I’m ready!

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The pumpkin and banana cream pies will get some finishing touches just before we serve them. The triple berry pie is filled with strawberries, blackberries and raspberries and we’ll be serving it al a mode. Yum! I’ve got one more pumpkin pie that still needs to go in the oven but then I think we’ll be set. I wanted to make a chocolate cream and possible try my hand at a pecan pie but it just would have been too much food for us! Maybe next year.

I love Thanksgiving and I’m so excited to get my sister’s house and see everyone.

First though, I wanted to say a big thank you to all of you! You bloggers know what I mean. This community means so much to me and so I want you to know how thankful I am for all the friendships I’ve made out there. Happy Thanksgiving!!

xoxo-Kimberly

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30 Days Hath November: Day 11

Day 11: Something I’ve Been Craving.

It’s just about dinner time and I am seriously craving sushi. It’s one of my favorite things ever and I pretty much crave it constantly.

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xoxo-Kimberly

(all photos from one of our favorite sushi places- Windy’s Sukiyaki)

30 Days Hath November via So Fawned

The list:
Day 01: A self-portrait.
Day 02: Three inspirational quotes.
Day 03: Something I never leave the house without.
Day 04: A friend I adore.
Day 05: Three years ago today.
Day 06: A book I’m reading.
Day 07: A song for the day.
Day 08: The last item I purchased.
Day 09: A close-up of my day.
Day 10: What I love about my job.
Day 11: Something I’ve been craving.

Day 12: Three blogs I can’t get enough of.
Day 13: Something I’m proud of.
Day 14: A favorite movie.
Day 15: Some style inspiration for the season.
Day 16: Someone who inspires me.
Day 17: My family.
Day 18: What I wore today.
Day 19: A silly self-portrait.
Day 20: A childhood anecdote.
Day 21: Something I could never tire of.
Day 22: Some place I’ve traveled.
Day 23: Eight things you didn’t know about me.
Day 24: Something that means a lot to me.
Day 25: The contents of my purse.
Day 26: Something I’m looking forward to.
Day 27: Myself, one year ago.
Day 28: A skill I’d like to learn.
Day 29: Some place I’d like to visit.
Day 30: Three wonderful things that happened this month.

12 Easy Soup Recipes

So if you follow the blog on Facebook, you’ll know that I was on the lookout for new soup recipes to try this winter. (Still looking, so if you have one you’d like to share, please do!) Anyway, I just happened to come across these 12 simple soup recipes and I thought I’d share them with you. Recipes originally found HERE.

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Recipes:

CREAMY

Creamy Spinach Soup
Put 1 chopped onion, 2 peeled garlic cloves, 3 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes. Add 10 ounces chopped spinach and 1/2 cup parsley leaves; cook until the spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup Greek-style yogurt and purée. Garnish: A spoonful of Greek-style yogurt and chopped parsley.

Squash-and-Ginger Soup
Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic and 4 cups chopped butternut squash for the spinach (it will take longer to soften). Skip the parsley and substitute half-and-half or cream for the yogurt. Garnish: A spoonful of cream.

Curried Cauliflower Soup
Substitute 1 tablespoon minced ginger for the garlic, 2 cups cauliflower florets for the spinach (they will take longer to soften), 1 tablespoon curry powder for the parsley and coconut milk for the yogurt. Garnish: Chopped cilantro.

BROTHY

Vegetable Broth With Toast
Put 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped onions, 1 small chopped potato, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 garlic cloves, 10 sliced mushrooms, 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine), 10 parsley sprigs, 1/2 ounce dried porcini, 8 cups water and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft, 30 minutes or longer. Strain and serve over toasted good bread. Garnish: Chopped celery leaves.

Egg Drop Soup
Beat 4 eggs. Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add the eggs in a steady stream, stirring constantly until they’re cooked, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped scallions, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Skip the bread. Garnish: Chopped scallions.

