Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Molasses Glaze

3 Large Sweet potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of bourbon.

Bake sweet potatoes in a 400 oven for about 45 minutes.  Cool, peel, and slice into circles.  Butter a casserole dish, and preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Melt the butter in a small saucepan on medium low.  Add the molasses, brown sugar, spices, and blend.  Add in the bourbon.  Remove from heat, and pour evenly over the sliced sweet potatoes.  You could also add sliced apples, or top with chopped pecans.  Bake for about 25 minutes, basting once or twice.  A great side dish for pork dishes, or in Autumn!

Turkey Sausage & Black Bean Chili

Black Bean and Turkey Sausage Chili
 
1 pound of Turkey sausage links, casings removed
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped red or green pepper
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup of frozen corn
1 can 8 oz tomato sauce
1 6 oz can of tomato paste
1 cup of water
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
squeeze fresh lime juice
 
In electric skillet, brown sausage.  Add onion and garlic.  Cook till soft.  Add green pepper.  Add beans, tomato sauce, tomatoes, corn, paste and water.  Add seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 30 minutes.  Serve with cooked rice, and top with shredded cheese. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cajun Meatloaf

This was a new recipe, and definitely a keeper! 

2 tablespoons of butter
1/3 cup of finely chopped onion
1/4 cup of finely chopped green pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoon of Cajun seasoning (I used Emeril's Cajun seasoning blend)
1/2 Tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of ketchup
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 - 1.25 pounds of ground beef (I used 95% lean)

Glaze:
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a large skillet, add onion and pepper and sauté until tender.  Add all the seasonings (through bay leaf) and cook for several minutes.  Stir in the milk and ketchup, and cook about 2 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf, and let cool slightly. 
In a large mixing bowl, mix ground beef, egg, and oats.  Stir well.  Blend in the sauce mixture.  Form into a loaf, and place in a greased baking dish.  Bake for one hour.  I cut up potatoes, and drizzled them with Wegman's basting oil and put them all around the meatloaf. 
In a small bowl, combine ketchup, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to form a glaze topping.  Spread on top of baked meatloaf.  Place under the broiler for a few minutes until bubbly. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chocolate Spice Zucchini Bread (Think Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon bread, only a little better for you)


This was awesome!  Another variation of bread when the zucchini are in season.  This recipe makes one loaf. 

1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of grated zucchini (unpeeled)
1 1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
cinnamon sugar to dust liberally on top of loaf.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ingredients in order.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar liberally on the top BEFORE baking.  Bake for 1 hour, or till set inside.  Cool about 20 minutes before removing from the pan. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Blueberry Buckle

1/4 cup butter (1/2 of a stick) softened
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of milk
2 cups blueberries, rinsed and drained

Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/2 - 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of butter (1/2 of a stick)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In mixing bowl, cream 1/4 cup of butter and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.  Blend in the egg.  Add the dry ingredients, alternate with milk and mix well.  Gently fold in the blueberries.  Spread in an 8 x 8 square pan, sprayed with PAM.  To make the topping, mix topping ingredients, and using a pastry cutter, mix until butter is well distributed into pea sized crumbs.  Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the pan.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes.  Place pan on a wire rack to cool.  Cut in squares, serve warm with whipped cream (optional). 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Stuffed Zucchini


These are a bit time consuming, but a favorite summer side dish! 

4-5 small zucchini
olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped
4-5 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (I use the microwave for this step) about 1 minute per slice
1/2 cup of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon of fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup of Romano cheese (split 1/4 and 1/4)
1 egg, slightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Trim ends of zucchini and leave whole.  Cook in a large pot of boiling salted water for about 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse under cold water.  Cut in half, and scoop out the centers.  Chop up, and put a bowl. Drain extra liquid.  Heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil (or bacon grease if reserved) add onion and cook 2-3 minutes.  Stir in chopped zucchini and Roma tomato, cook a few minutes.  Stir in bread crumbs and parsley.  Remove from heat.  Stir in Romano cheese, egg, salt, and nutmeg.  Stuff Zucchini shells with this mixture.  Top with about 1/2 slice of crumbled bacon per squash.  Drizzle with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle with Romano cheese.  Bake 20 minutes. 

