February 18, 2015

Catch the Moment: Week Seven

Ugh. February. February is quite literally my least favorite month of the year. Every other month of the year I'm cool with, but I have never liked February. I always get a case of the mid-Winter blues in February. I've been feeling a little down, anxious and pent-up lately, and I think it's showing in my attitude about a lot of things, like this project for example. I contemplated quitting this week. I mean why not? The whole world is cold and gray and six weeks is longer than I've ever lasted before. I wanted to quit but I didn't. So here's to keepin' on even when you want to quit and looking forward to Spring and sunshine. They're just around the corner, y'all.  

I'm linking up with Mindi from Simply Stavish, Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming and Carrie from My Life, Our Journey and the rest of the Catch the Moment Crew! If you want to join in, let me know. There is a fantastic Facebook group full of supportive women!

043/365 Thursday February 12th, 2015

Pretty lines and perspective hanging on my breakfast nook wall. 

044/365 Friday February 13th, 2015

Christmas was over almost two months ago and I've still got these guys from my garland hanging around. I really don't like this photo. It's super grainy. I need to work on my ISO setting. 

045/365 Saturday 14th, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day flowers from Christopher. We don't really do Valentine's Day for each other, but I was so happy for this little taste of Spring! Plus, tulips are my favorite flower!

046/365 Sunday February 15th, 2015

Preparing for Winter Storm Octavia. When snow and/or ice is predicted all Southerners must report to their nearest grocery store and buy bread, eggs, water and milk. Don't ask me why. I don't know. Actually, I do know. It goes back to the great ice storm of 1994. I'm sure it was stressful for the adults, but I just remember camping in my living room with my parents and having a ton of fun with my friends. Severe weather is much different as an adult and a parent! 

047/365 Monday February 16th, 2015

Well the storm came and dumped a ton of ice and freezing rain on us. Our neighbors to the north got snow. Not us though, just gross ice. Our garden flag was frozen like this.

048/365 Tuesday February 17th, 2015

"Snow" Day part two. I made bacon, eggs and biscuits for breakfast. Evie remembered the heart shaped donuts from Valentine's Day and requested heart shaped biscuits. I couldn't tell that sweet face no. If heart shaped biscuits make my big girl happy, then heart shaped biscuits it is!

049/365 Wednesday February 18th, 2015

Before I went to bed on Tuesday I checked the weather and to my dismay it said we were supposed to get snow over night. No. No. No. For maybe the first time in my life my I prayed for it NOT to snow. Much like when I pray that it will snow, my prayers were not answered in the way that I hoped. 

It's been so cold and yucky that it wasn't even hard to pick my favorite photo this week. Hands down the flowers from Chris win. The man sent me Springtime in the middle of Winter. Just looking at my flowers and that photo cheers me up! 

What photo was your favorite this week! I hope the rest of you who got blasted by Octavia and Neptune stayed as safe and warm as possible! 

February 13, 2015

Catch the Moment: Week 6

Wow! Week six of my project 365 and I am having so much fun! I am really loving getting behind my Nikon more, and I can really tell a difference in my photography already. It might not be evident in the photos but it is evident behind the camera. I'm taking more time to set up shots and think about the technique behind it. This was exactly what I hoped this project would do. It's pushing me. It's stretching me. I love it. 

I'm linking up with Mindi from Simply Stavish, Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming and Carrie from My Life, Our Journey and the rest of the Catch the Moment Crew! If you want to join in, let me know. There is a fantastic Facebook group full of supportive women!

 036/365 Thursday February 5th, 2015

"Take my pitchur momma!" This girl is a ham lately and in typical almost four year old style thinks sticking her tongue out is the funniest thing ever. 

037/365 Friday February 6th, 2015

These beer bottles have been sitting out on the table in my "formal dining room" since Christmas when I needed more room in the fridge. They are pretty when the light hits them in the morning but I should probably throw them away. 

038/365 Saturday February 7th, 2015

It was birthday dinner that night so a quick shot of our still-not-yet-put-away Christmas lights seemed appropriate. Hey, at least they are off the house! 

039/365 Sunday January 8th, 2015

These two are still best buds. They're eight, but still play like puppies outside. Reily still kicks Rocky's butt proving time and time again that while she was the runt of her litter she is scrappy and tough. Great things come in small packages!

040/365 Monday February 9th, 2015

MJ loves to sleep in any box or bag she can find. Monday's choice was Emma's Vera Bradley school bag. She snoozed in there for a good hour. 

041/365 Tuesday February 10th, 2015 

Running out of time and daylight. You get my gross boots. 

042/365 Wednesday February 11th, 2015

Finally, we get to my favorite for the week. My sweet sweet little Emma Ann. She lights up my world every single day. Even when she is fussy or cranky and I want to run away screaming I wouldn't trade a day with her for an easier life. I think we will keep her.

 Which is your favorite for the week! I was actually torn between the one of Evie, the one of my boxer babies and the one of Emma. Emma won out because I can't resist those baby blue eyes staring up at me!

February 9, 2015

Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

I recently made a big pot of loaded potato soup when Chris had bronchitis. We are big potato soup lovers in our family, especially in the colder Winter months. You can throw this in a bread bowl or pair it with a sandwich or roll. It's hearty enough that a bowl of it will fill you on its own though! I hope you enjoy!

  • 11 TBS of salted butter
  • 2/3 cups of flour
  • 4 cups of milk, warmed, skim, 2%, whole --whatever ya got. I used 2%.
  • 3 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped and divided
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Freshly shredded would be best, but let's face it the bagged stuff works just fine here.
  • 8 slices of bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled, divided
  • 1/2 bag of southern style hash browns thawed and completely cooked*
  • sour cream
  • additional shredded cheese for topping
  • In a large soup pot or dutch oven (I use a large enameled cast iron dutch oven) melt butter over medium heat.
  • Once the butter is melted whisk in the flour.
  • Cook the flour and butter for about five minutes. This is important so you lose the floury taste in the roux. Give the flour a whisk every thirty seconds to a minute. Don't let it burn.
  • Slowly pour the warm milk into the roux whisking constantly. It is VERY important that you warm your milk up. I cannot express this enough. If you dump cold milk in you will end up with a soup full of lumps and clumps, and no one wants that!
  • When the milk mixture is smooth, go ahead and add the chicken broth as well. Be sure to whisk while adding the broth also.
  • Add a good handful of the green onions, reserving some for garnish, and stir into the pot.
  • Add the black pepper and garlic powder and stir in as well.
  • Continue to cook over medium heat until mixture thickens a bit and begins to bubble, stirring occasionally. You could turn the heat up just a tiny bit to help speed this along, but if you do that keep a close eye on your soup.
  • Next add the cheese in two separate batches. Be sure to stir the first batch of cheese in until completely smooth before adding the next.
  • Stir in the majority of your crumbled bacon, reserving some for garnish.
  • Stir in the hash brown potatoes.
  • Allow soup to bubble and simmer for 5-10 minutes for the flavors to meld. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper as needed. There is a lot of salt in the cheese and the broth, but you've added two very bland things (flour and potatoes) so you might find that your soup needs a bit more salt.
  • Here you can either stir the sour cream into the soup or serve it on top. I serve it on top because Chris doesn't like sour cream.
  • Serve in bowls topped with cheese, green onions and bacon.
  • NOTE: For the hashbrowns I usually dump about half the bag into a microwave safe bowl and zap them for 10 minutes stirring once in the middle. This thaws and cooks them. I can also do this while I am making the roux etc
What are your favorite Winter weather recipes?