Rice-and-Pea Soup
Boil the strained stock, lower the heat so it simmers and add 3/4 cup white rice. Cook until tender, then add 2 cups fresh or frozen peas; cook for a minute or two. Skip the bread. Garnish: Grated Parmesan

EARTHY

Bean Soup
Put 1 1/2 cup dried beans, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 2 chopped celery ribs, 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves and 6 cups water in a pot over high heat. Boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer until the beans are soft, at least 1 hour, adding more water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish: A drizzle of olive oil.

Chickpea-and-Pasta Soup
Substitute chickpeas for the beans and rosemary for the thyme and add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine). When the chickpeas are almost tender, add 1/2 cup small pasta. Cook until the pasta and chickpeas are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: A few chopped rosemary leaves.

Spicy Black-Bean Soup
Use black beans and substitute fresh oregano for the thyme. When the beans are done, add 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 dried or canned chipotle and the juice of a lime. Garnish: Cilantro and sour cream.

HEARTY

Minestrone
Sauté 1 chopped onion, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery rib and 1 teaspoon minced garlic in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups cubed potatoes and salt and pepper; cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned are fine) and 5 cups water. Boil, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add 1 cup chopped green beans; simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish: Chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.

Mushroom Soup
Substitute 1 1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms (preferably an assortment) for the potatoes; sauté until they brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Substitute ½ cup white wine for the tomatoes, skip the green beans and add a fresh thyme sprig with the water. Garnish: A few thyme leaves.

Tomato-and-Garlic Soup
Use 2 tablespoons minced garlic and substitute 2 tablespoons tomato paste for the celery. Skip the potatoes and green beans; use 3 cups tomatoes and 3 cups water. Cook the tomatoes for 10 to 15 minutes. Garnish: Lots of chopped or torn basil

Notes:

All of these recipes serve four, and you’ll want about a 2.5-to-4-quart (medium or large) pot. Most can be cooked for a while — but not so long that the freshness is gone. Most will taste as good or better the next day, so consider making a double batch and refrigerating (or freezing) the leftovers. But never boil a soup after you’ve added dairy to it; instead, reheat gently.

If you want a supersmooth soup (and just about any of these soups can be puréed if you like), use a standing blender — let the soup cool a bit first — which creates a finer purée than an immersion blender does; you might even strain the soup after puréeing it.

Garnishes are all optional, though herbs add a dimension that will be lacking otherwise. If you taste as you’re cooking, you’ll be fine, because there is really nothing to go wrong here.

Which one would you try first??

xoxo-Kimberly

Make Ahead Meals

This Saturday my mom and sister, Jen came over to help me make a whole bunch of dinners to put in the freezer. I already knew that this would be a busy semester so I have been trying to think of things that I can do to lighten my load. One of the hardest things to do is figure out what we’re going to eat for dinner after I’ve had a long and exhausting day at school and work.

My mom used to make freezer meals for an entire month at a time. She would put a calendar on the fridge that would list what dinner was planned for each day. The meals for the week would get moved to the fridge at the beginning of the week to thaw. Sometimes there was some final prep work to be done when you got home and then you’d heat and eat. Very quick and didn’t require you to do much thinking or decision making after that long day.

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My make ahead meal plan also included some treats, so there would always be something to snack on as well.

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I plan to add more, but this was just a test run since I’d never done it before.

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We did all the chopping of veggies, baking & shredding of chicken, browning of hamburger and then we assembled all the meals, put them in containers or baggies and labeled them.

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I then put together a weekly menu plan that includes instructions on how to heat or put the meal together each evening.

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I hung that on the fridge so that Andy can get dinner together on those nights when I have to stay late at work or have a night class.

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Chicken Fajitas
Hamburger Vegetable Soup (2 dinners worth)
Stir Fry Mix
Baked Ziti (2 dinners worth)
Tater Tot Casserole
Corn Chowder (2 dinners worth)
Mini Chicken Pot Pies
Cornbread Muffins
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Chili (2 dinners worth)
Chicken Noodle Soup (2 dinners worth)
Hamburger Gravy to be served over mashed potatoes
Pumpkin Cookies
Lemon Bars
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars
Cinnamon Puff Pastries

We have a freezer in our garage and it’s now entirely filled with these freezers meals- enough to last us the entire month and maybe even longer.

