October 2013

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

Fall is upon us and the last few days have been chilly here in the Bay Area. When it’s cold and gloomy outside, grilling isn’t really an option. But you know what is? Soup! How easy is it to throw a few ingredients into a pot and more importantly, how cozy is it to eat that soup next to a fire? All that to say, last night was a pretty perfect night.

I found the original recipe on Pinterest, but we had to adapt it because quite honestly, it sounded pretty boring. The original recipe ends up just being a flavored broth and tortellini, Jason and I knew we needed to add some fresh ingredients for added flavor and texture. We bought everything from Trader Joes.


  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 package of Cremini mushrooms (sliced) (really, any mushrooms will do)
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 20oz tomato soup (we used the tomato and roasted pepper soup from TJs)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package cheese tortellini
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do!

We started by heating 1tsp rosemary infused olive oil in a pan and sautéed the onions, garlic and mushrooms with salt and pepper until they were golden (on high heat for about 6-8min). We transferred those to a big pot and added the tomato soup, half and half, chicken broth, tomatoes and italian seasoning, bringing it to a simmer. Once the soup was simmering we lowered the temp to medium heat and dumped the package of tortellini in the soup, letting it cook until the tortellini was fully cooked (9-12minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste after dishing yourself up a bowl. This recipe will yield enough  for 6-8 people.

We pan fried kielbasa for an appetizer (which would also be a fantastic addition to the soup, we later found out!).

Overall, this was a fantastic cold weather meal. 1377361_10201358900268980_1299638345_n



Hank the Skeleton

A lot of you have grown to love Hank over the last few weeks. For those of you who don’t know him, let me tell you a story.

Several weeks ago Jason and I came across Hank, a pose-n-stay skeleton Halloween decoration that also happened to have a severed spine. Most people would discard Hank on account that he was supposed to “pose-n-stay” … but we grew fond of his handicap.


“not Hank”

I only discovered Hank’s handicap after taking him out of his home (box). I carried him upstairs in 2 pieces to show Jason that our decoration was broken and he quickly showed me that maybe having Hank be in two pieces, rather than one, gives him character that other pose-n-stay skeletons don’t have. NOTE: we gave him the name Hank because I usually name things by using the first name that pops into my head. 

Due to my busy schedule, I ran downstairs, placing Hank delicately on the floor in an un-severed and natural looking position, and left for the day. A short time later I received an Instagram notification – apparently Hank, laying delicately on the floor, scared Jason.

Screen shot 2013-10-12 at 3.31.13 PM

This started a war between my loving husband and me. Hank quickly became a household name as he made his way from place to place in our house. Just when I thought I’d put him in the BEST PLACE EVER, Jason would tie him to the garage door and I’d die a little on the inside.

Here’s a few highlights:

After a few weeks we realized we’d run out of places for Hank to hide. So we’ve put him in his final resting place, for now, allowing him to bring joy to all who visit our humble abode.

Screen shot 2013-10-12 at 3.32.16 PM

Prosciutto and Arugula Pizza

Before Jason, I (Rachel) was a terrible cook. Actually, I wasn’t so much a terrible cook, I just had never tried or cared to learn. Thankfully Jason comes from a family who values the art of cooking, so it was only inevitable that I’d learn.

My new favorite thing is Pinterest. We’ll come up with an idea and I’ll type it in Pinterest and 700+ delicious recipes will flood my feed. Honestly, I don’t know how anyone did anything before the internet. Yesterday we re-filled our Altamont Beer Works growler with 64ounces of Hella Hoppy – if you’re a Bay Area local and enjoy good beer I highly recommend them. And the only logical thing we could think of to accompany our delicious beer was PIZZA.

As I mentioned before I opened up Pinterest and typed in pizza and I saw so many delicious looking things. But one caught my eye – a Prosciutto Arugula pizza. Lemme go ahead and tell you how easy this recipe is – if I can do it, I guarantee your 4yr old son can do it too.

We made a quick trip to Trader Joes and picked up a pack of pre-made pizza dough ($1.20) and the pre-made pizza sauce next to it ($2.99). Then we picked up a package of prosciutto ($4.99), a bag of arugula ($2.99) and a bag of shredded mozzarella ($2.99). So for $15 we either have enough for 2 pizzas, or 1 pizza and snacks, or 1 pizza and a salad – what I’m trying to say, it was $15 and we had plenty of ingredients left over for other things.

What do you need:

  • Pizza pan
  • Couple handfuls Arugula
  • Prosciutto (4 slices per pizza)
  • 3/4cup shredded Mozzarella
  • 3-4tbsp tomato sauce
  • Pizza dough
  • 1tbsp olive oil

What do you do?

  • Preheat oven to 550 degrees or your oven’s highest setting
  • Grab your nearest pizza pie pan ($4.99 at Target) and slather a little bit of flour on it to ensure your pizza doesn’t stick
  • Coat your hands with flour and knead out the dough – we used a rolling pin too – until you get it to the size and consistency that you desire
  • Brush the edges with olive oil
  • Coat the dough with tomato sauce and sprinkle half of the cheese on top
  • Layer strips of prosciutto across the sauce and cheese
  • Spread the rest of the cheese on top and place in oven on middle rack.
  • Cook 6-9min – if the cheese is browning and bubbling, the pizza should be done
  • Place the fresh Arugula on top of the cooked pizza to finish off this delectable dish

And voila, within a few moments you should have a delicious and elegant pizza to share with friends and loved ones.




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