I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here in Memphis today it is cold and cloudy- NOT our favorite combo! We do, however, have a most amazing soup and sandwich combo perfect for a day like today. The 3 recipes that follow give you a quick peek at all the yummy ideas found inside vol. 2 of "The Gathering of Friends", the encore edition to vol. 1.

Happy eating,
- The girls at bella vita

Asiago Potato Soup

The Gathering of Friends - Soup

  • 1 lb. smoked bacon
  • 1 tsp. onion salt
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1 c. butter
  • 1-1 1/2 c. flour
  • 3 tsp. granulated chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 qt. cream
  • 1-2 qt. 2 % milk
  • 8 oz. freshly grated Asiago cheese
  • 18 baby red potatoes
  • 8 green onion stalks, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. cilantro, minced

Preheat oven to 425°. Dice bacon and sauté. Remove bacon from pan and set aside. Dice baby red potatoes, with skins, into bite size pieces and toss in remaining bacon drippings to coat evenly. Spread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with parsley flakes and kosher salt. Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, turning potatoes every 10 minutes until golden brown. Do not over cook. Potatoes will fry as they bake in the oven. Melt butter in large pot with chicken bouillon, onion salt and pepper. Slowly add flour beginning with 1 cup until the butter is completely absorbed. Add more flour until mixture is crumbly. Using a whisk, slowly stir in the creamy until it is smooth. Soup will thicken as it cooks. Fold in cheese and green onions. Add fried potatoes and bacon to the soup. The consistency should be very thick. Begin slowly stirring in milk until you reach desired thickness. Top with homemade croutons, fresh cilantro and serve.

Cheese Crusted Croutons

Cheese Crusted Croutons

  • 4 slices French bread
  • 1/4 c. mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c. creamy butter (a.k.a salted butter)
  • 1/4 c. cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c. Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Turn oven temperature to broil. Mix ingredients in small bowl and spread over slices of bread. Broil in oven until golden, 2-3 minutes. Turn over and spread cheese mixture on the other side of the bread and broil again for 2-3 minutes. Let cool and slice toasted bread into cubes, serve with soup.

Almond Tuna Cheddar Melts

Almond Tuna Cheddar Melts

  • 2 cans tuna (12 oz. ea.)
  • 2 c. almonds
  • 1/2 c. green onions, minced
  • 4-6 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 c. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12 slices of French bread
  • 3-4 tbsp. creamy butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Chop almonds to a very fine consistency. Combine drained tuna, mustard, 4 tbsp. mayonnaise, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Fold in almonds, minced onions and salt. Mixture should be fairly dry. If a moister consistency is desired add more mayonnaise. Spread tuna mix on French bread slices (or any dense loaf) buttering each side of sandwich. In a skillet lightly grill each side. As each side is fully toasted sprinkle with sharp cheddar cheese, as it cooks turn once on each side. Serve immediately.

Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink

We love to host great events at Bella Vita, so after such a great day on Saturday we just have to say Thank You! We were working hard to prepare for the event and we were thrilled that Shandon, artist and founder of Visible Faith Jewelry, was able to drive all the way from Texas to help showcase her products! For those of you who weren't able to make it (tisk tisk...) you missed out on beautiful jewelry, the chance to watch Shandon hand stamp it in sterling silver and of course, great food!

Just some of the amazing designs by Visible Faith Jewelry!

There were so many wonderful compliments towards our little goodies that we just have to share with you our inside secret: Sweettee's Small Event Catering! Tammy Morris, founder and head baker, whipped up some amazing mini cupcakes made with all natural ingredients and flavorings and topped them with all sorts of interesting treats and designs. (Now you're really wishing you stopped by aren't you...) If you want to taste more of her cakes, cookies, cupcakes or other specialties just send her an email to sweettees62@yahoo.com!

So again, thank you to all who participated in our trunk show, it was a huge success! We know there are plenty of lucky ladies out there who received Visible Faith Jewelry for Valentine's Day, and plenty more who came and spoiled themselves so leave us a comment and tell us which tags and charms you purchased. For those of you who missed out, don't worry, we have them in store and now online. Check out Visible Faith jewelry here! If you don't see what you are looking for online, contact us. We probably have it in store.

- The girls at Bella Vita

Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink

Feb 14 2010

Valentine's Day

Feb. 14th is here. As you can see below, we are celebrating it "Bella Vita Style"! Hope all of you enjoyed your gifts!

Posted by Stephanie Singley | Permalink


Hi, my name is Stephanie. Like you, I love all things beautiful. The word. The life. The way it makes your soul feel warm and cozy. So curl up with the Girls at Bella Vita as we share our lives with you- our families and friends, our inspirations and ideas, our homes and nests- quite simply, our take on creating a beautiful life.
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