A Crafty Kind of Day – Recipe: Chicken and Rice Soup


It is Monday, but it feels like it should be Sunday.  The weekend was just too short.  But, it is still simply beautiful here today, so that helps.

And, making crafts with my girl helps, too.  She had not been awake even 10 minutes when she said, “What crafts can we do today, Mommy?”

We started with this crayola art, which I found here.  Summer got a little impatient with the melting process, but once it started, she was squealing with delight.


Then, we moved on to this fall fingerprint tree craft.  Anything that involves getting hands in paint is a hit around here.


We finished off our crafty day with a fun little fall necklace.  My girl loves stringing beads and making necklaces.


We had fun.  We enjoyed our Monday, so happy that it is October, which always brings new comfort food, warmer weather, and more cuddle days.  And, those are all absolutely some of my favorite things.

Chicken and Rice Soup

Chicken and Rice Soup


1 package chicken breasts

4 cups water

3 tablespoons butter

1 bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/4 cup onions, diced

2 cups rice, cooked

8 cups chicken broth, from the cooked chicken

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper


  1. Place chicken into crock pot, add 4 cups of water, and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper over the chicken. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  2. Remove the chicken from the crock pot. Allow it to cool, and then cut it into pieces.
  3. Strain the broth into a large pot.
  4. Add the butter to a skillet, and melt over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onions, and carrots, and saute for 6-8 minutes, until just softened.
  5. Add the vegetable mixture to the broth and stir. Then, add in the chicken and the rice, and simmer over low for 20-30 minutes.


Peaceful Dreams – Recipe: Chicken Tortilla Soup

Some of my favorite pictures to take of my children, and has been since they were babies, are the ones where they are sleeping.  No, it does not have anything to do with the fact that them sleeping equals me getting to turn off my mom clock for awhile.  Because, as any mom knows, the mom clock never gets turned off.  It is 24/7, and that is the way that I like it.

I love sleeping pictures because I love how peaceful they look when they are sleeping.  I love that I can imagine all of the things that they are dreaming about as they sleep.  When they were babies, some of their first smiles came as they were dreaming.  And, yes, I think that they were actual smiles.  Someone once told me that it was angels whispering in their ears that made them smile.  And, I like that.  I love the thought of guardian angels….because we think that we have some pretty special ones watching over our children.

So, as you can imagine, I was happy to capture a sleeping picture of my Ethan last night.  He had a rough day with allergies and reflux, and I was worried about him.  When I went into his room and saw him sleeping so peacefully with his animals, I was so happy.  I have looked at the picture so many times today, and it makes me smile each time.  It is the absolute picture of peaceful contentment, and I love that.  I love that even in the midst of a rough day, a rough week, our dreams take us to a peaceful, happy place.

I have been dreaming about Fall, which is why I decided to make my own dreams come true tonight by making a fall-type comfort food.  It is Taco Night in our home, so I went with the Mexican food theme and jumped to Tortilla Soup.  I can eat soup winter, spring, summer, or fall.  But, it is with those first cool days of the season that I really crave something warm.  No, it is not fall here, but we did get some cooler weather this morning.  It is with thoughts of Fall being right around the corner that I hope to have my peaceful dreams tonight.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup


1 whole chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped

2 cups frozen or fresh corn

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 cup water

2 14 ounce cans diced waters, blended

2 8 ounce cans tomato sauce

Chicken broth, from the cooked chicken

Cheese, optional

Crushed tortilla chips, optional


  1. Place chicken in crockpot. Fill with water. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder (This is in addition to the amounts listed above - I just generously sprinkled into the water and onto the chicken). Cook on high for 6 hours. Move the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the broth - it should yield about 8-10 cups.
  2. Saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno in a large pot until soft.
  3. Add the water, about 8 cups of the chicken broth, the blended tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn, and seasonings. Bring to a boil.
  4. While the broth and vegetable mixture is coming to a boil, shred the chicken.
  5. Add the chicken to the pot, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with your choice of cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

Whether it is Fall that you are wishing for or something else entirely, I hope that you have sweet dreams tonight!

Peace, Love, Peaches, and Watermelons – Recipe: Beef and Vegetable Soup

We are at my parent’s house.  It is a tradition for us to come in for the annual Peach and Melon Festival.  Tonight was the parade, which is something that my littles look forward to each year.  They love looking at the floats, waving to all of the people, and collecting candy. My talented mom made everyone matching shirts, and she made candy bags for the littles.



Even though the parade was at 7 pm and the temperature was still 106 outside, we had a great time.  I love the look of pure joy on their faces as they wave to the people in the parade in the hopes that they will throw even more candy.  They look so sweet, so innocent, and so incredibly happy.  Peace, love, peaches, and watermelons – seriously, those four things should bring a smile to the little in all of us.



As I mentioned yesterday, my mom is doing a great job with our menu.  We had to have a healthy meal day to compensate for all of the candy that we knew that the littles would want to eat tonight!

Today’s menu:

  • Breakfast – Cereal, apples, sunflower seed butter
  • Lunch – Spaghetti and meat sauce, salad, toast (gluten free bread)
  • Dinner – Beef and vegetable soup
  • Snack – Bananas, grapes, and cherries

I am sure that there are a million different ways to make beef and vegetable soup, but this is how I do it.

Beef and Vegetable Soup

 Beef and Vegetable Soup

This is an easy one-dish gluten and dairy free meal. And, it is an excellent way to get the littles to eat extra servings of vegetables.


Roast, cut into small bite-size pieces

Beef broth, 24-32 ounces

Tomato juice, 8-16 ounces

Potatoes, cut into cubes, about 1 1/2-2 cups

Carrots, sliced, about 1 cup

Peas, about 1 cup

Corn, about 1 cup

Celery, sliced, about 1/4 cup




  1. Place roast (whatever kind your prefer) in crock pot. Season with salt and pepper and add enough water to partially cover the roast.
  2. Cook for 8-10 hours. I usually cook my roast one day and then make the roast the next day.
  3. Remove the roast from the pan and strain the broth.
  4. Cut up the roast into bite-size pieces.
  5. Add the juice to a stock pot and add the 24-32 ounces of beef broth (more or less depending on how much broth you get from the roast).
  6. Then, pour in 8-16 ounces of tomato juice (once again, depending on preference and how much broth you desire).
  7. Add the roast, potatoes, celery, and carrots.
  8. Cover and simmer for 2 hours.
  9. Add the peas and corn, and simmer for another hour.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.