Blog Archive

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Hunger Games - and some knitting


This week I started The Hunger Games.  OK, lets be honest, I read the majority of it during an extra long nap the kids took yesterday.  And then I finished it last night, just to find out that there is a second book and a third.  I guess I have been completely behind the eight ball on this series.  I have heard some say that it is the best thing since Harry Potter - I'm not sure I would say that, but it is a very good book.  The story sucks you in, and it is passionate and there are some definite sad parts to it, enough to have tears in my eyes at least - although that isn't saying much with how big of a sap I am.  When we had gone out with my old boss and his wife a few weeks back she mentioned this book and thought I would like it.  So I put it on my list to read.  Then when I went to see Breaking Dawn Part 1, there was a preview for the movie version of this book that is coming out next March.  And actually, the preview seemed a bit disturbing, especially because I hadn't read anything about the book plot, just that people liked it :-)  So now I have to figure out how to get my hands on the next book in the trilogy, and I guess I better start reading more about what I am reading before I start reading it!  Not knowing this was a trilogy really bit me this time, since now I will most likely have to wait weeks before I can get the second from the library, and I am kind of tied up with money for Christmas these next few weeks!

And as for my knitting...well lets just say that I considered taking a picture of the PILE of unfinished projects that I keep plugging away at.  But, I decided to start another something new :-)  So I started working on a doll for my son.  I wrote about this before in here.  I have decided that it isn't going to hurt my son to have a doll, and he wants something to cuddle anyways :-)  Plus, now maybe my kids will stop fighting over Emma's doll. :-)

I'm linking up at the yarn along again this week!  Maybe I can find another project to start in my short couple of weeks before the Christmas parties start!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

food choices during the holidays

I feel like the majority of the year I make really good food choices.  We have a summer and winter CSA share, veggies from the garden, we don't buy meat from the grocery store at all, instead we get it from a small farmer at the farmers' market.  I buy farm fresh eggs, and good flour (since I have no grain mill).  But, when the holidays come, I feel like I get a tad out of control in the food department.

There are foods that I am used to eating during the holidays, and they are not all that healthy.  I bake A LOT for friends and family, and in order to do that, I go to Sam's club and buy the big 25lb bags of white flour.  I buy eggs from the grocery store and non-organic butter.  I have meatballs at holiday parties, and instead of making the meatballs myself (which I would do any other time of the year), I buy a big bag of meatballs from the store and call it good.

I think the biggest reason for all of this is the cost of food.  I would love to feed everyone I know with good local organic foods, but it isn't financially feasible with all the entertaining that we do.  So, I compromise.  Does this make me a bad person?  Sometimes I wonder.  I mean, I go on all year long about how well we eat, how important it is to eat organic meats, that regular white flour is stripped of all its nutritional components, and then at Christmas I go ahead and use all the foods that I choose not to use for my family the rest of the year.

I'm interested to hear what you do.  I'm not saying that I throw everything organic out the window.  I still get a lot of local foods, the veggies for veggie trays.  I make my own dips instead of buying those at the store.  I get good cheese.  But, I can't do it for everything, and while I really want to, I know that the majority of my family and friends could care less about the food choices that I make.  Does that make it right?  Not really, but I can't figure out a way around the financial aspect of eating good food and entertaining.  Maybe I need to save more during the year to be able to provide the kinds of foods I expect to eat.  I guess I let it slide because it is only once per year, Christmas.  Even at Thanksgiving we get a turkey from the farm and have all organic veggies.

What about you?  Do you back off on all the entertaining and baking so that you can afford the good quality ingredients?  Do you save up enough money to use the quality ingredients?  Or do you let it slide, like me, because it is only once a year?

Monday, November 28, 2011

long weekends are awesome!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with their family (if you celebrate Thanksgiving anyways!).  We had a nice time.  It was kind of crazy having everyone up here for dinner, but it was nice too, especially about 10 minutes in when Emma wanted to get down and play.  Sometimes it is just easier with kids to be at your own house.  At least that is the case for me!  My mom made a delicious turkey, and my brother made some awesome poached pears with a honey vanilla cream.  A little non-traditional, but delicious none-the-less!

