Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween friends!
xoxo~ Rach

Thursday, October 29, 2009

"Mean Soup"

You may have noticed that we like soup around here...well most of us that is. Ian is not a huge soup fan. He has his favorites, corn chowder, mushroom, and he has been begging me to make clam chowder again. The other soups are not his friends, including homemade tomato which he used to love. A few weeks ago Brian brought home a butternut squash home from the farmer's market. I was not super pleased because, I am not a super fan of butternut squash. I would prefer to have acorn, please. I do love butternut squash soup, so I decided that would be the fate of my new friend. As I was making this delicious soup and the aroma was filling our home. I knew I was going to have some difficulty getting Ian to eat "squash soup." Another thing he is not a fan of, squash. Oh, he loves the brown sugar and butter syrup that goes with it, but the actually squash not so much. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to portray my son as a picky eater. He loves spinach, kale, and brussel sprouts...he's just "selective." Anyway, as I was saying. I was trying to figure out how I was going to get Ian to eat the soup. A week or so earlier, I had read this book "Mean Soup" to Ian. I decided that is what I would call it, and maybe he would eat it then. "Mean Soup" is essential a "witches brew" with frogs, snakes, and spiders. Sounds a lot more appetizing than butternut, doesn't it! Well, it only worked for the first half of the bowl, before he decided he didn't like it. I guess it was worth a shot. The rest of us loved this soup! The ginger, blends so well with the shallots and squash. This is the perfect fall soup. Ian said to me this evening, " Mom, you remember that orange soup you made, that "mean soup." Well, I didn't like it."
Give it a try, I think you will.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Olive oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom of your pot)
1/2 cup diced shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup minced, fresh peeled ginger
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 1/2 tsps. kosher salt
1 tsp. curry powder
2 cups water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 15-ounce can low-fat coconut milk

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cook for a few minutes. Then add the garlic and ginger cook for 2-3 minutes more or until the shallots are soft and translucent. Add the bay leaves, and red pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add the squash, salt, and curry powder, cook for 10 minutes.

Raise the heat to medium-high, and add the water. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring and mashing every 5 minutes ( I used a potato masher). Add the coconut milk and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves, and blend soup in batches with a blender. Puree until smooth.

Add more water if soup seems too thick. Reheat soup, season with salt and serve.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy 12th Birthday Katie

Dear Katie~
It is so hard to believe that you are 12 years old! You are a very special young lady, and we love you so much. We hope this year is filled with new exciting experiences, and that your love for Jesus continues to grow.
Mom and Dad

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Carnaval des Citrouilles

Every fall Katie's school holds an event called the "Carnaval des Citrouilles" in other words the Pumpkin Carnival. The children get so excited to try out their Halloween costumes, the school is decorated very festive. There are games, and prizes, and Ian's favorite the haunted house. I didn't take a lot of photos, but here are a few.


Monday, October 26, 2009

A season for giving

Books, I love them! There are so many different types of books out there, and so many places to get them. Who doesn't love books? There are books about re-doing your kitchen, books about cooking, books about love, books about growing closer in your relationship with Christ, and story books. While you're out shopping for your books if you can, try buying through your school or local book store. Here are a few of our favorites.

P.S. all the images are from

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Treasure

I found this bench this past summer and the small table in my parent's alley. I'll probably paint it next spring. Guess actually rocks!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bits of Encouragement

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mushroom soup

I've probably told you this already but when I am preparing my menu for the week, I always ask my family for suggestions. A few weeks ago I did just that, "I'm making the grocery list, what do you guys want to eat?" All three of them suggested mushroom soup. I'm not referring to that congealed, gray mass that you get in a can. Last autumn, Brian made Ina Garten's Cream of Wild Mushroom soup. We all loved it, so I thought I would try to make it with my own spin. It was pretty good, everyone liked it. Ina's is definitely fancier, and very delicious. Mine is a good weeknight meal.
Mushroom Soup
Adapted from Ina Garten
2 packages of white button mushrooms
1 tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup red wine (I used frozen leftover wine)
one fresh thyme sprig, and 1 tsp leaves
2 cups chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
Clean the mushrooms. Separate the stems. Slice the mushroom caps into 1/4 inch slices, if they are too big, cut them into bite size pieces. Set aside.
Make the stock:
Place the olive oil in a stock pot, and heat. Add the mushroom stems, onions, sprig of thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Cook over med- low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat, add the wine and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain out the vegetables, reserving the stock.
In another pot, heat a 2 tbs. olive oil and add leeks. Cook over low heat, until the leeks start to brown, about 15 minutes. Add the mushroom caps and cook for about 10 minutes until they are browned and tender. Add the flour and cook for about a minute. Gradually add one cup of water, and stir for until fully incorporated. Add the stock, remaining thyme leaves, 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the milk and cream, check the seasoning and heat through. Serve warm

