Monday, February 22, 2010

sausage & kale soup...pass the romano!

This soup is perfect for the snowy weather that could be coming your way if you live in the midwest or great lakes region. We can expect snowfall again here in Texas too.
Besides the fact that it takes just 30 minutes, it's full on flavor & full on "good-for-yous" too.
Have you read about Kale as the superstar of the produce section yet?
It's loaded with vitamin K, vitamin C & beta-carotene, plus it may ward off common cancers.
And if the nutritional value of the soup isn't appealing to you, the taste will be.
I think it tastes lots like zuppa tuscana at Olive Garden.
Cream & potatoes replaced with cannellini beans & noodles.

Special Sausage & Kale Soup
adapted from EVERYDAY w/Rachael Ray March 2010

32oz chicken stock
1pkg baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2T evoo
1lb bulk sweet Italian sausage
1lg onion, quartered length-wise & thinly sliced crosswise
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch of kale
15oz can cannellini beans, rinsed
salt & pepper & nutmeg
1c mini penne or mezzi rigatoni pasta (i used dreamfields low carb)
pecorino-romano cheese for topping
crusty Italian bread for mopping

In soup pot, heat evoo on med-high.
Crumble sausage, add onion & mushrooms, then garlic.
Cook until browned.
Add kale & season with salt & pepper & touch of nutmeg
Cook about 5 min.
Stir in the stock & 2c water, cover & bring to a boil.
Stir in the beans about 10 min before you're gonna eat.
Add the pasta 6-7min before you're going to eat, so it's al dente.
Serve w/lots of romano cheese on top.

I found this recipe & some great classic dish recipes in this
March 2010 EVERYDAY w/Rachael Ray

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"if i forget to tell you later, i had a really nice time..."

so my mom came to stay with us for a week. and as i told you here, dan & i took her up on her offer to keep the kids while we go away.
indulgence in all of our favorite ways.

for you, here's my report should you be thinking of staying where we stayed, seeing what we saw, or eating where we ate.
hyatt hil
l country resort
favorite detail: 2 large stone wood-burning fireplaces in the entry fill the air-everywhere with that nostalgic campfire smell.
..waking up in our bed & smelling the fire from 2 floors below, looking out from our balcony at their incredible grounds, couldn't ask for much more.
we went in their off-season & got discounted rates. this resort is most well known for its 4 acre waterpark & plethora of activities for kids during spring/summer season (& its minutes from sea world-which we loved last year!)

saw 3 movies, tried out 3 different theaters
(dan's pick about movie theaters. i'm just happy when he's happy. he doesn't like our local theaters, so this was a treat)
i have to say, neither of us loved any of the 3 movies.
each was enjoyable, but not great. you'll have to tell me what you think.
there was something about all 3 that i loved: the music!

Valentines Day movie
favorite detail: Say Hey! (I love you)
I downloaded it & danced to it as many times as I could get Dan to let me on the ride home!
(oh, and the row of teenagers behind us that didn't get it because they've never seen pretty woman. really?)

Up in the Air

favorite detail: This Land is Your Land

Dear John
favorite detail: Little House
Amanda Seyfried (leading actress in the movie wrote & preformed the song!
love the more-than-an-actress talent!)

ate lots of great meals, over which we realized we've retained the ability to have adult conversation, not about the kids. hooray!
favorite by far: HIGHLY RECOMMEND to you if you're anywhere close to San Antonio:
DOUGH pizzeria
Real Neapolitan pizza. Pizza is cooked in a 900 degree wood-burning oven, made by a master mason in Naples. Dan & I agree on most things, thankfully one of them is food. So we can order & share & enjoy the same things. Love it! Chose the antipasti platter that came with our favorite choices of Italian meats & cheeses along with this perfect foccacia bread. Truth is we were full from that, but the pizza was eaten & enjoyed w/fontina cheese & mushrooms. Oh this is a fantastic place! A piece of Italy smack-dab in the middle of Tex-mex & BBQ mecca.
Go! You'll love it!
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Monday, February 15, 2010

happy birthday carter

i became a mom 4 years ago today.
i think it's just finally set in.
i've stopped looking around at the kids & their stuff scattered about & their list of needs from "wash sippy cups" to "instill gratefulness" and wondering when their real parents are going to show up.

it wasn't my idea. it was my husband's.
and i thank him often because i am convinced i would never have said
"okay. i'm ready to be a mom".

ready to decorate a nursery and complete a registry at pottery barn kids? sure.
ready for belly laughs and first steps? you betcha.
ready for Christmas morning with a wide-eyed toddler? of course!

but i knew before i had kids that it meant sacrifice.
i'm still scared i won't measure-up to the selflessness required.
it's worth a try. and a try again.

3 years old was my favorite age yet.
you learned to swim without floaties. loved sea world.
you love dogs & horses & approach them without fear.
you would eat cheese sticks & drink milk for every meal. unlike lots of kids your age, you love spicy pepperoni & don't like to dip anything into anything.
you've filled up your good choices charts with zeal & pick chuck e cheese as your reward each time.
(& sorry, being nice to Lilah will stay on there, as much as you'd like it to go.)
you love airplane trips & comic books.
you love to color & play w/play-dough.
and probably my favorite:
you ask me to turn up the good songs that come on in the car
& have many of the lyrics memorized!

you bring unmatched joy. you make me swollen with pride.
happy 4th birthday, carter!
"Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them."
Ps 127: 3-5
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