Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Birthday Bonanza

Yesterday I celebrated my 31st birthday. My first year of my 30's has treated me pretty well. I finally feel like an adult...or as much of an adult as I think I'll ever feel like! So how did I celebrate? I pretty much just used the day to indulge in delicious, but not so healthy, food! My kind of day.

For lunch I picked up a chicken teriyaki bento box. I'm obsessed with bento boxes.


My coworkers got me the creepiest card ever. They know me too well!

They balanced out the creepy card with a fruit tart from Wegmans - one of my favorites!

Jay and I went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner where I got a plate of meat. Seriously. I only made it through about a quarter of what was on my plate.

I finished up the day with a big-ass piece of ice cream cake. You can't have a birthday without ice cream cake!

So that pretty much sums up my birthday! Went to work, came home, fit a lot of yummies in throughout the day and went to bed by 10:30. I am old.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

Sorry, no soup yesterday. I was away most of the weekend having fun and didn't feel like cooking when I finally got home.
Every Memorial Day and Columbus Day weekend my family has a picnic at my Aunt Ruth and Uncle John's house in Smithtown, NY (on Long Island). These are some of my favorite weekends of the year. The reunions have been going on for longer than I can remember!

During the day on Saturday we all get together to just hang out and eat some yummies. 
Candid, oh-so-flattering picture. You're welcome family.
I made friends with this inchworm. I named him Stuart. I made Jay be the platform for him to model on.
Work it Stuart.
Later in the day we normally take a trip to the beach. I love going to put my feet in the water and look for shells.



On Saturday evening we go back to the house for pizza, bonfire, and marshmallow roasting. My love for toasted marshmallows is legendary. The next morning we all meet for breakfast before heading home. I didn't get any pictures of night/breakfast...I have no good excuse - I was just lazy about picture taking. Traffic was surprisingly easy both ways but especially coming home! Sunday night and Monday I didn't do much...was a bit worn out so I slept a lot and did some cleaning up. Now it's time to prepare myself for my busy, busy workweek coming up! Hope everyone enjoyed their Memorial Day weekend. Many thanks to all those that have served our country! 


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Soup: Minestrone




There's no exciting story to go with this one. I found the recipe, it looked good, I made it, it was good, the end.

Servings: 8 total (4 dinner sized portions and 4 lunch sized portions).

Time: 1 hour total (30 minutes hands-on)

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen peas

  • 2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup elbow pasta

Directions
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook until soft (about 10 minutes). Add garlic, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and cook until aromatic (about 4 minutes).
  2. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and peas to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add kidney beans and pasta to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked.
  4. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired and enjoy!
Original Recipe: Minestrone Soup

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Soup: Chicken Noodle




I didn't plan or shop for any specific soup today. My Father-in-law invited us up for a soup lunch so I wasn't even sure I was going to make anything. He made a pretty delicious vegetable soup. By time 9pm rolled around we were pretty hungry again so we decided to throw this together with the randomness we had on hand. It was easy and turned out pretty yummy!

Servings: 8 total (4 dinner sized portions and 4 lunch sized portions).

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients
  • 12 cups chicken broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1.5 lbs chicken, cubed

  • 1 box linguine, broken into 1" pieces

Directions
  1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add onion, carrots, and chicken and return pot to a boil. Cook until chicken is done and veggies are soft (about 20 minutes).
  2. Add linguine to the pot and continue to boil for 9 minutes (or the recommended cooking time on the box). 
  3. Add salt and pepper as needed and enjoy!
Original Recipe: My brain :)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Soup: Cream Onion




Jay loves Outback's Walkabout soup...I'll admit it's pretty damn tasty. This is a copycat recipe of it that I decided to try. Neither of us thought it tasted like the Outback soup. Jay liked it a lot though, I thought it was ok. I wasn't a huge fan of the pumpernickel bread with it either, I though saltines were better. I've made another copycat recipe before that was much closer...I need to find that one again.

Servings: 6 total (4 dinner sized portions and 2 lunch sized portions).

Time: 2 hours total (30 minutes hands-on)

Ingredients
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

  • 3/4 cup flour

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)

Directions
  1. Bring beef broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. Add onions, salt, and pepper and return pot to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour.
  2. Whisk flour into soup mixture. Cover and continue to simmer for 30 more minutes.
  3. Mix in cream and then cheese. Simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered.
  4. Garnish with cheese on top and enjoy!
Original Recipe: Walkabout Soup

Saturday, May 5, 2012

April Goal Review


It's May. Seriously. I'm finding this hard to believe. Let's take a look back at my April progress:

Blog: Six posts in April - five soup posts and one goal review. Um yeah, apparently I don't have too much to say lately. 

Eat healthier foods: Still eating mostly healthy and natural food. Weight is holding steady - I'll take it! Currently obsessed with salads (good) and ICEEs (bad).

Quit smoking: I have not smoked since the night of May 1st. See, I keep my word on some things. Going on day four of being a non-smoker. I still get the occasional cravings but it hasn't been too bad. (Should I have not of wrote this here since it's technically my April goal review? Whatever.)

Live within my means: Bills are still paid and we've put a little more into savings - can't complain!

Be more active: We've gone for a few walks...not enough though. We did do a ton of yard work though so I count that as being active.

Make at least one thing every month: I didn't really make many anything in the traditional crafty sense but I'm going to count yard work here too. We laid our entire front walk, installed some fencing and an arbor, and planted grass seed. Now we need to finish the rest...

Watch TV less and read more: TV watching is still reasonable. I reread the second and third books of the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I also read Driving Me Nuts by P.J. Jones.

That wraps up April...onward!