Thursday, January 15, 2015

Things Getting Back to Normal

There’s still an odd bin sitting out – I keep it to collect any odds and ends from Christmas that I may have forgotten. It will be opened first next year, and I’ll have my ‘stuff’ ready to go.

I’m on a different schedule now, but I’m getting accustomed to the change. I used to get my chores [such as they are] finished in the morning, then we’d visit my mother in the afternoon. I miss those visits, but I’m using that time to read. The library got six books for me all at once, so I told them to hold off for a while and give me time to read them.

On Tuesday afternoon, my SIL brought my two little guys to visit. They were at the aquarium while the mommy was working, and it’s so close, they decided to come here, too. We only had a short time, but it was enough to get them some milk and cookies and play for a bit. They dash right out here to the den to do ‘cwafts!’ The paper came out, followed by the scissors, glue, staples, markers, and tape. The older one did his ‘pwoject’ while the younger one worked with stickers. I had kids’ music playing and the time just flew by. I would have loved for them to stay longer, but they had an hour drive and the traffic would be getting heavy. I really needed that little pick-me-up, though!

I also got back to having my two big boys for dinner every week. We moved the day to Wednesday, and it seems to be working well. Yesterday, I made creamy potato soup in the crock pot, and it was great on such a cold day. [recipe below] We had hamburgers done on the tabletop grill and oven-baked onion rings. I just had a store-bought pie, but I promised that I would get back to some homemade desserts again. Their request for next week was French Onion Soup, and I think I’ll have it with steaks. They work hard, and they’re good sons, so I like to treat them.

Now that Christmas is over and the decorations are gone, I want to start some decorating projects. We decided to splurge a little and get a new sofa or love seat for the living room in a few weeks. I want to make some new wreaths, also, for the front and back doors. I saw some on Pinterest and at Williams-Sonoma, but I know I can do copycats. So, I’ll also be making my way to Michael’s or Jo-ann’s to get supplies.

I also want to set up sleepovers for my little guys, when we can have time to bake, build, create, and go places. They add such joy to my life. I’d like to get a membership to a children’s museum near here. Then we’d have some fun there, too. Anyway, my intent is to keep busy and have a positive attitude.

Here’s the soup recipe:

Cheesy Potato Soup

4 slices bacon
1 ½ cups chopped onion
5 cups diced peeled russet potatoes (about 5 medium)
1 medium stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 carton (32 oz) Progresso® chicken broth (4 cups) or use your own
                   {also try half broth/half beer!!}
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1 bag (8 oz) shredded American and Cheddar cheese blend (2 cups)
1.       In 12-inch skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crispy. Remove from skillet, reserving fat in skillet. Drain bacon on paper towel, then refrigerate. In same skillet, cook onion in bacon fat over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender. {I used the ready-made bacon, nuked it, crumbled it, and sprinkled it on when served. I just sautéed the onion in a small bit of oil.}
2.       Spray 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray [I use the liners – so much neater!]. In cooker, mix onion, potatoes, celery, broth, salt and pepper.
3.       Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 7 hours.
4.       In small bowl, beat flour and half-and-half with wire whisk until well blended; stir into soup. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook about 30 minutes longer or until thickened. Stir in cheese until well melted. Crumble bacon; sprinkle over soup.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary. It's a tasty and warming soup!

  2. Sorry I haven't been around. I will stop by later when I'm done leading the university class unexpectedly dumped on my lap but for which I have now managed to find helpers who will take over soon so I'll be back reasonably soon.

  3. Life back to normal is a good way to start a new year.

  4. "Our" normal, different then everyone else's!! Your soup recipe looks like a good one!! I make potato soup all the time!!

  5. I'm having a problem with individual replies here -- good ol' blogger! So...

    Robert, Not sure which one you are agreeing with, but thanks!!

    Judy, A college course? What subject? Oh, I'm jealous!! Let me know what's going on!

    Olga, So right -- normal is a great place to be!

    Debbie, It was YOUR potato soup that tempted me to pull out my recipe!! Great minds and all that...