October Eats and Sweets // Chicken Gnocchi Soup // Deadly Caramel Brownies {recipe}

Here we are, the second week of October already!  That means it’s time for my second installment of October Eats and Sweets!  

When it gets chilly outside, I find myself going OVERBOARD on cooking soups…much to my husband’s dismay (he can only handle soup once a week or so).  I just can’t help it!  So for my EAT this week, here is a yummy copycat version of one of Olive Garden’s famous soups!


I was worried that my hubby wasn’t going to be a fan of this one, but was pleasantly surprised to see how much he did like it.  Serve it up with some yummy bread and enjoy!

Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup
1 cup chicken breasts, cooked and diced 
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 quart half and half
1  can chicken broth
1 cup celery, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
Freshly grated parmesan cheese  (when serving)
1 pound potato gnocchi 

Sauté the onion, celery, carrots, and garlic in the butter and olive oil, over medium heat when the onion becomes translucent.  Add the flour to make a roux. Let the butter and flour mixture cook for a minute before adding the half and half. Then add chicken. Once the mixture becomes thick add the chicken broth. Once the mixture thickens again, add the gnocchi, spinach, and seasonings, simmer until the gnocchi is cooked (maybe five to ten minutes). Top with parm and enjoy!
Recipe Source:  Our Family Treat

And for my sweet treat this week…I ran into the baking aisle at the store and noted the caramel bits, which I tend to go crazy for this time of year!  I dipped into some of my old archives and found a recipe for some delicious brownies that take no time at all….they are perfectly ooey gooey and will please anyone!  

When you need a fast dessert, check these babies out!

Deadly Caramel Brownies

1 box German chocolate cake mix (I’ve used Devil’s Food Cake as well)
1/3 c evaporated milk
1/2 c butter, melted

14 oz package of Kraft caramels (50)
1/3 c evaporated milk

1 cup milk chocolate chips (Guittard or other large chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together dry cake mix, butter, and evaporated milk. Press half of this mixture into bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Bake for 6 minutes.

Melt caramels with 1/3 c evaporated milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Set aside.

Sprinkle chocolate chips over baked crust. Drizzle caramel over chocolate chips. Spoon or sprinkle the other half of the cake mixture on top. Bake for 16-18 minutes. Refrigerate approximately 30 minutes to set. Cut and serve.

Happy October!