Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

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We ran errands today with the car windows down. DOWN. It was 70 degrees outside. We’ve had quite frigid weather the past month or so with a decent amount of snow so it was a total miracle. And it’s supposed to be this nice all week. Do you think winter is maybe, just finally over? Or am I getting ahead of myself? I don’t care, we’re soaking it all in and loving it.

It’s also Noah’s spring break this week so we have lots of outdoor fun planned. Oh, and yogurt pie. We were talking about fun things we could do this week and I suggested playing outside, science experiments and making something yummy. His immediate reaction was that we should make yogurt pie. We’ve never made or eaten it so it was just something he thought up on his own (probably because he eats yogurt pretty much every day for breakfast). I know I’m biased, but he’s so darn creative to think of that on his own. Definitely a chef in training! So keep your eyes open for that.
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But for those of you that are still cold and not quite ready for talk about Spring-y pies, I have some delicious soup to share. I made this a few weeks ago when the temperature was in the single digits and it totally hit the spot. Tomato soup has never been my favorite but add some cream and pasta and it definitely changes my opinion.  It’s creamy, warming and so comforting on a cold night. Especially with a super crispy, gooey grilled cheese to dunk in it.
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Classic Americana with an extra dose of carby goodness.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup
recipe adapted from Soup Addict

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
10 ounces cheese-filled tortellini, uncooked
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and basil and sauté another minute. Add the tomato sauce and broth, stirring to combine. Place in a blender and process until smooth. Pour back into the pan and simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

2. In a measuring cup, whisk together the half and half and flour. Pour into the tomato soup, stirring constantly until well combined. Add tortellini and cook according to package directions, being sure not to bring to a boil.

 

Roasted Green Beans

I’m a parent to a picky four year old. He used to eat everything I put in front of him but as he’s gotten older, he’s gotten more and more selective. This is all very unfortunate as I have branched out since starting up this little blog and make a lot of unique meals that are not so common here in the Midwest. My palate has really increased and I am way less picky than I used to be. Of course there are still things I don’t enjoy but I’m pretty proud of some of the things I make these days.
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Green beans are a veggie I have had a hard time supporting. They just aren’t appealing to me but since I have a child to set an example for, I choke them down so that he can see that I was eating them “to make me healthy and strong.” That line works sometimes. He likes muscles.

Last week I decided to roast them in hopes that they would be a bit more bearable to consume. I love the transformation of veggies when they are roasted, especially cauliflower. They get all brown and crispy and all their natural sweetness comes out. I figured it could only up the green beans game. It doesn’t just make them bearable but really tasty! Seriously, I actually enjoyed them and went back for seconds. Pretty sure this is the only way green beans will be prepared in my house going forward. And an added bonus, they are so easy for a weeknight meal.
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Roasted Green Beans

12 oz. fresh green beans
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/2 tsp. roasted garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss all ingredients together in a bowl. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Flip, then roast another 10-15 minutes.

Photo Friday

It’s been a crazy week and I haven’t really picked up my dslr at all so I’m sharing some pictures from my Instagram. We successfully completed our first big road trip with both kiddos last night. We drove to Ohio to visit Joel’s family and it was about a 14 hour journey. I am amazed at how well the kids did.

A little magazine reading to pass the time.
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Noah had Dr. Seuss week at school and participated in all kinds of fun spirit days.

Backwards Day. Kriss Kross will make ya jump, jump.
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Silly Hair Day.
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We’ll be here through the weekend. Wish us luck on our drive home.

Mini Bagel Bites

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Did you guys love Bagel Bites when you were a kid? I remember my brother and I always got so excited when my mom bought them for us. I don’t even know if they make them still but every time I think of them, it brings me back to my childhood. Whoever thought of turning a boring bagel into pizza is kind of a genius.
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I don’t know about you all but I really struggle with lunches for the kids. I don’t really want to cook a full meal but I also don’t want to do sandwiches every day. A lot of times, we have all the ingredients on hand for English muffin pizzas but recently we had some mini bagels lying around and I thought it would be a fun change. They were gobbled down within minutes and that’s saying a lot considering it often takes up to an hour to get Noah to eat a meal. The kid is just too busy for silly things like eating. He’s also a big snacker so he would rather eat like a bird all day then sit down and have 3 meals. I will be nice to have this one in my back pocket when I need him to focus and eat.
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I have to tell you too, they were equally well received by the 30 year old boy in my house too. Nice to know iconic kid food can span the decades.
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Mini Bagel Bites

4 mini bagels, split in half
8 Tbsp. pizza sauce
8 Tbsp. shredded mozzarella cheese
mini pepperoni, or desired toppings

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place bagel halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Spread each bagel half with 1 tablespoon of pizza sauce and top with 1 tablespoon each of mozzarella. Top with mini pepperoni or other desired toppings.

