Wednesday, April 16, 2014

What's up Wednesday--potato cheese soup

 Going along with my last week's Wednesday post, this potato cheese soup was another recipe my DeeDee brought me weekly during my Freshman year of college.  It is such a comfort food to me.  I know soup season is almost gone--hello spring, but this soup is just a classic, and so good!  This is my 'go to' meal whenever I have to take food to someone--- a friend who just had a baby, someone sick, etc.  It is loved by all who have tried it.  Enjoy!

DeeDee's Potato Cheese Soup

Cook in a large pot until tender:
  
5 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion chopped fine
1 stalk celery, cut fine (my family omits this because my kids hate celery in soup)
1 carrot sliced 
1 quart water or chicken brother
5 tsp chicken granules if using water or 1 tsp chicken granules is using chicken broth
frozen peas--about half a bag

Cook until veggies are tender

In another pot make a white sauce:

Melt 1/2 cup butter
Add in 1/2 cup flour and mix
Whisk in 1 1/3 cups milk until mixture is smooth.
Cook until smooth and slightly thickened, then stir into cooked veggies.

Add 8 oz of Velveeta cheese, chopped up.  
Warm and stir until cheese is melted.  Serve.

Yum!  Enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 Blue Jeans Week 15

We hit the ground running (literally) this week and haven't slowed down--3 track meets, piano competition and gearing up for all the rest of the spring stuff we have.  Less than 5 weeks of school left--ah!  I feel like we are on a roller coaster and have just reached the top and are speeding down the huge hill like crazy people--yelling and screaming :)  It is lots of fun, but it is sure crazy!!!  Here is a look at our week. . .
Mr J has added some more art to our ART wall, so I figured I better get an updated picture.

Band competition coming up next week.  My two French horn players have been practicing their pieces.  Lots of early morning band practices along with after school track practices and late night track meets make for very long days for these girls.  Summer is something they are so looking forward to!

Track meet #1 of 3 for the week.  Miss O running her mile.  She got first!  Way to go girl!

Track meet #3 of the week.  Miss A running the mile and 2 mile.  She got gold in both.  Way to go girl!!!

Got the house decorated for Easter--love my hanging Easter eggs.  I hang them on fishing line--love fishing line!  

Piano competition for these 3.  They all did awesome and got "1" and gold medals!  The flowers on the campus where they had the competition were so pretty!!

And last but not least, this week was the first lawn mowing of the season--let it begin. . .

Thanks for visiting!  Come back often and have a great day!!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday thoughts

My Friday rambling thoughts. . .
my weekly bathroom mirror quote

My traditional hanging Easter Eggs.  I got all decorated for Easter last week.  I love this area of my house.  I hang all sorts of things here for different seasons.

I use fishing line.  I love fishing line!  At Halloween/Thanksgiving I hang mini pumpkins, at Christmas I hang ornaments.  Snowflakes for January, hearts for February.  I need to make me some clovers for March, and then my eggs for Easter.  I like decorating for holidays.  The kids think it is fun to see the different things up and it gets you excited for the season.

I read this book a few weeks ago.  Wow, it kept you guessing.  I thought it was very good and surprising how it ended.  I appreciate books that I can't see the ending right from the beginning or even half way or 3/4 of the way through.  This one kept me guessing till the very end.  It went back and forth in time with each chapter covering a girl's great-grandma's time, her grandma's time, and her time.  This is the first book I have read by this author, and I think I would like to read some more.  She is from Australia.

 I am currently reading this which is the first book in a trilogy and all 3 books are out--which I love.  I hate starting something and having to wait years for the next book (Hello Kristen Britain Green Rider series!)  This is a dystopia society novel set in what used to be the United States of America.  Sort of similar to Divergent and Hunger Games.  There are a lot of mysteries in trying to figure out who is really good in this Republic--who is right, who is wrong, and who do you side with?  A good read!  I am looking forward to the other 2.

Track season is in full swing.  We had 3 meets this week.  Next week we have 4.  Don't know how we are going to do that with everything else going on.  Having kids at different schools with different schedules is tough.  But we figured out only 5 weeks left of school.  5 weeks!!!!   If we can just make it though these next 5 weeks or 35 days of track meets, state voice solos, ACTs, piano competitions, piano recitals, state band performances, choir concerts, band fundraisers, band concerts and life in general--cooking, spelling lists, end of year reports, cleaning, 3 birthdays, church, eating, sleeping (but probably not as much as I would like) early morning seminary, end of the school year activities--then we are okay. ha.ha.  5 weeks--there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  I have to keep telling myself that and be grateful. 

