Spring Break

Yet again… more time passes between blog posts than I’d like. What on earth is it about this year? I feel like there just isn’t anywhere near enough time to get everything done.

Sigh… Anyway! We are on spring  break this week and I could not be happier! At this time of year I am just burned out. Tired of driving around. Tired of activities. Tired of that face you have to put on when you see other parents from school. (Don’t laugh — you all know what I mean. Sure, there are parents you are friends with and hang out with and love to see. But then there’s everyone else, LOL…) So yes. I am happy to have a week without obligations.

The kids and I went up to my parents’ last weekend. Poor Drew was sick with a horrible cold, so we left him home to rest. It was great seeing my family, and the kids all loved spending time playing with their cousins. We had an early Easter of sorts, complete with a delicious turkey dinner and an Easter egg hunt. Needless to say, the kids all had a blast!

Monday morning we got home and I worked in the afteronon. Yesterday a ton of library books came in for me — yay! I always feel like I won the lottery when there’s a big stack waiting for me.

library books

I was desprately craving Polish food. The craving was partially brought on by being in WMass for the weekend and partially by a conversation about kielbasa that I had at work Monday afternoon. It wasn’t the greatest, but as the saying goes, I did the best I could with what I had. For something different, I sauteed onions and topped the pierogis with onions and sour cream as I’d seen many other people do. Meh. It was OK but in the future I will stick to melted butter and breadcrumbs like my Babci always did. For me, that is traditional. And it certainly is tastier.

polish food

Today I’ve just been puttering around the house. Of course, we also woke up to this scene:

snowy april morning

Yes… snow! It poured all day yesterday and I am surprised any stuck. There was a huge temperature drop, though. I ran to the grocery store yesterday afternoon and it was 62 when I went in and 47 when I came out an hour later! Of course, it’s all melted away now. But it is still chilly enough to have one last fire going in the wood stove.

I have also been excitedly waiting for the arrival of my UBP14 prize! I won the Magic Bullet system from Jen over at PoorPaleo! Guys, I remember nursing Noah in the fall of 2005, watching this infomercial in the wee hours of the morning. I was riveted. I wanted a Magic Bullet so bad. But I had a blender. I had a food processor. It was a want, not a need. But to win one? Oh, this was the universe’s way of telling me that one really belongs in my kitchen. And look how excited I was to get it!

new magic bullet

The kids were psyched too. They are always asking me for smoothies, but I hate dragging out the blender. I think this is going to work out great!

I guess that’s about it. I’m trying to get out of my blog funk. I’m constant fighting with myself internally over how much is oversharing… should I try to blog more recipes or craft ideas (sticking to a niche)… or should I just write what I want? I know. There’s no right answer. And really, it’s my space I should do with it as I please. I don’t know why I find this to be such a struggle. It shouldn’t be.

Well, I’m off to finish up some laundry and get dinner started. Nothing fancy tonight, just some Creamy Turkey & Wild Rice Soup and sandwiches or salad (letting everyone choose). Hope you all are having a wonderful week! And I think I’ve finally got my  mojo back, so my ramblings here shouldn’t be so few and far between.

Print Friendly

Ultimate Blog Party 2014 #UPB14

Ultimate Blog Party 2014

Well hello! It is that time of year again… time for the Ultimate Blog Party, brought to you by 5 Minutes for Mom. I always enjoy this blog party. It’s such a fun way to connect with other bloggers and discover great new reads. (But you probably know that already!)

A little about the blog. . .  I write about a little of this and a little of that. I write about food and crochet a lot! I love cooking and trying out new recipes. Sadly, I have not had as much time for crochet lately as I would like, but I’m definitely trying to make time for it because it is good for my soul.

crochet

DSC_0077

If you look to the sidebar on your right, you’ll see a list with some of my more popular posts. Somehow, that recipe for Glitter Grapes is still my most popular! (They are really good… I think so anyway!).

A little bit about me. . .  My family and I live in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley. If you’re a knitter or fiber enthusiast, you might be familiar with the area since Rhinebeck is where a very large Sheep & Wool Festival takes place every fall. While I grew up in western Massachusetts, the HV really is a beautiful adopted home.

sunrise

poet's walk pavillion

kingston-rhinecliff bridge

My husband and I have three children. Jake is my 11 year old, Noah is 8, and Laura is 4. They definitely keep me on my toes!

