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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nanny's Corner Wednesday: Fall is Definitely in the Air...

I just love these crisp fall mornings. Sitting on the deck having a steaming cup of coffee with my sweetie.  Life couldn't be better.  This weather is just right for your favorite soups and stews.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out what to fix for dinner.  I rummaged through my freezer and found some sweet Italian sausage.  This is the recipe I came up with.  I hope you like it as much as we did.  It was pretty tasty I must say.

                                                          Italian Sausage Soup 

                  3 links of Italian sausage                                       3 cups chicken stock   
                  1/2 chopped onion                                               1 can cream of mushroom soup
                  2 cloves minced garlic                                          1 cup half and half or heavy cream
                  1 rib diced celery                                                 salt and pepper to taste
                  6 medium potatoes diced                                     sprinkle Cayenne pepper to taste

Remove sausage from casings and crumble.  Brown sausage in large pot, set aside.  Cook diced potatoes in chicken stock until tender.  Meanwhile, saute garlic, onion and celery in small skillet.  When potatoes are cooked add to pot with Italian sausage (liquid included).  Stir in mushroom soup, heavy cream and seasonings.  If mixture is too thick for your preference add additional chicken stock.  Heat on medium heat until bubbly and hot.

This recipe will serve 4 to 6 depending on size of servings.

Note:  I made homemade garlic bread sticks to go with the soup.


The next recipe I want to share with you is one of my all time favorites.  If you like espresso you will love my recipe for these Espresso Nut Muffins.  The original recipe was in Taste of Home magazine and I tweaked it a little to make it my own. These jumbo muffins are scrumptious!  Serve them warm with a cup of your favorite coffee or hot tea.

                                             Espresso Nut Muffins


 Makes six jumbo muffins.

                          2 cups flour                                        1 cup strong brewed coffee

                          2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar                  3 Tbsp. espresso powder      
                          1-1/2 tsp. baking powder                   1/2 cup canola oil
                          1/4 tsp. baking soda                           1 egg, beaten
                          1 tsp. salt                                           1/2 cup chopped walnuts
                          1/4 tsp. nutmeg                                   1/2 cup chopped dates
                          1 Tbsp. sugar
                          1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Combine the first six ingredients in a large bowl.  In a small bowl combine the coffee and espresso powder.  Be sure coffee is cooled to room temperature.  Stir oil and egg into coffee mixture.  Add coffee mixture to dry ingredients and stir just till moistened.  Fold in walnuts, dates and raisins.
Spray jumbo muffin pan with cooking spray.  Use 1/2 cup measuring cup for each muffin.  Top each with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note:  I have used chocolate chips in place of raisins.  I've also used chopped bananas in place of raisins and dates.  This makes an entirely different flavor, but just as tasty.  You can make a mixture of powdered sugar and coffee to drizzle on the tops if you like a little more sweetness to them.

Quote of the day:  Advice is seldom welcome; and those who need it most like it the least.  (funny how that happens)  This is a quote from Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, 1694 - 1773

Nanny's thought for the day Life is what you make it.  Fill your life with love, family and friends. "LIVE"  like there is no tomorrow and "DANCE "like no one is watching.

Every now and then I will share a little family story with you.  These grand babies always make me giggle with their little stories.  So here's the first:  One of my granddaughters was having dinner with her two little girls who are  three and five years old.  The five year old said "momma I want to be a school teacher when I grow up" not be be outdone the three year old pipes up and says "momma I want to be a hillwilly when I grow up.  I got quite a laugh out of that one.  You just never know what they will say.

                                           Love and Hugs, 

1 comment:

connie said...

What a beautiful blog. I'm gonna have to try your soup it sounds delicious. As for your muffins I snuck one and it was good. Yummy. That was a cute story you told about the hillwilly. Sounds like something you know who would say. Anyway excellent blog. Loved it.