Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tortellini Soup

     I have a new recipe for all of you. It fits my favorite requirement, it's easy. I love easy recipes because my life is not easy. And every one should have something that's easy in their life. Right? So after a long day you can toss these ingredients together and waalaa easy.
    Here is the recipe for Tortellini soup.

1 plus pound of mild Italian sausage (I prefer Johnsonville for the spices)
Brown, drain and then I rinse off to get off more oil.
4 cups water (Can add more if needed when tortellini is cooking)
2 cans of tomato soup
1/2 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
2 carrots or more
1 zucchini (the size you find in stores)
Boil, stirring occasionally so doesn’t burn, until carrots are about cooked to liking.
Add package of tortellini (fresh or frozen)  Cook time what is call for. Appox. 10 minutes.
You can double by adding twice of everything but the soup.  For a real large pot like at the retreat I added one extra can.
You can also top with grated Parmesan.  
 I served with warm garlic bread.
      This is delicious. We ate it for days because I doubled the recipe and everyone loved it. 
     Thanks to Alysia Ricks for this wonderful recipe. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Big Head

     So I was at Walmart the other day with the hubs, who needs a new hat to wear in the yard as he weed-eats, and we had the following discussion.
     Me- Hey here's one. Try it on.
     He puts it on his head.
     Him- It's too small. I think it's a woman's hats.
     Me-I don't think so. It's a man's hat. You're head is too big.
     Him-What the heck am I supposed to do?
     Me- I guess you'll have to start shopping at the big head shop.
     Him-Ha ha. That's mean. (He actually sounded like it was the first time anyone has told him he has a big head.)
      Me-I don't know what you're whining about I'm the one who gave birth to your big-headed children. Eight of them with no drugs. 
      He thought about that for a minute.
      Him- Ouch.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Love of Empty Trash Cans

     I have a confession to make, I'm a little bit OCD about getting our trash cans out. The hubby always teases me by saying, "I think I'll take the trash cans out in the morning instead of tonight." Then he laughs because he knows that just sent my heart into palpitations.
     With a family our size missing the trash man is a catastrophe that I have experienced a few times and I don't ever want to have to live through that again. The trash starts piling up and there are bags everywhere. The trash in the house doesn't get dumped because there is no place to go with it. I HATE that.
     Hearing the trash man on the street below us is music to my ears. I listen for him and if I'm up I'll watch him dump our trashcans into his truck and drive away. It's truly one of the best things in life, empty trash cans. I can hear you laughing and that's okay, I'm used to it.  :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To Coupon or Not the Coupon

     Did you know I used to be a big couponer. Spell check says couponer isn't a word. HA! I used to scan the Sunday paper and the ads to see what kind of deals I could get. I don't do that so much any more.
     I found a dollar off coupon the other day on Nutella, which my daughter is inhaling faster than I can replace it.
     Now a dollar off of something is a good coupon, but do you remember when the stores used to double them. In Cali, some stores even had triple coupon day where they would triple the value. Those days are gone forever.
     When I search for coupons now, I find piddly little ten cents off coupons. What good does that do? For instance I had a twenty-five cent off coupon for Paul Newman's Marinara, which I love, but I bought fourteen jars, so one twenty-five cent coupon hardly does much. Now if I had fourteen one-dollar-off coupons we'd be talking some serious saving. And if they doubled them! Woo Whoo!
    I miss the good old days when couponing meant serious saving. It seems like the prices go higher and the coupons get smaller.

Monday, April 22, 2013

I'm Baaacckkk!

     I'm baaacckkk! After spending the weekend recharging the batteries, I'm back and ready to go. I have plotted and planned, discussed and befriended, learned and shared with many other writers about the best way to go about the craft of writing.
     I'm enthused and eager and ready to fly through many projects.
     Right after my nap.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Today is the Day

     Today is the day. I'm going on a writer's retreat with a group of writers. I look forward to these getaways for many reasons, the companionship, the chance to talk about writing with people who don't look at you like you're crazy, and the chance to work undisturbed.
     We're going to a very large cabin in Midway, Utah where the trees, hopefully, are starting to leaf out and the tulips are coming up.
      I haven't had much of a chance to think about what my goals are for this weekend other than to write, a lot.
     I have so many things I want to accomplish this year and it's already April. The time is tick-tocking away so fast I'm being left in the dust.
     Does it seem like every year goes faster than the last, or is it just me? 
     Have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Need to Be Me

     My tulips are about to bloom. I'm so excited. I share this with you, my friends, because if I said this to my family I would get a sea of eye-rolling. I don't know why. Tulips are beautiful. Mine are all red and when they bloom it is a stunning display, but I feel like I can hardly enjoy them due to the lack of shared enthusiasm around here.
      I need to be me, people! I need to love tulips! I need to love the smell of fresh wood chips! I need to ooh and aww over the perfectly blue Utah sky with it's white puffy clouds! I need to be free to be able to stand in the window and watch the rain and snow falling!
      I gotta be me! If this makes me a nerd, deal with it! It's who I am. I am your mother and you're stuck with me, so deal with it!!!  This concludes exclamation point day. :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What is Going On?!

