It’s almost fall and the weather has been slightly cooler this week – it’s been really nice. When the weather even gets a little bit cool I must make soup. Soup is one of my favorite things to make. Soup is pretty easy to make, tasty, and always impressive. You might not think so but people are usually impressed when you can make an interesting soup that’s filling enough to be an entree.

When James and I first got married I ordered a whole bunch of cookbooks from amazon.com. I didn’t order practical stuff. I ordered stuff like “Martha Stewart’s Hors d’ Oeuvres Handbook” and “101 Salsas.” I didn’t even know how to cook rice yet so these things turned out to be pretty useless to me.

Once I learned to cook I turned back to one of them. The Daily Soup Cookbook. There’s this soup franchise in the northeast called Daily Soup and this cookbook is from those stores. The book has a great intro section all about how to make soup great. After that there are over 200 recipes from Chicken Matzoh Ball (with noodle variation) to Thai Chicken with Ginger and Coconut and every single thing in between. Some of our favorites have been Greek Tomato with Trahana Pasta (we use orzo), Grilled Vegetables with Feta Cheese, and – one we tried for the first time this week – Poblano Corn Chowder. Now, you’ve got to be recipe savvy. Unless you’ve got a ton of money you’ll probably cut one or two ingredients from some recipes. For example, a lot of recipes call for a parmesan cheese rind. I know this adds tons of flavor but it’s generally not in the budget and my soup tastes delicious without it.

One of the best things about this cookbook is how much soup the recipes make. Even when we halve the recipes (which we always do) we’ve got enough soup for us to get 4-5 meals out of it. The soup is so good you’re reaching for the leftovers at every meal – not to mention soup gets better as the flavors meld.

As the weather gets colder – especially for my Denver friends – grab this cookbook, a little bit of courage (don’t worry, I know making soup can be scary), and enjoy!

By the way, I updated my recipe page – I added my favorite granola recipe – yum!

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Greek Food Festivus

September 13, 2008

If you live in Birmingham you must do this:

The 36th Annual Birmingham Greek Food Festival

James and I went Thursday night and it was a blast. We spent $23 and got two drinks, a big gyro with a side salad, two spinach and feta pites, two feta pites, rice pilaf, a roll, another side salad, and an almond crescent (plus a free cookie from a really nice lady) and it was all WONDERFUL! Plus it’s just fun to sit outside and relax and listen to the music and  people watch. Do it – it’s so fun!

40% off Banana Republic

September 12, 2008

Hello my friends! So, at work they gave us a bunch of these “Friends and Family” discount cards for 40% off your entire purchase of regularly priced merchandise. I’ve been giving them out left and right but I realized that I haven’t seen a few of y’all. So…if you want 40% off this weekend here is what you’ve got to do. Come see me at my store today (friday) from 12-9 and I’ll give you a coupon you can use Saturday or Sunday. I know, I know, it’s kind of a hassle but I wanted to give you a chance. I can even give you a few if you know some other people who might want one. It can be used at any of the BR stores but if you bring it in to my store to use it, I’ll get a little something out of it. Perhaps you’ve been needing some hot new digs or maybe this can be the way you get your hubs to get some new clothes. Perhaps you just want to pay me a visit. We can have a fit session and you can try on a bunch of clothes and that’s always fun. Even if you don’t usually have fun trying on clothes I bet you I can make it fun.

Ok, that’s all I guess. Maybe I’ll see you today!

an excellent day

September 10, 2008

I am having an excellent day today and I just thought I would tell you about it.

This morning I drove James to work – we’re down one car why my stuped bug is in the shop. The car being in the shop was stressful until we found out that it wouldn’t cost too much. Really, it’s just an inconvenience while we wait to get it back. Anyhow, I drove James to work and was dressed for a run over at the Veteran’s Park in front of Spain Park High School. I decided that since I was already down on Lakeshore that I would try out that path in front of Samford that I had often seen people running on. It turned out to be so nice! The path is really pretty and a good distance – 5 miles out and back – plus the weather was really nice and most of the run was in the shade. I was able to run farther than usual and that is always a good way to start my day.

I headed home for a shower and started cleaning. I cleaned for about a half an hour and got a lot accomplished. While I greatly dislike cleaning I heart it when it’s clean.

I didn’t have class or work today but needed to get some homework done so I was toying with the idea of going to Whole Foods to study before I had to pick James up from work. One problem – no money. While I’m sure they would let me sit there for free that’s just no fun. So, I started going through my big cup o’change to see if I could scrape together enough money for a little lunch. I picked out all of the quarters, dimes, and nickles and – would you believe it – my one coffee mug had $13 in it! I was still left with a bunch of pennies so I took those over to the coinstar machine at Bruno’s. Another $5.91! $18.91 is a pretty good haul for just one big cup o’ change! I had more than enough for lunch so I stopped at Target to do a little shopping. I didn’t find anything but still, shopping with a little money in my pockets – however heavy it is – is always fun.

So, now I’m at Whole Foods. I had a yummy salad and then just ate one of the tastiest creations – an espresso chocolate chip cookie! So good. I’m sort of working, sort of people watching. Now it’s pouring down rain outside – my favorite weather! Good day, good times. Hopefully doing homework won’t ruin it!

My latest guilty pleasure.

September 8, 2008

http://www.tastespotting.com

Go there. Click. Drool.