Thursday, January 27, 2011

this moment...

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  via Soulemama

Holy Cow! Cheese Potato Soup

The soup I made this week made Reagan exclaim, "Holy cow!" when he tasted it.  It is yummy - holy cow yummy if you are a fan of cream and smoked gouda cheese.  I made this early in the afternoon in anticipation of "one of those nights" and it was super thick and delicious by the time we got to it.

Holy Cow Soup
2 tbsp dry flake Italian Mix
2 tsp Marjoram
2 tsp black pepper
2 pinches Chipolte pepper flakes
2 tsp Mortons Seasoning mix
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion
1-2 clove garlic
2 c. heavy cream
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. water
7-8 med. potatoes
3 c. shredded smoked gouda cheese
1c. parmesan cheese
4 bacon strips cut into small bits
1 kielbasa sausage

Peel, cube, and cook potatoes until fork tender and easily mashed.
Saute 2 tbsp. butter, chopped onion, garlic, and bacon until cooked and onions are translucent.  Add water a bit at a time while cooking and add sausage.  Remove from heat and mix in food processor with potatoes and 1-2 cups broth.  Add back to the pot and add the spices, cream, remaining broth, and cheeses and cook on low and until all the cheese is melted for an hour.  Stir often to prevent burning. 

We ate ours with Beer Bread and homemade croutons.  Delicious! 

For dessert, I whipped some homemade whip cream and served it over frozen blueberries.  Double yum! 
This soup was super thick by lunch the next day.  I added milk to each bowl and warmed it up.  I think it was even a bit better then!

Around this house

Around this house...

::eating frozen blueberries for sore, teething gums
::eating lots of soups (recipe soon) and salads
::dressing up...a lot and often!
::reading, reading, debating, researching, reading, questioning, and reading all things Superhero related
::turning 11 months old!!
::preparing for a 5th birthday party!
::being sneaky and redoing an almost 5 year old's room
::enjoying life

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday

How is it already Wednesday!  What a busy week our family has seemed to have.

This week, for my Yarn Along Wednesday, courtesy of Small Things, I actually have a print book to post.  Being one to devour audiobooks as they work so well with an obsessive knitter, an actual print book means I have to put my needles down...or rather slow them down as I can do two things at once.  I'm just now getting into The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  So far I like it!  I have to admit that I get annoyed by characters who have long names and live in long, foreign named places.  I sit there and attempt to sound things out in German-which I can't do and then loose the feel of the story.

On my needles, I'm working on a pair of scrappy longies for Logan.  He needs some clothes to finish out the winter and is such a 'joy' to dress that wool pants seem to be the best for all of us now.  I usually always have my babies in lots of wool but since I really wanted to use as much hand-me-downs from his two brothers as I could and I sold my used longies after Mason, he's just been rockin' whatever I already had (which was more than enough).  I also made him this and this last week too.

If you are a knitter and haven't yet read Soulemama's post today, you should!  It is just like what I find in my baskets too!  One must have lots of projects to do while ushering out January!  Isn't May almost here? 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  via Soulemama

Around this house

Around this house, things are slow and quiet...for the most part.  Next weekend we gear up for a birthday party and the end of January.  It is hard to believe my oldest baby will be 5 soon and my baby baby will be one in just over a month!

I changed up some of our playing space and moved our homemade play kitchen to a new spot.  It used to sit next to my kitchen but it wasn't really played well with.  Logan and Mason particulalily like to play with it so they directed me to spice it up a bit.  Now it sits in our foyer since we don't use it much and they really like it (again).  Defining the space with a simple canvas painting and faux curtains for a pretend window and a rug gave life to the area.  Now I need some more 'real' food since Mason likes to take our orders (all the time) and cook for us. 

It usually has a cute little door with a glass window but that has been removed as it bonks little heads too easily. 

Lots of reading this week too.  Logan is picking up books more and more now.  He reminds me of Reagan at this age as he too loved (and still does) books.  He is so cute how he turns the pages and talks to the babies he sees.

And just lots of hanging out this wintery week -whether it be baby, fur, or wool!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday

Joining another Yarn Along this week at Small Things...

This week I've been working at nights on a special birthday gift for my almost 5 year old.  I can't show it though as I know he'll see it.  He is sneaky like that.  During the day and the 'not all the way asleep' hours, I've picked up some stashed yarn that I need to get used up and am making Logan a Playground shirt.  Simple, easy knit.  He he at that stage where 12m. are too small but most 18m. are too big.  So it looks like he needs to be in lots of different sizes here and there.  Plus, with a cloth diapered bum, it makes clothes hard to fit at this stage.  I'm not currently reading anything at the moment.  Instead, I'm catching up on Podcasts.  I enjoy Never Not Knitting's podcasts and am finishing up those series.  I enjoy hearing about the designers and how they developed patterns or how they came into their profession.

