Broccoli Soup

What do you do when you have a huge Costco sized bag of broccoli to use?  You make broccoli soup of course.  After finding The Neelys recipe at Food Network, I decided to switch it up a bit.  I tend to do that with most recipes.  Since this was spur of the moment, I used what I had, substituted what I didn’t and came up with this.

What you’ll need:

  • Butter (about half a stick…more or less)
  • 1/2 bag of broccoli from Costco…or 1.5 lbs of the stuff you have to work harder at
  • 1 large cut up onion
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 6 slices of bacon (cut up)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
  • Homemade Croutons

Here’s how it happened last night.

I melted the butter in a stock pot.  Threw in onions and broccoli.  Then the bacon.  The original recipe called for a carrot.  At this point in the process, I realized I didn’t have carrots.  But guess what I did have?   BACON.  Carrots, bacon…close enough, right?  Bacon got chopped up and thrown in with the onions and broccoli.  Oh wait, I forgot that I had thrown in a couple spoonfuls of roasted garlic I saw in the fridge too.  Next time I make this, the bacon will get sautéed first, then the onions will get sautéed in the bacon fat…oh ya….

So, onions, garlic, bacon, and broccoli are getting all cooked up.  Salt and pepper have been put in the mix.

Next comes some flour for only about 32 seconds or so.  Then some beef broth.  Recipe from The Neelys called for 4 cups of chicken broth.  I didn’t have chicken broth.  I had beef broth and only 2 cups of it. Oh well, let’s dump water in for the rest.  That bacon will more than make up the flavor the broth may be missed.  Let that all come to a boil until broccoli is tender.  Now grab your 1/2 and 1/2.  If you have seen my fridge more than once, you will soon know that I always have 1/2 gallon of the stuff in there.  Again, Neelys wanted 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  I dumped in 1 cup 1/2 and 1/2.  Makes perfect sense, right?

Now the fun part.  Get out the old immersion blender and blend that soup until it’s nice and creamy.  If you don’t have one, just put it in your blender or bullet.  Add more salt and pepper to taste and you’re good to go.  Wha la!  Fast, ‘healthy’ dinner done in 20 mins or so.  Hey, all the broccoli has to be healthy, right?

 

My Farm Chick Finds

Planning to attend a huge antique show can really stress you out.  I mean, REALLY.  Do I wear this?  Do I wear that?  Should I take water with me?  Food?  How do I wear my hair?  Oh no!  My roots!  My roots!!  Oh, and then you have to issue of which car to take.  Mom’s big old SUV so we can fit all our goodies in it and pay an arm and a leg for gas….or my Jetta TDI and pay almost nothing for gas.  See?  Can you sense my stress levels here?

After my 3rd outfit change (not bad, huh),  the SUV is loaded up, we were on our way.  Laughter was flowing out of the car, pit stops were being made {come on…they just don’t make bladders like they used to} and we finally arrived.  Ahhhhh….

All the stress of the morning decisions were forgotten when we started walking around.  Women were grabbing things right and left.  Wheeled carts were banging into us like mad and we didn’t care.  Charissa and I just walked around with our mouths hanging open and our eyes wide.

‘Whaaaaaa?’  ‘Wooooooow!’

 

Then…I saw it.  This….

Isn’t she lovely????? Ya…. {singing again}  I seriously was not on the hunt for a vintage bag, but this thing just called to me.  It’s rustic, it’s beautiful, it’s the perfect size to hold more Farm Chicks finds in!!!

I found it at the booth, Spool No. 72.  They have an online shop you can see HERE.  Check them out…super, duper cute stuff!

So here I am, holding, fondling this bag and I want it.  I quickly wipe the drool off of it and find someone who manages this booth.  I find out the price {ummm…1/3 less than what I found it for in their online shop. Hello??!!!}, reach into my purse and can’t find my cash.  What?????  Yup. It’s no where.  Nada.  Nothing there but a couple George Washingtons.  Now, that’s not going to work.

But, you have to remember.  I brought a friend.  I brought one of my best friends.  What’s one of the best qualities you can find in a friend?  A friend that has money.  So, I’m down on my knees….begging.  Pleading.  Threatening her the lack of a ride home if she doesn’t spot me.  Ahh…such a good friend she is.  She whips out her own wad of cash and hands the money over.  I love you Charissa!  Will you be my BFF?  The bag is mine!  Well, technically it’s hers until I dash over the ATM and retrieve more money to pay her back.  Ummmm….Mr. Farmer, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.

