Simple Rice Pilaf

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Quick Post: Years ago, before I was a food snob, I bough boxed rice and pasta sides without thinking twice. This is a great substitute for a basic Rice-a-Roni side and it has way more flavor, not to mention ingredients that I can pronounce ūüėČ Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Simple Rice Pilaf – adapted from Simply Scratch

  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 cup Orzo pasta
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2.5 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions –¬†

Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan until hot and bubbly. Add the orzo and toast until it becomes lightly golden. Add the cup of rice, stir. Pour in the chicken stock and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

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Weeknight Italian Wedding Soup

Quick Post:¬†This recipe couldn’t be easier! For those cold nights it’s perfectly warming and comforting. We had another blast of cold weather the past few days which was surprising since it’s recently been in the high 70s regularly. I always love taking advantage of a cool night by making it a good excuse for some comfort food and carbs in the form of these lovely breadsticks. I didn’t change a thing about these recipes and we were all happy about how they turned out. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Italian Wedding Soup – adapted from Bev Cooks

  • ¬†3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (12 oz) package¬†Al Fresco¬†tomato and basil chicken meatballs
  • ¬†1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red
  • ¬†1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 10 oz baby spinach
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a small skillet and brown the chicken sausages on all sides, until heated through, 5 minutes total. Remove from heat.

In a deep pot, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Add the crushed pepper along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until the veggies start to soften, 6 minutes.

Add the wine and stock. Bring to a light boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 6 minutes.

Add the chicken sausages and spinach. Simmer for about 5 more minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Almost Famous Breadsticks – adapted from Food Network

  • 1 package yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups AP flour,plus more for dusting
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter,softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine salt

For the Topping:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter,melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic¬†powder
  • Pinch of dried oregano
Directions –

Make the dough: Place 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a mixer; sprinkle in the yeast and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the flour, butter, sugar, fine salt and 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm water; mix with the paddle attachment until a slightly sticky dough forms, 5 minutes.

Knead the dough by hand on a floured surface until very smooth and soft, 3 minutes. Roll into a 2-foot-long log; cut into 16 1 1/2-inch-long pieces. Knead each piece slightly and shape into a 7-inch-long breadstick; arrange 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with a cloth; let rise in a warm spot until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the topping: Brush the breadsticks with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt with the garlic powder and oregano. Brush the warm breadsticks with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and sprinkle with the flavored salt.