Sunday, January 24, 2010

More home cooking!

So, I decided to make another from scratch recipe. This time I tried to duplicate Zupa's Tomatoe Basil Soup. I found this recipe online. I made it how it was written, but then decided to tweek it a little. I think it's pretty close to perfection now. The tweeked version is below. I read the instructions, realized I didn't know what pesto was, goodled a recipe for pesto, made the pesto from scratch. Quite simple really and the result is super yummy. The best of all, an entrie pot cost about $10.00. Sure beats the $6.00 a bowl at Zuppa's. Enjoy!

Fresh Tomato Soup/Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup
Joy of Cooking
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion coarsely chopped
4 cans stewed tomatoes with juices
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tablespoon pesto sauce
1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium-low heat.
2. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices.
4. Simmer until hot, about 8 minutes.
5. Puree until smooth, either in a blender or using a hand blender (be careful either way--the soup is hot).
6. Return to the pot and stir in the salt and pepper.
7. Stir in the heavy cream and pesto sauce. Gently heat through and serve immediately.

Top with gazo pasta (I think that's what they're called)


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Special equipment needed: A food processor (Check's sales on Cuisinart food processors)
1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Help!!! and a warning

I am need of some help on my blog. I went searching for a cute background and went "off roading" if you know what I mean, and found some obscure background. Well, it messed up my template. No matter what I do I can't get the side bar to post on the side. If anyone has any idea how to fix this, please let me know. It's just bugging me! Thanks

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Bon Apetit!

Have you redboxed Julie and Julia yet? I know, I thought it looked stupid too, but rented it anyway. When you work graveyards, it's amazing what you'll watch to stay awake. So, I popped into the laptop last week and watch it. Guess what? It was totally cute. It reminded me of myself a little. Julie kinda has a breakdown right before turning 30 (hmmmm, I never freaked out, ummmm, sure I didn't) So, to help get out of her funk, she decides to cook all of Julia Child's cookbook in one year. Blah, blah, blah,....It's funny, she completes it, the end.

Long story short, it made me want to cook, and not the easy, throw a couple of campbell soups in a crockpot kind of cooking. Like mincing garlic and a white wine reduction kinda cooking.

So, Saturday afternoon, I got a bug up my !@#$ and found myself at the liquor store (fish out of water there!). I bought the cheapest white wine I could find (later spent 15 minutes trying to open it, and yes I had a cork skrew, why, I don't know). I next hit the farmer market where I bought all fresh ingredients. So, $40.00 later and off I went to my kitchen.

The result: Chicken Glorioso and a yummy bruschetta

JD thought I had taken speed as I ran around the kitchen puting it all together. In the end the sauce was thicker than it should be, but tasted fatastic.

My husband being the sweet guy that he is, finished his last bite and said, "you know we could have this a Buca di Beppo for $20 bucks with my coupon and wouldn't hav had to do the dishes." Yes love, but it wouldn't have been so much fun! Just look at the smile on my face. It was a good time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Say a prayer for Lulu

My friends little girl will be recieving a new liver today. The courageous battle of this family is inspiring. I'm in awe that the first thing this mother thought of was the loss the mother of the donor child is going through. I have little doubt that she would not accept the donor if it would have save the child, but since it can't with a heavy heart she is accepting this new liver know that the loss of one child is saving the lives of many.

It has made me really ponder. Heaven forbid I'm ever in that situation, but if I find myself there, I hope that I have the state of mind to be a donor. I have no problem giving my organs away, but to be able to give your child's away is a different matter.

Bless the family of this new angel in heaven and bless Lulu with a safe and successful transplant.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My baby's first that is.

Carson had his first birthday party this year.....and yes, he turned 4. He has gotten the shaft, not only is he the 4th child but his birthday falls 2 days after Christmas. It is so hard to have a party the same week as Christmas, so for the past 3 years we've made it a special day for the family, but parties weren't in the plans. But this year, he knew what he was missing out on and he was determined to have a party. And party we did.

