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Recipe: Minestrone Soup

A bowl of soup goes a long way during winter.  A bowl of soup warms up the heart and soul.  My hubby asked me to make his favorite soup: Minestrone, especially if I can get it close to the Olive Garden version.  Not sure what goes in the soup, I did see this tasty recipe the Olive Garden Minestrone Soup.  My recipe is an adapted version of this soup because who has every single ingredient available in their home?  For sure not my home.

Prep: 15 min.  (I like to prepare the ingredients before actually cooking.
Cook: 50 min., depending on consistency
Servings: 6-8

  • 2-4 T Olive Oil (we are usually generous)
  • 2 c of seasoned hamburger 
  • 1/2 c minced onion
  • 1/4 c chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 c green beans
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups of Swanson chicken broth low sodium
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 T dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cup of boiling water
  • 1 cup of  shell pasta

Heat the olive oil in a pot.  Saute the onions, carrots, zucchini, green beans, garlic, and the seasoned hamburger for about 5 minutes.  Add the Chicken broth, drained tomatoes, beans, spices and hot water. Bring soup to a boil.  

Once boiled, simmer for 25 minutes, with lid on top of pot.  Add pasta, and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or until desired consistency.  

Let me just say my hubby and son loved the soup.  My 9 year old son loved the veggies in the soup!  I am so excited. My hubby isn't the only one who can cook around here. ;)

As we say in Arabic: "Sahtain"  (Bon Appetit).

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Recipe: Broiled Chicken with Spiced Vegetables topped with Mozzarella Cheese

When Hubster is in the mood for cooking, it really shows in the dishes he prepares.  One: he comes up with his own combination of prepared meals, and Two: it becomes an artistic venue for him.

On this cold, wintry day, Hubster came up with this fabulous, healthy, delicious dish.I present to you the Broiled Chicken with Spiced Vegetables topped with Mozzarella Cheese.
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 2


  • 2 pieces of boneless chicken breasts, thawed
  • 2-4 pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups of cut carrots 
  • 1 medium size zucchini 
  • 2 medium size tomatoes
  • 1 cup of fresh mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 tsp of mixed spices: turmeric, curry, chili powder, paprika, saffron,dried garlic, and lemmon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of dried basil
  • a pinch of sea salt (optional, for taste)
Mix all veggies together with olive oil in pan on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Then add the chicken on top of the veggie mixture.  Cover the pan, allow cooking for 15 minutes on medium heat.   Put the veggie mixture in an oven pan, and place the chicken pieces on top of the mixture.  

Place the pan in the oven, and broil for 20 minutes.  Be sure to flip the pieces of chicken halfway through broiling.  Put the chicken aside, to place fresh mozzarella on the veggie mixture.  Broil in the oven 1-2 minutes.  

Be sure to serve on plates, and as we say in Arabic: Sahtain (Bon Appetit in French).   

 Look at the mozzarella cheese! Yumm...

It is so delicious!  You will be wanting seconds.  

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Roasted Almonds and Walnuts Recipe

On his day off, Hubster likes to mess around in the kitchen, especially on cold, winter days.  He decides to come up with his own recipe of Roasted Almonds and Walnuts.  Yes, I have permission to post this delicious and warm snack on our blog!

So without further delay, I present to you the recipe!  As we say in Arabic, Sahtain (many know the French version Bon Appetit).


You can determine how the size of the portions.
  • Raw Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Spices such as Saffron, Cinnamon, Chili Powder, Black Pepper, and Sea Salt 

Put the Almonds and the Walnuts in the pan on low heat.  Put about 2-3 ounces of water over the nuts.  Add  each of the spice listed above one at a time.  Do NOT forget the Saffron because that is what makes it special.  Keep stirring the ingredients.  Cover for one minute to be sure the spices are soaked into the Almonds and Walnuts.  

Be sure to uncover after one minute, and roast for another five minutes and don't forget to stir in between.  Total time roasting: 10 minutes.

Did I mention that Hubster loves Dates?  (In fact, we've always made sure Dates were available in our household).

 Hubster made me Cinnamon Tea as well.

Hubster said this image reminded him of his childhood, sitting at the beach, watching the waves and the boatings, while snacking on dates, and drinking tea.

 Sportsboy, my 9 year old, designed this plate.  He put his artistic touch to make a pattern, which turned out to look like a flower.

I gave my Nikon to Sportsboy to practice taking photos.  This is what he came up with.  I think it is hilarious.  


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