Love in the Kitchen - making fast, healthy, homegrown meals you'll enjoy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two Pea Soup

This was such delicious soup - The Boy even liked it!  I used the slow-cooker method and it worked beautifully.

Pea Soup
Makes: 6 Main-Dish Servings
Start to Finish: 1 hr. 30 minutes

1 large onion, cut in wedges
2 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup dry split peas, rinsed and drained
2 lb. meaty smoked pork hocks
1/2 tsp. dried summer savory or marjoram, crushed
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 16-oz. pkg. frozen green peas
1/3 cup packed fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In shallow baking pan toss onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil to coat. Roast, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned on the edges, stirring once.

2. In 4-quart Dutch oven combine roasted vegetables, 6 cups water, dry peas, pork hocks, savory, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove pork; set aside.

3. Stir frozen peas and parsley into soup. Cool about 5 minutes. Transfer soup, half at a time, to food processor or blender. Cover; process or blend until nearly smooth. Return to Dutch oven. Stir in lemon juice.

4. When cool, cut pork off bones. Chop pork, discard bones. Set aside 1/2 cup pork to top soup; add remaining to pureed soup. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, top with reserved chopped pork. Makes 6 main-dish servings.

Slow Cooker Two Pea Soup: Thaw frozen peas. Finely chop onion, carrot, celery, and garlic (do not roast). In 4- to 5-quart slow cooker combine the chopped vegetables, dry split peas, savory, pepper, and 4-1/2 cups water. Add pork hocks; cover. Cook on low for 9 to 10 hours or on high for 4-1/2 to 5 hours. Remove pork hocks. Place thawed peas, and parsley in a blender. Add about 1 cup of the soup; process until smooth. Stir into soup. Carefully cut pork off bones; chop and add to soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice.

For more great recipes, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap! If you have a recipe to share, please join in the fun!

If you are looking for more healthy and budget friendly recipes, check out the recipes at Get Healthy Cheap:
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Shopping for Christmas Cards? Try Shutterfly!

I've been a fan of Shutterfly for 8 years. And we've been buying their cards for just about that long.  Two of my favorites from years past?

This one, with our 4 cats pictured on front...

And this one, with my Gracie and her Christmas lights.
Anna the Elf...
... and Santa Morgan.

I have loved the styles in the past, but this year's crop is absolutely fabulous!  I've narrowed my list down to these -

And they've got lots more!  Shutterfly is where to turn if you are looking for:
My favorites are the holiday story cards - I always write a Christmas letter and have been waiting for someone to be able to put it in my card for me for years.... and voila!  Shutterfly to the rescue!

Last year we didn't use Shutterfly.  And we ended up sending our cards out two days before Christmas... using address labels that we printed improperly... making it so that we had to send the whole batch out again AFTER Christmas.  

So you know that this makes me very happy - Shutterfly will also address, stamp and mail them for you - makes sending out cards really easy.  

Take a look at Shutterfly... and let me know which is your favorite!

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, find out how à


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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sunday Snapshot - What We Did for Halloween

We were cruising on Halloween this year. We decided that we were going to make this Halloween one for the books.  Well, the photo albums anyway.

We had a formal dinner that evening - and they decked out the dining room, Halloween style!

Even the string quartet joined in on the fun!

So here we are before dinner, in our formal dining finery...

... and afterwards? Decked out for the Halloween Party!

The King and a Witch  (my mom and dad)...

... and a flapper with Fred and Wilma Flintstone (The Mr's aunt, mom and dad)!

Flappers run in the family (my sis)!

And a couple of scurvy pirates - ARRRGHHHH!!! (The Mr and me)

We all had a fabulous time - one of the best Halloweens in memory!

Ni Hao Y'all


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Around the Ship

The Mr, my sis and enjoy the art and ornamental chairs on board the Ms Oosterdam...

More fun in port coming next!


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Friday, November 12, 2010

Friday Recipe - Cruise Edition

What's the first thing you think of when you think of cruising?

Is it the food? I thought so!

The food on our cruise was top-notch as always.

We had beautiful venues...

Salads almost to pretty to eat...

Elegant soups (my fruit soup fascination started here!)

Scrumptious appetizers...

Yummy entrées...

And of course?  The desserts!

Served by a crew who always does their utmost to make certain our dining experience is unforgettable!

I never got any pictures of Holland America's famed bread pudding, but rest assured, it is delicious!

Holland America's Bread Pudding

9 oz lowfat milk
9 oz heavy cream
2/3 c. butter
3 x vanilla beans, split open
Salt, to taste
5 x large eggs
5 oz sugar
1 loaf bread, no crust
3 oz raisins, soaked in warm water
1 tsp cinnamon mixed with sugar

Bring lowfat milk, cream, butter, and salt to boil. Mix eggs and sugar, add in warm lowfat milk mix. Arrange bread slices in buttered dish. Sprinkle raisins between layers of bread. Cover with lowfat milk mix. Place in a bain marie.

Bake at 350 for 40-45 min or until golden. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Serve plain or with vanilla sauce.

For more great recipes, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap! If you have a recipe to share, please join in the fun!


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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have served our country.  You have paid for our freedom with your service and your lives.  I don't have words strong enough to express how grateful I am to those who have kept and continue to keep the watch.

I thought you might enjoy a little history on how Veteran's Day came about...

The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."

The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting that the President (Calvin Coolidge) issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.[2] An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."

In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas shoe store owner named Alfred King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into "All" Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11 to honor veterans. With the help of U.S. Representative Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.

Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing "Armistice" with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.

Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. In 1978 it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Back from Vacation!

We had a FABULOUS cruise with our family! I'll share some more pictures and details later, but here's a quick summary:

We had wonderfully fun and delicious dinners with the family...

Walked through charming Mazatlan and saw beautiful cathedrals (I have a great story about this one!)...

... and some daredevils!

We stopped in Puerto Vallarta...

... and had fun imitating the many statues on the Malecon.

We even zip-lined in scenic Cabo San Lucas!

All in all, a wonderful trip. We've truly got memories to last a lifetime!

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