Pasta e Fagioli Soup (Olive Garden Copycat!)

If you're totally obsessed with Olive Garden's Pasta e Fagioli soup, but can't make it to Olive Garden every day, you're going to LOVE this option-- homemade pasta e fagioli soup with all the flavor, with just a few minutes of prep time. Simmer and enjoy! Skip going out to eat and have dinner in with this yummy alternative.

I would eat at Olive Garden pretty much every day if I could… from the super soft, delicious warm breadsticks to the salad, to the pasta e Fagioli soup, I just want it non-stop. Downside? My budget kiiiind of laughs at me anytime I say I want to eat at a restaurant every day. The bright side is, pasta e Fagioli soup is so easy to make, and it’s affordable enough that you can feed your whole family for what it would cost to feed, well, pretty much just you at a restaurant.

Personally, I think it would be worth it to not cook and just feed me at a restaurant every day… but my hungry family disagrees, which is where this pasta e Fagioli copycat soup comes in. Luckily, it’s easy and delicious, so everyone’s happy!

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Cheese-Stuffed Barbecue Meat Bombs

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AD #Tailgreatness #CollectiveBias

It's tailgating season! Whatever team you're cheering on, you have to try these delicious cheese-stuffed meat bombs. Part sausage, part beef, part gooey melty cheese, all amazing. They're coated in barbecue sauce and cooked in the slow cooker, so they're sure to be a hit for your next tailgating party! Pick up ingredients (and Nexium to prevent heartburn!) at @Walmart. #Tailgreatness [ad]

Tailgating season is now in full swing, and I have to admit, I’m really excited. You see, here in Kansas City tailgating generally means barbecue, and y’all know how much I love barbecue. But one recipe that’s been a recent favorite when I tailgate is this: sausage and beef, blended together and stuffed with cheese, coated in barbecue sauce, and cooked in the slow cooker until they’re ready to enjoy. I can’t imagine a tailgate without them. Made with spicy sausage, they’re even worth the heartburn (which, luckily, I have a solution for).

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Sweet’n’Tangy Barbecue Ribs

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeClean #CollectiveBias

For tailgating season, nothing beats barbecue ribs, especially if you live in Kansas City. These Sweet'n'Tangy barbecue ribs are a little sweet, a little tangy, and have just a hint of spice. You'll love these oven-baked ribs and their deep, intense flavor! #GameTimeClean #ad

I love a good tailgating party. There’s just nothing like getting together with friends and enjoying good food before the big game each weekend! It doesn’t even matter which sport you support, because when you live in Kansas City, you have big dreams for post-season in baseball and soccer, just as the football season is hitting it’s stride, too. You know what Kansas Citians also love? Barbecue. Delicious, sweet, tangy barbecue. That means things like pulled pork and ribs are totally a staple in our area. I’ve shared my pulled pork recipe recently, but today, it is all about the ribs.

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Pulled Pork Bacon Bombs with Farmland

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This post has been sponsored by Farmland. All opinions are mine alone. Go Chiefs!

These Pulled Pork Bacon Bombs are the perfect tailgating recipe for any Chiefs fan or for any tailgate party. They're a delicious appetizer, and the red and gold suits any Kansas City Chiefs themed party! Plus, these bacon bombs are stuffed with pulled pork, then wrapped in Farmland bacon for all of your barbecue needs. AD FarmlandBaconClub

Can you believe it’s football season already? Now, I’ve been sharing some of my favorite tailgating recipes this fall, and trust me, this one is one you’ll want to add to the line up. When you’re cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs (or any of the other teams out there, but who’s paying attention to those, anyway? Ha!), you’ll love these Sweet Stuffed Pepper Bacon Bombs, but I also want to share a few of my favorite tailgating recipes from the Farmland Bacon Club, and tell you all about a really awesome sweepstakes from Farmland and the KC Chiefs that I know you’ll want to enter!

