Thursday, October 20, 2011

Creamy Kielbasa and Veggie Soup

I am a summer girl through-and-through, but Fall is such a fun time, if only it didn't lead into that one dreadful season. One of the things I love most about the cooler weather is soup. I think I could eat a different kind of soup every day of the week and never get tired of it. French onion, Italian wedding, vegetable stew, baked potato, chicken enchilada, chili....you name it, I love it. A steaming bowl of homemade anything from the crock pot....

My mom sometimes made a soup that I really liked, and I think I've perfected it now and am ready to share the recipe for a delicious, easy, healthy Creamy Kielbasa and Veggie Soup. The nice thing about this soup: you can throw just about any veggie you like into the mix!

Creamy Kielbasa and Veggie Soup (photo from recipebridge.com)

The Stuff:
1 Kielbasa sausage, any variety: beef, pork, turkey, etc.
5 large potatoes, washed, cubed
1 can corn, UNDRAINED
1 can green beans, drained
Handful baby carrots
1/2 onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, cut in bite-sized pieces
Add or omit any veggies you like!


The Sauce:
12 oz. can evaporated milk
32 oz. chicken broth
milk, if needed
hot sauce
salt and pepper
parsley flakes

Prepare all of your veggies and dump 'em (and the sausage) in the crock, including the corn "juice". Warning: you may not want to use the entire sausage because it's pretty big (insert "that's what she said" jokes here....) Once your veggies are all done, add the evaporated milk and chicken broth. To ensure all the veggies are covered, you may want to add a little bit of regular milk, too. Add a dash of hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste, then finish with some parsley flakes. It's so simple and versatile. If you like it more milky/creamy, add another can of evaporated milk and less broth.

Set your crock to whatever setting you need depending on when you want your soup to be done. I like to make it all the night before, put the crock in the fridge, then in the morning before work, plug 'er in and a nice aroma will be waiting when you come home. Couldn't be easier!

Anything else you would add? Experiment and let me know!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Boy or Geal?

Boy or Girl? Our ultrasound is scheduled for November 2 - 21 weeks! Although with three nephews and a son ourselves, having a girl seems like the impossible :)

What does Brady think? When we ask him, he gets this cute smirk/smile on his face with his eyes rolled up in the air like he's searching for the answer and he declares, "Maybe it's a boy!" Once in awhile we can get him to say "Maybe it's a geal (girl)!" but even if he does, he always comes back to "Or....maybe it's a boy!"

Needless to say, big brother is hoping for a little brother - we'll see if he's right!

Monday, October 10, 2011

18 Weeks and Counting....

I've been on a bit of a blog-cation lately, which tends to happen in the summer. But I had an added reason the last few months to be less-than-inspired when it comes to anything that required work, effort, brainstorming....energy of any kind really!

Joel and I are expecting a new addition to the family in March, and we are excited! Although, the first 14 weeks, I was not excited about anything....ever.

When I was pregnant with Brady, I remember feeling really sick and nauseous, eating gross and random things, and never wanting to get off the couch. Which, lucky for me, was doable since I didn't have a job. I'm not sure if I really was sicker this time, or if it was just the the fact that I have a job now - oh yeah, and this little thing called a TODDLER to keep up with - but I was miserable.

I stayed home at all cost. I went to bed at 9pm (before Brady). I slept as much as I could, including naps. One silver lining: instead of craving canned ravioli and fish sticks this time, I turned to Claussen pickles, ginger ale, and Mrs. Grass chicken noodle soup to calm my stomach. I felt sick most all of the time, but especially toward the evening hours. So yeah, I was a LOT of fun to be around.

We found out about our little bundle on my birthday, July 8....20 minutes before our closest friends came over for a party in my honor. It was hard to keep our excitement to ourselves (and to not drink alcohol and go un-noticed!) but we managed. Girls, if you thought I was adamant that night about our period-math discussion, it was because I had just calculated it myself, and my "suppose you got pregnant mid-June...you would be due mid-March" assertion was not purely speculatory :)

At any rate, I FINALLY made it over the first trimester hump, and am feeling exponentially better. After a  scare at week 10 (which I'll write about more another time), I was really reminded of what my body is going through and why this temporary YUCKINESS is really all worth it.

For now, my main battles are lightheadedness/faint feeling, round ligament pain (I do NOT remember having that with Brady....Yowch!), massive headaches, and weight gain. Although I swore to myself I would be more responsible and not gain 50+ pounds ever again, and I thought my marathon training last year would give me a head start with that, so we'll see. I'm hoping I can eat smarter and exercise more than I did during Brady's second trimester to curb that trend. I have no desire to relive looking like Princess Fiona - Ogre version (Joel's words!); to explain to people that yes, I was smiling in the post-birth photos with Brady, but my FAT FACE prevented my cheeks from moving; or to use any other photo of myself as birth control for my teenage youth group ("see what I looked like? you better be married before you have children because NO MAN is going to stick by you looking like that unless you are married!).

Ah, the joys of pregnancy. 18 weeks down, 22 to go!

Around 15 weeks: I intentionally wore a shirt to hide things for our annual family photos :)
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