How many people out there are Black Friday shoppers?  I, unfortunately, love going out on Black Friday.  Typically I am not one for consumerism, and this would be the worst day to decide to be for it I guess, but it always puts me in the Christmas spirit, seeing all the decorations and people out looking for gifts for their loved ones.  I actually don't buy too much on Black Friday.  But, I always need craft supplies for the holidays, and I can typically get some really good deals on fabric and yarn, so I usually go for it!

Then Saturday was our day to decorate our Christmas tree.  We do it the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year.  I try to stretch out the Christmas season for as long as possible, and considering we celebrate Christmas the week before with Matt's family, it seems like we have no time between Thanksgiving and Christmas...oh right...we don't...2 weekends left.

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful season and are able to take a couple steps back from the parties and the presents and enjoy those around you!  That is my goal for this season!  Hopefully I will be back with some regular blogging the rest of the week, and the weeks to come :-)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I will be gone until Monday, enjoying food and family, and decorating for Christmas :-)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

wonderful weekend!

We had such a nice little vacation these past few days.  It was pretty relaxing.  I was able to watch trashy teen movies (thank you Breaking Dawn part 1), and go to my favorite mexican restaurant.  Have some awesome girlfriend time with my BFF.  Also, my husband was able to do a really interesting podcast with his brother...yeah...let's just say that I am a little leery of this continuing in the future!  If anyone wants to take a listen here you go.  I have to warn you, my hubby is a little...well...you can make up your own mind :-)  But, my favorite part of the weekend was watching my kids, and their cousins, enjoy each other so much.  I wish that we lived closer, because it was wonderful seeing them all play together!


Sorry for the picture quality, it was taken in a rush on my iphone when the girls were pretending to sleep :-)

Monday, November 21, 2011

the craziness begins

I know that I have been talking holidays for some time now, but it is in full force for me at this moment. Over the past few days I have been looking at my calendar, trying to get my schedule down, and also trying to figure out some self imposed deadlines for crafting. Well, come to find out, I have one free Saturday between now and Christmas...my baking day...wow...now I know why I start thinking about the holidays in July...and it isn't just the awesome music ;-)

I always intend to enjoy the holidays. And mostly I do, but this year seems to be a little more stressful. Why? You may be asking yourself. Well, I am planning on hosting Thanksgiving, and also it is my year to host Christmas for my husband's side of the family...plus the actual Christmas holiday with my side of the family.

Now, I probably shouldn't be too stressed about Thanksgiving. My mom is a power house when it comes to cooking. Seriously, she is good. She has it down. I think it must be years of practice, but man, she can really crank it out for us. Technically I make half of the veggies, and she does the other half...plus the turkey...and the hor d'oeuvres...and the food for every other day during our 5 day weekend :-) And my brother is an awesome cook as well, and made the most amazing garlic mashed potatoes last year...seriously delicious. But, this year we will be eating at my house...and that adds a little stress to my life...you know, the whole cleaning thing, making sure we have some dishes to eat off of and all ;-)

And then there is Christmas. We alternate the Christmas party for my husband's side of the family, which works out well since there are so many of us...and on my side it is just my brother, sister-in-law, and mom, but Matt has a much larger family, especially with the cousins, a couple of siblings and their spouses and the parents and grandparents. A lot of food, a LOT of presents, and probably more stress than I need in my little life. I think I make up most of the pressure, but it is still there, no matter how much praying or chanting I do...

This year I have grand ideas of many different appetizers, cute little favors, invitations for our party going out...hmmm...this week...and many presents to make. Not to mention the decorating I have planned. You would think I live in a 10,000sf mansion with many many minions at my beck and call. Unfortunately, that is not the case. And no matter how crazy stressful it is for me, I love it. It is my favorite time of the year. The decorations, the music, the food, the togetherness of family. Bringing my baked goods to friends, and having them be so excited about receiving them, I really can't get enough of it. So, I may be complaining a lot over the next couple of weeks, but just know that I revel in the craziness. I love having my family around me, and I love entertaining...whether or not they actually like all the weird food that I come up with...