I finished a lot of little things last week knitting wise.  I blogged it all here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Finished projects

I finally have a few things off my needles in the last week. A couple I started during the holiday knit-a-thon I did and a few I started more recently.

In no particular order...

My Christmas gift from my wee little boys.  Urbana by Stephen West.  I felt I needed to knit this as the designer is a recent graduate from U of I and obviously was inspired by Urbana!  It was a super easy knit but I ran out of yarn.  I decided to go with it and wear it as.  I like it a lot!  I think if I went the entire width of the pattern, it would have been too much for me.
Ravelry Link

Next I finished a pair of Soxie's for my cousin-in-law Brittany.  I altered the pattern a bit for them to fit her little feet.  Hopefully she'll keep them on and keep her cozy!  Knitting with cotton always reminds me why I am such a wool girl.

Then I needed a 'during the day' knit since I like to knit when I can as the babies happily play.  Sometimes I'm even asked to get my knitting so I can listen a lecture on Dinosaur species and their habitat and eating habits.  So I looked at my to-do list of patterns and picked up the Ripley by Ysolda Teague -  a designer I really like.  I adore this hat.  It is so great to wear and so easy to knit and fast too!  I did this baby in less than 24 hours while knitting something else at night!  Doubling worsted with sock to get a heavy aran worked perfectly and used up some of my stash!

Last new knit that I finished was my Yellow End of the Year knit.  I ran out of yarn at the top of the neck as I knitted this from the bottom up.  This entire sweater was out of my head with guidance from the illustrious Elizabeth Zimmernann's EPS from Knitting Without Tears/Opinionated Knitter.  I love it.  So warm and cushy. I plan on wearing it this week as the high will be below 10 degrees.  burr.
Ravelry Link
I've been working on a special birthday present for my oldest boy late at night for the past week or so.  He's requested this several times from me so I hope he likes it!  I'll post what it is when it is done and he has it.  He is incredibly sneaky and good at using a computer and would find some evidence about it. 

Another soup

With the weather being cold and wet, another soup was in order this week.  Following one of my favorite blogs, Posie Gets Cozy, I found another good one to try.  Last week's soup was inspired by her too so I think she is quite on to something.  I followed her directions but added just a few additions.  We called Orange and Blue dinner.  The blue was later.

Roasted Root Soup(A modified version of Root Soup by Posie Gets Cozy)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into 1" rings (wash them well)
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
3 cloves of garlic, in skins
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg ( I used fresh because I'm fancy like that)
3 cups chicken stock, warmed
1 tablespoon fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half - save for serving 
Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degres F. Spread squash, leeks, sweet potato, and garlic out on a half-sheet pan or large baking sheet and drizzle them with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss everything with your hands to make sure it is all coated with oil. Roast in the hot oven for about 20-25 minutes until squash is soft when poked with a fork.  Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin onto the other vegetables (and discard garlic skins).

Zip everything in a food processor with 1 cup of stock and add to a large cook pot with 2 cups of chicken broth, nutmeg, salt, and sage.  Cook until heated through (about 20 min.)

When ready to serve, add 1 tbsp. of cream per bowl (if you like - and oh I do!) and a heavy sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. 

Serve with garlic bread 
It took one hour to make from start to finish and on the table.
 This would be better with a good spicy sausage! 

For the blue:  take some frozen blueberries and sprinkle with Splenda and 1/2 tbsp. cream.  Yum.  I called it inside out ice cream.  

Everyone but Mason ate it well.  Mason loves veggies normally but it seems he isn't a fan of them cooked.  He likes them crunchy,  'raw and wiggly' (you are super cool if you know that movie line). 

It made perfect "baby food" for Logan and I froze an ice cube tray for later.  The following day we ate it again for lunch and this time I served it with roast beef panini sandwiches.  It was even better then! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  via Soulemama


too many moments for just one

Every Friday I enjoy posting a moment of our week.  It is great for many reasons but most of all, it keeps me looking for a moment throughout the day. With three little ones and a husband who is away, finding a 'moment' amidst the chaos is often a blessing. 

This week I just have too many to pick just one. I had it all ready and then I got another moment yesterday that beats them all.

With the bitterly cold weather, we've huddled inside dreaming of spring and superheros, trying to walk but laughing too hard to actually do much, and eating popcorn and cake for dinner.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yarn Along Wednesday

Participating in a weekly Yarn Along...

