Soup’s On

09/09/2010 § 2 Comments

NOT Campbell’s, this is my first ever Beef Stew from last year.

Growing up we ate soup. Chicken noodle (w/saltines), tomato (w/grilled cheese), vegetable beef (w/club or saltine crackers)…but they all came in a can, that bore a distinct red and white label with a gold seal and the words ‘Campbell’s condensed soup’ elegantly displayed. We would even go around the house singing the jingle, “Mmmmm, mmmmmm, good!”. Just add a can of water and there’s your meal. With 6 hungry, growing kids, one small can wasn’t enough, but it was still cheaper to get a few cans of soup and less time consuming than making homemade. No one had time for that in the 70’s/80’s, not with all the Miami Vice watching, shoulder pad adjusting, double-income-so-we-can-have-toys working, Atari-thumb acquiring, mix tape making, fast food eating, hair teasing and crimping, MTV video lip-syncing, Star Wars light-saber dueling we needed to accomplish. Grab a prepackaged box, stick it in the microwave and you were good to go.

So, that’s what I grew up with, in a nutshell of sorts. If you can’t nuke it, excuse me, microwave it, or make it in less that 10 minutes, you’re wasting time. Label reading? What’s that? Serving size? Isn’t it one package per person per meal? Preservatives? Micro waves are safe otherwise ‘they’ wouldn’t have let them be sold…right? Stop confusing me with the facts! Ahhhhhhhhh!

Simmering my first batch of Tomato Soup.

Now, lest you think I’m a food nazi, I want to clarify. If you have or use a microwave, I’ll still love you. If you buy prepackaged food and the fast food drive-thru clerks know you by name, I’ll still love you. Even if you frequently consume mass quantities of preservatives and like it, I’ll still love you. There’s always room for grace. This is my personal perspective and the road I am traveling, feel free to join in any capacity, you are more than welcome!

The beginnings of my Potato Soup. Shhhh…it has a secret ingredient.

Now where were we? Ah yes, soup. These past few years of having a house and a husband have really changed me. For the better (right honey? Honey?). I have learned so much and have grown so much I barely recognize myself. It’s as though I have been slowly emerging out of a cocoon in order to become the child of God I was always meant to be. It’s been hard. It’s been tiring. It’s been bittersweet. It’s been real. It’s been good.

I consider part of that role to be feeding my family and actually, truth be told, this is one of my most favorite parts! I feel like I am loving my family when I take the time to prepare hearty, healthy meals for them. It’s my gift of love to them. It’s the least I can do for them living with me year-round. Besides, it’s in my genetic make-up to help, provide and take care of those I love. They are my gifts. My blessings. Anything less than my all and my best isn’t good enough for them.

When I first started making soup I was completely clueless and actually put it off for a very long time. I was afraid to mess it up. I was afraid it would be more than I could handle and if it wasn’t going to turn out like the best soup that was ever created since the dawn of time and beginning of making soup, well, why bother? (Did mention I’m a recovering perfectionist?)

Then, one day, with my nose shoved in a cookbook (a rather frequent occurrence) and all the self-talk and courage I could possibly find to muster, I tried. And you know what? IT WORKED. Yep, totally. It seriously worked. I made chicken noodle soup from my own homemade stock, oh and by ‘worked’ I mean, it was delicious, edible even. Here’s the proof:

Meet my first ever from scratch Chicken Noodle Soup!

Here it is in my pretty pink bowl.

And here it is with some yummy organic ginger peach tea and a sleeve of saltines, naturally.

That was a great day for me. A momentous, milestone of an occasion. Nervously standing over the hot stove, chopping all of the celery, carrots and onions into uniform, bite-size chunks, measuring just the right amount of sage rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper, clinging to my cookbook and reading it over and over again to make sure each step was painstakingly taken in precisely the exact manner the author intended…(recovery takes awhile) all for the love of my family. *happy sigh*

So do you make your own soup? Thinking about trying it out? Happy sticking with the canned variety? What are your favorites? Any fun memories you’d like to share that come to mind?



Got Dill?

01/09/2010 § 7 Comments

“Darling, can you please pick me up some fresh dill from the store?”

(my darling husband is about 6′ tall…)

It's Fresh Produce Time!

07/06/2007 § 5 Comments

Oh am I excited! Bob’s Produce Ranch just opened up across the River from us (right next to a new Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop) and I raided it. I got TONS of fresh produce for meals that will hopefully last the week. They have such a variety and most of it is pick-out-your-own. I got a pound of strawberries and some rhubarb stalks for a pie I want to attempt. Hopefully I can make jelly with any leftovers. I love rhubarb and have great childhood memories of going over to the neighbors with a dish of sugar and eating it out of their patch! I love the zingyness of it. It’s making my mouth water just writing about it!

I also got a few HUGE apricots, nectarines, pears, peaches, raspberries, apples, lettuce, HUGE MN homegrown tomatoes, scallions, potatoes, cukes…and a lot more! I’m tellin’ ya, I took a little bit of everything home and I spent hardly anything comparatively. They have a butcher shop, a bakery and a deli too. I got some fresh natural chicken breasts and a couple leg/thigh pieces (89 cents/lb!) and ground turkey. We grilled the legs/thighs with a little garlic, lemon and dill. It was accompanied by some fresh steamed green beans and Pink Lady apple slices w/caramel dip! Oh we are gonna eat well this summer!

There were so many goodies to be had and I spent well under my budget. Now that’s a good shopping day!


