Saturday, April 9, 2022

Zuppa Toscana, aka Tuscan Coddle...


Kasey made Zuppa Toscana for Sunday family supper a month or so ago.  We all liked it, and Jared, noting the similarities to our favorite Dublin Coddle, asked if it was Tuscan Coddle, so that's how I think of it now.  Kasey texted me the link to the recipe found at 40 Aprons.  Their version is Full 30 compliant.

The original recipe calls for link sausage sliced in rounds, but I had ground italian sausage which I needed to use.  In fact I made several additions/substitutions based on what we had on hand and/or needed to be used up.   My added/substituted ingredients are marked by an " * " below.


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 pound Italian ground sausage*
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound new red potatoes, halved or quartered to bite size*
  • 6 corn on the cob mini ears cut into 2 or 3 rounds*
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder* to taste
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 4 cups milk*
  • 1/2 cup sour cream* 
  • handfuls of fresh baby spinach*
Cook the bacon and sausage until done.  Drain some of the rendered fat, then add the onion and cook till translucent.  Place in slow cooker and add potatoes, corn, chicken stock, and spices.  Cook 4 hours on high.  Temper the milk (if using sour cream, whisk it into milk first) by adding a little hot broth to the milk in stages to warm the milk up enough so that it doesn't break (curdle) when added to the soup pot.  Then add the baby spinach, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Beef & Winter Vegetable Stew...

My recipe was inspired by a recipe from Mary Roe, a friend of a friend.  Her version had only sweet potato and cranberries with the meat .  I love winter vegetables, and thought that more vegetables could only make it better.  This has some sweetness with the sweet potatoes, parsnips, cranberries, and cider.  The salty base of the French Onion soup is a good balance.

1 to 2 pounds beef stew meat
1 leek, sliced thin
1 small to medium onion, sliced thin
4 to 6 parsnips, peeled and sliced
1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 to 2 medium white potatoes, cubed (I used multi-colored new potatoes whole)
1/2 cup fresh cranberries
2 cans condensed French Onion soup
2 soup cans of water
1 soup can of apple cider
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

Heat a little olive oil in the bottom of a large pot.  Add stew meat in a single layer and brown on all sides.  Season with salt and pepper while browning.  After well browned, remove meat and set aside.  Add leek and onion to the pot and let cook till translucent.  Add meat back to the pan, and add remaining vegetables.  Stir to combine.  Pour the cans of French Onion soup, water, and apple cider over top of meat and vegetables.  Add a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to the pot and stir to combine all.  Bring to a slow boil, then reduce and simmer for a couple of hours.  Test vegetables to make sure all are cooked tender.  Serve with cornbread, or a dark crusty bread would also be good.

(My Ninja slow cooker has a stove-top setting, so I did the meat browning and assembling vegetables and liquid together on the high stove-top setting.  Then I switched to slow cooking mode and cooked 4 hours on high slow-cook setting.)

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Pancake/Waffle Mix...

Original recipe from Kathryn at Do It On A Dime.  Thanks, Kathryn!

10 cups all purpose flour
9.5 ounces instant dry milk
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon salt

Measure all the dry ingredients into a very large bowl.  Whisk together to mix well.  Transfer the dry mix to a one gallon glass jar to store.

To make batter:
Put 2 cups of the pancake/waffle mix into a bowl.  Add 1 cup of water and 1 egg and stir till well combined.  Pour batter onto a griddle or waffle iron and cook till golden brown.

My notes:  We like breakfast for supper at our house.  But every time I want to whip up some waffles, it seems I am short of milk.  The dry milk in this mix makes that a non issue for me.  

On my first batch of mix, my batter turned out too thick to pour.  I assume that my flour had settled in the canister and so my mix is flour heavy; I should have whisked the flour in the canister before measuring.  I just added another egg and another cup of water (so in total, 2 cups mix, 2 eggs, 2 cups water).  My batter was pretty thin, but it cooked up fine and had a nice rise.  I'm sharing this to let it be known that the mix is pretty forgiving. 

Kathryn puts a label on her storage jar that says: 2 c mix, 1 c water, 1 egg.  No forgetting!

Friday, August 17, 2018

Shrimp Salad...

1 pound shrimp, cooked and roughly chopped
3 ribs of celery, diced
1/4 of a small onion, finely diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons sweet pickle relish
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon Tony Chachere Original Creole Seasoning
salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

4 tomatoes
Salad greens

Cocktail Sauce:
1/2 cup catsup
2 to 3 teaspoons  prepared horseradish

Townhouse Crackers

For the cocktail sauce, stir together the catsup and horseradish well.  Set aside.

Combine first 7 ingredients.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

With a sharp paring knife, remove the stem core from each tomato.  Starting at top of each tomato,  cut into six wedges without cutting through the base of the tomato.

Arrange salad greens on a plate.  Top with a tomato, carefully spreading out the wedges so that it stays intact.  Scoop a generous portion of shrimp salad into the center of each tomato.  Top with a dollop of cocktail sauce, and serve with Townhouse crackers.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Mom's Cinnamon Rolls...

I make the dough from my mother's recipe for bread.  It makes two loaves of bread or a big pan of cinnamon rolls.  

