January 31, 2012

Sometimes when you're headed to Grandma and Grandpas house, you are delayed by cow-boys. No really. Cow-boys, cow-girls, and their trusty sidekick Fido.

Fido leads the way.

Cow-boys push from behind and the sides.

Cows are loud.

Oh how we were surprised to be stopped on the road for only but 10 minutes as these cow-boys, cow-girls, and fido worked these cows. They were moving fields. How grateful we are to be slowed down, and shown the site of funny cows running down the road. I think Mama enjoyed it the most!

January 30, 2012

January Days

Who new at the beginning of January we would be:

Reading our library books out on the deck. With cocoa in hand, wrapped in blankets feeling the sun warm and bright. Good times.

Who new at the end of January we would be walking to the park:

shedding our coats and returning home to eat an Icee Pop.

Who new our sweet animal friends would get to play on a jungle gym built just for them?

Imaginations are a wonderful thing. January you have treated us well. Thank you for starting off our year with happy, fun, warm, bright, and encouraging days! Our year is just beginning and we are blessed by it. God is good, always good. He is teaching us everyday. Using us more than we could have thought. He is love and we are trying our best to show it to the world. Enjoy these last days of January for February is ready to start!

January 27, 2012

Mediterranean Lentil Soup

It's recipe time!

If you know me you know my love of cooking. Almost a year ago some of our church folk blessed us with meal provisions after bringing home our second little love. One of those meals was an amazing lentil soup. And what do you know, she provided the recipe atop the soup container!  We've talked and talked about that soup for almost a year. I've never cooked with lentils or any dried beans ever.  But finally I mustered enough courage to purchase a pack and voila delicious soup was made! The best part, it's made in the crock-pot!

Mediterranean Lentil Soup

2 Tb. olive oil
1 lg.onion diced
1 stalk celery, chopped (I used 2)
2 lg. cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 can (28oz) whole plum tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 c. dried lentils, soaked in cold water 1 hour, rinsed and drained
1 Tb. tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
6 c. beef broth
2 bay leaves

3/4 c. packed fresh basil
1/3c. olive oil
2 Tb. minced fresh parsley
2 Tb. red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Slow Cooker Directions:

Place all ingredients except vinaigrette in slow cooker. Stir to combine; cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until lentils are soft.

While soup in simmering, prepare vinaigrette. Combine basil, olive oil, parsley, and vinegar in blender or food processor. Process on high until smooth.  Stir vinaigrette into soup just before serving.

January 06, 2012

Red Pepper Soup with Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Only the best soup I've made this year. So granted we're only 6 days in and it was a new recipe, this soup even made Evan grin with a Yummm.

We paired it with some left over turkey and crescent rolls. A rotisserie chicken would be fabulous and easy!

Red Pepper Soup with Roasted Spaghetti Squash - the bowl

What you need:

1 medium-large spaghetti squash
2 tsp olive oil
2 carrots chopped
1 yellow onion chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
3 red bell peppers chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp fennel seeds ( I didn't have these so I just omitted and it was still great)
1 tsp dried thyme
4 cups of your favorite broth/stock
1 8oz can of tomato sauce + 1 can of water

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half. Scoop out pulp and seeds. Lay each half cut side down on a aluminum foil lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for an hour or until soft.
Red Pepper Soup with Roasted Spaghetti Squash - before

While squash is cooking start soup.

Heat oil in soup pot over medium-high heat.
Add onion, garlic, and carrots. Sprinkle with salt . Cook until onions are soft and begin to brown.  Add peppers and cook a few minutes until they begin to soften.  Add cumin, fennel, and thyme.  Stir to combine all flavors.

Add the broth, tomato sauce and can of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer at least 20 minutes until everything is soft.  Once soft, puree with an immersion blender or transfer in batches to blender.

Return to pot and keep warm over low heat.

Once squash is done, use a fork to remove squash.
Red Pepper Soup with Roasted Spaghetti Squash - scoop

Add squash to bowl and top with soup. Enjoy!!

Red Pepper Soup with Roasted Spaghetti SquashAfter our first bowls, we added a touch of sugar and cayenne to spice it up and it was amazing!  Roni from Green Lite Bites even suggests to double the spices in the recipe. I'll try that next time.

Pictures courtesy from Green Lite Bites.