We picked out a snow theme, since he is facinated with snowflakes. He invited about 10 little boys. We played pin the carrot on Frosty, snowball toss, they had a snowball fight (paper snowballs), ate pizza, ate little snowballs (individual cakes), and frosted their very own Frosty the Snowman. We opened presents, then they ran around all hopped up on all the sugar until their parents showed up.

It was a fun time and Carson couldn't have been more thrilled. I was so happy to give the little guy what he wanted. I was amazed at how well all the home made games went over. Goes to show you don't have to spend a lot of money on kids, just a little creativity and planning and everyone is happy.

My baby is 4!

My little boy turned four. We all say this, but where does the time go. I was thinking, wow, only 14 years until he's out of here. I would be lying if I wasn't a little depressed this day. My nickname for Carson is Peter Pan, "cuz he's never gonna grow up" But I think he will grow up. I in no way want another baby, I just don't want this one to get big.

For his birthday Carson really wanted to go to Chile's. So that's where we went. In all honesty it didn't matter where we went all he wanted was chicken fingers and mac and cheese. But we got a big dessert and the end and he couldn't have been happier. Just look at that smile. I just want to eat him up.

Christmas Day

I love the look on kids face on Christmas morning. The awe of all the wonderfully wrapped gifts beneath the tree. They never look this happy at 7 am on a school day.

Avery was our picture taker on Christmas morning. Besides the blurry one of me, she did an excellent job. She has such an artistic eye. She was thrilled to recieve her own ditigal camera this year. She is more obsessed with pictures than her dad. The picture of Avery and a thumb, well that was me.

We spent the rest of the day with family coming and going. My sister and dad came over for brunch which is JD's specialty, then uncle Jimmy showed up with gifts. Later that night we went to my mother in law's for a tradtional Christmas feast since her 89 year old mother was in town. Unfortunately, 30 minutes after we got there, Grandma was taken to the hospital where she stayed for about a week with pneumonia. So, Christmas night didn't turn out exactly as planned, but the rest of made the best of the night. We played a couple of games. I found out that Jenny and I are pretty competitive and make a great charades team. It was a lot of fun, it was sad that Pam and Vi couldn't see their family having such a nice Christmas night. It did us all good I think, to be together, happily on such a special day.

Christmas Eve Traditions

Our Christmas Eve tradition is for us to sit down to a quite ham and potatoes dinner. Since we were all safely home on Christmas Eve, I was able to get dinner together, presants wrapped, and we had a quiet night at home.

After dinner we watched a movie and then it was time to open our presents to each other. Normally the kids by each other a gift that they open on Christmas eve, but since our shopping day was spent in California, the kids help each other pick out a gift at the Disney store in Downtown Disney. So, this Eve we opened our traditional Christmas Jammies. This year Halle and Carson did have ornaments for the kids. I made some home made gifts that I gave them too.

Carson is all into snowflakes this year and was in heaven with his blue snowflake ornament.

Avery loved the blinged out bulb Halle gave her. She such a diva.

Here are the home made journals I made for each of the kids. Complete with their names and decorated to there liking. They love taking the to church in the car, or just coloring a picture for me.

Then it was off to bed. The kids insisted on sleeping together, which works for us. The only down side is when one wakes up at 2 am they all wake up. We did however threaten them with their lives, that they couldn't wake us up until 7 am. They were waiting at the door at 6:59 am. Good times.

Utah Bowl Game Chaos

Our Christmas vacation started out on a sour note for me. I was woken up at 9 am on Dec 23 with the news that the Poinsetta Bowl tickets JD had given away were no longer going to be used. Now know this, the game started in 10 hours, in San Diego. Fast forward 2 hours and we were boarding an airplane to California (thank goodness I work for an airline, love ya Jetblue). We made a stop in Downtown Disney to do last shopping that was now not going to happen at home. Then straight to the game in San Diego. Where it was a great game. And.....the Utes won!!

After the game we drove back to Long Beach, slept at a hotel for about 6 hours. Woke up (now it Christmas eve), said a little prayer that we would be able to get on a full flight and headed to the airport. Santa came early and all of us got on the plane. (side note: I would have left JD with his Utes to celebrate Christmas together if we hadn't) Some where over Nevada I started breathing again and was able to say it was a fun little get away.