Happy New Year! School is back in session from the holidays, and parents are resuming taking kids to and from activities, so schedules are hectic and time is limited. So after a long day, it’s nice to have quick and easy meals for your family.
Kori Chin, a local mom, shares one of her family’s favorite recipes. She’s married to Mike Chin, and they have four children: Morgan (21), Michael “Mikie” (19), Makenna (16), Mya (9), and a three-week-old grandson, Ridge. After 23 years of moving around the country due to the Air Force, Pike Road is now home to the Chin family. Mike is a Program Manager and PMP instructor for veterans. Kori is a Holistic Health Practitioner helping others find healing opportunities. The couple has been married for 24 years.
Kori learned early in marriage that food was her husband’s love language. She shares, “I’ll be honest. I didn’t know much about cooking, but I wanted to learn. Our first assignment was in Okinawa, Japan. There, I met many amazing military spouses who became my mentors in so many ways. I can say with confidence that they taught me how to cook. I loved gathering with other families and enjoying a meal. Over the years, we’ve often opened our homes and shared meals. I love how food brings people together!”
In Alaska, the Chins owned a CrossFit gym for many years, and nutrition was a pivotal component of athleticism, as they discussed it often. Mike quickly learned his way around the kitchen and on the grill. Kori loves the memories of her kids sitting at the counter chatting as she cooked for her family. Their son, Mikie, has become an amazing cook. He loves to experiment and try new things. “I think food might be his love language, too,” Kori admits. Their daughters aren’t strangers in the kitchen, and some of Kori’s favorite memories are cooking or prepping a meal together.
Their favorite quick and simple meals are always stir-fries. Of course, some good chicken or shaved ribeye tossed with all kinds of fresh veggies and served with steamed rice is a staple a few times a week in their home. But the meal Kori makes that always makes her kids smile is Zuppa Toscana soup. Kori explains, “I looked up the recipe to surprise Mike because it is his favorite soup at Olive Garden. I’ve tweaked it over the years to thicken it and make it more filling.”
- 10-12 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into bit size pieces
- 2 pounds of bacon
- 2 pounds of Hot Jimmy Dean sausage
- 1 pkg frozen chopped spinach
- 1 onion diced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- One cup of heavy cream
- 16 cups chicken broth (I sometimes split it between bone broth and chicken broth)
- Everything is cooked in one pot.
- Cook the sausage until no longer pink and set aside to drain grease.
- Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces and toss it into the pan.
- Cook the bacon until crispy and set aside.
- Add the onion to the bacon grease and cook down, adding the garlic during the last minute of cooking.
- Throw in the potatoes and chicken broth and boil until soft.
- Then add in the sausage, bacon, spinach, and cream.
- Stir to combine.
- Serve it with sourdough, and it never disappoints.
Kori explained they often don’t have leftovers, but on the odd occasion they do, she adds a bit of broth to the thickened soup the next day, and it’s delicious.
(Note: you can half this for a smaller pot.)