2. Bake for 8 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
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National Peanut Butter Lovers Day {Celebrate with Unilever Ice Cream}

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Did you know today is National Peanut Butter Lovers Day? That is definitely something worth celebrating! My favorite way to indulge in peanut butter is with chocolate of course. I know I have expressed my deep love of the combination a many a time around here. I mean, there’s peanut butter bars (one of my all time favorite desserts), peanut butter eggs, cookie dough bites, Elvis ice cream, need I go on? I really have an undeniable love. So when I was contacted to try Unilever’s peanut butter ice cream products I knew I couldn’t say no. I’m calling it research. I can’t let those products sit on the shelf and not let my loyal readers know how they are, it’s for the good of the people. That’s how I justify the calories at least.

And what better way to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day then with ice cream! I don’t care if it’s cold outside, it’s always ice cream time.

I was provided the opportunity to try Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate, Klondike Reese’s and Magnum Double Peanut Butter. Well, I was a fan of the Klondike Reese’s Bars before I was contacted so they have been gladly consumed many times around here. I love the bits of Reese’s cups throughout the ice cream and of course, the chocolate coating. I went to Klondike’s website and they suggested making a shake with one. What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t try that out? I did, just for you. And it was good. Do it, do it now.
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I definitely enjoyed the Magnum Double Peanut Butter Bars the most. I’ve never tried any of the Magnum Ice Creams Bars before so I can’t compare them but I’m pretty sure the chocolate coating was made by sweet, sweet angels.  It’s so rich and tastes like pure, real chocolate unlike lots of coatings out there that taste weird and waxy. I love the peanut butter layer between the chocolate. It adds an extra creamy richness that just puts these over the top. I see the almond, dark and gold varieties in my future. The Double Peanut Butter variety are only available at select retailers, such as Target, but will be released nationwide in April. Like we needed another reason to go to Target? Just add these to the list, or don’t…because you know you don’t just buy what’s on your list when at Target anyway. I did that once and I was super disappointed in myself as I walked out of the store. Felt like a serious failure at life.
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Last, and least for me, was the Breyers Blast! Reese’s Chocolate. This ice cream wasn’t bad by any means, but it was chocolate. Those that have been following me for awhile know that I like my chocolate in small doses. Chocolate chip cookies? Yes. Chocolate cookies? No. Chocolate cake or ice cream are not my thing. It’s just too rich for me. I have to say though, I liked the big chunks of Reese’s throughout the ice cream. I just would have enjoyed it more in vanilla. When we go out for ice cream at places that blend toppings into your custard, I always choose peanut butter cups in vanilla ice cream. ALWAYS. I ordered a limited time flavor once and immediately regretted it. Some may say I’m a creature of habit but I like to think I know what I like.
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So if you need a little peanut butter pick me up to celebrate National Peanut Butter Lovers Day, make sure to go check out one (or all) of these delicious ice cream treats. Or come on over to my house so I don’t eat ALL THE ICE CREAM.

*I was compensated for these products but all opinions are completely my own.

Klondike Reese’s Shake
recipe from Klondike
serves 1

1 Klondike Reese’s Bar
1/4 cup milk
Handful of ice

Dump all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Photo Friday

So in my free time (hah), I do this. No, I am not an 80 year old woman but I love quilting. I made this quilt for my brother’s birthday and gifted it to him on Wednesday.
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I love creating things with my hands and I find it particularly relaxing.
Trey's Quilt
His favorite color is green if you haven’t figure that out already. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it since it’s very different from anything I’ve made before but it turned out to be one of my favorites so far.
Trey's Quilt

Buttermilk and Feta Mashed Potatoes

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So I’m pretty sure I have the weirdest kid in the world. He doesn’t like potatoes. POTATOES. Seriously, not mashed, baked fried…nothing. What kid, or person really, doesn’t like fries? It’s seriously concerning and makes me question whether he’s really mine. Because this lady never met a potato she didn’t like.

I usually make these potatoes with gorgonzola (ala How Sweet It Is) but we had some leftover feta from pizza night so I gave it a try. It was definitely a good decision. I loved the creamy, saltiness the that it brought to the potatoes.
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We had these on Fat Tuesday with our ridiculous steaks but they would be equally delicious with chicken or pork. Or roasted veggies if your torturing yourself and not eating meat. I mean, if you’re a vegetarian.
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Buttermilk and Feta Mashed Potatoes

3 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and chunked
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup crumbled feta

1. Place potatoes in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until fork tender.

2. Drain the potatoes and put them back in the pan. Add butter and salt and mash potatoes. Slowly add in buttermilk as you mash, adding more or less depending on your preference. Stir in crumbled feta and leave on heat for a couple minutes to allow it to melt. Serve immediately.