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!

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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

Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna-Just following the crowd!

Happy March!!  Whoo Hoo!!  We are on the upswing of this miserable winter.  Here in upstate NY we are starting March like a lion.  Snow, Ice, Rain, Snow, repeat.  Effing winter.  At least we, all fingers crossed, will go out like a lamb!

Proud Mommy moment!  Ms. Autumn has been asked to participate in the NYS Solo Festival with her French horn. I’m not too sure what it all means, other than that judges get to listen to her mimic the dying moose and judge her on it. Not a job I would want, but whatev.  WAIT!!!  We get that job every night for 20 minutes.  Of course, I’m kidding about the dying moose. Sort of.  It’s getting better. *insert eye roll* At least she’s practicing!

alexander (2)
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Fabrizio

 

 

Well, today is National Pancake Day.  I didn’t even make pancakes for dinner! I’m a slacker today as a mother. But Sunday was National Peanut Butter Lovers Day.  As a good mother should, I frantically surfed Pinterest for a good peanut butter recipe to make and ya know, throw it up on the blog if it tasted good.  I was in search of a chicken with a peanut sauce sort of recipe. Like a satay or something. I didn’t get very far. All over Pinterest and Facebook for that matter, is this Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna. As any good PMSing mother should do, I abandoned the healthy chicken search and settled on this.  The recipe I looked at was from Hugs and Cookies.  I altered it slightly, and if it were up to Ms. Autumn, it would have been altered a bit more.  She thought it needed more chocolate, and more chocolate cups.  I told her the recipe was highlighting peanut butter not chocolate.  She wasn’t impressed with my answer.

Peanut Butter Cookie Lasagna

  • 1 Box Nutter Butter cookies
  • Cool Whip (the small container worked fine)
  • Miniature peanut butter cups, roughly chopped (the more, the better according to Ms. Autumn)
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter, melted in the microwave (do not over do! It will burn 🙂 )
  • 1 Box instant vanilla pudding (I used the large box), made according to the box directions
  1. Line the bottom of an 8×8 pan with Nutter Butter cookies
  2. Top with a drizzle of the melted peanut butter (“drizzle” is interpreted differently for everyone! just sayin’)
  3. Add 1/2 the pudding
  4. Add 1/2 the Cool Whip
  5. Top with chopped peanut butter cups
  6. Repeat the layering
  7. Decorate the top with peanut butter cups, crushed nutter butter cookies and a drizzle of peanut butter (and melted chocolate according to Ms. Autumn)

cookielas

 

I brought the leftovers in to work.  If it were left at home, I personally would have eaten the entire pan.  As it was, Bobby called me a demon for bringing it in to work. I’m fairly certain he would have tried to eat the rest himself.  At work, I think it lasted a whole 5 minutes before it was gone. Really, it’s that good. Next week, we start the Eat Well, Live Well project at work.  I am the team leader.  With recipes like this, I’m leading my team straight to Hell. I really should have looked for that chicken recipe.

Boo!

I have never heard first hand what a dying moose sounds like, but I’m pretty sure it sounds like my daughter playing the French horn.  Of course she only knows 5 notes, so I should cut her some slack.  As it is, I’m the worst mother ever (this time) because she had to get shots yesterday. Why am I the bad guy?  I didn’t actually give them to her! I blamed the doctor. Poor thing got one in each arm.  She tried to hold back the tears in front of the nurse.  On our way out, as one little tear fell down her cheek, I’m telling her to suck it up because the shot feels better than the flu, and certainly better than getting cervical cancer. OMG..maybe I am the worst mother ever! I did give her a cuddle while I was telling her to suck it up.  The tear drop threw me.

Soooooo Happy October!  I love love love October.  It’s my favorite month. The colored leaves, the crisp air, pumpkins and apples and all things spooky.  Hocus Pocus?  I don’t even need to go on.

Along with fall comes some great game day recipes!!  I would totally graze all of Sunday if given the chance! These little sandwiches are quick, simple, and super delicious.  The recipe was from the Gooseberry Patch 5-Ingredient cookbook. These mini sandwiches got a 3-kid thumbs up.  The ol’ man liked them too of course, but he likes everything, so he doesn’t count. Game day, weeknight dinner, Halloween party, this is a great recipe.  Now, this recipe may or may not have come with a little white lie for the kids.  Oh please simmer down, like you haven’t fudged the truth, just a little. I already know I’m the worst mother ever. Might as well at least earn the title.  But here’s the situation. OK, if I had mentioned “mango chutney”, NONE of them, including the ol’ man would have even tried it.  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT volunteer any ingredient information, until asked.  I’m not promoting lying to the little bastards. I’m a full believer in Karma. I’m calling it creative marketing. When asked, (the little one always asks, because she wants to be a chef) it was a sweet mustardish sort of sauce.  It worked.  And a few days later, I told Ms. Autumn the truth., because as a chef, you must appreciate all kinds of food.

 

Monster Meatball Sandwiches

  • 32                   Frozen meatballs, bite-sized
  • 9 oz Jar         Mango Chutney
  • 1 C                  Chicken broth
  • 16                   Dinner rolls
  • 16 oz Jar       Sweet-hot pickle sandwich relish  (I just used sweet relish because I could not find this. In Wegmans. I could not find. Therefore, it does not exist.)
  1. Stir together the meatballs, chutney and chicken broth in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 25-30 minutes.
  3. Cut rolls vertically through top, cutting to, but not through bottom.
  4. Place 2 meatballs in each roll.  Top with relish

Monstermeatballsand

 

Looking for an easy fall project?  With kids?

boo

 

Cute right?  I just picked up the letters at A.C. Moore, painted them with the generic paint and tied them together with the raffia.  The kids painted the O’s, I did the B.  It was fun!!