Showing posts from January, 2014

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I had several requests for the recipe for Chicken Tortilla soup that we LOVE, so here is the link.  

We use Ree Drummond's recipe with a few changes to suit us.  We don't add the cornmeal, nor do I cut up tortillas to put in. And so far we haven't garnished with chopped tomatoes or avocado, though that would be yummy.

We do add white beans sometimes, and we really like it with corn added in.  We garnish with sour cream and cheese and we break up tortilla chips on top or we lightly fry up some tortilla strips.

The most time consuming thing is cooking the chicken but that could be done on a different day and stored in the freezer or the fridge.  

This soup has a bit of a kick to the flavor - that's just how we like it!

We also double or triple this recipe - we like to have it left over for the next day!  So, good!

*******************************************************If you want to see the website for Lindsay and Joseph's wedding, there is a link in yesterday's blog p…

Wedding Prep - Wedding Website

The invitations have gone out and the RSVP's are coming in.  We have 29 days until the wedding.

29 days.  

We are still smiling here.  

A cool thing about modern technology is the ability to have an online location to RSVP, rather than having a card to fill out and mail back.

I mentioned to them about doing a website that would have their story, a place for photos, a place to RSVP.  Joseph built this website from scratch, and I thought you might like to see it!

We also met with a local baker today.  We got to test out several flavors of cake.  We are doing a small three tiered cake, and then are getting several sheet cakes as well. Each tier is a different flavor, Lemon, Triple Berry and Chocolate, with the most scrumptious butter cream!  

This baker, Rachel Wolf, is very talented and has her own professional kitchen at her home.  I love helping someone with their own small business, Berries and Butter Cakes.  

So now, we are basically ready.  I would like to f…

What's In Your Refrigerator?

As I looked in the fridge last night, I was so pleased with the 7 quarts of leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup.  We love this soup!
Anyway,  I had the idea to show you what I have currently in my fridge.

This Italian soda is delicious.  I found it at a local discount grocer for $1.49 a bottle.  We had never tried this before so we bought two of the orange and one of the grapefruit soda.  They were both really good and refreshing.  All natural ingredients.

We cook mainly from scratch around here - and I use a lot of the Better Than Boullion soup bases.  These are large organic versions from Costco that cost the same amount as the smaller jars from the grocery store.  Two kinds of salsa, because that's how we roll around here.  Fresh eggs, tortillas.

Big can of 100% Columbian for my coffee lovers!  Real butter, cream cheese, buttermilk, condiments, chocolate syrup.

Two Chobani yogurts…
Cheeses - shredded mozzarella, shredded cheddar, and Farmer's Cheese.  So, so good.

Lots of salad fixings…

Wedding Prep - Invitations

The invitations went out yesterday!  I wish you could see the way they look with the addresses showing!  So lovely!

We also did a round label for the back of the envelope with a logo designed for them with a tree of life and their initials!

It is part of the design for their invitation.  This has been a fun process.  Our friend Amy is good with graphics and we sat down with her to discuss what they wanted and she played made several samples and they changed things, added something and then Voila'.  They were done.

We compiled addresses, had them printed, printed the envelopes and out they went!

We are eager to hear from our guests!  Can't wait to see how they like the invitations and whether they can join us on the big day!

Here are a few shots of the options for the invitations.

The invitations are not vastly different from this, but as they have not reached everyone yet, we didn't want to show the real thing!

I am happy to have a place to journal this journey to the wedding of …

The Good Life

We had a good weekend.  Time with family and friends, church, fellowship, and good food.

When I wrote my post on Saturday about my breakfast with eggs from our chickens, I thought that most would roll their eyes and say,"that was a waste of two minutes."

But you didn't.  It touched something in people.  Most comments had to do with wishing that they could have chickens of their own. As I was reading Brenda's weekend posts, and then emailing with Debbie this morning, my thoughts came together about this.

I've always wondered why we romanticize past eras and wish we could have lived 'back then.'  I don't think it is a desire to not have indoor plumbing, or cell phones or the internet, but the desire to have a simpler life.  One that makes us feel secure, whether in values or in the ability to be more self sustaining.

I grew up in Southern California in a house that's property measured 40 ft by 120 ft.  It was zoned R2 which meant that the property could…

Saturday Breakfast

I was up first this morning and had a bit of quiet.

I decided to make breakfast for myself, which always translates to cooking extra, because as soon as I start someone else shows up in the kitchen ready to eat!

Beautiful, fresh eggs.  Our chickens are giving us these lovely beauties everyday.

Lovely, orangey yolks.  

Yummy, crusty artisan bread.

With real butter of course.

