Monday, February 10, 2014

HAVING YOUR SOUP AND EATING IT TOO

Happy Monday!  I know Mondays aren't supposed to be terribly exciting days for most people, but after a weekend stuck inside with the snow and cold temps, I'm sort of glad to be back into a routine.  Over the weekend  I spent a lot of time catching up on magazines, I subscribe to Rebook, More, Real Simple, Ladies Home Journal and HGTV Living.  They all seem to come in the mail at once so I take a nice break from the fictional world and fill my mind with endless tips, advice, breaking fashion news and innovative ways to clean my bathroom in 1.2 minutes.  So, I was actually feeling a little giddy when The Husband agreed to go out for dinner, even if it was our nearby favorite little pub that we always go to.  I think the fact that we had a gift card from Christmas might have swayed him a little .  Come 6:00 p.m., I looked outside at the snow falling under the street light, as it had been for 24 continuous hours and said, "Do we really need to pile on the layers, including boots, hats, scarves and mittens to drive 5 minutes, take it off for an hour, repeat and come home?"  Nah.  We made a fire and had omelets for dinner.  

I read about a neat phone application on Karianne's blog, Thistlewood Farm.  It's called Waterlogue.  You can turn pictures you've taken on your IPhone into beautiful works of art.  This is my house in case you didn't recognize it.  You can print these out on good paper and frame them if you want...how cool is that?





I found a soup recipe and it intrigued me because it called for pork...something you don't see a lot of in soups.  It also had kale in it, and we all know what a superfood that is (including my dentist who raved about it when he popped a stray piece out between my teeth when he was cleaning them recently).  But I wasn't too crazy about the rest of the recipe;  the lack of veggies and the sort of blah seasonings.  So I redid it, of course.  I used lean ground pork, and since I was short on kale and long on spinach, I used that.  Some celery, carrots and simple spices and we had a great soup last night.  So in a nutshell, or your biggest pot...

Saute 1 large onion, chopped in 2 T. olive oil over low/medium heat.  When soft, add 3 cloves of garlic, finally chopped.  After a minute or so, add 1 lb. of ground pork.  Raise heat to medium and stir, breaking up the meat as you go along.  Now we are going to add the spices instead of after the broth...a little different but I like how it turned out.  Add 2 t. of cumin, 2 t. of nutmeg, 1 1/2 t. of  allspice,  1 T. of fennel seed, and 1 t. of red pepper flakes.  If you don't have these spices in your cabinet, you should, they aren't scary.  Start with the small 0.9 oz. jars. I find that cumin gives soups and stews so much depth, it makes everything taste richer.  And using spices that you generally associate with baking add a level of surprise, like, "Hmmm...I can't figure out what this is but it is definitely good!"  And then fennel seed...those are the little seeds you see in your Italian sausage and this brought out the flavor of the pork a little better.  Now, let all this cook up together for a few minutes and then add 8 cups of chicken broth.  Or you can use 6 cups with 2 cups of water, totally okay.  The add a few chopped carrots and celery stalks.  I like using the leafy ends of the celery, too.  Bring that to a boil, stir well, and then turn it down low and  let it simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add a few big handfuls of baby spinach (or kale) and simmer 5 more minutes.  Add S & P to taste and adjust other seasonings if you'd like.  I'm not a nutritionist by any means but does this not scream healthy?  Let me know if you try this, we just loved it!



 

Well, I'm prone to these sudden outbursts once in a blue moon, and then I go back to taking care of everybody's needs.  And so I started the laundry, made these yummy White Chocolate Dipped Red Velvet Cookies (scroll down to my last post for the link to the recipe).  And I made the soup and tried my best to ignore The Husband's compliments on it, but inside I was like, YES!  I am such a sap.



