Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fievel Takes Fenway

There's a mouse in my house.  A big, grey, hairy, fat, gross, long-tailed mouse.  I first noticed the pesky little creature Friday night as I was enjoying a relaxing bottle glass of wine on the couch, but I thought I may have been seeing things so I went to bed and hoped for the best.  I woke up early Saturday morning for the gym, and saw him as I was walking out the door.  This guy isn't playing!  Then he remained in my apartment for the greater part of Saturday afternoon.  I was cooking up a storm (that will come later) in the kitchen and the mouse proceeded to play at my feet.  After I picked my roommate up at the airport, we decided to set up some traps.  My kitchen is now boobie trapped with sticky pads loaded with peanut butter, traps filled with peanut butter, and plug-in sonar detectors that omit sound-waves that scare the mice away.

After fully "mouse-proofing" my kitchen, the pesky little bugger came out to play and avoided all of our traps (I told you he wasn't messing around)!  These jerky mice proceeded to come out and play all week long.  I caught two on the sticky pads on Wednesday and another one on Friday when I got home from work.  Woof! Get OUT.  We're having our second exterminator of the week visit us on Monday, and hopefully he'll knock these suckers out.

Now that I've completed my rant, I'll share my recipe for the best soup I've made yet...

Sausage Minestrone and Orzo - YUM!!

1lb sweet italian sausage
1lb hot italian sausage
3Tbs oilive oil
1 large spanish onion, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, sliced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes, cut into pieces
12 cups chicken stock, plus additional as needed
4 cups tomato juice
2 bay leaves
1 can (16 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 large zucchini, diced
1 large summer squash, diced
1/2 cup dried orzo
3tbs chopped fresh basil
kosher salt and freshly group black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper or foil.  Place the sausages on the pan and bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool on a plate lined with paper towels.  Cut into 1/4 to 1/2 - inch slices.

**I bought ground sausage and sauteed on the stove top until just browned.  I let cool and drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil, garlic, celery, and carrots.  Saute' for 8 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, stock, tomato juice, bay leaves, chickpeas, kidney beans, cannellini beans, and cooked sausage.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer for 40 minutes, adding more stock or water if too much liquid evaporates.  Remove and discard the bay leaves.  Add the zucchini, summer squash, and orzo.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Stir in the basil, salt, and pepper.

Can you say YUMMO?  YUMMO!

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