Monthly Archives: November 2014

Zuppa Toscana

A friend posted a recipe for Zuppa Toscana on Facebook, so I’m reposting it here, lest I forget. Zuppa Toscana is my favorite soup at Olive Garden and I order it nearly every time I dine there. Yum!

Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana

1 lb. Italian sausages (use spicy to get that signature Olive Garden flavor)
4-6 russet potatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 c. REAL bacon pieces (optional)
2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves)
32 oz. chicken broth
1 c. kale or Swiss chard, chopped
1 c. heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp flour

1. Brown sausage links in a sauté pan.
2. Cut links in half lengthwise, then cut slices.
3. Place sausage, chicken broth, garlic, potatoes and onion in slow cooker. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and meat.
4. Cook on high 3-4 hours (low 5-6 hours) until potatoes are soft.

30 minutes before serving:
5. Mix flour into cream removing lumps.
6. Add cream, kale, and bacon to the crock pot, stir.
7. Cook on high 30 minutes or until broth thickens slightly.
8. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Catholic Connection at Sea

The Blood of Christ -- DSCN3646

I usually don’t listen to “talk radio,” much preferring to jam out to my favorite songs during my commute, listen to an audiobook, or play back my favorite podcasts. (It’s a long commute!) But over the past couple weeks, I’ve tuned into Teresa Tomeo’s “Catholic Connection” show on EWTN, and have found it to be surprisingly entertaining and enjoyable. Which means that I’m much more informed about world events than I usually am. 😉

Anyways… This week, T is on a marriage retreat cruise and is broadcasting from the boat. Yesterday, they were talking about marriage as a sacrament and what they said really struck me as being profound and important, so I’d like to pass that on to you who may be married.

God is love. Think about that for a moment. If God is love and if he is the source of all love… If this is true… Then, how do you strengthen the love between spouses? You strengthen your relationship with God.

I’ve been doing a lot of algebra with my cousin Marissa lately, so I know that if X = Y, then if you increase X, you increase Y.

This is why it’s so important in a marriage for a couple to remain grounded in and fed by the sacraments. The more they grow in their relationship with God, the more capacity they will have to love, both in general, but in a particular way to love their spouse, by means of the sacrament of matrimony, which is far more than just a statement that you will spend your life with another. The sacrament gives you a special grace to be able to be as Christ for your spouse. Just as Christ, crucified, poured out His life for the good of all of us, spouses are called to pour out their lives for the good of their spouse.

Which means that it’s going to be painful at times. And difficult. And they may not reciprocate the love you give them. But you are called to it anyway. Christ endured a lot, and didn’t deserve any of the rough treatment He received, but He kept loving. And look at the fruit of His sacrifice.

While it’s important for each individual to seek out opportunities to grow in their relationship with God, it may be particularly important for spouses to spend time doing this as a couple. Pray together. Go to Adoration together. Pray a family Rosary. Attend retreats together. Read Scripture together and discuss it as a family. Go to Mass together.

And one final suggestion. If you are struggling with your faith or upset at God for whatever reason, try to do it for your spouse. You don’t have to talk to God. You can be angry and upset and sad and every other emotion. But try to be present. It will mean more to your spouse and your marriage than you can imagine.

Much love to you all!