Family Portrait Fall 2013

 I work part-time as a library clerk, a job I absolutely love! I also help manage our summer reading program and head up our library summer camp. It’s wonderful seeing kids get excited about reading! I’ve also done a lot of freelance writing, I’ve owned a wine shop, and I’ve been managing editor of a telecommunications magazine.

I guess the best way to “get to know me” is just by snooping around my blog. Check out a recipe or two, see what I’ve been hooking up, or just what’s new in my life.

I am really looking forward to visiting everyone and hopefully making some new bloggy friends! Thanks for stopping by — be sure to leave a comment so I know you were here and I promise to make a return visit to your blog. Have a great day! Oh, and you can follow my blog with Bloglovin!

P.S. Feel free to keep up with me on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Instagram, and Google+ too!

Easter 2013

Print Friendly

{Recipe} Easiest-Ever Crock Pot Potato Soup

Easiest Ever Crock Pot Potato Soup

I know. There are a million recipes for potato soup out there. But you know what? This is a recipe I have been making for years and years. I can’t remember if I started making it while in college, or just after I had graduated, but either way it’s a long time.

My friend Kelly (of the Easter Nest recipe) and I have long been Crock Pot afficianados (way before it was a cool thing again). And I consider this to be our soup. With just a few ingredients, the recipe is easy to throw together, forgiving, and (most important), super-yummy!

Easiest Ever Crock Pot Potato Soup

Easiest-Ever Crock Pot Potato Soup
Write a review
Save Recipe
Print
Ingredients
6 cups of peeled, chopped potatoes
3 cups water
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 bouillon cubes
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3-4 slices American cheese
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
Instructions
Combine potatoes, onions, water, bouillon cubes, and pepper in a 3-4 qt. slow cooker. Cover. Cook on LOW for 9-11 hours or HIGH for 4-4.5 hours.
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup (or remove and carefully puree in a blender). If you prefer a chunky soup, use a masher.
Add cheeses and evaporated milk to the soup. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for 1 hour more or HIGH for 30 minutes more.
Serve with additional cheese, sour cream, chives, and/or bacon bits
Notes
Substitute cream or half-and-half for the evaporated milk if you don't have it on hand.
This recipe can easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of water and chicken bouillion.
If you have homemade chicken broth, by all means use it. This happens to be a "throw together" me for me, and bouillon cubes are a pantry staple (whereas I don't always have homemade broth).
Pure Sugar http://puresugar.net/
Print Friendly

{My Erin Condren Planner 2014} Weeks 10-13

My 2014 Erin Condren Life Planner

Another month has flown by! March was a killer for me. We had so much going on that it left me dizzy sometimes. I just didn’t know which way to turn. That being the case, my planner pages were more functional than pretty. So, this was March.

My Erin Condren Planner - March 2014

 

Week 10

My Erin Condren Planner - March 2014

 

Week 11
My Erin Condren Planner - March 2014

 

Week 12
My Erin Condren Planner - March 2014

 

Week 13
My Erin Condren Planner - March 2014

 

Last week we all, at various points, ended up with a horrible (truly horrible) stomach virus that is going around. Seriously, what a way to wrap up a really busy month. But we all got through it and I guess on the bright side, it’s behind us.

So now it’s April! And I actually had windows open today! And the kids will have their spring break! So hopefully life will slow down just a teensy bit. 

Oh, I did get a very generous sample package from OnlineLabels.com last week, and I’ve been having a great time making myself custom labels that perfectly fit within the Erin Condren boxes. So expect a post on that soon!

If you are a new Erin Condren customer and are interested in ordering, you can use my referral link to save $10 off your first purchase (you’ll get a code via e-mail after you register).

