Souper Friday and Reason 2,922 I love Tony!

I have to laugh at some of the photos I take.  Even after nearly two years of having my DSLR camera, I still struggle to get it to work the way I want.  Case in point.  Here is a picture of my breakfast yesterday morning.

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I have no idea what the hell setting it was on.  But I switched the dial around and this was my second picture:

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I think I like the second one better, no?! Open-mouthed smile

I took my rest day on Thursday, so yesterday I decided to do the stairmaster – I did 30 minutes of that, then abs on the balance ball.

78 floors

I bring soup for my office on Friday’s, which I have dubbed Souper Friday!  This time around I made this sausage, potato bean soup.  I did make some changes to the original recipe though.  No onions, thank you very much. Crying face

Hearty Sausage, Potato and Bean Soup


  • 1 lb ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped (no thanks)
  • 2-3 large carrots, chopped (I used 3)
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped (I used 3)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2)
  • 2-3 potatoes, cubed (I used six white potatoes)
  • 4 cans (or about 8 cups) beans, drained and rinsed (any, I used black & garbanzo) (I used one can of black beans, drained)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (I used 28 ounce can)
  • seasoning salt (Johnny’s) or salt, to taste
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, or more to taste (I used a teaspoon)
  • 6 cups chicken stock


In a large (6 qt or bigger) dutch oven or soup pot, brown the sausage over medium-high heat. (Don’t worry about cooking it through, that can happen later!). Remove to a plate and set aside.

If your meat was very lean and there’s not much grease in the pan, pour in a little olive oil and then sauté the onions, carrots and celery until soft and starting to brown a but. (Make sure you stir occasionally and scrape up all the good bits off the bottom of the pan… that’s where a bunch of flavor comes from!)

Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute or two until very fragrant.

Dump in the rest of the ingredients, including the meat you browned earlier, stir well, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least an hour.****

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I would caution that using a teaspoon of chipotle pepper makes this quite spicy, so tone it down a notch if you can’t handle the heat.  Everyone in my office raved about the soup – the Italian sausage gives it a complex flavor and of course you all know I love my shit spicy!  I actually found chipotle pepper at T.J. Maxx of all places!

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**** I cooked this on Thursday night and it simmered for nearly 3 hours.  I put it straight into the crock pot when I got to work.  At 10:30, I checked on it, and my potatoes were still hard as rocks.  I ended up having to scoop them out of the soup, microwaving them, and putting them back.

So check out my Soup Loot!  I charged $3 a person, and I made $30 bucks.

soup loot

So I spun the meat wheel at the 50% off discount section.  I ended up getting 8 sirloin steaks for $12.20!

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And Rhonda, I totally thought of you because for the first time they had 50% off cheese!  I bought a slice of herbed brie and a container of mini mozzarella balls, that I then tossed in olive oil and seasonings when I got home – each one cost me $2.10!

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I ended up spending $26 of my $30 soup loot – but check out how much I saved!

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I quickly made some mashed potatoes and pan seared the steak in our cast iron skillet.  I ended up adding 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan after I took the steaks out, and split that between our plates – a super simple, yet delicious pan sauce.

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So do you want to know reason 2,922 why I love Tony?

He made me pumpkin cornbread!

I love corn bread.  I am sure I’ve talked about it on the blog before, but when I worked in Chicago, at least 2-3 times a week I’d walk the 10 blocks to Heaven on Seven and fork over $2.50 cents for a square of their jalapeno corn bread.  It was moist, flavorfully spicy.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Tony?  He’s not a corn bread fan.  At all.  Scones and corn bread would not be his selection if he were stuck on a desert island.

But he was listening to a pod cast and someone was talking about adding pumpkin to corn bread so that it wasn’t dry – it kept it moist.  Tony adapted this recipe, although he left out the molasses because we didn’t have any, and he added about a cup and a half of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cornbread


1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1.5 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ cake pan.  Tony baked his in our cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar, and cornmeal; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir in the pumpkin, oil, and molasses.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, and then pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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This is amazeballs.  If you love pumpkin, and you love corn bread, this is the recipe for you.  And suprisingly, it’s not overly pumpkiny.  I called it “holiday corn bread!”  Thanks Tony!!

So I’ve had a lazy morning so far, which I don’t mind a bit.  I have to run some errands, make some bread for my SIL and maybe Tony and I will rent a movie tonight.

Tomorrow I am meeting my sister and Mom at my Mom’s church for their holiday sing concert, then going to Piggyback Tavern for lunch – can’t wait!  Smoked meat, North Carolina sauce and tacos?  Um, count me in!

