Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Treats: Halloween Soup

On Halloween, LaRee would always serve us this soup in pumpkin bread bowls.  Well kind of.  I never got the recipe.  Although she may not have had one, she was a "throw-what-you -got ' kinda cook and it always tasted AMAZING!

I found this recipe and it's pretty close I think to what she did.  I did tweak it a little bit to be more like hers.  (Added carrots and took out celery and onions)

7 1/2 cups chopped potatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped carrots
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 pinches pepper
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of flour
3 3/4 cups of milk
1 1/4 8 oz cream cheese
2 1/2 cups chopped ham


1.   Place potatoes, celery, onion, chicken stock, and parsley into a slow cooker. Season with salt and black pepper. Set cooker on High, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 2 hours.
2.   Whisk flour with milk in a bowl until smooth. Pour into slow cooker and stir until thickened. Cook on High for 2 more hours.
3.   Mash potatoes in the slow cooker to your desired thickness and consistency; stir in cream cheese and cooked ham. Simmer soup until cream cheese has melted, soup is thick and creamy, and ham is heated through, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Serves 10
T   So this will be our soup for Halloween served in pumpkin bowls of course.

  (photo from www.cuteasafox.com



Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Musings: Our Peeing House

Yes you read that right.  We have a peeing house.  Ever since we remodeled, the outside of our house leaks or pees on one side.  People are amused by this phenomenon.   Recently, our refrigerator started leaking along with our washer.

Saturday, Mikaela was with us and Chelsie and Alyssa were explaining this all to her.  Alyssa said, "Our house pees, our fridge pees, our washer pees, we pee...."  So Mikaela said we should put a sign out in front of our house "All who enter, must pee".  I said we should call our house the "You're-a-peein'" (European) house.  

We all laughed.  Happy moment.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five For Friday

1.  Alyssa Playing Volleyball
2.  Braden's car for the Pinewood Derby.  He took 3rd place.
3. Braden's 'sculpting' from rice krispy treats.  
4. Haunted Houses we made for fhe
5.  Chelsie's 1st date (Marc wasn't too hard on him:)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday Review

Simply a cute Halloween book.  Full of the Winnie the Pooh characters we love:  Winnie the Pooh, the kind, caring but simple-minded friend.  Piglet, the timid scared one who is afraid of the Spookables.  Eeyore, who keeps needing to change his costume.  Tigger, the spaz who is excited about Halloween, and Rabbit the fretting bunny who is worrying about his garden.  

Favorite exchange in the book:

Pooh is at Piglet's door, but Piglet needs to be sure.

"Perhaps if you say something only you could say, " reasoned Piglet, "then I'd be certain it's you."
"What would that be?' asked the puzzled Pooh.
"How about 'I am Pooh'?" suggested Piglet. 
"You are?" exclaimed the now totally confused bear of little brain.  "Then who am I?"
"Pooh Bear!"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tuesday Treats: Soup Again!

Taco Soup. Photo by Juenessa

Taco Soup in the slow cooker.  There are many variations of this soup, so you can adjust it any way you would like.  Today, I kept it very simple.

1 big can (29 oz) of tomato sauce
1 big can of water
2 cans of kidney beans
2 packages of taco seasoning
2 lbs of hamburger browned
1 lb of frozen corn (most recipes call for canned corn.  Personally I never have canned corn on hand because it taste more like can than corn:0

Add it all to the slow cooker, and serve in 8 hours.

Serve with sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips.  

Variations I have done and seen are:  add pinto, black or chili beans.  Use stewed tomatoes ( my family does not like stewed tomatoes.  If I use them I have to puree the tomatoes) and tomato sauce.  Use taco seasoning and Ranch dressing. And so forth.  

Very versatile soup and my family enjoys it and will eat it.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday Musings: Hope and Gratitude

Do I have things to  be grateful for?  You betcha!  Has my life took a turn the past few months that have been the hands down hardest time of my life?  Yes!  However, as I was laying in bed the other night mourning my life. Yes mourning.  I mourn who I was and what my life has been. Yet then I paused for a second.  What did I lose?  On the outside.  Nothing.  I still have a great family.  The most patient, loving, compassionate husband in the world who has been there for me even in the darkest moments.  Great kids who are fun, happy and just good kids.  Friends. Great friends who just care and are good...friends.   

Inside, I struggle everyday.  It's different than depression. Although it is that .  It's also a chemical feeling of despair, fear, anxiety, this-is -so -not-me kinda feeling.  