What about you? Are you hosting anything this year? Is it stressing you out? Any tips on keeping the stress down, besides copious amounts of wine?

Friday, November 18, 2011

a question for you

Good morning my lovely readers!  No recipe today.  I haven't done much cooking this week, and I feel like a recipe without a final product picture is kind of lacking (not that I haven't done it before!).  So instead I have a question for you!

We have been away at a hotel most of the week, and because of that  we really are not eating entirely well.  What do you do when you go away and are staying in a hotel?  Do you eat out every meal?  Do you try and find a grocery store and make a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?  Or do you really research where you will be, and try to find the most local options for restaurants, or even stopping at a farmers' market in the area?

Obviously I am not talking about a vacation to Disney World, where you would be eating out most meals, possibly utilizing Disney's awesome meal plan, unless you stayed in one of those cool resorts that have kitchens and laundry...and maybe even if you did stay in one of those resorts!  But, maybe if you stayed at a hotel for a few days because your husband was working in the office for a few days :-)

We have done a mixture of things, bringing some food with us that doesn't need to be refrigerated, eating out some, and mooching off of family, you know, the normal stuff!

*Just a note, Disney hasn't asked me to talk up their awesomeness, I am instead an obsessed fan of theirs, and I am dreaming of when I can go back - potentially due to the recent dip in temperature :-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

dairy

I have been thinking a lot about dairy recently.  I mean, I love it.  Well, I take that back, it is mainly cheese that I love.  I have never been a big milk drinker - at all really.  But cheese, it is something I really felt like I couldn't live without!  My husband is the same way, my daughter, not so much.  When she was younger than 2 she liked those organic mozzarella cheese sticks that you can find at the grocery store, and would gladly snack on them whenever allowed, but not anymore.  She has never had milk either, besides taking a sip here and there from Matt's glass.  She pretends to like it, but really doesn't, so it never becomes more than one sip :-)

I have always been leery of giving my kids milk, but not cheese.  I think it is because I do extended breastfeeding, I don't feel any need for cow's milk.  I remember walking into the dr.'s office for Emma's one year check up and the nurse telling me I could switch her over to cow's milk now.  I, being a little taken aback, said "I'm still nursing her, can't I just continue doing that?"  The nurse just kind of looked at me.  Now, for full disclosure, Emma didn't have any interest in solids until she was at least 15 months.  We tried all manner of mashed veggies and fruits, I even went straight for banana hoping she would eat something, nope, not one thing until she decided she wanted to eat peas and corn and apples all the live long day :-)  So I was still nursing her pretty much all the time.  I would give her cheese though, when she wanted it.  She did have relatively bad eczema during that period of her eating cheese - I never really connected the two until now.

Of course I then watched Forks Over Knives and saw all kinds of research against dairy.  And I am still in the process of doing my own research for both sides.  Maybe raw dairy is different than what is at the grocery store, maybe cheese isn't as bad for us as I think.  A lot of questions.  I did a little experiment over the past 6 weeks.  I stopped eating cheese for a while.  I learned to enjoy my bean burritos without the cheese, and added rice and more salsa and veggies.  I also felt better, no more weird congestion every morning, no more blowing my nose constantly.  Then a couple of weeks ago, I started eating cheese again...the congestion came back, and then I got sick.  Coincidence?  Probably, but it is worth looking into more for me, because I don't want to have to take those crazy steroids so that I can breathe properly.

What about you?  Do you eat/drink dairy?  What do you think of the health claims of people who drink raw milk, and then those who produced Forks Over Knives, or wrote The China Study?  I am interested to hear other opinions on the matter!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

a bit of a vacation

I am in the middle of packing for a small semi-vacation right now.  And because of that, totally forgot to write a post for today!  So here goes :-)  We are having our annual mocksgiving at my brother-in-law's this weekend, and that coincides with a trip for Matt's work, so we will be combining the two.  It makes more sense than traveling back and forth in a few days time!  I am looking forward to the following:

~someone making my bed everyday
~free breakfast at the hotel
~a pool and a hot tub
~a night out with my lovely friend
~a fun filled day of family and food

