This weekend started out with so many plans. But…I almost want to call this a failed weekend, because the man who invented weekends really didn’t think it through. He should have realized that the weekend should begin on Friday, with a few more hours added to both Saturday and Sunday. Therefore, I did not have enough time to get everything done that I wanted to do.
I wanted to get through this massive pile of laundry that has been building up for the last couple of months. I don’t know how it piles up, it just does. I’ve never been able to keep up with laundry, and I’d have to say it’s my biggest weakness. I guess I’d rather be cooking, shopping, ANYTHING, rather than doing laundry. I’m not sorry for this weakness….One thing I know for sure, is that when I’m 95, I’ll be sitting on my front porch sipping a glass of lemonade thinking about how I’m glad that I spent my life doing the things that I love….rather than sitting there thinking how happy I am that I had clean clothes throughout my life! Sometimes my priorities might seem a little off, but it’s all good. Right? But in the end, laundry was my priority for the weekend, and I did manage to get through that pile.
Anyway, getting back to my failed weekend. I also wanted to start baking Christmas cookies. On Friday night, I pulled all of my cookie recipes out, and put them somewhere. I say put them somewhere, because I can’t remember where. I’m afraid that they might be in the garbage. Maybe I absent-mindedly threw them in the garbage while I was cleaning the kitchen. I was in slight panic mode, but they’re pretty much all of my mom’s recipes, so I left a message for my father to scan them and email them to me. Mom to the rescue once again…and the recipes are now back in my possession!
I thought I had a ton of eggs in the fridge… Nope. I had six. I thought I had anise oil in my spice cabinet, but all I had was ½ teaspoon in the bottle. The rest of the bottles are cinnamon oil. I swear I bought a brand new bag of sugar. I had about 2 cups in my container. I should have read the signs that it just wasn’t the weekend to make cookies…but of course…I didn’t.
Instead, I had a little under what I needed of anise oil to make my first batch of biscotti, and I figured I would at least get them made. ….And…..I burned them. You know why? Because I was downstairs throwing clothes into the washer and dryer; and folding dried clothes. See what I mean? Laundry is the root of all evil. I swear to you, it truly is. As I’m sitting here typing this, I’m looking at a trash bin with burned biscotti.
I was totally unprepared for cookie baking… as a haphazard baker always is!
So, as I stood in my kitchen folding towels, I couldn’t help but feel a little cranky. That’s when I decided to stop and regroup. But how? Well, that’s an easy answer! Make myself a pot of Sausage and Bean soup….and…. as my friend Jamison told me…Relax.
The soup was just what the doctor ordered. Just chopping the vegetables, frying the sausage..and then the soup simmering on the stove, along with the gooey bits of cheese with every bite, was the perfect antidote that this girl needed to make everything all right with the world again.
It’s so rich and flavorful, a rustically delicious soup for a cold, and unprepared day. Honestly, if you were serving this soup to your guests, they would never believe that this soup takes only an hour and a half or so from start to finish. It’s just that good.
I’ll start my cookies tomorrow night…in the meantime, let’s start a petition about those weekend hours…
Sausage and Bean Soup
½ pound bulk hot Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 – 15.5 oz can Cannellini beans, drained
1 large potato, peeled, and cut into chunks
1 – 32 oz container chicken stock
½ cup grated romano cheese
4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 – 6 oz bag fresh baby spinach
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Romano cheese for garnish
Crushed red pepper for garnish
In a soup pot, sauté the onion and garlic until translucent. Add the sausage to the pan, breaking it apart into bite size pieces as it cooks. When the sausage is fully cooked, add the chicken stock, cannellini beans, salt and pepper. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about one hour. Add the romano and pepper jack cheeses, and stir until melted into the soup. So the baby spinach doesn’t get all wilted and discolored, it will be the very last ingredient added to the soup. Once you add it to the pot, it only takes a couple of minutes for the spinach to cook down.
Serve immediately, with romano cheese and crushed red pepper for garnish.