Link Love: Knitterly projects, Disneyland, and Remembering an Old Friend

For Link Love this week Diane at Crafty Pod has tasked us with going through our archives and finding our popular posts.

1.

Wee pumpkin pattern – Harvest and Halloween fun in a simple little pattern. And a peek for things to come. I plan to go all out on Halloween this year.

2.

cheater's posole

Cheater’s Posole Recipe – Comfort food in our house can be easy. This one didn’t get a lot of comments, but it got a ton of views thanks to its acceptance to the foodgawker website.

3.

Adrian at Monster's inc

The details inside the Happiest Place on Earth – This was my nephew’s first trip. He’s an old pro now and I’m feeling the urge to visit Disneyland again.

4.

compose2.jpg

Knitters were thrilled that we were ahead of the game with the popular cowl patterns. Now we’re doubling and tripling them up and calling them “infinity scarves.”

5.

Handknit hand-dyed hat

I started to cry when I saw that this was one of my popular posts. I’m so grateful to have this picture of me and my wonderful friend’s dog “Boo.”¬†She was my introduction to Australian Cattle Dogs and wicked smart. Although blind, she would gently herd us when we went for a walk. Always keeping count of her people. Boo has since passed away and will always have a special place in my heart.

Italian Sausage Soup : Perfect hearty soup for a winter day

Italian Sausage Soup

Technically, it’s Spring. But you wouldn’t know it by the weather in our backyard. I’ve been craving this soup and finally gathered all the ingredients to make a big batch. Based on a recipe from Sunset Magazine from 2003, I’ve modified it to fit our tastes.

This soup freezes very well, just don’t add the spinach until you’re ready to eat it to keep the flavor fresh.

Makes about 5.5 quarts. About 10 servings.

1 pound hot Italian sausages
1 pound mild Italian sausages
(If you like things spicy you can use all hot Italian sausage, I prefer the mix)
2 carrots chopped
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped
4 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 quarts chicken broth
30 oz. diced tomatoes – I actually use the Pomi tomatoes and use 1.5 cartons.
2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini (white) beans, rinsed and drained
1.5 tablespoons dried rosemary (divided)
2 cups dried small shell pasta
9 oz spinach leaves, rinsed
grated parmesan cheese (garnish)

1. Squeeze sausages from casings into a large (8-10 quart) pan over high heat. Stir often and break apart meat with a wooden spoon until brown and crumbly. Spoon out all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the pan.

2. Add carrots, onion, and garlic, stir often until onion is soft. About 5 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes (including juice), beans and 1 tablespoon rosemary and bring to a boil.

3. Add pasta, reduce heat and simmer.

(If you want to freeze the whole batch stop at this point – I fill the canning jars with the amount I want to freeze – usually one third)

Simmer until pasta is just tender. Skim and discard any fat. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add spinach and stir until just wilted – this only takes 30 seconds or so.

Ladle into bowls and top with grated parmesan cheese.

Italian Sausage Soup- for freezer

For reheating from the freezer:
Thaw overnight. Bring soup to a boil and add fresh spinach until just wilted.