Saturday, January 31, 2009

Zuppe Italiano

My friend Cathy recently dropped off a batch of yummy Sausage Tortellini soup her personal chef made (that would be her husband) and it prompted me to dig out this old recipe for a soup I make that is very, very similar. I love the flavor of this soup. It is very filling and goes a long way.

Zuppe Italiano
1-1/2-2 pounds of Italian sausage (I use one package of Johnsonville Sweet Sausage).
olive oil, if needed
2 medium onions, chopped (I use one)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I use one)
5 c. Beef Stock (or vegetable)
3-1/2 to 4 c. chopped tomatoes (I use the two largest cans of petite diced tomatoes)
1-1/2 c. of dry red wine
3/4 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 medium green pepper, chopped (I use red or yellow)
2 c. shell or bow-tied noodles (or one package of frozen tortellini)
salt and pepper to taste
parmesan cheese for garnish

Prick the sausages with a fork and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the sausages,cool, remove casing and slice into 1/4" pieces. Saute in large pot. Remove when browned leaving 3 Tbs of fat in the pan (add olive oil if necessary). Add onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes. Add tomatoes,stock,wine,herbs and reserved sausages. Simmer for 25 minutes. Add peppers, zucchini and noodles. Cook for 25 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated cheese.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dinner with my Sisters

Last night I met up with my "sisters" Connie and Sara. While we have emailed, texted and chatted on the phone lately we hadn't found the time to get together for dinner. It was nice to talk in person as well as eating yummy food. This was my first time to Stir Crazy. We opted to order off the menu instead of having our food woked by the chefs. We all decided we wanted to be waited on for dinner instead of having to make our own food. Connie and I ordered the Almond Crusted Curry Chicken and Sara had a Beef Double Noodle Bowl. We also shared an order of potstickers. The food was great, although the chicken was a little spicy which didn't help us out with all of our hot flashes during the night. Imagine sitting at a table with 3 ladies who are asking "is it hot in here or is it because of the flaming woks that is seems hot in here?" LOL It must have been the flaming woks! It was great to see these ladies as they have given me much support during my journey! They are both lucky enough to be able to say "been there, done that" and I am closely following in their shoes.

A few people have asked me which puppy is ours in the puppy photos or how do we know which one will be ours. There is an actual science to puppy picking. We don't actually know until the day we go to pick our puppy (Roxey) up which one will be ours. We have 5th pick of the 6 female pups. By the time we get to the breeders only 2 will be left and we are able to pick from those 2 pups which one we would like. Doug and Pattie Kennedy are pretty well known for there puppies and most of them are spoken for before the pups are born and sometimes even before they are bred.
This is a great time to get a puppy as she will be able to hunt this fall already, which is why John was glad we at least had our name in for a puppy from this litter. Thankfully she had enough pups for us to get one. It is kind of ironic as this is the exact time we got Sunny 9 years ago. She was out hunting ducks her first fall when she was 9 months old. John's brother Rick just recently mentioned to me he remembers the first time they took her hunting! Great memories!!!

My next chemo is scheduled for next Wednesday!!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Over the course of the past 6 months I have met quite a few breast cancer survivors in person, on the internet and through my blog. One of the people I recently met is linked to my family but not of my immediate family. Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer about one month after me. She has had a journey that I don't even know all the details of, but in the course of her 40 young years had had over 50 surgeries and has even had a kidney transplant. Lynn had the same plastic surgeon as me. We had talked on the phone, exchanged Christmas cards and she even came to visit me in the hospital when I was last in. She herself was also in just recovering from a mastectomy when I was in. This past weekend Lynn ended up in the hospital with a urinary tract infection and has died from complications from her hospitalization. She leaves behind a husband of only several years and a 16 year old son. Please say a prayer for Lynn and her family!

She is the first person I have known with breast cancer that has died,although she didn't die from breast cancer.

Life is short,cherish every moment and never take anything for granted!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


We were out the door early today to go and visit the puppies at the breeders (Water Dog Specialties) Doug and Pattie Kennedy are the owners, and we got our dog Sunny through them 9 years ago. They specifically breed hunting dogs, both water and land. The Kennedy's breed Labradors. These puppies are fox red labs. Their coloring is a reddish color, similar to a golden retriever. Doug said the coloring of the puppies will change and they will get darker in color. They are beautiful dogs. The puppies are now 4 weeks old and just starting to eat dog food along with mom's milk. February 21st is the day the puppies will go out to new homes. Mom, Rhea, had 10 puppies in all, 6 females and 4 males. They are sooooo adorable!!