Monday, March 21, 2011

Sharing the Soup

So in our MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers), we made a jar craft of this Minestrone Soup to share with someone else. I am going to take it to the new neighbor in the rental house 2 down from me. I know that they have been there since before Christmas cause I remember their lights, but I still haven't met them. Yes, I am slow. Very slow. Better now than never. I'll do it tomorrow. Yes-I promise.

1st Place in Chili Cook-off!!

Yes-that's right-you are looking at the FIRST place winner of the Whitesburg Elementary School PTA Chili Cook-off!!! Winner!! Held on 2/8/11, I had never entered a cooking contest before and won this one! It thrilled me to death! The award was a $20 gift card to Chili's Restaraunt, which was used quickly thereafter. The year of soup is literally paying off!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Crock Pot gift keeps on giving

So the crock pot gift kept on giving during the snow break. I attempted (for the first time) to make pinto beans from the dry pack. Wow-that is very difficult and takes a LONG time and a LOT of steps to make them taste worth anything. The crock did a good job in spite of me. I used a ham bone from the freezer that I had saved from Christmas and added spices... Those beans fed us that day, then were carried to Georgia to a family get-together, then split out to give a cup to my grandmother in the nursing home, then hand-blended and mixed with a can of refried beans for our Mexican-themed dinner tonight. Nice. I feel old-fashioned by making that one pack of beans stretch so far and feed so many. Tomorrow is church supper, so I need to plan for Thursday night now. Isn't cooking fun? It never NEVER ends.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow and the refrigerator

Sunday night the snow really fell hard. By Monday morning, we had between 6 and 9 inches, depending on where you stood in the yard. I had prepared taco soup for Sunday afternoon, but decided to hold on to it due to the pending weather and the possibility of being snowed in at home. Good call. As I write, today-Wednesday, this is day 3 of school being out and eating up all of the things I had previously prepared. Mark went off to work today, but that upsets me because of the risk of his safety on the roads. Men think they are invincible... Back to what I was saying before my fears so rudely interrupted my train of thought-I wish I had stock in the grocery store due to the sheer amount of food this family of 4 has consumed. The recycling company is hitting the jack pot at our house today (if they come). My staying at home and cooking has increased my donations to them. Yep-we donate to that service. They provide a bin and come pick it up and we DONATE to them and THEY make money on our cans of soup that we are forced to eat due to the economy. Crazy. I think this rambling is due to cabin fever. Maybe we can find something to do today. I already made homemade pumpkin bread, chocolate chip cookies, sausage balls, and snow creme. The bread was made with our halloween pumpkins that I roasted and pureed. Pretty cool-I felt like the cheapest family in America from the Today show that uses their pumpkins to cook too. "Thrifty" I'd say. I have also been a short-order cook to please the never-ending appetites of my little eaters. Wow! Staying home is a lot of work. I'm ready to go back to work. Tonight's menu: center-slice pan fried ham, biscuits, pinto beans (from the crock pot that I started last night from dry beans), mac & cheese. Yum!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Campbells helps out

Wednesday night was chili dogs at church. Great-had my share of chili this week. The kids were happy not to eat crock pot food though. Last night we went for Campbell's night because I started back to seeing my clients again after the Christmas break. Full time working moms must have quite a challenge in time management and healthy meal preparation. It is difficult enough working part time. So-this is where Campbell's steps in. Add a grilled cheese and some fruit on the side and VOILA-a meal. I ate the other half of Tyler's Toy Story chicken noodle soup. I could barly tell what those characters were. Why do kids even fall for that? Anyways-now sick of soup after having leftover chili for lunch (thank goodness it is all gone)we are veering from the plan and making mini pizzas for dinner. I did Wii fit this morning and I still have some room for improvement. It thinks I should weigh less-what my license actually says. Yeah right. I've never EVER weighed that as an adut. I think I'll stick with one small piece of pizza and a salad.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Chili day and beyond

So Tuesday night with the chili was so traumatic to me that I couldn't even post before now. I loved it, personally! I had a mild chili in the crock that had cooked most of the day, cheese AND fritos scoops to make it fun for the kids. So my little princess had a tough time with this meal. Threats of going to bed early, not getting dessert, and whatever else we could think of that seemed halfway reasonable came out of the mouths of two loving parents. She ate enough to count (literally 10 bites) and wouldn't admit to the fun of scooping even though I saw in her face that she liked it. Tyler ate it up. He is so sweet. The night ended with tears and going to bed early. Must be too tired from the first day of school and the challenge of a chili dinner all in one day. Bless her. I am working to have well-adjusted young people with nice manners and a gracious, greatful heart. Beginning with the end in mind, maybe next soup night will be more tolerable.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Year of Soup

So after the move and the remodeling, our bank account is empty and our waistlines are a bit thicker. I've been working on that last part since September and have made some good progress, but there is "room for improvement" in this department. The running joke this Christmas is that our family will be staying home in 2011 and eating soup to recover economically from our much-desired renovations in our lives and our new home. So-I hope to post our progress through the Year of Soup.

First up-our new crock pot (thank you Johnny and Vivian) was initiated today with Beef Stew. A recipe out of the Fix It and Forget it cookbook, it was quite good. It went over well with everyone with Ellie being the exception. What is her deal? She doesn't like a lot of ingredients obviously mixed together... If she only knew what was in those hot dogs she desires... She ate the meat out of it and some saltines. Yeah. She wouldn't even try a potato with the promise of a cupcake and a piece of Hershey's Bliss chocolate. Her loss. Tyler tore it up and so did we. Leftovers are neatly packed in a bag for Mark for lunch and a dish for me at home. About 2 cups left went in the freezer, labeled. I intend on this year being a more successful year at my husband carrying his lunch and saving that eating out money. I feel like that guy on the commercial at the ballpark quoting stats.

Tomorrow-chili. Very creative. I know. I am warming up to this concept and have to get up the nerve to try new things...