In the meantime, I will hopefully be doing a lot of knitting while Matt has the car and I am sitting with two babes in a hotel room!  Right now I am still working on Christmas knitting.  Surprise surprise.  I guess I am always working on Christmas knitting.  It is a little difficult this year because my little Emma sees me working everyday, and is constantly asking about her list.  Not to mention that when I finish something, she wants to use it immediately.  I have been trying to do my "finishing" when she is sleeping :-)


This week I read Austenland which I saw on another yarn along blog recently.  I love Jane Austen, and this was a cute story to read.  On a sort of related note, did anyone else see the recent news story about Jane Austen possibly being poisoned with arsenic?  Strange...I am also reading The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall. Which is seriously awesome, and not at all like the tv show...which I am still addicted to by the way.  I also have Simplicity Parenting waiting in the wings...clearly a wide variety of reading, but definitely all enjoyable!

I'm linking up with Ginny for her yarn along today!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

heifer international

Has anyone else heard of this charity?  I heard about it a few years ago, but am thinking about it now because I just received their gift catalog in the mail.  Heifer International is a program that helps people obtain a sustainable source of food and income.  I think this is a great approach to helping people around the world.  It seems to me that someone in Malawi would profit so much more from receiving a cow and learning to milk it for his family and to sell the extra, than to have food brought in for a few meals.

I'm not saying that there aren't a lot of wonderful charities out there that help others, but this one speaks to me. Especially considering I am trying to bring more food self-sufficiency to my own family.  What a wonderful gift to give someone this holiday season, instead of spending as much money on our friends and family as we normally would, maybe some of our friends and family would be happy to know that you bought a share of a cow in their name, or a flock of chickens.

Do you have a special charity that you love to give to during the holiday season?  Or any time?

Monday, November 14, 2011

i've been sick

It is never fun to get sick.  And surprisingly, I am not sick all that often.  I think it must be because of all the veggies I eat.  But, when I do get sick I need some relief.  I have been slowly starting to use fewer over the counter medicines, and trying to use more herbal remedies.  You would think it would be easy to start using more herbal remedies, but it hasn't been for me.  I think that the herbs seem cost prohibitive at first.  I guess I should think about how much a small bottle of Robitussin costs though, and then do a comparison.  It ends up being much cheaper in the long run, and there are ingredients you can actually pronounce in the herbal concoctions!

I seem to get sick every fall.  My mom always tells me that I have caught whatever is going around.  And that is probably the truth.  I find that once the fall comes, I am in complete holiday mode, which means that I am not eating as well as I typically do the rest of the year and not sleeping as much.  It starts the season of my family getting take out more often because I am busy crafting/playing/reading all day with the kids, and food seems to take a back burner.  Especially when I try to make the majority of the Christmas presents.  For someone who tries to make it not about the presents, it seems to take over at this point realizing that I only have 2 free weekends before my husband's side of the family comes over for Christmas (yikes!).

When I do get sick, I tend to go through the same remedies, and surprise surprise, they work out relatively well!  I always have Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat tea on hand.  It soothes my throat like no other tea/medicine/OTC drug can.  And as an added benefit, it keeps me warm in my very cool house :-)  The other route I go is the raw vinegar/raw garlic/raw honey route.  I have been trying to eat more raw garlic because of the great health benefits that garlic produces.  And I love garlic, so chopping a clove and eating it raw with some raw honey isn't that bad for me, although I can see that it takes a certain type of person to do that :-)  My kids get a small bit of honey when their throats hurt, and it seems to work like magic on them :-)

What do you use when you are sick?  Are their other natural remedies that I should add to my medicine cabinet?  And what do you use for the babies/toddlers in your house?

I'm linking up at Homestead Revival's Barn Hop today!

