French Onion Soup

When it's cold and rainy, nothing's better than soup!

<other than sleeping, wine, a quiet house and coffee...>

Today it was cold and rainy, the snow outside doesn't look pretty anymore, just yucky, brown and wet... it was a good day to make soup.

This French Onion Soup was pretty easy.  It was NOT fast - I cooked it for about 3 hours, plus 30 minutes in the oven.  The time would have been extended if I had made the bread that was necessary.  My fav store Wegmans though, started carrying organic breads with few (and non-yucky) ingredients, that I would put in bread :)  Check it out:



I can't make a habit out of it, because 1 loaf was $5.00 - but it was damn good in this dish... I might buy it anytime I make French Onion Soup. mmmmmmm. On to the directions:


French Onion Soup 
When available we use organic, fair trade, and/or local ingredients.
12 onions (I used 6 yellow and 6 Vidalia)

4 cloves of garlic

4 tbs of butter         

4 cups of beef stock

4  cups of chicken stock

2 cups of water

1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried parsley

Your favorite melty cheese: gruyere and swiss were the ones we picked

Crusty bread (we used the rosemary olive oil loaf above)

Salt and pepper to taste

Slice onions and sauté in butter.  I had to do mine in batches – if you have a huge pot – use that :)

When onions are soft add stock, water, and spices and cook on low for at least an hour.  I cooked it for 3.  A note on the stock… I am going to start researching, ALL the brands of organic beef stock had (organic) caramel color.  I don’t like it.  Not one bit.  The chicken stock was ours homemade… If you wanted to vegetarian this up – you could use veggie stock (some contain corn syrup so check – as do those “better than bouillon” and bouillon cubes).

So when you’re ready, in some oven safe bowl-type containers, put some soup, a BIG slice of bread (I cut it in one inch slices), and LOTS of cheese.  We like our cheese around here… we buy it in blocks and it never lasts a week.   We do not buy shredded cheese.

Put it in the oven and cook until the cheese is melty and delicious.*

Enjoy.

*Unless you’re three and then first remove bread and cut into pieces <complain about bread being soggy>, then add ice to soup and wait until it’s cold and time to go to bed, then complain about eating two bites.<3


Some illustration:

Soft, sweet onions!

Don't rush the cook time - it matters!

YUM!

SO good.  I promise.  So so good.





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Guilty.Pleasures.

Chocolate chips & whole milk at naptime.

The first 15 minutes of Kelly&Michael.

Cheese.  All of it.

The movie channels.  All of them.

Ruzzle (it's a word app sickos).

Leftover, fried, spaghetti.

Venti, peppermint mocha.

Prosciutto.

The Hunger Games (books).

Harry Potter (books).

Die Hard.  All.of.them.

SeaQuest (if you don't know... don't ask).

Wegmans.

Driving alone.

Fluffy socks.

Fluffy comforters (yes plural - pity my husband who has to sleep under them too!)

Egg Creams.

Farm fresh eggs (in any form).

Curriculum planning, worksheet making.

Font downloading. 

The Flea Market.

Old Books.  Lots of them.

Social Networks. Except for Google+ (the new friendster... everyone knows it exists, no one cares).  

The Hangover, I and II.

Pasta, real pasta made with non-whole wheat flour, from scratch, with farm eggs.

Blogging (or pretending to know how).





Hop on over to these blogs where - if they are lucky - I'll share this :)     









Wordless Wednesday.



Wordless Wednesday Hangouts:
Wordless Wednesday 
Sincerely Paula 
Wordless Wednesday Bloggers 
Twinkle in the Eye 
Create with Joy 
A Sorta Fairytale 

Blue Monday

The Liebster Blog Award


Well - now the internet has proved what my mom has always known, I'm awesome.  

JK.

Some lovely blogs I follow nominated me (on the same day) for the Liebster blog award and I am honored!  I did some (brief) internet research about the Liebster Award and nothing really turns up but a bunch of other (rarely read) blogs.  The only thing that you can find is that to win the award you need to have less than 200 followers... go me! 

I always thought that getting more followers might lead to fame ;)

So first, I want you to picture  Jennifer Lawrence, walking up the stairs at the Oscars, and face planting... because that.would.be.me.  I would pick the biggest, most awesome dress, and then fall up the stairs at the most important time in my life :)  

As I accept this award I want to thank:

My Family - who taught and continues to teach me how to cook, not with measurements, but with taste and know how and how to be a better mom.

