Pimento Cheese, Not Your Grandma's Spread

Pimento cheese is one of those foods that has been so corrupted by the food industry that it has become synonymous with other crappy foods like Spam.  I'm not even certain what store bought pimento cheese might contain, nor do I want to find out.  It's a shame because pimento cheese can be a delightful treat, even if it does Read the full post…

Plum Good BBQ Sandwiches

In a few days it will officially be fall but the temperatures are still warm enough for me to continue swimming for a few more days.  The breeze was a little cool but that didn't stop me from swimming several laps this morning and I felt great afterwards!  Have you exercised lately?  With fall's cooler temperatures and fewer insects, you Read the full post…

Shingles Vacine and Treatment

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with shingles so I felt I should discuss this nasty virus once again.  If you ever had chicken pox, you are at risk for getting shingles and believe me, you don't want it.  Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that scab over and may take 4 weeks or more to heal.  The Read the full post…

Vegetarian Tacos are muy delicioso!

There are times when I think I could easily become a vegetarian, especially when I try a new dish that is as good as the vegetarian tacos I had at Local Lime restaurant in Little Rock and the tofu fried rice at Sai Tai here in Jonesboro.  My husband and I celebrated our 23rd anniversary this past weekend by spending Read the full post…

Midyear Health Check

Summer is winding down , the year is more than half way over and our January resolutions are long forgotten.  It's time for a health reality check.  First of all, how is your health lately?  If you have enjoyed good health, are you thankful?  Take some time to appreciate how wonderful it feels to be healthy, for your family to Read the full post…

Vacation Lessons For A Healthier Life

  I'm back from a lovely beach vacation and I wish I was still there with all my heart.  Wouldn't it be nice if our every day life was as nice as a vacation?  If we could relax, eat well, sleep and exercise just enough without having to worry about bills, work, illnesses and school, our lives would be perfect.  But Read the full post…

Pasta, Bean And Sausage Soup Or Pasta E Fagioli

[ Post by Lisa Tedder ][ Post on February 11, 2013 ][ In Pasta, Soup ]

The weather has been so mild this winter  that I haven’t made soup as often as I usually do.  I recently tried this new pasta soup recipe and my family declared it was a winner for any night.  I love that soup cooks up in one pot so there’s less mess to clean up and that it can have so many good vegetables, herbs and fiber.  Best of all, soup just hits the spot!


Here are a few of my tricks I’d like to share before we get to the recipe.  Recipes often call for 1 tablespoon of tomato paste so you open a can and then what to do with all that’s left?  Scoop out tomato paste in one tablespoon blobs and drop them into a freezer bag or onto a piece of waxed paper and freeze.  Remove from the wax paper when frozen and place in a bag.  Now you have pre-measured tomato paste whenever you need it.  Many recipes also call for red or white wine and you certainly don’t want to open a whole bottle and you may not like the cooking wine available in the grocery (which isn’t bad for cooking by the way).  I recently froze the remains of a bottle of red wine to use for cooking.  You wouldn’t want to thaw it and drink it but freezing wine works for cooking.  Simply pour it into an ice cube tray and the next time you need wine in a recipe, pop out a couple of cubes or so.  Now those of you who like wine may be thinking, “But I never have leftover wine.” so you’ll just have to figure out something on your own.  Look for Barilla’s new white fiber pasta; it has more fiber than regular pasta but the same taste if you don’t like the nutty taste of whole wheat pasta.


Anyway, serve this soup with some crusty bread and you are done.  The ingredient list is long, but don’t let that stop you as this isn’t hard to make at all.



Pasta E Fagioli


1/2 to 1 lb. Italian sausage

1 onion diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 stalks of celery, diced

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup white wine, optional

4 cups of chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes

2 cans cannellini or white beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. oregano

1 bay leaf

1 cup small pasta such as ditalini

salt and pepper to taste

chopped fresh parsley and grated parmesan, optional, for garnish


Remove casings from sausage and brown in a large pot until crumbled and no pink remains.  Drain sausage in a colander.  While meat drains, sauté onion, carrots and celery in the pot with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium high heat about 10 minutes or until just starting to brown.  Add wine and deglaze the pan.  Return meat to pan.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes, chicken broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and the bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer 15 minutes; longer if you have time.  Add beans and pasta and let cook about 10 minutes or until al dente.  Sprinkle each bowl with some parsley and parmesan if you like.  Enjoy!

Upadated on February 11, 2013

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