Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

Picture for soup found here.
My sister gave me this recipe for Tomato Basil-Parmesan Soup. It was delicious. I took it to a family dinner, and had I not sampled it before we left, I would have tried it at all, because it disappeared super duper fast. Luckily, I have stuff to make it again this week :)

Tomato-Basil Parmesan Soup

2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup finely diced onions
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried oregano or 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
2 cups half and half, warmed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
In a large slow cooker, combine tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, bay leaf, oregano, and basil (if using fresh oregano and basil; if using dried oregano and basil add those two ingredients in the last hour of cook time). Cover and cook on low for 5 to 7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
About an hour before serving prepare a roux: Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour; stir constantly with a whisk for 5 to 7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup from the slow cooker. Add another 3 cups soup and stir until smooth.
Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for another hour until ready to serve.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Little Bit of Potpourri

It's been a busy, fun week around here. Well, the weekend anyway (Starting with Thursday).
I love going to Bunko once a month, and the December Bunko is definitely one of our most fabulous. We do a large fondue bar with chocolate, caramel, and cheese fondues. It's something that cannot be missed, and I'm glad I've been able to now attend 2 of these fabulous functions. :)
I'd like to introduce two of my new best friends. For fun, let's call them the tru-pull twins. They are the most fabulous knee braces in the world. But hey, they should be because I had a to pay a pretty penny for them. I actually got just one before my 10K in October due to pain and aching I was having in my knee. After a visit to the physical therapist, I found out I have tilted knee caps. These braces basically just hold my knee cap in proper alignment. After trying one, I was hooked. So I bought another. Good buy. Also, they allow me to still be active and hopefully will prevent the need for surgery in the future.
Yesterday I spent hours with some great ladies in my neighborhood learning how to make chocolates and fondant candy. I won't tell you how many hours we spent working on these lovely things, but it was LOT! :) They are absolutely amazing though, and we made over 200 chocolates. These are some that I got to bring home. YUM!
And tonight I went to Ballet West's "The Nutcracker" up at the Capital Theatre in Salt Lake with my good friend, Meredith. We hope to send our husbands out to something fun like a BYU basketball game to tell them thanks for staying home with the kids. :)
It was such a fun night, and I'm so grateful I was able to go with someone who appreciated it as much as me. Thanks again Meredith! I wasn't lying when I said I may have to make this a tradition. :)

A Little Gingerbread Fun

I bought a gingerbread village kit at Walmart last year on clearance the week after Christmas. It got stuck in the back of the freezer for a year, and this week got pulled out again. Steven was so excited! I really wanted to do it with all four of us, so it took a few days to get time to do it, but it didn't disappoint. We all had a lot of fun, and Lillie and Steven enjoyed getting to try their hand at become world famous frosting decorators :)

Something Crafty....

Hooded Towels
I've made a few of these hooded towels for nieces, nephews, and friends. I think they're fabulous. I learned how to make them from my mother-in-law, and my cousin-in-law has a great tutorial here. I made some this week, and the Disney ribbon really gave them a nice touch :)

Monday, December 05, 2011

A Lovely Sunday Overall :)

Yesterday was not my kids best day. Not gonna lie, it was kind of a rough day. They were grouchy, grumpy, and fought a lot. However, there were a few things that helped me to see the sunshine of the day and smile.
The first would be this:
We started a Christmas Countdown for Steven to help his anxiousness about Christmas coming. Yesterday the day started with it saying 21 Days Until Christmas. While I was getting ready for church, Steven excitedly came upstairs and said, "It's only 11 days until Christmas now!" I had no idea what he was talking about. But when I walked in the door after church and noticed this, I bust out laughing. Apparently 21 days was too long, so he took matters into his own hands. :)
Highlight number 2 was meeting this little lady, Gabriella and visiting with her amazing mother, Genesis. There is seriously nothing better than cuddling a sweet newborn to forget the stresses of grumpy children and everything else. She is just so so sweet, and I'm so grateful I had the chance to visit. And a huge thank you to my sister who watched the grumpy kids so I could take a nice little break :)
And for the record, I love her excitement when Gen took this picture :)