Saturday, January 30, 2010

Super Easy Chicken Parmesan

I came up with this version of Chicken Parmesan last week with the ingredients that I had on hand when I was snowed in for the weekend. This is a really easy way to make the traditional Chicken Parm without having to bread and fry raw chicken breasts. This happens to be the part of making this dish that I hate, but I usually suffer through it for the great results!

I used Tyson's refrigerated grilled chicken breast strips instead of the raw chicken. These are precooked and typically very moist and tender. Now they weren't breaded and fried, but they give you the traditional chicken flavor in the sauce and are also healthier overall. I served it over rotini pasta that I already had open in the pantry. I usually use linguini witih chicken parmesan.

The final thing that I wanted to clarify is that I did NOT pay full price for the refridgerated chicken strips. I got them really cheap with a coupon. I would never have paid $5 for 5 oz of chicken. :-)

Chicken Parmesan
3 TBL olive oil
2 medium or 3 large sized carrots, finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 - 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
4 TBL sugar
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
12 oz (2 1/2 bags) of refrigerated chicken breast strips, cut into pieces.
Mozzeralla and Parmesan Cheese
Rotini pasta

- Heat oil in a large stockpot or skillet over medium high heat. Saute the carrot and onions until the onions are translucent, probably around 5 minutes. Add the garlic 1 minute before the onions are done.
- Add the chicken stock, crushed and diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer
- Add all of the seasonings and simmer for 20 minutes
- Add the chicken and simmer for 5 more minutes to heat through.
- Cook the pasta in heavily salted water and top with the sauce.
- Top with however much cheese that you would like and allow to melt

Sausage Balls

One of the seriously easiest things to make ever are sausage balls. My Memaw, Aunt Sissy and Mom have made these for years. I don't think that there's too much variation in recipes when people make these. Really, how many ways can you make these things? There's just not much to them!

Sausage Balls

  • 1 lb pork sausage
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups bisquick
  • 3/4 cup water

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix by hand until all of the ingredients are incorporated. (Prepare to get messy!!) Roll into tablespoon size balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. When I make these I typically get around 36 out of a recipe. You can make them smaller if you would like...just decrease the cooking time.

Etc Etc...I have made these with a colby/monterey jack before. If you like spicy foods you can use hot sausage instead of regular. Enjoy!

Weekly Menu - 1/30 - 2/4

Man the weeks fly by!! As of this point, we have gotten over 12 inches of snow here at my house. I have to admit that I have loved the quiet lazy day here at the house. I imagine that I will be stranded here again tomorrow as well. What a perfect opportunity to try out a bunch of new recipes!

Here's what we plan on having this week:
Saturday - Chicken Parmesan, Salad and Bread

Sunday - Grilled Barbecue Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Monday - Fried Pork Chops, Creamy Rice and Broccoli

Tuesday - Clam Chowder, Homemade Bread and Scallded Lettuce

Wednesday - Hamburger Steak and Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Corn

Thursday - Pineapple Glazed Grilled Ham, Tater Tot Casserole and Steamed Cauliflower

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fancy Mac with Monterey Jack and Chorizo

Macaroni and cheese is one of America's all time favorite comfort foods. The warm and gooey cheesy noodles are delicious and filling. I decided to make a grown up version of macaroni and cheese for dinner this past week and it was sooo yummy! I cut the original recipe for this out of Rachael Ray's magazine. I am not typically a fan of Rachael's stuff. It tends to be a little over the top for me most of the time.

The original recipe for this called for manchego cheese. I found this cheese while I was grocery shopping the other day and it was $11.99 for enough for a cup! I would have had to spend $24 just for cheese for this recipe!! Any of you that have read my blog in the past know that I am a die hard tight wad and strive to make great recipes with the cheapest ingredients possible. $24 for cheese just wasn't cutting it!!

I did a search online for substitutions for manchego cheese and came up with monterey jack. I can definitely handle fact I already had some so even better!

The recipe makes a creamy cheese sauce that you add sliced pimento's and peas to. To serve it you top it with a sprinkling of some spicy chorizo sausage. The nice thing is that we were able to leave this off for my nieces. One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is the cavatappi (corkscrew) pasta. You could easily make this with rotini or other pastas.

