Thursday, September 23, 2010

Black Bean Soup

  Its the best part of my day finally!  Sittin’ here sipping my tea and eating my daily dark chocolate peanut butter cup.  I alternate between the peanut butter ones and the almond butter ones.  Always dark chocolate, always delicious.  Eric is in town picking up more garage supplies – hopefully, for the last time.  Figured it might be a wise idea to finish up the siding to make it presentable to buyers.  Picky, picky! 

Not too many photos today for ya!  It raining all day today, so the light in here was crap for food pics (not that its every that great anyway) and my purdiest subject wasn’t in the mood for photos.  And she had the cutest outfit ever today too!  Boo, Avery!  Boo!  I managed to at least take a picture of her before we left for school this morning.  She does NOT like things on her head, so this hood is a waste on her.  What a shame.

Still won’t let me do her hair.  One day she’ll be sorry about that.  I just know it. DSC_0854

Sigh, the house is un-officially up for sale.  Un-officially because its not yet up on the MLS.  I suspect it will be by tomorrow though.  Makes me feel sad seeing this picture.  I’ve really come to like it here.  If only we were 20 minutes closer to Brainerd.  Sad  Oh well, I’m sure we’ll find something even more fabulous.  For now, the “fun” begins.  Ha.DSC_0858

So, did I mention how much I love the Chop Wizard?  Yes, I think I did.  Here.  And here.DSC_0860

Seriously, this thing rocks.  Here I was holding out for my sous chef to get bigger (and safely handle knives on his own) and now I don’t have to wait!  Its so fast!  And the best part is – NO TEARS!  I don’t even have to wear my fun onion goggles anymore.  Wait a minute – I like wearing those.  Dang!  Stupid cool chopper! DSC_0861

Well, I repurposed last nights peppers and thru in some carrots to my usual black bean soup.  I absolutely love this soup.  Soooooo good.  A touch spicy, but not too spicy for kids.  Our kids, anyway.  The sour cream on top always does a good job of toning it down though if does accidently get too spicy.  Yeah, so I don’t always measure the spices.  Whatever!  DSC_0862We

had some crusty bread with it for dipping purposes.  Seriously satisfying dinner.  My tummy was happy.   DSC_0866Here’s the recipe:

Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Cooking Light, September 2008

1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can reduced sodium chicken broth
2 celery stocks – chopped

1 small onion – chopped
1 tsp cumin (or more, if you’re like me – just dump some in!)
1 tsp chipotle chile powder (DON’T dump this in.  Its HOT.  Actually, if you want to be on the safe side – do 1/2 tsp.) 
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic – chopped
Today I added chopped green pepper and shredded carrots.  Sometimes I add red pepper.  Any veggie can go in here, really.  I sometimes add chicken or bacon too. 

You can either do this on the stovetop or throw it all in your crockpot and let it simmer.  If you do it on the stovetop – saute up the veggies and garlic with the spices first and then add the tomatoes, beans and broth.  Finally, (and this part is important for those who are afraid of vegetables or have children) blend it up in either your food processor, blender or use an immersion blender (I just bought one today and it was awesome for this purpose!) to blend it all up.  No one will have a CLUE what they are eating and trust me – they’ll eat it.  Its good stuff.  We put sour cream and cheese on top. Sometimes I do avocado and chips in mine instead of the cheese and sour cream.  This soup is really versatile and super tasty!  Enjoy!

Time for tv!  Woohoo!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Carrots and Peppers

  Today was my last day of freedom.  Tomorrow our realtor comes to post a sign in our yard meaning we have to be ready for showings at a moments notice.  I know we’re not the first people with small children to have their house on the market, but this is NOT gonna be fun.  It seems they are out to destroy the house any chance they get – at least, that’s how it seemed today.  Dylan dumped out ALL his clothes TWICE today.  Maybe he thought I needed a dress rehearsal for cleaning up quickly?  I was not a fan. 

