Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana


  • 1 lb. sweet or spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chopped SPINACH (add during last minute of cooking)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For serving: grated Parmesan; chopped fresh parsley; baguette, garlic bread, or breadsticks


  • Brown sausage in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.
  • In the same pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to the plate with the sausage.
  • Drain off almost all of the grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pot. Add onions and cook over medium-high heat just until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Sprinkle flour over top, and cook and stir for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the chicken broth, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pot (there’s so much flavor there!). Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Gently boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  • Reduce heat to low. Stir in cooked sausage and bacon. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Add cream. Cook and stir for about 5 more minutes. Do not boil. Last minute add in spinach. Ladle into individual bowls, garnish with Parmesan or parsley, and serve!


  • Once you add the cream, do not let the soup boil. If you boil the cream, the soup may curdle.
  • For a lighter broth, use half-and-half instead of heavy cream. It will not have quite the same rich
  • For a low carb option, replace the potatoes with cauliflower florets.
  • If available, try substituting pancetta for the bacon.

Noreen’s Perfect Sandwich Loaf


4 cups all purpose flour1 1/2 cups Warm Water2 teaspoons instant yeast2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 tablespoons butter, softened1 teaspoon salt2 tablespoons instant dry milk powder

Step by Step Instructions

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the dough hook. 

If you are using a bread machine, please consult the manufacturers instructions for your model for the order in which to place the ingredients.  This make a 1 1/2 pound loaf.

Allow ingredients to come together in the mixing bowl.  If dough seems too dry add a tablespoon of water at a time if it seems too wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough reaches the desired consistency. 

The dough should not be sticking to the bottom of the bowl.  It should move around the bowl and the hook freely.

Allow the dough to knead for 5 minutes.

Remove the dough from the bowl and oil the bowl and return the dough and oil the dough as well.  Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for at least 1 hour or until double in size.

Deflate the dough gently and turn it out onto a board without additional flour.

Press into a rectangle that is slightly smaller on the short side than your bread pan.

Roll the dough into a log, keeping the spiral tight.

Pinch the seam together and push each end into itself and pull the bottom layer up over each end and pinch to close.

Place loaf into an oiled bread pan and cover. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Allow to rise for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until the dough has double and/or crowned to at least 1 inch above the rim of the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until browned and when tapped, the loaf sounds hollow inside.

Remove from oven and immediately remove bread from the pan.

Allow to cool on a baking rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. 

Bread will slice much better once it has cooled completely.

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry



  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or mirin)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha (or chili paste)
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch


  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast cut in bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion cut in half moon strips
  • 1 lb. broccoli cut into bite size florets


  1. Whisk together the chicken broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, honey, garlic, sriracha, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Set that aside for a few minutes.
  2. Combine chicken and 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a zipper bag or bowl.  Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken in a single layer cooking until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.  Plate the chicken.  If necessary add 1 more tablespoon oil and cook remaining chicken and plate it. 
  3. Add 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring several times. Add the broccoli to the skillet with the onion.  Cook for 1-2 minutes stirring several times.  Plate the vegetables. 
  4. Whisk the sauce that you set aside to make sure the cornstarch has not settled to the bottom.  Add it to the skillet and cook over medium heat until slightly thickened.  Add the cooked chicken and vegetables back to the skillet.  Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. 
  5. Serve over rice or Asian noodles. 


  • Shake the cornstarch and chicken in a plastic zipper bag to coat.
  • Stir fry moves very quickly so all your attention should be on the dish so you don’t overcook the chicken, broccoli, or sauce.
  • Broccoli takes just a couple minutes to cook crisp tender
  • For best results serve promptly.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave at a reduced power.