Monday, October 25, 2010

A HUGE Thank You and something to let simmer!

    First I want to thank each and everyone of you that left such heartfelt remarks on my post yesterday, you can not imagine how it touched my heart. It's funny because when I was writing the post I didn't shed a tear but I think I cried when I read each and every comment but they were tears of JOY. JOY for the love I felt, JOY for reaffirming my belief that my Parents are always with me. Because it was such good therapy, I have decided to continue my celebration of my Parents life throughout this week and share some of the gifts (both tangible and non-tangible) they blessed me with. I'm not sure what I will share but I do know on Thursday I will share pictures of vintage family heirlooms, each with a story. Saturday I will share some special PINK family items and Sunday I will share a very true, SPOOKY story from my family's past.  
    Have I ever told ya'll I like to cook? Well, that's an understatement, I LOVE to cook. This is one of the greatest gifts my mom gave me, a love of cooking.  I believe my Mom and the women who preceded her  felt that cooking for their family was one of the greatest expressions of love they could bestow on their families.
 My mom with my Grandmother, I wonder whatever happened 
to that Teddy Bear she is holding?
She wasn't a fancy gourmet cook but she was a wonderful cook! I think with the exception of fried liver and lima beans, I ate everything she put in front of me. Her style of cooking was based 
on her German roots ...hearty, stick to your ribs, comfort food. 
I now possess her treasured recipe box, all the cards written in family and friends handwriting, some dating back 3 generations. I promised my sister I would scan all of the cards and divide up the originals,
then type all the recipes into a single book. 
I haven't done that yet.

My style of cooking is much the same as my mother's with a little Southern Accent thrown in. I love to experiment with my own creations and take other people's recipes and change them up and make them my own.  Such is the case with the following recipe. The original recipe came from one of my favorite sites, The Picky Palate but I've made it my own! The original version is oh so yummy too!

Here is MY version:
Chicken Florentine Pasta Soup
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 handfuls of sliced carrots
2 lbs, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
5 cloves fresh garlic, grated
2 boxes, 32 oz. each, Chicken broth
1 - 14 oz. can Italian Diced Tomatoes w/ garlic and basil
1/2 lb dry Orecchiette pasta*
4 Cups fresh baby spinach leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup shredded Italian Cheese blend

Place olive oil in a large Dutch oven over Med. heat, add the Chicken and cook thoroughly. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the the onions and carrots and cook until the onions are lightly browned then add the garlic and cook for 5 mins. Add the chicken back to the pan along with the tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce heat cover and simmer for 30 mins. Add the spinach leaves and continue simmering for 20 mins. Meanwhile in a large pot, cook the pasta until done, drain and add to the soup and heat through. Top each bowl with a generous sprinkling of shredded cheese and serve with a loaf of hearty, crusty bread and as they say in the South, That's some good eatin!

*Orecchiette Pasta
This pasta is probably about 3 times as much as other pastas but I love it because each piece of pasta makes a little ladle that grabs all the flavors and holds on to it. You could substitute sea shell pasta or mini shells.

And sharing one last picture of my Mom. Wasn't she a cutie! I think this was probably taken around 1932.


  1. what a cutie your mother must have been... the last picture is classic... love it!!

    and my your pasta soup looks so delicious!!


  2. What a wonderful recipe and sweet memories! We all have experienced loss and I think it's good to share with your girlfriends! That's what makes our blogging friendships special! Hugs! ♥

  3. Your soup sure looks good. Eating Primal now I've have to leave out the pasta. Will look forward to more stories from you then. Nan

  4. The pic's of your Mom are wonderful Nan, I love old family pic's and the gift of cooking is a treasure to share for generations to come, just like sharing your story and feelings just brings you closer to people that you have never met, but are linked in hearts connected. Sharing is good, caring is great and love is the best of all. I can tell you have all three and we are all connected through blogging, Blessings to you, Hugs Marilou

  5. Nan..thank you for sharing your family with us. By next year we should all know so much about each we have known each other for life! lol
    Your recipes look yummy. You know I am going to have recipes occasionally over at"Mornin Glories"
    I would be honored to have some of yours.
    Can't wait to see more family pictures..and to read more about your family.
    Hugs Cindy from Rick-Rack and Gingham

  6. I love looking at your pictures and this will help you remember the good times. You are in my prayers during this trial. The recipe looks so good.

  7. Nan, I make this soup as well, but I have never heard of these pastas. I have called my daughter over to the computer (puppy in hand on the way to the bath) to share this with her. She is a soup fanatic. We will definitely look for these our next grocery day. Thanks for sharing. PS wonderful photo of your mother. I love the time period of the 1930's Elizabeth

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I appreciate each and every one of your comments! Thank you for taking the time to leave such nice words!