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E: Crock Pot Minestrone & Oat Soda Bread

Posted Jan 28 2011 6:30am

I hope you guys are having a great week.  I’m always excited when Friday comes along, but this week I’m EXTRA excited….traveling really took it out of me! What are you up to this weekend? Other than a hair appointment, I don’t really have any plans (fabulous!).

As I mentioned in my last post, Josh’s Mom came for a visit earlier this week. Instead of heading out to dinner, I wanted to make an easy and comforting dinner for her first night in town. I am a big fan of Robin Miller’s recipes and knew I wanted to make this crock pot minestrone the minute I saw it.  The ditalini pasta makes it extra fun and parmesan is a required topper!

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For the soup, I used tomato sauce (8 ounces) instead of diced tomatoes (Josh isn’t a chunky tomato fan) and an additional cup of vegetable broth. I also used chickpeas instead of white beans (I realized at the last minute that I didn’t have any white beans). The outcome was very tasty, but could use a little spice action.

A good soup requires a great side of bread. I originally thought about making focaccia but changed my mind and made this oat soda bread from 101 Cookbooks . Heidi’s recipes seem to always be winners.  Pre-bake:

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And post:

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Plated with fruit:

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The bread was delicious. My only note is that I had to use at least 1/2 cup more AP flour to get my dough to come together properly.

Two other quick items of importance:

1. Yesterday was Frank’s birthday! He is 5 years old. As is tradition on his birthday, we sang happy birthday to him and gave him a nice piece of steak with his usual food. This is really the only time of year we feed him “people” food:

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2. A HUGE thank you to the nice people at Stonyfield and Kristina (specifically) for sending me the sweetest baby gifts! Check out this bib, onesie and growth chart book (disclaimer: I received these products for free):

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Adorable! Thank you again :) He or she will definitely be loving these! Mandi & I will also be doing a review of Stonyfield’s whole milk yogurt soon (and a GIVEAWAY)- so stay tuned!

Hope you have a great weekend!!

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