Have a great weekend – “see” you on Monday. Open-mouthed smile

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  • debbidoesdinner
    December 8, 2012 at 12:02 pm Nice on the pumpkin cornbread! That sounds good! I think I"m going to make a version of your soup tomorrow but with ham. Just becasue I have a ham hock in the fridge. I know it will change the whole soup but I like all the other ingredients you have and I think it will be good. With onion of course. :-)
    • biz319
      December 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm I actually thought of you Debbi when I tasted it - I think you like pumpkin as much as me! :D
  • Erica
    December 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm awwwwwwww :) Go Tony! I adore pumpkin cornbread- so delicious! Loving that you're cooking for everyone in the office. That is a great price for such a delicious soup! I'd be all over that action.
  • findingradiance
    December 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm We used to go to the heaven on 7 in Naperville. Yum! So nice of Tony to make that for you. I find pumpkin doesn't add much flavor to baked good, just moisture, so it's a good addition!
    • biz319
      December 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm I agree - there is just a slight pumpkin taste to this - so good!
  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
    December 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm Looks like he's a keeper! The cornbread sounds delicious . . . perfect for this time of year!
  • Veronica
    December 9, 2012 at 1:03 am That soup sounds so good! I never do anything with my chipotle powder except add it to my honey roasted peanuts recipe (sweet & hot and so good!) so thank you for giving me another idea! Tony's the bestest and that cornbread looks SO good. Haven't had pumpkin cornbread in like 5 years, what is UP with that? Must make.
    • biz319
      December 9, 2012 at 6:14 pm Holy shizz, how did I miss your honey roasted peanut recipe??!!
      • Veronica
        December 11, 2012 at 2:59 am LOL! It's an oldie, shared long before we met. Here's the link: Believe me, they are delish! Make great gifts too.
  • Tami@NutmegNotebook
    December 9, 2012 at 8:58 am I have never had pumpkin cornbread but I think I would like it. Good job Tony!
  • Stacie @ Snaps and Bits
    December 9, 2012 at 9:54 am What an awesome guy you have!! I love jalapeno cord bread too :)
    • biz319
      December 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm yep, jalapeno corn bread is amazeballs - not sure how that would go with the pumkin though - maybe next time!
  • Marcia @Frugal Healthy Simple
    December 9, 2012 at 10:04 am That cornbread sounds so good! Great job on the soup. I don't know what it is about potatoes. Have they changed? I've had a really hard time getting them to cook in soup and in crockpots lately.
  • Robin Sue
    December 9, 2012 at 3:36 pm And he makes pumpkin cornbread, no I don't think he can get any better! Tony is the man! You are one lucky gal Biz. That's some pretty good money too making soup for your co-workers. Is that a regular gig for you now? I want to work where you work;-)
    • biz319
      December 9, 2012 at 6:16 pm Yep, in the summer its grilling, in the fall/winter I am doing soups - so far its been a big hit! :D
  • Jacky
    December 9, 2012 at 5:53 pm Tony, he's a keeper, even he doesn't like scones. ;) I recently saw this pumpkin addition to cornbread and wanted to try it, now with your thumbs up I will give it a try this week.
    • biz319
      December 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm So my Mom and I went to Piggyback Tavern today - I am reviewing it tomorrow - some things were hits, some were misses, but they are new - and I heard they are going to have a "lounge" in the basement, maybe with live music? Worth a visit though for the fried green tomatoes!
  • Sara
    December 9, 2012 at 11:39 pm Yay for Tony! :) That pumpkin cornbread sounds so yummy! Love including a veggie in cornbread...I also like a version with shredded zucchini, also very tasty! :)
  • Marianne
    December 10, 2012 at 1:27 am Can Tony come teach my boyfriend to bake so I can get awesome surprises like this? :D I bet pumpkin would even be great in a jalapeno cornbread, just leave out the nutmeg and cinnamon and such.
  • Shannon
    December 10, 2012 at 10:41 am love saving more than i spend ;) don't do it as much anymore, but it always made me smile! that pumpkin cornbread looks pretty awesome, especially with that soup! tony did good :)
  • Fran
    December 11, 2012 at 4:13 am So sweet that Tony made you cornbread. He knows what you love! The soup for work looks delicious!
  • Deb
    December 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm I've got the pumpkin cornbread in the oven right now! Hoping its as delicious as it sounds! The batter was mighty tasty!
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