     Today is one of those days where you ask yourself, "What the heck is going on in this world?!"
     How did we as a society get so messed up that someone has to set bombs to go off and hurt innocent people who are outside enjoying a special event? Are they that filled with hatred that they have to strike out at whomever is closest. What is up with that?
     I know a lot of people are for taking away all of the guns to make us safer, but I don't think that's going to help. This goes so much deeper. We are losing our sense of humanity. You see and hear about it all the time, from bullying, to sexual assaults of young girls, to school stabbings and shootings.
     Are we so isolated from each other that the thought of taking someones life doesn't mean anything anymore?
     What a terrifying thought. How can we change what is happening? Is it too late? I wish I had the answers.

Monday, April 15, 2013

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

     Our family has been hit with some strange virus. The symptoms are earaches, dizziness and exhaustion. I didn't go to church yesterday and slept most of the day. The strange thing is sleep and I have always had a love hate relationship. I would love to sleep a full eight hours, or even nine or ten, but I'm lucky if I can get a good four hours straight before waking up and tossing and turning the rest of the night. So it is very odd for me to be this tired and be able to drift off. It feels really strange and good at the same time.
     Of course, being a mother I'm wracked with guilt for sleeping during the day even if I'm not feeling well. My mind goes over all the things that need to be done and I hear that voice in my head saying get up, shower, go, do and conquer. The other little voice says take advantage of it while you can because soon you'll be better and then it's back to the grindstone.
     Right now the little devil is winning. I'm off so sleep some more. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

How to Eat Pancakes

     We went to iHop with two of our kids today and had an in-depth discussion about the proper way to eat pancakes.
      My son wanted to poor the syrup over them, but the plate was too small and the syrup would have run over the sides of the plate and onto the table.
     This is when I showed them how to do it right. You cut up the pancakes in the middle and poor syrup over the cut pieces. The cuts in the pancakes fill up with syrup creating a reservoir of syrup and the outer pieces keep it from running over. As you eat the cut up pieces you can keep refilling the reservoir and work your way out.
      Apparently my son found this laughable. He said he couldn't possibly eat pancakes from the inside out. He explained he had to eat his from one side to the other. He also told me he didn't like the way I eat my chicken burrito from Cafe Rio because I do the same thing to it, I start in the middle and work my way out.
     I have a reason though, the burritos are huge and I want to make sure I eat the good stuff in the middle before I get full. I wouldn't want get full on the doughy tortilla part on the end. Right? 
     Kids these days just don't know how to eat.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's All Walmart's Fault!

     What is it about Walmart that makes my mind go totally blank? I usually have a pretty good memory, but the mental list I keep in my head of things I need from Walmart goes right out of my head the minute I walk in the door.
     As I am driving I think to myself, milk, bread, 10 cans of potato soup, bananas, paper plates, shampoo and soft scrub. Then I walk in the door and it's like, "I think bananas were on the list."
     My poor mind starts wandering, along with my body, up and down the long aisles of food and all the other fun stuff and I fill my cart with things I need, but not what I went for. Cookies! Yumm!
     I know deep down I should make a list. That reminds me we need Ritz crackers and dog food, but I just jump in the car and go, sure of my ability to remember so few a number of items. Did I buy Bay Leaves the last time I was there? I better get them because you can never be out of Bay Leaves.
     And what about Pasta Roni? I think it was on sale somewhere, but where? I could save eight cents a box if I could remember. And what kind was it that most of the fam didn't like? Am I even having that with dinner? The kids were begging for Doritos, but if they aren't on sale, I'm not buying. Were they on sale? Was that last week?
     You can see this is a problem and I totally blame it on Walmart and all the fun and yummy stuff they have there. It's overwhelming. How can I remember my ten items when I am surrounded by millions of good tasting and fun things. Heaven help me!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I Have to Try This