But today I have hope.  It's small, but nonetheless there.   Hope in better days.  Hope in healing and Gratitude for what I have to help me get there.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday Review: The Going to Bed Book

The Going to Bed Book

My kids have out grown this book, but I read it to them a lot when they were younger.  I love Sandra Boynton.  Her books are  witty, rhyming and fun to read with your kids.  She even has one book about belly buttons.   Silliness unlimited.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Treats: More Soup

I got this recipe from www.ourbestbites.com.  I've made it before and it is always a hit with the family.  Such a simple, nutritious recipe, and very delicious!

Black Bean Soup
Recipe by Our Best Bites

1 T olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 C diced celery ( about 2 ribs)
3/4 C diced carrots (about 2 med carrots)
1 C diced onion (about 1 sm-med onion)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 3.5oz can green chilies
2 cans low-sodium beef broth
1 t kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t cumin
1/2 t dry oregano leaves
1 bay leaf
Optional Toppings: sour cream, tortilla chips, grated cheese, chopped cilantro, etc.

Place a large stock pot on the stove-top and set to medium-high heat.  When pan is warm, add olive oil.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and saute 4-5 minutes.
Add in the black beans, chilies, and beef broth. Stir to combine and then add the salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf.

Simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf from soup. 

Place soup in a blender. (You could use an immersion blender in place of this step) Place lid on blender, but remove the stopper in the lid to let heat escape. Place a paper towel over the hole to avoid splatters. 

Puree soup until completely smooth.  Optionally you could pulse until a semi-chunky soup is achieved. Squeeze in the juice from one lime and pulse to combine.

Ladle into bowls and top with desired toppings. Serve with extra lime wedges.  Makes about 8 C soup.

The only thing I changed was I didn't add chili powder or oregano (didn't have them in my spices) but the soup tasted marvelous nonetheless.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Musings: What Language of Love Do You Speak?

We decorated the house finally for Fall. Yay!  It looks so Autumny.  Then I got the urge to decorate my blog like Fall.    I found a cute background and did all that it said to do, but it didn't work. Not sure why.  So I just put my template back, but since I did, I cannot get the format right.  I worked on it for hours on Saturday, with no luck..hashtag aarghh!

Anyway back at the ranch or blog.  The other night, I was laying in bed and one of my offspring hopped into bed by me.  He was supposed to be in bed, perhaps asleep, but no there he was wide awake.  My motherly instinct wanted to say of course, "Go to bed!" but I didn't.  Something told me he needed some mom time.  So we talked.  About nothing really.  Got a little silly and then he went to bed.  I knew then it was one of those small, precious moments that go unrecognized yet to him it was profoundly significant. 

Years ago I read the The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.   It's been a while since I read but the concept goes like this:  Each of us has a language in which we feel love.   The five different languages are physical touch, gifts, acts of service, spending time, and receiving praise.   I know for a fact this child of mine that I let stay up  has the "Love Language" of time.  He feels love when you spend time with him.   My youngest offspring is physical touch.  Obviously, I think we should show our love to our children by spending time, affection, praise, etc all the time.  Learning their "Love Language" just helps us to concentrate our efforts on their language when needed.  


Friday, October 11, 2013

Five for Friday: General Conference Store and Fall Break Scavenger Hunt

Chelsie made a "General Conference Store"  for the kids for General Conference.

Braden and Jaycie are into scavenger hunts.   So I made one for them for Fall  Break.

1st Clue:  Duck!!! Or Feed them...(Duck Pond)

2nd Clue;  (Marc came up with this one)  Going to get Rapunzel...which was we were getting Mikaela who lives in University Towers

3rd Clue:  Let's go fishing...sort of...or go where the "Birds" like to go.
(Our neighbors the Birds like to go to Cabelas)

4th Clue;  Hit the Mark  (Target)  We went to Target to get supplies to make Mickey cookies
5th Clue:  Frosty? Or "Windy"  (Wendy's for dinner)

Jaycie's Mickey cookie

 And we finally decorated the house for Fall

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Treat: Easy Corn Chowder

Did I mention I love soup?    Here is some soup I made last week and it was a hit with the family...even the picky eaters:

2 Cans (141/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 bag(16 ounces) frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
3 small red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 rib celery, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup heavy cream 
8 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

1.  Place broth, corn potatoes, bell pepper, onion, celery, salt, black pepper and coriander into Crock Pot; cook on low 7 to 8 hours

2.  Partially mash soup mixture with potato masher to thicken.  Stir in cream; cook on High, uncovered, until hot.  Adjust seasonings, if desired.  To serve, sprinkle on bacon.

Confession:  I can never follow a recipe exactly.  I think it's the rebel in me coming out...tee hee...So here are some changes I made:

I used russet potatoes because that's what I had and I did not peel them.  
I did not put in a red bell pepper because I don't like them.
I did not put in ground coriander because I don't know what it is.

This recipe came from  a book called Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes.