Our Boys

Friday, January 29, 2010

Life in the City

This is where I spent the day on Wednesday. I had a brief training for work in the morning and got to spend the rest of the day feeling as if I didn't have a care in the world. A little shopping, some free WiFi at Borders, a Starbuck's coffee and the best part of the day - lunch with Brett! It's hard to believe some people get to do this everyday!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Souper Sunday Italian Style

The tradition of Souper Sunday just isn't the same when the day is not spent watching football. With only the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl left, we decided we needed to get in another yummy pot of soup! Brett decided yesterday that he wanted to make "the Olive Garden's soup". Coincidentally, my mom gave me a delicious recipe for Zuppa Tuscano not too long ago. This may be one of our best soups yet!!!!!
Zuppa Tuscano

6 large potatoes, sliced (not peeled) and quartered
2 lg. red onions, diced
2 T. olive oil
4 T. minced garlic
2 lbs. loose Italian sausage

Roux: 10 T. flour, 10 T. butter, 2 t. salt, 1 T. pepper

2 c. white cooking wine
6 c. chicken broth
2c. half and half
4 t. cumin
4 t. basil
6 oz. baby spinach, washed and torn (can use frozen)

  • Boil potatoes until half way cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Set aside.
  • Brown and drain sausage. Set aside
  • Make roux by heating butter until melted. Slowly stir in flour, salt and pepper using whisk until smooth.
  • Add wine, chicken broth, and half and half. Stir constantly with wire whisk until bubbly and thickened slightly (not lumpy).
  • Add onion, garlic, cumin, basil, sausage, potatoes, and spinach to liquid. Stir well. Cover and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.


Monday, January 18, 2010

My Mid January Non New Years Resolutions

So while January 1 came and went, I am still mulling over some resolutions. I decided that I really don't want to have a lot of things that I want to do but will probably ultimately fail at. When I started thinking of things that would be my New Years Resolutions (if in fact I were making any) they all centered around one theme: being a better person - physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. So, I have decided that the following list is NOT, I repeat NOT, my list of things that I must do this year in order to feel complete, but rather a list of challenges. If I don't do them, no harm, no foul, I am just in the same place I am right now - sitting a my dining room table, drinking pumpkin spice coffee (I know it's January but I can drink whatever flavor coffee I want, whenever I want), and looking outside at the dirty snow and slush. Oh, how I love a string of 3o-something degree days after a huge snow fall.

1. Go to church more regularly. I have a love/ hate relationship with church. I know that sounds bad, but sometimes I'm into it and sometimes I'm not, and in my opinion (which I am allowed to have since this is my blog, thank you very much Miss I'm Going to Post a Nasty Comment Under Your Kate Gosselin Post...oh no your not, sweetheart because I deleted it the second I read it), I should only go to church if my heart is in it. I just don't think that just because you go that it "counts". I know lots of people that go every Sunday and pretty much enter a 1 hour long day dream the entire time they are there. So rather, I guess than say I will go more regularly, I want to be in the right frame of mind that I want to go and that I give of myself for that one hour.

2. You know the whole saying, "My body is a temple", well, you know what, it is. And if this 5 foot 7, 100 and a lot of change pound body is the only one I am getting, then I really should take care of it. I ran a half marathon in September and have only gone down hill from there. It's time I set some goals for myself and get off the couch. As for what's going into this temple, well that could use a little work too. I go in cycles of eating very healthy and then I go on a binge like a Biggest Loser contestant dumped into a vat of pudding. I know I am probably a little too hard on myself sometimes, but I really should take better care of myself.

3. Now here's the biggie...enjoy life! I have an "older" friend who made a resolution last year to have more fun. If someone asked her for a drink after work, she went. If her husband wanted to see a movie and she was tired, she went. At the end of the year she was very proud that she had accomplished her goal. Well, I need to enjoy life a little more. Again, I'm only getting one temple and I'm only getting one chance to enjoy my temple so let the fun begin. There are so many places that want to go and things that I want to do that it seems like a waste to ever sit around doing nothing, yet I feel like I am pretty lazy sometimes. I challenge myself, to go for a walk, to read a book, to call a friend, to write a letter, walk the dogs, to do something that enriches my life rather than wastes more precious minutes of it.

