I am beyond excited to share a recipe today from one of my favorite food bloggers, Jenna Weber. But the even more exciting news is that this recipe is actually from her brand new book that was released this week — White Jacket Required.
I have long adored Jenna’s beautiful site, Eat Live Run, and the charming, honest, faithful, stylish, and inspiring life she leads. So it was wonderful to follow along in this “culinary coming-of-age story” to hear even more of the journey behind the scenes that has led her to today. From the entertaining and brave stories of venturing through culinary school, to finding and losing love, to pressing on in some of life’s darkest moments, and to finding hope and new adventures again, Jenna invites us along on the amazing journey that it has been. And of course, the charming conversational style of writing we all know and love from her blog carries you through, making this a page-turner I happily flew through.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I signed up to provide the main dish for a neighborhood dinner through my church. And thanks to a little…um…procrastination, didn’t really get around to fully planning a recipe until about two hours beforehand. Oops! So when short on time and budget (cooking for ten), we turned to….pasta!!!
I’d remembered seeing this recipe from Heidi at 101 cookbooks awhile back, intrigued by the addition of toasted almonds on top. So we ended up improvising something similar – making a chicken version as well as a vegetarian option – and they were a hit! We had many recipe requests, and people even took the leftovers home. I’d say that’s a good sign!
Ok, I wasn’t really planning to post this one. But it turned out so amazingly delicious I decided to at least snap a final photo and pop it on here! :)
Don’t be at all scared by the long list of ingredients. This soup — like all minestrone soups — is so much more about the method than the specifics. So feel free to just toss in whatever vegetables you have on hand. Since it’s Spring, I happened to have some fresh spinach, asparagus, and snow peas in the fridge waiting to be used. (Along with the carrots, celery and onion that I recommend always having on hand!) But really, you can toss in whatever veggies you like!
This past Friday, I stumbled upon two wonderful finds.
First, I had the pleasure of meeting a delightful new mechanic named Don. I have been searching for a trustworthy new mechanic for awhile, and I think he may finally be “the one”. His office felt like it was pulled straight out of the 20s (when it was probably built), and good ol’ Don is like a Fitzgerald character himself. He has an opinion about just about everything, he’s been in the neighborhood for decades, he’s a die-hard Fox News addict, he loves to give all of his clients dating and relationship advice (solicited or usually not), and he could rival Click and Clack with his storytelling and laughter. BUT, he’s a fantastic mechanic and has worked miracles on my friends’ Hondas in the past. So I think he may be a keeper. :)