Monday, January 31, 2011

Eliza Claire Quotables

Yesterday I was driving with the girls in the car. As I approached an intersection Eliza Claire said, "Mommy, go faster!"
"I'm going as fast as is safe to go right now." I responded.
"Well, Daddy drives fast like a race car driver!" Eliza Claire proclaimed.
Today Eliza Claire looks at me and asks, "Mommy, did you know my feets have names?"
Me: they do?
EC: Yep!
Me: Well, what are their names?
EC: Fussel and Cecil!
In case your curious Fussel is her right foot and Cecil is her left.
On the way to basketball practice, Ruby and Eliza Claire were arguing about a CD in Eliza Claire's room. Eliza Claire insisted that Ruby gave it to her and Ruby insisted that Eliza Claire stealed it.


For some reason it cracked me up.
Sent from my iPhone

Happy Belated Birthday Howdy

I can not believe he lived to see another birthday!  Howdy, our wonderful smooth coat collie, turned 13 on 1/10.  I never thought he would live to see 12 much less 13!

Howdy is a sweet boy.  He has always been a very laid back dog and never gotten in to any trouble. He likes to be in the same room as the people but he doesn't really want too much attention.  He's content to just lay on the floor and sleep as long as his people are nearby.

His favorite treat is ice.  When he was younger he always came to check on anyone who sneezed.  He doesn't do that anymore.  I'm not sure if it is due to difficulty getting up or difficulty hearing or both.  He does not like people to touch his feet for any reason.  Ever. No matter what. 

For the last couple of months he has started a habit of following me around with his head against my knee.  It is really sweet, but it is also frustrating when trying to cook dinner or vacuum, especially given his frailty.  But I know it is one of the things I'll miss about him when he is no longer here.

He has had arthritis for about five years now that needed periodic medication until about 18 months ago when he progressed to daily medication.  In the last 15 months he has gone from a 90+ pound dog to a 60 pound dog.  He is frail, he falls down frequently, he can't stand for long, a lot of times he needs help getting up, he has accidents in the house about once every two weeks. I think he sleeps about 22 hours a day, he's mostly deaf, starting to have sight problems and maybe even some dementia. But he is still a sweetheart and I'm glad he keeps proving me wrong.

Happy Birthday Old Boy!  I hope its a good year.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Photo Challenge: Eyes

The LENS photo challenge at Home Is Where You Start From for this week is titled "The Eyes Have It."

I had a hard time choosing a photo for this as I had several that I liked.  This is what I finally decided on.

Why I'm Glad my Kids Have a Dad: Reason 137

I'd never let my nine year old use the chipper/shredder but his dad will. Honestly, when I rounded the corner and saw him I about had a heart attack.  But, at the end of the day it is good for him to have responsibility, even for things that can be dangerous, obviously with proper instruction and supervision.

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Moment - Photo Challenge

The LENS photo challenge at Home Is Where You Start From for this week is titled This Moment and described like this: "a photo that captured a moment you want to remember, it can be a special event, a milestone, an ordinary moment your heart wants to remember, a moment that captures how ordinary your ordinary's really up to you."

This photo from April 2008 immediately came to mind.

Just look at how much she likes him.  And she must love him a bunch if she's willing to share her crackers. 


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cheap "Art"

I had a photograph I took while visiting family over the holidays printed on an 18x24 stretched canvas. They were on sale at Winkflash this month. It turned out perfect.
This will not be it's final home. This is just where it will live until I figure out where I want it. It was the only place I could find that I didn't think the kids or pets would mess it up in the meantime. And yes, I stood in a chair to take this picture.

Diet Coke Mentos Soda Gyser

Rehm got the contraption to do this experiment in his stocking. It took me a while to remember to pick up the two liter of Diet Coke for him.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Circus

We went to the circus with the kids for the first time on MLK day.  The last time Michael and I had been to the circus was when we were dating.  This was the Shiner's Circus, so while a three ring act, it was smaller and more intimate than a Ringling Brothers production.

My kids knew nothing about the circus or what they would see.  I guess it has been too long since Jo Jo's Circus was on Disney, though the older two really did love that show back in the day.  We still have the lunch box to prove it.  The funny thing was the week before the circus, before we even knew we were going, Eliza Claire had bought a Playmobil dog circus act.  I had to explain to her what dogs did in the circus so she knew what all the pieces were for.  The figures in the Playmobil set have much more modest costumes than the ones we saw at this circus.  Speaking of which, is it really necessary to have every female in the show in as few of clothes as possible?  I mean really, what is the point?

