Monday, November 24, 2008

Artichoke Soup

I love artichokes. I was really excited to try this Cream of Artichoke soup and I thought it was delicious. Not very healthy, but delicious. Tyler didn't like it but he will just have to suffer because I plan on putting it into my cookbook, which means I will make it again. I have typed about 6 recipes for my cookbook so far, so I have hardly made a dent in my stack.

Cream of Artichoke Soup 4-6 servings AntiquiTea, Pittsburgh
1. ½ cup chopped green onion
2. 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3. 2 stalks celery, chopped
4. ½ cup butter, divided
5. 1 bay leaf
6. ½ tsp thyme
7. ½ tsp oregano
8. 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
9. 4 cups chicken broth
10. 4 oz. can sliced mushroom, drained
11. 14 oz. Can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
12. 3 tbsp flour
13. 1 cup heavy cream
14. Salt and pepper to taste

-In a large saucepan over medium heat, saute onion, carrots celery in ¼ cup butter.
-Add ingredients 5-11 and simmer for 15-20 minutes
-Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter over low heat. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Stir the flour mixture into artichoke mixture.
-Slowly add the cream, and salt and pepper. Cook 3-5 minutes or until slightly thickened and heated through.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yesterday and today have been spent entirely at home. This is one of the reasons I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom of two young children. We get to stay at home in our jammies whenever I feel like it. It can be a double-edged sword of sorts as well. Sometimes I get a little bit of cabin fever. Yesterday we watched a lot of tv. I especially enjoyed Oprah and her show about beauty around the world. I think today's Oprah is supposed to be about sex, so I think I will skip that one. I also watched a movie from the library, "the Woodlanders" based on a book I read a year ago. It had Rufus Sewell, one of my celebrity crushes, in it so I enjoyed it.This morning I made turkey shaped sugar cookies with a recipe that was in my stack. It was the Land O' Lakes "best ever butter cookie" with orange juice in it. I don't think I will make it again. I couldn't even taste the OJ in it. But the cookies turned out cute after I decorated them. I think that picture of Will holding the tray of cookies was torturous to him because he really wanted another one. He had already eaten 3 unfrosted and 1 frosted already, for goodness sake!

There is a broken water main in our neighborhood, so we have no water this afternoon. I now have urges to drink several glasses of water, do the laundry and dishes, go to the bathroom and be able to flush, and take a long, hot shower. But, alas, we have no pressure. Just a little hiss of air every time I test the tap. I am a bit worried about the boiler since there is no water to fill it up. I turned down the thermostat so it wouldn't turn on. Hopefully our water is restored soon. I threw out all of our water storage when we moved to Greenfield, so I think I only have one or two bottles of water that are several years old and all dented. My urge to clean will subside once we have water again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

favorite recipes

I am addicted to recipe collecting. I have a stack of recipes from magazines, etc. that I want to try out sometime. The stack grows larger every week. I just can't make all these recipes. I also want to type my favorite recipes and eventually make them into my own personal cookbook so I don't have to shuffle through yucky scraps of yellowing paper. I don't know if I will ever stick to this project, but I at least have a start. I made this the other day with my food storage black beans and really liked it (after the addition of the sour cream).

Steak and Black Bean Chili 6 servings
¾ pound sirloin steak
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 cube beef boullion
2 tbsp chili powder
½ tsp sugar
1 cup chopped tomato
2/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
6 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream
1. Remove fat from steak. Cut steak into ½ inch cubes. Heat oil in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add steak, onion, and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Add beans, diced tomatoes and juice, bell peppers, jalapeno pepper, boullion, chili powder and sugar. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered 30 to 45 minutes.
2. Top with chopped tomato, green onions and sour cream.

Monday, November 17, 2008

It's a rare occurence, but both the kids are down for naps. It's 2:00 and I have a bit of time to kill. WIll doesn't take naps, unless I take him for a car ride. I think it's hard for him to wind down in the middle of the day. He woke up at 5:20 this morning and he was getting cranky so he let me cuddle with him (also a rare occurence) and he went to sleep. What shall I do with my few remaining minutes? I think I will waste them mindlessly surfing the internet!

Friday, November 14, 2008

new kitchen

My mom came to visit for a couple days. We got the kids pictures done and my mom got an early Christmas present for Maggie. If you say that it is her kitchen, Will gets in a snit, so we call it Will's kitchen for now. Is it fair that they have a nicer kitchen than their mom?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Last warm days

We have been enjoying the most beautiful fall weather the past week or so. Tomorrow it is supposed to turn colder, so we have to get our last trip to the park in today. I keep on thinking that we are on our last nice day, but it keeps on being warm and sunny. But I do think this is our last day in the 70's.

I have started stripping wallpaper in our bedroom. It's coming off pretty easily, revealing some cracked walls. It will be a huge job to patch walls and ceiling in this bedroom. Oh well, I'm tired of waking up to sunny cabbage roses every day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I failed miserably in my resolve to not buy candy until it went 75% off. I needed to go to Target to get diapers, tp, and laundry detergent and i was reeled in. They still had some LIndor truffles which I snapped up. I also got dots, a giant bag that had a few different chocolate candies in it, and mint chocolate 3 musketeers. I was disappointed that they didn't have any York peppermint patties. Oh well... The money I spent on candy seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to the price of tp and detergent. We have become accustomed to ultra-soft charmin and Target had a deal where if you buy two packages of tp you get a $5 gift card. I am such a sucker for that kind of promotion. The scent-free detergent is also really expensive. Oh, Maggie just woke up, gotta go!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Candy, candy, candy

We got home yesterday in record time, less than 3 hours. I gazed fondly at the Muncie exit on I-69, thinking that if we still lived there we would almost be home. But, alas, we still had a good 45 minutes left. We unloaded all of Will's treats, including all the Curious George books from Kohl's(my mom just can't resist that little monkey), some dvds, a sticker book, and all of Will's candy which I promptly hid. I have eaten way more candy than I am going to let on. When do kids realize their mama has been in their stash? I did give Will a lemon flavored tootsie roll(one of the lowliest candies in my estimation) today. That's about as much as I can share. My biggest test will be when I go to Target this week. I promised myself that I wouldn't buy any candy unless it was 75% off. I am going to try to keep to that. I do so love Ghirardelli filled chocolates, though. Their siren song gets me every time. Last Christmas, I bought bags and bags of chocolates (all in the name of food storage, of course!:) and didn't tell Tyler of my stash for the longest time. I will let you know if my resolve holds out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Yesterday was the perfect night for Halloween. It was in the 60's and 50's the whole time and sunny. Will loved getting "dandy" from my parent's neighbors. The only bad thing about the warm weather is that there were lots of pre-teen and teenage girls running around in some seriously skanky outfits. Those kinds of outfits belong in nightclubs and adult parties, not running around a neighborhood where there are a lot of kids. But, at least they are not my children (and hopefully never will be).