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Pulled Pork Pasta Salad

Okay, I've got your perfect Tailgating recipe right here. Trust me, if you have a tailgate party or a homegate party, this is the pasta salad to make. It's got pulled pork in it, in honor of the Capital of Barbecue, Kansas City. Tender pulled pork adds flavor to these perfectly cooked noodles in a pasta salad that's packed with flavor. Don't need a tailgating recipe? This is great all summer and fall long! | 4th of July recipe | Labor Day recipe | Picnic recipe |

Tailgating season is upon us. Here in Kansas City, that means barbecue season. I mean, a Chiefs game, a Sporting KC game, they’re just not the same without some delicious shredded pork, drizzled with Kansas City style barbecue sauce, and slapped on a bun… thinking about the fall, tailgating season, pulled pork… it makes my mouth water! So when it comes to making the perfect side dish in KC, well, it needs to pair well with barbecue. This pasta salad works because not only does it pair well with barbecue, but it contains delicious, slow cooked pulled pork right there in the recipe. Now, I can’t tell you that this pulled pork pasta salad is a miracle or a lifesaver, but I can tell you that every member of my family went back for a 4th helping, so… well, you do the math.

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Applewood-Style Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork with Homemade Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce

This applewood-style pulled pork is made in a slow-cooker using apple cider! Even better? That barbecue sauce is homemade, a sweet, tangy sauce packed with flavor. You won't be able to resist this hearty apple-inspired meal.

I have to say, I’m a Kansas City girl at heart. So if there’s one thing that gets my heart beating a little bit faster, it’s good quality barbecue. You see, barbecue is such a part of my city that our soccer team even has a chant that revolves around barbecue. It’s a staple here in KC. You know what else is a staple? Louisburg Apple Cider. Ask anyone who knows what they’re talking about, and they’ll say that, when it comes time for cooler weather, you can’t beat hot apple cider doughnuts and a cup of warm Louisburg apple cider. I had to combine the best of both worlds and create a delicious applewood-style slow cooked pulled pork. And what does that need? Apple Cider Barbecue Sauce.

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Meat Lovers Pasta Bake

Do you like meat? And easy recipes? And recipes that can be made with leftovers and ingredients you have on hand?

If you answered yes, then you’re going to absolutely love this meat lovers pasta bake. If you answered no to the meat question, stick around… you can make this dish with veggies instead. But the meat part? Oh-so-good.

If you have pasta, cheese, diced tomatoes, and some leftover meat (pretty much any kind will work), then you’ve got dinner. Bonus points if you have pasta-friendly veggies like mushrooms and onions.

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Pigs In a Blanket: 3 New Twists!

It seems like we have a ton of cool holidays that we celebrate… I mean, Easter, Fourth of July, Christmas, National Pigs in a Blanket Day….

…yes, you heard me right. It’s a thing. In fact, it’s coming up this week, April 24! Who doesn’t love pigs in a blanket? Well, except maybe the vegetarian/vegan crowd… Those delicious hot dogs, rolled up in a perfect Pillsbury crescent roll, baked until golden… just perfection right there!

So, I started off with some crescent rolls, and in honor of Pigs In a Blanket Day, I decided it’s time to get creative.

I like the Pillsbury ones because they always seem to bake perfectly every time. Save the package, because your baking instructions for each of these pigs in a blanket are right there on the package– you bake them just like you would crescent rolls by themselves.

First up, Piglets in Blankies! These are going to be the most similar to what you know and love about pigs in a blanket, just smaller and a little snazzier. These are adorable, and, while of course they’re great for dinner, these would also be a delicious appetizer for a big game, a great party snack, or an easy lunch.

Start by cutting your crescent rolls in half lengthwise. Because you’ll be using Lil Smokies instead of a full-length hot dog, you’ll want a smaller crescent roll, basically.

Spread your crescent roll with some honey barbecue (or your favorite barbecue sauce of choice), and then a drizzle of mustard. Even if you aren’t a mustard fan, I promise it adds an amazing tang that can’t be beat! Roll up your Lil Smokie in the crescent.

Get your finger just barely wet with water, wet the top of the crescent, then sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. In the same way that a Sesame Seed Bun just makes a burger better, these delicious piglets get an extra snappy beat from the sesame seeds on top. They’re just that extra cute touch that makes these even better.

Bake these according to the package directions on the crescent rolls, and serve.

Yum! And oh-so-cute!

Aren’t chili dogs just the best? I love them so much; in fact, I’m hard-pressed to eat a hot dog unless it’s in a pig in a blanket or a chili dog. This is the best of both worlds by being equally chili dog AND pig in a blanket, and since the chili was so nice and messy, I decided to call them Pigs in Muddy Blankets. What pig doesn’t love mud to cool off?

Now, I’ll just say it here. If you’d rather use your own homemade chili here, you absolutely can. To make it easier on myself, I decided to use a can of Hormel Chili with beans and meat.

