Monday, April 30, 2012

Toscana Soup 2.0

I've been craving Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup lately and decided that I needed to find a recipe to enjoy at home. I adapted my version from this recipe - using chicken sausage, extra kale, and less cream to make it healthier. Even Chris likes it, although he prefers spinach instead of kale.

Copy-Cat Toscana Soup:
4 links precooked Al Fresco Sweet Italian Chicken Sausage
3/4 cup diced onions
1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 1/2 cups of chicken stock
2 baking potatoes (preferably organic)
1 head of kale (preferably organic), chopped
1/3 cup of whipping cream

Scrub and pierce potatoes, bake in microwave for 5 - 8 minutes until soft, roughly chop and set aside. Remove sausage casings and roughly chop into bite-sized pieces. Cook sausage, onion, bacon in a large pot over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Reduce heat to low and add chicken stock, potatoes, and kale; simmer for 15 minutes. Add whipping cream, simmer for 5 minutes and serve.

Oh, by the way, I'm going to try to go gluten and sugar free for a couple weeks to see if that helps with some of the health issues of late. It doesn't sound particularly fun, so wish me luck!

"Put on your poker face, Mom just found the holes in the yard!"

"Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway." 
Emory Austin

Monday, April 23, 2012

Here Comes The Sun

It feels like I've missed out on a good portion of March and April, but I think (dare I say it) that the worst is behind me with the crazy health issues of late. Life rushed by, literally, while I was sleeping, but I'm starting to feel better on a regular basis.

The weather has been amazing here in Boise over the past week - sunny and breezy with highs in the 80s and 90s. We've been taking advantage of the warm weather by cruising around the neighborhood on our new-to-us bicycles and getting out for some hiking in the foothills. 

The only downside of the rising temperatures is that they bring weird and angry people out in droves, which has made work a little strange lately. The good experiences still outweigh the unpleasant ones*, but my patience has definitely failed me a few times. 

*Complaining about an employee following procedure and then lying about how long you've been waiting on said employee to finish your requests demands does nothing for your credibility and only serves to turn both the employee and management against you. Also, don't try to intimidate employees by getting aggressive. The only person you're impressing is yourself as everyone else has written you off as a schmuck.

Obsession of the week: Rit Dye Powder
I ran across a post about dyeing jeans on Centsational Girl a few months ago, but I've been too nervous to try it myself until recently. I used one packet of navy blue with a dash of black and I'm pretty pleased with the way the jeans turned out. 

My refreshed jeans made their debut on a casual Friday at work and my coworkers were incredulous when I told them that I had dyed the jeans I was wearing. Next on my list is trying their "Denim" color, which I'm hoping will have less of a purple tinge.

"Be enthusiastic.  Remember the placebo effect - 30% of medicine is showbiz."
Ronald Spark

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Short Version

I've been dealing with some... interesting... challenges lately. My thyroid levels have gotten to the point where I feel sedated most days and end up falling asleep early in the evening - not to mention the fact that my short-term memory is somewhat nonexistent. Keeping my focus at work currently requires large amounts of caffeine and while I start out my evenings with the best of intentions, I generally have completely forgotten what I intended to do within an hour of arriving at home and am ready to hit the hay by 8pm. (This update is brought to you by the alarm I set on my phone, telling me to post something, anything, as it is now two days overdue.)

Bear with me, I will hopefully be fully functioning again in a week or two. And by fully functioning I mean capable of using power tools with supervision.