Friday, November 11, 2011

collard green wraps with white bean and garlic spread


I knew that getting collard greens in our CSA share this week meant that I would be making collard green veggie wraps for a meal this week.  I love the taste of collard greens, and it makes a great replacement for tortillas or bread.  Typically I would make a raw wrap with summer veggies - tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, sprouts - with a little avocado and lime juice, and it makes an amazing and healthy lunch.  Unfortunately, it is no longer summer here in Maine.  Instead I had cabbage, carrots, parsnips and leeks in the fridge.  So, I made a cold weather wrap instead :-)

First I made a white bean and garlic spread.  Take a half pound of cooked white beans (I used navy beans), stick in a blender with 3 cloves of garlic, the juice of half a lemon, and some salt.  Turn the blender on and add as much extra virgin olive oil you need to make a spreadable dip.  I think I used about 1/4 cup of olive oil.  This is very garlic-y, so if you don't like a strong garlic flavor you may want to start with 1 clove of garlic and add more as you like.  I love garlic, so I used a lot.  As an aside, I have never made a white bean dip before, but this was delicious, and I think would be really good with crackers or raw veggies.  Also, a good alternative to hummus which some people don't care for.  Not to mention super easy :-)

I then finely shredded one head of green cabbage, chopped up one leek (the white and a little bit of the green), and took a veggie peeler to one large parsnip and 4 carrots.  I threw that in a saute pan with some olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and sauteed until it was relatively wilted.  Then I took one collard green leaf, cut out the stem, put some of the bean spread on the leaf and added some of the veggies.

They came out really good!  I was wondering how it would be with the warm dip (I had just taken the beans off the burner and made the dip while the veggies were cooking), and warm veggies.  The collard green held up really well, no wilting, and it was a nice little lunch for us.

How about you?  Do you use collard greens as a bread replacement?  What is your favorite wrap?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

winter CSA

This week was our first winter pantry CSA pick up.  We go every other week for the next 20 weeks.  I am really thankful we have such great access to local foods.  There is something comforting to me knowing we will  have this food available to us throughout the winter.

The family that runs our winter CSA use horses to work their gardens.  I think that is the coolest thing ever.  The horses are HUGE though.  I grew up around horses, but not draft horses.  They are definitely intimidating up close.  But, our farmers love them, and I love that they are using something other than machines to work the soil and produce such delicious food for us :-)  When we go out to pick up our share Emma likes to look at them...although definitely from a distance!

This week we received:

baking potatoes
sweet potatoes
parsnips
carrots
black spanish radish
daikon radish
cabbage
dill
collard greens
kale
leeks
sweet dumpling squash

It was a very good week for us :-)  As the winter goes on, the fresh greens and herbs decrease, and we receive more frozen and preserved foods.  They make an amazing tomatillo salsa that I am looking forward to getting.  If only I could produce and preserve all of this food so that I wouldn't need to rely on others to do it for me!  It must be a comfort to these farmers' that have CSA's, knowing they have food for their family throughout the year.  I am happy that Maine has such quality organic farms we are able to partner with!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

it was 65 here yesterday...

This entire fall has been so strange, 90 degrees on Columbus Day, snow for Halloween, 65 degrees yesterday. I am not complaining of course, I would never do such things.  And besides, after what I said yesterday, I don't want people to think we are actually cold here :-)  We are not...for the most part!



Onto the yarn along!  I am joining in with Ginny again this week.  It is so fun to see what everyone else is knitting, and last week I got a great idea from one of the other bloggers for a Christmas gift, yay!  My knitting this week has been kind of boring, which is good for me.  After a few weeks of socks and other knits in the round, I could use some plain old stockinette in my life!  I wanted something I really didn't need to think about, and so I am making a scarf this week for the hubs.  I am also in the process of making some really cool knitted envelopes.  I saw the idea here and thought, I can crochet...no...no I can not crochet.  I think counting might be involved, and I can't deal with the counting.  So I decided instead to knit one, and it worked out pretty well.  I am using a chunky yarn, so I was able to get almost an entire one done during church on Sunday. :-)

This week I am reading an awesome Christmas book called A Greener Christmas.  I bought it a couple years ago and I love it.  There are gift ideas, decorating tips and delicious recipes.  They are all relatively easy, which I like, and given the title, are all pretty green.  She talks about re-purposing fabric, and using nature to decorate for the holidays.  I seriously recommend it.  Last Thanksgiving I made the recipe for cranberry jelly, and it was a huge hit.  My family is big on the cranberry jelly in a can (hi gregg!) and I have been trying to find an alternative.  I saw the recipe in this book, tried it, and it was a huge hit, blowing the canned stuff out of the water.  It will be on my list again this year.  There is also a really amazing brownie recipe.

