Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday

I was all prepared to do a Fat Tuesday post and share some of my latest kitchen creations with you but Blogger just wasn't cooperating.  Here it is, late on Wednesday and I'm too tired to dig through pictures and write about recipes so I'll save it for another day.  Instead I want to touch on the subject of Lent since Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent.  Lent lasts for 40 days, ending on Easter Sunday.  I'm not really religious but I still like observing Lent.  Some form of penitence now and then is just good for the soul!

One year I gave up pop and ended up not drinking it for an entire year.  The hardest thing I ever did was give up caffeine.  I had a headache for the first two weeks but managed to pull through!  This year I got my idea from Daisi.  Her mom has done this for the past few years and I think it's a wonderful idea!  For every $dollar I spend on eating out during Lent, I will donate a $dollar to the food bank.  This will be any meal I eat by myself and all meals with AB.  I'm guessing I will be shocked by the amount I end up donating considering I eat out almost everyday for lunch and usually a couple of times on the weekend.  It's something I take for granted and this will definitely be a humbling experience given there are so many people out there who cannot afford the luxury of ever eating out!  I'm very excited that my commitment will be helping the food bank! Unfortunately they have been hit by the economy, with more people in need of food and less people able to make donations.  AB and I volunteered there back in December and it was an awesome experience!  If you haven't ever done it - you should!  If you have kids, it would be a great family activity :)

Do you usually give something up for Lent?  What are you giving up this year?  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Cold Winter's Night

Hello friends.  How was your weekend?  Are you watching the Grammy Awards like I am?  Watching the Grammy's makes me want to be a back up dancer!  I wouldn't really want the spotlight/fishbowl that comes with being a star.  A backup dancer on the other hand can enjoy the benefits of stardom without the fame.  Not to mention I'd have a killer body and everyone would want me to dance at parties, weddings, etc because of my awesome dance moves.

Back to reality!  I want to share a baked potato soup recipe that is just perfect for a cold winter's night such as this.  You can make it on the stove or in the slow cooker.  I opt for slow cooker because I love being able to dump all the ingredients into a pot and go.  The best part is - no peeling potatoes!  I found the recipe on my all recipes app.

Creamy Potato Soup


  • 6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans condensed chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 large potatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk


  1. Place bacon and onion in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until bacon is evenly brown and onions are soft. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Transfer the bacon and onion to a slow cooker, and stir in chicken broth, water, potatoes, salt, dill weed, and white pepper. Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 7 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and half-and-half. Stir into the soup along with the evaporated milk. Cover, and cook another 30 minutes before serving.

I didn't add my bacon until the very end because I wanted it to stay crispy.  I also garnished it with cheese.   Super yummy!

I hope you all are keeping cozy like these two fur balls on this chilly night!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Eating Healthy

Lately I've been on a mission to eat healthier and non-processed!  The non-processed thing is so hard.  Americans lead fast paced lives, working long hours and cramming as many activities as possible into our lives.  This leaves little time to cook a homemade meal, not to mention one that doesn't involve a box or frozen good.  Frozen and box items are just so darn convenient!  I've recently seen some buzz on Facebook and other outlets about the Paleo Plan.  I decided to check out the website and liked what I saw.  It's a diet high in fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and seafood and low in foods that cause numerous health problems such as refined sugars and grains, dairy, trans fats, salt, high-glycemic carbohydrates, and processed foods.  The website is full of information and recipes.  You can even take it a step further and sign-up for $10/month and they will send you a weekly meal plan along with a grocery list.  I especially like the grocery list because it's designed to help you buy only what you need so there isn't a lot of waste.  If I decide to do the meal plans I will keep you guys updated on how I like it.  Last night I tried one of their recipes and it was definitely a keeper.

Zucchini and Ground Beef

The recipe calls for coconut oil which I had never used.  I was a little hesitant because I don't like the flavor of coconut but the oil really didn't have a flavor and there wasn't even a hint of coconut flavor in the dish.