This morning the sun was shining so I went outside to get more outdoor pics of the yard.  The lake was like glass, so the leaves reflecting on the water was quite pretty.   Probably won’t include this one though – the rice is a turn off to buyers.  WinkDSC_0769

Avery was mad that I didn’t let her come with. DSC_0776

So she turned on the charm in an effort to get her way.  It didn’t work. DSC_0777

I keep waking up with a groggy throat.  This morning I decided that perhaps a Green Monster would fix all that ails me.   DSC_0780

TOTALLY helped.  This one had spinach, unsweetened almond milk, a blueberry Chobani yogurt, 1 banana and ice.  It was goooood. DSC_0782

So while Avery took nap numero uno, Dylan and I went out back to take more pictures.  He wanted pictures of his hand prints from when the garage was poured.  Sigh.  Another thing to be all wishy washy about.  Sad DSC_0786 DSC_0787

Seriously – when is he going to get past the “make a goofy face” phase when I tell him to smile?DSC_0798Fa

llllllllllllllllllll. DSC_0800

Hey – wouldn’t ya know it – my basil plant that we got for a buck at Fleet Farm actually is growing!  I didn’t see that coming!  I wonder what will happen when I move it inside though.  Hmmm.  Most likely it will die on the windowsill from lack of light.  Just like many a plant before him. DSC_0808

Speaking of plants dying – I have a TON of green tomatoes.  Come on little buddies!  Turn red! Your time is limited.  I’m totally out of my red tomato stash right now!  Don’t make me go buy tomatoes, tomato plant! DSC_0809

Lingy was out harvesting her carrots today because Lacy was trying to harvest them for her.  Bad dog Lacy!  So guess who got a big bucket o carrots today?   DSC_0811

Milly came over to give Lacy a talking to about destroying things.  She should talk. DSC_0813

While I was over chatting with Lingy, I mentioned my hatred for shredding carrots.  She asked why I didn’t just use my shredder attachment on my food processor.  I told her that I would if I knew were the dang thing was!  I tore the kitchen apart not long ago looking for it.  She suggested I check the toy bin and that’s when a light went off in my head.  I had put it up on the highest shelf possible to keep Dylan away from it.  Eureka!  I knew where it was!  Sweeeeeet.  DSC_0816

There was only one thing to do.  Make carrot cookies. Open-mouthed DSC_0826

I got this recipe from 101 Cookbooks.  These ROCK!  Seriously, do yourself a favor and make these now.  They are seriously so good

DSC_0833While I was doing that, Dylan was doing this.  Um, does this look like a house that’s ready for showings??? DSC_0827Does he look like he cares?? DSC_0828  I had more of Lingy’s bounty to use up at dinner.  More carrots + green peppers.  My first thought – stuffed peppers with quinoa!  I wanted to use up the pasta sauce from last night too, so this was prefect! I just mixed up the cooked quinoa with pasta sauce, chopped chicken sausage (from lunch today), black beans, carrots and chipotle cheddar cheese on top.  DSC_0834 DSC_0836 DSC_0838

What a cute little hat! DSC_0839 DSC_0847 DSC_0849Well, I thought they were good.  Avery ate a little.  Dylan walked into the house and declared them “stinky” and Eric barely ate a thing.  Eye-rolling Dylan actually did end up eating quite a bit of it and was mad that his wasn’t in one of Ingrid’s peppers.  So we had to give him a pepper to eat out of.  Whatever works, kid!  Now if only I could come up with a fun serving idea that would work on a 33 year old kid.  Hmmm.  Since there was leftover peppers, I have plans to re-purpose them tomorrow.  HA!  Take that family!  I’ll show you! 



Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gnocchi Dokey

  This is gonna be a fly by post!  Meaning – short.  Today was busy, busy, busy getting ready for our realtor to come over and help us get all of our stuff together to get the house on the market this week.  So I spent the majority of the morning and early afternoon cleaning and re-cleaning.  The kids were told to “dance” because “dancing isn’t messy.”  It didn’t work for very long.  They did manage to get outside for a bit to help Eric spiffy up the yard.  But since Eric was also in a hurry, this pictures of them in the leaf filled wagon didn’t turn out.  He was going too fast!DSC_0751 DSC_0755 DSC_0756 DSC_0757

Dinner tonight was this:  DSC_0759+

these. DSC_0761+

this. DSC_0762(a

better look at the gnocchi – which I’ve never made before – homemade or otherwise) DSC_0765

= this.  I really liked the sauce!  The gnocchi was just okay.  It was funny because I tasted it without the sauce and it was sooooooo bland and I thought - “Great.  No one will eat this.”  Dylan came in, took one look at it and said, “I’m not eating that.”  But then he took a bite and decided he did like it.  He had 3 helpings of it!  I stand corrected. DSC_0767











Tomorrow I plan to have a super low key day and also do some baking to make it smell all fall-ish and yummy in here.  So expect a barrage of photos to document our endeavors!