Start by cutting your hotdog in half lengthwise. Not only will you get more pigs in a blanket using fewer dogs, but it’ll help keep the chili from squeezing out. Next to it, place a generous spoonful of chili.

Sprinkle with cheese. I used a cheddar and Monterrey jack blend. Roll the muddy blankets up and bake according to the crescent roll package directions.

Before you serve them, top them like you would any chili dog. I personally love diced onions and even more cheese!

Finally, I have to share my personal favorite, pigs in sombreros. Now, I might blow your mind just a little bit because, well… there’s no hot dog in this one. But that’s okay! They’re delicious nonetheless.

Instead, the traditional hot dog is replaced entirely by taco meat! So, start by browning some hamburger and seasoning it the way you would for tacos. I personally like to go easy and use the Old El Paso packet and just follow the directions on the back, because hey, easy!

Place a large spoonful of taco meat on the wide part of your crescent roll.

Then, add diced onions and your favorite taco blend, Mexican blend, or pepper jack cheese. I personally like Kraft’s Mexican Blend.

Now, form the sombrero. You wrap the two wide corners in towards the middle, overlapping a bit and covering the taco meat and cheese. Then, take the long point and wrap it up and over the overlapped part, tucking it under the top edge of the crescent roll.

It’ll form a cute little pocket like this! Bake it according to the crescent roll package directions until golden brown.

Before serving, deck out your pigs in sombreros with typical taco toppings– lettuce, tomato, sour cream, extra cheese, salsa, whatever you’d like!

There you have it! 3 delicious ways to try a new take on Pigs in a Blanket to celebrate Pigs in a Blanket Day this week!

 

Do you do Pigs in a Blanket a certain way at your house? What sides do you like with it? And which of the above three ways do you most want to try? Let me know in the comments below! Have a great Pigs in a Blanket Day!

Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup

I am a huge fan of soup. I think that a good, hearty soup can make any day better, especially a frigid one like so many of us are experiencing lately, with snow covering most of the nation.

When it comes to soup, I have a lot of old standbys. My mom’s killer chicken noodle soup that everyone raves about, an easy taco soup we can’t get enough of, chili… it’s all good. But I also like adding a new flavor into the mix. When we took a good look at our soup recipe collection, it became clear that there was no sausage soup in the mix. That had to change.

The easiest way to fix it was to dig through the old inherited recipe boxes and see what they had to offer. I wasn’t disappointed– I stumbled upon a delicious-sounding Tuscan Sausage and Bean soup recipe that would make a great starting point. With a few tweaks, it has now become a family favorite.

Start out with these ingredients. Because it’s a soup, it’s pretty flexible, so keep that in mind. Don’t have cannellini beans? Throw in great northerns instead. Need to make it stretch? Double the recipe, or add in more beans. But to create the perfect Tuscan Sausage and Bean soup, this is a good starting point.

Start out by cutting your sausage into small pieces and cooking it. I used a mild Italian sausage from Johnsonville. You can, of course, use hot. I won’t judge. Drain it, then set the sausage aside for later.

In the bottom of a large soup pot, melt a stick of butter, then saute half a diced onion and 2 cloves of minced garlic.

Stir in 1/4 cup of flour to create a nice thick base.

Gradually add a can of evaporated milk, a can of chicken broth, and a can of drained diced tomatoes, stirring constantly. You’ll want to continue stirring constantly over medium heat until your mixture comes to a boil, to help thicken the soup. Once it comes to a boil, add in two cans of cannellini beans (don’t drain them!), and your sausage.

Heat the soup a bit longer, and then serve it.

This is a really hearty soup, and it will fill you up and warm you up, which are the two best features of a good winter soup.

If you’re concerned about canned beans, you might take a peek at CansGetYouCooking.com. This site, which is not affiliated with any particular brand of canned goods, has some great information about the nutrition facts regarding canned goods. Did you know that canned beans actually contain more soluble fiber than dried beans? They’re the absolute best way to get fiber from beans, and they are packed with other great nutrients, too. Canned tomatoes also pack an extra punch, with more lycopene, which is insanely good for you.

On a snowy day, this soup is totally where it’s at. With the rich sausage flavor, the hearty broth, and the delicious flavor that needs no added salt or pepper makes it truly worth making on these cold winter nights.

 

 

Do you have a winter soup favorite? Tell me about it in the comments below! Want to save this recipe for future reference? Be sure to pin it or share it on your facebook timeline!