Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sunday Soup: Shrimp & Corn Chowder

As I've said eleventy billion times, I make soup on Sundays. Hence the title of most of my soup posts beginning with Sunday Soup. A durr. I make it on some other days too, but mainly on Sundays. Soup says love to me and has ever since I stood on a chair while Mom Mom wrapped my little hand around a wooden spoon, dipped it into the veggie beef barley on the stove, and taught me how to stir.

As a bonus, soup is usually pretty good for you. Sometimes, it's not so good for you. Those creamy, cheesey, salty soups we love can contribute to a case of plump buttocks. I subscribe to Cooking Light magazine, but I often find their recipes a little under-seasoned. I appreciate them doing the legwork on lightening them up though.

This Sunday I took Cooking Light's Shrimp & Corn Chowder and jazzed it up a little. I doubled the original recipe, desiring leftovers. This was more than enough to feed six people. So if you are solo or just want one meal, feel free to halve the recipe!

10 center-cut bacon slices, chopped
2 bunches of green onions, sliced thin (white and green parts)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tbs minced garlic
Just shy of a 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups 2%  milk
2.5 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (black okay)
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 bags large uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used the 41-50 count bags from Target and thawed them first)
5 cups frozen corn kernels (if you have fresh, use that! I used fresh corn that I had frozen and it was the bomb dot com)

Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat 6 minutes or until crisp.

Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the drippings in there.

Add green onions, thyme, and garlic to pan. Saute two minutes.

Sprinkle flour over and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Stir in milk and turn heat up, continually scraping the bottom of the pot to get all the browned goodness up as flavor. After about three minutes, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium.

Add kosher salt, white or black pepper, crushed red pepper, dry mustard and onion powder. Stir well and let cook two minutes. Add corn, wait four minutes and add shrimp. Cook four minutes or until shrimp are done.

I served with a spinach salad and some french bread with butter. Perfect.

So, buttery bread...
Does it negate the light soup?
Let us not discuss.

What's your favorite soup?
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Linking up for
Martinis & Bikinis

Monday, October 20, 2014

TWTW - it was a good one

1. Last week was another butt kicker. Friday night I pulled flowers up in the dark (hence no photo), went hard on processed food with Stouffer's French Bread Pizza, watched the horrible Hangover 3, and was in bed by 8:30 reading. Hell yes. I got nine hours of solid sleep and it was amazing.
2. Saturday morning: spruced up the joint with new flowers, washed/prepped/stored this week's produce, and made spinach/green onion/cheese egg muffins for the week. Lunches are PB&J on whole wheat and veggies. Dinners from the freezer: honey soy chicken with sweet potatoes and steamed veggies and blackened salmon with steamed veggies and rice.
3. I checked out the Harvest Festival at Reading Terminal Market. So hilarious to see a "hayride" in Center City - basically you are riding on hay for less than a block, then you're just jammed in a wagon on a city street.
4. A nice long lunch with my knottie girls at El Vez. I had the blood orange margaritas and the sea bass tacos. We shared guacamole and salsa. It was a lovely afternoon.
5. After dropping caramel apples from the Harvest Fest at home, I hit Homegoods for a new coat for Mae and got a massage at Hand & Stone. I signed up for a monthly package - an investment in wellness I've been meaning to make for a long time. I was rewarded with amazing skies on the way home.
Relaxation happened here
6. MFD brought home a bunch of Polish goodies from an appointment, and he made pierogies for dinner. He also got water in my dishwashing gloves, so I dried them out by making them give the finger. He wasn't feeling well so we spent the rest of the night lounging and watching an SVU marathon and the Notre Dame game.
7. Up and at 'em Sunday morning, washing sheets and doing work work. Then I headed out to do yard work. Hiss. I winterized the flower beds aside from mulching...I'm still considering planting spring bulbs. I also cleaned up the back yard, packed up cushions, picked up dog poop, and all that really fun stuff. MFD brought me my favorite bagel from Wawa, a greasy fat ass pepperoni and provolone.
What I got rid of this week from the yard / I don't think those women would eat this sandwich
8. Sunday dinner: my riff on Cooking Light's shrimp and corn chowder (I changed it up and will be sharing the recipe), salad, crusty french bread with butter. It was perfect for the first chilly fall day.
9. Sunday dogs: Sleepy Geege. Me and Gus - one of us slept all day and one of us busted their ass in the yard. Guess who is who? Hazel guarding her bone with her life even as she snoozes.
10. Sunday dessert. Thank God fall is sweater season. Hashtag YOLO. This was accompanied with a side of the movie Delivery Man, some magazines, a book, and DVR'd stuff including How to Get Away With Murder.

