Monday, January 29, 2007

Another YUMMY soup...and side item!

I love soup in the winter time. But, this year, I've really been into soups for some reason. I've tried several new ones this season, but so far, this one is my new favorite, not only for its taste but it is SOOOO easy to make:

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 can cream of chicken
1 can nacho cheese soup (I use regular Cheddar Cheese soup for a slightly less spicy taste)
1 can red enchilada sauce (I use mild)
1 can milk
1 pound (16 oz) chicken (I used a rotisserie chicken and just pulled it apart till I had 2 cups and I've also used 2-3 bags of the Tyson diced chicken in the past)

Pour top four ingredients into a pot, cook on medium.
Stir occasionally, it might stick to the bottom.
After the chicken has been completely cooked then add to the soup mixture and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

Serve with crushed tortilla chips and shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend cheese).

Its really good with this side:

Kickoff Cornbread

1 teaspoon unsalted butter for greasing baking dish
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1 (8.5-ounce) package corn muffin mix
1 (16-ounce) can creamed corn

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with butter. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream. Add the corn muffin mix and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the creamed corn and pour the mixture into the greased pan.Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the corn bread is golden brown and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cool for at least 15 minutes and then cut into squares.

Servings: 12 to 16.

This cornbread is unlike any I've ever had before because it so so moist! I never make cornbread any other way now.

The soup and cornbread is a big meal in its own!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I guess it was inevitable...Chuck E.Cheese....

Well, I guess we should feel lucky that we've managed to go 3 years and 10 months without having to go to Chuck E. Cheese. BUT, Beth has been talking about it A LOT (courtesy of her school friends, I'm sure), so we finally decided to take her. She was in HOG HEAVEN! Acutally, so was Sarah! Sarah was guite intrigued with the big mouse and just stared and stared. You could almost hear her thoughts..."What the heck IS that thing?" Beth LOVED the games, LOVED spending her tokens and had a ball playing in the big "tube" playground. And believe it or not, the pizza was actually good, too! I'm sure it won't be long before she's begging to go back! Whew!

Beth and Chuck (sorry about the red eye, but it looked WORSE edited!):

And Sarah, quite taken with the large Chuck E. Cheese "robot" mouse:

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sarah's 9 Month Check-Up

Well, after waiting patiently for over an hour this morning, we learned that Sarah now weighs 16.2 lbs and is 27 inches long! Yeah - she IS growing!! She is still in the 10th percentile, but at least she has consistently been in the 10th percentile!

He said not to worry about her wanting her bottle less and will make my job of weaning her much easier, but no whole milk till 12 months old. He said to give her a sippy cup as much as she'll take one, instead of a bottle. He also said she can pretty much eat whatever we eat at this point, so "have fun!"

Regarding the sleep(less) issues, he didn't have much advice. He told us few things to try that have worked for other people, but she just might be one of those babies that doesn't need as much sleep as the rest of them. He said "Albert Einstein only slept 2 hours a day, so maybe Sarah will grow up to invent something wonderful!" Great...........

But overall, a clean bill of health (and her second round of the flu shot!). We go back in April for her year check-up and a round of shots. Lotsa fun!

Monday, January 22, 2007

WOOHOO! Go Colts!

FINALLY! FINALLY!!! PEYTON DID IT!!! To bad he didn't do it while we still lived in Indy, though! WOO HOO!! The Colts are off to the Superbow! I'm so excited - I've NEVER had a reason to actually WATCH the SuperBowl!

Good job Colts! Now...bring on da Bears!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Drinking from a cup ALREADY?

Okay, so maybe not REALLY, but she LOVES to do this. Why is that they always love to drink bathwater? Gross! Sarah is learning to drink from this gigantic cup, but looks clueless when I give her a sippy cup! I guess we are going straight from bottle to stadium souvenier cup! HA!

Here's another fun bath picture:

I can't believe she'll be 9 months old tomorrow!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The new Bike finally arrives!

Bob ordered his fancy schmancy new Trek bike over a month ago and it JUST NOW came in! Of course, he just had to ride it to work today (10 miles one way!) in the 28 degree weather! EEK! You couldn't pay me enough to ride anywhere in this weather. Blah.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Blue Crew...

I love having I can dress them alike! Hehehehe! Beth was INSISTENT on wearing her "UK" outfit today, and then once she saw the same outfit hanging in Sarah's closet...well....then Sarah just HAD to wear her's, too....even if its still a little big!

Sarah wasn't quite awake yet - hence no big smile from her (she's usually my camera ham!) Maybe I'll try to get a better one later today, assuming neither girl comes home with food or paint all over her!
update: yep, both girls came home with food all over them, so no photos tonight!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A Belly-Warming Recipe...