Peach Spice Muffins

 
These are perfect when local peaches are in season!
 
2 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoons of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2/3 cup of milk
4 small, local peaches peeled and chopped (if your peaches are large, use 1-2)
 
Mix all ingredients - bake at 400 degrees for 20 -25 minutes.  While warm, glaze:
 
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of soft butter
1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon of milk
 
Mix well, spread evenly with a knife or small spatula. 
 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tropical Smoothie

1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 banana
8 ounces of lime yogurt
1 cup of Citrus/Mango/Pineapple Juice (Ocean Spray, no sugar)
1 cup of 2% milk
4 ice cubes
1 Tablespoon of unsweetened flaked coconut (Bob's Red Mill brand)
 
Put all ingredients in a blender - blend till smooth.  Enjoy!  Serves 2-3.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Mapley Baked Beans

3 slices of bacon, cooks, crumbled
1 small onion, diced
2 cans (16 ounces) of pork and beans Lately, I have been using Bush's beans Country Style, or Maple Baked Beans.
1/2 Log Cabin Syrup (or other maple flavored syrup)
2 Tablespoons of catsup
1 Tablespoon of mustard
1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cook the bacon in the microwave - generally one minute per slice.  I use the Wegmans low salt, low fat bacon.  Reserve the drippings.  Saute' the onion in the bacon drippings.  Pour beans into a casserole dish.  Stir in the crumbled bacon and onion, syrup, catsup, mustard, and hot pepper sauce.  Mix well.  Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees until beans are hot and bubbly. 

This makes about 4 cups of beans.  For a larger crowd, I recommend doubling the recipe.  When I take these to dinners, they are always a hit!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pasta with Pancetta and Tomato Sauce


This is a quick pasta dish, that has a different flavor than the usual tomato sauces.  It is nice for a change, and is easy to make on a work day!

6 ounces of pancetta (Italian bacon) diced (can substitute low salt, low fat bacon)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil, or Wegmans basting oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, pressed
pinch of red pepper flakes, or ground
1 28 ounce can of tomato puree
1 -2 teaspoons of dried basil
1-2 Tablespoons of cooking sherry or wine
pinch of sugar

box of whole grain angel hair

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet or electric fry pan.  Saute the pancetta till crispy, about 5 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic, and sauté till tender.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Stir in the tomato puree.  I swirl a little water in the can to get all of it, and pour that in as well.  Simmer over medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, cook the angel hair according to package directions, and drain.  Toss the angel hair with the sauce.  Thin with reserved cooking liquid if desired.  Toss with plenty of Pecorino Romano cheese.

Pesto Chicken Penne


This was really delicious, and relatively easy to prepare.  I will definitely make it again!  I tried to use some lighter ingredients, and cut back on the cheese.  You could easily adapt this recipe to veggies and meats you have on hand.  You could even opt out on the meat, and use more mushrooms and veggies.

1 12 oz box of Smart Taste Penne pasta
handful of baby Bella mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 bag or bunch of spinach, washed
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced on the diagonal
1 small Vidalia or other onion, diced (1/4 of a large onion)
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
Wegmans basting oil, or olive oil
1 15 oz jar of light Alfredo sauce (I use Classico brand)
1 15 oz can of petite diced tomatoes, drained slightly
3 cooked or grilled chicken breasts, cut in bite sized chunks
1 6.7 oz jar of basil pesto (I used Wegmans brand)
4 oz of Sargento low fat Italian cheese blend (shredded - in the dairy case)
1-2 Tablespoons of Pecorino Romano, grated

Boil pasta according to package directions.  Drain.  In large skillet or electric fry pan, heat about 1 Tablespoon of Basting oil, then add onions, garlic, mushrooms, and asparagus.  Stir fry till soft - a few minutes.  Add in the spinach, and allow to "wilt" - it will not take long.  Lower the heat to medium, or about 200 degrees.  Add in the alfredo sauce, the pesto, and the drained tomatoes.  Simmer until well blended and warm.  Add in diced chicken.  Stir well to combine.  Add in drained pasta.  Toss well to combine, and allow everything to warm together.  Top with shredded and grated cheeses.  Season with pepper to taste. 