I'm making progress on the living room.  Emily gave me the websites she uses a lot for clients to look at, and I found one with some great pieces that really caught my eye.  The next day she came over for lunch and went through the coffee tables and end tables on this site, and she would point out how the legs of one table matched my fireplace screen, and the X's below a coffee table mimicked the ones on my corner cabinet.  Well, I placed my order!!  I was going to show you pictures from the website, but I'd rather show you everything completed at once.  And then while we were out Friday, we stopped in Pier 1 just to look around.  Easter stuff.  Oh, how I love my bunnies.  She made me put them back.  But I did find curtains I liked and of course, they are very reasonably priced.  Anddddd...I found Christmas napkins on clearance, white with red velvet trim for $1.48 a piece!  And the matching runner was $6.00!  I NEVER find deals like that!  So I came home with just those Christmas things and I am going to go back for the curtains when my blinds are installed.  So, we are making progress with the living room.  Our friends Craig and Snow came over for cocktails Thursday night and they were remarking how pretty the room looked.  Now, Snow and I were sitting on a sofa with no cushions (they are still being re-stuffed),  there is  no coffee table; I gave that to Emily.  The only decorations I have out are some half dead poinsettia plants and a dish of conversation hearts.  And to think I have been fussing all this time.

Have a great week, we are heading back to the single digits, 11 degrees now.  But I have lots more laundry to keep me busy.  And by the way, stop by for some of those cookies...I have been a very good girl and haven't touched not a one! :)

Joining Brenda at Cozy Little House for Tweak It Tuesday.

XO,
Jane 

61 comments:

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I've seen that photo app, and I want to try it! Love the water colors of you and your house!

You crack me up, girl. I love to read what is going on with you, even if it means being snowed in and doing laundry. You make it fun! And yes, I would happily drop by for cookies if you were not forty million miles from me!

Stay warm!

xoxoxox

Sheila

podso said...

Good for you not to touch those beautiful cookies! By the way, guess what phone and iPad ap I was working on this weekend? :-) It's such fun isn't it? I did a landscape one of a farm we visited last weekend and our hosts there framed it and it looks professional! Now I have all kinds of ideas floating through my head. Rhonda of Rose Colored Glasses is going to do a water color Wednesday party, not sure how often. But you can show off your "paintings." We are finally getting some weather starting tonight. And there may be ice as well. But I heard on the news Chicago is about to break a record of number of days below zero. What a winter.

Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

Can't wait to see your living room decisions! Keep up the great eating habits - you must have a lot of willpower to bake delicious cookies and not eat them :-)

Primitive Stars said...

Hi Jane, wow!!! my girl you have willpower not eating one of those yummy cookies, good for you. Me, not so much :) Love the water colors, looks so neat. Blessings Francine.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your soup sounds yummy Jane, I'm always looking for more to do with pork and love spinach! Not too happy to hear about your single digits, that usually means they're headed here next! Have a great week:@)

Susie said...

Blondie, I loved your photo tricks...wonderful. You must really like cooking, you are always making some thing good to eat. I love making soups. I like to just think of recipes on my own. My best soups are from cleaning up the left-overs, lots of times. I love a clean organized house too, can I come over.LOL...truly I sometimes have to say things to Ted about helping, mainly by picking up after himself. If everyone would do that, life would be easier for all. I think Spring is very near...even though I am so very cold right now. I saw two robins today. :) Blessings to you Blondie girl, xoxo,Susie

Debbie Freitag said...

I thought I was the only one that yells and screams about a messy house. I realized this weekend that I love a clean house I just don't like to clean the house. Our weather is bad but I noticed today that I actually left for work and came home from work and the sun was shining both times! I've hated leaving work and going out into a cold dark night. Your cookies look yummy. I'm making some Valentine cookies tonight. I'm just not sure I have your willpower!

Simply LKJ said...

We are under another winter storm warning, expecting ice this time around! Good for you on the low carb diet. Two of my fav things, ham and olives!! Can't walk to see the living room update.

Betsy Brock said...

25 days...good for you! :)

I've seen that watercolor app everywhere...looks so fun!

Wanda said...

Well I sure enjoyed your post today, but was sorry the picture of your lunch wouldn't come in for me.

You might be interested in the post I just published as I had a wake up call from my doctor, and am showing what I have for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I'm very proud of you, and will need your encouragement as I do some life changing.

Julie Marie said...

Hi Jane... your soup sounds really good and those cookies look delish... congrats on day 25 of your diet!... love that phone photo of your house... and of you... can't wait to see all you ordered for your living room... (I think you should have got the bunnies at Pier 1 too!)... your honey ham and olives looks so good to me... I love honey ham!... hope you can stay warm... it has actually warmed up to the 40's here with rain, which is getting rid of the mounds of dirty snow... honestly, there is nothing uglier than dirty snow!... Happy Valentines to you if you do not post again before Friday... xoxo Julie Marie

Stacey said...

