Soup-athon

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Recently I spent a day preparing soup. Not just a can of it or even just one soup. I made 5 soups and some chili; all in one day. If you’re looking for some recipes that are from scratch with some modern shortcuts.

The soups I made include:

15 bean (ham flavored)

Split pea (ham flavored)

Cabbage & Knockwurst

Chicken & Rice

Vegetable Beef

Chili

Interested? Well here is what I did. First I don’t really follow a recipe. I play it by ear and/or look at recipes to get ideas.

I first checked out my freezer. I used what I had, meat wise. I did buy a bag of onions, lb. of carrots and a bag of celery hearts. I had some chopped garlic to use. I had a bit of left over rice, 3 knockwurst and most of a head of cabbage. I also had Goya seasoning packets and Goya ham flavoring. I also used 1 pkt. of brown gravy mix, & 2 pkts. chili seasoning. I bought and used 5 quarts of broth, 3 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 medium potatoes and 3 cans of different beans. I used a bit of cayenne to spice up a couple soups. I used about 1 lb. chicken breast and 2.25 lbs. of lean ground beef. I had a ham bone and some left over ham from a spiral ham, in the freezer as well as the aforementioned knockwurst.

Now let’s look at each, one at a time.

15 Bean Soup

Ingredients:

Bag of dried 15 bean soup mix (has a flavor packet w/it)

1/2-1 cup chopped onion

1/2-1 cup chopped celery

1/2-1 cup chopped carrots

Olive oil

1-2 tbls. chopped garlic

A hunk of ham or hambone

1 pkt. Goya seasoning

1 pkt. Goya ham flavoring

6 cups broth (I prefer chicken)

2 cups water

Instructions:

Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots. Sauté for about 3 min. Add garlic. Sauté 2 more min. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 2 hrs. or until beans are soft.

Makes approx. 3 pints (6 servings)

Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb. dry split peas

1/2-1 cup chopped onion

1/2-1 cup chopped celery

1/2-1 cup chopped carrots

Olive oil

1-2 tbls. chopped garlic

Ham bone

8 cups broth (I prefer chicken)

1 pkt. Goya seasoning

1 pkt. Goya ham flavoring

Instructions:

Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots. Sauté for about 3 min. Add garlic. Sauté 2 more min. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for approx. 1 1/2 hrs. or until peas are soft and mashable.

Makes approx. 2.5 pints (5 servings)

Cabbage & Knockwurst Soup

1/2-1 cup chopped onion

1/2-1 cup chopped celery

1/2-1 cup chopped carrots

Olive oil

1-2 tbls. chopped garlic

1/2-1 head of cabbage

3 knockwurst sliced thin

4 cups broth (I prefer chicken)

2 cups water

1 pkt. Goya seasoning

1 pkt. Goya ham flavoring

Instructions:

Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots. Sauté for about 3 min. Add garlic. Sauté 2 more min. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for approx. 1 hr. or until cabbage is cooked through.

Makes approx. 3 pints (6 servings)

Chicken & Rice Soup

1/2-1 cup chopped onion

1/2-1 cup chopped celery

1/2-1 cup chopped carrots

Olive oil

1-2 tbls. chopped garlic

1 lb. chicken cut into cubes

1/2 bag of frozen mixed vegetables

4 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 pkt. Goya seasoning

salt/pepper to taste

1-1 1/2 cups cooked rice

Instructions:

Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots. Sauté for about 3 min. Add garlic. Sauté 2 more min. Add all the rest of the ingredients except rice. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for approx. 1 hr. or until all is cooked through. Add rice and stir in. It’ll be heated by the soup.

Makes approx. 2.5 – 3 pints (5-6 servings)

Vegetable Beef Soup

1/2-1 cup chopped onion

1/2-1 cup chopped celery

1/2-1 cup chopped carrots

Olive oil

1-2 tbls. chopped garlic

1-1 1/4 lb. ground beef

1 bag frozen mixed vegetables

4 cups broth (I prefer chicken)

2 cups water

1 pkt. Goya seasoning

1 pkt. Brown gravy mix

salt/pepper to taste

2 medium potatoes diced

Instructions:

Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots. Sauté for about 3 min. Add garlic. Sauté 2 more min. Add ground beef and sauté until cooked through. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for approx. 1 hr. or until all is cooked through.

