Thursday, December 10, 2009


I have had quite a thing for potatoes lately.  I watched the movie "Food, Inc." a few weeks ago (still shuddering) and I'm trying to fit in more meatless meals in my cooking repertoire.  Potatoes help a lot, if you're a carnivore and green veggies don't always cut it.  So far, this is the best thing I've made, & man is it good:

Easy Potato Soup

1 large potato per person
2 stalks celery
2-3 shallots
2-4 slices bacon
1/4-1/2 stick butter; I used a 1/2 stick
Milk--whole, 2%, skim--whatever's on hand
salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder

1) Peel the potatoes (or not--your choice), cut into medium size chunks & put them in a pot; add just enough milk to cover them & begin cooking on med. heat

2) Chop celery (incl. leaves) and shallots--relatively uniform pieces are best since they'll cook evenly--you want them really soft

3) Dice bacon & saute for 1-2 min.; add butter and stir until butter is completely melted

4) Add shallots & celery; saute for about 3-4 minutes longer

5) Dump all the bacony, buttery goodness into the pot with your potatoes; at this point you may want to add more milk--it's really dependent on the consistency you like best

6) Season with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, & whatever else blows your skirt up

7) Cover & cook 25 min.--about 1/2 way through, take a potato masher and do some mashing--leave some chunks, though, unless you want it to turn into mashed potatoes.  Which is fine, 'cause they're pretty darn good, too.

8) Revel in the fact that this meal is delicious & CHEAP--two of the best adjectives in the world!

Friday, December 4, 2009


You must doesn't snow here.  I live in a suburb of Houston.  Last Thanksgiving it was like 80 degrees.  Snow fell from the sky, and for just the briefest period, it stuck to the ground and covered everything in white.  The last time that happened, I was 8 years old!  I'm so grateful we got to have a little bit of winter weather.  Hope all of you are as warm and cozy tonight as we are!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas At Our House

Missy very generously shared this little "get-to-know you" list, so I figured I'd be a copycat.  I've officially used all my creative energy on dreaming up Christmas presents for the approximately 4,790 people in my family.  I'm spent.  Feel free to copy & paste in your own blog if you're spent, too.  So, here goes:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?  I have honestly never had a single urge to try eggnog.  It seems disgusting.  What I do like is Starbuck's hot chocolate with an extra shot of vanilla.  Nummers.  

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree?  We had to tell Sissy about Santa this year.  She was devastated.  I'm not sure how this will affect the whole Santa thing yet.  Back when there was a Santa, he wrapped them.

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?  It has long been a known fact among the females in my family that colored lights are tacky.  I understand that now, but when I was little I always wanted colored lights.

4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope.  My husband doesn't need any more encouragement to be, um, frisky.

5. When do you put your decorations up? Day after Thanksgiving.  I always think I'll put it off until the first weekend in December, then can't resist & do it anyway.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?  Cookies, cookies, cookies.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Reading The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  I need to get a copy to read Sissy this year.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? My mom let it slip when I told her I lost the necklace I got for Christmas when I was 8.  She was pretty mad, & I figured out why.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We do Christmas Eve with my in-laws, so we open a plethora of gifts on Christmas Eve.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Gold and red balls, then a mixture of sentimental stuff.  I'm not really sentimental about anything except Christmas ornaments.  I love unwrapping them every year & remembering who gave them to me/made them etc.

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? If I ever saw any, guess I'd love it, but here outside Houston, we're more likely to get a hurricane a-blowin' at Christmas than snow.  When I was younger & lived in Tennessee, it snowed about 18" & stuck for 2 weeks.  I started out loving it & hated that crap after about 3 days.

12. Can you ice skate?  Only if I'm trying to win $100,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos.  I suck.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?  I got a Barbie Dream House that I nearly wet my pants over one year. 

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Umm...Jesus!?  Kind of the point of it all, dontcha think?

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? see numero 6

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Though I gripe about it, I really do like going to my mother-in-law's for Christmas Eve.  It's less tense than being around my family (though the food is terrible, terrible, ter-ri-ble).

17. What tops your tree? A tin angel.

18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Both, equally.  I'm kind of a present slut.

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? "What Child is This" is the bestest.  I also love Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas music.

20. Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum?  Yuck by themselves, but yum in the following: ice cream, hot chocolate, milkshakes, and cookies.

21 Favorite Christmas Show? Charlie Brown.  I know, I'm boring.  I also like to watch "When Harry Met Sally' at Christmas, though it's not really a Christmas movie.  Just one of them things, I guess.

22. Saddest Christmas Song? "Little Drummer Boy" is so melancholy-sounding. 

What about youse guys?