Have a good week!  We are going on a date tomorrow night to see the new Captain American movie. I  am excited!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

What's up Wednesday--sloppy joes

Sloppy joes are a huge comfort food for me and bring back lots of memories.  I went to college at BYU which was a long, long way from my immediate family, but very close to my extended one--my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  During my freshman year I was extremely blessed that every week my DeeDee and Grum (my maternal grandparents) would make the hour long drive down to see me, take me to dinner and then leave me with some wonderful food that would feed me for about a week until they came down again.  After my freshman year and until I graduated, they still came down often to take me to dinner and bring me food, but usually not weekly.  Man, was I spoiled!!  and very lucky!  One of the dishes my DeeDee would bring me in her weekly rotation was her sloppy joes with a bag of buns and potato chips.  So, this food has been part of my life for a long time.  She made sloppy joes for us when I was growing up, and we would visit her too.  It was from her I learned potato chips are essential when you eat sloppy joes--they are even good on them (My 8 year old boy loves them this way), and sliced sweet pickles and cheese are also essential.  Potato chips are something we seldom eat at our house, but my kids know if sloppy joes are on the menu, then so are potato chips, and sweet pickles and cheese.  Certain things just naturally go together :)  So this is my DeeDee's sloppy joe recipe that helped sustain me and get me through college.  What a blessing!  Thank you DeeDee and Grum!  This is a perfect crock pot recipe and will freeze really well too.
DeeDee's Sloppy Joes

2 lbs hamburger
one onion, chopped fine
one green pepper, chopped fine

Brown the hamburger with the chopped onion and green pepper.  Drain.

Then either put in a crock pot or a big pot on the stove--depending on your time

Add  

3/4 cup ketchup
1 can chicken gumbo soup
1 Tab mustard
1 Tab Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar

Mix well and simmer an hour in the pot on the stove or cook on low for however long you need it to in a crock pot.  I have made it in the morning and left it on low all day.  I have made it in the afternoon and left it on low for just a few hours. It just needs to heat and let all the flavors blend. Serve with potato chips, sweet pickles, and cheese :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

2014 Blue Jeans Week 14

It was a good week--had some crazy things happen--like the biggest hail we have ever seen--which I posted about Friday, first track meets of the season, and flowers blooming.  Here is a look at our week. . .
April is our piano recital and competitions month.  Mr J and Miss A are doing a duet for their recital end of the month in addition to their individual solos.  It is fun to see/hear them play together!

Last fall I planted over 100 bulbs, and they are finally starting to bloom!  Our first daffodil of the season.

This awesome missionary from our church has been serving in our area for over 5 months.  We have enjoyed having him here, and he is moving on, so we had to get a good-bye picture.

This piece of hail that Ben is holding fell in our yard during a crazy storm Wednesday night.  It was over 4 inches in diameter!!!!  We were sure our roof was destroyed, but amazingly it is fine.  I was also sure all my flowers would be crushed, but they were also all fine.  Small miracles.

Shows some of the hail that feel at our house--a quarter and a golf ball are in there to give you some perspective.  I have never seen hail that big in my life.  Hail is just ice--so those big balls of ice were falling from the sky.  Crazy!

Mr J got the baby chicks out for a little bit today.  Too cute!

Miss O had a 50's sock hop dance tonight.  She and her friend looked so cute and had a blast!  

Did you know Saturday was International table top game day?  Ben got Miss E and Mr J to play one of their favorite games to celebrate--Dominion.

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you have a great week!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday thoughts--hail

My random Friday thoughts and some pictures of some scary, crazy big hail we had this week. . .
My weekly bathroom mirror inspirational quote.

This hail stone--over 4 inches in diameter--fell in our yard Wednesday night.  I have never, ever seen hail that big.  Hail is just ice, so this is just a huge ice ball that rained down on our home. My husband is holding this one. (excuse all the blurry hail stone pictures.  They were just using my daughter's ipod camera since I wasn't home and had the 'real' camera with me.)

These are some other hail stones that fell Wednesday.  A quarter and a golf ball are in there to compare with.  Have you ever seen hail that big?  Real baseball to softball sized hail. 

This picture has a half dollar in it to compare.

Just CRAZY!  My husband was sure our roof was destroyed, but amazingly it was fine.  Only Ben and Miss E were home to witness this event.  The other kids and I were 2 miles away in town where they not nothing like this--like pea sized hail and lots of rain.  We have 3 cars and only a 2 car garage, but luckily  I had decided to take our car that is normally out into church that night.  It was a very lucky thing I did, because I am sure it would have had windows broken and such with this kind of hail coming down. 

Another miracle, I was sure our trees and all my flowers would be destroyed, smashed, crushed--you would think with 4 inch ice balls falling from the sky.  No, they were all fine.  What a blessing!  This an experience I hope we never see again!  Crazy!

Enjoy your weekend and beware of hail! :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What's up Wednesday--Black beans and rice

 I am not a fancy side dish person--except for maybe on holidays--Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.  Most of the time it is just fresh fruit and frozen or fresh veggies.  But this side dish is very easy, and my whole family loves it, so I make it pretty often--black beans and rice. Yum!  You basically just cook rice and add the black beans at the end with some spices.  Easy, so enjoy!
Black Beans and Rice
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

In a pot over medium high heat, heat the oil.  Add in the onion and garlic and saute for about 4 minutes.  Add the rice and saute for 2 more minutes.

Add the broth, bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to low and cook for 20 minutes.  Add the cumin and black beans, warm and serve.