Our seats were great we were on the third row of risers.  The arena is not huge - big enough to be home of a local minor league hockey team and to host concerts and Disney on ice but only really one tier of seating.  We were dead center facing the center ring.  It was perfect.

While on the whole I like the circus, there are aspects I don't like or that make me nervous.  I really, really don't like the large cat acts, this circus had tigers.  I have too vivid an imagination and I was sitting there watching the tigers and thinking about what I'd do if they decided they didn't like their handler.  Or what I'd do if one got out.  I mean, I took my kids to the circus to make lifetime memories but what if our show was the one you hear about every so often where someone got mauled.  Those are not the kind of memories I want to make with my children.  I like the elephants, the acrobats, the clowns.  None of them make me too nervous.  But I don't like the tigers, and motor cycles and human canons.  I know they all do this stuff everyday, but it just makes me nervous that I'll be watching the one time they screw it up. And yes, I realize that sometimes it is the elephants that go crazy.

Don't all animal handlers look like this?  Through the whole cat act I kept thinking "she's herding cats" and almost giggling at the absurdity of it
Doesn't look to thrilled about the whole process

As the show started, I had the thought "So how do you end up working at the circus? I've never heard anyone say 'when I grow up I want to be in the circus!'"  So who decides to choose the circus as a career? Or do you choose the circus as a career?  Or do you wake up one day and wonder how you ended up as a circus entertainer?  That then led to wondering how long they work there? And, what they think about the constant travel? And, what they do when the retire from the circus?

All of this got me thinking about the animals and what they think of being in the circus.  And what kind of conditions they live it.  I'll be honest, I pretty much assume they are well treated and don't mind.  I like to think they are treated like my pets, as part of the family and that they enjoy what they do.  I know that is probably not accurate but I also know these animals have never know any other life.  They were not stolen out of the wild and then brought to this life.  They were born to it.  I truly hope they are treated with love and kindness and as much affection as I treat my pets. 

This thought process of course took some of the joy out of the circus for me.  But my kids, of course, were not thinking any of these things and they loved almost every minute of it.  Eliza Claire's favorite was the Elephants.  Ruby's favorite was the dancers (this thrilled me to no end given the wardrobe and the nature of some of the dancing).  Rehm's favorite was the human canon and Charlotte loved it all execpt the human canon.  In fact the three girls were so freaked out by the idea of the human canon that I had to take them out of the arena before the act. Part of me was sad to miss it.  But part of me was glad I didn't have to convince myself I wasn't going to see the dude smash his head into a rafter or something.

Eliza Claire looked like this through most of the show. A little uncertain but OK.

Ruby spent most of the show on her Daddy's lap.  Charlotte was sitting on the other side of our friends that went with us so I don't have any pictures of her but I promise she really was there.

The really "big" excitement of the entire three hour event was the elephant that pooped right in the middle of its act without ever pausing in its performance.  Of course this part of the act was when the elephant was facing the opposite side of the arena so we had a very up close and personal view of the elephant backside while it was doing its business.  Did I mention we had really good seats?  Did I mention this was not a quick or small occurrence?   The kids were thoroughly amused and grossed out at the same time.  And with it being twenty feet away there was no way to not watch it.  Be warned, if you see my children and ask them about the circus this is what you are likely to hear about.

This is not the pooping elephant but this gives you an idea of the view we had for the "show"

All in all it was a fun afternoon and a fun family event (minus the scantily clad acrobats and dancers). 

Jenn - The Nervous Nellie

Friday, January 21, 2011

Why Do I Blog?

I seriously asked myself this question today when I was blogging yet again about vacuum cleaners.  It's not like anyone cares a thing about what kind of vacuum I have, or why I'm in the market for one or anything else.  So why do I feel the need to write about this trivial stuff and then share it with the rest of the world?  The more I ponder this the more I realize I have no clue. 

I do know that part of the reason I blog is to preserve the family history.  This is my version of a baby book.  I do have the blog printed as a book every year.  OK, I'm a couple of years behind on this but catching up is on my to do list.  There are definitely a lot of things that when I go back and read them I totally don't remember them but am so glad I recorded them for posterity.  I found Rehm reading the blog book from 2008 recently and he loved it.  He kept telling me how funny it was. 

Another part of why a blog is for sanity.  When the kids are really crazy or something ridiculous happens I start thinking about how I'll write the post about it and it usually helps improve my mood and outlook on the situation because I know in hindsight it will be comical instead of annoying, frustrating or infuriating. 

