Spicy Tortellini Chicken Soup and 27 by 27


April 27, 2011 by Dana

Today, my friends, I am 25 ½.

Yes, it’s my half birthday.  And yes, I know I’m well past the appropriate age to celebrate a half birthday.

But I’ve been inspired to write a list of goals. (I do love my lists.)  And since it’s not the New Year or my Birthday, and I’m certainly not patient enough to wait another six months, I figure my half birthday will have to do.

So here it is.  My list of 27 goals to complete by my 27th birthday.  These are not big, life changing goals, mind you.  They are everyday goals that could easily fall through the cracks if I don’t track them.  I’ve added a tab up top that I will keep up to date, and I’ll be sure to keep you abreast in my posts.  (Because I know you are just so interested.)

Without further ado, my 27 by 27 List:


1.  Take two cooking classes
2.  Use five new to me ingredients
3.  Go to a new restaurant in each of the 5 boroughs of NYC
4.  Enter five food/recipe contests
5.  Cook at least one recipe from each cookbook I own
6.  Bake French macaroons
7.  Go completely meatless for a week

Health and Fitness

8.  Go to 25 yoga classes
9.  Run in a 5K
10.  Take a spin class
11.  Take a kickboxing class
12.  Drink at least 64 oz of water every day


13.  Reach 300 followers on the Food for Thought facebook page
14.  Reach 700 followers on my twitter account
15.  Feature a guest post on this site (any takers?)
16.  Write a guest post for someone else’s site
17.  Meet 3 other food bloggers in person


18.  Visit 2 new U.S. Cities
19.  Travel to another country, preferably in Europe


20.  Participate in an event for a cause
21.  Volunteer for a day


22.  Plant an herb garden on my fire escape
23.  Learn how to really use my camera
24.  Do one touristy NY thing
25.  Surprise Jake with breakfast in bed
26.  Watch 3 movies from the AFI 100 years… 100 movies list
27.  Read 5 books that have nothing to do with school

Because I am oh-so-organized and ever prepared, not only am I posting this list today, but I am also posting a recipe which will help me complete one of the listed goals!  If you scroll back to item #4, you will see that I plan to enter at least 5 food and recipe contests over the course of the next year and a half.

Well, here is entry number one of five:  a delicious Spicy Tortellini Chicken Soup!

Barilla challenged Foodbuzz Featured Publishers to imagine an Italian-inspired recipe or meal created with Barilla Tortellini.  They will choose six finalists to make their recipes, and the grand prize winner will win a trip to Italy!

Today is the deadline for this challenge, so I am posting in the nick of time.  Notice there’s nothing about not procrastinating on my list.  Baby steps.


2 tablespoons olive oil
4  onions, chopped
4  garlic cloves, diced
2  red bell peppers, diced
8  carrots, peeled and sliced
2 lb chicken breast, cut into tiny pieces
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
16 oz  can diced tomatoes (not drained)
4 cups water
32 oz chicken broth
8 oz package of Barilla Ricotta & Spinach Tortelloni


1.  In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, bell pepper and carrots. Saute until onions are translucent (about 4 minutes). Add chicken, spices, salt and pepper, and cook for 3 more minutes.

2.  Add tomatoes, chicken broth, water, and tortelloni to the pot. Bring to a boil and then immediately lower to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20-30 more minutes, until tortellini is cooked through and flavors have melded.

This recipe is a definite winner (hint, hint!).  The spicy broth is the perfect complement to the tasty Barilla Tortelloni and veggies.  Jake and I both really enjoyed it… if all goes to plan, we will soon be enjoying our free trip to Italy as well ;)

38 thoughts on “Spicy Tortellini Chicken Soup and 27 by 27

  1. The soup looks awesome!

    Love the list! You’re so young, if there is something in your life that you want to change, you have the time to do it! NOW. Trust me, it goes by fast.

  2. Kelly says:

    WOW this looks absolutely delicious! Definitely a keeper, can’t wait to make this myself! :)

  3. Mary says:

    Happy Half Birthday:-). I have no doubt that you will accomplish all those goals you set for yourself by the time you’re 27. This was my first visit to your site and I’ve spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I’m so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you feature here and I’ll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  4. That’s one nice looking soup. I do enjoy Barilla products, and tortellini is one of my favorite types of pasta. That and angel hair.

