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Pinwheels / Italian Wedding Soup / Minestra / Bruscetta / Sauce / Turkey or Chicken Soup
Ann’s Spread / BBQ Sauce / Cocktail Sauce

Pinwheels

This is modified from something I learned from an online friend. It’s super easy and great to bring to a party!

You Will Need:

1 package of flour tortillas
2 tubs (the larger one – 16 oz?) of whipped cream cheese
2 boxes of Knorr’s spring veggie soup mix

Put both soup mixes in a cup with some water (about ¾ cup) and microwave on high for 15 seconds. This reconstitutes the dried veggies. Strain out the veggies and mix with the cream cheese and a little bit (1 tbsp) of the broth. Spread on the tortillas (about ¼ inch thick) and roll each tortilla up like a jelly roll. Slice about 1/3” and arrange on a plate.
Keep refrigerated until serving.

Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe is so named because the egg, when added, resembles the lace of the traditional Italian wedding veil.

You Will Need:

for the meatballs…
1 lb. lean ground pork
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 c. breadcrumbs
½ c. parmesean cheese
1 egg
½ c. minced parseley
1 tsp. Nutmeg
3 cloves garlic - minced
1 medium onion - chopped

for the soup…
3 qts. chicken stock ("College Inn" makes a good canned stock)
1 box frozen chopped spinach
½ c. parmisean cheese
2 beaten eggs
1 chopped onion
2 stalks celery - chopped

Mix all the meatball stuff together really well (a good mixer helps). Form into tiny meatballs (use a melon-ball scoop to make this easy).
Boil the onion and celery in the stock for about 20 minutes. Add spinach and meatballs. Cook for another 20-30 minutes. Just before serving, wisk the cheese with the egg and stir into the hot soup.

A friend of mine, John Dutka, sent me these three recipes...

Minestra

The recipe for minestra isn't terribly specific - basically, whatever tastes good for you. You'll need two heads of escarole (it reduces when you cook it up), six cloves of garlic, a loaf of stale Italian bread cut up into cubes about 3/4 to one inch on a side (whatever works for you), black pepper and red pepper flakes.
Cut up the escarole and put it into the frying pan along with the garlic and bread, making sure the bread gets a good coating of olive oil, adding black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Fry it up until the escarole is cooked and the bread starts to soak up the olive oil and gets a little soft... again, depending on preference.

Bruscetta

The bruscetta requires chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, chopped garlic, fresh basil, olive oil and sliced green olives (the real kind - green Greek olives work).
You mix these together and let them sit in the fridge overnight. Brush slices (slice them on the round) of Italian bread with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for five minutes.
Top with the mixture (and optionally a little shredded mozzarelle and/or grated parmesan on top) and broil until the cheese melts.

Sauce

2 large cans pureed tomato
1 large can tomato paste
6 cloves garlic (chopped, but my grandmother added them in whole, since all of us like garlic)
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound beef stew meat
1 pork chop
1 veal chop
1 tablespoon sugar
olive oil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Brown meat in olive oil and add in garlic and onions until soft. Don't let them brown or they could get bitter. Add in the tomato puree and paste, sugar and spices (all to taste). Simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring when needed so the sauce doesn't stick to the pot.

Enjoy. My grandmother used to make this when my mother was young (and even before that, which would put it in the 1910s or 1920s) but used real items then - nothing canned.

Turkey or Chicken Soup

As I write this, Thanksgiving's only a month away. Here's one more thing you can do with that leftover bird you'll have.
This soup freezes beautifully, so you don't have to get tired of eating it.

Put the bird's carcas (bones, meat left on the bones, stuffing still stuck inside; the whole thing!) in a large pot with one chopped onion and a little salt. Fill the pot with water, cover, and set on medium heat. When it begins to boil, lower it to med. low or low. (You want some movement to continue in there, but not much.) Ignore it for at least three hours.

Scoop out the bones, skin, anything you don't want in there. Add chopped veggies (like carrots) and ignore another hour. Add about 3/4 c. rice or tiny pasta. You're finished when the rice/pasta is cooked.

Cheating Tip #1: Use your leftover veggies and you can add the rice/pasta right away.

Cheating Tip #2: If you don't have all day to make soup, make the broth one night (Start it when you get home from work. Take the bones out right before bed.) and add the veggies, etc., the next night.

Ann's Spread

(I can't take credit for this one. My friend Ann taught it to me!)

Take one box of frozen spinach. Thaw it and squish it to remove as much liquid as you can. Put the spinach in the food processor with a can of artichoke hearts (drained) and about 1/4 cup of grated cheese (I prefer romano here, but Ann likes parmesean). Start mashing it together. When it starts jamming, slowly drizzle in a touch of olive oil. Continue until you get a good consistancy.

Serve with simple crackers, crusty bread, whatever!

BBQ Sauce

Mix equal parts of molasses and plain tomato sauce (a small can works fine). Stir in herbs to taste (best to keep the herbs simple, though).

Variation: Use lemon juice instead of sauce (and don't use quite as much). Stir in black pepper. (Really good on fish!)

Cocktail Sauce

Mix ketchup and horseradish to desired heat. Add a touch of lemon.