But then there is the really random stuff that the kids are not going to care about 20 years from now and really isn't important now and I wonder why I bother.  And I really don't know.  And then I start wondering why I have a public blog.  Why not have a private one or not share it with anyone.  What is the point?  Especially when we are in a day and age where privacy is a real issue and where my children are getting old enough to care about what I share on the blog.  I just don't know.  But every time I think about making the blog private I always hesitate but I'm really not sure why. It's not like I'm making money off of blogging.  It really is just my hobby.

So if you are a blogger, why do you blog? And if you are a reader of Mayhem Mania, why do you read? 


Cooking Helpers

Ruby and Eliza Claire are at the age where they love to help in the kitchen.  I always try to encourage their interest and find something they can help with.  Tonight I mixed up a batch of bread dough.  Lentil Curry Bread dough to be exact.  Both Ruby and Eliza Claire wanted to help.  But what they really wanted was to like the beater of the mixer.  One ended up with the paddle from the mixer and the other ended up with the spatula.  Ruby called hers a popsicle and Eliza Claire called hers a lollipop! I thought these were funny names for their respective utensils and loved that they compared eating lentil bread dough to eating a dessert/candy. 

I hope my kids develop my love for cooking and continue to enjoy trying new and unusual things.  And I hope in a few years to be able to pass some of the cooking on to them.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vacuum Cleaners, Again!

After my wonderful experience with vacuums earlier in the week.  I decided Wednesday to go buy the Bissell Clearview Helix I returned on Tuesday.  I got it home and the first thing I noticed is the box opened differently.  The first one I got was supposed to be opened from the top.  It was hard to get things out and part of me wonders if the broken handle happened in trying to unpack the box.  The new one was supposed to be opened from the front.  It was much easier to get all of the parts out of the box and of course, I found nothing broken.

The first thing I liked better about the Bissell over the Hoover T-Series Rewind was the tool storage.  Everything seems to have a more secure place on the Bissell.  Then I turned on the Bissell.  On bare floors it feels self-propelled.  The Bissell advertised that it had side edge cleaning, and it really does.  With the Hoover, I had to go around the base of all the cabinets with the crevice tool to get the crumbs it missed.  I did not have to do this with the Bissell.  The last thing I liked better about the Bissell was the hose attachement.  It has a rigid 18 inch or so long piece with a handle that you pull out.  It was much easier to use and manuver than the Hoover hose.

I have no idea how long this vacuum will survive and honestly my expectations are low.  But, the Bissell Clearview is definitely a better and cheaper vacuum than the Hoover T-Series. 

I know you were all waiting on the edge of your seats for me to make a decision on the whole vacuum thing and I know you will sleep much better know the Bissell is the better choice.  Yeah, I know you all really don't care and I have no idea why I feel the need to share this stuff.  Oh well. 


Today Was a Good Day...Mostly

I made my first loaf of bread from Healthy Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. The kids got me the book for Christmas because they want me to make even more bread than I already do.  Today's loaf is the master recipe sprinkled with flax seeds. It was really yummy. My next things to try will be the Parsley  Garlic Knots, which also use the master recipe, and the Lentil Curry Bread. I cooked the lentils today but haven't made the dough yet.

I love days when things come in the mail. Today was a great day as three different packages arrived. First was my new compost container for the kitchen.  I had a crock several years ago but the lid got dropped and broke so I quit using it. Then we quit composting for a long time.  We started back last summer and since then I've been using a Gladware container and that just wasn't working for me.  I hated it sitting open on the counter.  It was small.  And the cats kept stealing broccoli and other things out of it and making a mess on the counter.  I found this great copper coated stainless number at  I really like the way it looks, I shouldn't be able to break it, and it holds so much more than the Gladware did.

The second package to arrive was a box of Playmobil stuff - all little stuff (cats with climbing tree, dogs with person, pediatrician's office, vet with dog, snowman with boy). I will admit that we now have plenty of pets for our Playmobil families. The box arrived partially open and I was afraid it would be missing items. Surprisingly, it was not. I ordered from Ridge Road Station. They seem to have good sales and free shipping. This is my second time ordering from them and I've been pleased both times. I do check prices against the Playmobil site as occasionally a "sale" item isn't really marked down.  But overall, I find I can save quite a bit using their site.

