"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Curried Butternut Soup

I guess I've been cooking a lot. And nothing else exciting enough to warrant a blog post. We're pretty boring right now. We kinda have the winter "blahs" around here. And winter is still quite a bit longer. I love a warm soup on a cold wintery day. And I sure seem to live in the right place for cold wintry days.

I found this recipe on THIS WEBSITE and decided to give it a try. I loved it. My family, not so much. But if you love curry, squash, or ginger you might like it too. Last week from the produce co-op we got two butternut squash and some fresh ginger root. So I was excited to try the recipe. I did tweak it a little bit.

Here are the ingredients:

1 large or two small butternut squash. Peeled and diced. Enough to make 6-8 cups.
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 Tb. fresh grated ginger root
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
4 teaspoons yellow curry powder
olive oil
salt to taste
chopped cilantro and sour cream for garnish

1. Cut both ends off the squash and peel it with a vegetable peeler. I was skeptical that this would work, but it was actually really easy. Half the squash and scoop out the "guts" with a spoon. Then dice the squash into small cubes.

2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a fry pan and cook the cubed squash in batches over medium high heat. You want them to brown, but not burn. Stir away until the pieces are tender. Salt to taste, then set aside.

*Just a side note: If I took nothing else from this recipe, I would be happy in knowing a new way to cook butternut squash. These panfried pieces were SO yummy. I kept sneaking pieces. I'll probably never bake squash again.

3. Now add a little move olive oil to a thick bottomed stock pot. Heat it up and add:

the chopped onion
the minced ginger
curry powder
mustard powder

Stir those around until the onions are nice and brown. (Oops. Forgot to take a picture.)

4. Now add your chicken broth and the cooked squash pieces into the stock pot. Pull out your immersion blender.

You have one don't you? NO?!? Well you should! Let me know if you don't and I'll buy you one for Christmas.

Just kidding. But seriously, you really should have an immersion blender in the kitchen. We got one for our wedding and I never used it until about two years ago because I didn't know what it was for. Now I use it weekly if not daily. How on Earth did I survive without it? Once you have one, you'll never go back. Trust me.

If you don't have one you can use a regular blender and just pour it in small batches. Messy though.

ANYWAY, assuming you have an immersion blender, immerse it in your soup and blend away until the entire thing is smooth as... well... something smooth. It will look like baby food. Don't be afraid though. It's very yummy.

My children were afraid and wouldn't give it the benefit of the doubt.
(They'll eat spinach smoothies though, so I'll let this one slide.)

Brandon was afraid, but I talked him into it. He loved the flavor, though the smooth texture wasn't his favorite. He commented that it would be delicious with the onions left in chunks, or maybe with added chicken or something. I think it might be fun with some white beans. The possibilities are endless. Okay, maybe not endless. But it's a pretty good soup. If you like curry. And I do.

It's even better if you put a dollop of sour cream and some chopped cilantro on top.


I think I want to have some more right now.
Good thing, because no one else seems to be eating it....
Sometimes I wonder why I bother to experiment in the kitchen at all.
Oh well. Looks like I'll be eating curried butternut soup all week long.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Planet Lego 3, by Mason

Mason came home from school the other day with this story. He wrote it with his friends in his "spare time" that day. Wow! He must have a lot of spare time at school.

I should probably be a bit concerned about all of the violence and weapons in the story. I don't let him play any violent video games/movies/etc, but how in the world does he know what moving target practice is? What to do... He's such a boy. I told him I was glad to see that no people were hurt in the story. We've been reading the Book of Mormon every morning before school and we are into the parts with all the wars. Mason is REALLY into the wars between the Nephites and Lamanites.

I have to say I am impressed with the spelling and comprehension. He spelled almost everything right. Anyway, here it is...


(Story is completely unedited as written by Mason.)
Chapter 1

Once apon a time there were four people Mason, Carson, Eli, and Lexi. They blasted off to planet Lego 3, but they didn't know where they were going. It took three hours.

