This recipe from our friend Jen has become a family favorite for both of us, as well as a favorite of our blog readers. It’s loaded with vegetables, it’s hearty and satisfying, and we’ve never met anyone who didn’t like it. This, along with a loaf of garlic bread or a batch of breadsticks, is Kate’s go-to meal when taking dinners to friends and neighbors.
3 links Italian sausage
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1⁄2 cup apple cider (don’t leave this out!)
1⁄2 cup water
2 (15-ounce) cans chicken broth
1 cup sliced carrots
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 medium zucchini, shredded (a great way to use your food processor if you have one)
1 (8–10-ounce) package cheese tortellini (see Tip)
1. Remove the casings from link sausage. Use a sharp knife to cut a slit down one side of the sausage and then peel back the casing. Crumble sausage into a large soup pot and begin cooking it over medium heat.
2. Add onion and garlic to the pot. Continue cooking until onion is translucent, the sausage is cooked, and your house smells like heaven.
3. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, apple cider, water, chicken broth, carrots, oregano, and basil. Cover and simmer 1/2 hour. Add parsley and zucchini and simmer another 15 minutes or so. Add tortellini and cook until tender. Serve with bread and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Tip: Refrigerated tortellini can be quite expensive, so check out the frozen pasta section; we can almost always find some there for a fraction of the cost. Some brand-name dried cheese tortellini can also be very good, but stay away from brands you’ve never heard of.
— "Savoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites," by Sara Wells and Kate Jones (Deseret Book)
GLAZED MAPLE PECAN COOKIES
Sweet, buttery, and light, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies dipped in a maple syrup glaze are great for delivering to neighbors or snacking on while making Thanksgiving dinner.
1 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
1⁄4 cup cornstarch
1 cup butter, softened
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted (see Tip)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1–2 tablespoons milk
Additional chopped or halved pecans for garnish, if desired
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Whisk flour and cornstarch together and set aside.
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