November 29, 2010

The best bean soup....

I've never been into eating soups until a couple years ago. Now I look forward to the cold weather/soup season. This is one of my all time favorite bean soups. It's fairly easy to make but tastes like a million bucks. I originally found the recipe over at . My husband even likes this soup and that's saying alot!

When I made this batch of soup I didn't have any parsley, but normally there would be parsley flakes in the soup. lol

White Bean and Vegetable Soup with Spinach Pistou
(Pistou - French version on pesto)

2 c. dried navy beans
4 oz. (about 4 slices) bacon, diced
1 med. onion, diced (about 1 c.)
2 stalks of celery, diced
5 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) chicken broth
1/2 tsp. anise seed (I usually leave this out but it might be really good in)
1 c. canned whole tomatoes (drained, seeded and chopped) (chopped can tomatoes work fine too)
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
2 T. fresh parsley, diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. frozen spinach, defrosted and chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 T. lemon juice

1.) Quick-soak the beans. Place the beans in large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
2.) Make the soup. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook bacon until browned but not crisp. Add the onions and celery and saute' until translucent---about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, beans and anise seeds. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, minced parsley, salt and pepper and continue to simmer, partially covered until beans are tender---about 1 hour.
3.) Make the pistou. Place spinach, 1/4 c. chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and remaining salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until smooth.(I have used my blender for this process and it works just as well) Set aside. Ladle soup into bowls and top with 1 to 2 T. of the pistou. Delicious!

November 26, 2010

Our Thanksgiving

It was just the four of us again this year. We had a great day spending time together, the food was delicious (if I do say so myself), the boys were happy. There was only one thing I was missing terribly...........our families. For some reason this year was really hard for me not being around our them for the holiday. I called my mom an umpteen number of times for random reasons and once just because. (I just love her)
Thank goodness for modern day technology, which made it possible to seem like we were closer than we were Also, I got to chat with one of my brothers and a sister, plus my Grandpa who's visiting them.
Anyway, we really did have a nice day just the (4) of us. David said my turkey was amazing! (I love it when he compliments my cooking.) I helped the boys with an "Turkey Day" project. Something fun for little hands.
A little FYI every Thanksgiving I use some scraps of paper and a dab of acrylic paint to stamp the boys hand prints. I love looking back at how their hands have grown but don't remember to do things like this at other times. So, I make it a point to do it every year at this same time so I don't forget.
Mainly though, I'm thankful for some many blessings. Little things and big things. Our little family, good health, getting D through another semester of law school, for little people that make me smile & laugh, for groceries and paid bills, for parents and in-laws, sisters and brothers, new additions, grandparents, for you(yes, you, for taking time to read this) for love. There is so much more that I'm thankful for but I'd be typing for a while if I put it all down. Thanks for spending some time here at Our Story!
Hope you all had a happy thanksgiving!

Playing outside on our porch. They love to be outside.

Tickling daddy's hair.

Coloring our turkey project.

November 20, 2010

Walking in my first 5K

This morning I put on my walking shoes and headed out for a good cause. I was apart of the St. Jude's Give Thanks 5K. Just being able to say that is amazing to me.  300 to 400 people showed up for this event and it was quite phenomenal. With me this morning were two of my closest friends, some new friends and tons of people I didn't know. But we were all walking for the same reason. That's pretty amazing to me. I'm already looking forward to doing this again.

It was absolutely incredible to be in the midst of this crowd of people!

November 19, 2010

December Daily

I am inspired every time I visit Ali Edwards blog. She is an amazing person and her scrapbooks are incredible. The December Daily is something she came up with. 25 days of December.
To document our daily lives as we prepare and celebrate the Holidays. This is my first year making one and I'm ecstatic. Here's a picture of what I've been working on. It's not completely put together just yet but I hope to have it ready before Thanksgiving.
These are just the start of my album, the numbered pages. I plan to add additional pages for photos and journaling. Also, the front and back covers are still being assembled. I'll post more pictures after I put it all together. I'm having so much fun playing with all these Christmas papers and embellishments.
I definitely recommend checking out the DD by Ali. It's so much fun to look at even if you aren't planning to make one yourself.

