Category Archives: Food related

A funny conversation…

Tonight we were eating second day chili. (Don’t you agree it is better the second time around?) And the Mr. and I were talking and he made the comment that he’d “gotten fat”. This is very far from the truth and I told him so. To that he snorted.  Sigh. So I asked him if I should just stop cooking. So I’m curious…is it a backwards compliment? Oh well, I’ll take it as a good thing…my cooking…not his feeling that he’s gotten fat. (He really isn’t fat…he’s awesome!)

So, do you have a similar problem in your home?

30 Days of Thankfulness Days 7-12

Spiderman....spiderman....

Day 7… I’m grateful for my ob/gyn. She actually listens to me without brushing me off as being over-exaggerating or overly worrisome. Which is comforting. And through her we’ve assessed what the issue could be, and we’ve taken steps and tests to narrow down the possibilities. If it weren’t for her, I’d be under the FALSE assumption (because we expect our doctors and medical professionals to KNOW what they’re talking about) that it was just because I was aging. Comes to find out, regardless of which issue it COULD be, it is a very serious situation. So I’m grateful that I’m comfortable enough to just call her and she fits me into her schedule and she doesn’t blow me off.

Day 8…I’m grateful to new friends. A new friend of mine came over and took my son and I out for dinner and a movie. It was great fun. She’s a wonderful gal and my son positively loves her.  He really loved the movie too. Now every time we pass by the theater he’s asking “Puss -n- Boots on?”

Day 9… I’m grateful for old friends. These people have been through the ringer with me. They have been there when I needed hugs, cheers, and guidance. Without these few wonderful people, my life would be so bleak. I love them all so dearly.

Day 10…I’m beyond grateful for my wonderfully comfortable bed. It’s warm when need be, cool when it needs to be cool. It’s supportive and soft all at the same time. No wonder I love going to bed and I fall asleep as soon as I get there and I get a solid 8 or more hours sleep at night. Beds like mine should be against the law! 😀

Day 11… It’s Veterans Day. And I’m very grateful to the men and women who have enlisted in our Armed Forces and fight to protect our freedoms and our way of life. And no matter how they feel about the reasons to leave, they do their duty and they go. But I’m not just grateful to the men and women who are enlisted. I’m beyond grateful to their families and loved ones. And it’s times like these, while they’re deployed and fighting wars, that they need to be remembered and uplifted. They’re hearts are overseas with their loved ones.

Day 12… Today, I’m grateful for red velvet cupcakes. Today we had my son’s 3rd birthday party.  And since he loves Spiderman so, I made him some red velvet cupcakes with blue frosting with webs etched into them. I thought they looked really cute. He loved them. That’s evident by the mess that was on his face after having eaten one. (I’ll post more about his birthday tomorrow night. It’s time to clear up the house some tonight and go to bed. There’s church tomorrow morning!)

So what are you grateful for?

30 Days of Thankfulness Day 1

(I’ll be sure to add a photo of my soup tomorrow. I don’t have one tonight, sorry. I’m not nearly as talented at the photoing of things as the lady that I got the recipe from.)

So, I guess what the question should be, “What does cooking have to do with Thankfulness?” Super EASY!

Yesterday was a really cool day, and I made some really awesome soup last night. This is a soup, I’d tried before and it was really good, and so I decided to make it again last night. And when you think of it, something filling and warm on a chilly night is such an amazing feeling, even in these times of plenty. Maybe it is just my great-grandparents and grandparents’ teachings coming through. I’m not sure. But when it starts to cool off outside (as it is this time of year), I always crave soups and coffee and hot tea and hot apple cider.

This recipe I borrowed and slightly (and I do mean EVER so slightly adapted) from Kristen aka The Frugal Girl. (You REALLY should check out her blog. She takes some amazing pictures! She even makes her own yogurt!)

I’ve just recently found my taste for soups. I’m more of a stew or chili kind of gal. Thick and chunky is my style. So my soups reflect that. I’m one of those that adds liquid a little at a time until I get it to the right thickness.  I’d be content to be able to eat my soup with a spork. 🙂

This soup fits the bill perfectly because you can make it as thin or as chunky as you like. It’s a HARDY soup and honestly doesn’t cost much to make. The only thing about this soup is, it is NOT of the fix and forget variety. It does take some vigilance on your part to prevent some scorching, however, the end product is so awesome that it is WELL worth the 30 or so minutes it takes to put it all together. 🙂  So, now for the soup!

