Tag Archives: basil

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup


Brrrrr. When the weather is chilly, than soup is on the menu!!  This one was liked by everyone, which, to tell you the truth~ surprised me!!! I thought that there would be an issue with the “green stuff” BUT there wasn’t.  Enjoy!

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Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup 

12 oz. Italian Sausage links (I used the Aldi’s turkey sausage)
1/4 c. water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB. olive oil
2 (15 oz.) cans of Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14 oz.) chicken broth (or about 4 c. water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes)
*14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
dash of garlic powder
4 c. chopped kale
black pepper to taste

Take the sausage out of the casings and roll into little balls, bite size ones. Place in a large soup pot, add the water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes (covered). Uncover and cook for 5 more minutes till meatballs are cooked through. Take out and set aside.

Heat the oil in the same pot, add the garlic and onion and cook till tender.  Add the beans, broth, undrained tomatoes, oregano, basil and garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cooked sausage and kale, simmer till kale is tender (this does not take very long, 5 -10 minutes).  Season with pepper, if needed.

* Can use a can of Italian Style diced tomatoes (14 1/2 oz.) in place of the regular diced tomatoes, basil, oregano and garlic.


Recipe from Prized Recipes to Cook and Savor~ Vol. II.


Roasted Vegetable Lasagna & Cake Balls


Aldi Sales for Oct. 10-Oct. 16.

* I was wondering if you all can help me out here. Those of you who shop at different Aldi stores, do you EVER notice that the prices I have listed are different from those in your store? Do you skim over the price and just look for the “special buy” item itself and IGNORE the price? I don’t NEED to type the actual price if it is not helpful OR if it is not a nationwide price, ya know?? Just wondering…… I will keep it as I always do for this week, patiently waiting your help! 🙂

* Oh, PLEASE note if you plan on trying the Butternut Squash Soup PLEASE re-check the recipe. It calls for CHICKEN bouillon not BEEF. Oops. Thanks to a friend for pointing that out!!  Thanks! On that note, please let me know if you ever see typos or if a particular “link” does not work! (Or the occasional bad word…..sorry!)


Let’s talk “special buys” and “seasonal items”!

* It IS that time of year again, when all the wonderful “seasonal items” come out. Time to STOCK up for that holiday and winter baking! I am JUST sharing some of the items. I could not list them all and I am sure there are some in the store that are NOT in an ad.
Peanut Butter (40 oz. for $4.49), Light Corn Syrup (32 oz. for $2.49), Coconut Flakes (14 oz. for $1.49), Baking Powder (8.1 oz. for 99¢), Baking Cocoa ($2.49), Assorted Varieties of Sprinkles (3-5 oz. for 99¢), Blueberry Pie Filling (21 oz. for $2.49), Apple Pie Filling (21 oz. for $1.49), Almond Bark, chocolate or vanilla(24 oz. for $2.49). (Has anyone tried the Chocolate Almond Bark?? How is it?)

* Look for a recipe below that used both Cake Mix (a 16.5-18.25 oz. box is 99¢) and Frosting (16 oz. container is $1.29).

* Now is a good  time to grab Powdered Sugar and Brown Sugar ~ 32 oz. bags are $1.39 each. AND Evaporated Milk is 65¢ for a 12 oz. can.

* APPLES. 3 lb. bag for $2. 49 ~ probably a few varieties to choose from. Honey Crisp are $2.99 for a 2 lb. bag. Don’t forget a 3 pack of Caramel Apples for $1.29!!

* I love that Aldi has lasagna noodles (16 oz. box for $1.29), I always like to have a box in my pantry. ESPECIALLY to make Roasted Vegetable Lasagna.

* MUCH MUCH more in the ad! Check it out here!

Do you shop at Aldi? If so WHAT is YOUR favorite “seasonal item”??

(My favorite is the Vanilla Almond Bark. For sure. Well, and the different varieties of chocolate chips ~ last year they had bittersweet, or was it dark chocolate? Either way I was giddified.)  


Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Sharing recipes is a VERY important part of cooking/baking. My friend shared this recipe with me. Her family enjoyed it A LOT,  I knew my family would eat this…but would they eat it happily AND want it again??!?!!?? Well, I was pleasantly surprised, they all CLEANED their plates, it WAS FANTASTICALLY delish. I hope you too enjoy sharing recipes with your friends AND trying new unique things!!  This recipe has become a favorite around here. I hope your family enjoys it too!!!

 I was a little nervous about serving a meatless lasagna dish, especially one with eggplant *ugh*, and veggies that my kids usually push around on their plates. SURPRISE! No one asked ” hey, where’s the meat???” or “what IS this vegetable?!?!?!?” My kids can be picky, but they ate this great…..why not try it out on your family too?!!!

* I did not use “no cook” lasagna noodles. I just cooked the lasagna noodles I had, though I did cook them for about 2 minutes LESS than al dente.

* I had no Asiago cheese, I just used all Parmesan.

* I chopped my veggies small (to “hide” them a bit), the recipe tells you to slice them. That being said, I hid all my veggies IN the lasagna leaving none for the top. IF your kids are not vegafobiacs, then save some to sprinkle on the top for a much lovelier presentation.

* Remember to let your lasagna set for 15 minutes before serving or I PROMISE, it WILL be runny!

