Monday, February 27, 2012

food (food) | birthday dinner

Would you believe that for my own birthday I decided to cook?  Since I was lucky enough to share a birthday night with the Oscars (or should I say, they were lucky to host it on my birthday), there's no way I was going to miss it by sitting at a fancy restaurant.  Matt took me to my restaurant of choice the night before and for my birthday dinner I insisted on cooking a hearty minestrone italian sausage soup...mostly to make up for the indulgent dessert I was going to eat after. :)

Soups are one of my favorite things to make because it requires the least amount of attention.  It's so easy - get your prep done, toss it all in one pot and leave it alone til it's ready to serve.  Here's what you'll need for the minestrone italian sausage soup:
  • 2 chopped stalks of celery
  • 2 chopped medium zuchinni
  • 2 chopped carrot sticks
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 chopped leek stem
  • 1 chopped medium yellow onion
  • 3 chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 bag of trimmed green beans chopped
  • 1 can of kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes with oregano, basil and garlic
  • 6 cups of beef broth
  • 1 lbs of italian sausage (I used half mild and half spicy)
  • 2 tbsp of EVOO
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp of dried basil
  • 2 tbsp of black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of salt

  1. In a large heated pot add EVOO and cook sausage until brown.
  2. Add all chopped vegetables and mix evenly with sausage.
  3. Add salt, pepper, dried oregano and dried basil. Mix evenly and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add canned tomatoes and beef broth.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat and bring to a boil for 40 minutes.
  5. Add kidney and garbanzo beans.  Return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes until heated.
  6. Serve with a heaping full of fresh parmesan cheese (optional).
I have to warn you - this makes a TON of soup.  So if you're looking for something that will freeze well or make you a lot of lunches for the week, definitely try this soup.  You can also make a meatless version without the sausage or you can substitute it for turkey italian sausage.  Since I'm not skimping on the calories these days I went for fully leaded sausage.

My birthday dinner was absolutely delicious and of course it wouldn't be a birthday without a yummy dessert.  Since I'm not the biggest fan of cake I opted for a piece of Chocolate Cream Pie from Hoosier Mama Pie Company.  If you're ever in the city you MUST stop by Hoosier Mama's.  Everything I've had from there is delicious and makes Keri Russell's pies from The Waitress look like they're store bought.


Johanna said...

Delish and happy belated birthday girlfriend! I hope it was fun filled!

Cait said...

Happy Birthday! Nice seeing you on Saturday. You are a girl after my own heart with your pie instead of cake choice! That looks delicious!

Laura Go said...

thank you for sharing this recipe, Tabitha! I'm trying it sooooon :)

♥ laura
the blog of worldly delights

Alyssa said...

First off HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! It looks like you had a wonderful and delicious birthday!

I've never had pie other than the standard sweet potato, apple, berry, but that chocolate pie looks SO good!

City Girl Chicago said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you - sorry I didn't get that update on Saturday! Hope it was wonderful ~ from the looks of the food, it was! :)

DiamondsandTulle said...

That soup and pie looks declicious! Happy Belated Birthday Tab!!! It's truly going to be a wonderful year for you!

xx Vivian @

Johanna said...

Happy Birthday girlfriend!

Piper Alexander said...

Happy b-day! Thanks for the soup recipe, I think I will definitely try it out.

rlutz said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday!! Hoosier Momma Pies are the best! The Apple Cranberry Crumble is mouth watering!

LyddieGal said...

that pie really does look so decadent!!
hope you had a happy birthday!

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