The last thing to arrive was new lids for our Thermos Funtainer Sipsters. Did you know you can get replacement lids and straws for about $2 a piece? Given the price of the Sipsters this is a great way to extend their lives. You do have to call (800.831.9242) - can't do it online but it is so worth it. Some of our bottles are three or more years old and on their second or third lid.

In other news I bought a vacuum cleaner today. But, it, of course, deserves it's own post.

The Bigs brought home report cards. Unfortunately, one child had some explaining to do. I'll just say, at our house effort is key, and in a couple of subjects it was lacking.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Insightful Conversation with Eliza Claire

This morning I came downstairs to find Eliza Claire sitting at the table eating cereal.

Me: Good morning Eliza Claire. Is Daddy still here?

EC: No, he left right before you came downstairs.

Me: Did he make your breakfast?

EC: Yep!

Me: You sure have a good Daddy.

EC: Yep! And I'm sure he loves you very much!

I am so blessed to have a husband who does love me very much and who shows his love enough that his four year old daughter can see it.


Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vacuum Cleaner Shopping

OK, this is going to be really long winded.  Apparently there is a bit of a back story that has to be told to make the current shopping make sense.  So bare with me or skip today's post.

For a while I've been looking for a new solution for daily sweeping/vacuuming needs.  I used to have a cordless Shark that I loved.  It would pick up any mushy food that got thrown on the floor and all the dog hair off the carpet to boot.  Alas, it broke and I bought a new Shark a year or so ago.  The new model is horrible.  It doesn't pick up half of what the old one did and my shag rug (trust me it isn't as ugly as that description makes it sound) in the family room completely kills the battery before you can finish sweeping it. 

I tried the broom option and while it does great on dirt and getting in corners, it doesn't do well with dog hair and it doesn't do rugs and carpet at all.  I've tried a swifter and that is just a joke with my family and pets. 

I haven't been willing to bring down the big "good" vacuum and just use it because it is a pain to lug it downstairs and well I hate it.  I bought it four and a half years ago.  I remember because the twins were about a week old when we went to buy it and I think it was our first outing with all four children in tow.  Yeah, I know, smart decision to take them all shopping a week after birth to make a $500 purchase. 

The "good" vacuum is a Kenmore Progressive canister.  When I bought it it was the top rated vacuum from Consumer Reports.  I planned to buy a Dyson but Consumer reports talked me out of it and into the Kenmore.  This vacuum cost as much or more than the dyson.  Two years ago, the vacuum broke and had to be sent off for repair twice and still came back not working.  After pitching a major fit, Sears replaced the vacuum with a new Progressive.  With in a few months the dirt sensor quit working.  At this point is has a short in the hose and the power head quits working if you push it too far out in front of you.  It really should be replaced.

The problem of the "good" vacuum is also exacerbated by the fact that it has always been used about 90% of the time by my wonderful cleaning crew.  I truly love them and have no reason to think they have mistreated the vacuum but at the same time I've never had a vacuum have this many problems in such a short period of time.  I've also never had one that the hose looks like it has been stepped on or otherwise mishandled before...I have been hesitant to buy another expensive vacuum for fear that it won't last any longer than this one has.  I really don't know if the quality of vacuum is the problem or the treatment of the vacuum has caused the problems.  Since it still works I want it to continue to be the one the cleaning crew uses as I can't afford to replace this level of vacuum every 2-4 years. 

So to solve my daily sweeping/vacuuming needs I had finally decided to get an inexpensive upright to keep downstairs since it would work on floors and carpet and could be the backup if the "good" vacuum quit working. 

Last Friday the twins and I went to target to pick out the vacuum.  It takes me forever to make these decisions and we probably stood in the vacuum aisle for a half an hour while I compared all my choices.  Ok, I'll admit during that time my darling children were running up and down the aisle racing various vacuum floor models and testing out all their features. Yeah, I know, Mom of the Year. 

I finally decided I liked the Hoover T-series Rewind.  It was $99 and had a retractable cord, which was a big selling feature for me since this was to be the "grab and quickly clean up" vacuum.  Of course, once I decided which one I wanted I found out the Target I was standing in didn't have any in stock!  But, they had five at the Target five miles away.  So I put the twins in the van and we went to the other Target and purchased the vacuum.

I really liked the vacuum.  It had great suction and it totally disgusted me to see what all it picked up, especially on the carpet/rugs.  I used in once and the next night Rehm used it.  He has a secret love of vacuuming, which I encourage as much as possible.  Unfortunately his favorite thing is to use the attachments to suck up individual particles of things not cleaning large areas.  Last nigh Rehm asked if he could vacuum and I of course said, "Yes!"  He came back a minute later to say the cord was stuck and he couldn't pull it out.  I tried and I couldn't get it out either.  The way it had retracted there was no way to get the cord out past 3 feet.  Today the vacuum went back to Target.

