Friday, January 10, 2014's Friday!

Every weekend in the winter months we head out to our 100 year old farmhouse in Ellicottville, New York. We bought the house 4 years ago and ever since it has truly become our Shangri La.  It takes us exactly an hour and a half to get there door to door.  We have a strict routine of getting there and we rarely stray from it unless there is significant reason.  Why you ask?  Because we CANNOT wait to get there.... it's like going on a mini vacay every weekend AND it's quality time for me to cook and experiment with new recipes!

If you care, here's a glimpse of our routine that rarely changes:

3:00 - boys get home from school, do their homework, change into comfortable clothes and gather their trinkets to take with them. It's usually their stuffed animals and blankets, like Baby Bear, Woof Woof and Moo Moo. Those stuffed animals are like my other children!  Nate doesn't bring his blanket and Moo Moo with him so much anymore, it actually makes me sad.
4:00 - I pack my now new "Scout" bag (gosh I love that bag) with groceries for the weekend. I shop ahead of time so I don't waste precious time while I'm in EVL (Ellicottville).
4:30 - Dave comes home, I get very upset even if he comes home 1 minute late! He packs the car and turns on a DVD for the boys and we're off.
5:15 - Arrive in EVL, stop at Tops to pick up local newspapers and milk. There is a sign as you enter EVL Village that says "What's the rush, you're here now." Awesome and so true!
5:30 - Stop at Dom's Butcher Shop to pick up his epic bacon.
5:45 - Stop at Pumpkinville to pick up fresh brown farm eggs.
5:50 - Finally, arrive at the house, greet Bruce (our weekend dog) with treats and unpack.
6:00 - our weekend officially begins!!! I start dinner (tonight is pasta e fagioli and hot stuffed peppers), Dave turns on jazz music then pours us a glass of wine while the boys - hopefully getting along - play board games or with Legos.

So that's our OCD (obsessive/compulsive) routine. What can I say, we are creatures of habit! Okay, now on to cooking.  I try to cook something on Fridays that's quick and simple but delicious.  So tonight I am making "Pasta e Fagioli" and "Stuffed Hot Peppers." I haven't made this soup in a while and I chose it because it's a stick to your ribs kind of soup. I am making the stuffed hot peppers because my family goes crazy for them and would eat them everyday if they could. We also had crusty italian bread from DiCamillo's Bakery to soak up the soup and to cool our mouths from the hot peppers.  For dessert monster sized cannoli's also from DiCamillo's Bakery.  Salute to aaaaah it's Friday!

Pasta e Fagioli

2 tb olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced pancetta
2 cans of cannellini beans
8 cups od chicken stock
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/2 lb of small pasta
1 t parsley
1 t oregano
1 t basil
2 tb minced garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes
grated parmesan cheese
small parmesan cheese rind
salt n pepper

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat, add pancetta and cook for 2 minutes, add onion, carrots and celery until soft.  Add garlic, red pepper, herbs and salt n pepper.  Add beans, diced tomatoes with juices, and chicken stock. Stir on medium - high heat and bring to a boil. Add cheese rind and simmer and for  20 minutes.  Add pasta and stir until pasta is cooked through.  Plate in bowls and add freshly grated parm cheese.

Stuffed Hot Peppers

6 hot peppers
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz gorgonzola
1 t minced garlic
salt n pepper
1/8 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Wash and seed peppers. With a spoon or fork mix cream cheese, gorgonzola, garlic and salt n pepper until smooth.  Stuff peppers and place on a baking dish with olive oil.  Drizzle olive oil the top and add salt n pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and tender.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with marinara sauce or with a crusty bread.

Food Impressions:

Nate:  Hearty enough for a pirate...aaarg!

Tyler:  Yummy Mom, is there bacon in here? (no, it's pancetta Tyler) Wow, it's delicious and two thumbs up!  Hey, save some of those peppers for me.

Zachary: Deliciousioso! yes with an "ioso" at the end.

Dave:  Savory but could use more garlic.  (What do you mean more garlic I say with a snarly look. I couldn't help being defensive about his comment of needing more garlic)

Andrea:  Savory but could use more garlic.  (You love it when you are right Dave!!!) 

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