Spicy Sausage Soup

Happy Hump Day readers!

Can you believe it!? I'm posting TWICE in the same week! I may also try and link up for the Friday Five in a couple of days...hoping to be back to my old blogging self!

Today I am excited to be sharing a super yummy fall and winter recipe with you.

Bryce and I are making a conscious effort to make more soups of late. They freeze so well, that we can always get at least 2 meals out of a batch, which is a win in my book as it saves time and money!

I've been going to Pinterest, as usual, and actually went ahead and organized all my soup recipes onto one board, you can check that out here.

This past weekend, I chose this recipe from Damn Delicious and it was so tasty that I am re-posting for you here, today. As always, my notes are italicized.

1 tbs olive oil
1 lb spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 tsp each, dried oregano & basil (as usual, I just used my farmer's market herb seasoning)
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I never measure out spices, rather just load up!)
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
5 c chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 lb red potatoes, diced
3 c baby spinach
1/4 c heavy cream

Heal olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add sausage, cooking about 3-5 minutes until browned. Make sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks (I used a potato masher for this step).

Stir in garlic, onion, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in chicken broth and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in heavy cream until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately with a warm crusty bread!

As mentioned, this recipe was so flavorful! It was also very easy and fast; one I will definitely be adding to the arsenal!

Any favorite soup recipes I should try?

What are your go-tos for quick, but delicious dinners?

Have a great day!


Update: I LOVE My New Job!

Happy Monday friends!

I hope you have been doing well. I can't believe that we're already nearing the end of October. This is my favorite month and time of year.

I have really wanted to post at least once a week, but it just hasn't happened. I make no promises for the next few months, BUT, have high hopes of getting back on track in 2016.

I have been meaning for so long to do a big update post on my job.

First and foremost, I must share that I am absolutely loving it. While I felt very excited this summer when I made the leap to resign from teaching, I was also very scared about what the next months would bring. I wasn't sure how long it would take to get hired...or to find the right career fit. I fully expected that this first job would likely be a stepping stone job and a way to gain some experience while searching for my exact niche. I was very lucky, however, to find a job not only quickly, but to find my niche quickly too. I can honestly say that the position I am in is such a perfect fit, and is no stepping stone, but the real deal!

I am working in development for the local chapter of a national charity organization.  We raise funds to better our local community in the areas of education, income, and health. All of the funds we raise get funneled into local organizations through a strategic and intense grant process. Every day as I learn more about the programs we fund and the agencies we partner with, I feel more and more inspired. I come home so excited to tell Bryce about the work we do and feel so proud to get to be part of such an impactful organization. As you can imagine, the work we do in education is most near and dear to my heart, and believe it or not, I feel like I am doing more now to positively impact education than I was when I was in the classroom. While teaching I saw the problems in the public education system day in and day out, and now I am seeing solutions every day. It is a great change in perspective.

My job can be best compared to a sales job. I have a growing portfolio of accounts that I work with to run workplace campaigns in which companies ask their employees to give. A lot of the job entails public speaking to groups of employees about the work we do, but it also involves coordinating volunteer opportunities for their employees, managing distribution of marketing materials, helping to facilitate and attending events the companies put on as a part of their campaigns, linking employees to resources in the community that can be helpful to them, and much, much more. Every day looks a little different and I love that. I am also really enjoying the flexibility. Teaching was so regimented and every day followed a strict schedule. Now my hours vary some day to day according to the meetings and events that are going on. I'm in and out of the office frequently and enjoy how quickly that makes the days go by.

And last, but certainly not least, my coworkers are amazing. We are a tight-knit team and my transition onto the team has felt very seamless. Everyone in the office has been so welcoming and always willing to help or answer questions as I learn about this new field. We have so much fun at work every day and I find myself constantly smiling and laughing. My boss (as well as  her boss) makes sure to always acknowledge the work we are doing and until now, I didn't realize just how under-appreciated teachers are. Being in an environment where you are praised and appreciated really makes a huge difference.

I've received a lot of emails since taking my leap of faith and all I can say (especially to those of you who are struggling in the teaching world), is that it's not worth it to be in a job that doesn't please and fulfill you. I knew I was unhappy, but now being in a career that makes me happy, I realize just how miserable I actually was. All aspects of my life are better now, and it is so nice not dreading work every night or on Sundays. I also come home and have energy. Teaching was so draining that oftentimes, I felt I couldn't even piece together a coherent sentence, and now, I come home energized for whatever the night may hold.

I am so excited to see where this adventure takes me next.

Thanks for all your words of support, as well as those of you that reached out to specifically help me with my search. I most certainly would not have had the courage to take the step I did, were it not for the support from my loved ones and friends.

Have you ever gone through a similar period in your life?

Have a great day!