So there it is: my list of 3 Non Resolutions...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Where has Souper Sunday gone???

I don't know. It seems that these few months have been so packed full of long hours at work, social commitments, road trips, etc. that we have had little time to keep up with some of our favorite routines. Brett and i agreed shortly after we got married that Sundays were our favorite day together. It was usually the laziest of the week, neither of us ever felt like working on Sundays and we usually don't have anything that we have to do. Depending on the weather Sundays involve sleeping in or getting up early, church or no church, bike riding, grocery shopping, visits to the dog park, or just being so lazy that we never leave the house. My favorite part of the day is diving into the paper and cutting out the coupons from the inserts. We love Sundays so much that one of the songs on our wedding CD was Sunday Morning by Maroon Five. As I have blogged about before, a few years ago we started Souper Sunday. We both love to watch football and what better way to end the day is with a yummmy soup that simmered in the crock pot all day long.

A few days ago Brett had his wisdom teeth out and is on a soft diet for 5 days. We tried overcooked noodles and even that was a little tough, so basically he has had a lot of scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soup, jello and pudding. I thought that a nice treat today would be our delicious crock pot potato soup. I made it like we always do except for the bacon - too chunky -and if the potatoes don't cook enough I can always stick it in the blender to make it into cream of potato soup. Well, the crock pot is full and Brett is still sleepy but already the house smells yummy.Here's our recipe, adapted from several in our Fix It And Forget It Cookbook.

The Clancy's Crock Pot Potato Soup

  • 8 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 LARGE onion, sliced and diced
  • 1 LARGE celery stalks, sliced and diced
  • the inside of the celery, maybe called the hearts?, where all the leaves are; pull out the leaves and wash them, then chop as you would fresh parsley; sometimes i don't bother chopping and I throw the whole thing in - if you do this, pull it out when it's done cooking because it turns into this gross limp piece of celery
  • 1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 4 chicken bullion cubes
  • 2-3 T. butter or margarine
  • 1/2-1 pound bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled
  • shredded cheddar cheese
1. Plug crock pot on and turn to high.
2. Add evaporated milk, milk, water, chicken bullion, butter, celery, bacon, and onion to crock pot and put on lid.
3. While your other ingredients are getting hot in the crock pot, microwave you potato cubes in about 4 batches. I put them on a deep plate with a bit of water and stick them in for about 4 minutes. This speeds up your crock pot time and in addition release some yummy starchy water to dump in. After each batch cooks in the microwave, add to crock pot and replace lid.
4. Cooking time? I don't know. Several recipes say to cook on high for 6 hours and then 3 on low. Some say just 6 on high. Basically I turn it on and let it cook. I always make it in the morning and we don't eat until evening so it cooks all day. If it bubbles too much and is making a mess on the counter i turn it down. The longer you cook it, the softer the potatoes get. If you don't care if it all turns to mush, then let it go. If you want chunks that are in tact, check it more often. That's just how we do it :-)
5. About an hour before you are ready to eat, ladle some broth into a bowl and mix with flour or corn starch. The whisk it into the soup to thicken. The thicker you like it, the more you should add. I use a lot!
6.When you are ready to eat, ladle it into your favorite large mug and top with cheese. Yummy!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Mouse in the House!

Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl. And they were fast asleep. At the strike of midnight, the boy woke up the girl by saying, "Wake up. Do you hear that sound?"

The girl grumbled, "It's just one of the dogs under the bed."

"Both of the dogs are right here."

The girls eyes opened and she listened...then the girl turned on the light and stared into the boys eyes. And together, they listened. What did they hear, you might ask? They heard a creature. In the walls of their house. Scratching. Running. Digging. Scratching. Running. Back and forth. From one side of the room to the other. Inside the wall.

"What should we do?" asked the boy.

"I don't know," said the girl.

So they listened some more. Scratching. Running. Scratching. Running.

