Monday, March 16, 2009

My Weekend~

Was fabulous...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Love Split Pea Soup!~

One of my favorite websites is cooking 101. Heidi Swanson seems to have her hand in everything possible, yet still has time to post wonderful vegetarian recipes.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup RecipeFebruary 5, 2008

Many of you were enthusiastic about the lentil soup recipe I posted a few weeks back. Today's split pea soup recipe is similar in spirit. It's a delicious, healthy, textured soup made from an impossibly short list of ingredients. No ham hocks in this version, simply green split peas and onions cooked until tender, then partially pureed. The vibrant green soup is finished with a generous drizzle of golden olive oil, a few flecks of lemon zest, and a dusting of smoked paprika to give the soup some smoky depth.
Like the lentil soup, a bowl of this soup delivers many of the same nutritional benefits - a good amount of vegetable protein and plenty of staying power. It is hearty and filling, and even better reheated later in the day. You can find dried split green peas in many natural foods stores, I picked these up in the bin section at Whole Foods Market.
Hope you enjoy the soup, and for those of you who have never tried split peas, this might be the time to give them a go! Also, for those of you who are curious about what is on the horizon - I'm going to share a new cookbook profile next week, so keep your eyes peeled for that :)...

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup RecipeI thought about throwing a couple handfuls of small broccoli trees into this soup (a few minutes before doing the puree), spinach would be great as well. You can use a vegetable stock if you like in place of the water. I've mentioned before that I like Rapunzel Herb Bouillon with Salt (available at many stores), I use about 1/2 of one cube in a soup like this to kick things off - it makes a nice, light but flavorful broth.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups dried split green peas, picked over and rinsed
5 cups water
juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)
a few pinches of smoked paprika
more olive oil to drizzle

Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree - you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.
Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.
Serves 4 to 6.

Soooo good...


Well, my little 7 1/2 yr old has been quite the drama queen lately. She has always been slightly more spastic than her younger sister, but it's getting comical now. The other day she was to put the couch cushions back and didn't want to...flung herself with hand over forehead and yelled "No one understands me"! I quietly walked away and burst into laughter in the kitchen. Brendan just stood there shaking his head. Chloe was involved in a Christmas show a couple of years ago and loved it. She was one of few children that you could tell really enjoyed performing for the crowd. In downtown Valpo, we have the Chicago Street Theatre. It is an old theatre that has excellent productions and even acting/performance classes, starting as young as 5. I have highly considered enrolling Chloe for an eight week course so she can get her "drama" fill. I'm wondering if anyone else has done this with their little ones and if they enjoyed the experience. I have no idea where she gets this from! I don't watch soap operas or any shows like that and tv is usually pretty limited. Brendan was a performer when he was young and even into college. She must get it from him....either way it's hilarious.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I'm going to discuss something that is not pretty or fun....periods. While shopping today at Target I thought, "Let's try something new", big mistake. I have bought the same female products for years and saw a commercial for "infinity" pads. The commercials made it sound like a magical aparatus and that it would make that time of the month less miserable. So, I'm in the aisle and started feeling very overwhelmed. One side tampons. The other pads. Now, I must have looked like a complete weirdo, because I stood reading the backs of the boxes for what seemed like an hour. I was intrigued by all different promises they offered. "Leak proof" is my if. Then the tampons were differently engineered, depending on how they opened up. Gross. I do not know the difference between overnight and heavy. Do wings really matter? Why would you use a tampon without an applicator? Cardboard or plastic? Scented or unscented? Liner or pad? I seriously couldn't believe the many options. So I did what I never ever do and bought new, fancy items. I won't blog on how my choices panned out....that is TMI, but I am nervous. Marketing for hygiene products has got to be boring as hell. You can only reinvent a pad so many times and then it just gets ridiculous. Next time you need to make a run to the store for your goodies, stop and look at it all. Maybe I just am easily perplexed and need to get out more or perhaps I need to ponder things that truly impact my life. Whatever the case may be, I found this amusing.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Remind Me~

1.To never buy my doggies squeak toys for their stockings again. It is the most annoying thing in the world to be woken up by the incessant high pitched squeaks of a rubber elephant.

2.To not eat 5 zesty dill spear pickles in a row.

3.To not pick up a lighted lawn ornament that fell into a puddle....zap!

4.To not laugh when Chloe and Shae say, "Daddy needs Smooth Away for his hairy butt". While shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond they both saw it on an endcap and in a roar of laughter and shouting, kept repeating that statement while onlookers held back chuckles. Poor Brendan.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Ok, so I've been on a musical journey lately. I forgot how much I love this man. He is absolutely gorgeous and could sing to me anyday.......

Chris Cornell is getting better with age, he's 42!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Something to ponder~

Why is it that when someone has a terminal illness and is a DNR (do not resusitate) they go to extreme lengths to prolong their life? I don't know why you would want to make a loved one suffer for your own selfish reasons and inability to cope with the finality of life. I see it everyday. Family members that have POA (power of attorney) and make all medical decisions for their loved one. What people don't understand is that every human being, if able, should die with dignity and respect. Not with people pushing on their chest, breaking ribs, sticking tubes down their throat, sticking lines into their arteries etc.... I have NO problem discussing plan of care or end of life care with families. I usually do it before the docs. So many people have guilt and remorse for "giving up" on their family member. There is a time when reality vs. miracles takes place. No one wants to give up that glimmer of hope, but quality of life is far more important than quantity of life. It is difficult to watch someone's heartbeat on the monitor drop from 50 to 30 to 10 to asystole. To be in the presence of a person when they pass, I feel is an honor. Sometimes their families are present, other times they are alone. It is bizarre to hold the hand of someone when they die or stroke their forehead. But that just isn't a patient. That is someone who was a full of life at one point. Who enjoyed the same everyday things you and I enjoy. That was someone's mother, father, sister, brother and soulmate... I always get a little more sensitive around the holidays when you find out your patient has cancer or other terminal disease. It makes me thankful every second that my family is healthy. I wouldn't trade my profession for anything in the world. I feel that God gave me the abilities to be a nurse. Well, that's my little story of the day...