10.31.2011

Spinach Lasagna Soup

More Soup, num num num…

Why am I so obsessed with soups lately? Oh yeah, I know why. They are awesome! My third soup for this upcoming fall/winter season is a Spinach Lasagna Soup that I first saw in Pinterest. I didn’t pin it at the time so I found a few other blogs that had variations and I came up with this lovely masterpiece.

Spinach Lasagna Soup
Makes 6-8 cups  
1.5 cups per serving.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken broth
1 pound Italian turkey sausage (you can use ground turkey, ground beef, or reg. Italian sausage as a substitute.)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (for some spice)
15 ounces canned diced tomatoes
15 ounces canned tomato sauce
3 ounces bow tie pasta (or broken up lasagna noodles)
large handful or 2 of fresh spinach.  
Salt & pepper to taste
How to
Spray a large pot with cooking spray. Add onions and sausage (if you can only find sausage in the casing, just break the casing open and break up the meat in the pot) until fully cooked and browned. Add the garlic, spices, tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth and bring to a boil. Drop in the pasta and let cook until al dente (depends on what the packaging says). Stir in the spinach and let cook through for just a minute or two. Serve and savor!

Add a little parmesan or mozzarella cheese on top too if you like.

Again, I froze half of it for later.

{Erica}

10.19.2011

5 in 5!

That is 5 half marathons in 5 years totaling 65.5 miles of races I’ve run since I started actually running back in 2008. Not astronomically impressive...but I'm proud :). I just finished my 5th on Sunday – The Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco. It was a great race with tons (22,500) of people. What a journey it has been to get to where I am doing with my running. Check out my running blog I did with Team in Training this season at . I was able to raise $1961.74 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while training for an awesome race. (THANK AGAIN FOR ALL THE DONATIONS AND SUPPORT!!)

Here are some photos from my TNT season.  

My awesome TNT teammates!


Now, since I feel I am a seasoned half marathoner, I’ve decided to take the plunge for the full. I figured, I am half way there right now, why not keep going. Some of my Team in Training team mates are going to continue to train as well so at least I don’t have to do it alone. I am looking forward to accomplishing a new goal, but not looking forward to the ice baths and broken toe nails.

The California International Marathon is on December 4, 2011 in Sacramento, California and this weekend I have a 14 miler scheduled so here goes nothing!!

{Erica}

10.10.2011

The E-Reader Dilemma.

If you know me, you know I love a good book and a good library where I can get free books. I was recently reading Pat Conway's "Price of Tides" and was complaining to Chris that my arms kept getting tired after holding the dang thing up in bed because it was an 800 page hard back book. After I finished the book, and gained 5 pounds a muscles in my arms, I went to the library like I usually do to get another good read. I ended up leaving the library with a Nook....and that night I feel in LOVE! First of all, I thought it was crazy that the library was lending out e-readers, but the great thing is that with the Nook you can still rent library books electronically. So I tried it for 3 weeks and ended up buying a Kindle this weekend. I drank the e-reader Kool-Aid. It is pretty amazing though. It is so light, easily fits in my purse, and now you can get Kindle books from the library too, so I am happy all around. 

Don't judge me fellow nerds until you've tried it. 



{Erica}

10.04.2011

Soup's On!

The next few days has rain and cooler weather in the forecast. I haven't seen rain since moving to the Bay Area, but everyone tells me it will chill me to the bone! So, I got prepared on Sunday. I made two batches of soup to help keep me warm and cozy (I will have blankets too Abbie). 


The first one was a Minestrone soup (inspired by Martha Stewart) and the second was a Ginger Spiced Apple and Butternut Squash soup (inspired by Weight Watchers). Both turned out rather well, but since Chris refused to even try them tonight (I'm not a bad cook, he just hates veggies), I decided to freeze about 1/2 of my batches for the next 6 months of rain and cooler weather that will be around here.


Quick tip, if you want to freeze soup, but don't have much room in your freezer, put them in a ziplock freezer bag and lay flat in the freezer, they will freeze flat that way and then you can store it standing or stacked. 

Do you have a favorite soup recipe? If so, feel free to share with me. This is just the beginning of soup season!


Minestrone Soup
Serves 6
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery diced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dried
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (28 ounces diced tomatoes)
1 large potato, peeled and diced (optional)
3-4 cups of kale, chopped
1 can (15 ounces) cannelloni or garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
½ lb green beans trimmed and cut
 1 clove of garlic
3 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water


In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and spices. Cook until softened about 5-8 minutes. Add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add beans and kale, veggie broth and water and bring to a boil. Stir in green beans and reduce to a simmer and cook until veggies are tender (20 minutes). Serve sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese and enjoy!














Apple-Butternut Squash Soup
serves 10, about 1 cup per serving
1 ½ tablespoon freshly grated ginger root
2 medium leeks, white part only
3 large apples, chopped
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled and chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup fat free half and half
1/2 cup frozen apple juice concentrate
Salt and pepper

Add grated ginger, leeks and apple juice in a large pot; cover and simmer until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Add apples, squash and 1 cup broth; cover and simmer until very tender, about 1 hour. Purée soup in pot using a hand-held immersion blender or use a blender in small batches (I used my handy magic bullet) and return to pot. Add the rest of the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper; simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in half and half and serve.




Enjoy!

{Erica}

10.02.2011

Blankets

This has turned out to be the weekend of blankets. It's feeling a lot like fall here in Baltimore so I broke out my favorite fuzzy blanket for my bed. I love sleeping when it's cold outside and snuggling down under the covers. It still might be a little too warm for my fuzzy blanket since I've woken up the past few nights sweating!

Yesterday was a fabulous Saturday of laying on the couch and watching college football. Even more so since FSU wasn't playing and the stress level wasn't there. My friend Gilly and I made pigs in a blanket and brownies and it was wonderful. Harper was a cannibal and ate a little wiener in a blanket too haha!

This morning several of us went to Paper Moon Diner and I had the breakfast version of pigs in a blanket...I'm thinking I might turn into one myself especially if I eat the leftovers from last night for lunch or dinner today! I'm thinking if that's what it comes too...I'm totally ok with it. I noticed on their menu they have sorbet iced tea. Lemon sorbet in iced tea...I'm entrigued, but it was too cold this morning to order that.

Harper got a haircut last weekend and so now he's constantly cold. Which kind of makes me happy because he's even more interested in snuggling then he usually is. I've even been nice and let him sleep in bed with me the past couple of nights. Also, he's back to burrowing under the blanket on my bed while I'm in the shower in the mornings. He's currently on my lap while I'm writing this halfway under the blanket that I have draped on my lap.

Ahh blankets...how I love you!

Harper with hair


Harper with no hair

 Now you see why he loves blankets as much as I do :)

-Abbie
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