Birthday Pot – Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven

I really enjoy making a good soup and I plan on making both old and new soups with the colder weather fast approaching.  My pot options for making soup have not been ideal.  I normally make it in a huge pot that can make enough to feed a small army or a small sauce pan that can barely feed me.  Needless to say I was in need of a good soup pot!

You could only imagine how excited I was to open this birthday gift from my husband:


A 5 1/2 quart Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven! I’ve wanted this pot for awhile because it’s the perfect pot to make every soup I can imagine!!!

The first soup I made in this beautiful pot was a favorite of mine.  It’s a cabbage soup that contains potatoes, ham, cabbage and sauerkraut.


This obviously isn’t the soup for everyone but for me it’s simply delicious!

Here’s a closer look:


I had so much fun cooking in my new pot that I just had to make another meal the very next day.

Enter, my dad’s famous chili:


This chili brings back such great memories of my dad cooking away while the house filled with the yummy scent of a great homemade chili.  My rendition turned out pretty good but nothing is as good as when my dad makes it!


I already have a line-up of more soups/meals to make using my new pot.  I’m going to do my best to come up with some amazingly tasty recipes to share with everyone here!

Thank you Patrick for bringing this wonderful pot into my life!


What is your favorite pot to make soup in?

New Belgium Sausage French Bread Pizza

I was so excited when I received an email from Foodbuzz with the following title: Hooray! You’re part of the New Belgium Tastemaker Program!

I’m a big fan of having an adult beverage while cooking. Not only is it good to take a few sips between stirring the pot but it’s also tasty to throw some of that beverage in whatever is cooking.

My husband and I had a good time thinking up ideas on what we could make with New Belgium beer. The options seemed endless but we were able to narrow it down to a couple items we really wanted to make.

Listed below is a recipe I’ve made in the past. However we played around with it so that the cooking process was faster so we could get to eating faster 🙂

Mighty Arrow Sausage French Bread Pizza


  • Once 9 – inch loaf of good French bread, Cut in half, length wise
  • 1 pound precooked sausage, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 bottle Mighty Arrow Beer
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sliced pickled jalapenos
  • Add olive oil and onion to pan.


    While onion is cooking, chop sausage into small pieces.


    Add sausage to pan with onions.


    Grab a New Belgium Mighty Arrow beer.



    Crack it open, take a sip.


    Than pour half the bottle into the pan.




    Add salt and pepper and let the mixture cook down.


    Cut bread in half, length wise. Place bread on a sheet pan and toast in a preheated 350 degree oven. Once the bread is lightly toasted remove from oven.


    Place the cooked sausage mixture over the toasted bread and top with the grated cheese. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees and return pizza to oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.


    Place the jalapeno slices on top of the cheese and enjoy!





    This is sure to be a “lick your plate clean” kind of meal.


    Patrick and I give this a double yum!!!

    Stay tuned into VC&C for a special guest post featuring an original recipe using New Belgium beer!

5411 Empanada

I’ve been loving the food truck movement that has hit Chicago. I think it’s pretty awesome that I can get a variety of delicious food right on the street. I’ll I have to do is find out where the trucks are going to be via Twitter, show up at the location, grab some food and chow down 😀

You know what else I really like, empanadas. I have fond memories of these delicious pockets of goodness ever since my trip to Argentina. Empanadas are the perfect on the go food!

Okay, now try to imagine how happy I was when these two great things were brought together as one:


Oh, yea the 5411 Empanadas truck has made me a very happy girl! Looks like I’m not the only one digging this truck, check out the line of people.

The line is like that from the time they open until they run out of food.

I looked over the menu while waiting my turn:


I was really happy to see the Argentina flag on the truck. This gave me confidence that these were going to be good!


It was finally my turn at the window:


And I placed my order:


Food Truck + Empanadas = Love

Wednesday Eats


I wanted to start my day off with some protein so I got some scrambled eggs topped with hot sauce:



I bet you can guess what I had for lunch. Empanadas of course!


I had two of them:


Both were filled with ham and cheese:


These babies were good and reminded me of the ones I had in Argentina. So excited to have found this food truck. I’m sure you will see these again on VC&C!


Breakfast and lunch lacked veggies but I more than made up for it with dinner. I chopped up 3 peppers, celery, carrots and lots of lettuce for a salad Patrick and I split.


It was really good and exactly what I needed!

Calories: 1681


Have you ever had an empanada?

Best Blog Gift

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m without computer. Which means I have noway to blog…which means I’m not as happy as I could be. 🙁

Some of you may be scratching your heads wondering how I was able to post this entry with no computer…

I would like to introduce you to my new little toy:


I was completely shocked when my husband told me he bought an iPad for me. We’ve been in saving mode so I couldn’t believe he would buy something, well, so frivolous. I was shocked but I soon found out why he got it for me:


Let’s take a closer look at what’s engraved:


“Happy Blogging – P” – seems my husband has missed reading my posts as much as I’ve missed posting them 😀

Patrick also got me some accessories. A red cover, charging stand and camera attachments:


I’ve only had the iPad for a short time but I’m already in love with it!

The iPad is the best blogging gift!

Check back within the next couple days for a review on some of the apps I use!


What is your favorite app for the iPhone or iPad?

Pomegranate Lovin’

I’ve really grown to love juice and smoothies.  I’ve been drinking Naked juice and orange juice almost everyday.  Juice is good for you (when it’s actually all juice) but it can be really expensive.

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a juicer but I don’t think our kitchen can handle another appliance.  Plus, I’ve been hearing way to much about how difficult they can be to clean.  I’m not a  girl who likes to clean so this wouldn’t be a good fit for me 😉


Tried a new Naked juice Thursday – Açaí Machine.

This was a good juice.  The flavor was good and like always the ingredient list was just as good.

The Fruit Inside

  • 178 Açaí Berries
  • 14 Concord Grapes
  • 2 Apples
  • 1 Banana
  • 3/4 Plum

The Boost Inside

  • 950 mg Elderberry
  • 475 mg Beet
  • 190 mg Black Currant
  • 95 mg Grape Seed Extract
  • 20 mg Choline
  • 9500 IU Vitamin A
  • 4 mg Vitamin B5
  • 114 mg Vitamin C
  • 170 IU Vitamin E

Check out my reviews on other Naked juices:  Red Machine, Green Machine, Blue Machine, Protein Zone and Berry Blast.

To eat I had my go-to snack of late, White Cheddar Cheez-it:


Another late lunch due to a busy day at the office.

Around 3:00 pm I was able to grab a root-beer and chicken noodle soup from a local deli:

Just what my stomach needed.  Filled me up and the soup was good.  Tasted like it was homemade!

After-Work Mock-tail

When we got home, Patrick made me a Pom mock-tail with a side of chocolate covered pomegranate seeds:

I’ve been lovin’ everything pomegranate for years now!


Simple salad:

Campbell’s Chunky Sirloin burger soup over white rice with a dash of salt and pepper:


Have you ever tried chocolate covered pomegranate seeds?

They are really good and if you haven’t tried them you should !  I got mine at Trader Joe’s.