Dreary Days = Soup

I swear I have not seen the sun for weeks now. 
It is getting quite depressing, to say the least.
It has been so dreary and gloomy out – is it too much to ask for just a little sun?! 
And if it has to be dreary out – why not just rain or snow… I mean, at least something would be going on then! 

Yesterday was the same as today.  Dreary. 
So I spent the day either curled up on the couch, sipping a chai latte and reading.

Or I was in the kitchen making dinner and some food for baby girl. 

I always had the intention of making homemade baby food for baby girl – but never got around to it.  Ugh.  Buying baby food was always much more convenient.  But it’s starting to get expensive!  50 cents for a 4 oz jar of sweet potatoes.  When I can get a pound of sweet potatoes for 79 cents.  Does this make sense to you?!  So, on Saturday we went grocery shopping and I picked up a few things so I could make her food.  I made sweet potatoes and regular potatoes.

I just baked both potatoes, pureed them, then popped them in ice cube trays and froze.  Once frozen I transferred them to labeled freezer bags and tada homemade baby food.  Quick to grab and heat.  And baby girl loved the sweet potatoes!!  I was afraid she wouldn’t like them, since the taste of the jarred stuff is different than homemade, but she gobbled it up. 
I plan to make carrots, peas and green beans… and maybe mash some bananas before they all get too ripe, but I ran out of freezer bags, so I have to wait until hubby picks some up tonight after work. 

Then I got to work on our dinner.  Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup.  I found the recipe over at For The Love of Cooking, and knew I had to try it!  Oh.My.Goodness, it was so good!!  Definitely a keeper in this household.  Even hubby loved it – and he hates veggies.  He actually ate everything in his bowl!  YAY!

Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup
Recipe from For The Love of Cooking

Ingredients

 1 tsp of olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
2-3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups of chicken stock
1 tsp chicken bouillon
1/2 tsp dried basil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced (more if you like)
1/2 cup long grain rice
1/2 cup frozen sweet yellow corn, thawed
2 tbsp corn starch
12 oz can evaporated milk

Directions
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, carrots and celery once hot. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add the minced garlic and stir constantly for 60 seconds.
Add the chicken stock, diced chicken, rice, bouillon, basil, sea salt, black pepper and bay leaf.

Cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
Turn the soup up until it boils.
Mix the corn starch and evaporated milk thoroughly in a bowl.

Add the milk mixture to the boiling soup and stir.
Lower the heat and add the corn.
Mix thoroughly and simmer for a few more minutes.
The soup will thicken as it sits.

**I ended up using 6 cups of chicken broth, because I used brown rice, which takes longer to cook and was cooking away my liquid.  If you use brown rice, it will also take longer than 20 minutes to cook.  I think I cooked mine for about 40 minutes or so.  I just kept testing to see if the rice was tender. I also used two cups of chicken.**

Yum yum yum!  Go make this!  It is super simple and so delicious!  Definitely good for a dreary day like today!

To finish off the evening, I cuddled back on the couch with the book.  This time I had some hot chocolate.  I had a hankering for something sweet – and I’ve had this in my cupboard for a few months. 

Thought I’d give it a try.
The verdict…. Eh… Not my cup of cocoa…
I drank some of it, but just couldn’t stomach the rest.  I didn’t taste the peppermint in it and it was way too chocolatey for me.
So, I whipped up a new cup – this time with my trusty friend…

Mmmmm. I love this stuff!  So good.  I love that it has real candy cane pieces in it!  You can definitely taste the peppermint and I can control the amount of powder going it.  I don’t enjoy the overpowering chocolate some hot cocoas have, so it’s nice to be in control with how much or how little powder goes in.

Finishing the evening the right way! 

Oh and can we talk about this book?!  If you notice, it says I’m on chapter 3 in the book.  I don’t remember when I took this picture – maybe around 8:30 or so.  I ended up staying up until 3:30am to finish reading the book.  This book is so good!!!  I am a little edgy right now, because I want to read the other books… like… yesterday!  UGH!  I guess the only thing to be happy about, is that I don’t have to wait until they are  finally released.  They are all out, all I have to do is go to the library (or the store) and get them.  Probably the store.  This is a series I need to have in my collection! 
Thank you Hales for letting me borrow the book.  I had no idea what I was missing out on!!

Well, baby girl finally fell asleep for her nap, and I have dishes to do. 
Hope you have a wonderful Monday!  Hopefully it’s less gloomy wherever you are!

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