super hearty minestrone with tortellini

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*bacon is added to this recipe, I would leave it out but you can add it*

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 slices preservative-free, all-natural bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and sliced thinly
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 potato, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 15 oz. can of cooked chickpeas, preferably organic
  • 1 28 oz. can of peeled San Marzano tomatoes, with juice
  • Salt
  • 1 cup kale, chopped fine
  • 1 9-ounce package of high quality, all-natural cheese tortellini
  • Aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling- optional
  • Grated parmesan cheese for garnish- optional
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook for a couple of minutes, until they start to brown.
  2. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil along with the chopped onion, garlic and leek. Continue to cook, strirring occasionally, over medium heat until softened.
  3. Add the chopped carrot, celery, zucchini, potato and stir around for a minute or two.
  4. Add the stock, the chickpeas, and then the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you go. Add a few generous pinches of salt (be judicious if your stock is salted already). Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender.
  5. Add the kale and the tortellini, and continue to cook over a simmer until both are tender and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve garnished with a spoonful of the pesto, a few drops of the aged balsamic, and a generous sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Parsley or Basil Pesto
  • 1 cup loosely packed basil or parsley
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Chop, chop, and chop the basil or parsley some more by hand until it’s very fine…when you do this, you’ll reduce it down to about 1/4 cup.
  2. As you chop the basil, start to incorporate the other ingredients and chop them fine, too, until you have a lovely, finely chopped pesto.
  3. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the olive oil. Use as a garnish for the minestrone.
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There are so many cute things that you can find that are vegan. I have been trying to make better choices and buy vegan whenever I can. I know I’m in love with Minnetonka and it’s a choice that I’m not happy with. To wear animal for fashion is not cool in my book. I am guilty of it and so are a lot of people. But I want to change that. I don’t want this to be some sort of debate but just an opinion of mine that you can either agree with or not. But how nice would it be to buy something fab that didn’t harm an animal in any way?! Yeah pretty fab. So I looked around the net and found some pretty cute things. A lot of these companies also donate to help animal rights. Here are the links: 1/chocolate tote by pansy maiden 2/black sandal at mooshoes 3/samy hobo in yellow from melie biaco 4/pleather tote from matt and nat 5/Brown booties from alternative outfitters 6/vegan leather jacket, anthropology 7/deux lux wallet 8/vintage clutches from love is mighty 9/adorable grey slouchy sweat shirt from john bartlettny


It has finally happened. I have opened my etsy shop.

It was so hard for me to hit that confirm button when I went to set up my shop.  I actually got butterflies. Why? I think I’m just scared of rejection.  I’m not happy with my pictures that I worked on for so long.  I tried everything to take great pics but in the end they just aren’t great. I did everything the experts told me to do. Take the pics by a window. Use a white background.  I even have a great camera so not sure where I went wrong. But in the end I just had to do it.

My dream would be to make this my career out of etsy, because I love creating so much.

I will be adding more items as I get them made. But here are a some things I have up right now.

What do you guys think? I can take it.

 Ombre Crochet Peter Pan Collar

Ombre Peter Pan Collar

Super Soft Angel Hair Yarn Crochet Infinity Scarf-Cream

Super soft infinity scarf

Chunky grey and white crochet infinity scarf 100% wool

Black and grey chunky scarf

Blue Peter Pan Collar

Chunky Orange Infinity Scarf

Red Peter Pan Collar with tassel

Blue Crochet Peter Pan Collar made from bamboo yarn

Made from Bamboo yarn

so there you have it.  As you can see the pics aren’t great. I have a rebel and if any of you have any tips I would love it.  I have tried every setting, changing aperture etc.


i’ve been out of touch with the internet for a few weeks now. sorry it’s taken me so long to update. but here’s minnetonka 07/09 which should have come to you 2 weeks ago.



Check out today’s Minnetonka DIY Project created by blogger Courtney Kennedy from Always Rooney!

minnetonka tramper ankle hi boots are my new favorite fall boot. Not only are they the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned, they are so versatile and perfect to wear with the new season that just arrived. I made these bead attachments to go over the fringe on my new boots to add a different flare to these brown boots.



Supplies: Minnetonka Tramper Ankle Hi Boots, gold jewelry links, clear jewelry string, assortment of beads, leather cord.

1. Tie a 10 inch piece of clear string and tie securely to one gold jewelry link.

2. Begin to pile on beads to your liking. I began by adding red to the turquoise beads and didn’t like the turnout so I decided to go solely with turquoise and silver beads.

3. Tie off string onto another gold jewelry link.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 on the same gold link to make two layers of beads.

5. Add a 4 inch piece of leather cord through each chain link and tie onto boot through the holes meant for shoe strings





only 3 more left to share with you guys 

Supplies: Minnetonka Suede Ankle Boots, scrap pieces of colored leather, round studs, leather glue, scissors, paper and pen

Instructions straight from minnetonka

1. Begin by folding your paper in half and drawing one side of the shape of your choice. Courtney chose a geometric aztec shape, as well as a diamond. Unfold the paper and cut around the lines. This will be your guide for cutting leather.

2. Trace shape on back of leather and cut.

3. Lay out leather in a pattern and glue with leather glue.

4. Finish by folding the prongs to the stud and glue to shoe. This adds a perfect subtle accent.



everyone in my house is ill so I thought it would be a great idea to make some really good homemade soup. I found a great recipe on food52. here’s the recipe direct from the site.

Serves 4

  • 8 medium beefsteak tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Sugar, if needed
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 thick slices country bread, toasted and brushed with olive oil, for serving


Heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lay the tomatoes cut-side down. Add the garlic cloves (with skins on). Sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool.


Add the ¼ cup olive oil, the rosemary and thyme to a small saucepan and place over low heat. Let warm until you begin smelling the herbs, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

 Peel the tomatoes and add the pulp and juices to a soup pan. Squeeze the garlic from its skin and add it to the pan. Place the pan over medium heat, and begin mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher until it’s pulpy, but not chunky (if you prefer to use a food processor, go ahead – just make sure you leave it pulpy). When the mixture is hot but not boiling, stir in the cream. Season to taste with salt. Add a pinch of sugar, if needed. Ladle into bowls and season with pepper. Sprinkle a little herb oil on top of the soup. Pass the toasts at the table.





….and enjoy. hope everyone stays well. it’s going around hard in my town and it’s finally hit my family.


one of the main things im doing to try to change my life is changing my eating habits. one big problem with me is snacking, usually on not so healthy things. so i was on the web and came across a web-site that delivers healthy snacks to your house. its called nature box. every month for less than $20 you get a box of healthy snacks. so far what i’ve seen is all products are gmo free. they have such yummy sounding treats as blueberry nom noms, dark cocoa almonds and roasted kettle kernels. i am really excited about this company and can’t wait to receive my first box. after the first box you have the option to go in and pick what snacks you would prefer. i think until i find a fav i will stick with being surprised. soon i will post a video review and you guys get to see my ugly mug for the first time. then to follow the start of the fat girl project.