Ingredients for dough and filling:
2 cups warm water (warm, not hot)
1 packet yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (approximately)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sour cream

1 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of cinnamon

Ingredients for icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
     (cream cheese is optional, if omitted, use a little more milk instead)
1/4 cup of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of milk (or more as desired)

For the dough:
In a small bowl, place about 1/2 cup of the warm water, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and the packet of yeast.  Let sit for about 10 minutes to will begin foaming a little.

In a large bowl combine salt, remaining sugar, remaining water, vegetable oil, and the yeast mixture.  Gradually add in about 4 cups of the flour, mixing with your hand between additions, scraping the sides of bowl to incorporate all the flour.  If the dough is too loose and sticky, gradually add in a little more flour at a time until it is smooth and pliable.  Lightly flour your counter top, and turn the dough out onto the floured surface.  Flour your hands, and knead for about 3 to 5 minutes, adding in a little more flour if needed until it feels rather light and smooth and not sticky.  Butter a glass bowl, and put the dough in it, turning the ball of dough to let a little butter coat its surface.  Cover the bowl with a tea towel, and set it in a warm part of the kitchen.

While the dough is rising, stir together well brown sugar and cinnamon and set aside.

After about 30 minutes, the dough should be approximately double in size.  Punch down the risen dough, and turn it out onto a floured counter. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough out to about a 12" x 18" rectangle.  

Spread dough with 1/4 cup of soft butter, then spread with about 1/4 cup sour cream.  Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over the entire rectangle of dough, and starting on the long side, roll it as evenly as possible until it is rolled and seam side down.  

Lightly grease a pastry scraper or chef's knife and cut the roll into 1" slices.  Place the spirals onto a large buttered baking pan, leaving a little room between the spirals.  Top with plastic wrap sprayed lightly with cooking spray so the dough won't stick to the plastic.  Let rise for about 40 minutes.  

Preheat oven to 325.  Remove the plastic from the rolls, and bake for about 20 minutes, turning the pan after about 12 minutes so they bake evenly.  They should be just lightly browned.  

For the icing, mix together the softened cream cheese, butter and vanilla.  Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  If you want to thin it slightly, you can add a Tablespoon of milk at a time until it is the consistency you desire.  Spread it evenly over the cinnamon rolls while still warm.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Oven (or slow cooker) Jambalaya

(apologies for the poor photo quality)

1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
3 to 6 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice
2 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cups chopped green onions
2 Tbsp minced dried parsley
1 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoons hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1. In a large skillet, saute the sliced sausage.  Stir the onions, green peppers, celery and garlic in with the sausage until crisp-tender.  Add the remaining ingredients, and stir to combine.

2. Transfer to a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender.


Transfer to slow cooker and cook on HI for 4 hours.

My Notes: I have a Ninja cooking system, so I did all steps in one pot. After adding rice, I set it to 'oven' setting at 250° for about 1 hour or until rice is done.

You can also add shrimp to the recipe, but wait until the last 20 minutes of cooking time before stirring them into the casserole/pot, so they don't overcook.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Slow Cooker Dublin Coddle...

I've blogged before about Dublin Coddle.  My friend LB reminded me that it needed trying in the slow cooker.  It turned out SO delicious and was so much easier since I didn't bother with the layering and oven-cooking steps.

Part of what makes it so easy is my Ninja Slow Cooker.  (not a sponsored recommendation, I just LOVE my Ninja.)  It has stove-top settings, which makes browning of meat in its non-stick liner so convenient, and no extra pan to wash.  I just sliced the sausage and bacon and put it in the liner and set on 'high' stove-top setting.
While the meat started cooking, I chopped the onions and sliced the potatoes.  Carey had picked up baby carrots instead of whole carrots, so I used those straight from the package.

As soon as the vegetables were prepped, I stirred them into the liner with the bacon and sausage.  The bacon and sausage weren't fully cooked yet, but that was okay since it was going to slow cook for four more hours.  

I poured a can of Campbell's Condensed French Onion Soup over the top.  Then I almost filled the empty soup can with water and poured that over the top too, twice (or about 2 cups of water).  I pushed the potatoes down into the liquid as much as possible.  The soup is salty enough that I don't even add additional salt...maybe just some ground black pepper if I think of it.

Then I added as much torn kale (with large stems removed) as I could fit into the room that was left at the top of the pot to steam.  I put the lid on, and switch from stove-top setting to the 'high - 4 hour' slow cook setting.  When it's done, I stir the kale into the rest of the ingredients before serving.

It is SO good, and it is everybody's favorite...much more flavorful than it is photogenic.  Jared said he could eat it every day, so I make it often, as I almost always have everything on hand.  And now it's even easier in the slow cooker!

1 pound smoked link sausage, sliced
1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
5 to 6 potatoes, washed and sliced (I leave peel on)
3 carrots, washed and sliced (I leave peel on) or baby carrots
2 to 3 cups tightly packed torn kale, 
      washed and large stems removed
1 can Campbell's Condensed French Onion soup
2 cups water

Cook the sausage and bacon a bit.  In the slow cooker liner mix the onion, potatoes, and carrots to the meats and toss.  Pour soup and water over top.  Top with kale.  Cover and cook for 4 hours on high slow cooker setting.  Stir the kale into the rest of the ingredients before serving.