Monday, November 28, 2011

Pay it forward

So now's the time of the year that we all feel like cooking, right? RIGHT!?? Well I do anyway. It's also the time of the year that we bring meals to friends. Of course we all do this year round, but bringing a meal to someone unexpectedly during the busiest time of the year is a really awesome gesture. Do something for somebody it forward people. So here's a perfect, heart warming meal to bring to someone special....just because!

Lasagna Soup & Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread. I found the lasagna soup on Pinterest (follow me!). I have actually made lots of Pinterest recipes lately and have not been disappointed yet! I made a few changes to the original recipe which was found here. Here's what I did:

Lasagna Soup

for the soup:
2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 lbs. Italian sausage
3 chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes + 1/2 15-oz. can.
2 bay leaves
8 c. chicken stock
12 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the cheesy yum:
8 oz. ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (I put this for the kids but not me. You definitely don't need it with all the other flavors).

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add ground turkey & sausage, breaking up into bite sized pieces, and onions and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir well to incorporate. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tomato paste turns a rusty brown color.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. Do not over cook or let soup simmer for a long period of time at this point, as the pasta will get mushy. Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the cheesy yum. In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

To serve, place a dollop of the cheesy yum in each soup bowl, sprinkle some of the mozzarella on top and ladle the hot soup over the cheese.

Servings: 8

**grabbed this picture from the original recipe. Hers was prettier than mine. ;)

SUPER YUMMY! My family loves this and it is VERY easy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil, plus
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon clove
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans. Mix dry ingredients together (flour, soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon.) Stir chocolate chips into dry mixture.

In separate bowl, stir eggs, oil, sugar and pumpkin together. Add pumpkin mixture to dry mixture and stir until well combined. Scrape batter into loaf pans and smooth top.

Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely and top with powdered sugar. (This isn't a must...just makes it look pretty).

Then if you wanna get really creative, you can wrap it up really nice like this:

(not my pic either) :)

So there you have it! Serve the soup with a warm loaf of ciabatta and a nice bottle of Pinot Noir and you have an excellent meal to bring to someone.....just because! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

2 months!??

WOW, has it really been 2 months since I updated this blog? How in the world do I catch anyone up on the last 2 months? Well I'll try....

After early September when I last updated is when the company started. My cousin Kaley came to visit, followed by a visit from one of my oldest and dearest, Stacie. We had a BLAST when she was here...just hanging out and catching up. It's been a long time! The last night she was here we went down to Dallas to see Boyce Avenue play at the Grenada Theater. it was an awesome show!

After Stacie flew back home, Kaley came back to visit. That Friday night happened to be the Maroon 5 and Train concert. Can you say AMAZING??? Kaley even got to meet the band with us even though she did not have a meet-and-greet ticket. Pays to be young and hot I guess?

Meeting them is pretty stupid actually, but it comes with our tickets so of course we don't pass it up! But the concert was AMAZE and Ana and I even got pulled on stage for one of the Train songs. So FUN!!

Kaley left a few days later and my in-laws came in for my surgery. I was a little nervous about it but everything turned out just perfectly and what i thought was going to be a very long 6 week recovery actually flew by. I am 6 weeks as of today. HALLELUJAH!! I really REALLY missed Crossfit, but I went back Monday and I don't feel like I lost that much 'skill'. At least it gave my hands a chance to heal up!

Pretty Gross huh? I guess that's what a million thousand pull ups get you. But now they are back to being nice and soft....but probably not for long. ;)

And Eden is glad to be back at Crossfit with me too. This little monkey loves it almost as much as she loves Gymnastics!

I had my surgery on a Wednesday and the following Monday my mom came in to help take care of me. Fortunately, I did not need to be taken care of so we shopped and lunched most every day...our favorite things to do! ;) That weekend, my aunt (her sister) and I had planned a surprise 60th Girls night Out. I rented us a room at the Westin in Frisco and I left earlier in the day to decorate the room all up and put out some hors devours, champagne, etc. When I got home I told her to pack an overnight bag and she was so baffled! We took her to the room, started on the Champagne at about 4 pm and partied into the night. Wine at Cru, dinner at was perfect! We had SO MUCH FUN and decided it was going to be a bi-yearly event. Happy 60th Bebe! We love you!

She left after the weekend and then it was back to life as normal. I had company for well over a month so things seemed awwwwwfully quiet when she left. :( But hey, at least we had the World Series right? This series was the best EVER and although the Rangers didn't win (again) was truly exciting to watch. Jacob and I shared some really good bonding since Mike has been out of town a lot. He would look so forward to sleeping in the bed with me and getting to stay up late on a school night to watch the games. We would scream and hoot and holler....even hide our faces under the covers during those games that went into extra innings and were really tight. So nerve racking!! Win or not, we still love our Rangers!

After all that excitement, there was Halloween. This year Jacob decided to be Eminem, Parker a 'robber', and Eden a lady bug (again). They all looked so cute and had a great night trick or treating with all their friends!

And what fun is Halloween without an adult costume party? This year some of our friends threw a costume party and everyone had to come as a cartoon character. Mike and I decided to go as Malibu Barbie and Ken.

The next week (just last week!) football came to a close.

Go Eagles! it was a really great season and Jacob did extremely well for his first season of tackle. We all enjoyed watching....especially his best cheerleader! (sporting a Cowboys hat, but rooting for the Eagles. ;))

Thursday at Jacob's award ceremony, he was given the 'Principal's Award'. It is an award given to only one child per grade. It is given for being an all around great student.....eager learner, helpful and nice to others, respectful of teachers, etc. I am so proud of him.

The weekend came and we had a wedding to attend in Dallas. It was one of Mike's co-workers, so the McCools went also. We stayed in Dallas overnight and it was so fun!

So there you have it!! the last 2 months of the Devenny's life. BUSY BUSY BUSY is the only word to describe it but I wouldn't have it any other way. I will use the surgery as an excuse to why I haven't updated in so long. I promise to be better!