Makes approx. 3 pints (6 servings)

Chili

1/2-1 cup chopped onion

1/2-1 cup chopped celery

1/2-1 cup chopped carrots

1/4-1/2 cup diced green peppers

Olive oil

1-2 tbls. chopped garlic

1-1 1/4 lbs. ground beef

1 can each chili, red kidney, black beans

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 pkts. Chili mix

Instructions:

Heat up some olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, carrots. Sauté for about 3 min. Add garlic. Sauté 2 more min. Add ground beef and sauté until cooked through. Add all the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for approx. 1 hr. or until all is cooked through.

Makes approx. 3 pints (6 servings)

Have fun cooking up some soup. Add a salad and crusty bread. Eat well. Enjoy. Buen provecho.

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Moving OCD

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My job has me moving quite often. In fact I am now packing for my 15th time in 27 years. I have this packing thing down pretty good. The negative (might be positive for some. Lol) is that I become OCD for the first month of packing and then go crazy the last few weeks. Lol.
But, this said, there are some great ideas/tips that I’ve come across and/or invented to have a smoother move. Thought that I would share some ideas with y’all.

Let’s start with the basics. Boxes vs. Containers

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I’m literally split on this. I put all books and board games in boxes. The straight sides help keep them in shape. I also use boxes for my bulky plastic ware. Ie Tupperware, Rubbermaid.

Most everything else I now try using plastic. But, I’ve learned the hard/expensive way, to use heavy duty ones, only. And the smaller tough ones are stronger when piled high in a truck.

image Too soft

imageHeavy duty

Whatever you’re using, ALWAYS use the smallest one your item will fit into. Books, always go in the small boxes. Too heavy otherwise. Plasticware can go in a large box, since they’ll be bulky, but light.

Now that you’ve chosen what box/container, how can you keep track of what is in it. Many people will write on the box with a permanent marker; I don’t. I do use markers, but, like to not permanently mar a box/container.

There are Post Its that are mostly adhesive which work great on boxes and later can be peeled off, if needed. Do NOT use regular Post Its. You will probably need to go to an office supply store for these special Post Its; I do. They can be used on plastic containers, but, will need to be written on first, then use packing tape to hold it in place.

image  On boximage On container

When I arrive at a new location, I hope to have help in unloading. With that in mind, I use stickers and colored duct tape. The red sticker, means heavy. I also use green and yellow, accordingly.

The duct tape color tells what room it should go into. In the new “home” I place a paper with the color duct tape on it at the entrance to it’s corresponding room. That way anyone helping unload can put the correct box in the correct room.

This move, I’m trying something new. I’ve bought a box of mailing pouches and some index cards. I’m writing on the cards the basic info on the container/box. The pouches can remain on the containers from move to move and just change the inserted cards to reflect what’s inside. Do NOT seal the pouch.

image Gotta love my Disney plates.

What about what’s inside? Don’t skimp on bubble wrap (sm. and lg.) nor packing paper.

Once you’ve wrapped things individually, fill the box as tightly as possible. Once it’s filled, use crumpled packing paper to fill in any spaces.

Well, there is a lot involved in packing and moving. I hope these things I’ve learned, the hard way, will help you in your next move. Have fun?

More Than We Can Handle

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I am so tired of people misquoting one particular biblical verse, 1 Corinthians 10:13. God does not promise to not give us more than we can handle; he promises us not to allow more temptation than we can handle. Here is the actual verse, “13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 | HCSB” 

Life is full of overwhelming circumstances. We are not meant to be able to “handle” them all on our own. For some, God provides friends and family to help. For others, only His help will do. 

With the Egyptian army bearing down on them, the Israelites had nowhere to go, until God opened the Red Sea before them. An untrained group of children of former slaves, raised in the desert, were no match for highly fortified cities and trained armies in the Promised Land. But, God went before them and Jericho’s walls crumbled.  A widow and her son were down to their last bit of flour and oil, during a drought. God provided an unending supply. 

What is the common thread in all these accounts? Recognition of powerlessness and total dependence on God. We, as humans, find ourselves trying to solve all our problems, great or small. We misquote this verse partially and out of context and act like it’s up to us to solve everything, because after all,  “God wouldn’t give us more than we can deal with”. 

But, when you look at the complete thought, the complete verse, you will see that what God is calling on us to do is to ask him and only him for the help we so desperately need. Because, we cannot do it all ourselves. Don’t be tempted to only depend on yourself; or even tempted to only depend on yourself, family & friends. What is usually needed is a God-sized miracle. The temptation to depend on self or visible means is great, but, if we turn to God, things can be dealt with; in his timing and manner, not ours. 

Give it up to God and hang on for the ride of a lifetime. It will have highs and lows, but it will also be beyond your imagination.