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December 18, 2009

Beer Cheese Soup - pictures to follow

Beer Cheese Soup

1 large yellow onion, diced
3-4 carrots, diced
3-4 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 stick butter (8 Tbsp)
3/4 cup flour
4 cups milk (whole makes richer soup, skim is healthier but not as good)
32 oz carton low sodium chicken broth
16 oz beer - Ale makes the best soup (I used Sierra Nevada)
2 Tbsp worstershire
2 tsp dry mustard
24 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese (for cost reasons, I usually use 1 lb of the cheap kraft cheese and 1/2 lb of a really good cheddar but you can do whatever)
salt and pepper to taste
popcorn for garnish

1. Melt butter on medium heat in large pot/dutch oven - sautee onion, carrot, celery and garlic 5-7 mn or until soft

2. Turn down heat to low and add flour - stir constantly 4-5 mn

3. Slowly add milk, broth and beer - stir well to combine and bring to a simmer for at least 5 mn or until soup thickens

4. Add worstershire, mustard powder and salt/pepper to taste.

(At this point you can either puree your soup with an immersion blender OR you can just leave it - depends on if you like "bits" in your soup or not. I prefer very small bits, so I usually take a few turns with the immersion blender, but I know people that put it in the blender so it's super smooth and know others that like huge chunks so just leave it - it's totally a personal thing...go with your gut.)

5. Slowly add cheese by the handful, making sure it's melted before adding more. When all cheese has been added, let simmer for at least 10 mn - although I like to let mine sit on low for about a half hour.

6. Ladle into bowls and top with popcorn!

Mmmmmm.....this is the part of living in the Midwest that I DON'T hate when it's below zero :)

November 17, 2009

October Recap

We finished up football (finally!) - B had his football jamboree on a 35 degree day. Needless to say it was cut short. All in all it was a fun experience and I'm sure we'll do it again next year. 4 days a week gets to be a bit much, but luckily we have some great neighbors that we were able to carpool with :)

Of course we hit the corn maze/apple orchard. It's not really autumn without going...
The apples were amazing. I LOVE honeycrisp season...

A good friend came into town for a visit. It was good to see her. Unfortunately this was the best of our self portraits...what can I say...it was a last minute get together after a long day :)
Baby (now called Moo) turned 1. Can't believe he's already such a big guy. He's such a sweetie pie.
Needless to say, he loved the cake. I'm pretty sure that ALL babies love cake. Moo is no exception.
On a side note - Moo also had surgery on his ears. He'd had recurrent ear infections and fluid that wouldn't go away. Antibiotics weren't working and the little guy wouldn't show any signs of being ill - we'd bring him in for a regular appt and he'd have raging double ear infection.
Since the surgery, he's a completely different kid. I'll post more on that later, but yeay! for the tubes...

Monkey got a hair cut. They put product in it which delighted him to no end. Pretty dang cute.

Moo started walking all the time. And fell in love with balls.

Monkey and Moo have started to actually play together - nicely - without TOO much drama.

And of course there was Halloween...my little "critters" had a great time. Our friend came over with their princess (FAIRY princess!) and we did a little trick-or-treating in the freezing cold.
It was obviously exhausting (note that we switched costumes...)

All in all a very busy and wonderful month. I'll try and keep you posted on what's going on a little more often!

September 22, 2009

...and then there were THE REST OF THE PICS...

Our trip was amazing (have I said that enough times lately???) Sorry - probably a little obnoxious, but it WAS really...well...you know ;)

We spent a lot of time on the water. The kids did some tubing, lots of swimming and a little fishing with the neighbor boy...

We played a lot at Nana and Bapa's house...
Baby crashed with Bapa - awwwww.....
We did a LOT of hanging out in the back yard...best place in TX...seriously...
Monkey discovered his love of measuring...
Monkey spent a lot of time in the buff...

Again, with the back yard...even Pipps had fun in the pool...
Oh, and there was the day we took out the slip n' slide...

All in all, a great trip. One we'll take again....
Thanks again Nana and Bapa - we love you guys and miss you!!!

I Left My Heart in San Antone...

Ok, so I didn't. I only left a few dollars there when I bought lunch along the Riverwalk, but what can I say...it seemed like a catchy title for this series of pics :)

Of course we went to the Alamo...I don't think you can miss it :)

Here's Pipps standing in front of a building we thought was really neat...the architecture in SA is pretty amazing...
The infamous River Walk...

Baby eating his toes...we were still at the Alamo waiting for Nana to buy souvenirs...Monkey got a coon-skin cap, the older kids picked out rocks...seriously....little tiny polished rocks. They are definitely not my real children ;0)
Even the cops at the Alamo have a swagger in their step ;) (Can I get a Yee-Haw!!!)
I wish we grew trees like this here...

The Coolest Natural Springs EVER...

Krause Springs - ever heard of it? If not, MAKE IT A DESTINATION...it's amazing.
You can read about it here

Our Safari in Texas...

One day when we were in TX, we went here.
I seriously don't think my kids have ever had such a great time. It was really cool.
We rode in a big wagon behind a tractor and with our huge bucket of feed, the animals were eating right out of our hands. It was incredible...