Print Friendly

{Recipe} Hot & Sour Soup

Hot & Sour Soup

I promised you some meatless recipes for Lent, and even though it’s taken me a while, I’m delivering on that promise! One of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes is hot & sour soup. But sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to make the 30-minute round-trip to the Chinese restaurant. A few years ago I figured out a pretty good homemade version and I’ve since tweaked it further. I can’t say it’s exactly “restaurant quality” (of course, it doesn’t include MSG) but my family certainly enjoys it.

mushrooms

tofu

crushed red pepper

egg

This recipe comes together very quickly. I’m not really supposed to eat a lot of soy due to my thyroid condition, but I love the tofu here, so I cheat. Some people have substituted chicken or even pork in their versions, so feel free to try that out if you are soy-free. (And let me know if it’s good!) Obviously, also use tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce if that’s a concern. And feel free to use fancy mushrooms. In order to stick to my budget, I use a mixture of regular white and cremini mushrooms and I’m happy with that. Also, be sure to garnish with a healthy handful of scallions (I re-grow mine on my kitchen windowsill) and a squirt or two of sriracha if you want to turn up the heat.

scallions

sriracha

 

Hot & Sour Soup
Write a review
Save Recipe
Print
Ingredients
4 cups of chicken broth (preferably homemade)
2 cups of water
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups of cremini mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced (I used a 3.5 oz. package)
2 cups of white mushrooms, thinly sliced (or other mushroom of your choosing)
4 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 package extra-firm tofu, well-drained and sliced into small rectangles or squares (I like a mix of both)
2 Tbsp. fresh finely grated ginger
salt
scallions
Sriracha (optional)
Instructions
In a large stock pot, combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, crushed red pepper, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add all of the mushrooms and simmer for about 10 minutes. Next, whisk together 3 Tbsp. of rice wine vinegar and the cornstarch. Add the slurry to the pot and stir for one minute.
Next, add the egg to the soup through a slotted spoon and stir. This will create pretty egg ribbons throughout the soup. Finally, stir in the tofu and remove the soup from the heat. Cover the pot and let it stand for a couple minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
Put the grated ginger in a small sieve, and squeeze the juice into soup. Add the remaining Tbsp. of vinegar. Serve with scallions. For a little extra heat, add a few drops of Sriracha.
Notes
You can easily substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth in this recipe.
Pure Sugar http://puresugar.net/
Print Friendly

5 Delicious Meatless Meals for Lent

lenten meals

I’m not ashamed to admit that I am an unabashed carnivore. I love meat. There. I said it. I love my veggies, too, but I have a hard time making them the star of the show. However, every year I see Lent as a challenge to ramp it up. I’m hoping to have a lot more meatless meals to share with you over the next few weeks, but in the meantime, here are a few of my favorites. If you’re stuck for a dinner idea tonight, any one of these is perfect. Just pair it with a salad and BAM! (as Emeril might say)… dinner is served.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup

Tomato and Squash Tart with Gorgonzola

summer vegetable tart

Indian Potatoes and Peas

Indian Potatoes & Peas

Creamy Indian-Spiced Lentils

indian-spiced lentils (dal)

Spicy Black Bean Soup

spicy black bean soup

Print Friendly

{My Erin Condren Planner 2014} Weeks 6-9 PLUS a video!

My 2014 Erin Condren Life Planner

Life is crazy. Luckily, my planner keeps me in check, even when that means I don’t have the time to blog like I wanted. <<Ahem>>

Anyway! The first thing I want to share with you guys is a quick video I made. This video shows some of the changes I made to my planner (hacks, if you will) and how I have repurposed a couple of the sections. Maybe I’m weird, but I love watching YouTube videos that show all the different ways people use their planners. Here’s mine! 

Here’s my February Monthly Spread:

my erin condren planner - february

OK, now back to the weekly spreads. Week 6:

my erin condren planner

Week 7. We were on vacation most of this week, so there really wasn’t a whole lot to keep track of, thankfully!

my erin condren planner

Week 8. As you can see, life started to ramp back up. I got my hands on the “Plan It” stamps from Studio L2E so I used a few of those stamps on this week’s spread. I tried my idea of recording something from the day on those lines at the bottom. I like the idea in theory, but so far I haven’t kept up with it.

my erin condren planner

Week 9. Didn’t really have time to do too much decoration/journalling/whatever last week. I felt like I was a little crazed, so it just wasn’t a priority.

my erin condren planner

 

If you are a new Erin Condren customer and are interested in ordering, you can use my referral link to save $10 off your first purchase (you’ll get a code via e-mail after you register).

Print Friendly