Fancy Mac with Monterey Jack and Chorizo

(adapted from Rachael Ray magazine)

  • 1 lb cavatappi pasta
  • 1/2 lb chorizo sausage, casings removed and chopped
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 3 TBL butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBL flour
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry (if you don't have sherry, add more chicken broth)
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • 1 small jar pimentos, drained
  • 2 cups frozen peas, thawed

Add water to a stock pot and bring to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain. In a small skillet, add the olive oil and chorizo sausage and cook until done. Crumble the sausage as you cook it. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

In a stock pot, melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook until translucent. Add the garlic about 30 seconds before you are done with the shallots so that it will not burn. Whisk in the flour and sherry. Add the chicken stock and milk and cook until thickened. Stir in the cheese until melted. Fold in the peas and pimentos. Add the macaroni and coat with the cheese sauce.

Serve with about 1/4 cup of crumbled sausage on top.

Etc Etc...You could add canned mushrooms in addition to the peas and pimentos. You chould also also use pepper jack cheese instead of montery jack if you like spicy stuff.

Kroger Grocery Deals 1/24

Well all that I have to say is that it's about time that Kroger ran a good sale! It's been since early November that I really racked up on good deals. This week was excellent! I know that I am such a tightwad, but I seriously get so excited when I save this much money. If anyone wants to argue that the hour that I spent prepping for this isn't worth the almost $200 bucks that I saved then that's fine!

The sale this week was that if you purchased 10 items, you got $.50 off each item. I got $5 off 10 times because I bought 100 items. In some cases I had 8 coupons because I purchased 8 papers this week because of the sale. The amount that I saved majorly outweighs the few dollars that I spent on papers. The breakdown of everything is below in case you would like to get some of the same savings. The grand total if I had paid full price was $248.85 and I paid $58.20. Stinkin amazing!! All of the prices shown first below are the price AFTER the $.50 is removed for the buy 10 sale.
  • Rotel Tomatoes - .49 ends up FREE (.30 coupon doubles to .60 (Smart Source 1/24))
  • Frank's Hot Sauce (great for Buffalo Chicken Dip) - 1.19 ends up .19 (.50 coupon doubles to $1 (Smart Source 1/24))
  • Hunts Tomato Products - .49 ends up .19 (.45 off 3 coupon doubles to .90 making each can .19 (Smart Source 1/24)
  • Kraft Cheese - .99 ends up .49 ($1 off 2 coupon (Smart Source 1/24)) Amazing!!
  • Daisy Sour Cream 16 oz - 1.49 ends up .49 (.50 coupon doubles to $1 (Smart Source 12/13))
  • Solo Cups - 1.49 ends up .49 (.50 coupon doubles to $1 (Smart Source 12/6))
  • Ritz Crackers - 1.99 ends up .99 ($1 off coupon (Smart Source 1/24))
  • Wheat Thins - 1.70 ends up .70 ($1 off coupon (Smart Source 1/24))
  • Kleenex - .99 ends up .66 (.50 off 3 coupon doubles to $1 making each .66 (Smart Source 1/3))
  • Snyders Pretzel Pieces - 1.99 ends up 1.24 (.75 off coupon (Smart Source 12/6))
  • M&M's large bag - 2 ends up 1.50 ($1 off 2 coupon (Red Plum 1/10))
  • Sara Lee Bites - 2.49 ends up 1.49 ($1 off coupon (Red Plum 10/25))
  • FiberOne Bars - 1.99 ends up 1.19 ($.40 off coupon doubles to .80 (Smart Source 1/3))
  • CoffeeMate Creamer - 2.49 ends up 1.49 ($1 off coupon (Red Plum 11/1))
  • Toaster Strudel - 1.49 ends up 1.21 (.55 off 2 coupon (Smart Source 1/3))
  • French's Mustard - 1.19 ends up .19 (.50 off coupon doubles to $1 (Smart Source 1/24))
  • Chi Chi's Salsa - .99 (no coupon)
  • Jello Pudding - .49 (no coupon)
  • Kraft Mac and Cheese and Easy Mac - .49 (no coupon)
Email me if you have any questions! I will be glad to answer them!

PF Chang's Mongolian Beef Copycat

One of my most favorite restaurants to eat at is PF Changs. We don't have one here in Lynchburg so I look forward to going there when I am out of town. The dish has a nice, sweet sauce and the beef has crispy edges to it but is also super tender. My family loved this dish and I will definitely make it again.

One of the main differences that I saw from the PF Changs version is that this recipe produced a lot more sauce than what is on the dish in the restaurant. It also didn't call for as many green onions as what comes in the dish normally. Next time I will add more green onions and will let the sauce reduce a little more. I altered the recipe below to allow for more onions.

PF Changs Mongolian Beef Copykat
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1 TBL chopped garlic
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 green onions, very white part removed and cut into 2 inch pieces.

