Friday, January 28, 2011

E: Crock Pot Minestrone & Oat Soda Bread

I hope you guys are having a great week.  I’m always excited when Friday comes along, but this week I’m EXTRA excited….traveling really took it out of me! What are you up to this weekend? Other than a hair appointment, I don’t really have any plans (fabulous!).

As I mentioned in my last post, Josh’s Mom came for a visit earlier this week. Instead of heading out to dinner, I wanted to make an easy and comforting dinner for her first night in town. I am a big fan of Robin Miller’s recipes and knew I wanted to make this crock pot minestrone the minute I saw it.  The ditalini pasta makes it extra fun and parmesan is a required topper!

 IMG_1250 

For the soup, I used tomato sauce (8 ounces) instead of diced tomatoes (Josh isn’t a chunky tomato fan) and an additional cup of vegetable broth. I also used chickpeas instead of white beans (I realized at the last minute that I didn’t have any white beans). The outcome was very tasty, but could use a little spice action.

A good soup requires a great side of bread. I originally thought about making focaccia but changed my mind and made this oat soda bread from 101 Cookbooks. Heidi’s recipes seem to always be winners.  Pre-bake:

IMG_1243

And post:

  IMG_1246

Plated with fruit:

 IMG_1247

The bread was delicious. My only note is that I had to use at least 1/2 cup more AP flour to get my dough to come together properly.

Two other quick items of importance:

1. Yesterday was Frank’s birthday! He is 5 years old. As is tradition on his birthday, we sang happy birthday to him and gave him a nice piece of steak with his usual food. This is really the only time of year we feed him “people” food:

IMG_1254

IMG_1255

2. A HUGE thank you to the nice people at Stonyfield and Kristina (specifically) for sending me the sweetest baby gifts! Check out this bib, onesie and growth chart book (disclaimer: I received these products for free):

 IMG_1251

 IMG_1252

 IMG_1253

Adorable! Thank you again :) He or she will definitely be loving these! Mandi & I will also be doing a review of Stonyfield’s whole milk yogurt soon (and a GIVEAWAY)- so stay tuned!

Hope you have a great weekend!!

38 comments:

ashley@quasichick said...

Look how cute that onesie is!!! Your food looks so yummy and comforting!!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

the onesie...is sooo cute! awww, i am soo happy for you erica!

and your eats look awesome, as usual :)

fitchocoholic said...

That minestrone looks yum! So does the bread!!!! =D
Hope you have an awesome weekend!!!!

Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg said...

Aww, dog birthdays are the best! :-)

That bread looks great-- you really can't go wrong with her!

Lee said...

Happy Birthday to Frank!

Fashion Meets Food said...

How cute is that bib and onesie!!! Happy Birthday to Frank I am sure he was happy to get some steak. Maybe I will try to make minestrone soup again soon every time I do it seems to never come out.

xo

Heather (Where's the Beach) said...

The soup sounds great. I'm trying to figure out how to properly use my crockpot - so far soups I'm good with ;-)

Megan D said...

Aw happy birthday to Frank! And CUTE bib/onesie!! :)

brandi said...

that bread looks fantastic!

and the baby stuff is so cute :)

Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean said...

adorable baby clothes! and i'm definitely gonna try out that bread soon!!

*Naomi* said...

haha omg the baby stuff is adorable!! i cannot wait to 'meet' your little babe!!

I LOVE irish soda bread adn that oat bread looks just like it YUMMMMM

have a great friday Erica!

Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures said...

awe...happy birthday to Frank...I think he is saying he wants MORE steak in his bowl...lol Our dog gets leftovers much more often than once a year....soooo spoiled she is! lol

Laural (bhealthier) said...

Ahhh you are pregnant?! I miss so much!

Happy Birthday to Frankster! I can't wait to catch up with what you have been up to lady!

Ah, congratulations! Love the baby gear!

Katie said...

OOH I've been wanting to make that bread, too! Soda bread is one of my faves, and Heidi always has THE BEST recipes. Maybe I'll make it for St. Patty's Day!

That onesie is so, so cute.

Have a great weekend!

thehealthyapron said...

