Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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Soup and Bread

Oh no, I've missed the soup week! Sorry. I just have to share this recipe with you. It is one of our favorites:
Cream of Broccoli Soup
1 c chopped broccoli (fresh or frozen)
1 c water
1 T chicken base
3 T margarine
1/4 c chopped onion
3 T flour
1 c milk
1 c cream
Combine water and chicken base in med saucepan. Add broccoli. Cover and cook over med heat until tender (about 5 minutes).
Meanwhile melt butter in a deep frying pan. Add onions and cook over med heat until onions are soft. Add flour and stir well. Cook over low heat about 3 min until the roux is well formed and light tan.
Keep the burner hot, remove roux from heat and add milk and cream, stirring constantly. Return to heat and cook until thick (this could take up to 10 minutes), stirring well.
Add milk mixture to cooked broccoli-broth mixture and heat through.
Yield: 4 c.

Now, that is a great soup recipe. But what makes a great soup recipe even better? BREAD BOWLS! I can never find them around here, so I decided to make my own. I found this recipe on (great place to find great recipes!).
Italian Bread Bowls
1/2 oz active dry yeast (the little packs are .25 oz so you'd need 2)
2 1/2 c warm water (110 degrees f)
2 t salt
2 T vegetable oil
7 c flour
1 T cornmeal
1 egg white
1 T water
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand til creamy, 10 min.
Add salt, oil and 4 c flour to yeast mixture; beat well. Stir in remaining flour, 1/2 c at a time, beating well with an electric mixer
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead about 6 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough in bowl, turning once to coat in the oil. Cover with damp cloth in a warm place til doubled in volume (about 40 min)
Punch dough down, divide into 8 equal portions and shape each portion into a 4 in round loaf. Place loaves on lightly greased baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl beat together egg white and 1 T water; (I also added some garlic powder to add a hint of flavor) lightly brush loaves with 1/2 the mixture.
Bake 15 minutes. Brush with remaining mixture and bake 10-15 min more til golden. Cool on wire racks.

To make bowls: Cut a circle in the top as big as you like, pull it off, then pull out some of the inside bread. Not all of it! Use what you pulled out to dip in the soup. Pour some soup in your bread bowl. Enjoy!



Doctor Visits

Sorry to be a slacker with the tricks of the trade question! It's been busy around here! My question isn't so much asking for tricks but more just curious.
I'm wondering how often you go to the doctor? Do you go in to the Gynecologist every year like you're supposed to (not including when you're pregnant)? And in addition to that do you go in to a Family Dr. for a general check up too? Or do you only go in if you have a concern? And how often do you go to the Dentist?
It's easy to keep our kids on a schedule but I'm curious what the norm is for adults.


Saving Memories

So my girl had her baptism today. And with the help of Jill and her wonderful Bayberry Announcements I was able to send out some dang cute cards for all that family who couldn't make it out for the event.

But I had a few left over and I wanted to do something to help my little one remember her great day.

*light bulb turns on above head*

You know how you go to weddings and people have you sign the matting around their photo instead of a guest book? Well, I took that idea and twisted it just a bit.

Instead of having people just sign their names, I asked if they would please leave some words of advice or encouragement for her on this important day in her life.

We live in a small branch so there wasn't very many people to sign it, but I think it turned out nicely don't you?

Now she will have a beautiful momento to keep for years to come and perhaps when things get a little tough she can look on her wall and see that others love her and understand.

Feel free to use my little idea. *wink* I told my husband it was such a good idea that by next year everyone in the church would be doing it (which would please me immensely) :).


Adorable Pumpkin Decorations!

So the other day we decided to make these super cute pumpkins:) They were so stinking easy to make and we love decorating so it was sooo fun to make our own cute decorations!!! Here is the link....

We love the fall days!!! Happy Halloween to everyone :)

Taco Soup in Ones


1-medium onion- chopped
1 lb ground beef
1-can beans (kidney or black or other dark bean)- rinsed and drained
1-can stewed tomatoes
1-can whole kernel corn
1-cup beef broth
1-bag taco seasoning
1-bag tortilla chips (we like the scoop kind)

In the pan you'll cook the whole soup in cook onion and beef together (this is how I make things faster and add some flavor to the meat).

Add beef broth and taco soup.

Add beans, stewed tomatoes, corn.

Cook till heated through (boiling-ish) and serve with tortilla chips.

Notes: I use beef granules, that way I can add just a smidge more than one tsp to give the soup a little added flavor.

All cans are your typical 14.5 oz size.

That's it.

It is a family favorite, my brother even likes it and he hates taco soup. It's because I use the beef broth instead of tomato paste *gag.*


The Winner Is...


Thanks to all who entered the giveaway! has selected Stephanie as our lucky winner!!!
she said:

We go trick or treating. The kids look forward to it all year. Halloween is probably their second favorite holiday (after Christmas).

Congrats Stephanie!! Email and tell us where to send your prizes!!


Halloween Giveaway!!!

It's definitely time for another giveaway! I've decided you can never have enough fun decorations! And since Halloween is just around the corner here are some fun things to jazz up your home!

Here is what the lucky winner will get!

Cute wooden Halloween wreath decoration

Candy Corn Candle, Ghost Decoration, and Lighted Pumpkin!
All together in a cute Halloween candy bowl!