First, I have to say that I love that you had friends over for cocktails with no couch cushions! That's hospitality. :)

Your soup sounds delicious! My husband will not allow chicken broth to touch his lips!! He's weird. But we make our own pork broth and could use that instead. We use cumin all the time. Love fennel too.

I would have opted for omelettes for supper also. We have had enough of this winter.

Suzan Sweatman said...

How can you not have had a cookie - omg - red velvet?
Can't wait to see what you do with your living room !!! I'm starving right now - would love nothing more than a bowl of that soup - and 25 cookies for dessert!
xox

Heather Lindstrom said...

Jane dear-I just had so much fun catching up on a few posts here. Thanks for your sweet comments on Stylemindchic. Happy Birthday!! I see that you are making the best of the snowy climate with all the yummy soups and stews. I did a lot of that when I lived in Michigan years ago. God bless you-even going out to a birthday dinner can be 'slippery'. I had a near death experience driving between lower Michigan and Chicago in a blizzard years ago. It was terrifying so I understand your concerns for safety in that weather. On a positive note Bruno Mars can definitely warm things up. ;) I am so stretched between my career/my blogging and boutique but I'm trying to manage it all. So happy you stopped by and wishing you some warmer temps soon.
xx, Heather

NanaDiana said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend, Jane. Love the photo app. I am with you-I cannot stand a messy house and will only let it go so long before I "do it myself".

Good for you for staying with the low carb diet. My only advice is DON'T GO OFF IT! It is so hard to get back on once you have tasted sugar and white flour again. I know!

Glad you found some curtains you like and what a score on the Christmas items. xo Diana

Vee said...

Sounds like great bargains! Now don't be hard on yourself...the photo of soup looks wonderful...all those beautiful, healthful colors!

Beth said...

The soup sounds really good!!

The photo app sounds like it would be fun to use.

Michele @ The Nest at Finch Rest said...

Good for you - keep at it, so proud of you!

I need to eat less carbs but I get so ornery when I don't have them, sad sad sad.

Love that app- gonna have to check it out! I need to utilize my iphone more for sure. Stay warm and safe.

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

Wow lots going on. Cookies so cute...soup looks delish.I love the watercolor look but the link did not work to Thistlewood Farm ???

Lisa @ Texas Decor said...

I love the waterlogue app and have been using it way too much on Instagram. :) I can't believe you haven't had one single red velvet cookie!! You must have some serious will power! I bought some red velvet ice cream the other day. It had chunks of red velvet cake and ribbons of cream cheese frosting throughout. Yum! You got some great deals on the Christmas stuff at Pier 1. Love when that happens. :)

Shelia said...

Hi Janie! Oh, I downloaded that app and then realized it was only for Mac things! Shoot! Oh, well, I'll get over it. You look cute all watercolored up! ;) Your soup looks good to me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Theresa said...

You made me laugh:) Sometimes we need to scream a little! I love trying new recipes and tweaking them to suit my taste! I will have to check that app out:) Looks cool! Enjoy your week dear friend, stay warm! HUGS!

Nancy's Notes said...

Way to go on that willpower gig! I so get a kick out of reading what is going on in your world! Your cookies and your lunch all look pretty yummy! Love the way you knocked everyone out and in their place! Photo app is cool too. Stay warm!

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

Jane I can't wait to try that app...LOVE your pics!! You made me laugh when you said you yelled a little to get your point across when you saw the mess...your not alone I yell all the time lol...I hate a messy house! Your cookies sure look good!

20 North Ora said...

Can't believe you didn't have one of those beautiful cookies. The soup sounds so good - especially in this frigid weather! Your week sounds busy. You are so domestic! And that's a compliment! LOL

Judy

Melanie said...

I have no idea how you're able to bake and then resist it! Those cookies look delicious. You know what I do when the kitchen garbage is overflowing? I play Garbage Jenga! Let it start to overflow and see if anyone notices and actually takes it out. You could do the same thing with wet towels. If you didn't pick them up and wash them, then they'd have no clean towels. Saves you from nagging and teaches them a lesson. A win-win!Can't wait to see your living room when it's all finished.

Marigene said...

