Monday, November 9, 2009

A Great Weekend with Great Friends

So we went to Charlies Hideaway this weekend on Lake Kincaid.  Mary Lou and Chuck have been trying to get us to visit for months.  It was a perfect night, clear and just cold enough to enjoy a bonfire.  Several other couples joined us including Rob and Susan.  We brought our son Justin, and there were 4 dogs there too.  Justin was in heaven when he sat on the couch with a dog on each side.
We all brought goodies to eat. Susan brought a delicious Fondue.  I never really had fondue before, but this was great.  She got a package from the Party Source and added garlic and wine.  We all dipped our bread and oohhed and ahhed over the warm bubbly mixture.  Mary Lou had chips and salsa to munch on while we waited for the turkey tenderloins and the rosemary potatoes to finish cooking.  Mary Lou used fresh rosemary from her garden.  As Rachel Ray would say  'Yum O"!  I brought 2 bottles of Cranberry Wine from the Stonebrook Winery.  It is just up the street from where we live and I love supporting a local vineyard.  I also brought the Oatmeal Cherry Toffee Cookies  I had  left and some hot chocolate mix and butterscotch schnapps to drink by the fire.

Terry threw in his fishing gear and saw a lot of fish, but didn't catch one.  He did enjoy sitting by the lake and enjoying the peace and quiet.  Later on by the fire we looked at the stars and tried to figure out what we were seeing.  Terry's boyscout skills kicked in and he identified quite a few.  Mary Lou cracked me up when she came out wrapped up in a blanket, she looked like a nun.  I kept calling her Sister Mary Lou of the Forest.  The night had to end, but a great time was had by all.  Lot's of laughter, good music, great friends...what more can you ask for on a beautiful fall evening.

So today I had to buy more cookie ingredients, but I forgot oatmeal, so I'll be back tomorrow to pick that up.  I also decided to make my Italian Meatball Soup.  No self respecting Italian would claim this, but my family loves it.  It is a mis-mash of several recipes including Minestrone,and a Tortellini Soup.  Like my other soups, a lot of what goes in the pot has to do with what is in the cupboard.


1 quart Chicken Broth (don't have it use Beef instead)
1 14 oz pkg of frozen meatballs
1 large can of Italian style diced tomatoes
2 cans Cannellini Beans
1 can Kidney Beans (drain all the beans)
1 small can tomato paste
1 pkg frozen spinach
1 pkg frozen peas and carrots
1 can green beans (drained)
3/4 cup orzo pasta
1 lb Italian sausage (I usually use turkey sausage)
2 pkgs of the Italian dressing mix (you know the dry stuff...I buy the store brand instead of the name brand)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Brown the sausage.

 If you are in a hurry use a soup pot, but I often put this on in the morning in my slow cooker so it is ready when we get done at work.  I add all the ingredients into the pot and stir adding the frozen meatball and spinach last.  If I am using a crock pot I wait on the pasta and cook it and add it right before serving,  I have also substituted cheese tortellini for the pasta.

After all is heated thru, serve with shredded Parmesan and/or Romano cheese and a hunk of Italian Bread with butter.  Nothing better on a cold night.

I hope you love this as much as my family and friends do!

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