* Please don’t be scared by the list of ingredients…….it was NOT difficult!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna 
1 small eggplant
2 small zucchini
5 plum tomatoes
1 red pepper
1 onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. olive oil
3 TB. fresh basil (I used about 1 1/2 tsp. dried)
3/4 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 tsp. pepper, divided
2/3 c. Greek olives, cut up (I skipped…but WILL try it next time I make this)
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 3/4 c. milk
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
5 TB. Parmesan cheese
2 TB. Asiago cheese (I skipped cause I did not have)
3/4 c. mozzarella cheese ( oh… I used MORE! about 1 1/4 c.)
6 no cook lasagna noodles (I used regular and cooked them under al dente)

(If cooking your noodles, then cook them to about 2 minutes under al dente, drain and let set till ready to assemble.)

Slice the veggies (into slices, chunks, chopped ~ however your family would like them), toss with the oil, 2 TB. fresh basil (or about 1 tsp. dried), minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper. Roast @ 450* for 20 minutes till tender.  Add the olives.

Melt the butter in a  medium sauce pan, add the flour and stir till smooth. Add the milk slowly and stir with a whisk over low heat. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg too. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes or till thickened.  Add 3 TB. of Parmesan cheese, the Asiago cheese, the rest of the fresh basil (or about 1/2 tsp. dried), 1/4 tsp. salt and some pepper to taste. Stir to melt the cheese, take off the heat and REMOVE the bay leaf.

Put 1/4 of the sauce down in a 7″ x 11″ pan. Add about 1/3 of the veggies (if saving some for the top, or use about 1/2 of the veggies), 1/4 c. mozzarella cheese and then lay down noodles. Repeat that layer one more time. Then, top with 1/4 of the sauce, the rest of the veggies, rest of the mozzarella cheese, remaining sauce and 2 TB. Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake @ 375* for 30-40 minutes. Take out and let set for 15 minutes before serving.

Serve with salad and bread. Serves 6.

Recipe from Taste of Home (thanks Kathy for telling me about it!).

Do you have a recipe your family LOVES??? I would love it if you shared it here at favoritefamilyfoods@hotmail.com. I would be happy to make it and post it to share with others :). (Giving you or your recipe source the credit OF COURSE!) Thanks!

Cake Balls

About a year ago, little more than that, I was busy making these will my soon to be sis-in-law for her and my brothers wedding. That was fun. We had some practice nights and then a big baking night. It was fun. Use whatever combo of cake and frosting you like, then either dip in vanilla or chocolate almond bark.

* Almond Bark works the best for this. I know because I recently  tried it with the  chocolate chips  I had on hand and it was a near catastrophe. IF you are using chocolate chips, MAKE SURE  you have some parafin wax (found in the baking isle, near the chocolate chips)  on hand to  melt in~ it makes is smooth and easy to dip. 

* I HIGHLY recommend that you make this with STORE BOUGHT frosting (mother get back on your chair, I am sure I shocked you off of it…..). You may never hear me say that again, that stuff is not my favorite.  It just works better. I have made it with homemade frosting, but it makes  for a more “starts with “m” and rhymes with “hoist” ” cake ball, which sounds like it would be fine, but really isn’t right. IT is still good, just not “right”.  I will let you know when I find the right homemade frosting for this…..cause I WILL keep trying……

* Use any cake mix flavor, any frosting flavor and either vanilla or chocolate almond bark or chocolate or vanilla chips. Have fun with different varieties! (The one pictured is yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Well… and the bad chocolate melting malfunction…… FYI.)

Cake Balls 
1 cake  mix (9″ x 13″ size)

ingredients needed for baking the cake
1 container of frosting
almond bark  (at least a 24 oz. package, maybe more)

Prepare and bake cake according to package directions. Let cool about 20 minutes.

Frost with frosting. Stir it all up, cake, frosting and all.  (When it is still warm.) Let this chill in the fridge for about an hour or two.

Scoop into balls. (I use my Pampered Chef cookie scoop).  If you cannot roll into a ball, just chill the  mounds of cake numminess till it is cold and will let you roll it into a ball. 

Freeze the balls. 

Melt the chocolate of choice. Dip the balls in. Let set till chocolate has hardened. 

Enjoy. Have fun with it. 

No idea where this recipe came from.  Kristen?? Do you remember?

Fresh Tomato Basil Tart


If you are a tomato lover, then I am sure you are enjoyed the lovely tomatoes this time of year! Here is a lovely dish to make. It goes well with any meal,  as a side dish or even as a lunch (I even made it with pizza…..). The crust was flaky and simply fantastic. I am about as bad at making pie crust as I am at grilling, but this crust was SO easy ~ it gave me no problems.

* Last year I had a FANTASTIC pot of fresh basil, not even knowing what to do with it all. THIS year, however, my plant shot up ~ looked promising, but then, practically by the next day it had withered away. We had a VERY hot dry summer. SO that being said, I have used dried basil. (Hope no one is offended.) It was very good, though if you have fresh, I suggest that!

Fresh Tomato Basil Tart 
2/3 c. wheat flour
1/3 c. flour
1/2 c. cold butter
4-5 TB. ice water (though you made need only 2-3)
4 plum tomatoes (or 5 Romas)
2  c. mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. fresh basil (or 1 tsp. or so of dried basil)
1 TB. oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Combine the flours and cut in the butter. Add water, 1 TB. at a time till it forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Roll to fit a 9″ springform pan (the kind with the removable sides). Put in the pan and press up the sides about 1″. Try to make the edges look nice and even, fluted it you will. TRY. Bake @ 350* for 13-15 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes and drain on paper towels to get rid of excess juice. Put 2 c. of mozzarella cheese on crust,  then your basil , then layer the tomato slices in a nice pattern (save a few slices for the top). Season with salt & pepper, I added another good shake of dried basil.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and add the last few slices of tomato on the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let set 5 minutes. ENJOY!

Recipe adapted from a Taste of Home magazine.