Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower and White Cheddar Soup




For the sake of not trying to steal someone else's work, let me begin this blog post by saying that this is not my original recipe. I found this on Pinterest and made it tonight for supper. It was yummy... so I'm going to blog about it, but if you'd like to see the original post GO HERE.

While we are still in below freezing temps here in Missouri, I thought tonight would be the perfect night to try out this soup. I had all of the ingredients already in my kitchen except for one... white cheddar. And, it turns out, white cheddar isn't as easy to find as you'd think. Unless you like extra sharp... which we do not. We don't have the best grocery shopping choices out here in the small town area I live in though. Maybe it's easier to find in the city. I don't know, but I ended up buying white cheddar cheese curds. They didn't melt as good as regular shredded cheese would have but maybe I just didn't let it sit on the heat long enough. I had a starving crew ready to eat. But it had at least gotten soft enough that when you got a chewy cheesy curd bite on your spoon it was just delicious. 

I had the perfect loaf of demi baguette that had recently turned rock hard that I used as croutons instead of letting it go to waste, and I set out a bowl of shredded sharp yellow cheese for people to garnish the top of their soup with as well. I totally meant to also cut up some green onion for garnish which I think would have added fantastic flavor, but I got a business phone call right as I was trying to finish everything up and get it on the table, so hubby stepped in to finish, and I completely forgot to tell him I wanted green onion. Oh well. YOU try it with green onion and tell me what you think, ok?

This recipe is farmer and picky kid eater approved!


Roasted Cauliflower and White Cheddar Soup:

Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow or white onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons fresh), finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 2 teaspoon fresh), finely chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • Croutons for topping (optional)

Directions
  1. Wash and trim the cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Toss with the cloves of garlic and one tablespoon of the oil. Scrape the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is crisp-tender and golden in spots (it will cook a bit longer in a later step).
  2. Remove the garlic cloves, let them cool slightly, and finely chop.
  3. In a 4- or 5-quart saucepan, heat the remaining one tablespoon olive oil and add the onion, cooking until the onion is translucent, 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the chopped garlic, thyme and rosemary. Cook for another minute.
  4. Stir in the cauliflower and broth; bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  5. Carefully ladle about half the soup (in batches, if needed) in a blender and puree until smooth. Stir the pureed soup back into the pot - be careful as hot soup in a blender can be a recipe for disaster if the blender is overfilled. Add the milk and the cheese,
  6. Stir and cook on low heat until the cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.
  7. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley and croutons, if using.
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe



If you'd like to check out my Pinterest boards to see what else is inspiring me in the kitchen, feel free to "follow" me HERE

This cold weather has me in the mood for comforting soups lately so I have an entire pinboard dedicated to them. A few that I'd like to try in the near future include:

Philly Cheesesteak Stew

Crock Pot Ham and Potato Soup 

and

Apple Butter Chili 

And if you are looking for other ways to use cauliflower, I highly recommend  this recipe for Easy Cauliflower Gratin. I made it for both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and both times there were no leftovers! Yum!

What is YOUR family eating for supper this week?

 
 


 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Last Minute Valentine's Ideas

Is anyone already tired of Valentine's Day? Feel like throwing up red, pink, and white? And glitter?  Yeah me neither (I'm lying).

No but for real... I love Valentine's Day as much as the next guy. I think the idea is cute even though I spend the whole year telling those I love that I love them. And I've really enjoyed perusing blogs with adorable Valentine's ideas.

But... my eyes are starting to cross.

So, what am I doing? That's right... bombarding you all with one more Valentine's Day blog post.

But mine is more a re-cap of Valentines past since I haven't done a thing yet for this Valentine's Day.

SO... in the off chance that you are still looking for ideas... look no further. These tried and true ideas are sure to be a hit and easy to throw together last minute. Trust me on that. 


Hand Heart Stamp [link here]



You Are So Tweet [link here]
 

Two years later when I decided to do the same thing for little sister's class... I did the lazy man's way and it was still cute...


These have been done and done and done again... and never get old.


 

Am I right or am I right?

Last year (and I have no idea how I don't have any pictures of this) Levi gave his class rulers bought at the Dollar Tree wrapped with paper that said "You Rule" on it. They were (say it with me) a hit!