Homemade Baked Potato Soup (slightly adapted from The Frugal Girl)

  • 4 large or 5 medium russets, baked and cooled
  • 12 strips of bacon, cooked crispy
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped (including some green parts)
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 6 or so cups of milk (whole milk works best, but can lighten caloric load with lower fat milk)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (I found that I didn’t use as much, but start at 1/2tsp and work your way up)
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper (Again, start at 1/2 tsp and work your way up)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8oz tub sour cream

(In advance, bake potatoes and fry up bacon and let both cool)

Peel potatoes, if you don’t mind some potato skins, leave some skin on the potatoes.  Mash roughly. I like my soups chunky, so I left some substantial chunks.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and let melt and add flour. Make a rue until it is a blonde color. Start adding milk slowly, stirring constantly. This is a pretty hairy point. Yes, your flour will clump up somewhat, it’s ok. KEEP STIRRING and stirring a LOT. It’ll eventually smooth out. Keep stirring until it starts to thicken up and get bubbly. (I add around 5 cups of milk to start off with.)

(DO NOT TURN UP HEAT OR WALK AWAY FROM THE POT. IT WILL SCORCH AND GET REALLY NASTY IF YOU DO.)

Add salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes, most of the bacon  and onions and cheese (leave some for topping).  Cook until completely heated through.

Turn down heat to low, make sure it is NOT boiling and add sour cream. It’s finished and ready to eat at this point. ENJOY! 😀

Let me know if you try this! It’s amazing and though you can’t fix and forget, it is still VERY easy to make. 😀

Food Glorious Food….

This past week, I drove to the next county over to try this place out. One of the blogs I check out all the time, RAVES about Aldi. Kristen, aka The Frugal Girl, LOVES Aldi. She shops there all the time, so I thought I’d check it out and see if it compares to what I do have in my town.

First I will say what tempted me to drive the 35 miles to check it out. Recently in a blog post, she mentioned that she was invited by Aldi to visit their home base and she got to see the inner workings of the business.  She describes the treatment of the employees and the measures that the business takes to save the consumer money without sacrificing on quality.  This is what tempted me to drive the distance to try it out. Integrity is important to me and if that means traveling 35 miles to support a business that treats people fairly, then I will do so.

The second reason is there are some specialty shops there that I can visit while I’m getting groceries at Aldi’s. So my Mom and my son in tow, we trekked on to check this place out.

My first impression of the store is just how small it is. It TRULY is tiny, however, there was plenty of items that I do use in stock. So I purchased $46 worth of merchandise, including chips, hummus, fish, canned goods, toilet tissue, and produce.  This is what I think think of the store.  Though the store was small, it was easy for my Mom to shop, which is really important. With her having a torn meniscus in her left knee, too much walking is really painful to her. Second, the products are REALLY easy to find.  Their produce was VERY good. I was really impressed with their produce. All of it was crisp and fresh and very well priced. ($1.98 for 2lbs of grapes! HELLO!!)

Though their food is private label and there ARE differences between them and the name brand, for the most part the differences are negligible. So, I wouldn’t be adverse to buying these things again in the future.  There’s a store in town that is similar in product, they are still a little pricier than Aldi’s. So this alone isn’t enough to draw me to them. But there IS the first reason to go, integrity.

One of the biggest draws of this store was some of their merchandise that I saw on their website.  They are a company with a German heritage and they had a LOT of German type of items there.  I bought Mr. W some sweet Bavarian mustard. (I used to live in Augsburg, Germany, and I remember this being the type of mustard offered with bratwurst.) I bought some pre-made pork schnitzel.  The schnitzel was ok. It was a good pork patty, but nothing like the “real” thing.  But overall it is nice to get something here that reminds me of my childhood.

The things that I don’t like about Aldi are few. First I don’t like that it is so far away. Second, I don’t like how little the selection is, though I’ll add that  I understand why it is that way.  And I’m unsure if this is the same for all the stores, but this particular store had isled merchandise all the way to the checkout counter, so it made it hard to shop those items when people were waiting to be checked out.

I don’t mind paying the quarter for the cart, you get it back when you return it to the store OR as I found out, someone coming into the store will give you your their quarter for your cart. I don’t mind using my own bags. I prefer to do that anyway.  I am just grateful that I have enough bags for both my Mom and myself. We’re going to have to work on getting her some bags! 😀

I know there are people who want to be critical of Aldi because the selection is small and there isn’t a lot of organic food there. Here’s my take on all that. If all you had was Aldi for 100 miles around, then I can understand your dismay. However, there are farmers markets and other stores that sell organic foods. I don’t equate the processed foods because ALL grocery stores sell processed foods, even places like Whole Foods. Those that don’t are called FARMERS MARKETS. Go to them. I highly suggest going to your local farmers market. I do. I buy my local produce there. I buy my pumpkins there. I buy fresh ground peanut butter and apple cider there. However, I see more benefit to Aldi than detriment.

So my final verdict, I’d definitely shop there. When I need to go to the butcher down there, I’ll hit Aldi’s up. So this looks to be an every other week thing and I’ll just shop my local Save-a-lot.