Monday, October 8, 2012

Homemade Tomato Soup

I woke up to a shockingly crisp 41 degree morning. By noon we'd hit a high somewhere near the mid 60's. The leaves are starting to turn and my mums are in full bloom. This can only mean one thing:

For the last few weeks my kids have been requesting Homemade Tomato Soup. Today seems like a good day to oblige them. If you're a novice to soup making, tomato may be the easiest place to start. It's really quite simple and can be made start to finish in less than hour. Or if you're like me, you can throw everything in the slow cooker and let it do its thing all day while you do your's.

Tomato Soup - *Sugar-free
Serves 8 - 10. (Can be canned or frozen too) 

9 cups of tomatoes (skinned) or 3 large (28oz) cans of crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 medium onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
5 sprigs fresh parsley
1 carrot, pealed and chopped
1 tsp salt (omit if using canned tomatoes)
black pepper to taste

1. Place all ingredients in stock pot over medium-high heat. Stirring frequently, cook until vegetables are tender. (About 30 - 45 min) **Or place ingredients in slow cooker on low heat for several hours until veggies are tender.

2. Run cooked mixture through food processor or blender and return to low heat until ready to serve.

Serving suggestions: 

  • Top with sour cream, cooked bacon, or shredded cheese 
  • Couple with grilled cheese sandwiches. (Our personal favorite) 
  • Use as a base for soups like pasta fagiolli or minestrone. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What kind of friend are you?

As a parent I think its only natural to wonder about the kinds of friends my children pick. Likewise, I find myself frequently reminding them of the kind of friends they should be. Lately, however, it seems I've spent a lot of time and thought turning that question around on myself. - What kind of friend am I? And, more importantly, What kind of friend do I want to be?

Do I uplift people? 
Do I make them laugh? 
Do I build them up? 
And the all-important question:  Am I a good example? 

I have been blessed with great friends... Camping friends, golfing friends, crafty-friends, writing friends, reading friends, chatty friends, and even the "I've always got your back" friends. I've got friends that I laugh with and friends that I can be serious with. Mature friends and well, some not so mature ones, too! And, while no two of my friends posses the same qualities, they all contribute to my life and make me a better person.

In a world full of takers, I hope to be a giver. In a world full of anger, I hope to be a peacemaker. When things look bleak, I hope to be able to see the bright spots. And when the chips are down, I hope to be a dependable ally.

The formula seems simple enough:  To have a friend, be a friend.

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