Still no idea what we will be doing this year yet.

Ideas?




Saturday, January 25, 2014

As Long As I'm Living, My Baby You'll Be

"Mommy?"

I was sitting at my desk.

"What baby?" (she's seven)

I turn to see her beautiful big blue eyes brimming with tears.

"Levi told me that his teacher calls our hallway the 'little kid hallway."

This was clearly upsetting her.

Me: "But it IS the little kid hallway. Kindergarten is on that hallway."

"But so is third grade"

She is only in second so third grade to her seems so much older.

"Yes, but they are still little kids too."

"Well his teacher calls their hallway the 'big kid hallway."

It is the fourth through sixth grades.

"Audrey, don't be in such a hurry to grow up."

This was enough to cause those large alligator tears to go cascading down her freckled cheeks.

Life is so hard when you're seven, sandwiched between both older and younger siblings; wanting so badly to be a "big girl" but still stuck on the little kid hallway.

She dramatically laid her head over on my shoulder while she sobbed and I rubbed her back, praying that time would slow down. Secretly wishing I could always keep her as my little kid, but watching her grow into a blossoming young lady and incredible older sister in front of my eyes.

and I showed her this picture taken what feels like yesterday to me.



"You want to be a big kid?"

"Yes!"

"Can you put a new trash bag in the trash can for me?"

This was a chore she'd never been asked to do because her little arms and legs can't reach the trash bags where they are kept up high. So she had to figure out a way to get it done.

I left the room to let her figure it out on her own. And sure enough... the trash can got a new clean trash bag in it.

My little "big" kid.

And all was better. The tears were gone, replaced with a confident smile.

But I've got news for her...

As long as I'm living... my BABY she'll be!



I linked this post up at Imparting Grace

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Handwriting Day


Happy National Handwriting Day. 

Here's mine...


As I was doing this, my washing machine backed up into a sink in our laundry room and flooded it.

Not funny.

Lord, be gracious to me!!!!! Be my strength!!!!!

Throwback Thursday

 (not sure why she's walking like an Egyptian)

It's homecoming week in town. Our small farm town just has one school for K-12 so when it's homecoming week for high school sports, they encourage the younger grades to get involved too which I love and of course the younger kids love being included in the fun.

So today is "Throwback Thursday" and our seven year old threw it all the way back to the 80s. :)

She takes gymnastics so she has plenty of leotards and when I suggested this outfit to her, she looked at me like I was nuts... until I got online and showed her what I was talking about (thank you Google images!) and then she was ALL IN!

The "leg warmers" are really a pair of my boot socks and you can't tell from the pics, but she's got some wild blue eyeshadow on too. We tried to tease her hair up big in her side pony but it kept going down flat. I told her to occasionally try to tease it back up during the day.

So stinking cute. I know I'm biased but really, look at those killer blue eyes and those amazing freckles. I die!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats



So... this happened the other day.

Ok, the other night.

OK... 10:00 at night, whatever!

I blame pregnancy cravings! :)

These are the yummiest and EASIEST to make little morsels of Heaven and in case you don't already know how to make these, I'm going to share the recipe with you. I've been making these for YEARS and it's easy to memorize the recipe because you only need five ingredients, and besides the Rice Krispies (which you need six cups of) everything else is ONE CUP. How easy, right? And really you can whip them up in no time flat. In fact, I made this batch during a commercial while The Bachelor was on. Yeah... seeing skinny girls in bikinis while I'm gaining pregnant weight by the day made me need to make these. Ha!



You'll need:

Light corn syrup (such as Karo)
granulated white sugar
peanut butter
Crisp rice cereal
Chocolate

That's it!



Mmmmmm! Goes really well in the morning for breakfast with a cup of hot coffee!

WHAT? Who eats dessert for breakfast?!?

My older brother used to beg me to make these for him and his buddies when we went to the same college for a while. Uh, yeah I'd be glad to make an awesome dessert and get credit for being great in front of your male college friends, duh! But one time, I made them in the shared kitchen in my dorm... and burned the chocolate chips while I was melting them. Oops. We all know what burned chocolate smells like right?? Yeah... no one appreciated that one. Well, except for my brother and his buddies. :)


So, here it is...  crowd pleasin' (perfect for church potlucks) and cowboy approved...