I would love to know if anyone has trouble finding yarn for the men in their lives?  I get bored with navy blue...  Am I really destined for blue/black/brown if I knit for guys?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

freeze yer buns update

We haven't turned our heat on yet, but I know it will be soon.  I guess I have to say that we are sort of cheating because I have a space heater that I will run in the living room in the morning to warm it up for the kids.  I have to say that I feel like we have acclimated pretty well to waking up to 55 degrees.  For some reason, my house seems to stay at that temperature.

Throughout the day I do a lot of baking and cooking on the stove, and that helps to warm up the house.  So by the time we go to bed the house is around 66 degrees in the kitchen which is at one side of the house, and usually 62 on the other side of the house.  I am pretty happy with the way things are working out heat wise.  We heat by oil, and oil is expensive up here in Maine...still wishing I had a wood stove, although I know of another blogger who is even waiting on lighting their wood stove - I don't think that would be me.

We recently had the very large pine tree next to our house taken down, and I have already noticed a difference in warmth during the day.  The additional sun exposure on the front of our house, something that was previously non-existent, really has helped to take the edge off.  It also probably helps that we have had warmish temps lately.  I feel like it has been a relatively warm fall, except for the freak snow storm last weekend.

Our goal originally was to wait until November 1st to turn the heat on, but now we are going to see how long we can go.  As long as we can use the space heater in one room, and I continue baking up a storm, well I don't really see a reason to turn the heat on...until we have company :-)  I do have to say that my coffee dates have become less frequent as it gets colder...

Monday, November 7, 2011

weekend

We had a really nice weekend!  Friday night we were able to go out with some friends sans kids, thanks to my mom who rushed home from work to babysit.  Matt and I rarely go out without the kids.  I prefer to be with my kids most of the time...but once in a while it is nice to get out of the house and have some adult conversation!  Now that Jack is getting older and not nursing as frequently, that definitely helps with getting out of the house!

Saturday we were able to go out to breakfast, my favorite thing ever.  There was a time when we could go out to breakfast every weekend, not the case anymore.  I know, there is nothing healthy about going out to breakfast, and it probably isn't even close to local, but it is a local business :-)  And I want to support local businesses!

I also was able to get some good deals on Christmas decorations...I know, not even Thanksgiving yet.  The stores were blasting Christmas music though, so I fell right in step and got in the Christmas spirit.  This year will be the first year we have the entire house for the holidays.  No renters (at least no plans on renters...ask me again if oil goes up to $4/gallon), and a very large house with lot's of rooms to decorate means I need to get my craft on.  I found some fun things to make on pinterest, and was able to get some supplies this weekend.

What were you up to this weekend?  Any fun holiday ideas?

Friday, November 4, 2011

vegetable soup

I am making soup again.  It is time for me to move from salads to soups and bread.  It is so comforting to be able to put a pot of soup on the stove to simmer all day.  Not to mention it warms up my house a bit, since we are freezing our buns over here (heat isn't on yet, by the way).  Veggie soup is the most basic soup to make, you can use any veggies you have on hand, it is great to use with root veggies, frozen veggies, canned veggies, anything works.

First, I start early in the morning with making my veggie stock, or I pull some out of the freezer if I happen to have some in there.


1 bunch carrots
1 bunch celery
3-4 medium onions
1-2 heads of garlic


Put enough olive oil in the bottom of a large stock pot to cover.  Chop up your garlic and veggies and throw in the pot.  Saute for a few minutes.  Then add in 4-5 quarts of water.  Let it simmer away for several hours.  I only season with salt and pepper, because I tend to use different spices for different soups.  I know a lot of people put bay leaves in their stock, I don't and never have, mainly because I don't have bay leaves :-)  Once the soup stock simmers for a few hours, taste it and add more salt and pepper if you need it.  Then you can either strain out the veggies, or use a stick blender and just blend them into the stock.  I always blend them because I am too lazy to strain, and I like the texture :-)


This is the base for my soup.  At this point I typically fill a couple quart containers and stick them in the fridge to cool, then put them in the freezer for use at a later date.  Make sure you leave enough head room if you are using glass, so you don't have an explosion in your freezer!