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On Mondays I'm doing a picture linkup called Picture Practice with Kelli at Just Beachy. If you'd like to participate, here are the prompts through December. Share on your blog, or if you don't blog on Twitter or Instagram every Monday with the hashtag #PicturePractice. This is my photo for the prompt out the window. It's Philly on the way in on the train.
Happy happy birthday to my aunts and uncle, the triplets today - Lori, Dawn & David. I'm excited to hang out with Lori, one of my favorite people ever, this coming weekend to celebrate!
This was a really good weekend here at our house. I hope yours was too! What was your favorite thing you did?
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Linking up with Kelli for

Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tales from the Commuting Crypt: Shuttle Bus Shenanigans

Disclaimer: Nothing was harmed in the writing of this blog post except my pride. 

Most weekday mornings I'm like the girl in The Exorcist and if you even glance at me my head spins around. MFD actually has a great imitation of this that is hilarious and spot on. Wednesday morning, MFD tells me five minutes before I had to leave that he needs to switch cars with me. I react as well to last minute plan changes as most people react to the flu, which is not very fucking well. Make those changes in the morning and you are entering demon territory at your own risk, sir.

I huff and puff out to his car, throw it in reverse, and feel something weird going on. I'm already late because I had to pause to throw a toddler-era hissy fit inside, so whatever's going on, I don't have time for it. I get out and touch the front passenger tire and it's low. In the words of the late great Whitney Houston on the short lived reality series Being Bobby Brown, hellll to the no. I drive slowly to the train station, comforting myself by composing overly dramatic, bitchy texts to MFD in my head.

I arrive 45 seconds before the train. Goody! There's still a shuttle bus in the parking lot. I sprint to it like an Olympian. There's only room for me on the stairs, but I ignore all safety first practices (sorry Laura) and get on anyway, as does a man running behind me who everyone is yelling at for being slow. As soon as Slow Man steps on, the shuttle driver takes off like a shot, careening around corners in the parking lot. I don't even have time to feel smug about being a fast runner for the first time in my life before shit hits the fan.

One second I'm standing upright and the next I'm against the doors, which are now cracked letting a humid breeze in. It takes a second for my brain to realize I've fallen and there are some old ass doors keeping me from falling again. My fingers are uncurling from the railing and my feet are sliding in my flip flops. Slow Man is death gripping me with one hand and pushing the lady who fell on top of me back upright with the other. I need to get my shit together.

I pull myself up and away from the doors with Slow Man's help, thanking him profusely. In a day that has a pedicure, new books awaiting pickup at the library, and a hair appointment on its agenda, I did not think my high point would be not falling out of a shuttle bus and that it would come before 7:35 a.m. Because seriously what kind of fool falls out of a shuttle bus? Nearly this one. You do not want to have to tell people you broke your face falling out of a shuttle bus. That's not a cool injury at all.

Just before we screech up to the curb and exit, Slow Man states quite proudly and clearly, "I guess I'm not so slow after all. " No sir, you are not. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Commuting is hazardous to my health some days, but at least there's usually a good WTF story in its wake. TGIF!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

1. To borrow a phrase from the basic bitches, I literally can't even...Geege is in the background going thank God I don't have to wear clothes..much.
2. Speaking of Geege, is he the sweetest boy? People who think dogs are boring, I'm finished now.
3. Week three of le October Wallet Watch. Desire to buy things is at an all time high. Good thing I put my thinking cap on in September and budgeted for Christmas gifts this month. I bought some of those this week. I need to be jumping on this since we're on vacation in December. Are you watching your wallet? How are you doing?

4.  The November Choose Your Own Adventure Goal Challenge theme is ORGANIZE. If you need help in this area, check out this month's issue of Real Simple as you're setting up your goals for next month! I just finished reading it, and while I wouldn't say they're the 76 greatest tips of all time, there are a few gems in there.

5. Are you guys familiar with Liz at Fitness Blondie? Liz also food preps every Sunday, so if you're into that check her posts out on Sunday nights. You can find some of her clean eating recipes here and some of her most popular posts here, including some I love like weight lifting 101 for women (pin that one!), leg training 101 for women (pin that too!), and happiness is a choice.