When they got there they were Lego people and they all got bazukas. There was a 40 foot-tall monster. It died in three shots. Then an army of nine million yard-tall monsters came! They set the bazokas to giant missle. The army was dead in one shot. Then Kaiden flew over and he got a missle launching-double rifle. We killed one hundred monster armys together. Then Chase flew over, he got a double shooter-pistol. We did some moving-target practice then we played checers then we played cards. We had a good time. Then a monster broke the door down! It was missle proof and chase shot it with his pistol. It died in one shot.

Chapter 2: Bombers

Invizible monsters were fighting us and they had light-sabers. You could see where they were because the light-sabers wern't invizible. Then bombers came and it was an army of bombers. They were droping bombs like crazy! But we had force fields. Then we shot the mall then more came! We shot them and no more came so we went to a hotel. Then bombers went in the hotel! We shot them again. Then a giant bomber came! We shot it 1,896 times then it blew up. We left the hotel. We took a long walk. We bought new amo.

Then Layton flew here and he got a light-saber. We got to a new hotel and we got some rest. When we woke up it was night so we left. Then we fought a pack of were-wolfs.

Chapter three: Were-wolfs.

When it was morning we took a walk then Kaiden saw something. It was a light-saber! Then alien barbies started fighting us. When we shot them they blew up like a bomb. Then 3 armys of were-wolfs atacked us! We killed them in 3 shots. Then more came and we killed them. Then more came and we killed them. Then a giant were-wolf came. We shot it 9,986 times. Then it died.

Then Gabe flew over and he got a bazuka. We went and killed 33 armys of monsters. Then Laton flew over and he got a grenade launcher. Then we went to a hotel and we got some rest when we woke up be bought new amo.

Chapter four: Were-Ants

...to be continued

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

We had a nice quiet Valentine's Day. It's always a little different when a holiday falls on a Sunday. We didn't get any sleep last night (Not because of Rylan, because of Averie), so we were all very tired.
Don't you just love Rylan's little pouty face here. He's such a cute little booger. Mason is wearing his scout shirt because today was "scout Sunday".

It was a pretty low key day. Church, waffles, naps, and tonight a little V-day dinner. The kids got a little gift from us - socks and a game each. No candy this year. We've all had enough! The waffles were enough of a sugar kick anyway.

Dinner was yummy. We had our favorite "pink" mashed potatoes. Mashed beets give them the crazy color. Beet greens, of course. And THIS new recipe from The Pioneer Woman, which we totally loved. It's called foil shrimp. (I substituted chicken broth for the white wine.) It was SO delish. I highly recommend trying it.

Guess it doesn't look too appetizing, but it was seriously tasty.

Hope you had a happy Valentine's day too!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

We [heart] Valentine Cookies

We adore sugar cookies.
We really shouldn't.
But we do.
And we did.
And they were delish.
We used tangerine cream cheese frosting.
Colored pink.
And chocolate fudge icing.
And M&M's.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Four Weeks Old

Sweet Rylan is four weeks old today. One month on Monday. It's hard to believe.
He's such a fun little cutie.
He loves to be held and carried nonstop.
He is starting to notice people and look at faces more.
He also likes to watch his little music mobile.
He's not a huge fan of the swing like my other kids have been, but he tolerates it.
Not a huge fan of the car seat either.
This could be interesting.
He sleeps pretty well, about 3 hours at a time at night.
(Amazing for my children.)
He likes baths.
He loves to snuggle.
It's hard to imagine what life was like before he was here.
We sure love him!

Makin' Footprints

I always make footprints of the kids when they are tiny so I have them later for scrapbooks, baby book, crafty projects, whatever. Rylan was not too happy about it. I think I got enough decent ones though. For now. I just love his cute little feet!

Afterwards he was really unhappy, but he needed a bath, so first things first. Ellorie and Averie love to help give him baths. (Imagine that...) He actually likes the warm water and all the attention. He's such a fun baby.