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I made this powerhouse of a soup last night and it turned out so good! Minor modifications: used 1T dried basil instead of the suggested blend because that’s what I like, used fire roasted tomatoes because that’s what I had. Suggestion: buy whole leaf kale and de-stem. I used bagged/chopped and no amount of wilting will make the stems not chewy. 

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LOOK MOM! My LEGO X-wing fighter is the exact same X-wing as Poe’s. See???!!!

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Thrifting isn’t the same without my friends who have moved away to California and Texas, but at least I got a selfie with Spider-Man.

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  First blooms in the yard. Love these little flowers.

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Saturday evening sunset http://ift.tt/21bj10C

Sunday evening sunset http://ift.tt/1VMPf31

Sunday evening double rainbow http://ift.tt/1rtjI9G

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Spent Girls Day Out with my daughter. We made a few things at Lincoln Craft Studio. This was my first attempt at jewelry making. I think I’m hooked. Thanks, Christy! 

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Did you know Luke Skywalker has two sisters? Isabel (my daughter) and Anabelle (her friend) are Padawans. A book about their adventures is in the works. Thank you, Rey.

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These days it seems so hard to pry my daughter away from some kind of screen, but today these did the trick.

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You may have noticed that I like to cook by color. This is my favorite minestrone. The original only uses 4 cups of tomato juice, but I usually forget about the leftover and it goes bad in my fridge. This time I dumped it all in. It gives the soup an extra tomato kick, which I love. It also yielded 8 pint jars of yummy lunches. This is a great soup to freeze. It’s also a great slow-cooker soup (just remember: add pasta at the very end).

  • 4c veggie broth
  • 6c tomato juice
  • 1 med chopped red onion
  • 2-3 chopped red or orange carrots
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1T dried basil
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 15oz can white beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup dry pasta (I like mini shells or mini elbows)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt

Sauté onion, carrot, red pepper in olive oil until soft. Add garlic, sauté until fragrant. Add basil, stir about a minute. Add broth, juice, tomatoes, beans. Bring to boil and let simmer. 15 minutes serving, add pasta. Salt to taste.

Notes about freezing soup:

  • I am in the process of converting to all wide mouth mason jars. No matter how careful I am, the others break too easily. The tapered neck can’t handle the expansion of freezing soup.
  • Leave extra room at the top for expansion. (See above.)
  • Cool before putting in the fridge, obviously, but keep the ones you want to freeze in the fridge at least a day before putting in the freezer. Do this especially for non-wide mouth jars.
  • Plastic lids are awesome.
  • If you forget to take it out the night before, soaking in a bowl of cool water for a bit will help make defrosting faster.

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