To the base today I am adding a quart of crushed tomatoes, frozen corn, frozen peas, frozen peppers, leeks, and celeriac.  I throw all the fresh veggies in and cook until they are soft, then I add in the frozen veggies at the end.  Season with red pepper flakes, parsley, and more pepper, and you have my veggie soup :-)  I am also making some rice to put in the soup.  Because I am planning on freezing some of this soup I am not adding the rice to the soup, I am cooking it separate.  But, you could easily put the rice in the soup to cook, just watch the liquid level and add more water if you need to.

Do you have a favorite soup recipe?  I would love to hear how you season your soup too.  I am pretty basic with the salt and pepper since I have so many veggies that flavor the soup as well.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

new fiction in my life

I have found some new fiction to read.  I spent some time looking for something new.  I find that I am seriously drawn to the teen supernatural thriller books...tv shows...movies...pretty much all of it.  Who knew I was such a teen book reader?  I never really enjoyed science fiction growing up.  My brother always loved Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and many other books and authors that I couldn't really grab onto :-)  I, on the other hand, always loved mystery books.  Anything mystery, and I would literally eat it up.  Staying up late into the night with a flashlight...well it kept me sane anyways :-)

Then after I graduated from college, I found a love affair with Harry Potter.  It opened up my eyes to, what I like to call, supernatural books.  Then my sister-in-law bought me the first Twilight book for my birthday a couple years back, and it started again.  Now I am constantly trying to find trashy teenage supernatural romance books.  I used to be a bit embarrassed by it, but not anymore.  I know I am not the only one out there :-)

Recently I was turned on to a new show called The Secret Circle.  I love it!  Teenage witches, dealing with witch hunters and romantic triangles, how can I resist!  Then I recently saw that Netflix instant view (have I ever said how much I love netflix? hmmm...) had the first couple seasons of the Vampire Diaries, and I had to watch it.  Well, that was a couple weeks ago...and after several nights of staying up until 2-3am obsessively watching it, I am officially caught up with this season...season 3.  Yes, clearly I have issues!

I found out that the show was based on a series of books.  Being a book person, I immediately had to check them out.  Here I was thinking that it was a rip off of the Twilight books, just to find out that this whole series was written back in 1991.  I also found out that The Secret Circle is based on books by the same author.  So, now I have a lot of fun fiction reading to keep me entertained through the holidays I believe :-)

Do you have any guilty pleasure reading/watching that you do?  I have come to realize that I must have a seriously obsessive personality that I would become sleep deprived just so that I could watch Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder vamp it up. :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

socks and reading


See that pretty wool yarn behind the socks I was knitting last week?  Yes, I am just casting on for those same socks, but in that other yarn.  The green socks are for my Emma, the other yarn will be fore my little man, Jack.  I am also hoping to knit another hat, and maybe some baby leggings with that yarn...I think I might have just enough :-)  The child will be outfitted in stylish yummy wool all winter!

I just picked up Possum Living from the library today.  I am just starting it, and am hoping that I enjoy it more than the past several books I have read.  I feel like I am devouring books as of late, but haven't really enjoyed them as much as I typically do.  I'm thinking I need some good fiction in my life right now.  I think I might look for some tonight :-)

What are you knitting and reading today?  I am joining up again with Ginny from Small Things for her yarn along.  Hope you are all staying warm!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

halloween


I don't know why it is, but every year I get really excited about Halloween.  I think it might be because I have kids now, and I love to dress them up.  What other holiday can you take your kids out, get a bunch of candy, and then confiscate it all because it is not appropriate for them to eat, being 1 and 3 ;-)  We had a great time.  Our community really gets into holidays, everyone decorating their houses for Halloween, and being oh so excited about giving out treats to the kids.  We had a great time...well...until we got home and Emma had a meltdown because I wouldn't give her any of her loot...except perhaps the animal crackers :-)



Did you go trick or treating this year?  Do you steal all of your kids' candy, or do you let them have it?  Did anyone else notice that all of the little girl costumes available had corsets involved?