My English Teachers - not all of them, but those at St. Columba.  Although, if they read my blog, I am pretty sure they would fail me... but that's what made me a decent writer - that fear of failure and demand for excellence :)  They would hate my disregard for the rules of the English language and excessive.use.of.out.of.place.punctuation.

So the award stipulates that you have to answer 11 questions about yourself.  Because I was nominated twice in the same day... I think that now I have to answer 22.  Then I must nominate 11 other blogs with less than 200 followers - that's the fun part!  I have been following so many blogs lately it was hard to choose!!  I then have to ask 11 questions of them.

So first, thank you to Tsolakidou Despina, of Greek Bites.  Based out of Greece, Tasolakidou shares yummy recipes and insights into Greek culture.  Check here out and follow along!


Tsolakidou's questions are below:

1.  Do you remember the first dish you actually prepared on your own?
Yes, pasta, a lot of it.  I used to eat it, and homemade sauce as an after school snack before my parents got home and made dinner...

2.  Who's your favorite cartoon hero?
Um... not really into cartoons... is captain planet still around?

3.  PC or Mac?
I like Macs, but have pcs.  I do have an IPAD and IPOD... but the laptops are so freaking expensive...

4.  Name one thing you hate the most.
Mama. Drama.

5.  If you had to live with just one food for a long period of time what would that be?
Pasta.

6.  Rain or sun?
Sun. Lots of it.

7.  A meteor falls on you and you have a superpower.  What's that?
This feels like the cartoon question... I don't know, the power to ease pain?

8.  Say what comes first to your mind when you see/hear the words: salt, egg, sky, kiss, black.
salt: sea salt
egg: farm
sky: blue
kiss: love
black: night

9.  According to you, what's your biggest advantage and disadvantage?  Do others agree?
I have no clue... I am pretty good at downloading fonts... I think others would agree.  I also like to take pictures... I'm not sure if I am too good at it though :)

10.  What's the most important thing in your life (besides family)?
Kai's Village

11.  If you were a food, what would that be?
Pasta!

Thanks again!!  Make sure to check out Tasolakidou's pages!  She's fantastic!!

Next up...

I was nominated by the lovely Jacquelyn from The Non-Martha Momma.  Jacquelyn and I went to high school together and have recently been catching up in a group of mamas on facebook from our high school.  It has been fun to "get to know" people we went to school with 15 years ago!  Jacquelyn blogs about running a home - better than Martha :)  Please check her out and follow along:



Jacquelyn's questions are below:

1.  Last movie you saw in the theater?  Did you like it?
I honestly don't remember... it's been a long long time!

2.  When and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging two years ago after I read Robyn O'Brien's The Unhealthy Truth.  I felt like I had to tell people what I learned from the book.

3.  Do you have any pets, how many, what type, their names?
1 cat, Liger, he weighs more than my 10 month old.

4.  Favorite type of food?
Pasta!

5.  Book you are reading right now or most recent book read?
I read a lot of Spiderman books... but for me... the most recent book I read was The Other Baby Book.  Loved it, although I didn't agree with/practice everything in it.

6.  Year you graduated high school?
2000

7.  What kind of car do you drive?
Chevy Equinox, love it.

8.  Do you believe in ghosts/spirits?
I believe in God, heaven & hell.

9.  Oreos: do you like the cookie better or the cream?  Do you dunk in the milk?
When my sister and I enjoyed Oreos (before I read The Unhealthy Truth...) I liked the cream, didn't dip them in milk, and ate them with canned peaches.  It almost hurts to admit/write that.

10.  Favorite subject in high school?  Least favorite subject in high school?
In high school I loved math and Spanish (because I had the same, awesome teachers the entire time).  I hated history (except freshman year).

I am now a history teacher.

11.  If you were a crayon what color would you be and why?
Blue, because it's my favorite :)

Ok. Now (following the rules) I am to list 11 random facts about myself.

1. I love history related t-shirts.
2. I love looking at snow, from the inside, with coffee.  
3. I love reading, and never do it anymore.
4. I have been "washing" the same load of laundry for 4 days... I keep forgetting it's in there.
5. I don't even know where E's cloth diapers are it's been so long since he's been in them.
6. D peed his pants this morning, while playing Chutes and Ladders, alone.
7. I only watched the Oscars last night because Joel McHale made them funny on Twitter, and I fell asleep at 10.
8. I live 5 miles from my sister and it's not close enough :)
9. I love my family, not just my husband and kids, but my parents, sister, cousins, I love hanging out with them, chatting with them, seeing what they're doing on FB.  We are all close (although we live VERY far from one another) and I treasure our relationship.
10. I love my job.  Mom, teacher, wife.  All of it.
11. I don't really know how to blog.