I spent another 45 minutes standing in Target trying to decide which vacuum I wanted since I didn't want to risk another Hover rewind.  I decided on the Bissell Cleanview+ Helix.  It was only $80 and didn't have a retractable cord but otherwise was very similar to the Hoover.  I got it home opened the box and started to assemble it.  That is when I found a piece broken off the handle!  So I took it back to Target to get another of the same model.  Only, they didn't have anymore!  But, the Target five miles away had eight!

I took the fact that I was going to have to go to the other Target as a sign to give up!  I still don't have a good everyday option and I still have a crappy "good" vacuum.  Part of me thinks I should save up and get a Dyson (you know the one I should have gotten 4 years ago) to keep downstairs to be my everyday solution and "good" vacuum and part of me wants to just go to the other Target and get the Bissell and forget about this for a while.  And there is another part that thinks maybe clean floors are overrated and I should just do nothing. 

Things to take away from this post: 
Jenn spends way too much time obessing over things like vacuums

A week after giving birth is not the time to make $500 purchasing decisions

Don't let Consumer Reports talk you out of buying what you really want

Meaningless Factiods:  
I grew up calling a vacuum a  sweeper.

At the age of 3.5 or 4 the twins had no clue what the vacuum was because they had never seen it before!  I told you the cleaning crew did the majority of the vacuuming at my house.

Jenn - Vacuumless in Cedar Park

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tomatillo Salsa

About a year ago my grocery store quit carrying my favorite Tomatillo Salsa.  I have had a hard time finding another one I like which has made making my favorite Chicken Enchiladas difficult.  Last week while at the grocery store I finally bought ingredients with the plans of attempting to make my own.  I finally got around to it today and the results were yummy.  Now I think I'll have to change the meal plan for this week to include Chicken Enchiladas.

Tomatillo Salsa
8 tomatillos, husks removed
1 onion quartered
6 cloves garlic
2 jalapenos
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
juice of one lime
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Place tomatillos, onion pieces, garlic and jalapenos on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Place in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes turning once mid way through.  Remove from oven and cool.  Core tomatillos and seed one of the jalapenos.  Place all of the roasted veggies in food processor.  Add salt, pepper, lime juice and cilantro.  Pulse until desired consistency.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This came out with a nice tangy flavor.  It is very mild on the heat scale.  Next time I might roast my veggies a little longer or at a higher temp and I'll probably leave the seeds in both jalapenos.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Where Learning Happens

This week's L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge over at Home Is Where You Start From is "Learning Spaces."  When I saw the title, my first thought was I don't have any good pictures for that topic.  But then I remembered these. 

My kids have had so much fun with their playmobil school and house they got for Christmas.   But I realize they are not just playing they are also learning.  It is so much fun to listen to them have school.  Today, Rehm was doing a history class at the school where he was conducting a reenactment of the Romans fighting the Egyptians.  Anything that gets all four of my children to play, at least somewhat nicely, with each other is a great learning tool.  Because what could be more important than learning that your siblings are fun people, too?


Garage Find

I had a corner in my family room that needed a table of some sort.  I had been browsing various venues looking for something to fit.  I had found a couple of options.  My favorite was from Bed Bath and Beyond and was $130, which was more than I wanted to spend.

I happened to be in my in-laws garage looking for a clock I wanted for the family room mantel and spotted a table atop a stack of other stuff that looked like it just might be just what I was looking for.  It was not easily reachable and it was several weeks before it actually made it to my house.

Damaged table top

The table is the perfect size, shape and price.  I love the character of it.  Unfortunately it had some serious water damage and a big ole chunk of veneer missing from the top.  Of course, that did not stop me from using it.  Over the course of a couple of trips to Target.  I found a tray to cover the worst of the damage to the top and a couple of baskets to hide our junk.  Now it is the perfect addition to my family room.  And the baskets and tray cost a total of $45 so the overall price was great too!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Low Expectations

I was in the middle of Target today shopping for a vacuum cleaner when my phone rang.  I pulled out my phone and saw that it was an "unknown" caller.  After a strange prank call a few months ago I started to let it go to voice mail but against my better judgment answered anyway. 

Me:  Hello

Rehm: Hi Mom (said with as much enthusiasm as if he were reading the phone book)

Me:  What's going on buddy?

