Tag Archive: sarah the baker


Hey kids! It’s been way too long since I’ve written anything..and actually posted it.

I was moved by the spirit (of awesome food) to share with you an accidental discovery.

But first, a little background: I love roasted tomatoes. Specifically, cherry, grape, or pear tomatoes. They are so sweet and flavorful I routinely use them as a side-dish with fish, chicken, or even a grilled panini sandwich.

I usually pick up a pint at Giant and after a wash, slice them down the middle, throw them in a pie pan with olive oil, salt, and maybe some turmeric and bake them at 400’/425′ until they bubble with deliciousness (about 10-12 minutes)

Well, last night, I forgot about them. I really did. I’d eaten my supper of roasted rosemary garlic chicken and was relaxing…until I smelled tomatoes. Uh oh!

I ran back into the kitchen to “check” them and behold, they were reduced, wrinkly, black in places, and smelled like tomato pesto.

I was intrigued.

When they cooled, I tried one. They had the best, most intense flavor ever, and I immediately ate far too  many of them.

I did the exact same thing I always had except using butter for olive oil, omitting the turmeric, and letting them cook possibly twice as long (to be honest, I’m not certain, it could have been up to 30 minutes).

Applications for this lovely accidental delight include: cherry tomato pizza sauce (puree in blender and voila!), a topping for bruschetta, pasta sauce, or even a tomato soup base (though you’ll want to dilute a bit, the flavor is strong).

Happy Monday!

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Tortellini Soup
(Courtesy of Mom)

Since folks are asking, I’m passing along my mom’s excellent Tortellini Soup recipe. 🙂
This makes a lot of soup (which is fantastic). It makes great leftovers and you can freeze and gently heat for later, but you can half the recipe if you don’t need all three-plus quarts. A bonus is that the recipe is easy to make remember, I can usually have it on the table in an hour or less.

Olive oil for pot (2-3 tablespoons as needed)
8-10 ounces Italian sausage rolled into 1-inch meatballs (hot or mild…I’ve even used Jimmy Dean’s sage sausage with great results—very aromatic)
1 large onion, chopped to about ½ inch pieces
2-3 med-large green bell peppers, chopped to approx ¾ inch pieces
(Mom uses chopped carrots as well, but I don’t. Sorry Mom! 🙂 )
2-4 gloves garlic, pressed
12-14 cups beef broth (I use reduced sodium.)
8-12 ounces tomato sauce
Italian seasonings, to taste (approx 1-2 tablespoons)
Cayenne, to taste (approx ¼ teaspoon)
Salt, Pepper
1 “Family size” package of 3 cheese tortellini (Buitoni is good).
1-2 small or medium zucchini, cut into half-moon slices (maybe 3 cups?)

The Extras:
Parmesan cheese for garnish (grated is great, but shaved is even better—it melts more smoothly).
Hearty, crusty bread for dipping

Heat olive oil in large (3.5-4 qt.) soup pot over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add meatballs. Saute, stirring gently to brown evenly. When halfway done, add onions and more oil if needed (this depends on your sausage fat content—I usually need to add a bit more). Add bell peppers, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent.

Add garlic, tomato sauce, beef broth, and Italian seasonings. Stir to combine evenly. Bring to a simmer and maintain for five to ten minutes. Add cayenne, more Italian seasonings, salt and pepper as desired.

Cook for another five minutes. Add tortellini and zucchini. Bring to a low boil and cover. Cook, stirring to cook pasta and zucchini evenly. When tortellini is floats, is soft, and zucchini is soft, remove from heat and taste. If needed, simmer a bit longer until flavors meld.

Cook time: Maybe 40 minutes, give or take.
Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Hi Everybody! Happy Friday!

I thought it’d be fun to post one of my favorite recipes each week.  This week, I chose my skillet chicken alfredo.

It’s pretty easy, taking less than an hour from start-to-finish, even less if your chicken is already defrosted.

To make this recipe, you’ll need:

8 oz. medium-sized pasta such as penne, med/large shells, or rotini.
Salt, to taste.
2 Tbsp.  olive oil
1 Tbsp.  butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped.
3 cloves garlic (about 1 Tbsp.), minced.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about a pound), defrosted and cut into 1-2 inch cubes.
Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper (if desired), and poultry seasoning mix, such as Chef Paul Prudhomme’s (my personal fav.) all to taste.
1 jar alfredo sauce, such as Classico or Bertolli.
1.5-2 cups broccoli florets (I use Hanover’s Gold, frozen).

Begin by boiling 3-4 cups water in your preferred sauce pan. Add salt to taste, 1Tbsp. oil,  and choice of pasta. Stir to avoid clumping.

In a deep, wide saute pan, add butter and remaining oil and heat over medium-high heat. When oil and butter sizzle and shimmer, add chicken and season with salt, cayenne (if desired), Italian and poultry seasonings (and any other you like). When chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink, reduce heat and add onion and garlic. If needed, add more oil or butter (but it’ll probably be fine).

When onion and garlic are soft and translucent, add the jar of alfredo sauce. I like to add 1/2 cup of milk into the jar and shake to get the remaining sauce out (it also thins the sauce a bit, which is good here).

Add broccoli and stir to combine, covering the pan with the lid to help steam broccoli.

Add more seasonings as may be desired and cook over medium low until pasta is done (according to package directions).

Toss pasta with sauce and serve! Just don’t burn your mouth…:)