On An Entirely Ordinary Wednesday (and a Recipe)

It was dark by the time we arrived home. While it was only half past six it felt near time to send ourselves to bed in the darkness of daylight savings. 

Fighting the urge to call it a day, I placed myself in the space that almost always results in a second late-day awakening; our small, yet more than ample for two, galley kitchen. With eclectic tunes in the background, ingredients began to move from their cupboards and drawers, and out onto the counter where they would soon be prepared. 

Mild Italian Sausage and thinly sliced onion were first to be tossed into the dutch oven, followed by delicately sliced carrots, garlic and a smattering of seasonings. Somewhere between the heavenly smells rising up from the stove and the soft music in the background, everything began to fall away. The concerns of the day, the to-do list for the coming, and the knowledge of the brevity of hours before me all lay somewhere in the tossed away remnants of the vegetables now simmering, soon to become a warm and comforting stew. 

Within minutes the dry ingredients began to swim in a brothy bath of chicken stock, stewed tomatoes, cannellini beans, and a handful of pasta. All that was left to do was walk away and allow the heat to develop the flavors into a delightful Italian stew, to be enjoyed with a side of baguette, and a heaping spoonful of parmesan.

On a rather ordinary Wednesday evening the extraordinary (or rather entirely ordinary) task of preparing our dinner became the (re)centering moment of our day. Both our spirits, energy levels, and physical weariness were restored within the subtle moments between chopping, stirring, stewing. While far too many evenings than I'd like to admit to end in quick tempers and weary minds, this one stands out as what could be and hopefully stands as an encouragement for the blessed time you have this week with your husband, family, roommates and the like.

This week we're looking to recreate the night with a new-us recipe, a Fall Harvest Minestrone complete with butternut squash, spinach, white beans, carrots, and again a few heaps of parmesan. 


Italian Sausage Stew


  • 1 Ib. Italian Sausage
  • 1 medium White Onion
  • 3 Carrots
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of Rosemary
  • 2-32-ounce Containers of Chicken Broth (or homemade if available)
  • 2-15-ounce Cans of Diced Tomatoes, keep juices
  • 2-15-ounce Cans of Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
  • Handful of Large Shell Pasta
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Parmesan for Serving


In a Dutch Oven (or large pot), cook the Italian Sausage with Onions until no longer pink. Add the carrots, garlic, and rosemary, cooking for 5-7 minutes. Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes (with juices), cannellini beans, and large shell pasta. Stir and let simmer without a cover until the pasta is al dente. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with a heaping spoonful of shaved or shredded parmesan (and baguette). Enjoy! 

p.s. The 2015 Influence Conference Speakers were announced today on the Influence Blog! You may be thinking The Influence Network is only for bloggers and women who work online, but The Influence Network is so very much more. It's for ALL women. And The Influence Conference, in tandem with the Network is a gathering to equip and encourage one another in the passions, projects, and the places we come from. Will you join me September 17-19, 2015 in Indianapolis for the 4th Annual Influence Conference? Tickets are selling fast and early-bird prices close at the end of the year.