Jan 16

When neighbors come bearing gifts…

I think it’s safe to say that Frank’s third love is his snowblower.  He and our male friends are always talking about them…who has the best one, whose snow removal technique is most efficient, etc.  There aren’t too many “guy things” I have a hard time understanding, but this one definitely boggles my mind.  But hey, as long as my driveway and walkway are clear and I don’t have to touch a shovel, I’ll just smile and look pretty…

Our neighbor (a restaurant owner) is obviously very much in love with Frank’s snowblower too, because he gave us what you see below as a “thank you” to Frank for helping him out with his walkway and sidewalk.

That would be a big ol’ honkin loaf of seriously awesome Italian bread, and a delicious loaf of raisin walnut.  Mmmm.

So, what’s the saying?  When neighbors give you bread, make…panini!  (and overnight french toast casserole for tomorrow, since mom-in law is coming for breakfast)

This bread totally brought me back to Sunday dinners at my grandparents’.  I mean, of course I’ve had amazing bread like it a million times since then (for those not from this area, you just don’t get better bread – or bagels – anywhere else) but while I was cutting it, it just brought back memories of Nonno.

Earlier in the day I threw together a crockpot soup that I’ve made before, not knowing what else we’d be having…so it doesn’t necessarily sound like it “goes” with the Cuban panini (well, really a pressed sandwich) that Frank requested…but they both tasted damn good, which is really all that matters.

Mushroom Barley Soup

1 cup barley, rinsed
1 package button mushrooms (8 oz), sliced
12 baby carrots (approx), chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
8 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dry thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to the crockpot and stir to combine.  Cook on high for 3.5 hours (***this may vary depending on your crockpot – mine is a 6 qt. Cuisinart***).

Remove bay leaves.  Spoon into bowl, add fresh parsley and serve.

Serves 6-8.

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This entry was posted in barley, crockpot, freezer friendly, lime, main dishes, mushrooms, pork, sandwiches, soup, swiss. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to When neighbors come bearing gifts…

  1. Lisa says:

    I think I’m going to make the soup this week! Looks delish!

  2. Kristin says:

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! How did you know I have been looking for a good Mushroom Barley soup???? I’m all ready to make this during the week now!

  3. kecarr says:

    YEAH 🙂 My husband & i LOVE the Cuban sandwich at Cheesecake Factory. This recipe is perfect- I think I have my menu for tomorrow night. I love your blog- you helped me realize how much I miss cooking- I made a great lasagna Sat night for us & my mother.

  4. Jenna says:

    What a great neighbor gift! I wish my neighbors gave me loaves of gourmet bread. =)

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