we got nothin’.

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Seems like the last few weeks have been a constant GO.  And especially the weekends…a time you reserve for relaxing and getting rejuvenated for the week—when in reality, they just have seemed to kick up a gear in the “GO” department.  So, last week when we looked at our planners and saw that really—we had nothing too pressing scheduled—well, let’s just say, I did a little happy dance.  I was on call a good part of the weekend, but for whatever reason, I was only called in for a few hours, which left a lot of free weekend.  So awesome.  So needed!

The cold weather burst through early Saturday morning and brought with it excitement to turn on my oven.  So, for the start of this beautiful week, I have many tried and true NEW recipes I’d like to share.  Perfect for cold weather!

 
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We started out our weekend with these Marinated Ham and Swiss sandwiches.  My family loved these.  I didn’t have the french fried onions for the top, but it didn’t matter.  We had one lonely sandwich left over–so, that’s pretty darn good.

 
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I had been really excited to try this Minnesota Wild Rice Soup.  This was another winner!  And so yummy on a cold day.  I got this recipe from a friend, but changed it just a bit to fit what we like.  I first of all baked my chicken.  But, chicken breasts would work well and my personal favorite way to get chicken for soup are the Rotiesserie chickens at Dillon’s.  They are seasoned perfectly.  Here is how I made the soup:

Minnesota Wild Rice Soup

1 6 oz. box of Long Grain and Wild Rice

1/2 C. chopped onion

1/2 C. butter

3/4 C. all purpose flour

3 t. chicken base

1 C. cooked chicken

1/2 c. grated carrots

1 C. heavy whipping cream

That is the original recipe ingredients.  Soup is so very easy to tailor to how you like it.  You really can’t mess it up.  Right away when I looked at this recipe it seemed very thick to me, which I was looking for something more soup-ish.  So, I started out by sautee’ing the onions and carrots in butter (I used less butter than called for).  When they were soft, I made a roux using ONLY 2 tablespoons of flour (I didn’t want it thick, remember?).  To that, I added the chicken base with about 3 cups of water, the cooked chicken, cooked rice, salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary.  I let that simmer for a few hours very low on the stove and added about a 1/2 C. cream right before we ate it.  YUMMO!  They all loved it.

 

This brings me to the “you win some, you lose some” part of my baking experience this day.  I wanted something sweet to go along with the soup and I also needed a dessert for a potluck.  I LOVE trying new recipes, so my old standbys were not going to cut it.  Thankfully, I ended up with something I could take to a potluck.  And the other?  Well, it wasn’t pretty. 

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I had this Pumpkin spice pudding mix and wanted some way to use this.  I was obviously looking for something pumpkiny to make and didn’t want just a sweet bread.  So here it is.  Instead of making cupcakes, I made a Pumpkin Bundt Cake with this recipe.  I followed the recipe this time EXCEPT I added a 1/2 c. of pumpkin puree to the batter.  It’s worth making.  It keeps well and looks pretty on a plate.  I think the cake may be a bit heavier because of the pumpkin, but it was good.

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The loser was this Oatmeal Cake.  It was good.  It was easy.  But DID NOT come out of my bundt pan.  So, no doubt was not going to the potluck.  It won its place with the soup.  They liked it, but probably going to my “it’s ok pile of recipes”.

 

At first glance, I think my kiddos were a bit disappointed in their lack of “fun things to do”.  But at the end of the day, or weekend in this case, sometimes when you’ve got nothin’, you’ve got everything, you know? 

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