Freeze Your Veggies!

Earlier this week when we made our soup, I knew that I would be needing to make another pot of it later in the week to bring to a friend whose husband had surgery. One thing that is a little tough about that soup (or any meal where you need to prep, honestly), IS the prep work. Specifically chopping the veggies. Since I had all of the veggies out, I just chopped enough to put in the pot of soup for later in the week, put it in a plastic freezer baggie, labeled it, chucked it in the freezer and VOILA! Easy soup later in the week.

It was MUCH faster to throw together  with the bag of frozen veggies РI just dumped them in the pot and we were ready to go. So if you have to chop veggies for one meal, take a couple of minutes and chop a bit extra and freeze it so when you make that meal again, it is much faster.


Easy-Peasy Sand Remover

We have a turtle sandbox in our backyard and I love it. Mostly.

I love that it is an easy place for kids to go and have fun digging without digging up our backyard. I love that it seems to be a little refuge for my two-year old to go when her brothers are on the trampoline and she can’t get on.

But I don’t love the mess that can get tracked in. My five-year old loves to make little puddles in the sandbox to make wet sand, which is fun, but wet sand gets very stuck on little hands and feet.

I saw a tip on Pinterest with how to get sand off of your kids easily, and thought I would give it a try. I looked around for the original source, and was able to find this on

Enter the magic cure: Baby Powder. (Cue Heavenly Chorus.) This is AWESOME! I was a little skeptical, but it works amazingly well. You just take a little baby powder in the palm of your hand, rub it on sandy feet or hands, and the sand comes right off. I seriously was cackling in my backyard when I tried it the first time because it exceeded my expectations.

My two-year old is a little independent, so she would rather that I sprinkle it on her hands and feet, and then she rubs it on herself. I usually try and “help” as much as I can sneak in.

See? All clean. This is with no water, no nothin’ but baby powder. Awesome. This one is a keeper.

Scavenger Hunt

Today my son asked if we could go to a local museum. It is an outdoor museum, and the weather has been perfect here, so I agreed that it would be just the thing. Until I realized that we had a repair person coming during the time we would be gone. !! Oh dear. Five-year olds love when their world gets shattered. So, thinking quickly I pulled together a list of things to find to try and pitch the idea to him.

I decided to try and find things that were easy to be found around here at this time of year, and tried to keep it relatively quick enough that we could get back in time for the repair person to come.

I told my five-year old that he could bring some of his “spy gear” that he had bought with his birthday money – this, thankfully, sealed the deal. We were off!

I would highly recommend this – it is an easy idea, totally free, and keeps everyone entertained and in the fresh air. It’s always fun to check things off too. See? I knew that we had an abundance of acorns down the street – it was the quick find to get us excited.

When we had found everything, he decided to make a list of his own for the way back to our house: a stick, a bird, a helicopter (one happened to be flying overhead) and an airplane.

My two-year old was happy to be collecting things too. (Pardon the hair – it was a bit windy….)

This was one of the first things my five-year old told my husband about when he came home on his lunch break, and was the first thing he told his older brother about when we picked him up from school. This is definitely something we will be doing again over the summer.

Best Soup EVER. Pretty much.

We made this soup last night. And we have made it three times since we found it two months ago. I think we like it a little bit……possibly. I found it over at 365 Days of Slow Cooking (the link will actually take you to where the recipe lives now). It is so creamy and delicious, and yet feels light too and has a fantastic subtle crunch from the veggies. It’s awesome. We have made it both in the crock pot and on the stove – it is great either way.

Here is the recipe – I organized it a little differently than on the original site so it’s a little easier to follow:


2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 oz. each)

1 cup carrots (finely diced)

1 cup celery (finely diced)

1 cup onions (finely diced)

4 cups chicken broth (or 4 chicken bullion cubes and 4 cups water)

1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 T fresh)

1 T dried basil (or 1/4 c. fresh)

1/2 bay leaf

1/2 c. butter

1/2 c. flour

1 c. parmesan cheese (freshly grated, if possible)

2 c. warmed half and half (or milk – will give you lighter flavor and will be a little bit healthier)

1 tsp. salt


How to:

1. Combine first eight ingredients (through bay leaf) in large pot. Start simmering. OR you could dump all of it into a crock pot and leave it on low for 5-7 hours. Yummy! :)

2. In another pot, melt the butter. When it is melted, whisk in the flour. Wisk continually for 5-7 minutes. Congratulations – you’ve now made a “roux”. If the rest of the soup is in the crock pot, you’ll do this step at the end of the 5-7 hours.

3. At the end of the 5-7 minutes, slowly stir in 1 cup of the hot soup. I like to move the “roux” pot over to the simmering veggies for this part. It will thicken up immediately. Then add 3 more cups of the hot soup. At this point you will have used a good deal of the soup mixture, and it will still be thick at the end.

4. Dump the “roux” mixture into what is left of the soup. Simmer and stir constantly until the soup thickens. Then wisk your parmesan. I actually prefer less than the 1 cup, but it’s up to you. Then add your warmed half and half (or milk) and salt. Simmer this over low heat for 15-20 min.

5. Serve up, and enjoy!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...