6. Is it just me or does it look like Kanye has moobs? Discuss.
7. Toes in  Zoya - Aubrey, nails in Essie - Merino Cool. I wanted to say fuck it and get my nails done too but wallet watch and all - that shit was not budgeted so I did them at home.

8.  Remember back in April when I talked about giving myself a break and getting a cleaning lady to come in once a month? I'd like to update you on the fact that that was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life and has been worth every penny I have saved and then spent on it. There's nothing like coming home to a clean house that you were not responsible for cleaning: everything is beautifully clean and perfectly in place and the dogs have only shed 9 billion hairs in the time since the lovely lady has left. Since I clean on a rotation, it frees up a few nights one week a month for me, and that is really awesome. If I can buy time, I will. It makes me feel like I've beat the clock. Winning.

9.  I've been quieter than usual about political and social shit in the world right now and I'm boring myself, so sorry if I'm boring you too recently. Anyway. I'm annoyed by the people freaking the fuck out about ebola and I'm annoyed by the people acting like ebola is no big deal. Isn't it more likely that it's somewhere in the middle of those two extremes? Do you guys remember where the middle is? It's a place where we can't seem to meet anymore...on any topic.

We're very fucking concerned about being right, knowing it all, identifying others who agree with us, and finding a fucking internet article to support our stance. We allow every issue, big and small, to polarize us. We've stopped talking to each other, listening to each other, or having any interest in any way of thinking that's not our own. If you turn your brain off from anything that's outside of how you typically think, how do you expect to grow?

This is not Mean Girls - we don't need to agree on everything, we don't win the admiration of others by showing people up, and I actually can sit with you. This is adult life where we discuss topics and still part as friends when we disagree as long as we show some respect for other human beings while we're doing it.

If you automatically think people who disagree with you are stupid without thinking where they're coming from or considering facts they present, you should be calling your own intelligence into question. 

p.s. The United States Govt could stop pointing fingers across the aisle and actually work together to figure out some policies, procedures, and research on this matter too. Get your shit together, government.
10. Ecard of the week. Sorry, I think Columbus was a dildo.

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Linking up with Kristin for Stuff & Things

Linking up with Rachel at Can't Google Everything for Fall Style Linkup
Fall Style Link Up

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shit MFD Said Vol. 11

Watching COPS, which is on 24 hours a day in our house
MFD: Steph, you secretly love COPS.
Me: Why would you think that?
MFD: I know it. You do. Watch! Did you see what happened there?
Me: I don't care.
MFD: Stephanie, you do care. You do.

Scary music on TV
Me: What is this?
MFD: Hmm.
Music gets scarier
Me: Mike! What is it? 
MFD: Cujo. 
Me: No! Turn it off. 
MFD: Steph, why? We have dogs.  It's okay.

Upstairs getting changed, Mister Softee music plays on the street as Softee rolls by
MFD: Look at him going by all slow! He sees my light on upstairs! Yelling out the window ASSHOLE!
He finally got it - in October. He pulled up in his car as Softee was
driving byand honked a million times, then ran right at him. 
MFD: Steph, where did the apples in the fridge go?
Me: Seriously? They were moved down one shelf
MFD: Yes!
Me: Did you look?
30 second pause
MFD: Oh. 

In bed, 11 pm
MFD: Shit. I put an apple in the freezer and left it in there. 
Me: You'll need to throw that out. 
15 min later
Me: Are you eating? 
MFD: Yes. 
Me: What?
MFD: The frozen apple. It's very good. 

The note he wrote to leave for the cleaning lady

Bloggers, are you linking up for the Hump Day Blog Hop over at Fitness Blondie every Wednesday? It's a great way to find some new reads and get some new readers! Liz has also partnered with Quest nutrition for a great giveaway that ends tonight. Check it out!

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All read and approved by MFD before they go live...
Shit MFD Said Vol 1
Shit MFD Said Vol 2
Shit MFD Said Vol 3
Shit MFD Said Vol 4
Shit MFD Said Vol 5
Shit MFD Said Vol 6
Shit MFD Said Vol 7
Shit MFD Said Vol 8
Shit MFD Said Vol 9
Shit MFD Said Vol 10

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