Tortellini and Spinach Soup

A super simple recipe that is really good! 

1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large can of low salt, non fat chicken broth (I use Swanson's) 49 ounces
1 8 ounce package of fresh cheese tortellini
1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
pepper to taste
Romano cheese to top
can also add 1/2 can of white beans, rinsed for additional protein

In a large saucepan, combine the onion, carrots, and broth.  Bring to a boil.  Add the tortellini and simmer until they float to the top.  Gradually add the spinach, and allow it to "wilt".  Keep simmering until all the spinach has been added.  Top with grated Romano cheese.  Serve this with a green salad and fresh bread, and you are set for dinner!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pink Lemonade Pie



This is a easy, no bake, refreshing dessert for summertime!  Even better, it only requires 4 ingredients:

1 can (6 ounce) of frozen lemonade or pink lemonade concentrate, partially thawed
1 pint of vanilla ice cream (2 cups) softened
1 8 ounce tub of Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
1 prepared graham cracker crumb crust, 6 ounces, such as Keebler

1.  Beat the concentrate in a large bowl about 30 seconds.  Gradually spoon in the ice cream, beating until blended.  Fold in the cool whip, and blend till smooth.  Spoon the mixture into the pie crust. 
2.  Freeze the pie at least 4 hours, or overnight.  Let stand 20-30 minutes at room temperature to make cutting and serving easier. 
3.  Garnish with additional whipped cream, lemon slices, or strawberries. 

Makes 8 servings (small slices)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Deviled Eggs

1 dozen eggs, hard cooked (place eggs in large pot, cover with COLD water. about 1 inch over the eggs. Place on burner, and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, cover pot, and let eggs sit 15 minutes. Immediately drain hot water, and give eggs a cold water bath. Peel. Slice in half. Here is the filling:
all yolks
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons of sweet pickle relish (I blend mine in a food processor if I am going to pipe the filling)
2 teaspoons of prepared mustard
1/4 teaspoon of salt
pepper to taste
paprika, to sprinkle on top.
Mash yolks, add mayo and mustard. Add relish and spices to taste. Spoon, or pipe into egg white halves. Sprinkle with paprika. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki

Crock Pot Chicken Teriyaki


12 Boneless skinless chicken thighs, or about 6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (3 lbs)
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of soy sauce
6 Tablespoons of cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoons of garlic powder
3/4 teaspoons of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

later:  4 teaspoons of corn starch mixed in 4 teaspoons of water

Place chicken in 4 Qt. slow cooker.  Combine all ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour over chicken.  Cook on low 4-5 hours.  Skim fat.  Remove chicken. Mix cornstarch and water,and  add all cooking liquid to pot on stove.  Stir till thickened.  Serve with rice.

Light Cajun Chicken and Pasta Alfredo

Light Cajun Chicken and Pasta Alfredo

1 15 oz. jar of Classico Lite Alfredo sauce
6 Boneless Skinless chicken thighs, or 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in bite size pieces
Emeril's Bayou Blast
2-3 garlic cloves
olive oil
10 wheat or low carb pasta (angel hair)
1 bunch of broccoli florets
1 red pepper, sliced thin
Romano cheese
1 sliced green onion

I literally threw this together from items I had on hand.  Boil pasta, and add veggies for the last few minutes.  Drain.  Heat olive oil in an electric skillet, saute' garlic briefly.  Do not Burn.  Season chicken with Bayou Blast, then pan sear or saute'.  Add the Alfredo sauce, the pasta and veggies.  toss to coat well, and heat through.  Top with grated Romano cheese and 1 sliced green onion.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Beef, Barley, and Guinness Stew

This recipe was inspired by a recipe in Real Irish Food: 150 Classic Recipes from the Old Country by David Bowers.  If you get a chance, check it out - the photography, and the stories behind the recipes are just as interesting as the recipes themselves. 

