Tuesday, September 28, 2010

MmMMmMm Soup

The forecast for this weekend calls for temperatures in the 60's. I am so excited! The heat has been so oppressive (particularly at an outdoor wedding we attended this past weekend, ugh!) and I am ready for all things fall and winter. Particularly, soup. MmmMmm.

My two favorite homemade soups are vegetable beef soup and my grandma's chicken soup. I posted the chicken soup recipe for the DC Ladies a while back, but the recipe is so good I just have to share it again. I hope you enjoy them both!

Grandma's Chicken Soup


1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts
16 oz. chicken broth
Celery, chopped into 1-2 inch logs
Carrots, chopped into discs
Heaping handful of acini de pepe (pasta that looks like tiny beads)
Salt and pepper

Fill a soup pot half full of water and bring to a boil. Cook chicken breasts in the boiling water until white throughout. Remove chicken from water and cut into small pieces. Put chicken back into water and add chicken broth, celery, and carrots. Simmer covered for an hour. Add a heaping handful of acini di pepe and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Vegetable Beef Soup

1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
6 cups water
6 beef bouillon cubes
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, carrots)
Heaping handful of orzo
Salt and pepper

Cook beef, onion, and garlic in soup pot. Drain grease. Add tomatoes, water, and beef bouillon to beef mixture. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes. Add orzo and frozen vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Renovation Complete!

As I mentioned in my last post.....the renovation is FINALLY complete! The cleaners came on Friday and my husband moved all of our stuff back downstairs so that we could officially start using the new kitchen and dining room.

Here are the before pictures:

The wall to the right of window is now gone. A new window was put in.

The drywall covering the brick on the left and the bathroom on the right are gone. The new bathroom is in the closet straight ahead.

New hardwood floors, cabinets, appliances (except the dishwasher), and two big windows replaced the old kitchen.

The washer and dryer are now in cabinets and are side by side. And as I said before, the wall where they were housed is now gone.

After pictures:

As you can see from the first "after" picture, the exposed brick is two different colors. That is because the wall in the dining room used to be covered with drywall. Our landlords and the contractor said there was nothing they could do to fix it. It is more pronounced in the picture, but it still looks pretty bad in person. Oh well....we are moving in 9-10 months!

Anyway, I am so glad it is over. It is nice having a more open space and a brand new kitchen, but man...what a process!

CSN Review in the Works

A few weeks ago I was asked to review a product from CSN Stores. I have been putting off the review because I wanted to wait until the kitchen renovation was finished before choosing a product. Well....the time is here!

CSN has over 200 internet stores and offers a wide selection of products. You can find big items, such as furniture and exercise equipment, as well as smaller items, like wine glasses and dutch ovens. I haven't decided what product I am going to review, but I know it will be something for the new kitchen!

Stay tuned!