Delicious and just right on a snowy morning.

The Road Goes Ever On And On…

And so it begins…Tim has started to read aloud The Fellowship of the Ring.  

This has become a favorite time of day, the work of the day being done, and the relaxing begins.

Keepin' It Real

It's 9:02 pm on Tuesday evening, and it is still snowing.  It's been snowing for more than twelve hours.

These are photos from early afternoon.

As a lover of my home, part of the fun of home keeping is finding ways to make our space work for us at different times of our lives.
A hardworking tool I have in my kitchen is my Kitchen Aide.  It used to live on the counter, but was in the way when we weren't baking.  A month or so ago, I determined to do something with the space at the top of the basement stairs, that tended to have piles of stuff build up there including bags of potatoes, egg cartons, and so forth.  Sigh.  Not very nice looking or organized.  Frankly it was frustrating.

Rachel was looking for a project and so I thought of this old kitchen cart (it used to have wheels) that we've had downstairs doing nothing.  I bought a quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emperor's Silk, let her paint the cart.  

It looks great and I moved a basket I had in another room onto…

So Happy Together!

These photos were taken last night with my phone, as we stood in the house that Lindsay and Joseph are going to begin their married life together in.  We were there to move some things in, Joseph is living there now.

It is the cutest brick cape cod, perfect for a young couple just starting out. 

I wanted to share one photo of the house - the kitchen!  
Isn't it cute?  Old fashioned charm with modern appliances!  

It seems as if everyday brings some sort of new excitement.  What a blessing to walk alongside Lindsay and Joseph and Joseph's family during this special time.

We are going to get a lot of snow today - I have a slow rise artisan bread going (started it last night) that Dotsie mentioned to me.  I think it is going to be good.  I'm excited to see how it turns out!  The link for the bread is here.  I'd like to try out some of the variations on this bread as seen here.

What's happening in your world today?

I'm In Fine Fettle

My brain works in mysterious ways some days.  I was trying to come up with a title for this post and that phrase is what popped into my mind.

I don't know where it came from exactly, but as I considered it I thought "is it even a real phrase/word?"  "Fettle?"  Where do I get this stuff?

So I googled it and found that it is a phrase, though more accurately to "be in fine fettle" which by definition is to be "very healthy or working well."

That I am.  I am feeling good.  

I had a busy but fun weekend - got my hair cut, had lunch with Lindsay and we got her invitations printed on Saturday.  Yesterday included a fellowship meal after church, our monthly ladies meeting, and then a few of us went to Starbucks.  I don't usually go to Starbucks as I am not a coffee drinker, but I went for continued fellowship.  I got a chocolately chip cold drink which was overpriced (of course) but yummy.  

Emily went along too, and she got to hold Ben.  Ah Ben!  Jo…

I Walk The Line

One aspect of wedding planning that I didn't really envision was the balancing act I would need to do in the family.  

On the one hand I am an event planner (though never paid!).  It's my 'thing.'  On the other hand this is Lindsay and Joseph's wedding and not mine, and I want the wedding and reception to reflect them.  On the other hand, I know that as the M*O*B it will reflect on me as well.  Lindsay is laid back, I like to get things done.  So I find my self walking a line here of not pushing what I think or what I want.  That's good for us both and with 40 days until the big day, we have everything basically finished.  Invites will be printed this week and sent out to our guests.  

This is our running tally board that is on our refrigerator!
The other line I walk is between my work as the wedding coordinator and my real job of wife and mother.  We still need to get our school work done, have meals, get groceries.  I try to keep focused on what I need to do at…

Wedding Prep - Engagement Photos

I had dinner with my friend Amy last night and we downloaded the photos she had shot of them on Monday.  They had gone back to Longwood Gardens - the place of their engagement.  I was blown away.

Thank you sweet friend for the gift of these photos.

Note Card Party January 2014

It's time for January's Note Card Party!  Pop over to Vee's if you want to join us.

This month I wanted to make cards from my photos of the Susquehanna River from Susquehannock State Park.  The first two are from Monday.  The other two are from a blog post from the first year I blogged - 2007.  

I thought these would make great cards for guys.

A Rare Day In January

The weather being particularly fine this morning found us out the door in the late morning and on our way to a nearby State Park. 

Happily, I remembered my camera!  

The kids are growing up so quickly.  

It was a fun way to get Physical Education done today.

More young lady now, than girl.  Beautiful inside and out….

It's beautiful thing to have these days together.  All too soon, comes adulthood and marriage and grandchildren.

I am thankful for it all and drinking in the fun and the joy.

We came home for lunch, and more school work, resting time and the mail!  These days there are such fun packages arriving!