pie spice. Gradually whisk in 4 cups milk, taking care to incorporate the cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.
  2. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters, 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute more. Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Stir in remaining 4 cups milk. Let cool completely in bowl still set in ice bath.
  3. Just before serving, stir in brandy, and ladle into glasses; garnish with pumpkin-pie spice.
Published in: on December 16, 2011 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Happy Hour @ 1102 – Candy Cane Martini

 

Ingredients

  • 1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish
  • 2 ounces strawberry vodka
  • 4 dashes white creme de menthe
  • 2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
  • Ice cubes

Directions

  1. Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into prepared glass; serve immediately.
Published in: on December 9, 2011 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Black Friday

Black Friday – The day after Thanksgiving where American retailers have turned what could have been a civilized and relaxing day into a crazed frenzy.  Just my opinion!   I do realize there are some people who live to stand in line, camp outside a closed store door in the cold, leave the Thanksgiving feast early to take a nap so that they can get up at the “crack of dawn” or earlier, midnite, to fight for the 3 extremely low priced items that stores have used to bait you out of  your warm home, and into their stores.  Ooooookkkkk,  I’m venting a little, partly because I work in retail, and though I’m sitting here writing now.  In a few hours, I will be serving the public to 9:00 p.m. tonite.

So enough on that.  If you are home and need something else to do.  Let stay in our festive mood.  Thanksgiving is over – 1 down 2 holidays to go.  Christmas is just a month away.  Let’s be a little more domestic.  Today is good for cleaning the house. You don’t have to cook, you have all those Thanksgiving leftovers.  Then bring out the Christmas decoration.  If not the tree the little stuff, like  . . . My Christmas coffee mug.  My Christmas Dish towels.  My Christmas Glasses.  The little things that help make the holidays special.

Another task I like to do on Black Friday is address my Christmas Cards.  Yes, Christmas Cards!  I am old school like that.  I don’t mail anything the rest of the year.  I don’t even know what a postage stamp cost today.  But I will be sending out Christmas Cards.  For me there is nothing like going to the mailbox in December, and getting a envelop that doesn’t have a clear window with your name in it.

Christmas Traditions – there are many things to do that help you count down and get ready for the holidays.  This time should be fun and festive.  Embrace it enjoy it.  Baking, Decoration your tree, Holiday Movies, Festival of Lights, Hanukkah gifts,  or Zwanza Celebrations.  Wow there is so much we will have to talk about in the next 30 days.  Lots of Post ideas.

Finally – I know this is a

Happy Hour @ 1102 Day

I don’t have a prepared cocktail for today.  I would suggest a good bottle of wine though.  But the next 5 Fridays there are some awesome holiday cocktails, that I’ve found.  So take a break and if you must go out,  head to the liquor store to stock up for your liquor cabinet.  Vodka, Rum, Brandy, Bailey’s – this list goes on.  All that cleaning and decorating – I’m going to need a cocktail. 

Classic Mojito

Enjoy your holiday weekend – Back to serious holiday blogging tomorrow! 

 

Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Countdown

 

Walt Mason
For hearts that are kindly, with virtue and peace, and not seeking blindly a hoard to increase; for those who are grieving o’er life’s sordid plan; for souls still believing in heaven and man; for homes that are lowly with love at the board; for things that are holy, I thank thee, O Lord!

11 Days to Thanksgiving

In all our preparation for the holidays – Lets not forget to show hospitality to our family, Socialize with our friends, and by all means when you read the quote, find something to be thankful for!

Published in: on November 13, 2011 at 9:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Thanksgiving

Take a few minutes today and think about what you’re doing for Thanksgiving. There are 19 days til Turkey Day. This is our last thinking day, next week we fly into motion.

Are you having a big Family Gathering.  Is it just your household, or is it a a small gathering of just 2, or even a solitary one.  No matter the size, a flawless celebration needs a plan.

1.  Are You Cooking?

    If so you’ve got work to do.  We’re going to start menu planning tomorrow, so why don’t you buy one of those colorful holiday magazine’s that are all on the shelf.  Thumb through one of those and get some ideas, or . . .  have another cocktail and we’ll talk about it tomorrow.

2.  Are you the Guest?

    And easier role by far, but not one that is without responsibility so . .

  • Do you have to make a dish
  • Just bring yourself
  • A gift for the host is always a thoughtful idea – bottle of wine or dessert

3.   Are you Going Out?

    Start researching for restaurants.   Maybe look for a new one, or choose one you’ve wanted to try, or one that’s a little more expensive than usual.      Make a reservation as early as possible.

19 Days and Counting Til Thanksgiving

Published in: on November 5, 2011 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Planning for the Holidays

 

If you read yesterdays blog and thought about it . . . You probably got a little overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start.

Calm Down . . . Take a Deep Breath . . . Let me Help You.

It’s early, we have 60 days, lets take baby steps. We can do this!

Let’s start with a LIST. A List of the things, you want to do, you have to do, the things that the holidays add to our daily lives, and let’s go from there.

Dinner: Thanksgiving and/or Christmas
Menus
Shopping for Food
Cooking
Gifts
People I need to buy for
People I want to buy for
Office and Gift Exchanges
Deciding What to get
Shopping
Buying
$ $ $
Fun – Entertainment
Parties           

Get-to-gethers

Reservations
Shows, Plays
New Years Eve Plans

See we’ve started – You have another day of thinking and today writing.   Jot some notes

22 Days til Thanksgiving
52 Days til Christmas
60 Days Left in the Holiday Season

Published in: on November 2, 2011 at 9:07 am  Leave a Comment