Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hearty Homemade Soup

It actually got down to about 40 something last week (crazy, I know, we do live in Florida after all) but don't worry yourself sick, it's back up to a balmy 70+ degrees here this week. I jumped at the opportunity to make a homemade soup however when it wasn't a million degrees out still in the middle of November. This recipe had been on my Pinterest board for AGES, literally, and so I thought I'd stop starring at it every week I make the weekly menu and just try it already.

It was SO good and pretty easy to make. The best part was that all the ingredients, for the most part, were fresh and the ones that weren't could totally be subsisted with their non-canned versions. Now that we have a little one on the way I'm trying to be more conscious about the meals we introduce into our weekly food rotations. Since the hubs generally detests veggies, he wasn't a huge fan. However, he's going to have to learn to suck it up a little when Baby E starts to eat solids and "normal" people food. She can't live off of potatoes and red meat anyways right?! That's what I'm saying!

So, if it's nice and fall feeling where you are this weekend or next week I'd highly recommend adding this to your menu :) It also makes awesome leftovers, seriously. I ate it for lunch for a week straight! So yummy! I think I'm going to try not adding in the cheese next time to make it a tad healthier as well.

Hearty Fall Veggie and Cheese Soup
*Adapted from here*
3 cups chicken stock
2 skinless, chicken breasts cooked and shredded

2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (or you could peel and blanch your own!)
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tbsp salt
½ tbsp peper 
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/2 cup tomato paste
8 oz pepperjack cheese, divided
1 cup cilantro, chopped

*Cook all ingredients except for cheese in crockpot on low for 3-4 hours or until ready to serve. Once you are ready to eat stir in cheese. You can also make on the stove if you prefer, I just love the ease of the crockpot plus it makes your home smell heavenly.

The original recipe recommended serving with tortilla chips, so if that's your thing I'd go for it! You can also add more Jalapeno's if you want a spicier taste!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Warning: Baby Update

Winston is very excited to announce that he will be looking forward to a baby SISTER this coming April! We could not be more excited about having a sweet baby girl and feel so blessed to grow our family within the next few months. For those that have asked or are going to ask, no, we don't have a name picked out. Of course we already had a name if it was a boy, but a girl we are a little more stumped on. Don't worry though, you will all be the first to know when we do settle on one we love :)
For those that have been wondering how the pregnancy has been for me, it's certainly had it's ups and downs. I don't like to complain as I know that being with child is such an incredible blessing from God in the first place. However, it's hasn't been the most enjoyable ride at times. The first month was great, not even a hint of pregnancy woes...then I hit the second month "wall" as I like to call it. On the day we found out we were expecting, which was coincidentally the morning he was leaving for a month, the nausea and all day morning sickness set in. I was completely useless for a good month (which conveniently was when the hubs was away flying planes in Arizona). I'm pretty sure God knew that I needed to sit around and be a bum for those few weeks so I can honestly say that was the one time I was almost thankful the hubs was TDY for a few weeks. It was such a blessing to be able to go home and have my wonderful mother-in-law pamper and cook for me those few weeks he was away! I didn't have to lift a finger which was AMAZING!

Enough of my pity party though. The second I hit the second trimester the nausea and food aversions fled and I was able to indulge in my favorites again like cereal (milk was a big NO for baby), chocolate (seriously what girl doesn't like chocolate, mine apparently), and red meat! Other than back muscle spasms that hit around noon until bed time everyday I'm feeling much much better!

As far as little one is concerned, she is growing and healthy! Our visit to find out the gender went great and it was so wonderful to have my sweet husband there. His flight commander and scheduler have been amazing and so understanding. He hasn't missed an appointment yet, which is saying something for how busy they keep these guys!

For those of you that love Winston updates, he is doing great as well! He has certainly been more affectionate within the past month or two which for him is very new. If you know him at all you know he loses interest in being personable after about five minutes and prefers to sleep in the corner like an old man. However, now that I've moved into the second portion of the pregnancy he's become very clingy, which I'm really enjoying! I love to snuggle my little old man of a pup and he's finally letting me!

I'm exactly at the half way mark this week and can't believe it! Time is really flying by and I know it will continue to do so as we get closer to April. The hubs is literally beside himself with excitement over the fact that we will be having a baby girl, which I love. I can already tell he loves her so much, which warms my heart everyday.

The Etheridges