- Cut steak into 1/4 inch pieces. Make sure that you cut against the grain.
- Dip each piece of beef into the cornstarch to coat and shake off the excess powder.
- Heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat in a wok or very large skillet. Add the ginger and the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the soy sauce, water and brown sugar. Mix to dissolve and allow to boil for 2-3 minutes until the sauce reduces. Pour the sauce into a bowl and return the pan to the heat.
- Add 1 cup of oil to the pan and heat on medium/high.
- Add the beef and saute for 2 minutes stiring continuously.
- Remove from the oil from a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.
- Drain the oil out of the pan and return to the heat. Add the beef back to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the sauce and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes.
- Serve over rice.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Egg Drop Soup

Last night was Asian night at my house. We had a PF Changs Mongolian Beef Copycat, Rice that I made sushi style (because I love the sticky sweetness) and Egg Drop Soup. This is the egg drop soup recipe that I have been using for years. It's good too! Traditional egg drop soup doesn't have the green onion added but I like it. The soup can be made really quick as well and doesn't need to sit and cook for a long time.

Egg Drop Soup
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 TBL soy sauce
1 TBL cornstarch
2 eggs
2 green onions, green ends included
Salt and Pepper to taste

- Remove 1/4 cup broth into a small bowl. Add cornstarch and mix to form a slurry.
- Bring chicken broth, ginger and soy sauce to a boil.
- Add the slurry, reduce heat to medium and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork.
- Gradually add the eggs to the broth. Whisk the broth with a fork while you are adding the eggs to break them up.
- Remove soup from the heat. Add salt, pepper and green onions.

Double Chocolate Cake

Sin. That is what this cake should be called. Anyone that enjoys chocolate would definitely like this cake. I like chocolate, but this cake was a little too rich for me. It's only suited for you die hard chocoholics out there. My office mates will have a field day with this tomorrow, that is if my Mom doesn't steal it and take it into her folks.

I cut this recipe out of the April 2008 edition of Bon Appetit magazine. It is a recipe from Brigtsen's Restaurant in New Orleans. Here's the recipe...

Double Chocolate Cake
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 cup buttermilk, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup whole milk

- Preheat oven to 350. Butter 2 9 inch cake pans and dust with powdered sugar. Line bottom with parchment paper
- Sift flour, soda and salt
- In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/2 cup buttermilk and cocoa powder
- In another medium bowl, mix the remaining buttermilk and vanilla
- With an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth
- Add the eggs one at a time, blending after each addition.
- Beat in the cocoa mixture
- Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk/vanilla mixture.
- Divide the batter between the pans. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes. Cool the cakes completely.
- To make the icing, bring 3/4 cup water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Allow to boil about 2 minutes until reduced to about 3/4 cup. Cool completely
- Using electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.
- Gradually beat in powdered sugar and cocoa powder, then add 1/2 cup milk.
- Cut cakes horizontally in half to make 4 layers.
- To begin building cake, take first layer and brush 3 TBL of syrup. Spread 1/2 cup frosting on layer. Repeat 2 more times and then ice the top and sides of the cake with the remaining icing.

In my opinion, I think that the frosting needs some salt to counteract the sweet/bitterness of the chocolate.

Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini

Lunch today was some yummy grilled chicken pesto panini's that I made on my panini press. There's really no recipe to go along with this. Here are the ingredients that I used. You can change the amounts based upon what you like.
Ciabatta Bread
Grilled Chicken Strips (I took the easy way out and used Tyson Refridgerated Chicken Strips that I got on sale with a coupon)
Mozzeralla Cheese

The crunch of the ciabatta bread after it had toasted was really nice. The sandwich tasted exactly like I was expecting for it to as I have had similar sandwiches at other places. I would like to try this again in the future with maybe some marinara sauce instead of pesto.

Weekly Menu: 1/23 - 1/29

Well I didn't do as well this week in making all of the dishes that I planned for. We decided to get pizza one night and then my nieces begged to go to La Caretta so we gave in last night. Thankfully everything is still good and I plan to make the skipped days food today. Here's the plan:

Saturday Lunch - Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini's, Pasta Salad

Saturday Dinner - PF Changs Mongolian Beef Copycat, Rice, Egg Drop Soup

Sunday - Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Buttered Corn

Monday - Fancy Manchego Mac and Cheese with Chorizo, Salad, Fried Apples
**This is a recipe that I am trying from Rachael Ray Magazine that I tore out awhile ago.

Tuesday - Baked Fish Fillets, Rice, Broccoli (aka Dinosaur Trees as my nieces call them)

Wednesday - Pasta Alla Betsy, Salad, Homemade Bread
**My weekly recipe attempt from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Its basically penne pasta with sauteed shrimp and a tomato cream sauce.

