Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup

The weather is starting to change as we get in the full-swing of fall. While we may not like the lower temps, we can all agree that it’s great for soups! This was our first soup of the season, and boy was it a good one. The color was gorgeous and it made the whole house smell like a cozy cottage. We served it alongside cheese melted onto buttered Cottleston Italian bread and topped with a bit of garlic powder, perfect for dipping. You could easily swap in fresh spinach or chicken shredded from a store-bought rotisserie.

Italian Chicken Tortellini Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups broth/water with bouillon
  • 2 raw chicken breasts
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste/concentrate
  • 5 oz spinach (half frozen brick)
  • 20 oz fresh refrigerated tortellini
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Instruction:

  1. Warm olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onion until soft. Add garlic and sauté for a few more minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add broth/water with bouillon to deglaze and get brown bits off the bottom of pan. Add whole raw chicken breasts and seasonings. Bring to simmer.
  3. Cover. Simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Remove chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. Return to pot.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, paste/concentrate, and spinach. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add tortellini and cook till done, according to package.
  7. Add heavy cream. Serve once heated through.

Heavenly Hot Fudge Sauce

 

This is hands down the best hot fudge sauce that has ever existed. No contest. It will set the bar so high that every store bought fudge sauce from here out will taste sour and artificial. So be careful when you make the recipe for the first time; it will change your entire outlook on desserts for the rest of your life. This is my mom’s recipe, best made with her amazing vintage copper and ceramic double boiler. For those of us without that cool equipment, a metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water will work just fine.

Heavenly Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tall can of evaporated milk (1 2/3 cups)

Instruction:

  1. Melt butter in the bowl of a double boiler. 
  2. Drop in chocolate and allow to melt. 
  3. Add sugar gradually, a few spoonfuls at a time. Be sure sugar is completely mixed before adding more. The mixture will become thick, dry, and hard to stir. Slowly sprinkle in the salt. 
  4. Stir in the evaporated milk, a little at a time. 
  5. Cook, stirring constantly, until desired thickness. Check thickness by how the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Sauce will continue to thicken slightly as it cools. 
  6. When desired consistency, serve hot or cold. When reheating, keep an eye on the sauce as it will boil over quickly in the microwave.

Ginger Pear Cobbler with Caramel Sauce

I count myself lucky to have the kind of friends that give me their extra garden produce. I am especially lucky that one of these friends gave me a bag full of fresh Brookings-grown pears that were already peeled and sliced. Now that is a true friend! (Thanks Sarah!) After a bit of experimentation, I am pleased with this saucy pear cobbler with a not-to-sweet cakey topping. You could easily use apples or peaches in place of pears, though I think the ginger suits pears best. Don’t skip the caramel sauce! It’s from The Pioneer Woman and is so delicious.

Ginger Pear Cobbler

Pear Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 lbs peeled and sliced pears, about 4 cups
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Cobbler Topping Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg, stirred to break the yolk
  • 1 tbsp coarse sugar

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Pour first 2 tbsp of melted butter into the bottom of a 3 quart dish. Swirl around until the inside of the dish is covered
  2. Mix remaining pear filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves into the pear juice. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  3. Mix cobbler topping ingredients excluding coarse sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until just combined. Spoon over pear mixture. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  4. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until cobbler topping is set and golden brown. You may want to put a sheet pan under the baking dish to catch any drips when the pear filling starts bubbling.

Easy Caramel Sauce – From The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

Instruction:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker. Turn off heat. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.If sauce is thin, just continue cooking for a few more minutes.

Zucchini and Sweet Corn Casserole

Corn casserole is a holiday dinner tradition in our family. My mom has been making it for years, originally from the Tripp, SD community cookbook. It’s easy to throw together, is deliciously cheesy, but has a bit of sweetness from the corn. This recipe is an adaptation from the original to include fresh zucchini and sweet corn, a late summer garden staple in our community. There seems to be a sweet corn farm stand on every corner, as well as an abundance of neighbors begging you to take some squash off their hands! The original recipe is at the bottom of the page, in case you are baking this side dish when sweet corn and zucchini are not easily available. I used a USA Pan that did not require greasing due to it’s unique silicone coating, but I would recommend rubbing your pan with butter if using one without non-stick properties.

 

Zucchini and Sweet Corn Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 2 cups of sweet corn kernels (about 2 ears)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 8 oz package of Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. If not using a non-stick pan, grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
  2. Place shredded zucchini in a floursack towel or folded cheesecloth. Twist the cloth closed and squeeze as much water out of the zucchini as possible. You should end up with about 2 cups.
  3. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, except cheese.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.

 

Original Corn Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 2 cans whole kernel corn, partially drained
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 8 oz package of Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Instruction:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. If not using a non-stick pan, grease a 9×9 inch baking pan.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, except cheese.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared baking pan and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.