**each prize is brand new and never used

Here are the rules:
  • Anyone can enter! Just leave a comment telling us what your family does on Halloween!
  • Only ONE comment per person.
  • Giveaway will end Monday Oct. 19th at 11:59pm (mountain time).
  • Winner will be chosen using and posted Tuesday morning.
  • If you are a winner email within 24 hours and tell us where you want your prize sent!
Want some extra entries? Here are some things you can do:
  • 1 extra entry for becoming a follower (over there on the left!). If you already are then you automatically have an extra entry!
  • 1 extra entry for adding our button to your blog. If you already have one just remind us in your comment.
  • And 1 more extra entry for blogging about the giveaway.
  • If you do any of these things let us know in your 1st comment and we'll figure in all the extra entries at the end.



Pumpkin Waffles
(Click the title to go to the blog where i found this delicious recipe!!)

Adapted from several sources

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs, separated
2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil for brushing waffle iron or cooking spray

Preheat oven to 250°F and preheat waffle iron. Sift together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.

In a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until they hold soft peaks (as in, far softer than the over-beaten whites you’ll see in my picture above). Folk them gently into the waffle batter, until just combined.

Brush waffle iron lightly with oil and spoon batter (about 2 cups for four 4-inch Belgian waffles) into waffle iron, spreading quickly. Cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Transfer waffles to rack in oven to keep warm and crisp. Make more waffles in same manner.


Free Vodka Shirts Re-Purposed

So, first the story:

The university in these here parts had their homecoming this weekend. It's a very big deal, full of celebration, candy and alcohol. Most of us family folk hole up and come out only for the parade. As we did today. We were walking down to our usual parade spot when my 6 year old caught sight of a box that had one of the few words he can read in big letters on the front.


Ah, yes, free t-shirts. I picked one up and read the front. "Bomb Disposal Unit."

Well, that's nice I thought. Except later--to my dismay--I realized that the shirts were not a salute to our bravest and fines but to the fine art of binge drinking.

I had grabbed 5 shirts.

So..... I remembered a tutorial over at Make It and Love It. And I went to work.

I turned this: (please ignore the floor... and the toothbrush was tossed from a float at the parade. No one has used it yet.)

Into this:
Tweaks: I cut the chest piece from the bottom so I could gather the skirt. Then I sewed it back on with the hem facing out for little more spunk. I also added the ruffles on the front. Plus the waist band to give it a little more stability and structure (they were pretty flimsy t-shirts). I also kept the back low and crisscrossed the straps... which I put to far apart and the back bubbles a bit, but now I know not to do that.

Here's another view:My daughter was wearing a pair of ankle length leggings under this and it looked way cute, she's excited for Tuesday so she can wear it to school. (I feel loved).

Now you know what to do with a bunch of shirts that you find for free at a parade! Enjoy.


Pumpkin Praline Dessert

This is simple, and uses readily available items. I've seen it listed in magazines and it is a nice alternative to pumpkin pie when you want to feel festive but not bother making pie crust!

1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3 eggs
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 package butter recipe yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
¾ cup melted margarine or butter

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Beat together pumpkin, milk, eggs, and spices with a wire whisk in a large bowl. Pour into pan.
3. Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture. Sprinkle with nuts. Pour melted butter evenly on top of dessert.
4. Bake 50-60 minutes or until center is cooked through. Cool.
5. Serve warm or chilled with fresh whipped cream.

Serves 12


monthly craft

Okay, I'm sorry, I have to apologize because I've been a little out of commission lately. We've had some major family changes happening, traveling, sickness, and lots of other little crazy things happening, like cleaning house and laundry..... anywho, I haven't been crafting, and I haven't had time to do lots of stuff I want to do to post for our monthly crafts. So, two months in a row you are going to get another fun website to check out. This time around, I found this website that had a ton of halloween ideas all in one. Such fun stuff for a fun holiday!

Go here and check it out!


Bananas & Lemons

I know that I'm not even close to the right weekly ingredient but these are just too good. I will start with the Lusciously Lemon cake. Doesn't that just sound awesome?

1 pkg yellow cake mix
2 c cold milk
1 1/4 c water
2 pkg (4 servings each) Jell-O Lemon flavor instant pudding and pie filling
1/3 c sugar
2 TBSP powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Pour into greased 13x9 in baking dish; set aside.

Pour milk and water into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes and granulated sugar. Beat with wire whisk 2 min or until well blended. Pour over batter. Place baking dish on baking sheet to catch any sauce that might bubble over sides of dish as dessert bakes.

Bake 55 min - 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes (sauce will thicken slightly as it cools). Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve.

This is great with some vanilla ice cream. Seriously, this is amazing!

And now for Triple-Layer Banana Cream Pie Bars

1 1/2 c crushed Nilla Wafers (about 60 wafers)
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/3 c butter/marg
3 bananas, sliced
3 c cold milk
2 pkg Jell-O Vanilla Flavor instant pudding and pie filling
1 1/2 c thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix wafer crumbs, pecans and better in 13x9 in baking dish; press firmly onto bottom of dish. Bake 8 min. Cool 10 min.

Top crust with banana slices. Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 min or until well blended. Spoon 2 cups of the pudding over banana layer.

Gently stir 1 c of the whipped topping into remaining pudding; spoon over pie. Top with remaining 1 1/2 c whipped topping. Refrigerate 3 hours. Serve.
Makes 16 servings.

You really have to try both of these, they're great!