  5. RavieNomNoms says:

    That looks great Dana! On this cloudy day here in New England this would be just perfect!!

  6. This soup looks soooo delicious! I love the combo of flavors!

    New to your blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xo
    Delightful Bitefuls

  7. Liz says:

    It looks like a yummy recipe!! Good luck with the contest! YOU ARE SO YOUNG!!! You can do anything you want…good luck with your list :)

  8. This tortellini soup looks marvelous, Dana! So simple, warm and delicious. Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad I found your beautiful blog and am going to explore more of your recipes! :)

  9. Tes says:

    Your soup looks really amazing and sounds so delicious.
    I love your 27 by 27 list. It’s so inspiring! I’m gonna make my 30 by 30 list too :)

  10. Lynne says:

    good luck with the contest!
    I love your 27 by 27 list and look forward to the updates as you approach your birthday. Have fun with it!

  11. the_rob_bot says:

    Wow. Those photos (particularly the first) are excellent. The soup looks good too…maybe I’ll try it with vegetable broth one day. Good luck in the contest!

  12. I love your list Dana! Happy 1/2 Birthday! :)

  13. The soup looks and sounds great!! I love your to-do list. Great goals! You’re so young! When I was 25 all I wanted to do was….well, nothing productive.. Good for you!

  14. Happy 1/2 birthday!!! I love your list. The soup looks delicious!

  15. Reeni says:

    What a great list – full of adventure and promise! Your soup is something I would love! So hearty and comforting it’s full of all my favorite flavors! Best of luck!

  16. Faith says:

    Happy Half Birthday, Dana! The soup looks great…we’re in for a colder couple of days here and I think I might have everything on hand for this! :)

  17. Kristen says:

    What a fantastic soup. It has all the right stuff for a wonderful meal.

  18. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Such a fun idea! I’m going to be 30 in 10 months…I’m freaking out! I should make a list like this. Maybe it will make me happy about my upcoming birthday….

    Now. Here is one thing I can help you with on your list. If you want to do a guest post on my blog I would love it :)

  19. Happy half birthday and what a great list. My birthday is this coming Monday maybe I should be inspired to make one too. Good luck in the contest with this tasty soup

  20. Your list is AWESOME Dana! Happy Birthday – and best of luck reaching these goals before 27. :) I’m already 28… uh-oh. haha

  21. Eva says:

    Mmmmm that looks so nice and warm and comforting! The weather here is quite cold, I could definitely go for a big bowl of that right now :)

  22. Joanne says:

    I want to help! I’ll take numbers 3 and 17! Sorry I never emailed you back…studying has been occluding my life! After June 1st though, I’ll be a real person and will get to actually eat with other people in a place that is not my apartment. YES.

    This tortellini soup looks so good..tortellini just make everything in life so much better.

    And you are never too old to celebrate half birthdays. Any excuse to eat cake!

  23. Beth says:

    Great list! And good luck on completing it, or at least making a good effort. You’ve got lots of fun goals to achieve!

  24. Your goals sound great, and I have a couple in common. I’d like to take a kick-boxing class, and I’d like to meet more food bloggers in person. Good luck with the contest! Your soup looks fantastic.

  25. biz319 says:

    Happy half birthday!! Love your spicy soup! And your goals too – kudos for already crossing one off your list!

  26. […] Spicy Tortellini Chicken Soup and 27 by 27 […]

  27. Veronica says:

    Great list, and way to start checking things off by not only doing something on it, but doing it in a way that could lead to checking off another thing (travelling to Europe)! Woot! That soup looks off the hook and the photograph is GORGEOUS! I’ve noticed your photography has improved a lot–did you get a new camera?

    • Thanks so much! I did recently get a new camera. I am the proud owner of a Canon Rebel XS Digital SLR Camera. I am still learning how to use it properly… it’s on my list!

  28. claire says:

    happy belated half birthday!

    just happened upon your site and I love it! Good luck with all of your 27 by 27 List!

  29. This sounds lovely and really tasty. Thank you for sharing this.


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