Time for me to park my bunnies on the couch for Glee and The Biggest Loser! Goodnight!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nicole’s Wedding

  My cousin Nicole got married this past weekend in Crookston.  I had no time (or internet connection) to blog, so this is a bit delayed.  And if you are thinking, “well, you could have done it Sunday night when you got home!” you would be wrong.  I was way too tired.  Trishy doesn’t stay up til 11:30 all that often (yes, that sounds lame, I know.  But truth be told, I was actually up til almost 2am b/c of a snoring mother and a drunken sister) and I had to just veg out when we finally arrived back home.  So here is your better late than never recap of Nicole and Shane’s wedding. 

Grandpa Tom and his “Crookston Coffee” (meaning, its very weak coffee).  My initial thought upon reviewing this photo - “Who invited Grandma Edna!?”  LOL!  DSC_0628

A classic.  I love how Melissa and Mara are mad that they were not given fair warning that a picture was about to be taken.  Notice how MY siblings were ready.  They know me too well. DSC_0629

So Melissa requested a second chance.  Well done Melissa! Totally redeemed yourself! DSC_0630

Aunt Bobbi Pin was ready for her close up.  As was Ethan.   DSC_0631

Cousin Kay and my mom. DSC_0632

Purdy girl Avery.  (Her shoes that match the dress didn’t arrive in time.  Bummer) DSC_0635

Someone gave Dylan a giant plate of jelly beans BEFORE dinner.   DSC_0638

Had to include this – shes so cute! DSC_0639

Watching the golf putting game they had on the dance floor. DSC_0647

Or not.  Avery sat her butt down by the hole and refused to move.  We did nothing to help these kids out either.  It was too funny to move her!    DSC_0648 Grandpa was giving Nicole a quiz on Catholicism as she has now joined the Catholic church.  Our Grandma Pat is spinning in her grave over this one, Nicole!  DSC_0653The

beautiful bride and her beaming mother! DSC_0654Avos


had to be held down and hog tied to stay put during the toasts. 

  DSC_0664 DSC_0666

She seriously cracks me up.  Dylan is pretty funny too. DSC_0667She knew just what to do whenever she heard clapping though. DSC_0668


Ellie and Dylan were busy hammin’ it up during the toasts.  At this point we had given up trying to control them.  Sorry about that Nicole!  But in our defense, you can totally blame all this on Uncle Pete.  If he hadn’t have moved us from our  prime “head table viewing” table, then we wouldn’t have been directly next to the head table.  Those stairs were just asking to be played on!   DSC_0685

Avery talked her new boyfriend into going “behind the scenes.”   DSC_0687 DSC_0689Sorry Mara, I had to include this picture!  It was too funny not to! DSC_0693 DSC_0698 DSC_0699 DSC_0701 DSC_0702 DSC_0703

The bride and groom! DSC_0710

I love the open mouth smiles on them all! DSC_0711Dance time!  Ethan and Ellie dominated the dance floor most of the evening.


Avery had to shake it before she turned into a pumpkin.   DSC_0724 DSC_0726 DSC_0727 DSC_0728


And that’s it for photos from the wedding.  I got sick of hauling my camera around.  The bartender even asked if I was the photographer!  Figured that was probably my cue to put the camera down and just enjoy the wedding festivities.  I did, but not as much as some of my relatives! Wink  I felt fabulous Sunday morning!  Other people, not so much!  Suckers! 


Guess what came today?  The shoes that match the dress Avery wore on Saturday night.  Grrrrr!  They sure are cute!  Speaking of Avery and cuteness– she went to the dr this morning and she is 23 pounds and 30 1/4 inches tall.  Gone are the days of being off the charts (as in, so small that she didn’t even make the chart)!

DSC_0732 Later!