    Do you like spicy? I love spicy stuff. I love that burn after you eat something and you can still feel it. It's like the bite that keeps on giving. I found a new recipe on Pinterest. It seems I am finding all my new recipes on Pinterest lately. It's for Baked Jalapeno Poppers. Yumm. And it looks like it was made to be a little less on the fatty side. I can't wait to give it a try. Maybe tonight for the championship game between Michigan and Louisville? It came from The Guiltless Glutton's website. If you give it a try let me know what you think. 
  • 8 small wonton wrappers
  • 2 1/5 tablespoons Neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 jalapeno rings (pickled from a jar)
  • small bowl of water
  • cooking spray

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lay out your wonton wrappers and divide out the cream cheese and cheddar cheese into the center of each wrapper. Image
  3. Put 1 jalapeno ring in each wrapper
  4. Dip your fingers into the bowl of water and lightly run your fingers over the edges of a wrapper (this make the edges stick together).
  5. Fold the wrapper so it forms a triangle around the insides (you may have to pick it up and press it a little to make sure the jalapeno lies flat and the edges close up). Side Note: I horrendously need a manicure.Image
  6. Once closed, put each bite onto a greased (spray with cooking spray) baking sheet.
  7. Spray the tops of the bites with cooking spray then put into the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Flip them and bake for another 3 minutes.
  9. Let them cool a little bit and dig in!
As much as I love bar food, I love healthy bar food alternatives better and this recipe is perfect!

Recipe and images from A Guiltless Glutton

Friday, April 5, 2013

What Inspires You?

     Inspiration is a fleeting thing. What inspires one, does nothing for another. Music, poetry, art, scripture all have inspired me at one time or another.
     I am a huge fan of Robert Frost. There are about twenty-five of his poems that move me. One of his most popular is The Road Not Taken. I feel like this is the theme of my life. I married my husband at an age when most girls are thinking about prom, graduation and college. Then I started having children with a boy first and then a girl. That would have been it for most people, but not me. I took a different path and had eight more.
     Then I decided to follow my dreams and work on writing. It has been a wonderful journey, so far.
     I don't know what path I will follow next, but I'm sure somewhere, something will inspire the next path that I take.
    What inspires you? Is it literature? A song? A person? 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Birthday to my Ryan.

     Twelve years ago today I gave birth to a beautiful and perfect baby boy. It was a great experience. I had my first ever epidural, which totally rocked. He was number nine and such a good baby. I can't believe it has been twelve years.
     Ryan is a sweet kid. He will come up to me and wrap his arms around me and say, "I love you, Mom," for no reason at all. He has also been known to give me a kiss on the cheek just because. The saddest thing about this is that I know those days are coming to an end sooner rather than later.
     He's a good kid who tries to do what's right and I'm really proud to be his mom.
     I can't wait to see what path his life takes. I love you, Ryan. Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Serve

     There are times in life when you have to ask yourself, "Why do I bother?"
     Life is so stressful. Yet, everyday we get up and go at it once more. I mean, what choice do you have really? To stay in bed and hide under the covers? I would love to be able to do that every now and then, but with a house full of people it's never been an option. Besides, they know where my bed is. I can see them now standing right next to it poking me, asking me what's for dinner.
     Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be. If our lives are filled with taking care of others, we have less time to focus on all of our woes and we can make it through the day more satisfied.
     I really believe that if you are depressed or unhappy, find some kind of service you can provide for someone. You will feel so much better. Service gives you a feeling inside you just can't get from anything else. Sometimes I have to remind myself of this fact, but it has proven itself to me over and over again.
     There is always someone who is worse off than you and when you see or hear about them it makes you grateful for your own challenges and they don't seem so hard anymore.
     Just a little food for thought this morning. Have a good one everyone. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Break

     Spring Break, it's a mixed blessing. I got to go to bed last night without worrying about all the details of a school day bouncing around in my head. You know the kind, do they have clean socks? Are we going to be able to find the missing library book? What about the red folder? Did I sign it or not? I have to make sure they brush their teeth before we get to school. That kind of stuff.
     On the other hand, they are home all day. ALL DAY. And to make it worse they are all hopped up on candy from the Easter bunny. The older siblings look forward to that, let me tell you. There are arguments about what to watch on TV and who has what spot on the couch. Who has to empty the dishwasher. Scratch that one, they argue about that everyday. And I get to hear, "There's nothing to eat in the whole house!" Always said like they are going to die with their next breath, about one-thousand times a day.
     All in all Spring Break is just a preview of what is to come for summer vacation. Which starts in about nine weeks and counting. And don't think we're not looking forward to that.