"Copykat" Fagioli & Semi Handmade Cards!

Finally finished my dozen "Semi Hand-made" cards (9 thank you's, 2 get-wells, and 1 anniversary!)  Love, love, LOVE the 1/2 punch raised scalloped embellishment "doo da".  Too cute!  Found this style on Dawn's Stamping Thoughts blog here with several of her cards.  Just had to try it - one of those ideas that stuck in my mind until I had time to do it!  Dawn has a video tutorial on her blog - these ladies are so talented... that's what I want to do when I retire or win the lottery - just craft and make videos of fun stuff all day!! (Dream -of course, I've got to buy a lottery ticket to win $$ - as if!)  Her card pictures are on the right side of the blog.  (LOVE the snowmen!)  This style technique could work for ANY card... remember to leave room to fit into the envie, though!  The store-bought cards that I bought on sale... (hence - semi hand-made card) had an odd-large envelope - so it worked out perfect!!  Anyways, plans are to address them and get them into the snail mail tomorrow

Gotta share a new recipe with you - discovery over the holiday break!  Ever been to the Olive Garden and enjoyed their famous "Pasta
 Fagioli"?  We wanted to make a hearty soup one night - KV suggested this... as a joke - like we could jump in the car and go!  But Andy took it to heart and made this soup that was FABULOUS!  It was a total hit with us and wanted to share the recipe - couldn't find the suggested pasta in the big C-town, but the small shells tasted great!  Think the secret ingredient is the "spaghetti sauce" - it gave the soup a great taste!  Anyways - the copykat recipe "hit the spot" at the Vannoy's house!!  Try it and let us know what you think or what you would change! Cold weather always makes it perfect for soup night!  Have a great day - hug the ones you love!
Andy's Copykat Fagoili  
(Italian for pasta and bean soup)
2 pound ground beef
2 tsp. EVOO (oil)

1 small  white onion, diced
8-10 baby-sized carrots, julienned 
2 stalks celery, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (pureed just for KV)
2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans (with liquid)
2 15-ounce cans great northern beans (with liquid)
1 large can of Spaghetti Sauce (we used traditional Ragu')
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 pound (1/2 pkg.) ditali pasta (we used mini pasta shells)

2 cans beef broth 

1 1/2 tsp. Tabasco

Saute in oil the carrots and onions; add ground beef - brown and drain.  In large crock pot, add all ingredients.  Cook high for 3-4 hours; simmer until served.  Salad and garlic bread sticks compliment nicely!  Makes a LOT - but freezes well!