1-2 Tablespoons of cooking oil
1 1/2 pounds of stew beef, or chuck roast or steak cut in chunks, and tenderized, dusted with pan searing flour
salt, pepper, and garlic to taste
1 onion, chopped into chunks
4 small potatoes, or 2 large, peeled and chunked
2 carrots, peeled and chunked (or more if you like carrots)
1 cup of barley
46.5 oz (1 32 oz and one 14.5 oz) beef broth or stock
4 oz. of sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 12 oz. bottle of Guinness Extra Stout
2 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or 1/2 TBSP of dried thyme
2 bay leaves

1.  Heat oil in large pot - Season the beef with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and dust with pan searing flour.  Brown, in batches if necessary, until beef is nicely browned.  Remove and set aside.
2.  In remaining oil and pan juices, cook the onion till tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir often.  Add all the other remaining ingredients, and the beef again, and stir to combine. 
3.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, simmering for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours until stew is thickened and meat is very tender. Stir during the cooking time to avoid sticking - if it dries out, you can add additional broth.  At the end, taste and adjust.  If you like things "hot", you may want to add a dash of red pepper.  I enjoyed it as is!  This would be great with a salad, and some Irish Soda Bread. (The Dawson recipe published earlier).  If you don't make the bread, Pillsbury frozen buttermilk biscuits will do in a pinch!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bayou Blast Shrimp and Grits

Shrimp and Grits - a lighter version (if there is such a thing)

Make Quick grits according to the package directions.  Living in Upstate NY, I bought Quaker quick grits.  In the South, you may find other choices. 

3/4 cup of quick grits
3 cups of water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup shredded cheese (I mixed harvarti and cheddar)

Make according to the package directions, adding the salt and grits to the briskly boiling water.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Blend in the cheese when cooked. Cover.

for the shrimp:

2 Tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 bunch of fresh spinach, washed, deveined, and chopped
1 pound of fresh shrimp. peeled and deveined
1/4 cup of chicken broth (low salt, no fat)
1/4 cup of half and half
1 teaspoon thyme
2 teaspoons of Emeril's Bayou Blast seasoning
1 bay leaf
freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh parsley, chopped

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add green onion and garlic, cook about 2 minutes.  Add spinach, and wilt.  Add broth, cook about 1 minute.  Add half and half and all seasonings.  Cook till bubbling.  Add shrimp, and cook till pink - usually only about 5 minutes.  Don't overcook, they get rubbery.  Top with fresh lemon juice and freshly chopped parsley.  Remove bay leaf. 

Serve each person a spoonful of cheesy grits, and top with the shrimp mixture.  You can top with grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.

Elephant Ears - Cinnamon Biscuits

This recipe originally came in a children's cookbook from Gold Medal Flour.  We make this rolls every holiday.  It's just not Christmas or Easter without "Elephant Ears".  There is no yeast in the recipe, so it is not a typical sweet roll dough.  It is more like a biscuit dough with cinnamon sugar filling.  I ended up frosting them with a Hot Cross Bun frosting to make them more like the cinnamon rolls from the mall.  Enjoy!

Dough:

1/2 cup of butter, divided into 6 Tablespoons for dough, and 2 Tablespoons for filling
2 cups of flour
4 Tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup of milk

filling:

6 Tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of cinnamon

Frosting:

1 cup of powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon of butter, softened
cream or milk to desired consistency - start small, teaspoon by teaspoon!
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3.  Heat 6 Tablespoons of butter in the microwave till nearly melted (cover first!) Set aside.  Stir flour, 4 Tbsp of sugar, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.  Stir in the milk and the melted butter.  Stir until a dough forms. 
4.  Sprinkle a surface (like a counter top) lightly with flour.  Turn the dough ball on the surface.  Knead about 10 times.  Roll dough with a flour dusted rolling pin, or shape with hands into two rectangles, about 9 x 5 inches.  Brush each rectangle with about 1 tablespoon of melted butter, and sprinkle liberally with the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Save any remaining cinnamon sugar for toast!
5.  Roll dough up tightly, beginning at the narrow end.  Pinch the edge of dough into a roll to seal.  Cut each roll into slices about inch thick.  Place cut side up on the prepared cookie sheet, patting each into a circle. 
6.  Bake at 425 until light brown, about 10 minutes.  They will not be very dark - do not overcook! Immediately spread frosting over each roll. 