I love the oat soda bread! I will have to try making that!

Dawn (HealthySDLiving) said...

OMG the bib and onesie are soooooo adorable! I can't wait to dress a little baby in cute clothes!!!

Val said...

MMM, minestrone!!! Happy Birthday to Frank The Tank!!!!!!!

Stephanie @cookinfanatic said...

Yum, love minestrone, great idea with the ditalini too!!! Ahhh the love cute baby stuff, can't wait for our Sunday update :) This weekend we have friends coming in town and we are headed out to celebrate my birthday, really excited!

Pound said...

funny - i just made that minestrone the other week. i should try to make more bread... have been wanting to try foccacia.

we made homemade pizza last night using fleischmann's pizza dough yeast. it's pretty much no fail and better than store bought flat crust. next time, im going to make an herbed dough/crust! try it.

Corey @ the runners cookie said...

Soup + bread is the best in this cold weather! Those baby gifts are precious...I've actually tried Yo Baby yogurt and it's good, haha. Happy Birthday Frank! :) Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

Annie said...

oh i love minestrone! so excited to see what your baby will look with the cute onesie!

Campinggirl said...

I am always looking for new crockpot recipes! The soup looks awesome!
Happy Birthday to Frank!

Maria said...

Love the minestrone and the baby clothes are so cute! So happy for you! Have a great weekend!

Krista said...

OMG! I bet Frank LOVED his steak. What a boy! And the baby outfits are adorable. How exciting! Minestrone is a great soup, eh? Have a great weekend, Erica!

Holly said...

I hope you can put your feet up and relax this weekend after traveling, girl! Wahooo for hair appointments. :-) Just had mine Wednesday and don't they always just cheer you up???

Happy belated Birthday, Frank!!! And that onesie is the CUTEST. My uterus aches everytime I see a onesie. :-) Plus I love Eric Carle books!

Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my post today, too. :-) Your comments ALWAYS make me feel so much better. And by the way, you are gonna be the cutest preggers ever when you go on vacay!! (And not on vacay, too....well, you know what I mean!) ;-)

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...

Such cute gifts!! I LOVED Eric Carle as a kid ;)

Shannon said...

love that onesie :) and that bread... can you toast me up a slice? I'll be down in a jiffy ;)

teresa said...

aw, love the baby swag, doesn't it make you excited to meet him/her!

love both the soup and the bread, those two really go hand in hand!

Mom on the Run said...

Erica-- I am so excited for you. Life with baby has definitely been a blast!!

Be sure to stop by the blog starting next week as I am going to have some great baby giveaways!

BroccoliHut said...

Yay! Another excuse to bust out the crock pot!

Paige (Running Around Normal) said...

That minestrone looks delicious!! I've actually been craving soup lately which is pretty weird. This one looks yum!
How cute is the Stonyfield goodies?!

Simply Life said...

oh my gosh, minestrone soup and homemade bread is like my ideal combination! looks amazing! oh and i LOVE that onsie!!!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I bet your fam just loves when you cook/bake!! Minestrone is definitely one of my favs--but nothing tops Olive Garden's in my book. I can literally down numerous bowls of it in one sitting. And add there breadsticks to the mix..heavenly!

Lisa said...

I totally want the bread....and the minestrone! We're on a huge crockpot kick here, and I just can't stop....

Cute onesie---love those little clothes, and just wait till you have a little cutie pie to put in it :)

Kerstin said...

Happy Birthday to Frank! That onesie is so adorable and I need to get a crockpot because the soup looks yummy!

Julie said...

I'm glad you made it back from work in one piece!! i think you should not travel for a few weeks and just make minestrone haha

i've been obsessed with my peanut curry soup but i think it's time to expand my horizons and make some minestrone soon!

happy bday to the frankster!!!!

Melissa@ For the Love of Health said...

I want to come to your house for dinner! What a great welcoming dinner! I have a crock pot and I really need to use it soon.

Have a fabulous, relaxing weekend!

Erin said...

Ahhh congratulations Erica! I'm so happy for you guys! And Frank - happy birthday sweet pup :)