Here are a couple of in the process photos

And the finished product which I paired with a Kalamata Focaccia round from Farrel Family Bread.  I know, I know, bread is a grain but it's going to be awhile before I can totally give up bread and at least this kind is organic :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Weekend Happenings

Happy Super Bowl day friends!  AB thinks the Monday after the Super Bowl should be a work holiday, not a bad idea.  Do you have big plans?  Are you making any fun game day treats?  We will be watching the game at a friend's house, thus I will be making nothing.  I plan to plant myself on the couch, drink some wine, eat yummy food, gab during the game and watch the commercials :)

One game I was actually into watching was the OKC Thunder vs the Memphis Grizzlies basketball game AB and I went to Friday night.  Unlike football, basketball is a game I understand and enjoy watching.

We were right in the center of the court!  I've sat high, low, all over and there really isn't a bad seat in the arena.  It was a really exciting game, the Thunder didn't play very well the first three quarters but James Harden brought them back in the fourth quarter for the win!

In other happenings of the weekend, I started this book and I'm loving it!  I'm about half way through already.  I saw previews for the movie and didn't realize it was a book.  My MIL had it and said it was good so I borrowed her copy.  I'll have to go see the movie when I'm done.

I also went to my first Yoga class yesterday with Katie.  Yoga is something I've wanted to try for awhile but just haven't.  I really liked it and hope to make it a regular part of my workout routine!  There was a lady in our class doing the splits that said she could barely touch her toes when she first started four years ago!  That gave me great hope for myself.  I can touch my toes for about two seconds before my legs start shaking :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lost Without Lost

I've recently been mourning the loss of Lost.  It was creative, thought provoking and provided so much water cooler talk!  I'm having a hard time finding a show to fill the void.  I'm really loving some of the new comedies on the scene Up All Night, Suburgatory and Happy Endings.  They're great for some laughs but I need mystery and intrigue along with plot twists and turns!  Lost I miss you!!  Today I came across a show that definitely has some potential, The River.  It premiers next Tuesday but you can actually watch the premier online which I've done and I have high hopes for this one.

Does anyone else miss Lost like I do?  Have you found a replacement?  Even if you weren't a Lostie, do you have any show ideas for me?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Video Love

Happy weekend!  I thought I'd share some video faves with you all.  This first one, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, is so cute!  I just love the randomness of it :)  Marcel has become quite the sensation, he has a book and has even done interviews with the likes of Brian Williams.

The next one is a music video by the artist Gotye (go-tee-A) featuring Kimbra.  I wonder how long it took them to shoot this?  I also love the song!  It's funny how when you date someone, you talk to them everyday for months or years and then after you break up they're just someone you used to know.

I hope you all enjoy this lovely weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hello Friends

One of my goals for 2012 was to be a more consistent blogger - so far major fail!! I'm sure I'll get around to blogging about Christmas when Spring rolls around. I give props to those who do it daily or close to daily. It's hard, I always think of things I want to blog about but after sitting in front of the computer all day I don't feel like sitting in front of one all night. I do most of my nightly web surfing on my phone. Maybe I need an iPad! It would be so much lighter than my clunky laptop. Maybe if I told AB it would help me meet my goals he'll get on board. Ha! A girl can dream! The other problem is I've been relishing in the fact I no longer have to study by perfecting the art of doing absolutely nothing! And let me tell you, doing nothing feels great!

One goal I haven't failed at, I've actually done surprisingly well, is my spending freeze! As I predicted I had some withdrawals at first but found if you separate yourself from temptation it's much easier. I've cut out my lunch trips to Utica Square and I delete all emails from my fave retailers so I won't be tempted by awesome sales. I have to admit it hasn't been near as hard as I thought!

Have you been sticking to your resolutions? I hope so! Ug! I'll try my best to be a little more regular out here :)