Recipe:

1.) In a large pot, bring one cup of corn syrup to boil with one cup of sugar. Be careful to watch this step, you do NOT want to burn it (trust me).

2.) As soon as it's boiling, take the pot off of the burner and add one cup of peanut butter. I use creamy but I've also used chunky... it really doesn't matter. Mix it in.

3.) Add six cups of crispy rice cereal and stir it all together mixing it up really well.

4.) Dump it all in to a 9x13 baking dish and press it all nicely into the dish so the top is level and not all uneven.

5.) Melt one cup of chocolate. I use chocolate chips and to be honest... I don't think one cup is enough so I always use the whole bag which is two cups. Heaven, help my hips!

6.) Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the rice krispies pressed into the pan and then step away from it for a while and let the chocolate harden. Or, if you just can't resist.... cut yourself a slice right then and there and eat it warm while the chocolate is still all melty. It's great either way. I know.

Enjoy!!

I've linked this recipe up at:






Monday, January 13, 2014

Tales of a Potty Training 18 month Old


See this diva??

She's 18 months old.

And we are in the beginning stages of potty training. 

Why so early?

Because we are perfectionists.

Just kidding.

Because I WILL NOT have two kids in diapers!

I WON'T!!

I CAN'T!!

So the other day I left a diaper off of her and just let her go around in pants. The idea was that she'd go pee in her pants, not like the feeling of being wet, and it would help me in this whole potty training thing. I was totally prepared for her to pee her pants. I was making sure she had plenty to drink and I had a timer set to take her to the potty every ten minutes. We had just been to the bathroom where she had NOT gone on her potty... I went into the kitchen to load the dishwasher and she was playing in the living room. All of a sudden it got really quiet. All you mamas know that's a bad thing! So I asked her... "what are you doing?" and she waddles into the kitchen with the front of her pants soaking wet. OH NOOOOO!! I took her straight to her potty, pulled down her wet pants....

... and out dropped a nice big juicy turd. 

*sigh*

Potty training gets put off for another day...

BUT I WILL NOT HAVE TWO KIDS IN DIAPERS!!

Mark my word

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Menu Planning

One of my goals this year is to be more intentional about having ideas for meals planned out instead of wondering at the last minute what we should have. So, today I sat down and did some meal planning for this coming week.

I thought I'd share my plan with you all, with links to online recipes if I got it online (Pinterest, of course! Junkie!) If you've tried any of them, comment and let me know what you thought. Or make it with me some night and come back and let me know what you thought!

My planning consists of Breakfast, Lunch & Supper but I'm only going to post the supper plans here.

So....

Monday January 13th: One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Pasta Skillet (pinterest recipe)
Tuesday January 14th: Chicken Parmesan Sliders (pinterest recipe)
Wednesday January 15th: Baked Corn Dogs (pinterest recipe)
Thursday January 16th: Leftovers from Monday -Wednesday
Friday January 17th: The Pioneer Woman's Baked Chicken Spaghetti. In her first cookbook.
Saturday January 18th: SOUP SATURDAY! Roasted Cauliflower & White Cheddar Soup (pinterest recipe)

And while we are talking about food...

My in-laws invited us over for supper tonight and I made THESE to take for dessert. Found, of course, on Pinterest. THEY WERE AMAZING!!!!

And since so many of these come from Pinterest, if you want to check out other recipes I've pinned, follow me at: [click here for my Pinterest]

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Quiver Full

You know how you can read something in the Bible a hundred times but then one day you read it and all of a sudden it takes on new meaning and is one of your new favorite verses?

Yeah, that happened to me recently.

And the verse is Psalm 127: 3-5

"3. Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. 4. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. 5. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."

I've been following Ruth on Instagram for a little while, and yesterday she posted this:


It's my verse!

So I decided to see if she has a blog and I was delighted to see that SHE DOES!

Please go visit her blog: www.gracelaced.com/blog

She sells her prints! And she writes with the beautiful wisdom of a Christian mother of SIX BOYS!

I definitely feel like our quiver is bursting at the seams, and, it's about to get fuller!

Yep, we are expecting baby #6 in 2014. 

My quiver is full...

...and I wouldn't have it any other way! 

 

 

Blogging tips