So Happy New Year’s, everyone! I can’t believe it’s New Year’s Eve, already! So what do you do for New Year’s Eve? Me, I’m kind of an old curmudgeon. I mean back in the day I’d go out with the girls but these days I’m usually perfectly happy to stay in, stay warm & safe and maybe stay up till midnight. Especially if we have a wonderful dinner, preferably steak and this Copycat Outback Steakhouse Salad.
There’s something about Olive Garden. People love it or hate it, but I have to say they’ve cracked the code on how to keep America’s diners happy and coming back. My folks are big fans (more about that, below) but my favorite thing, by far on the menu, is their Zuppa Toscana Soup. Luckily, it’s super easy and fast to make at home. You just need Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana Copycat recipe.
When I worked on my family history, I was surprised to find out how many Pennsylvania Dutch & Amish ancestors I had. Of course, those ancestors multiply quickly as you work back. You start with 4 grandparents, then 8 great, then 16, 32, 64, 128, 256 and by the time you get back a few more generations you realize that you’re related to half the people in the US! Our good neighbor in South Dakota was a 9th cousin! Hi Auntie Mary! But what I’m getting at I’m wondering if I have a predisposition for the sweet/sour flavors so often found in Pennsylvania Dutch cooking, and especially this Pennsylvania Dutch Broccoli & Bacon? Is there a gene for that?
It’s easy to always think about St. Paul & Minneapolis, the Twin Cities, as a Swedish/Norwegian city and we do have a large population. Maybe our weather made them feel at home. But it’s just as easy to forget that our earliest settlements were French and/or French Canadian. So in honor of our French, here’s a “Bean Pot” or if ya want to be fancier, I’ll just call this a Minnesota Cassoulet Bean Pot.