Monday, November 19, 2012

Soup, Football and Boxes

I love fall! The leaves are turning colors, the air is crisp, and soup is on the stove! A week ago I made potato soup for Paul and me. Most recipes I found use a can of cream of chicken soup, or lots of milk or sour cream. If you know me at all, neither of those are in many of recipe books. However, I do follow some vegan blogs, and Peas and Thank You had this version of a lower carb, vegan baked potato soup. I decided to try it, and it turned out really good. It was thick and creamy still, but hopefully a little healthier.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • 1 T. olive oil or organic butter
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped onion (approx. 1 medium onion)
  • 5 c. cauliflower florets (approximately 1 lb.)
  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 4 c. vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 c. non-dairy (plain, unsweetened) or organic milk
  • 1 c. non-dairy or organic shredded cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnishes: smoked paprika, additional cheese of choice, sliced green onions, non-dairy or organic sour cream
Place a large stock pot over medium-high heat and add oil or butter.  Add the onion and saute for a few minutes.  Add cauliflower, potato, salt and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Set aside to cool slightly.
Using a blender or immersion blender, puree the soup.  Return the soup to the pot and add milk of your choice.  Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Add cheese and lower the heat, stirring until the cheese has melted.
Adjust seasoning to taste.  Serve immediately, passing desired garnishes at the table.

This is Paul's - we added sour cream, cheese, and bacon to his. This was the second batch of bacon. The first batch didn't make it to the bowl.

This is mine. I added oyster crackers and cheese to mine. No bacon. 

Definitely a repeat recipe. I had the left overs for dinner the following evening, and it was just as good, if not better.

On another note...

Way to go Tigers!
Clemson beat NC State 62-48. The scores were a little high, but a win is a win.

Still the best 25 seconds in college football.

And yet still...

Paul and I have been visiting churches in the area trying to find a new church home. We've tried two so far - both pretty different though. They're both small baptist churches, but one is a traditional southern church and one is a new contemporary baptist church. We started going to the Sunday School class at the traditional church because we know the teachers. Greg and Paige were our College Sunday School teachers at Taylor's First Baptist where we first met. They kinda helped push us together, and were there for us through dating, engagement, and wedding.

This was at our engagement party. Greg and Paige are on the left with us and our other SS teachers on the right. 

Anyway, the Sunday School class organized and planned a Thanksgiving Ministry of preparing and passing out boxes to local families. So last night, Paul and I went to help put all the boxes together. The class had a goal of making 80 boxes, the church had a goal of 130. Initially, they received 135 orders, and then within a weekend, and after already shopping, received 40 more! So we put together just about 135 Thanksgiving dinner boxes! We enjoyed the time and had fun meeting new people, serving God and the community.

A stack of boxes, pre- put together. 

Nothing beats an assembly line. 

Paul and I were charge of organizing the boxes in numerical order for passing out. Each person who ordered a box was given a number that matched a number on a box - that way when they come to pick it up, a "runner" can go retrieve the right one. The boxes didn't come to us in numerical order, so it was quite the task figuring out how to line them up. It was a good lesson on team work for us! :)

Here's the whole team who worked hard to put these boxes together. 

Other than that we're staying busy working. We've just bought all of our Christmas decorations and I can't wait to put them up! So lots of pictures will be coming AFTER Thanksgiving of our house decorated for Christmas.

God Bless!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Fall"ing for Kindergarten

Things are finally settling down around the house. Quick update:
  1. I'm done painting for now. Round 2 will begin in January, hopefully, with professionals taking care of what we can't do ourselves. 
  2. Living room furniture should be in December 1. Cross your fingers people - we would really like to have it by then!
  3. Paul is fighting a losing battle against the leaves. We knew we had a lot of trees, but these leaves are crazy. He does a great job clearing out the leaves, and a couple of hours later, there are more!
Now on to other fun things!!

Kindergarten is going great and we are learning all about fall and Thanksgiving. Technically, I'm only an assistant, but in the classroom, my lead teacher really considers me a Co-Teacher, which I love! We get along so well, and we work really well together. The kids are a mess, but I'm actually getting attached to quite a few of them (for those who don't know my teaching history, this hasn't ever really happened before).
Here are a few things we've been working on:

The kids colored in the tree, tore the paper "leaves", and then wrote the color words to make a poem. I got this idea from Anna.

We talked about apples, their life cycle, different ways to eat them, etc. Then I brought in a couple of apples, cut them in half horizontally so the "star" would appear, and we made apple stamps. The kids wrote a sentence to go with their stamps. 

We did turkey hand prints today to go with this sweet poem! The kids just think it's hilarious to paint their hands - they LOVE it! We'll add eyes and legs tomorrow to finish them.

In honor of Veteran's Day, we wrote thank you letters to veterans. We got everything from, "Thank you for saving us", to "Thank you for fighting for us", to "Thank you for killing the bad guys". And you can't see it real well, but I'm going to have to an art lesson on realistic colors again - we got some green and blue veterans here.

And finally - the highlight of my fall! I got a kidney table. For those of you who don't teach and may be thinking, "big deal, a table", let me reassure you - this is a big deal!! I was using one of the miniature, kindergartner size student tables as my small group table. It didn't work - at all!! So I asked my principal if I could just get a bigger table, and she asked if I wanted a kidney table. I said, YES! of course, but considering I'm only technically an assistant, I didn't want to assume I could get one. She said that she knew I was more of a co-teacher and that if I wanted a kidney table, she would order me one! It has made the biggest difference!! I can fit four kids around it for small groups, plus all our materials, plus extra room! It's the little things in life that makes us happy the most - isn't it!?


And finally, being the proud Tia Whitney that I am, I couldn't resist putting up a few pictures of my amazing nephew! Henry was a lion for Halloween, and is just ADORABLE!! I love this little guy so much!!

 Oh my gosh - my heart is melting! I love this picture!!

Happy Fall, Y'all!!

God Bless

Monday, November 5, 2012


Paul and I would like to congratulate Avery and Scott Krawczyk on their marriage this weekend! We were so glad to celebrate with them and to share in their wedding.

No peeking before the wedding. :)

 Cupcake wedding cake and the Bride and Groom's Champagne Glasses!

The girls! Me, Holly, Leah, and Anna

The boys!! Scott, Kevin, George, and Paul!

I'm generally a comfy-clothes type of girl, you know, sweats and t-shirts, but every once in a while I do enjoy dressing up. I had fun curling my hair, and wearing a fun dress, and doesn't Paul clean up nicely, too?

This has to be my favorite picture of the evening. True Clemson fans never miss a game. What would we do without modern technology and smart phones?

I love weddings.

God Bless