Monday, January 31, 2011

Baked Potato Soup



  • 3 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup half-and-half cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese
  • Minced fresh parsley


  1. In a large saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cream and hot pepper sauce; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Red Pepper & Tomato Soup



  • 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers in brine, drained
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 cup low-sodium and fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • croutons, for serving


1. Combine drained peppers and diced tomatoes in a blender. Puree until smooth.

2. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add pepper-tomato mixture, tomato puree, chicken broth, sugar, salt and pepper. Heat just to simmering, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. Return to stove and heat through. Ladle soup into bowls; top each with a few croutons.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup

32 oz. chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 onion cooked
1 or 2 bell peppers, cooked
2 cloves minced garlic, cooked
1 can diced chilis
1 jar of salsa, your choice
1 can Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1/2 tsp oregano
kosher or sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
grated cheese
tortilla chips

Optional (for spice!):
1 poblano pepper, chopped sauteed
1 jalepeno chopped, sauteed
2 plum tomatoes chopped and oven roasted
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne powder
1 tbs lime juice

Place pot on medium heat, pour in chicken broth. Add onion, bell peppers, chilis, minced garlic, optional ingredients. Pour in salsa and Mexican stewed tomatoes. Add chicken and beans.

To serve:
Layer chips, then cheese then soup.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Classic Minestrone Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15 oz can chick peas or cannelloni beans
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 qts chicken broth, low sodium
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Saute onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 hours until slightly reduced. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Cook one pound of small size pasta to al dente. Drain and add to minestrone before serving. Serve with fresh Parmesan and bread.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Carrot & Squash Curry Soup

  • from PW

  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 3 whole Carrots, Washed And Sliced Thin
  • 4 whole Yellow Squash (sliced)
  • Salt To Taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Curry Powder (more To Taste!)
  • ½ cups Dry White Wine (optional)
  • 48 ounces, fluid Chicken Broth
  • Heavy Cream (optional)

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and stir to coat. Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, or until they start to get soft. Sprinkle in a little salt.

Add squash. Stir and cook for a few minutes, until squash is soft and tender. After a few minutes, add salt to taste and the curry powder.

Pour in wine if using. Let evaporate for about 30 seconds, then pour in chicken broth. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot, and cook for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, taste and adjust seasonings. Turn off heat.

Puree soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender. Return to soup pot and bring to a simmer. Serve hot. If you’re feeling naughty, drizzle heavy cream over the top.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Zesty Black Bean & Veggie

(adapted from

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
1/2 pound baby carrots, sliced

2 large sweet potatoes, diced

1 bay leaf

Salt to taste
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed*
1 cup frozen corn, thawed*
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 quart vegetable broth
Hot sauce to taste*
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, bay leaf and salt and cook until carrots are just tender, about 7 minutes. Add onions and garlic and cook 5 minutes more. Add cumin, cinnamon, beans, corn, tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in hot sauce and chopped cilantro. Ladle hot soup into bowls and garnish with more cilantro.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

1 onion, chopped
1 can corn
2 cans kidney beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1/2 can pumpkin
2 tsp cumin
2 T chili powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tortellini - Italian Sausage Soup

32 oz chicken broth
1 (20 oz) pkg frozen cheese-filled tortellini
1/2-1 lb. Italian Sausage
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced ital-style tomatoes, undrained
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bag fresh spinach (or frozen, thawed)
2 tsp minced fresh basil (1 tsp dried)
Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan lightly coated with olive oil, brown sausage, onion and garlic until sausage crumbles, and is no longer pink. Drain. Combine broth, tomatoes, basil, and sausage mixture; heat to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer and add tortellini and spinach. Simmer for 10 minutes or until tortellini is done and fresh spinach is wilted. Garnish each bowl with grated parmesan.

*Can substitute shrimp for sausage.

Doesn't that just sound warm?

In case you didn't know

National Soup Swap day was January 22.

What is a soup swap?

There's really 5 steps:

1. Make a big pot of soup

2. Call up some friends

3. Freeze your soup in 6 individual containers

4. Come to Soup Swap
(read Luke's books if your a small child!)

5. Leave with 6 different soups

Overall the soup swap was a HUGE success!

We had TEN different soups to pick from. And really, they all sounded DELISH!

In no particular order:
Tortellini - Italian Sausage
Classic Minestrone
Chicken Tortilla
Carrot & Squash Curry
Pumpkin Chili
Zesty Black Bean & Veggie
Baked Potato
Chicken Taco
Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato
Indonesian Sweet Potato & Cabbage

I'm so excited to have the tortellini, chicken tortilla, pumpin chili, carrot & squash curry, and Indonesian Sweet Potato & Cabbage soups in our freezer for later testing!

Recipes coming soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Is so tiring...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A little adventure

He started on the activity mat...
Who knows where he'll end up.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The growing chair...

4 months old!

12 weeks

8 weeks

4 weeks

Friday, January 14, 2011

Homemade Pasta!!!

You know you live in Arkansas when...

Instead of setting off fireworks on New Year's Eve...

we witnessed "the lighting of the greens"...

And to make it complete - the obligatory ugly sweater contest.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


It doesn't happen often...but when it does it's epic.

Smoke pouring.
Fire alarm blaring.
Sweet potato chips burning.

And they were going to be so good.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Friendly Reminder


in cased you missed our post a few days ago, we have now made it much easier for y'all to comment.


Get to it.

See that little box below.

Use it.

Thank you.
The management

Friday, January 7, 2011

Christmas with the Army

I mean cousins.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Luke's idea of a good Christmas

staring down an elephant

lots of g-pa time

and best of all...

naps on daddy

What was your favorite part of Christmas?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Homemade Christmas

Awhile back I posted that I was going nuts, trying to finish making Christmas presents.

That might have been a bit of an exaggeration.

Really, I was dropping a very blatant hin
t about one of the gifts I was making.

Homemade Nut Butter.
I adapted the recipes to fit my needs, and what I had in the kitchen...but they were definitely a BIG HIT! (and besides a messy kitchen, I failed to take pictures of the finished product.)

I also made a felt wreath (or center piece..depending on how you use it).

photo credit: domestifluff

And, this wreath for my SIL.

And because I like to give blatant hints...

Any guesses what's wrapped in a strand of Christmas lights?

Is anybody else starting to think about what they can make next year for Christmas? No?
Great, I am totally nuts. Too much nut butter.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Have you tried to comment on the blog?

Several people have told us that they have tried to leave a comment on our blog, but, have not been able to. I changed a few settings that should solve this - so, try it! Note - when you leave a comment, it goes to Lynette to "approve" before it will show up. This may take a day or two, but, helps to prevent spam comments from showing up.