Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kielbasa Pasta Salad and Creamy Carrot Soup

Newly married.  We were spoiled with dinners at restaurants every night in Hawaii, but now that we're back from the honeymoon, it's back to the real world.   Time to start cookin' again.    This is the first meal we cooked together as a newly married couple.  Since I'm now an official Vechinski, I decided to include a small Polish element so we cooked up some Polish Sausage and added some pasta and fresh veggies in my own little Kielbasa recipe.  Simple and delicious.  Jeremy had mentioned to me that there was an overflow of carrots in his garden, and I just happened to recently watch an episode of some cooking show where somebody made a carrot soup.  Perfect solution.  As a bonus, I got to use my new immersion blender!  So I looked at a few recipes and combined them to make my own version of a creamy carrot soup.   It was different, but good.  It had a little spicy kick to it.  It must not have been too bad because Jeremy ate two full bowls of it.  

Anne's Kielbasa Pasta Salad

1 package (16 oz) tri-color spiral pasta
1 package (16 oz) cooked Polish Kielbasa, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon basil
dash salt
dash pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Cook pasta in large pot according to package directions and drain.  In the empty pot, saute peppers in oil until crisp-tender.  Add kielbasa to the pot until meat is cooked through.  Add tomatoes, cooked pasta, basil, salt, and pepper, stirring well.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on each serving if desired.  Serves 6-8.


Anne's Creamy Carrot Soup


2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 pound (~2&1/2 cups) sliced carrots
1/2 large potato, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 carton (26 oz) chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chives
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup heavy whipping cream

In Dutch oven or stock pot, saute onion in butter and olive oil for a few minutes until onions are tender.  Add potato, carrots, and garlic. Add broth, ginger, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, chives, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes until carrots are tender.  Transfer to a blender or food processor or use an immersion blender in the pot to process until mixture is smooth.  Return to pot and add whipping cream and additional salt, pepper, or other spices to desired taste.  Stir and cook over low heat until heated through.   Serve with a few chives on soup if desired.   Makes 4 servings.