"Thanks" boxes

So, I found these adorable little boxes over at yellowmums that you can print for free and wanted to share them with all of you. I absolutely love them and printed one for each of my little turkeys to set on their plates for our Thanksgiving dinner. I'll probably put a little treat of some sort inside. I know they would be excited to find goldfish or cheerios because that's just what they like.
Also, I thought I'd place little notes inside telling each one what I was most thankful for about them. 
Example: I'm thankful for your sweet little kisses. Or I'm thankful for the way you play so well with your brother.
They are still pretty young so, I don't expect them to completely understand but I think it's a good start to some great holiday traditions. Thanks for visiting ourstory!

November 16, 2010

Early Morning & One Sweet Boy

The computer clock says it's 6:10am. I've been up since 4:18am. Finished a cup of coffee. Surfed my favorite blogs to catch up on my reading. Watched some Handy Manny and Jungle Junction with a sweet little boy.
I had to pull him from his bed this morning but he's been such a good sport about it. He is the reason I had to be up at 4:18am and why I kept him up after 10pm last night. He is having his hearing tested for the third try. We took him & his brother a couple weeks ago to check their hearing. Brother did just fine and received a good report but this little guy didn't want to participate in the testing. So, today I'm taking him to get an Auditory Brainstem Response test. He'll be asleep (hence the sleep deprivation) which means this will be the last test we need to do. Thank goodness! I'm ready to finish ruling this out or in for speech therapy purposes. Which by the way they are both doing marvelously! They still aren't talking much but communication is getting better. I'll have to post about all that another time, once I can really get a good grasp on how I feel about all of it!
For now wish us luck with the testing!

November 11, 2010

Gram's Caramel Apples

My Gramma used to make these every year, and when she would come to visit, we would beg her to make them with us. Which she would. That's just the way I remember her being, very giving of her time and her love. Especially to her grandchildren!
There was one time when she came to see us that I asked her to write down some of her recipes in her own handwriting.Those cards are my favorite ones. My Gramma could bake and cook for crowds of people and it wasn't just mass quantity it was delicious. I like to think I have that part of her as well. She was one of the most amazing women I've ever known!

One of the first and last pictures I have of me with Gramma.

So, here is her recipe and my ultimate fav when it comes to caramel apples. I know she would be more than happy to see me sharing it with all of you. Enjoy!

Caramel Apples

1 c. white sugar
1 c. light Karo syrup
1 can Eagle's Brand (sweetened condensed milk)

Stir together the sugar and syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat, until clear and bubbly.
Add Eagle's Brand, cook and stir until it reaches the softball stage. (When you can drop a piece in cold water and it keeps it's form.)
Place a wooden stick in each apple. Dip apples in caramel to coat. After dipping in caramel, immediately dip into a bowl of ice cold water. Set on wax paper to dry. Store uncovered at room temperature.

Remember the memories you make with the ones you love!

November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Lattes (just like Starbucks)

Okay, so, I found this recipe for "pumpkin spice lattes" and I have to admit I was a little sceptical when they said it was just like Starbucks. Because lets face's hard to beat Starbucks. So, anyway, I decided to try it and it was fabulous. Absolute bliss. I did make some changes to the recipe so here's my version.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

2 c. milk
2 T. canned pumpkin
6 T. sugar
2 T. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 c. strong coffee for each mug

In a saucepan combine milk, pumpkin, and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a glass blender. Process for 15 seconds until foamy.
Pour into a couple of mugs. Add the coffee. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg or both.

November 5, 2010

Sesame Street:'s song"What I am"

This totally made my day! Although I'm a little late posting, it was fun seeing this on Sesame Street the other day! Is it weird that I love the show more than the twins? lol
Sesame Street:'s song "What I am"

Trying to find motivation.....

We just spent the last few days having tons of fun with "Nana", "Granpa" and "Ezah" (Aunt Elsie)!
After a trip to the craft store, the mall, restaurants, markets, and the BR Zoo, it's hard to get back to our routine. Here are a few things I hope to accomplish this weekend:

1.) make camera straps for my etsy shop
2.) laundry and more laundry
3.) grocery shopping (the cabinets are bare) lol
4.) sort through pictures from Halloween
5.) order prints of said pictures
6.) take pictures of camera straps to put on etsy
7.) finish baby gifts
8.) take pictures of my sweet boys bc everyday they change some more
9.) go to the NO Zoo to celebrate my birthday as a family
10.) prepare myself for turning 25 on Tuesday

Okay, I think I need a nap from just thinking about all the stuff I want to get done. lol
What are you planning for the weekend?