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!
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
- 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.
- While it’s coming to a boil, in a separate fry pan, lightly saute the zucchini, for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
- 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.
- Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted.
- Serve with sprinkled cheese.
Who am I kidding? WHO’S READY FOR SPRING?! I’ve had it with white knuckle driving. Ok. Good night friends!
Alright, alright. It’s not really good night. Although I’m very tired. Monday’s always suck for me at work. And on top of that, guess who was up late last night doing her book report? Yeah. My parenting skills at their best. I talk the best parenting game. But the bottom line? I suck. I didn’t do any of it for her, like she wanted. But I did let her stay up to finish it, even though I had many many threats of “bed at 9”. She didn’t like the feeling of being unprepared. I think the next time, there won’t be so much procrastination. A parent can hope.
Football!!! Every year Autumn and I have a Superbowl party. It’s usually just us. And it’s fun 🙂 We’ve been trying various recipes over the past few weeks, just to change up our party menu. We seriously make enough food to eat leftovers for a week. I’m not entirely convinced that there will even be a Super Bowl this year, but we are going to party like there will be. And our decorative balls will be inflated!
If you have read any of my previous posts, you know how I feel about meatballs, Oreo balls, cookie balls etc. When I saw these Chicken Parmesan Meatballs from Rachel Ray, it was game on. I knew this would be on the menu. Next time I make them, I may try baking them. The kids LOVED these. Let’s focus on what’s important.. I loved them!! Feeding a real crowd? Like more than just 2 people? Double the recipe!
Chicken Parm Meatballs
- 1lb Ground Chicken
- 1/2 C Grated Parmesan
- 1/2 C Panko
- 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 Egg
- 16 cubes Mozzarella
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 C jarred arrabiatta sauce, warmed (I used regular spaghetti sauce)
- In a bowl, mix chicken, Parmesan, panko, Italian seasoning and egg.
- Gently form meat around cheese into 1.5-inch balls.
- In a nonstick skillet, cook in olive oil over medium-high heat, turning. About 8 minutes.
- Serve with sauce.
In Buffalo. Let it keep snowing in Buffalo. Like a lot of the rest of country, west of me is getting slammed with snow. They can keep it! I woke up to 17*F, but that’s A-OK with me; I don’t have 4ft of snow in my doorway this morning.
Although it is the first of many, enough of the weather update. I’ve have other very important things to report. After a lot of feet dragging, and story after story, the soccer coach finally put Ms. Autumn on the soccer team. Offically. I think. It’s very confusing. She tried to play it off like it was nothing, but out of the corner of my eye when she thought I wasn’t looking, I saw her give a big smile. Secretly she’s pretty excited.
In honor of my Buffalo friends, and everyone else home bound due to snow, I leave you with an “OMG this is so delicious” recipe for Eggplant Parmesan Soup to keep you warm! I saw the recipe on The Kitchen. I was like how easy is that?? It turned out to be not as easy as it sounded, but worth it. Every. Single. Minute. I did alter this a little, like I didn’t add fresh basil. I’m sure your kids aren’t nearly averse to things green. Admittedly, I did actually fry the eggplant. Next time, I’m going to try baking it. Surprisingly, really liked by the little people and the Ol’ Man. Although, I don’t think Allison ate any of the eggplant. Show me your shock face!!
Eggplant Parm Soup
- 8C Prepared Tomato soup (bisque style)
- 1 1/3 C Flour
- 2 Large Eggs (beaten)
- 2 C Italian-style bread crumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Medium Eggplant, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
- 8 Slices Mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim)
- 1/4 C Shredded Parmesan cheese
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- Set up a breading station with the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in shallow bowels. Add a little salt and pepper to each.
- Using a slotted spoon, dredge the little eggplant squares through each station, shaking off the excess. Set aside on a wire rack.
- To the Soup! Pour the soup in a medium pot, add the Parmesan cheese, and bring to a slight simmer.
- Back to the eggplant croutons!! Heat 1/2 inch of oil in 2 large straight sided saute pans over medium heat. Working in small batches, fry the eggplant pieces, turning once, until golden brown. I let them drain on paper towel.
- Preheat oven to broil. Ladle the soup into individual ovenproof crocks or ramekins on parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover each crock with 2 slices of mozzarella cheese. Broil until golden brown and bubbly. Top each ramekin with several fried eggplant cubes.
Off to Photo 101!!