This adaptation of a Barefoot Contessa recipe had us licking the bottom of bowls the other night.  I was trying to think of a way to make her white bean soup a little bit more “manly” for the Hubby and the result was wonderful.  With a little crusty bread, you’ll have a full blown meal on your hands.

  • 1 pound dried white cannellini beans
  • 4 cups sliced yellow onions (3 onions)
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large branch fresh rosemary (6 to 7 inches)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 hot italian sausage links, casing removed

In a medium bowl, cover the beans with water by at least 1-inch and leave them in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. Drain.

In a large stockpot over low to medium heat, saute the onions with the olive oil until the onions are translucent, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over low heat for 3 more minutes. Add the drained white beans, rosemary, chicken stock, and bay leaf. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown the sausage, breaking it up wiht the back of a wooden spoon (about 10 min).

Remove the rosemary branch and the bay leaf. Pass the soup through the coarsest blade of a food mill, or place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until coarsely pureed. Return the soup to the pot to reheat and add salt and pepper, to taste, as well as the sausage. Serve hot.


With a little one, I’ve been making a lot of easy and quick meals.  You know—–your same old staples with a twist.  Here’s one: take feta, fresh tomatoes from the garden, a tortilla or two and throw it on the skillet over med-high.  Magically delicious.

The Husband was thrilled when I told him that rib-eyes were on sale at our local grocery store.  I was thrilled when I came across this recipe that let me cook it to the perfect level of done-ness in under 15 min (including pre-heating time).  While the steak was resting on a plate (to retain its juices), we used the same skillet to quickly cook up some sliced veggies.  The residual heat from the oven was even enough to crisp up some garlic bread.  With everything done in under 30 min and with very little effort or ingredients, I think this is going to be a household staple (assuming we can keep finding sales to fund our meat needs).  Happy searing.

1 boneless rib eye steak, 1 1/2-inch thick
Canola oil to coat
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Optional: Steak Rub (I’ve been enjoying Emeril’s)

Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature.

When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste.

Immediately place steak in the middle of hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)

Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto plate.

(Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown)

Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that are the best.  On a busy weekday night, after a long day at work, sometimes it’s nice to get some fresh air outdoors while grilling a meal that took a whole of 25 min from start to finish.  Oh, and it’s also nice to relieve a little guilt by cooking some red meat for your hubby, since the last time you brought some home from the store was over 6 months ago (ok, so maybe that’s just me).  You may also think that this looks like an expensive meal, but at a whopping 6 bucks for two people to eat, I would say it wasn’t half bad (thanks to Costco).

Enough Steak (we used tri-tip) for about 1/2lb. per person
Emeril’s Steak Rub (or the rub of your choice)
1 bunch of Asparagus, washed and ends trimmed off
Olive Oil
1 Lemon, halved

Rub you steak with olive oil and liberally sprinkle with the steak rub.  Allow to sit for a moment while the grill heats up (or overnight in the fridge if you remember).  Meanwhile, toss your asparagus with olive oil, salt, pepper, and squeeze one of the lemon halves over it.  Throw the steak over the grill (about med. heat), and cook for about 5 min, then throw your asparagus on as well.  Continue to cook your steak and asparagus for another 10+ minutes, or until your desired done-ness is reached.  Let stand for 10-15 min to retain the juices. Cut the power, gas, heat-source to your grill and call it a night.

Sausage Tomato Bake copy

YUMMMM!  This was so easy and super hearty—-a must try!

Jamie Oliver Style:

4 lb ripe cherry-sized tomatoes, mixed colors if possible
1-2lb Pork Sausage
2 sprigs each: Rosemary, Oregano (or 1 tsp. dried), Thyme
4 Cloves Garlic, pealed and chopped
1/2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Preheat the oven to 375F.  In a cast iron skillet, place the tomatoes on the bottom of the pan (they should fit tightly).  Add garlic, herbs, red pepper and drizzle with olive oil and a few glugs of vinegar.  Place the sausage on top of the tomato mixture.  Place in the oven and bake for 30 min.  Turn sausage over and bake another 25-30 min, until browned.  Remove from the oven and place the sausage aside on a plate.  Over your stove on med-high heat, cook down the tomato broth until fairly thick, slightly mashing the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon (about 3-5 min).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve the sausage over the tomato sauce.  Enjoy.