January 13, 2015

My version of "Chicken Gnocchi Soup"

I'm reprinting a recipe that I came up with a few years ago....  

My version of "Chicken Gnocchi Soup"


1 10 oz. bag matchstick carrots (or 2-3 thinly cut carrots)
2-3 stalks thinly sliced celery
4 chicken breasts, diced
Approx. 8 oz. of fresh baby spinach 
1  16 oz. bag frozen potato gnocchi (I used Mama Rosie's brand) Cook gnocchi according to the pkg. 
(diced onions optional)

Cook the carrots, celery and chicken in a covered, large stock pot with just enough water to cover. 
When the veggies and meat are thoroughly cooked, do not drain. Add the following...

1 family size can of cream of chicken soup
1 regular size can of cream of (what ever you like) chicken, celery or mushroom soup
2 large soup cans of water or use the broth from cooking down the chicken! (You can also use milk or half & half if you'd like!)

Mix well and heat the soup, but don't bring to a boil. At this point, drain and stir in the gnocchi as well as the fresh baby spinach and turn off the heat and now you are ready to serve.... 

Delicious in a bread bowl or in a regular bowl!! A definite hit with my family!! ENJOY!

Tweak the recipe to find how you like it best!! I don't measure very well, so if you like a heartier soup, double up on the spinach or add an extra bag of gnocchi!! You can easily change anything in this soup.... add extra cans of cream of soup, more or less chicken, use a whole chicken and cut up the meat, add mushrooms....   so many ideas!! 

This is delicious and I can't wait to make it again!! 


January 1, 2015

2015 It's a New Year!

It's that time again.....
time to take down the old calender and hang up the new one!

Out with the old.... old attitudes, old expectations and
old excuses!! In with the new.... new hopes, new plans,
new determinations and new focuses!!

I like to figure out a word or two to focus 
on for the year to come. 

This year I have two words;




"Intercessor"  Ezekiel 22:30 which says,
"I looked for someone to who might rebuild the wall of 
righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to 
'stand in the gap' in the wall so I wouldn't have to destroy
the land, but found no one."'

I desire to one that will stand 'in the gap' for my 
family members and friends. One, who is praying for
God's will and His protection and wisdom in their 
lives. I want my 'adult kids' and their 'special someones'
 to each have a strong and continually growing 
relationship with God. 

Well, that is referring to RIGHT NOW! 
I want to stop looking backwards with regrets or shouldas, 
couldas, wouldas! Stop looking backwards at
past failures as well as the past successes! And at the
same time, I want to be careful to not look too far down the 
road at the future so much that I dream away the present!
TODAY and NOW is all we have! 

So, with those two words as my new focal points, 
I want to wish you a blessed and healthy 2015! 

May you be assured beyond a shadow of a doubt, 
how much our great and wonderful Lord 
loves you and wants you to be His!

Happy New Year!!

December 27, 2014

2015 Reading Challenge Accepted!!!

I thought I'd share a reading challenge that I discovered! 
If you know me at all, 
you know I LOVE to read!! 

I love everything about a book;
 the smells
the sound of pages turning 
seeing books all lined up in categories at the library
(or on my bookshelves)
book sales
reading to myself 
sharing a book 
reading to kids
 EVERYTHING about books is amazing!

I'm so excited to say that I've discovered a list of
50 categories of books!!! The idea is that
you (the reader) 
gets to choose ANY book within the categories and then 
checks them off one by one (or sometimes, two at a time)
and has fun reading new books over the course of a year!!
(Most likely, it will take me more then one year to complete this)

Some of the categories are:

a classic romance
A book that became a movie
A book with more then 500 pages
a book that came out the year you were born
a book written by an author with your same initials
a book you were suppose to read in high school but didn't

And the list goes on with 50 ideas!! 
Doesn't this sound like fun?!

If you are interested in joining me here's the list: 

November 7, 2014

"I Wasn't Going to Eat it, I Was Just Going to Taste it." ~ W.Pooh


This is the year when we actually took some honey out of the hives!! 

 Pete goes into his hives usually once a month to make sure the
bees are still healthy and thriving!  This time, he took out some
of the frames to extract the honey!

ALWAYS careful not to make the bees angry and donning the
appropriate clothing just in case, they are using a smoker to
keep the bees subdued. 

This 'triangle escape board' is put in 1 day before taking the
honey out. It is suppose to confuse the bees and create a maze 
so the majority of bees aren't up in the honey frames that you want
to take out! If you leave it in too long (a few days) the bees
figure the maze out and you'll find a lot more bees in that area!

Checking to see if the frames are capped. 

A couple of days later... now using the uncapping knife to remove
the cappings (the wax over the honey to keep it preserved).

Another uncapping tool to scrape off more of the wax.

The frames are then put into the extractor 6 frames at a time!
The cover is placed back on the top and then it's time to 
turn the handle on top! You really need to turn the handle 
fast for a while to get it spinning fast enough. 
(Thankfully, there were 3 of us at home to help!)
The centrifugal force forces the honey out from the frames
 and it all pools at the bottom of the extractor! 

You can see how clean the frame is now AND how much yummy
honey is on the bottom waiting to be bottled!

Running the honey our and into the double
sieve to remove any of the wax that may have
spun out with the honey.... 
and the final step is bottling!!

Aren't bees amazing?! 
I thought you might enjoy a closer look!!

You can see the lace in their wings!
Such intricate little creatures....

(Thanks Austin, for the last three pictures!)