Standing on the outside looking in

I’m standing outside in the cold damp grass watching the perfect family through their kitchen window.

The four of them sitting at the dinner table with a fine meal before them.  They lower their heads in family prayer and then begin to enjoy the feast.  They laugh at each others jokes and funny comments. Talk to each other about their day and what they would like to do after the meal. The dog and cat are even enjoying dinner next to each other without a hiss or bark.  It all looks picture perfect.

As they eat, talk, smile, and enjoy their company I can feel the cold earth beneath my feet begin to cave in. A black thorny vine starts to crawl slowly up my legs binding them together making small shallow cuts on its way.  Cold, damp, strong, and irresistible, it travels up my body consuming me to my neck.  It pulls me back into the damp darkness of which no light can find.

Fun Spring Weekend

This weekend was busy and relaxing at the same time. My husband and I went out to dinner with friends on Friday. Saturday, I spend part of the day with my mom, a late Mother’s Day. We went for a run, picked up a greek chicken sandwich (from Green Kitchen) at the Milwaukee Market, and enjoyed some coffee at Stone Creek Coffee. The time was also spent with another ‘how to use Facebook and your iPhone’ session with my mom, I’m her on-call tech support. Sunday was rushing to get everything done day. I had cleaning to do before my sister-in-law visits this holiday weekend, it’s only half done. But my husband and I found time to visit the Milwaukee Market and Whole Foods. The weather was just wonderful, it was so hard to work on things inside. Hopefully the forecast for this up coming weekend changes to be less cold and more sunny. Either way, it will be a fun week ahead.

Some pictures from this weekend:

Weekend 5/17/2013

Skyline from I-94

Weekend 5/17/2013

Stone Creek Coffee Giant Mug!

Weekend 5/17/2013

Giant Jawbrakers ~ Milwaukee Market

Weekend 5/17/2013

Mmm.. chocolate Eiffel Towers ~ Milwaukee Market

Weekend 5/17/2013

More vendors ~ Milwaukee Market

Weekend 5/17/2013

Greek Chicken with avocado from Green Kitchen

Weekend 5/17/2013

Latte ~ Stone Creek Coffee

Weekend 5/17/2013

Manual V60 drip coffee ~ Stone Creek Coffee

Weekend 5/17/2013

Sugar cookie for the hubbys

Weekend 5/17/2013

Basket for the farmers market from my mom, Pepper is checking it out

Weekend 5/17/2013

First open rose on the balcony

Weekend 5/17/2013

My setup outside, enjoying the wonderful weather

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Food Pictures

The past weeks have flown by in a blink and this week will go about the same.  Since I’ve been too busy to cook full meal I’ve been making easier healthy meals for dinner each week.  Here are some pictures from the last week.

Breakfast #strawberries #oats

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This is becoming a habit... #starbucks #coffee #cappuccino

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Dinner? #sangria #chips #guacamole

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Breakfast #eggs #tomatoes #shitakemushrooms #feta #basil #toast #coffee #fit #healthy

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Dinner #mozzarella #tomato #frenchbread #portabella #salad #oliveoil #feta #healthy #fit #clean

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Monday Food pictures – Muffins and a French dinner

Oh baking muffins, how much fun it can be.  If only these muffins were not filled with flour but instead of something that helped me lose weight.  That’s ok,  I’ll just make all of my other meals healthier.

Jumbo muffins
6 jumbo Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry breakfast
My breakfast for the day, which has taken me 3 hours so far to eat. Today’s lunch will be light. I think just half a muffin for tomorrow!

Salmon dinner

This was my dinner from last night.  My mother took me out for an early birthday dinner to the French restaurant Pastiche Bistro on KK in Milwaukee, WI.  The food was quite good, bigger portion sizes then I expected.  Which means I have plenty of leftovers for the next day or so.  It was a wonderful dinner with my mother!

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Weekend Cooking – Vegetable Soup

With saturday being really busy I decided to make something simple that I can use all week-long for dinners.  This vegetable soup has the vegetables that I wanted and is versatile.  The soup is a bit bland on its own, which is nice because I can add different spices or protein to it each night and have something a little different.

Here is a little recipe and directions on how I made the soup:

2 Leeks

3 Cloves of garlic (that was all I had)

3 Carrots

4-6 stalks of Celery

2 firm tomatoes

1/2 pound of green beans

3 stalks of green onions (optional)

Handful of chopped basil (optional)

1 cup of cooked rice

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 cups of vegetable broth

3 cups of water

Directions:

1. Cut and clean the Leeks (How to here!)

2. Cut the celery and 2 of the carrots.

3.  Add the leeks, celery, carrots, and pressed garlic into a pot with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Season if desired.  Cook on med/med-hi heat for about 5-8 minutes or until leeks are softened

4. Chopped tomatoes roughly. Keep seed and juices. (could also use a can of diced tomatoes)

5. Add tomatoes, 4 cups of vegetable broth and 3 cups of water to pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 20 minutes.

6. Wash rice (How to here!) and start in rice cooker.

7. Chop green beans, green onions, and remaining carrot.  Add to pot and simmer for another 20 minutes.

8.  Add the cooked rice and chopped basil.  Stir in and remove from heat.

9. Let the soup sit for about 20 minutes, during this time the rice will expand and take over the soup.

10. Customize to want you want and enjoy!!

The photos below were randomly taken while cooking.  I usually forget to take pictures of some steps, oops!

My ‘organized’ cooking space
working space

Chopped leeks in the pot
Chopped Leeks

Peeling carrots
Carrots

Soup with tomatoes added
With tomatos

Washed Rice
washed rice

Green Beans
green beans

Green Beans, carrot, and green onion in
with beans

Steamed Rice
steamed rice

Chopped Basil
Chopped Basil

All in
All In

Time to eat
Finshed

It makes a lot!
Packaged up

Let me know what variations you made of this recipe and how they turned out!

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