The soup sounds delicious. I like to use spice and herbs in things that they aren't expected to show up in. One of our favorite soups/stews is green chili pork...I need to make some this week.
Are you as ready for spring as I am? I can't wait to see the backside of winter this year!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

EVERYTHING sounds good..but where on earth do you get so much energy??? Oh..wait..I forgot! You're young!
:):)
Hugs and love,
Mona

Maria Elena said...

Jane, what a great post! Let me tell you, the cookies looks amazing. LOL I do have a little bit of a sweet tooth. I can't believe how much snow you all got. This winter needs to be over already. It sounds like you have great willpower and doing great. Got to try that app! Enjoy your week!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

I would have done the same, Jane ~ start a fire and make some omelettes! I hate going out in this weather, but if I have to I prefer to do it when the sun is still out. I have too much anxiety driving with the icy roads. More to come, apparently, Friday and Saturday here.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

You have great willpower Jane!
I don't know how you keep from trying one of your delicious looking cookies.
We are so cold this morning they delayed school by 2 hours, again.
It's getting very old.
I love the watercolor pics too, I wish I had a fancy phone. Maybe someday after we pay all of these huge heating bills.
Take care and think summer and a get away we can plan!
Hugs,
Cindy

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

Those cookies look great, good for you for resisting them!

Beth said...

Your soup sounds fantastic. I'd never thought of using nutmeg in a savory dish but it sounds like it worked out very well. We had soup last night too - Plaza Steak Soup from the Lines from Linderhof blog. It was very good as well. I enjoy soups this time of year and homemade soup is so much better than canned or bagged soups from the supermarket. I like the photo of your home. Have fun playing in the app! I can't believe you made those great looking cookies and didn't even taste them. I couldn't do that! You have great self-discipline. Hope your week is going well.
xo, Beth

Traci said...

I think sometimes Dean would like to stomp & yell at me because he's definitely the neater of the 2 of us. I'm not a slob by any means but he's neater than normal. HA! I want some of those cookies.

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

How you can make these wonderful cookies and desserts and not eat them is beyond me! :)

Olive said...

Hi Jane, I have been using Waterlouge and just adore it. I am really in love with IG any way and like its more spontaneous feel. I think your cookies are beautiful. I have never made red velvet anything but am a big fan. xo, olive

lynn said...

your pictures looks great! thanks for sharing the phone app--it looks awesome, jane:) wtg, not touching those cookies! have a great night!

Terra said...

We like kale so the soup sounds yummy, even with a spinach substitution. It sounds like your back is all healed, from all you are doing including baking those cookies. The phone app makes pretty photos, I agree.

susan@avintagefarmwife said...

It is so hard to make cookies and not eat them, at least for me! Hope you will share your daughters favorite websites. I am looking for a couple of chairs for our living room and don't want to spend a fortune and feel like I must keep them for the next 25 years. Suggestions?

Pondside said...

I'm going to have to find that photo app and give it a try. I'm hopeless with my iphone and really just use it as (gasp!) a phone!
Another lovely post, Jane - full of the essential 'Jane' that I look forward to reading about!

Rhondi said...

Hi Jane. Don't worry about how your soup looks. The recipe sounds delicious. I am in love with the Waterlogue app. I want to turn my whole world into watercolors!
We are having a big snowstorm which is very unusual for us here in the south :)

SEO Star Software House said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Celestina Marie Design said...

Hi Jane, Nice to meet you. I am visiting from Lynn's blog Shabby Story. Love that app and need to get it on my iphone too.
Sounds like a great idea to stay in, sit by the fire and enjoy dinner home. I live in Texas and it has been a cold icy winter for us as well. Nothing like the mid west but unusual for us. I was born and raised in Michigan so I do know about lots of snow. LOL

The cookies look so yummy and great for you and your Willpower not to eat any.
I have to eat gluten free, so no cookies for me either.
The soup looks so good too.
So enjoyed my visit here. Have a great weekend and Valentine's Day.
Hugs, Celestina Marie

Doreen@househoneys said...

Well, we are experiencing a nor'easter here today so it gives me the opportunity to catch up on some of my favorite blogs ;).

Carbs really are NOT our friends. Moderation is key, and not eating them after 3 helps too. The cookies look awesome Jane. Kudos to you for resisting them! Kale certainly is having its moment in the sun lately which is great because it really is delicious and super healthy. I love soup. Any kind of soup is fine by me!

