Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday funday

Ok ok ok, got a little off track, again. Going to 4 posts a week to try and keep up better. So today is Simon Says Monday. And I say educate yourself. Before you post anything political or start bad-mouthing a candidate please do your honest research. And really, name calling? Ok, so that's my soapbox for tonight. Have a fabulous week!
Here's what's coming up this week:
Wednesday Crafts: interchangeable frames (see below)
Yum-o Friday: Banana pancakes

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Food Junkie Wednesday ~ Broccoli Cheese soup

Happy Wednesday y'all! As you will hopefully come to learn, I LOVE to cook. However, I do not like cleaning up after my creations are made. So one pot dishes are by far my favorite. I cant believe I am sharing this one as it is a family recipe handed down to me from my grandmother. Its fairly cheap, easy, and a huge hit with my kids. Plus the leftovers are fabulous. I plan on tweaking this in the near future to make it less "processed" but for now I am giving you my current version of the recipe. Enjoy!

olive oil
1/2 medium onion diced
2-3 large carrots diced
2-3 ribs of celery diced
1 clove garlic finely chopped or grated
1 carton (26oz) Chicken stock (or veg if you want to keep it vegetarian, never tried though!)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 bag of baby broccoli florets
1 qt milk
2-3 cups of dry mashed potato flakes (do not use "buds", wont work!)
2 cups shredded white cheddar + more for topping if desired
1/2 tsp salt/pepper (or to taste)
optional: 1 cup cooked shredded chicken

 Prep time: 5 min    Cook time: 30 min    Start to table: approx 45 min


After dicing veggies, sautee in a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat with a 1/2tsp each of salt and pepper until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic during the last minute to prevent from burning.

Add the carton of chicken stock and bring to a low boil. Simmer on low-medium for 10 minutes.

Add frozen broccoli and cream of mushroom soup. Stir to combine. Bring to simmer and cook on low for 5-10 minutes or until broccoli is hot and begins to get tender.

Slowly add in 1 qt of milk (I use 2%). Stir to combine. (Add in shredded chicken here if desired) Continue to cook on low stirring often for 10 minutes until all veggies are tender (not mushy).

Add in shredded cheese and stir until totally incorporated. Add in mashed potato flakes one cup at a time and stir until well combined. I use about 3 1/2 cups total flakes. Make sure to wait a minute between adding each cup in to allow it to thicken up. Much easier to add in more flakes for a thicker texture than to try and thin it out.

Allow to thicken/cool for a couple minutes before serving. Top with more shredded cheese if desired. Serve with warm bread.

So there it is. Hope you enjoy this warm, thick, and creamy soup on a cool fall night soon! If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween Frame on Kid Craft Tuesday

I love the Halloween craft the kids and I made last year

My inspiration came from this blog last year:

I cant begin to tell you how easy and fun these were. We added something else to ours. Thumbprint spiders! I believe I found the idea for those in a magazine last year though for the life of me I cant find the exact source! (If you know it please tell me so I can update!)
Since I used the above link to make mine I wont go into details on how to paint/glue on the eyes. Its pretty easy to follow. The thumbprint spiders were just as easy.
  • Cut the cardstock to fit inside frame.
  • Have little ones dip their thumb into desired paint color and press onto center of paper.
  • Let dry!
  • Using a ball point pen (or in our case a Sharpie no-bleed fine tipped pen), draw on the string and all 8 legs. I did the one on my 3yo's but I let my 6yo do his own.
  •  Finally glue on the google eyes and let dry. Place in your finished google eye frame and enjoy!

FYI: The spiders in the frame are from this last week. I decided I will let the kids do new ones every year. Last years were just as cute though!

Happy Halloween crafting!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Faith Monday 2

Here goes nothing! Again, my apologies about basically shutting down this blog for the summer. Things here have been CRAZY! So as per my posted schedule, today is all about my faith and what I have learned over the past week. hmmmm. Where to begin?

I learned a lot about my faith in the last few weeks really. God has been challenging our family hardcore. We have been forced to make big decisions in a very short period of time. We have been required to trust how God is working in our lives, even without being able to see where that is leading us. Part of me has wanted to just crawl into bed, not deal with anything, and let my depression cloud get the better of me. The other part is reminded, especially this last 2 weeks, that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Did I want Jeremy to be injured? Heck no! I wouldn't wish this journey on anyone....wait. maybe I would. This whole terrible, traumatic, painful journey has forced us to take a hard look at what we believe to be true, to trust like never before, and to be blessed with riches far greater than we hoped. So many prayers were answered in this last year for us.

some small, some big, some selfish, some honest, some just because.

We have been so blessed. People are honestly still amazed when I say that. Why? Why cant we take the pain and hurt and turn it into something good that glorifies God? This IS our testimony. This is our chance to show others how much God cares, how He loves, and how we are to love. I admit, I am amazed that we made it to the year mark. It seems like just yesterday that I was walking in his ICU room praying that he would be okay.

I think the fact that this year has gone by so fast is part of the reason I am so scared to move away. I'm worried I will lose sight of the God I have come to know and love so much more deeply when we leave here. His presence is very evident here to me. This is the place where I have developed my strongest relationship with both God and my family. I know in heart though that I have to keep trusting Him. I have to keep trusting that everything we are going through now is part of the same great plan that I trusted him through a year ago. I knew then that God was taking care of us in the midst of the storm. And He still is. He will forever. I just need to continue to seek His face and trust that there is purpose in our lives, and we will be provided for.

Hear my voice when I call Lord;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face Lord, I will seek.
Psalm 27: 7-8 NIV