Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Best News...EVER

We, at the NutHouse, have had a couple weeks filled with some stressful situations.
An ambulance ride, an MRI and EKGs, a domestic well that pumps no water and pump companies that are too busy to come out to confirm that we are indeed at the bottom of the hole. 
 Laundry baskets are bulging...water is being heated in pots to wash dishes and hands. 
Showers are being taken at three different homes, thanks to family members who have opened their showers to us.
BUT all that pales in comparison to the wonderful news we received on Monday.
After nearly a year of two surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation this lady is CANCER FREE.
Nothing better.
Take a peak and a listen to this video.
My favorite hymn ever.
In Rome.
Gorgeous singers.
The bagpipes opened the floodgates of tears.
Anything Scottish where Mom is concerned, you know.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eighty Degrees = Soup Weather

Autumn arrived  last week on the calendar, but forgot to mention that fact to the weather.
Yesterday was the coolest day we have had in recent or long term memory...the high was supposed to be 84 or some such number. 
Not exactly soup weather, but with the temps climbing back into the mid 90's by the weekend, I had to go for it.. 
We all love soup and this one is perfect for the crock pot. 
 It is a dump and go kind of recipe and since our domestic well has a minute amount of water in it, washing a bunch of dishes is not possible.
This soup is hearty and if you omit the bacon and pasta, it is very healthy. 
 I did not omit the pasta nor bacon,
because on days when water does not flow from faucets, bacon helps.
Grated parmesan cheese is great sprinkled over the top, but I forgot.
Oh well.

 This recipe is easily done on the stovetop as well and requires no babysitting. 
 It has been a go to recipe of ours for years and along with Clam Chowder, is a favorite in these parts. 
 I am looking forward to another soup weather day.
January looks promising.

Jen's Minestrone Soup
Dump all in crockpot or stockpot.
1 can Cannellini beans...drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes...I like fire roasted
3 celery stalks, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 minced garlic cloves
3 Portobello mushroom caps, cleaned and diced (these give an amazingly meaty texture to the soup)
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 quart beef broth (add more if needed to cover veggies by an inch or so)
2 sprigs rosemary
1 rind of Parmesan cheese (I save these in the freezer to pull out when needed)
1 pkg bacon, cooked and drained
I set the crock pot on low and cook all day (4-7 hours).
It is very forgiving. 
On the stovetop, about an hour...just until veggies are tender. 
Remove rosemary stems and cheese rinds.
I add some cooked pasta to a bowl and ladle hot soup over top. 
This way, the leftover soup doesn't have  mushy pasta in it.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Truism

Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people,

a heart that forgives the worst,

a mind that forgets the bad

and a soul that never loses faith in God.

Author Unknown

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dinner Idea From a New Favorite Blog

It has been so stinking hot around here for so long, it is easy for me to lose the momentum and gumption to cook properly for my family. 
 Nothing sounds good.
The kitchen gets hot and my energy level in heat plummets to nearly nil.
BUT with kids in school, hubby hard at work providing for our family, it is my job to prepare sustenance for them. 
I have not reverted to fast food as a quick fix since I lost 80 pounds and I am determined to keep it that way
Like any other parent, timing dinner can be tricky. 
 There are work and college class schedules to contend with. 
Then there are and practices as well as meetings. 
And none of the times are consistent.
 I am planning a post sharing what I find works for us...most of the time. 
 That will be coming soon, but this past week has been one for the record books with events...planned and unplanned. 
For now, I wanted to share a blog that I adore and a recipe that will become a regular as well as  go to in the freezer. 
Lorie's blog, LoriesMississippiKitchen is filled with gorgeous photos like the one below, scrumptious recipes and personality.
This Turkey Taco Quinoa Bake is full of filling, good for you ingredients. 
I used red quinoa because that is what I had. 
The turkey,  black beans and tomatoes are very filling without feeling heavy and the spice was perfect for all of us.  
Another thing that Lorie does on all of her recipes is shares her "notes".
These are suggestions or tips concerning the recipe that I, as a reader, appreciate a great deal.
This recipe makes a bunch! 
 For our family of 5, it fed us twice. 
Next time. I will divide it into two pans and freeze one for later. 
 Nothing better that having ready entrĂ©e in the freezer...add a quick salad and veggie and dinner is served.
The only thing I did that is different than Lorie's recipe is I left the cheese off of one corner of the pan. 
 As much as I adore cheese, I don't eat it on a regular basis anymore. 
I did top my portion with some diced avocado and a small dollop of sour cream.
It has been lunch for me this week as well. 
It stands up to reheating perfectly.
What is your go to meal when life is crazy?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Where is Your Utopia

Do you ever have the desire to runaway? 
To just up and leave the tough decisions, the nagging doubts, the never ending homework, paperwork and projects? 
To a place where the calendars have more blank space that written reminders of places to go and people to see?
To let the chips fall where they may and let others pick up the pieces?
I understand there is a television show about a Utopian Society and frankly, the commercials freaked me out a bit.
Have you seen it?
I'm not sure precisely where my Utopia would be but I know it would include big trees, running streams and cool, clean air. 
There would also be no cell phones or television.
If you could escape reality in any location on the planet, where would it be?
Would you leave a forwarding address?
Since I am mostly a responsible, human adult, I guess I will stay put.
Besides, if I had been in some perfect, stress free place, I would have missed these two gems.
One of whom was complaining that she "can't remember the dates of her C-Sections."
I bet her kids' birthdays are more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Summer No Least on the Calendar

May we all be blessed with spectacular colors in nature, cool soup weather, and pumpkins.
Boy, do I adore this season!

Photo by my Mommy

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Truism

 He is close to all who call upon Him, all who call on Him from the heart.

Psalms 145:18