This week I am still working on my Urbana that was a Christmas gift from my week little bairns. They have enjoyed asking me (repeatedly) if that is my present I am doing which makes me want to knit it all the more.  I finished my yellow sweater I had posted last week and once it is dry it will have a photo shoot and be ready to snuggle into.

I'm not currently reading any novels yet but hope to soon as a sweet friend suggested a great sounding one but I am listening to my endless parade of audiobooks.  Audiobooks truely are a knitters best friend. I just finished the last one of a four book series, Scandal In Spring.  A great romantic, supermarket check out type of novel.  Easy listening.  My boys are having me read endless amounts of superhero books and dinosaur books. My oldest is having a dinosaur birthday party so his desire to have me read all things dino has increased ten fold.  I swear I have never used my phonic capabilities for sounding out words as much as I have in the last 2 years of my life lol.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I made it and they ate it

Since I don't get a 'good job here is an ipad for your work', for my job, I have to celebrate my small accomplishments with empty dishes.  To make something that all three of my kids will and can (since I have a new eater) eat is worth celebrating to me!

Our family loves soups.  I love to make them.  I love to use my big red pot.  I love the smell.  I love the dish to wash.

Today I made a black bean soup.  It was delicious. My almost 5 year old ate two bowls.  It wasn't even pureed and was nice and chunky.  Since I always try and make something some one else says their kids will eat, I thought I should share this simple soup.


1 jalapeno pepper -seeded/ribbed
1 med. onion
2 gloves garlic
2 tbsp butter
3 c. chicken stock
24 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz. can black beans
1 14 oz. can corn
1 pkg. low fat turkey kielbasa sausage
2 tbsp. dried italian flake mix
1 c. cream
salt/pepper to taste
homemade croutons

Chop jalapeno peppers being careful to remove the hot ribs/seeds.  Chop onion and garlic.  Saute all three in 2 tbsp. butter and 1 cup of chicken stock until onions are translucent.  Add 2 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning, tomatoes, beans, and corn. Add remaining cups of chicken stock.  Once well mixed and boiling, add chopped sausage, reduce to simmer and cook for 30-1 hr. on low, uncovered.

Once in bowl, add cream, salt, and pepper to taste.  Add homemade croutons.  Enjoy!

Homemade croutons are a new addition to my menu for the boys.  I always make two loaves of wheat bread a week and we don't always get to them.  Using these through out the week has proven to be great for croutons and I don't have left over bread on Sundays when I bake again.  Plus, Logan likes them as snacks!

To make them, slice appropriate sized bites and place in a plastic bag with 4 tbsp. of olive oil, garlic, salt or any other flavors you like.  Spread out on a cookie sheet and cook for 10 min. at 400.  Shake once or twice while cooking.

Friday, January 7, 2011

how are they getting so big

It occured to me that I need to blog more about my babies.  I'm sure the few 'readers' I have would rather me show them and talk about our family life than rattle on about the wonders of wool and needles.

My family life is fun.  Really fun.  My babies are lots of fun (almost) all of the time.  It has really struck me just lately how big my babies have gotten.  I do refer to all of them as my babies.  They actually like it - for now - so I am going with it.

Reagan is getting bigger by the day.  He looks different now.  Although he is still very cushy and easy to snuggle and is recently going through a stage of finding himself in our bed several times a night, he is growing up.  He loves school so much and I find him practicing often in his room at his "office".  He wants to read really bad and I can't wait until he can find a book to sink himself in with.  I imagine I'll find him nestled into corners lost in some printed adventure.

 My Mason has started to like going school and is starting to really try in all areas of daily life.  Even at home he is getting better with tantrums and battles.  He has taught us that you really have to pick your battles with him.  Not much will work and when we pick it, boy, you better see it all the way through!  For example, if he wants to be a certain super hero for the day, he needs to be it and we must figure out how it will happen.  A diva is a diva even if he is a boy.  At school he is showing how much he has grown with taking his time.  Before, his coloring would be all over the place and he would not care or try to follow what he is asked to do.  This week he came home with this masterpiece.  It promptly went on the frig followed by a round of applause from his older brother (which really makes all the difference to him). 

The baby of the babies is getting so big too.  Just this week he has started to 'cruise' from one of the couch to the next.  Since his favorite thing to do is knock stuff down, he is starting to get around pretty easily.  Today he discovered something new...he can push something and walk!  He is so funny when he does it and laughs so hard!

this moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.  via Soulemama

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

holiday knitting

This year, I knitted a lot for the holidays. I also took advantage of all my family and knitted a lot during our holiday travels.  Rather than linking and discussing every yarn and pattern used, you can find information on my ravelry projects page. Most were Christmas gifts but I've been on a kick to knit for me so I can reduce my overwhelming yarn stash!

umm...I think I might have an obsession!