Rehm: Well, I forgot to bring my board game today.  You can bring either one you want to. (Today the fourth graders were having a learning celebration where they got to do fun activities in the afternoon.  One of their choices was to bring and play board games.  Rehm had promised his friend Garrett that he would bring Life.  I had recommended a game with fewer pieces as I know how well Rehm keeps up with stuff)

Me:  There's a couple of problems, Rehm. First, I'm not at home and second, I don't bring forgotten things.

Rehm: Oh yeah, I forgot that.

Me:  So what's it worth to you for me to bringing?

Rehm:  I'on know? Five bucks! (He said "I don't know" but the way he says it sounds like "I'on know")

Me:  I wasn't talking money, I was thinking extra chores.  Maybe picking up toys that aren't yours or vacuuming or dusting. 

Rehm:  I'd be willing to pick up toys and dust.

Me:  So you are willing to do two extra chores that I chose?

Rehm:  Yes.

Me:  What time do you need the game by?

Rehm: 12:40

Me: OK, it will be in the office by 12:40

I took the game to the office.  Rehm's class was at recess.  On my way back to the car I hear "Yes! You really did bring it!"  Rehm had seen us leaving and come over to say "hi."

Me:  Um, Rehm, do you know your shirt is on backwards?

Rehm: Yeah, I told Garrett I'd leave it that way until you brought Life! (While saying this he throws his jacket on the ground and turns his shirt back around the right way.) Now he'll know it's here!

Me:  It is in the office with your name on it!

Rehm: OK!

Me:  So Rehm, you know your mom really rocks, right!

Rehm:  Yeah Mom, you really do!

It is nice to sometimes get to surprise my kids by doing something I won't normally do.  And it didn't hurt to get a few extra chores taken care of for my time.  Now to actually get him to do them...


Cauliflower Soup

For those of you who know me well, you know I don't like vegetables.  It is mostly a texture thing but also a smell thing and sometimes even a taste thing.  I've never eaten cauliflower because it stinks.  I can't get past it.  So it was very surprising to me when I saw this recipe over at The Schell Cafe that I thought it sounded good.  What was even more surprising is I bought the ingredients for it, made it and actually liked the soup.  It was actually really good! Yeah, I must be coming down with something.  This is so not like me.  It is really crazy.

Of course in true Jennifer cooking fashion I could not just follow the recipe.  So I encourage you to go see Kristin's original version but I'll post my modified one below. I would have followed her recipe more closely but some of the ingredients I didn't have on hand (vegetable broth, flax or hemp seeds) so I made do with what I had.

Cauliflower Soup

1 onion roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lbs frozen cauliflower*
6 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 15 oz cans of chicken broth
parmesan cheese

Cook Onion and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes until tender.  Meanwhile defrost cauliflower in microwave - don't cook it just defrost.  Add cauliflower, red pepper, salt and pepper to onion and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes.  Add broth and simmer until cauliflower is very soft.  Use immersion blender to process soup until smooth (think potato soup consistency).  Serve with parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

*I used frozen because I forgot to buy fresh and remembered when I was in the frozen food section of the store.  I was too lazy to go back to the other side of the humongo HEB to get the fresh stuff and figured the frozen would work just as well.  If you want to use fresh, use one head.

Tonight we were almost completely out of parmesan cheese and I was really trying to get the kids to try the soup.  So for the kids, I browned and crumbled bacon on the top of their soup and sprinkled with shredded cheddar.  I had a little bacon in mine but it was good without it as well.

I think this would be good with shaved ham or finely diced turkey smoked sausage in it as well.

The flavor was very rich and creamy and just delish without adding any cheese or meat.  Eliza Claire and Ruby both ate it.  Charlotte tried one bite. Rehm of course didn't even look at it much less taste it. So for our family it was a definite success and we will definitely have it again.


Thursday, January 13, 2011

...And More Sledding

I think this finishes up my Christmas/snow/NC trip pictures.  So hopefully that means I'll have some new and more current material soon.

I think this is my favorite of Rehm

No wonder Ruby got cold and was done early

Charlotte was a pro on the tube.

Cousin Zachary

Cousin Brady

Nephew Zander

Cousin Rosie

Rehm with shoes about 4 sizes too big

More Sledding: Charlotte

My Sledding Princess

I don't think she actually face planted.  I think it just appears that way due to the camera angle.

No clue why she was upset.  It didn't last long.

Michael says these pictures make him feel like Frosty the Snowman


I told you she had a good time.