i love my dad too, but he usually stays home and my mom comes to stay for about 3 weeks to spoil us rotten.
the first thing i usually ask her when i pick her up at the airport is:
"do you have anything specific you want to do while you're here??"
she usually says:
"oh...nothing really. just spend time with all of you.
OH...and go to olive garden and stein mart."
she is sooooo demanding. ;-)
one of the strange things about growing up and living in hawaii is
you get all of the tv commercials the rest of the country gets,
but many of the stores or restaurants in those commercials are NOT located in hawaii.
cruel and unusual punishment.
i guess its the price you pay for living in paradise.
that and paying $5.00 for ONE gallon of milk.
so truth be told, i have only been to olive garden a handful of times...even since moving to the mainland.
i am a semi-food snob so chain restaurants are never high on my list of choices when dining out.
one thing that i do love from the olive garden lunch menu is the never ending soup and salad bowl.
two words for you: zuppa toscana
i went to our local farmers market yesterday and picked up some kale and yukon gold potatoes.
grabbed some mild italian sausage from the grocery store and we. are. in. BID-NESS.
here is my spin on this yummy soup.
yields: 6-8 servings
1 lb ground mild Italian sausage, casings removed
1/2 to 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 large diced onion
3-4 slices of bacon, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
10 cups of chicken stock
1/4 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes, large diced
1/2 a bunch of kale, chopped
pepper to taste
Cook until no longer pink.
Remove sausage from the pan and place on to paper towels to drain fat. Set aside or in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the soup.
In the same pan, sauté bacon, onions and garlic over low-medium heat for about 15 minutes or until the onions are soft.
Drain some of the grease out if it's too much.
Add chicken stock to the pot.
Increase heat to medium high and bring to a low boil.
Add the diced potatoes and cook until soft, about half an hour.
Add the cream, sausage, kale and pepper.
Simmer on low for about 5-10 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.
Serve with crusty bread.