Its cold here. VERY cold. Granted, not as cold as some parts of the mid-west, but after two weeks of temps being in the 50's and 60's, 25 degrees feels down right frigid. So, I wanted something warm and comforting for dinner last night and I found one of my all-time favorites in my recipe file. I love this recipe. It really hits the spot.

Chicken or Turkey Velvet Soup

3 Cups water - boiling
3 Chicken bouillon cubes
6 T Butter ( I used "light" butter)
1/3 Cup of all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup of 2% Milk
1/2 Cup of cream or “Half and half” (I used fat-free half and half)
2 Cups of chopped cooked chicken or turkey (Mix dark and light meat) - I used a rotisserie chicken and just tore it up!
White Pepper

Make a broth by putting the water and bouillon cubes in a microwaveable bowl or a pot and heat until the cubes are dissolved. While it is heating, melt the butter in a skillet and then stir (wisk) in the flour. Slowly add the milk and cream and stir (wisk)continuously to avoid lumping. Add the broth and continue stirring (wisking) until it has thickened. If it looks lumpy, don’t panic, just put it in the blender until smooth and then back in the skillet! Lower the heat to simmering and stir in the chicken/turkey and heat until hot (do not boil). Sprinkle with White Pepper and stir. Serve immediately.

*If your chicken/turkey is already cut up, it only takes about 10 minutes from beginning to end. Whenever I have left over poultry, I go ahead and cut it up, measure out 2 cups and freeze it in a “freezer bag”. Then, I just put the bag in the refrigerator to defrost the day I plan to make soup.
*All white meat is prettier, but the dark meat adds more flavors.
*If you’re a cheese freak, sprinkle the bowl of soup with grated cheese!

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Flood that wasn't....

Well, all the hype of the flood watch and probable flooding was just that...hype. The big rain system was pretty much a non-event. Granted, we got enough rain to thoroughly soak the ground and raise the river pretty high, but there will be no flooding! WOO HOO! Back to life as we know it.....

Friday, January 12, 2007

Possibly Flooding....again....

Would you believe me if I told you that we are under a Flood Watch - BEFORE IT EVEN STARTS RAINING!?! That is not good. We are supposively getting 4-6 inches of rain over the next 2 days and the lake where our rivers run off into is already at 20+ feet over flood stage, so basically, there is no where for the water to go once it fills up the rivers except OUT OF ITS BANKS! HOPEFULLY since we did some extra stuff after the last flood, like building up everything to 2 feet above ground level (except the garage), that if anything DOES flood, it would only be our garage and crawl space, which is STILL a pain in the butt to have to deal with, but its better than INSIDE our house. I CANNOT move out again. I just can't deal. I swore that if our house (or under our house) ever flooded again, I was outa there, but realistically, we'd lose boocoodles of money if we even attempted to sell the house now. (FYI - we got 9+ inches of rain when we flooded in August 05.)

I just HATE getting jumpy and nervous every time a "big" rainstorm is predicted. We had a minor scare in September, but we waited it out and didn't end up having to do anything but pray and thank God! HOPEFULLY that is all we'll be doing this weekend.....praying and watching the sky and the river. And HOPEFULLY if it DOES flood, it will happen slower than it did in August 05 to allow us a little more time to get valuables and furniture OUT.

We DO have flood insurance for the structure, but not contents insurance, so that is why we have to scramble to get most everything out. Its just such a pain. Ick. Ick. Ick. I hate rain.

ON TOP OF THAT, the weather has been so warm here, that all my tulips are sprouting. I'm sure we'll have a bad cold snap between now and spring, so I'm sure all my beautiful tulips will die. Bummer....... Can you tell I'm just not happy with our weather lately?

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A Fresh Start

I'm switching to Blogspot! My "other" website is just too hard to update and add pictures. I've been told Blogspot is so much easier to maintain, so here we are! To see pictures and updates of our life prior to today, click here:

So, I'm starting fresh for a new year!

A bit of good news to start the year off - Bob got a new job! He will be working at the same plant, but now, instead of being the Environmental, Health and Safety Coordinator, he is the new Facilities Manger! He will maintain about half of his safety duties, but he will also be taking on several new duties regarding the maintenance of the facility (and its a BIG facility!). Its quite a payjump, which we are obviously thrilled about, but its also a nice "step up the ladder!" FINALLY - after 2 years, his talents have finally been recognized - YEAH!!!

Sarah is still all over the place, but not really "into everything." She loves to play with her toys and her sister, especially. Here is a great new picture of Sarah. We were playing in her room, and she loves to get all bundled up in her blankie:

Happy New Year All!