January 23, 2017

Happy Homemaker Monday January 23 2017


Good morning! It's been awhile since I have participated in Happy Homemaker Monday, hosted by Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom. Seems like I didn't feel I had much to share. But, today I feel a bit differently. My husband and I are embarking on a new eating plan and I am so thrilled. Life is good, I feel blessed, and here I am, ready to share. Thank you, Sandra, for your endless inspiration. 

The weather: 

It is a bit stormy - mostly wind right now, but we will be getting heavy rain, 36 degrees, and it is January! I live in Connecticut - it's not supposed to be raining in January in Connecticut, it's supposed to be snowing. And I am NOT complaining. So thrilled that we are getting some much needed rain, and it doesn't have to be shoveled! (Especially since I do not have any more boys in the house to do it for me.)

On my reading pile:

Everything and nothing. I am getting super picky about what I read. I want it to be uplifting and/or thought provoking but also well written. And I just don't seem to have the time, or I have all the time in the world so I put it off... So nothing to recommend right now.

On my tv:

Not a tv watcher.

On the menu for this week:

For the past few years I have been trying to keep a monthly menu on this blog, so that I eventually would have ideas to make meal planning easier. I never succeeded in completing an entire month's worth of menus (fast food isn't very inspiring, lol). But now we are embarking on a new adventure and are approaching meal planning in a whole new way. I took a trip to my local warehouse store and came home with a fridge full of produce. So the menu plan is quite simple: 

Breakfast: yogurt with fruit and nuts, or scrambled eggs with veggies and a fruit slushie, or oatmeal with fruit and nuts

Lunch: vegetable soups (salads in the summer) with beans or chicken, etc

Dinner: rice and beans with lots of veggies, some chicken, beans, pork, fish, etc, or soup/stew 

I am scouring the internet for some basic soup bases and then just adding whatever I have that looked good in the store. This week I have new potatoes, brown rice (already in my pantry), sweet potatoes, butternut squash, red and green peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, spinach and kale. For proteins I have almonds, walnuts, boneless chicken breasts, and turkey kielbasa. Fruit: apples, berries, bags of various frozen fruit combinations, and I need to pick up some grapefruit. 

I will then be adding recipes on my blog once I have tried them to keep a running menu (which is found at the top - first post) of various soups etc. Eventually I will just mix and match as I get a good base of recipes. That's the beauty of soup - you can add whatever you want. And no, I never tire of it, although I make it loaded with food, so it's never brothy, more like stew. I am prediabetic so I am limiting my starches, but on days when I am feeling a bit hungrier, I will add a starch to another meal - a sandwich on whole wheat bread, a whole wheat bagel with breakfast, etc.

So, today's menu looks like this:

Breakfast; yogurt with blueberries, chopped almonds and walnuts, and unsweetened coconut (my husband takes a whole wheat bagel and berries with unsweetened nonfat yogurt)

Lunch: leftover Chunky Vegetable Soup  and leftover fruit salad (from an extended family dinner last night) for me. My husband takes a HUGE salad everyday. I mean a family size salad, lol.

Dinner: Sausage and kale soup (will us the turkey kielbasa for the sausage).

On my to do list:

Clean bathrooms and wash towels, bookkeeping for clients

What I am creating:

just food!

Looking around the house:

I still have breakfast ingredients to put away, piles of papers on the kitchen table, and we still have our Christmas tree up! Now let me explain, the ornaments have been taken off and put away, but we have a prelit tree and most of the lights are no longer working, so my husband wants to see what he can do. The problem is that he hasn't had time. So, it is still standing, lol. Other than that the family room and living room are neat because we are never in there! All of the kids are temporarily out of the house. Now I know for sure who made the messes around here, lol. 

From the camera:


My daughter in New Caledonia (serving a mission there). She found the prize in her cake on Three Kings Day, so she got to be queen. (It's not from my camera, but all I take pictures of these days is of the pets or food, lol).

Something fun to share:

I got the Chunky Vegetable Soup recipe from this blog and I look forward to seeing what else she has to offer.


What I am wearing today:

Black jeans, fuzzy red socks, slippers, and a red sweater that I have had for years and is looking a little ratty so I only wear it at home, But it's oh, so soft!

One of my simple pleasures:

My BIGGEST pleasure - getting emails from my children serving missions. My daughter is in New Caledonia (will be coming home in May!) and my son will be heading to Cambodia (he is in language training now). 

Bible verse:

Isaiah 53. (I'll let you look it up.) It is about the Savior's Atonement and I try to reflect on it regularly to remember what He has done for me. I am so grateful for His sacrifice for me and for everyone. I am so grateful for His love and His teachings.

I hope you have a great week!


January 22, 2017

Chunky Vegetable Soup



This recipe comes from the blog Simply Sissom and it is very, very, good and very, very, healthy. I look forward to checking out more recipes from this blog!

  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 medium parsnips (or carrots) (I used carrots because that's what I had on hand)
  • 1 bell pepper (I prefer red)
  • 2 cups of sweet potato, peeled and chopped (I used butternut squash)
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into half moons
  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of chicken broth (Vegan- use vegetable broth) (I used vegetable broth)
  • 1 TBS of my vegetable soup spice blend (Recipe below)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 cups of baby spinach
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed (optional)


Cook onion and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes, add all ingredients except beans and spinach. 
Simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.
Add beans and spinach.

Soup Spice Blend

  • 2 TBS of smoked paprika
  • 1 TBS garlic powder
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1 TBS onion powder
  • 1 TBS dried basil
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 tsp. white pepper