Tag Archives: recipes

Creamy Tortellini, Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Winter’s a-coming and that means it’s soup and stew season. Gotta stay warm, especially when we’ve been having these unusually early El Niño-like windstorms lately. Here’s a great recipe to hunker down with. I found it on Pinterest and as usual, added my own little flair (i.e., meat).

I wasn’t sure what the blogger meant by “white sauce mix.” Normally, I’m averse to using prepackaged stuff in my cooking, but I thought I’d try it out and I used one dry packet of alfredo sauce mix. It turned out to be a delightful soup base and boosted the other flavors quite well.


Creamy Tortellini Sausage and Mushroom Soup

Serves a whole bunch of people — like 12?


1 packet of dry alfredo sauce mix

4 cups water

2 cups chicken broth

1.5 cups crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

1/2 an onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. or so dried basil

1/2 teaspoon or so dried oregano

some sprinkles of cayenne powder

salt and pepper

one 8-oz package of dried tortellini

1/2 package of frozen spinach

4 Italian sausages

1 12-oz. can evaporated milk


Combine the sauce mix, water and chicken stock in a large Crock Pot. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper and set Crock Pot to low for 4-5 hours.

Stir in the dried tortellini. Cook on low for another hour. Meanwhile, heat the frozen spinach in a small pan with water till it’s thawed. Strain and squeeze out the water. Set aside. Cook the sausage thoroughly and slice up.

Add the spinach and sausage and continue cooking till tortellini is al dente. Add the evaporated milk and cook till soup is hot again. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and crusty bread.

Benihana-style Fried Rice

I sometimes have to remind myself why I started this blog in the first place. I can never remember how I made something and I need a catalog of all my creations. That is my excuse for the poor photography for this post.

I grew up in a gourmet kitchen. We ate pesto, caviar and porcini mushrooms. You’d nary find a casserole on our dining table. But for some reason, my father could never master fried rice. It was always too much oyster sauce or something didn’t seem right.

I just assumed it was impossible to make tasty fried rice at home unless you have some sort of Asian granny teaching you her family secrets.

I was wrong. I CAN make yummy fried rice, and although the secret ingredient is not traditional, I have to say that Benihana knows what’s up — butter. Mmm…besides bacon, butter makes everything amazing.

I guess it’s not much of a secret since the chefs make it right in front of you, but I found a great copycat recipe and decided to try it out. You, too, ought to try it.


My recipe is a little different from the one I found, but I ate about six servings worth. It’s carbalicious!

Benihana Fried Rice

Serves about 6

2 cups uncooked rice

2 carrots, cut into small cubes

1 onion, cut up small

7 tablespoons butter

4 green onions, chopped

2-3 eggs

2 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips

Soy sauce

Fish sauce

salt and pepper

vegetable oil

toasted sesame seeds (if you’re up to it, but I didn’t bother)


Cook the rice according to the package’s instructions. While it’s cooking, heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Once hot, add about a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Crack the eggs into the pan and swirl around with a spatula thus scrambling them while they cook. Once fully cooked and slightly brown (I like when it’s like that), remove from pan and set aside. Let pan reheat and add a couple of more teaspoons of oil. Add the chicken and cook thoroughly till browned a little. Remove from pan and set aside. Reheat the pan and add the butter. Once melted, add the onions, carrots and green onions and cook till carrots are tender to your liking. Add the rice, eggs and chicken to the wok. Sprinkle the soy sauce all over the rice till everything is thoroughly coated. I’m assuming it’s about 1/4 cup, but I eyeballed it. Next, lightly sprinkle the rice with fish sauce (maybe about 1 teaspoon). Toss everything thoroughly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with steak and lobster à la Benihana.