Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas . . .

Christmastime is so much fun with a three year old! I can't believe how exciting these last two weeks have been with Annabelle as we have been making our Christmas preparations. We decided to get a real live Christmas tree and even though it is fairly dry these days I don't regret it. Annabelle had a great time decorating it and sits and looks at it every day. 
Last week we spent an entire day wrapping presents, not that it takes that long, BUT when Annabelle and I are doing it together we just take our time. I think her favorite part was designing individual gift tags for each present/person. It was a blast - one of the best days I have ever had as a mom. 
For the last couple of family home evening lessons we have been focusing on teaching Annabelle about Christ's birth. This week we pulled our nativity off the shelf and added each piece as we told the story. I think Annabelle is catching on to what Christmas is all about. She loves singing Christmas songs. Her favorite one this week is "Angels We Have Heard on High" because of the 'glo -o -o -o -o -o -o -o -o - o ria's. I think she listened to it 20 or 30 times on Sunday. Luckily we like that one a lot too. 
I am excited to celebrate Christ's birth and am grateful for this holiday to remind me of what a great gift His life is to me. I hope you all have a bright and wonderful Christmas enjoyed with family, friends and of course good treats!

Thankful for Thanksgiving

I can't believe I never posted about our wonderful Thanksgiving. We were lucky enough to be the get away spot for Mike's parents, his younger brother who is 19 and his older brother and his wife and son. It was wonderful to get to play, eat and relax together. The weather cooled off and that was great for getting out and seeing some of the desert that my nephew was stoked about. 

Oh and my pumpkin pies turned out (if you remember my previous post). 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Superficial Christmas Tag

Alright - my friend Sara created this tag and she is the one that said it was suerficial, not me - - but she tagged me and I tried to avoid it, but she is prodding. So here goes, these are her instructions: This is strictly superficial. I want you guys to tell me about your desire for an angora sweater or china plates. If you are tagged you have to list at least ten material wishes and tag ten people.
1. A stylish and comfy new couch with 3 cushions. We have a love seat and that works out best for our apartment and is good shape but then we can't really sit together very comfortably.
2. Oh that new couch is very appreciated but it takes up too much space in my living room, could I have a wider living room to accommodate the couch?
3. Perfect. Now to tie the room together I want a big luxurious area rug.
4. Have I mentioned that all of this needs to be easily washable? Stain resistant? Can not absorb odors? good. 
5. Let's paint an accent wall and then get out of this very livable living room.
6. A vacation that is relaxing yet adventurous. I want it to be laid back but I don't want to get bored. Could someone else make my bed? Let's go to a beach or snowboarding.
7. A haircut cut with a style that is flattering and low maintenance. Maybe that guy from "What Not to Wear" could cut my hair.
8. I want a walking partner for Christmas. The weather is perfect, my sweats are usually on - but I won't be out walking if I don't have someone to gab with.
9. Oh and while I'm at it I want my old scrap booking/craft group back. I liked meeting every week. Out of the house and with plenty of table space. 
10. Okay Sara I have stretched myself thin here - one more . . . oh - here we go,  not that I would actually enjoy them, but my primary kids might appreciate if I took voice lessons. 

I tag . . . Amy, Whitney (really just so I can change mine to all the cute stuff she finds on Etsy), Keri-Anne, all of the White Gables gals, Nicole & Nichole, is an Ogden reading this? if so I tag you, my sisters, and anyone else who wouldn't find this painful. Ha ha - that was 10 right?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Harvest Creamy Corn "Choup" with Parsley

I realize that a harvest soup recipe now is a little late in the season, BUT it is finally soup weather here, so I will share it anyway. I love this soup because it is delicious, I usually have at least half of the ingredients in my house before I decide that I want to make it AND because it freezes really really well. I usually make this full recipe, have leftovers the next day and freeze 2 sandwich bags for later (wether it be for us or a last minute dinner to someone else). Also - the popcorn on top . . . so fun and so good! Oh and go all out on fresh herbs if you want, but I just use the dry version. Here are the ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4-5 large ears corn, scraped from cob or 1 box frozen corn (I just use a can of corn)
  • 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, chopped - DON'T skip this, so so good
  • 1 pound small potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley (a couple of generous handfuls), chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few dashes of hot sauce, to taste
  • Oyster crackers or white cheddar popcorn, to pass at the table

Heat a medium soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add bacon to hot EVOO and cook until crisp at edges. Add onion, corn, zucchini, potatoes and bell pepper as you get them chopped, then add the bay leaf, thyme and paprika. Cook for 7-8 minutes to begin to soften.

Sprinkle flour around the pot, stir and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the stock and let it come up to a bubble and thicken up a bit, then stir in the milk, cream and parsley and simmer for 5 minutes.

Season the soup with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste and serve with crackers or popcorn to float on top. 

Credit once again goes to Rachael Ray