Thursday - Baked Turkey Breast, Stuffing, Green Beans
**Our Wal-Mart has been carrying rotisserie turkey breasts. I plan on grabbing one of them on the way home one day this week and trying it out. If they don't have them or carry them anymore it's chicken then. :-)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Sherried Tomato Soup

Yum yum yum ...this bowl of creamy goodness was a big hit at dinner last week. This is yet again another one the recipes by Ree Drummond from The Pioneer Woman Cooks. I have been aiming to make a new recipe from this book each week. This was last weeks and I am just now posting about it.

Ree loves this soup and the way that she described it in her book was that it is amazing and a must try, so I succumbed. It is a sweet (or as sweet as you want to make it) tomato soup with cream added to cut the acid. The addition of the fresh herbs gives it a great flavor. It was perfect with a grilled cheese and would also go well with a salad. Anyone that doesn't like "rich" foods should avoid this recipe at all costs. The thickness and deep flavors make this some major comfort food for a cold day.

You can get the recipe here. I hope that you all enjoy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Pioneer Woman - Chicken Spaghetti

The recipe that I decided to make this week out of The Pioneer Woman Cooks was Chicken Spaghetti. It's technically a casserole and is a combination of chicken, cream of mushroom soup, pasta, veggies and some cheese. Overall it was liked at dinner. Will I make it again? Ehhh maybe not...there are too many other things to try. My folder with recipes that I have cut out of magazines continues to grow by the month! I am seriously going to need to use a shoebox soon.

I found the dish to be a little bland despite the amount of cayenne pepper in it that definitely perked up the taste buds (or set them on fire). It's all good though, everyone likes different things and it just wasn't my favorite. My Dad loved it though...and he's usually difficult to please!

You can find the recipe here on The Pioneer Woman's website.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Weekly Menu: 1/17 - 1/22

I was actually good and made everything that I had planned for last week. We struggle with that a lot because we get busy and grab something out. My goal for the year is to cut way back on that because it adds up so fast. Here's what I have planned for this week:

Sunday Lunch - Zuppa Toscana Soup, Homemade French Bread

Sunday Dinner - PF Changs Mongolian Beef Copycat, Rice, Egg Drop Soup

Monday - Grilled Barbecue Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Tuesday - Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, Chips

Wednesday - Chicken Spaghetti (trying another recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks), Salad, Bread

Thursday - Grilled Chicken Pesto Panini's, Pasta Salad

Thursday, January 14, 2010

MSC Cupcake Club - Coconut Cupcakes

Well it is hard to believe that it is time again for our monthly installment of the Martha Stewart Cupcake Club. This month Jennifer from Cinema Cupcakes chose Coconut Cupcakes for us. For me, these were much more like a cupcake than the spice cupcakes that we have done the past 3 months. They were yummy!

The cupcake was really sweet and had a mild coconut flavor. Next time, I will probably add some coconut extract to the batter as well to make them a little stronger in flavor. The 7 minute frosting was a whole new experience for me. It was so light and fluffy and it actually reminded me of a less sticky version of marshmallow fluff. I would love this frosting piped into something. I couldn't get my hands on coconut flakes so I lightly toasted some shredded coconut.

I hope that everyone enjoyed their cupcakes! I am looking forward to next months Smores Cupcakes!! Thanks Jennifer for a great pick!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Pioneer Woman's Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

My absolute most favorite cookbook right now is The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond. I ordered it and received it last week in the mail and I have read it from cover to cover since then. Ree started out writing a blog and decided to put a lot of her recipes into a book. All of the recipes look absolutely delicious! She also has many of them posted on her website at

We celebrated my Mom's birthday last night and she wanted mexican food. What a good opportunity to try out The Pioneer Woman's Pico de Gallo and Guacamole recipe! I have always struggled with salsa type recipes and even with guacamole. I can just never get the right mix of different flavors. I usually end up with way too much lime juice which honestly ruins it for me and as Ree mentions in the book, she used to end up with a too much tomato in her salsa and I also have also had the same problem.

These recipes could not be more simple. There are no exact measurements either which is even better. For the pico, start out by chopping your tomatoes. I went with 4 roma tomatoes. Now chop an equal amount of onion and an equal amount of cilantro. It ended up about 3/4 a large onion and most of a bunch of cilantro. Add a finely chopped jalapeno with the seeds and ribs removed. I just used one but you could do 2 if you like it real spicy. Squeeze the juice of half of a lime in the pico and add salt to taste. Eat within a day or it will get soupy.

