Date Night IN Menu: Tortellini Soup & Chocolate Chess Pie

Happy Hump Day readers!

I think I can, I think I can...slowly but surely I am getting myself back into the routine of school.

Thank you so much for all the blog love and sweet comments about my resolutions for this year.  I already have such a good feeling about 2014 and am seeing so much good in my life.  Power of positive thinking, eh?

Today I am excited to share a delicious, comfort filled date night menu with you.

To set the scene, imagine a snowy night curled up by the fire with a full belly and the one you love.

About a month or so ago, I gave Bryce instructions to keep his Friday night free.  He was dedicated completely to me for the whole evening and and didn't need to worry a thing about dinner. (You see I had just gotten my new KitchenAid mixer and needed an excuse to use it...)

I got home early, gussied myself up, and got cookin'!  I had a picnic style date night in planned and was excited to try some new recipes!

Bryce came home to a picnic blanket on our living room floor, candles, and a bottle of wine set out!  I gave him quick instructions to make a nice fire while I finished up our meal!

I just love our little fireplace!

For the soup:
(Original recipe found here)

2 whole cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs olive oil
2 10.75 oz cans of condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped OR 2 tbs sun dried tomato paste (I just used tomato paste)
2 cups half and half
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbs Italian seasoning (I used a local Italian spice blend we got from a farmer's market, YUM!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 whole 9 oz package of cheese filled tortellini
1 package of sweet Italian sausage (this was not included in original recipe but I added and loved)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese for garnish

  • Saute garlic with olive oil in large pot over medium heat until golden brown
  • Add tomato soup, tomatoes/paste, half and half, chicken stock, and spices
  • Bring to a simmer
  • Once simmering, drop tortellini into soup and cook according to package directions (likely bringing to a boil and cooking 8-10 min)
  • In the meantime, cook the package of sausage in a separate pan, being sure to break it up into little chunks with your spatula
  • After tortellini is cooked, add sausage to soup
  • Place in bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese
I got a wedge of parmesan and shredded myself.

It was....delish!  Comfort food at its finest!  To top it off, this recipe makes about six servings, so we were able to freeze the leftovers and get two more meals out of it!

Next up:  chocolate chess pie!  I couldn't give Bryce a lovey dovey date night without dessert...

Directions as follows...
(Original recipe found here)

10-11 sheets graham crackers (original, not honey)
5 tbs unsalted butter, melted
3 tbs sugar
1 tbs dark cocoa powder
1 stick unsalted butter
1 (1 oz) square unsweetened chocolate (I use the Baker's chocolate bars- 4 rectangles= 1 oz)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt

  • Pulse graham crackers in food processor until finely ground.  Add the sugar and cocoa powder.   Give it another pulse.  
  • Transfer to bowl and add butter.  Combine until mixed.
  • Press into pie plate with the back of a spoon.
  • Chill for 20 minutes
  • Bake in a preheated 325F oven for 15-20 min
  • Cool for 20 min
  • Melt butter and chocolate together
  • Pour into a bowl and whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, an salt.
  • When the crust has cooled for 20 min, poor the filling ina nd bake at 325F oven for ~40 min
  • Serve with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream and glass of your favorite red (optional)
I'm getting hungry just looking at this pic!

Both of these recipes get an A+ in my book!  They were easy and so good.  I made the pie for two other events after this date night and it was a huge crowd pleaser, and, I already have been daydreaming about a small winter dinner party with some friends to serve the soup again.

What are your favorite comfort foods?

Have a great day!