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Cheesy Garlic Bread


I realized that I never posted the recipe for the cheesy garlic bread that goes amazingly well with the squash soup. I just made the soup this week so I will post some pictures from my experience…and it’s quite the experience :)

Anyways…here’s the recipe for the bread. Haven’t tried it yet, but if you do, let me know what you think!

Cheesy Garlic Bread

  • 2 T. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 T. garlic, minced
  • 1 pre-made pizza crust, such as Boboli (12″)
  • 5 oz. fresh mozzarella, silced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T. thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 2 t. chopped fresh parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Melt butter with garlic in a small saucepan over low heat, brush over pizza crust, then top with cheese, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake bread directly on the oven rack until cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with herbs, and slice into 8 wedges.
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Italian Sausage and Squash Soup


Silky, chunky, sweet, and spicy – this autumnal soup with an Italian accent is full of texture and flavor contrasts, yet is surprisingly simple to make. It’s a spectacular tribute to the season’s abundance of golden butternut squash.” 

Definitely their words…not mine! But it draws you in to the recipe doesn’t it?! My mom made this soup last year from a Cuisine at Home Magazine (It’s a really fun cooking magazine with lots of pictures and tips/tricks and NO ADs! Got to love that. I have not yet bought a subscription but it’s on my magazine bucket list). This is by far my FAVORITE soup I’ve ever had. I get cravings for this soup and have yet to make it for myself. That’s going to change this week :)

My mom gave me the recipe but with all the moving I’ve done in the last few years, I have no idea where it is. So, I decided I would type it here so I can grab it when I need it. The first time she made it she also did a yummy bread. I’ll do a second post for the Cheesy Garlic Bread that goes awesome with this soup and any others that you make this winter soup season.

To begin, this recipe has a tip about working with squash from the magazine….

The size, shape, and density of hard winter squash, like butternut, requires careful knife work. Buy small squash if possible (easier to handle), then peel with a vegetable peeler and cut (carefully) with a sharp, heavy chef’s knife.” 

I also asked my mom if she had any tips or tricks when making this recipe. She suggested that if you don’t have a hand blender and need to use a regular blender  that you should take their suggestion about doing the blending in batches seriously! Only fill the blender half full for each batch or you are likely to decorate your kitchen ceiling and counter top with a beautiful butternut squash color. She also recommended that you put a towel over the top of the blender in case any soup seeps out of the top. The heat of the soup causes funny things to happen in that blender so less is more when blending your batches.

Enjoy!!!

Italian Sausage & Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 T garlic minced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1 inch chunks (about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp ground dried sage
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups baby spinach, packed
  • 3 T. Brandy
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown sausage in 1 T of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate; set aside

Sweat onion and garlic in 1 T. oil in a large pot over medium heat until soft, 5 min. Increase heat to medium-high, add squash and pepper flakes, and saute 5 min.

Stir in broth and water, bring to a boil and simmer until squash is very soft, about 10 min. Puree soup with a hand blender (or in batches in a standard blender), then add bell pepper, cream, sage, and sugar; simmer until bell pepper is tender, about 5 min. Stir in spinach, brandy, and sausage, and simmer until spinach wilts and sausage is heated through, about 2 min; season with salt and pepper.

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Buffalo Wings Exploration


Preparation of these saucy wings traditionally includes melted butter and cayenne pepper hot sauce…which means as much heat as you can handle. The wings are first deep fried before coated in the sauce and everyone says the crispier the better. They are of course served with celery and blue cheese dressing, definitely to cut the kick that they are sure to provide.

Tasty looking, yes! However, I am sad to say that I’m not a fan. You’ll find that I say that a lot to the foods that everyone is “suppose” to like …spaghetti, lasagna, bananas. Hold your gasps and harsh words…my palate frustrates me too! I’m a sweet BBQ girl all the way so I’ve always sought out the sweeter version of these little guys!

Buffalo Wild Wings has been Hannah and my new favorite restaurant. Go on Tuesday and Thursdays and you’ll be there on deal days! (55 cent wings Tuesdays and 65 cent boneless Thursdays)!!  They have way more sauces then you can possibly try but my favorite with them has been their Honey BBQ.

I went with an old roommate Sarah to Chili’s last night (our usual dive) and I got some of their Honey Chipotle Chicken Crispers…(starting to get my idea of a yummy sauce for wings?!) To echo RR, yummo! Pretty sure that will always be my favorite item on their menu. If anyone has tips or tricks on how to make that honey chipotle sauce, I’ll happily take it!

I just went to Buffalo in September while visiting NY for my friend Rachel’s wedding and thought it very important that I embrace their native cuisine…the Buffalo Wing! I did a little research before I left and found that The Anchor Bar was the place to visit if I wanted the home of Buffalo Wings. Sadly, I missed visiting them but was able to grab some wings at Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill (pictured on the left) at the Walden Galleria. Jack Astor's Buffalo Fingers 3a I was super impressed with their menu and decided to try their chicken finger equivalent with their sweet chipotle sauce as well as a cup of beer cheddar soup. Holy cow, that meal was absolutely the best way to end my trip there! Calories galore and worth every bite. I wish Jack Astor’s B and G moved out of Canada and the NE and over our way! Anyways, they served the chicken with blue cheese dressing. I love the dressing on a wedge salad any day, but I have never been a fan of it with chicken. I am so glad that I decided to comply with their generosity because I have found my new dipping love for bbq chicken fingers/wings/nuggets…This is an amazing combination of flavors…sweet, spicy, creamy, cheesy, savory. Super Delightful! If you’ve never tried this, PLEASE DO, and then tell me what you think! I do believe you will join this blue cheese train and never go back to ranch ever again!

So here is a recipe I found that gives me the best of what I love in a buffalo wing and my love affair with BBQ flavored chicken.Best of both worlds! I am going to try these this weekend and report back on how they turn out. …THANKS to allrecipes.com:

SWEET AND SPICY BUFFALO WINGS

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds chicken wings, separated at joints, tips discarded
  • 1 1/2 cups Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 pinch garlic salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat.
  2. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill the chicken 8 to 12 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. (You can deep fry or bake the chicken instead if you want to, but it is best when grilled.) Remove chicken to a large roasting pan.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the hot sauce, butter, honey, garlic salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Simmer about 10 minutes, until blended and heated through. Pour the sauce over the grilled chicken wings and stir to coat.