To make the guacamole you take your avacados and mash in a bowl. Leave as chunky or as mushy as you would like. Now put in a bunch of the pico de gallo and stir. Add salt to taste and I also added some pepper. Enjoy!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Crock Pot Barbecue Ribs

OH we had the yummiest dish for dinner tonight and it couldn't have been easier! I have been trying to make good ribs for years and just haven't had much luck. They have always been okay, just not as good as I would like them. I decided to try them in the crockpot today. Our Food Lion had them on sale for $1.29 per pound (I have seen them as low as .89/lb before and will be stocking up from now on). I fed 5 adults for $5 of meat and had leftovers.

I used Country Style Ribs. These aren't your typical Baby Backs. They are shaped different. This recipe would work fine with the Baby Backs though. The ribs get so tender that they literally fall apart. You have to just pull the bones out of them in the crock pot and be very careful for any small pieces!!

I came up with my own recipe after looking over various recipes online. I am really happy with it and my family approved it for a make again recipe.

Crockpot Barbecue Ribs
4 lbs ribs (I used country style)
1 tsp kosher salt (if you use table salt, go 1/4 tsp less)
3/4 tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup cola (not diet)
2 TBL liquid smoke
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 onion, cut in half and sliced

Mix together the salt, pepper, garlic, paprika and brown sugar. Rub this mixture into the ribs and put one layer on the bottom of the crock pot. Top with half of the onion. Layer in the rest of the ribs and once again top with onion. Mix the liquid smoke and cola together and pour around the outside of the ribs and throughout. Try not to pour directly on the ribs so that you don't wash the rub off. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Once they are done, drain the liquid off and top with your favorite barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Barbecue). If you like them spicy you can add some hot sauce too. Stir the ribs to coat. Continue cooking for 1 hour so that the sauce will stick and thicken on the ribs.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Weekly Menu: 1/9 - 1/14

I have decided that I am going to start posting our weekly menu each week on here. I think that it will be fun to look back at what we have had throughout the year and to also see what I make way too much of! It also motivates me to do more posting on here of the recipes that I make!

I am starting a day early this week because I plan to do my shopping on Saturday instead of Sunday. I am also going to actually be home on Saturday night so I figured that I should save money and cook instead of eating out.

Saturday: Crockpot Barbecue Ribs, Sauteed Cabbage, Roasted Potatoes
Sunday: Tortillas, Mexirice, Mexicorn
**It is my Mom's birthday on Monday and we are celebrating on Sunday. This is her most favorite meal. It is basically just browned hamburger with various toppings and enchilada sauce served with fried tortillas. You basically build your own
Monday: Steak, Baked Potato, Sauteed Green Beans
Tuesday: Baked Spaghetti, Salad, Bread
Wednesday: Sherried Tomato Soup, Grilled Cheese
**The Sherried Tomato Soup is from The Pioneer Woman Cookbook
Thursday: Duggar Tator Tot Casserole, Salad

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Santa Cupcakes...way late!

Well I am way late on this one. I am beginning to feel like all that I bake and cook are cupcakes, but that really isn't the case!! Anyways, Mady and Savannah requested that I make them some Santa cupcakes for Christmas. This is what I came up with.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Soup Copycat Recipe

My favorite thing to eat at Olive Garden is not the pasta dishes or even their famous salad, although the chocolate lasagna is pretty high up there! My favorite dish is actually their Zuppa Toscana Soup. It's a potato soup with crumbled italian sausage and kale. I love love love it! I did some research online and there are all sorts of copycat recipes out there for this soup. After looking over these I came up with my own version of the soup. It's so close that I don't think that I could tell the difference. It's not a very thick soup but the flavors are great! My favorite part is actually the kale. I add a lot more kale than what is in the soup at the restaurant.

My version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana

3 TBL butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBL flour
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 TBL sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
3 large potatoes, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 lb italian sausage (I use the sweet)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups chopped kale
1 cup heavy whipping cream
Parm cheese for garnish

Melt the butter over medium - high heat and saute the onion until translucent (about 8 - 10 min). Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Gradually add the chicken stock while continuously stirring to incorporate the flour. Add the water, sugar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Add the potatoes and continue to cook over medium high heat.

In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium high heat. Remove the sausage from the casing and cook until sausage is cooked through. As you are stiring the sausage, make sure that it ends up in crumbles. Another hint to use to keep the sausage from burning before cooking all the way through is to add some water to the pan and allow for it to boil off. By the time that the liquid is gone, the sausage will have a little bit of time to brown. Once done, drain.

Add the sausage to the soup once the potatoes are just about done. Turn the heat to medium low. Add the kale and cook for 3 minutes until the kale is good and tender. Add the whipping cream and remove from the heat. Garnish with parm cheese.