This recipe makes a tray full of rolls - about 16. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Spicy Beef Enchilada Casserole

Spicy Beef Enchilada Casserole

originally published in  The Big Book of Casseroles by Maryana Vollstedt (I love this book, and use it often!)
 
1 1/4 pounds of lean 95% ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cans (10 ounce each) enchilada sauce - I use mild, and it's spicy enough for me!
1 can (8 oz) Hunt's tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1 egg, beaten
1 16 oz. container of low fat cottage cheese
9 corn tortillas
grated Monterey Jack cheese - 2 cups
grated cheddar cheese - 2 cups
(or use Mexican blend)
 
Preheat oven to 375.  In large skillet, brown beef, onion, and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add sauces and chili powder, stir till blended and turn off heat.   In a small bowl, mix the egg and cottage cheese.  In a 9 x 13 pan (spray with PAM)  spread a little sauce over the bottom.  Add 3 tortillas. They will overlap.  Top with 1/3 contrary jack, and all of the cottage cheese mixture.  Top with 1/3 meat sauce.  Repeat the layers using the Monterery Jack and tortillas.  Sprinkle cheddar on top.  Bake, uncovered for 35-40 minutes, or till bubbly.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.  You can garnish with sour cream, if desired.  This doesn't photograph well, but is delicious! 
 

 

Monterey Chicken ala Claire

Monterey Chicken

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts, sliced in half, tenderized, and pounded into 6 thin cutlets
Pan searing flour (I use Wegmans)
BBQ sauce (I used Jack Daniels BBQ sauce)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup of shredded colby/Jack cheese
1 10 oz. can of Rotel tomatoes and green chilis
1 green onion, sliced
 
Prepare chicken, pounding into 6 thin cutlets.  Dust with pan searing flour.  Heat about 1 Tablespoon of canola oil in a non stick electric skillet, and brown chicken several minutes on each side (350 degrees).   Drain the tomatoes slightly, and add to the pan around the chicken.  Drizzle each chicken breast with approximately 1 Tablespoon of BBQ sauce, or enough to glaze well.  Lower the temperature to about 200-250 degrees.  Allow the chicken to glaze and simmer, spooning the sauce over the chicken.  Top each piece of chicken with grated colby/jack cheese.  Cover, and melt cheese (a few minutes, tops).  When cheese is melted, top with bacon and sliced green onion.  Serve with rice pilaf, and a salad for a great meal!

Chicken Spaetzle Soup

Chicken Spaetzle Soup

1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 cup of flour
1 Tablespoon of fresh thyme, minced or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, or to taste
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (or 2 cups turkey meat cooked and chopped)
2 32 ounce cans of chicken broth (low salt, non fat Swansons)
1 8 oz. bag of spaetzle, cooked and drained per directions
1 bunch of spinach, washed and chopped - discard thick ribs
Chopped fresh parsely if desired
 
1.  In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium high heat.  Cook onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in oil about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until crisp tender.
2.  Gradually stir in flour, thyme, and pepper.  Cook and stir about 1 minute.  Stir in chicken/turkey and broth, and heat to boiling.
3.  Reduce heat to simmer, add chopped spinach, and cook till "wilted". Stir in cooked spaetzle.  Simmer about 5 minutes to blend flavors.  Serve with grated Romano if desired. Can substitute Tortellini for spaetzle if you want another option for this soup.  If I use tortellini, sometimes I add 1/2 of a can of drained and rinsed cannelli beans for additional protein.