Monday, December 19, 2011

Pasta e Fagioli & Christmas in our home

So, I've been able to try some new recipes this month.  In all, they have each been pretty decent, but my favorite has been Pasta e Fagioli, a recipe I found on I have to admit, as I was making this I thought that it was most definitely not going to turn out well. It looked colorless and seemed it would be fairly tasteless. However, I was determined to see it through to the finish and after the first bite I was glad I did. It was so tasty! The flavors worked together really well and it made for a perfect winter's night dinner. Here is the recipe (with some revisions).

You will need: 1 tsp dried thyme (or 4 sprigs of fresh), 1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 large fresh sprig), 1 bay leaf, 1 tbs olive oil, 1 tsp unsalted butter, 1 medium onion chopped, 3 oz bacon chopped, 2 garlic cloves minced, 5 3/4 cup chicken broth, 1-2 cans red kidney beans rinsed and drained (depends on how much you like beans), 3/4 cup elbow macaroni, salt and pepper, and 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese.

To prepare: If you're using fresh herbs tie them in some cheesecloth. Heat the olive oil and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bacon, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender (around 3-5 minutes). Add the beans, broth, and herbs. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. (If using fresh herbs, discard herb sachet now) In a blender, puree 1 cup of the bean mixture until it is smooth then return it to the saucepan. Cover and return to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and boil until pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

I recently joined Pinterest and since then I have found some awesome decorating ideas, including a lot for Christmas. I saved a lot of them to do for next year since it is a little late to start some projects for this Christmas. Below are some pictures of how we've decorated our house for this holiday season. A few of these ideas came from jones design company blog...a new obsession of mine!

Art Sign...from jones design

vintage jingle bells
card hanging...i used twine & clothespins
our stockings

dining table deco

red & white paper idea from jones design

Well, that's all for now...I am so glad to be enjoying some time off. It's been nice to relax, get some errands done, and finally have some time for crafting! Be sure to be on your best behavior, Santa comes in less than a week!


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