After about 20 minutes of listening, the boy and girl and their two STILL SLEEPING dogs went to another room where they fell fast asleep.

The next day, the girl bought poison and traps. She thought of every place the creature might be. The traps were very hard to set. She hurt her fingers many, many times. She got peanut butter everywhere because the traps kept going off, making her scream.

Three days later, the traps are still empty and the mouse has not been heard from again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Do you recognize this person?

Holy extensions - that's Kate Gosselin! While I was at one time a Jon and Kate Plus 8 fan, I no longer can tolerate this family. I am still baffled by how they got to be so famous. Now, look at her hair! What makes her think she can pull off this look? Sorry for those of you that are still stalking Camp Kate, but I do not like...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hap-Hap-Happy New Year!

As is customary Brett and I spent New Years at home. (I could go on and on about how I sort of think New Years is an overrated holiday and therefore staying in really works for us) Anywho...we have sort of made it a tradition to spend the evening together, make something fun for dinner, play games and drink some sort of bubbly. Since we recently watched Step Brothers, we set up an "activity table" and did "activities". Not really funny if you haven't seen the movie. Brett took New Years Eve off and obviously didn't have to work on New Years Day. That meant that we had four whole days off together to do a whole lot of nothing. It was absolutely perfect!

Brett getting ready to dive into our "skookie"Our New Years SmoochThe "activities" tableCouldn't think of anywhere I rather be or anyone I'd rather be with

Monday, January 4, 2010

Merry Christmas! ( a little late)

So, as usual I continue to be behind on my blogging and here we are into January and I am just now getting around to Christmas. That seemed to be the story of the season . . . I truly don't know where the time went. It seems like just yesterday we were putting the tree up. A sis tradition, we put it up on the soonest possible date AFTER Thanksgiving and also had National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on in the background. The dogs love this time of year, especially due to the adorable Santa hats they get to wear!!!
Sometime in mid-December, Brett and I had our Christmas cookie baking extravaganza that includes both of us in the kitchen a little eggnog, a lot of Christmas carols and a blast making way too many cookies!
We traveled to PA again this year for the holidays. With so much time on our hands in the car, we decided to listen to an audio book and Brett gave in and approved Twilight. I absolutely loved it and can't wait to read New Moon. Christmas Eve is my mom's birthday and for the 2nd year in a row, Brett, the boys and I cooked a wonderful Christmas Eve/ Birthday dinner. This year's menu included horseradish encrusted beef tenderloin, corn casserole, baby yukon gold potatoes, foccaccia bread, and German chocolate cake. While I was very nervous that the meal was not going to turn out (the corn casserole took FOREVER to get done, I came thiiiiiiiis close to burning the potatoes, the icing for the cake never thicken and Scott had to run to the grocery store for store bought icing, and the bread dough never rose), everything worked out and we had a perfect meal with good food and family!

I don't know what I will do when we have kiddos on Christmas, because I still feel like one myself. The anticipation of Christmas morning is almost too much for me! Mom made sure things were absolutely perfect as usual and we were all more than blessed with some pretty awesome gifts. (while not pictured, but certainly a favorite of yours truly, I got my gray Uggs!!!!!)
The rest of Christmas day was spent at my Grandparents house with yet another wonderful meal and lots of laugh. You have to love a family the spends Christmas around the table playing a dice game for quarters!!!!
Yes, the hat says "Bingo Nut"!
Saturday night, we had a party at the house and it was great seeing so many additional family members and friends. I got to spend some time with my best friend Julie which was long over due!
We didn't leave until Monday (the trip was extended by a day because we just weren't ready to leave) and had a great weekend hanging out at home and visiting with friends and family. Sunday was dubbed "dirt ball Sunday" and we didn't leave the house nor did we even get dressed! What a cozy day it was!

After a long trip home on Monday, Brett and I celebrated Christmas again and exchanged presents with each other. Man, did I pick a winner with that guy. He sure knows how to shop and make a girl happy! I don't think I could ask for a more perfect holiday celebration!!!
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