Thursday, February 27, 2014

February Fun

It's the end of February and it's still extra cold here, but we've been busy with friends and family so the month has quickly passed by. I thought I'd show some highlights from the fun we've been having.

Playing with Lillian's Valentine play-doh.
Valentine's Day lunch with cousins Griffin and Trenton.
John and I shared a cheesecake for two and watched a movie for Valentine's Day.
The kids and I spent a long weekend in Iowa visiting family.
Gearing up to cheer on the undefeated Panther wrestling team.
A hug from T.C. (The Cat) for Levi. Lillian preferred to keep her distance.
Enjoying the meet with Uncle Nathan and Aunt Steffoni.
Grandma K had plenty of snow to play in.

We got to spend time with my cousin, Michelle, and her family who were in town from Washington. We had a perfect day for sledding-sunny and actually kind of warm.
Michelle, Abby, and Lillian
Hunter and Levi
Abby and Lillian building a snowman.
Wayne built a jump for us and took Levi on a run with him.
When we got home we had a belated birthday dinner for John. He requested an apple pie, as usual.
A trip to the Volo Auto Museum-a first for our family.
Levi's friend Anna and her dad and brother came along too. He was super excited to see Bumblebee.
Lillian-our speed racer.
The Circus Spectacular with more friends. Levi loved the stunt dirt bike riders.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tomato Soup

I love tomatoes, but grew up not eating tomato soup. Maybe I never had good homemade tomato soup, but it stuck with me into adulthood that I didn't like it. A few years ago, I decided to give it another try. I've found that a lot of the things I didn't like growing up, I've developed a taste for as an adult.

This is a simple recipe and makes a small batch. I often make it for lunch. I have also doubled it and frozen it in individual servings. It is perfect when paired with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Tomato Soup
from The Baby & Toddler Cookbook

1 can (28 oz.) plum tomatoes, with their juice (I use my own frozen diced tomatoes.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C. vegetable or chicken stock
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. heavy cream

In a food processor or blender, process the tomatoes and their juices to a smooth puree. Set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender; reserve the saucepan. Working in batches if necessary, process the soup until smooth, then return it to the saucepan. Stir in the cream and heat for a few minutes.