I was lucky this week to have a visit from one of my dearest friends from college-- Jenny. Her family lives outside of Chicago and she is home visiting for a couple of weeks, so she popped down for an evening of catching up. I was very tempted to skip out of work the next day, just to spend more time with her.
Let me tell you a few things about Jenny. Actually, I sometimes call her Ney because in college I learned that she doesn't like that Forrest Gump calls his Jenny, Jen-ney. So, of course as the wonderful and kind friend I am, I started calling her Je-ney-ney, that got shortened to Ney eventually. Anyway, Jenny is a high school math teacher in NC (she moved there after college when I did!!) and her love and compassion for her students is quite amazing. I admire that she has the patience and strength to deal with teenagers on a daily basis.
We've been friends since we were freshman in college. Since then, there have been way too many wonderful memories to tell you even a small fraction here. However, I think the time that brought Jenny and me the closest was during our month long trip to South Africa.
We stayed crammed in little bedrooms together:
We got to interact with some many wonderful kids together:
We braved the cold, cold, cold nights (who knew it got so cold in Africa?!?) together:
And we strengthened our friendship daily:
I know that she will always be one of my besties. :)
Sausage and Tortellini Stew (adapted from Better Homes and Garden)
1 cup of chopped onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp molasses
1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp corn starch
2 14.5 oz cans Italian style diced tomatoes
3 cups water
2 cups frozen green beans
8 oz fully cooked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-in slices
2 cups shredded cabbage
9 oz package of refrigerated whole wheat three cheese tortellini
Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Combine the onion, olive oil and molasses in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for approximately 6-7 minutes until the onions soften. Dissolve the corn starch in the beef broth and add to the pan. Bring to a boil while stirring until it thickens.
Add the contents of the saucepan to your slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, water, green beans and sausage and stir. Cook on low for 8-10 hours (or high for 4-5 hours).
Turn the slow cooker to high and stir in the cabbage and tortellini. Cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Garnish the soup with parmesan cheese.