There’s no confusion about soup.

Is it me or does this time of year cause a lot of anxiety and confusion?  I went to the mall yesterday to just look for a skirt for Autumn’s band concert.  The mall had Christmas decorations up. Christmas music was playing. SANTA WAS ALREADY THERE! When the hell did Santa get to the mall?  It used to be a big production! Is it Christmas season already? I missed the turkey. I’m so confused.  And then I get all anxious because all the decorations and music and Santa make me feel like I’m super behind!  I haven’t started shopping.  I may have thought about it, but nothing is purchased. I don’t have room for the tree. I don’t have my 25 Days of Giving plan together yet. I still have “It’s ____ Days Until Halloween” sign up for Pete’s sake! Don’t get me wrong I LOVE THE SEASON. When it’s appropriate; like after Thanksgiving. Oh! And fuck you Hallmark Channel for sucking away all of my free time. I effing love all of those stupid Christmas movies.

Rant over.  What’s going on in our neck of the woods you ask? I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve been on here. You can thank Hallmark. Just kidding! Luckily for you, you haven’t missed much. I’ve been behind the camera a lot over the past few months. It’s a lot of work but I love it! I’m working on a blog page showcasing my work. That certainly is a work in progress. I took a WordPress class. I haven’t taken a class in years! All it did was just prove I have a lot of work to do to make my blog awesome. I’ve increased my gym schedule. Trying to get a rockin’ bod for 2016. Probably should stop eating the Halloween candy eh?

Ms. Autumn is fantastical.  She’s kicking 5th grade butt. French Horn is going well. She was invited back to Solo Fest in January.  I’m super proud of her!

9845

Although here where I live it’s been unseasonably warm, which is fine with me by the way, it will soon get chilly. I found (via my inbox from a coworker at work, thank you Taste of Home) this soup over the summer and tried it the first cold day in the autumn.  It’s delicious. All 3 kids, and the ol’ man love it.  It’s perfect for a cold day.  I’ve altered it a little since I like my veges.  You know, rockin’ bod for 2016.

Italian Tuscan Soup

  • 5 Italian turkey sausage links without the casings
  • 2 Onions, small and chopped
  • 6 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 32 oz Chicken broth, reduced sodium
  • 1¾ C Water
  • 2 Cans (14½ oz) Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 2-9oz packages Cheese Tortellini, refrigerated
  • 1-6oz package Fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 Medium Zucchini, cubed
  • ¾ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  1. Crumble sausage into a Dutch oven; add onion.  Cook and stir over medium heat until no longer pink.  Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the broth, water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil.
  2. While it’s coming to a boil, in a separate fry pan, lightly saute the zucchini, for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Back to the soup. Add tortellini; return to a boil.  Add the zucchini. Cook for 7-9 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat; add the spinach, basil, and pepper.
  4. Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted.
  5. Serve with sprinkled cheese.

 

italiantuscansoup

 

italiansoupcollage

I give apologies in the form of Shrimp!

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  So at this point, you guys must really, really heart me!!  I do sincerely apologize for my absence. I seem to be having some time management issues.  I’ve been hitting the gym 4 nights a week and trying to focus on a healthier lifestyle and it’s quite time consuming.  Apparently, I can’t work 40+ hours a week, workout 4-5 times a week, get 7 hours of sleep a night, spend time with my family, research for my blog, promote the blog and actually blog all at the same time. And let’s not forget, cleaning, grocery shopping and soccer. I’ve also been photographing more than just food, which I’ve really come to enjoy.

Ms. Autumn had the band concert the other night.  It was um..not exactly the RPO, but they did great.  She was actually invited to play a piece with the advanced band.  She’s been busy with soccer, band and a boyfriend. Oh yes, I said it. Boyfriend. At 10.  This is the next parenting challenge, as she knows boyfriends are not allowed until high school. Or ever. But right now it’s high school. What is worse, is she’s lying to me about it. This is another post for another time.  After I’ve figured out what to do with it.  Feel free to email if you have any suggestions as to what to do. If I push too much about the boyfriend, she will not only continue to do it, she will be sneaky about it forever.  If I don’t do anything, I will be one of those parents that “didn’t do anything” to control her kid.

On to the good stuff!!  As previously mentioned, I’ve been scouting around for healthier, family friendly recipes.  I found this one in Cooking Light. I’ve made this twice.  Three out of three kids liked it. The first time, I followed the recipe to the letter (minus the celery, cause I’m allergic, I just doubled up the cukes).  It was delicious.  The second time, I used less Sriracha, and used frozen, already cooked and deveined shrimp.  Thaw it out, and it was just as good as using fresh, and it saved time. I’m carb watching, so I didn’t used a bun for mine, I put it over avocado.  OMG….soooo good!

Sriracha Shrimp Rolls

  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/4 C Canola mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1/4 C Finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 C Finely chopped English cucumber
  • 4 tsp chopped fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh lime juice
  • 2 Green onions, chopped
  • 4 New England-style top-split hot dog rolls
  • 5 tsp Butter, melted
  1. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Add shrimp; cook 2 minutes or until done. Drain. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Discard tail shells; coarsely chop shrimp.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, Sriracha, celery, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice and green onions in a large bowl.  Toss in shrimp, coat well.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Brush cut sides of each hot dog roll evenly with butter. Add rolls to pan. Cook until lightly toasted and golden brown. Fill each toasted roll with about 3/4C shrimp mixture.

srirachashrimp