Thursday, January 26, 2012

Warm & Cheesy. Do I have your attention?? ;)

So I'm TRULY starting to believe that when you are pregnant, you take on all of the characteristics of an infant & child.  You have your days & nights mixed up, you can't figure out how to get comfortable, you cry occasionally for absolutely no reason whatsoever and my example of the day:  the ever present mystery for kid's love of food one day and then their non-interest in it the next.  I have gone through that faze with Doritos (thankfully, that passed quickly!), orange mango juice and lots of other stuff.  HADDDDDD to have it in my fridge & pantry 24 hours a day...then one day I would just wake up & have ZERO interest anymore.  I say all of this to you because apparently it's STILL going onJ

Last week, I couldn't LIVE THE DAY without a couple of these...
Wheat + Flax pancakes = my nirvana last week.

This week??  Be goneJ

Back in the picture this week???  Ye ole green favorite.  This takes me about 3 minutes to whirl together and even THAT was NOT FAST ENOUGH yesterday morning.  I have a bizarre "caged animal" craving for spinach when I get on a kick of these!
And even though their not as 'natural,' I must say I LOVEEEE making these with the vanilla protein powder over the peanut butter sometimes.  It REALLY takes them up to 'milkshake' proportions.

In review:
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (or 1 tablespoon peanut butter)
  • 1/2 scoop chia seeds
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup dry instant oats
  • a packed blender of spinach

ANYYYWAAYY after all that breakfast talk, I have something else VERY important to share with you.  Not only did we have yet ANOTHER awesome CHEESY dinner last night...but I may have just discovered my ALL TIME SECOND FAVORITE SOUP (behind Baked Potato, of course)
LASAGNA SOUP!!!!!!  And while this may look like an innocent bowl of deliciousness, just wait for the big SURPRISE at the endJ

You start off by browning up the good stuff:
  • 1 pound diced sausage
  • 2 diced onions
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons oregano

Then it's time for the 'soup' ingredients:
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves

Bring the soup to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes...

Then it's time to add your pasta for about 8-9 minutes.  Be sure to check don't want your noodles to be too al dente OR too mushy! 
I used rotini because of the curls, but you can use whatever you have on hand (about 1/2 a box).

And when the noodles were just about done, I threw in a couple handfuls of torn FRESH basil...ahhhhhh...what a scentJ

And are you ready for the SURPRRRIIISEEEE PART OF THE SOUP??????
You mix 8 oz. of ricotta with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper and add a dollop to the bottom of each bowl.

Along with a little sprinkle of mozzarella cheese!!!!  DOUBLE CHEESE = YES, PLEASE!

Once the pasta was cooked and the soup was thickened, I ladled it on top of the cheeeeeeesssseeeeeee.....

....and added just another sprinkle of mozzarella for good measure!, hella woah was this outstanding! I took this picture RIGHT after I ladled the soup and before I really chowed down.  But once I did and the cheese got all literally needed a bib to keep your clothes from being stained by loooooooooonnnnnnngggggggg strands of stringy cheese.  THAT combined with the melty ricotta...heaven, I tell you people, HEAVEN!
I already can't wait to make this AGAIN.  This is gonna be a FALL/WINTER staple in our house, I guarantee!!!  Try this on the next chilly day...which may or may not be soon here in NJ!!

And in the "just. so. wrong." category:  My dessert was a few squares of this little number that I picked up on the VERY BOTTOM of the 'impulse purchase' shelf at Trader Joe's...

Well, I think I yammered enough for today folks!  Have a good Thursday!

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