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Season of Giving

Candles...who doesn't love them. Alright maybe your Dad, husband, brother, and the other males in your life, but most females I think do. I think candles are a great gift as well. A teacher, mom, gift exchange, or friend. I also think these candles are the best. My youngest sister Elizabeth introduced me to these candles awhile back, and I just love them!! They have so many different scents, and they burn until the wax is all gone! My favorite scent is Hot Apple Pie. I also love Frankinsence and Myrrh, and creme brulee. So order some candles for the people you love, including yourself.
Photos from maximum scented candles.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Visit with "Uncle" Shaney and "Aunt" Jen

Dear Shane and Jen~
Thanks so much for an amazing time! You always treat us like royalty! Can't wait to see you guys again!
Brian, Rachel, Katie, and Ian

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I know a girl She puts the color inside of my world But she's just like a maze Where all of the walls all continually change And I've done all I can To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands Now I'm starting to see Maybe it's got nothing to do with me
Fathers, be good to your daughters Daughters will love like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothers So mothers, be good to your daughters too
Oh, you see that skin?It's the same she's been standing in Since the day she saw him walking away Now she's left Cleaning up the mess he made
So fathers, be good to your daughters Daughters will love like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothers So mothers, be good to your daughters too
Boys, you can break You'll find out how much they can take Boys will be strong And boys soldier on But boys would be gone without the warmth from A woman's good, good heart
On behalf of every man Looking out for every girl You are the god and the weight of her world
So fathers, be good to your daughters Daughters will love like you do Girls become lovers who turn into mothers So mothers, be good to your daughters too
By John Mayer

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bits of Encouragement

"He has showed you, O man , what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act JUSTLY and to love MERCY and to walk HUMBLY with your God." Micah 6:8


Monday, October 12, 2009

The Season of Giving

Did you know that Christmas is just a couple of months away?? I try really hard to
have the majority of our shopping done before Thanksgiving. I really like to spend the month before Christmas, enjoying the season with my family I shop year round for our extended family so that makes it possible. I pick up gifts that I think they may like and enjoy. The snow this morning reminded me that I need to look through the gifts that I have been collecting. One of the blogs that I follow is doing a series of posts on Christmas gifts, and I thought that was a great idea. I will try from now until Christmas to post gifts that we are think are fun to give.

We love PENZEY'S SPICES! We have given them as gifts and our cupboard is overflowing with them. They have spices, herbs, seasonings, extracts, and vanilla beans. I believe they have a selection of over 200 of the above. They also offer boxed gift sets that are very nice too! This year they are offering a mini box set that is 7.95. They have stores all around the country or you can order online. They have a great catalog that is free and filled with recipes. If you love to cook or bake, or know someone who does. Check out their site, it is great!

I love their vanilla! Do you have a favorite Penzey's seasoning? Please share!
Photos from Penzey's spices

Friday, October 9, 2009

For My Husband

Our life is filled with simple, ordinary days- working hard, doing things around the house, raising a family. But somehow, it all works out-and somehow you know just how to make our life together fun...
They're just simple, ordinary days that keep our little world running- but I can't think of anything that could make me happier.
Author unknown

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Last weekend we went and visited our good friends Shane and Jen. We had a really nice time, and I will let you know more about it later. First I need to tell you about this dog. Her name is Nakama. She is Shane's dog and he has had her since she was a puppy. She is now 10 years old. She is an Akita. She is big!!! She is the sweetest dog ever. I just love her, and I'm not a dog person. Brian says he'll get me one, but no dog could take her place. Katie loves her too!
She loves to be pet.

She is enormous! She has tons of fur, and is perfect for cuddling with.

How can you resist that face.

I miss her already...we love you Nakama!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bits of Encouragement

God saw everything he had made and indeed, it was very good. Genesis 1:31 a

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