Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Little Vitamin D Please

You know it's been cold when 55 degrees is considered warm. It didn't last long but last Friday when the sun came out I grabbed a blanket and the kindle and spent some time outside sunbathing with the dogs. It was a nice end to a hectic week filled with a croupy 5 year old, Facebook drama (don't ask...let's just say I support same sex marriage and some people don't), Directv going kaput, and dealing with anxiety issues. But this week? So far, so good. The croup is gone, Directv is replacing our receiver box on Thursday--just in time for Project Runway, no one has accused me of being bad Catholic this week, and I think I have my anxiety under control. So, yeah, this week's been a pretty good week.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Every year at this time there's a chocolate festival up in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. And every year I say I'm going to go but I never do. It sounds like the perfect event for a chocolate lover--just 10 dollars gets you access to lots of chocolate goodies to sample and take home. But then I start thinking with my head instead of my stomach. It's a long trip, it's too cold to get out, WD doesn't have a huge sweet tooth like I do so I doubt he would enjoy it very much, and it could get expensive if we decided to stay overnight with hotel rooms, restaurants, gas money, etc.

So I guess I'll just stay home again this year and eat fudge. Not a bad trade off. Especially when it's Kraft's famous original fantasy fudge. Three pounds of soft, creamy, chocolaty goodness.

Fantasy Fudge (from

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
12 oz pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
7 oz jar Kraft marshmallow creme
1 cup nuts (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Microwave method:
Microwave margarine in 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on high (100%) 1 minute or until melted. Add sugar and milk; mix well. Microwave on high 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes. Mix well; scrape bowl. Continue microwaving on high 5-1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes. Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Next Year, Let's Do Nickels

My 5 year old is a very lucky gambler so he jumped at the idea of drawing up this betting chart for the Super Bowl. We all pooled our pennies and at halftime, his block won! But check out that little "AV" block that corresponds to the final score--Saints 31, Colts 17--that's me! Yep, my youngest son and I were the big winners on Sunday raking in $1.85 each.

But the real highlight of the Super Bowl for me was the food. We had a plethora of dips--salsa, cheese dip, french onion, hummus, cream cheese/hot sauce--and 5 different chips along with a couple of desserts. And if I hadn't gained 5 pounds in just that one day, I'd say let's do it again next week for the Daytona 500.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I fell off the "Cooking Light" wagon last week right into a delicious apple pie but I'm back on the healthy trail this week. Black Bean Soup. It's both healthy and delicious. I found the original recipe in Cooking Light's October '09 issue and after tweaking it a bit I've come up with something that's now a part of my permanent soup rotation.

Wait, I have a soup rotation? Yes. Yes, I do.

Black Bean Soup (adapted from Cooking Light)

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 lg can green chiles (I think this is the 7 oz size)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup tomato paste

Optional toppings:
pepper jack cheese
sour cream

Saute onion and garlic in oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Increase heat to high and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir together and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Process mixture in a blender until smooth and serve.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Difference Between July And January

Look what we got this weekend...

...snow! It's already melting away making everything a muddy, soggy mess but it was nice while it lasted. While homebound I spent some time on the computer cleaning up my picture files and came across this pic of Big pup taken last summer. We had gotten into a routine of sitting out in the front yard after dinner--enjoying the weather and the sunset--and this picture of my 7 year old relaxing in his rocking chair never fails to put a smile on my face.

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