Now that my debts are paid and I have more money in hand, we’re off for more goodies.  I went to the show with nothing in mind that I wanted or needed.  It was more one of those, ‘if I see it, love it, buy it’ kinda deals.   After a couple of hours of coming up empty-handed, I stumbled upon this old, rickety wood box.  It seemed like the perfect place to store my shipping envelopes {ding, ding, ding….business expense!  This trip’s a tax right off, right?} Well, what do you think?  I believe it’s the perfect addition to my office and it works perfectly.

So, there you have it.  Not a whole lot to report to you but less is more, right?

As for the cash?  Since I had a million outfit changes that morning, it was sitting nicely by my mom’s sewing machine when we got back.  Right where I left it.  Finding that and going to dinner and a movie with mom and Charissa made for a perfect girls day.  Thanks ladies!

Women, Antiques, and Bears…Oh My!

Want to know where you can find thousands of women at one time?  Most with shopping carts on wheels and wearing their glitz and glam?  The Farm Chicks show in Spokane, WA is a great place to start.  But, let me start at the beginning.

I left my kiddos at home with daddy on Friday night and headed over the river and through the woods to grandmas house…I go…{insert music and then call me a nerd}.  On the way over, with 90’s music blaring from the stereo, I saw something dark on the side of the road.  I instantly knew Yogi was enjoying an evening snack.

I knew instantly because bears and I are tight.  I mean, not only do I see them stuffed and sitting in the corner of my little guys room, but you know, I see them at the zoo.

Oh, and I see baby ones and mama ones while hiking alone with Mr. Farmer.  Oh, and then mama sees us and starts huffing and puffing and getting up on her hind legs to show us who’s boss.  Meanwhile, I’m about to pee my pants while trying to sing some little ditty because that’s what the experts on TV tell you to do, and mama bear’s cubs are having a great time climbing the trees right next to us.  Uh, ya, good times.

But enough about the past, this time I was in the safety of my car.  I naturally screech my car to a stop, look behind me for more cars, see none, start backing up on the highway {I’m a daredevil, can you tell}, get within 10 feet of the monster and then guess what?

I roll down my window, climb half way out, sit on the windowsill, and snap pictures of Yogi for a good ten minutes.  It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had with wildlife.  In fact, my friend suggested I stop making jewelry and become a wildlife photographer.  Ummm…maybe not.  I’m a better jewelry photographer than wildlife photographer, but you can still see her in these pictures.

It was so fun and surreal to sit there on my windowsill and just watch her eat.  She would turn around and go to that little stream of water on the left hand side of the picture to get a little drink, then back to eating the grass.  Cars zoomed on by, watching the crazy lady hang herself out the window, but only one other person stopped.  I’m sure she knew I was right there but she didn’t seem to care at all.  I yelled her name, ‘Hey Bear, Bear, Bear’  {see?  I’m a dare-devil, a thrill seeker} and she just wouldn’t look up and give me her smile.  Too busy and obviously too full of meat to care about me.  Talk about fantastic.  I smiled the whole rest of the way over.

Ok, on to the next part fun and surreal part of the my weekend.  At times, I felt like I was in the middle of a pack of bears.  Very hungry bears.  All wanting the same antique as the next one.  But no, just a bunch of women.  I’m not sure which is more dangerous….hanging yourself out a window 10 feet from a bear with cars zooming by or very antique hungry women all cramming themselves into the same booth.  Hmmm…tough call.

One of my best friends, Charissa, was able to go with us.  I could start a blog just about her.  About her stories, her humor, her friendship.  She’s awesome.  And she really, really needs to start doing stand up.  We were pretty much laughing the entire trip.  Now, that’s what I call fun.  Girlfriends, laughter and shopping…does it get much better?

Since I was so busy shopping and gasping for air, I didn’t get a chance to take as many pictures as I wanted but here’s a taste of The Farm Chicks show for you.

Need some keys?

Fun, BIG letters, huh?

Fun way to store chalk

 

I’m off to The Farm Chicks show!!!

I’ve never been.  Have wanted to go. Now I’m going.  Anyone else?

My mom, aunt and best friend and I are heading over to Spokane for the annual Farm Chicks Antique show.  Can. Not. Wait.  My camera’s loaded with new batteries so I’ll try and post some great pictures to make ya’ll jealous.

Haven’t heard of The Farm Chicks?  Check out their books HERE.

Have a beautiful weekend!

~Mrs. Farmer