Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yummy Potato Broccoli Soup

I had some leftover baked potatoes in my fridge, along with some chopped up onion and celery from making stuffing, and I invented this recipe. As usual, all amounts are only appoximate and can easily be changed to suit your tastes or what is in your fridge.

In a good sized soup pot, sautee 1/2 c. chopped onion and 1/2 c. chopped celery in about 1/2 stick of butter.

When they are almost translucent, add maybe 1/2 tsp. dry thyme and 1 tsp. dry basil (or fresh if you've got it-- larger amounts.) Put in about 1 lb. or a little more of frozen broccoli (I used the cheap broccoli cuts, and I think it was closer to 1 1/2 lb.)

Pour in 1 qt. of vegetable broth or stock. Season with about 1 tsp. salt and pepper to taste.

Heat to simmering and cook at a low simmer until the broccoli is tender (about 15-20 minutes?) This is enough time to take a shower with your two-year-old and even shampoo and condition both of your hair. I even had time to put away a little laundry on the way into the shower.

I started with four baked potatoes. I peeled two and chunked them into the soup. Season again w/ a little salt and pepper. Heat through.

Turn off heat.
Carefully, run the soup through the blender in two batches. Add a handful of parsley leaves into one of the batches. Use a towel over the top to prevent spills.

Return the soup to your pot over low heat. Season it again to taste. Peel and dice the remaining two potatoes and add them to the pot. Heat through. Squeeze 1/2 lemon into the soup and remove from heat.

You end up with a creamy-style soup without all the cream. Use olive oil instead of butter to make it a little more healthy.

It's easier than it sounds, and much cheaper and more tasty than canned soup!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


G. made three turkey projects in kindergarten this week. All three were made of construction paper. On one, he wrote, on each feather of the tail, something for which he was thankful. My heart warmed when I saw that "Mom" made the list. Oh, yeah. I'm right up there with his bike. I was proud of his list; he also included his house, his family and toys. I thought that those five things were headed in the right direction. For that, I am thankful.

When O. gives you a hug, she curls her little fingers around the back of your neck, right at the base of your hairline, and squeezes the side of her face against yours. It is so endearing. Yesterday, when I said good morning to her, she replied, "And good morning to you, too, Mommy!" She has started saying "Goodbye! I lub you!" when I and other family members depart. For all of these displays of affection, I am thankful.

I married someone with ambition, principles, persistence, tolerance, loyalty and a predisposition toward grand romantic gestures. I love all of these qualities in my husband, and the last one comes in especially handy for me, who, like most girls, loves to be on the receiving end of a grand romantic gesture, even though for some reason I still never expect them. I am thankful for my loving and resilient husband.

I am also thankful that all four of us siblings who grew up together will be together today with our families for Thanksgiving (and hopefully get a great photo). I am thankful that, though none of us are perfect, we strive to love and accept one another and not to create hurtful divisions.

I am thankful that my mother will have a beautiful, safe, snug and comfortable place to live (very soon!!)

I am thankful that my sister and sister-in-law and their unborn children are healthy and thriving.

I am thankful that I still have both my parents (and Lita!) to call and to hear from, and all of my siblings, and Grandma. :)

I am thankful for my friends, especially the ones who still think of me from afar.

I am thankful for the prayers of others.

Thanks for my house, my bike and my toys, too.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

To Do List: Things to Think and Write About

What's that Geico slogan? "Life comes at you fast." I'm sure someone else has said it much better at some point in history, but right now I'm grasping for the sound bites.

This is a list of topics I should really be writing about. My heart is full, but time is limited, and my friends keep adding new photos to their Facebook albums and sidetracking me.

1. Barack Obama and hope for our country. The possibility of mending our image in the world through good works and attention to our own domestic issues.
2. Economic crisis and what I am observing in our own community, how its effects are being filtered into everyone's lives, including my own and my family's.
3. The kids. Wow.
4. Cancer and fear.
5. Health, diet, exercise and the mystery of intrinsic motivation (or lack thereof).
6. New job, new school... wonderful opportunities, defining obstacles.
7. Would love to open up the ol' high school yearbook right now, since we are developing quite the presence on Facebook.

Lots to think about, and yet the days go by....