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When I planned my meals for the month of September I figured in one night a week for a Date Night/Take Out and two nights a week for eating leftovers. I also planned some nights where we would have something ‘easy’ like pancakes or grilled cheese.

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I’m excited to serve my first make ahead dinner tonight (fajitas) and let you know how it goes! If all goes well and this does actually eliminate some stress for me, then I’ll do it again next month!

xoxo-Kimberly

Raspberries and dutch ovens

Starting the day off right with a cinnamon crumb donut. A fun filled Friday at Bear Lake for Raspberry Days with mom, Jen and Nellie. Lunch at Cafe Sabor.

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An evening spent in beautiful Liberty at Uncle Dave’s. Family, 5th annual dutch oven cookoff, feasting. 3rd place- Dave’s cheesy potatoes, 2nd place-Mom’s shepherds pie, 1st place- Cierra’s raspberry cobbler.

Lots of Nellie giggling, snuggling and smooching for everyone. Fishy faces, clapping Yay! and blowing kisses.

Coming home to slip into pajamas and lounge.

Perfect.

What’s for dinner?

Last night it was Grilled Hawaiian Burgers for us. Delish!

 

 

Tonight I need to use those leftover hamburger buns. We usually do that by making tuna melts. I’m kind of tired of that though. Any new suggestions for how to use up those buns?

 

xoxo-Kimberly

Busy and fun weekend

The month of June is shaping up to be seriously busy. It’s been really fun though and I can’t wait for it all to culminate with the wedding. I’m beginning to feel very excited. I feel all jittery (in a good way) when I think about it. Anyway, this weekend was another one filled with family events and fun outings together.

On Friday we went up to Logan so that Andy and his dad could work some more on the arbor that they built for the wedding. It’s turned out so well. We spent the evening finishing up our puzzle and watching a movie.

Saturday morning was the first day of the Farmer’s Market in Salt Lake. We didn’t want to miss a chance to stop at the Volker’s booth. This time we came home with asiago basil bread and tomatillo cilantro dip. So yummy!

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We brought Ashland along for the first time. Despite getting really excited about all the other dogs in attendance, she did pretty well.

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We stopped for breakfast at Bruges Waffles & Frites. If you’ve never been there, you are seriously missing out. Oh my gosh…delicious. You must go there and try the machine gun sandwich. It’s lamb sausage in a baguette topped with andalouse sauce. This time we opted for their Waffle Monster. It’s two cinnamon or vanilla waffles with strawberries, vanilla bean icecream and speculoos spread in the middle. Melt in your mouth amazing.

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Ashland had a great time- as did we! She was so tired that she totally passed out with her face in the arm rest. Doesn’t look comfortable to me but she was snoozing away!

That afternoon we met my family at Maddox for lunch to celebrate my grandma’s 80th birthday! Isn’t she pretty? I hope I look that fantastic when I’m 80.

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Isn’t her cake awesome?

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It was fun to see everyone and we had such a great time.

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Lastly, some pics of the goings on in the flower department around our place.

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Andy brought this hosta home for me today as a surprise!!

So far, I’m lovin this summer.

xoxo-Kimberly

concerts, henry’s, and arbors

There just never seem to be enough hours in the day. I really need to get to bed. I’m totally exhausted. But first, I had to share some random things.

We had our monthly family activity on Saturday night. We went to the Eclipse concert at the Sandy Ampitheater.

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It was really a great night and we all enjoyed the show a lot.

We picked up a puzzle to work on the other night. Henry really wanted to help.

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:) What a nerd.

And in wedding news…Andy and his dad built this goooorrrgeous arbor for us to get married in front of.

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We’ll be putting it in our garden when the wedding was over. It will most likely get painted white.

Okay, I believe it’s sleep time. G’night.

xoxo-Kimberly