Stay warm my friend.

Kathy Moreland said...

Oh have we had the winter weather in GA!! Snow on the ground since Monday evening. Probably 6" here! This hasn't happended here in a long time, where everything is shut down for days!! This time the Governor got ahead of the storm, so I think he made up for a few weeks ago when the interstate highways were parking lots. It helped that everyone is staying home!!

Sounds like you're doing great on your diet. I'm still not motivated to do anything. The hubs and I are big snackers, and with the snow, we've been on a binge!!

Sounds like you have ordered what you want for you living room. I'll look forward to seeing it.

Soup sounds great. I made some chili Monday that was sooooo good. We ate on it for 3 days!!

Hope you have a great weekend coming up.

Talk to ya soon!

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

That's just crazy! I so admire you about the cookies! Making them and not eating them. Heck! Just making them! And it certainly is soup weather. Almost makes me want to get into the kitchen. (You HAVE seen my white room BTW. It's just that different now. It was VERY slow going, but looks pretty good now.) So nice that you came by!

Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home said...

That's such a cool app! I haven't gotten it yet, but I'm thinking about it! Those cookies look YUMMY, of course I talk about the sweet stuff!
Stay warm...
Blessings,
Cindy

sweetvintageofmine said...

Came over from Shabby Story....I know I am going to love your blog!! I am your newest follower~~~Blessings~~~Roxie

Liz Hockamier said...

Hi Jane!
Thanks for the heads up on the iPhone app. I was wondering where everyone was getting the effect. :)

How is the diet going? 25 Days is pretty good. I need to get back on it.

I'll be anxious to see your new furniture. :)

Happy Valentine's Day! :)
~Liz

Lori E said...

I love cumin in my food. It really does boost the flavor of all the ingredients.
I also love that you added the spices and gave them a bit of heat before adding the the broth. This really releases the flavor of the spices. Fennel is a favorite too and if I forget to add it to my meat sauce I always regret it on first bite.
This looks like a really healthy, tasty soup.

Vel Criste said...

That photo app is addicting Jane, be careful! Hahaha! Can't wait to see your new living room and all the goodies that you recently acquired for it! Not much of a kale person, so may have to pass up on the soup for now. :-)

Lori said...

Oh Jane ~ I love your posts! Your little outburst sounds so familiar to me ~ every once in awhile I think my head actually spins around and I scream I cannot do this alone!! That usually lights a small fire that lasts a couple of days but it helps at the time. The cookies look yummy ~ I made red velvet cake w/ cream cheese frosting to take to work today and never had a piece! Can't wait to see what you picked out for furniture and your new curtains. Happy weekend. xo

Shelia said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Janie, and hope you have a great weekend.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Anas Sana ur rahman said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
My Little Home and Garden said...

It definitely is homemade soup weather. I think I may just have to put on a pot of it tomorrow. Yours looks tasty and you've reminded me of a recipe that I've used featuring kale.

Kit said...

Hello pouty girl! Your cookies look wonderful. Glad all worked out. Looking forward to seeing the new furniture. Kit

Junkchiccottage said...

Jane,
The soup looks so yummy. I have been trying out a lot of soup recipes with this cold winter. Good for you with the diet and low carbs. I need to get off carbs too but that is my weakness. I don't think I could pass up the cookie!
Kris

Chatelaine said...

The soup sounds great, will have to try it.

I heard you have been having a bad winter like us. I think we always get the storms Chicago gets a day later. I have spent more time hunkering down in the condo than usual, just me and the kitties. Not that that's a bad thing!

I wonder if that app is on androids too.

Hope it gets warmer and drier soon!

Debbie said...

Good for you with the diet, Jane!
That soup sounds, and looks good.
So do those cookies...I would have eaten more than half of them!!
I like what you did with your pictures...neat!
xo

Mary said...

I read this ages ago when you posted but just realized I must have been sidetracked (easily done) and apparently never did comment - sorry dear!

Great post - off to read your latest which just popped up.
Hugs - Mary X

syed ali said...

Make your own home based business without any work, Just Invest some Money into your Business and Make Perfect Life time Earnings with this Business.
Invest as low as 1$ and Get 2.5% Daily profit for 90 Days, Join Now
HotFxEarnings.com