Wednesday, February 10, 2010

wordless wednesday: chocolate


frugal meal friday: hot n cold

It has certainly been cold here!  Remember all that snow we got?  Well, now on top of that we've added rain, sleet, more snow and a very strong wind!  This chick does NOT like to be cold!

So, what's my solution for fighting off winter's chill?  Make soup of course!!!

I'm a soup lover, especially chowders (Do they qualify as soup or are they a whole other category?  Regardless, I love them!).  Soup is great because it's generally cheap and there is always lots left over, especially with only two of us.  Another great way to save money is to designate one or two nights a week as meatless meals.  The hubby isn't so keen on the idea, but it an easy way to save!

This recipe covers a lot of those bases!

 You can find the original recipe here, but I've modified it a bit; below you can find the recipe I use.

*Spinach Tortellini Soup*

You will need:
8 cups of chicken broth
2 (9-ounce) bags of frozen cheese tortellini 
1 large bag of frozen, chopped spinach (I always get the biggest bag I can since this is the cheapest ingredient and helps stretch the recipe)
Diced garlic to taste (Usually I add about 2 tablespoons, but I like garlic!)

Combine all ingredients except the tortellini in a large pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to simmer and then add pasta.  Once pasta is desired tenderness remove the pot and serve immediately.  

How easy is that???  We usually have enough for dinner and several lunches; I think the flavor is better with the leftovers.

I hope you enjoy this yummy meal and it helps keep you nice and warm.  If you try it and like it or make changes to the recipe please share in the comments section and tell us all about it!


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ten for Tuesday: Say Hey (I Love You)

I know I'm a little behind with my posting which is surprising considering all the snow days we've had!  So, we're just going to pretend that today is Tuesday and get some updating done!

The purpose of Ten for Tuesday is to showcase ten things that I am loving right now...take that Oprah!

1~Our new kitty:
Kaia is settling in VERY well and of all our kitties she is the one that likes to cuddle the most.  Her sisters are taking some time to get used to her, but she walks around like she's been here forever! 

2~Soule Mama's blog: I am loving the beautiful photographs of her daily life, her kiddos and her crafty projects.  I think her heartfelt and honest way of writing draws me in and makes me feel as though I've known her for years.  On our last trip to Barnes and Noble I found her book and showed it to Dee; I was so excited to find it, as if it was authored by someone I talked with on a daily basis!

3~The beautiful snow and the resulting snow days:
By the time it was done last week we had about 10 inches.  Then we added more snow, sleet and ice on top of that yesterday and today.  At this point we haven't been back to school  except for a teacher workday on Thursday!

4~Starbucks Frappuccino: Vanilla of course!

A big "Thank You" to be my sweet Husbando who ran to the store and delivered this to me during car rider duty!  I had only gotten a few hours of sleep the previous night and it really helped me get through the day.

5 and 6~ These great tools that allowed me to really tailor my blog and do some fun updates: Mosaic Maker which I used to make my header and Pimp-My-Profile which I used to do a few other backgrounds.  Though I decided not to use those, I still learned a lot about coding from here!

7~This interview with Lady Gaga: 
I can't tell you how many nights I've lost sleep because I can't get her songs out of my head!  Admittedly I've always found her odd but I know that is part of her performance art.  Watching this interview really changed my opinion of her.  I commend her insight at such a young age and wish that more people thought like her.  And how about Barbara Walters???  What a phenomenal woman!  Thank you to my friend Angie for sharing this with video with me!

8~The True Blood Series: Dee and I started watching this through our Netflix subscription.  I think it's safe to say that we are both hooked!  I'm ready for the next disc to get here just as soon as I've put the last one in the mail!  Of course, pretty much anything with vampires is enough to suck (haha) me in!  Can't wait for the next season to come out on DVD; May is a long time away!

9~Sittin' in a Tree: This new pattern by Vera Bradley is beautiful!  I love the subtle colors and of course anything with brown is great by me!

10~Say Hey (I Love You): 
It seems like everywhere I go the more I see the less I know, but I know one thing...I love you.

What are you loving right now?  I hope you'll take a moment to share what's making your list this week!

Monday, February 1, 2010

If Everyone Cared

Back at the beginning of January I joined Hip Mountain Mama's challenge to make One Small Change each month from January to April 22 (Earth Day). My change for the beginning of 2010 was to use only reusable grocery bags. You can read my post about it here.

I think it was a pretty easy choice for the first month since we certainly have plenty of bags around the house that we've used off and on but not really consistently. The only real hurdle seems to be the mean/confused looks I get sometimes when I put them up on the counter. Oh well! Maybe it will be a reminder to others to try this option instead of choosing to add to the billions of plastic bags that have been used this year.

Here are the bags we used during our last foray to Dee's least favorite place on the planet:

This is my favorite, simply because it's pink and Barb got it for me when I was visiting this summer!

Honestly, a few plastic bags did sneak their way in to the house, but it was still such a minimal amount compared to our usual; maybe about 10 in all. Of course, they always get repurposed anyway so that helps some.

So now, on to February's challenge! This month I will not drink out of anything that can be thrown away, like styrofoam cups at work for sodas or paper cups for my coffee. This will be a bit of a challenge because plastic bottles have a way of sneaking up on you and if we do stop for an occasional fast food meal I'm not sure how to handle drinking there. Regardless I will do my very best to institute this new rule as well as continue with the new habit from last month. Lots of luck to anyone who is making One Small Change with me this month!

And as we lie beneath the stars we realize how small we are...

I hope you'll take a moment to share in the comments section any small changes that you are undertaking to help make this world a better place!