The not too fun part of Christmas Break - injuries at a trampoline place. We go to the orthopedist today after 8 days of pain and misery. At least x-rays show no broken bones.
Its been a hard last few months for their family, as the mom is going through breast cancer. One daughter was in the Philippines on a mission and the other going to school in Utah. So, to be all reunited for the 3 of them was wonderful both for them and for us. It was casual but snowflake themed, since we had a lot of little snowstorms all break. I don't think we ever got up to 8 inches of snow total, but it was cold a LOT!
This red tablecloth I folded in thirds and used as a table runner, as it was too small for all the leafs in my table. The candles were flameless and operating and with all the bowls and plates and goblets, I wanted to keep the table simple but festive. My friend left me this beautiful infinity scarf from Germany. . . only wish she could stay longer.
Boulder Black Bean Soup
from Simply Colorado Cookbook
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. dried whole thyme
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped onion, and 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese can be used for optional garnish
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Stir in seasonings and cook one minute longer. Add beans. Use an immersion blender to puree about half of them, leaving several still whole. Bring to a boil over medium heat then simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes. May add more chicken broth if needed. We also doubled this for a crowd and I had enough left overs to feed my family that night.
Nordstrom Tomato Basil Soup
from Serious Eats website
6 T. olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1 onion, sliced
1 T. dried basil
3 - 28 oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes (I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted)
1 quart chicken broth
1 pint half and half ( recipe calls for heavy cream, but I opted for half and half instead)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil until shimmering in large pan. Add carrots and onion and cook about ten minutes.until beginning to soften. Then add basil and cook another five minutes more. Add tomatoes and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer between 20-30 minutes, or up to 45 minutes. Let cool for a bit then begin to puree everything with immersion blender. Add half and half and season and mix well. Note* I use a small amount of salt and pepper for my health needs, but a couple of people added quite a bit of salt. I found out later one has severe lack of salt so she does this to everything. Nevertheless, adjust to your liking and enjoy. Everyone who had it really seemed to like it. We didn't double this, but still had plenty left overs.
Chicken Vegetable Soup
my easy recipe
Chop 2 chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Place in large pan.
Chop 4 carrots, 1 onion, and 4 stalks of celery into medium sized chunks. Add to pan.
Cover all with chicken broth plus an inch more.
Throw 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1/2 tsp. dried sage, and 1/4 tsp. dried thyme and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and let simmer for half an hour in a covered pot.
Then add 2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes and let it continue to simmer, adding water as needed for another half an hour. Check your seasonings and add more if necessary. I doubled this.
I almost forgot to show you this easy banner. I made it in colors that will work with my house all year round - red, black, and burlap. I found the burlap/polka dot background with black letters on it on Pinterest. It was a free download. I copied each letter onto some small cardstock I had in my printer, then cut them out, and put them on 4 x 6 inch ruby red triangles. I punched 1/8" holes in the tops of both sides, and added torn white strips of fabric and some black stitched ribbon and tied them together, and easy as can be, it was done!