So now the award stipulates that I am to nominate 11 blogs (with less than 200 followers) and ask them each 11 questions.  Here are the "official rules":
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.
  • Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award to and link them in your post.
  • Go back to their page and tell them about the award.
  • No tag backs!!
Confession: I don't know what a tag back is - so if I do it sorry :) -- I am trying to follow the rules... but if I mess up sorry.  Since this award has no one checking up on it... I am sure it will be fine :)

Here are my 11 nominations:
Living and Learning with our New Normal  

*I went by facebook follows if available because that is my favorite place to waste time <3

And here are your 11 questions:
1. What do you have faith in?
2. What's your favorite blog?
3. What's your favorite season?  Why? (FYI - winter is the wrong answer)
4. What's your favorite movie of all time?  Why?  (FYI - Die Hard is the correct answer)
5. Who is your favorite world leader in history?  Why?
6. What is your favorite organization working for good in the world?  Why?
7.  What does your dream house look like?  Where is it located?
8.  What's your biggest confession about blogging?
9.  What's your guilty pleasure?
10.  What's your favorite vacation destination?
11.  What's your favorite song of all time?  

*Disclaimer* This seems like the blogging version of a chain letter (without the threats) - so feel free to NOT do this.  It might be a fun way to meet new bloggers though :) 

<3 KT

Hop on over to these blogs where - if they are lucky - I'll share this :)     

Know It Alls & the Mommy Wars (2)


Do you see it mamas?

We can disagree!  

We don't have to be robotrons that all do the same thing.

We can have different opinions, different ideas, and raise our children differently 

AND

we don't have to hate each other!

Since writing my first post on the Mommy Wars I have talked about it with many of my mama friends.  I have read lots of new blog posts online.  Here are a couple:
Why I am over the Attachment Parenting Community 
Why I'm Sticking with the AP Community  
My Journey Away from Attachment Parenting

I have quit many of my online mama groups (just the toxic ones).  
Most of them.  
I cleared the decks.

I have created and joined some new ones. 

In my discussions there has been some sentiment that *some* of the mommy war topics have correct answers.

Some things actually are better than others.

Fine.

It's true!  

There are some BETTER, RIGHT, choices for babies, kids, families, the world.

Now.  If you think you know the RIGHT, BETTER answer... for just one minute I want you to put yourself back into high school.

Close your eyes.

Are you there?

Ok, don't close your eyes, then you can't read.

Anyway, in high school, when someone ALWAYS knows the RIGHT answer... what do they look like. 

I don't mean what do they look like, I mean how do they act.

"pick me pick me"
"I know"

<you haven't even had a chance to think about what the answer is, in fact you didn't even know anyone asked a question>

"me me me"
"hello! do you see me raising my hand?!"

<you flip through your notebook, looking for what the question might be about, worried you missed something important>

"I know!!!!"
"Back here Mrs. X!!"

<now you're terrified, how could you POSSIBLY not know, you're going to fail, in fact you probably already have.>

"Finally, I've had my hand up for ages." 
"HOW could you guys not know this?!!"
------------------------------------------------------

Now.  Was that a nice way to learn the answer to a question, you didn't know was a question?  Are you likely to want to remember it?

No.

My point about all this parenting drama, the mommy wars, the mom enough crowd, is that if you have the BETTER, RIGHT answer, you may need a new delivery.

---Newsflash---

There are people who didn't even know there was a question.

Seriously.

People who thought they already had the right answer written down in their notebook.

People who thought they already passed the test.




If you care about reaching those people, about "saving" their children from their parents' horrible parenting, perhaps you should...

speak 
nicely.

Perhaps you should try approaching them knowing that they already think what they are doing is right.

Perhaps you should approach them with love, understanding, and kindness.

Perhaps you should just ASSUME that EVERYONE is doing the best that they can with the information they have.

Instead of ostrasizing them from your group, making them feel stupid, telling them they are abusing/neglecting/ruining their child, welcome them.  Share with them.  Love them.

Some nice things to do for people you may want to have an impact on include:
Speaking nicely.
Answering their questions instead of questioning their answers.
Checking in with them.
Cooking for them.
Offering to help in whatever way is helpful to them.
Offering to watch their children so they can rest.
Lending them things they may need, books you found helpful, baby stuff you think is good.
Lifting them up.
Speaking nicely to them.

Don't be this guy:



Because no one likes a know it all.




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