Finally, an Uninterrupted Moment!

14/06/2006 § 6 Comments

Lately, every time I have sat sown at the computer there's been an interruption. OR, I just haven't found the time to post anything! Love is off at youth camp and Asa is at work. The phone hasn't rung yet. I'm not hungry and I've gone to the bathroom. I am strapped to my chair and ready for some power blogging!!!


I have been miserable the past few days. I hadn't realized my last visit to the chiropractor had been almost a month ago! Bad Traci! I was a draggin' bag 'o bones when I crawled through the office door yesterday. Migraines, nausea, tingling limbs, shooting pains, the works! Sometimes I just get into this pattern of 'oh, it's not that bad', 'I can wait a little longer', 'oops, I forgot to make an appointment', 'I'd rather buy this right now instead of pay for the chiropractor' and so on. I really think I learned my lesson this time. I have NEVER been that out of place! We're talking ribs, shoulders, jaw, knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, neck, back, everything! And today, I feel MUCH better. Yes, my muscles are a bit sore, but I have use of my body back! I just thank the Lord for Christian chiropractors/doctors! I would surely be a wreck!

I now know I can't skip my 'date w/the doc'. I'll just have to figure out something as far as a budget plan for it. It's not terribly expensive, but our new insurance has a $2500 deductible for chiropractic care-ouch! If I save the receipts and then once we reach that deductible goal send them in, it will be paid for. At that point, they'll have to have a bat on hand to keep me away! Of course Love will be thrilled because she won't have to beg me to take her! She likes going and definately benefits from the visits. She sleeps better, at least for a while.


Ok, I'm off. I think I need something to eat now. I'm feeling a wee bit whoozy. I've been eyeing this granola bar for a few minutes now and I'm feeling faint…



Traci 🙂 



Walking Ticker Update Thwarted By ICKY Weather!

31/03/2006 § 6 Comments

Here's the breaking news from fellow HSBlogger Mamatc:


Ok, so I have been wanting to walk this week. Even my DD has been asking to go out and walk! (That my friends is just short of a miracle-just ask Ali!) I get up in the morning and pump myself up only to look out the window and what do I see? Cold, wet, overcast weather. Hello spring in MN! It really does get better-honest! We have some of the greenest grass this side of Ireland! Just not yet.


So that is why my turtle A) is a turtle, not a rabbit and B)has not moved in a while. I REALLY want to update that ticker!!! 

Oh well, C'est la vie…


 I have been doing really good as far as drinking water though. Now, I am at the point that I feel dry if I don't drink, I can tell I need and drink and keep my cup near me most of the time. I'm up to 45-60 ounces a day or so. I think I may retire that ticker after this last round. Maybe. It's still a good reminder.


Well, have a great weekend. We are having top sirloin and jumbo shrimp on the grill tonight! I figured we'd splurge a little while longer-until we have so many children it won't be as practical. Then again, who says it has to be that way? We can substitute the price of a dinner at a restaurant (noisy, long wait, questionable atmosphere, ever increasing prices, etc…) for steak and shrimp picked up at the grocery store, with the family together at home. If you do it right, it could actually be cheaper.


Anyhoooo, until next time…

Many Blessings,

Traci 🙂  

New Ticker

23/03/2006 § 2 Comments

As you may have noticed I have a new ticker. I decided to track walking around my block instead of how much weight I was supposed to lose.  It was just too painful to see the 'pound meter' not moving.

Besides, the weather is nicer now, so I will be able to go outside to get some exercise. This will be a lot easier to attain and my DD will be right alongside me. So, in essence, we'll be doing it together and we'll be able to chat along the way. (That counts for Gym, right?)

I'm not sure how often I'll update the ticker, maybe every 10 blocks or so. I have to build up my stamina because right now I have NONE, but I do have asthma. I've let that hold me back for too long. Far, far too long. 

I'll just pace myself and overcome 2 weaknesses with one activity–weight loss and breathing(lung capacity)!

It will be a good time for both of us. Our winter coats are getting heavy and the weather has been getting lighter. Time for a change! Definately, definately time!

Traci 🙂

Taking the 'plunge' w/you dawilli!

11/03/2006 § 2 Comments

I have a terrible drinking problem. The problem is I don't drink ENOUGH. Water that is. So, I have joined w/my friend Ali(dawilli) in the quest for the optimal hydration factor! YES!

(This is what I look like and feel like when I forget to drink water:  )


It's quite sad really. The planet is 2/3 water and I can't even remember to take a sip! I live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes (actually 11,283-roughly) for crying out loud! There are constant reminders of water, yet I fail to partake! Well, me and my little fishy ticker are embarking on the journey to overcome! With the help of my DD and DH I WILL SUCCEED!!!


(Trust me, I will solicit the Lord for help too.)


That and weight loss…(cringe-see first smiley above for 'feeling' reference)


I really need some of that too. Well, I guess technically LESS of that. My eating problem is that I don't eat enough! How ironic is that? I'm overweight, but I don't eat right so my body thinks I'm starving it (I have NO idea how it figures that!) and so it covets my body fat therefore it just stays there in all it's-chubbiness. At least someone wants it!


I added a ticker for that too. Maybe the pressure of others seeing my progress ticker will spur me on to lose those stubborn pounds! Plus I wanted to use that cute little ladybug for something…


Trying to stay focused and light-hearted about it all,

Traci 🙂

Where Am I?

You are currently browsing the Living Healthy and Naturally category at .