Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

I'm tuning out election news and choosing to blog on cooking instead.  It makes me much happier.  I'm sure some of you can empathize with me.  As I said in my last post, I'm planning on making one soup recipe a week through the winter.  I love soups but never cook them in the summer.  Hot soup with 100 degree weather?  It just doesn't jive.  But let it drop to 70 and we have a different story...  Also mix in this teacher fighting off all of these germs my students are trying to share with me and soup sounds pretty darn good.  This one was delicious, so I figured I'd share the recipe.  The key is fresh basil - don't skimp on this ingredient.

 picked fresh from my garden

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup
4 servings

-2 28oz cans of whole tomatoes, peeled (I really like the Cento San Marzano brand)
-1 cup chicken broth
-14 fresh basil leaves
-1/2 cup butter
-1 cup of heavy whipping cream
-salt & pepper to taste (I used about 2 tsp of both)

1. Empty cans of tomatoes along with juice and chicken broth into a large pot.  Bring to a low boil over medium heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
2. Once it's done simmering, transfer to a food processor or blender and blend with basil leaves until smooth.
3. Return to pot over low/medium heat and add butter and heavy whipping cream.  Stir well until butter is completely melted.  DO NOT bring it to a boil.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. And of course, you know the 5 year old in you wants to add a grilled cheese sandwich to make this one great meal.  Or maybe that's just me. :)

I hope you'll try this out and love it as much as we did.  I'll leave you with a brief, to the point word of encouragement as we all await our country's decision...

Be blessed, my dears!  I hope you have a wonderful week! XO

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Feeling Better

These last few months have been really hard on me.  It's been one thing after another, and while I know it could be A LOT worse, I feel like I never have time to get over one thing before something else happens.  Such is life, right?  Sigh...

But I'm feeling much better here lately.  November always makes me feel good - there's so many wonderful things that happen this time of year that make my heart smile.  Above all, I know the Holy Spirit has been working overtime on me.

Our Pastor started our service with a quote this morning.  
"God is most glorified in us when we are satisfied in Him." - John Piper 
 I needed to hear this SO bad.  It's not about me!  Sometimes I forget that when I feel like everything is falling on my shoulders, but it's really not about me at all.  It's about HIM - glorifying Him in anything and everything I do.  I must admit, I've been pretty bad about this lately.  I haven't been satisfied (due to my own selfish desires), so I know I'm not doing my job and letting His light shine through me.  This explains so much.  The light bulb finally went off in my head.

So, now that I've been feeling refreshed, it's time to shake this feeling off and get back to living.  I have so much to be thankful for - more than I could even name...my God, my husband, my parents, my family/friends, my career, my church family...I could go on and on.  Things are finally back in perspective.

I'm doing a Bible study with the ladies in my Sunday school class and it has been such a blessing.  First off, these women are a God send.  I've made some of the best friends and I love the support and encouragement our group has.  We're doing the Unglued study.  I can't say enough good things about this study Lysa TerKeurst has put together.  It is so spot on for what I need in my life right now.

This is how I spend the majority of my mornings.  I'm getting so much out of this Bible study.  It's helping me sort through tough issues in my life and how to better handle hard situations when they arise.

Now that I'm back in the groove of things, I've decided to do some fun things in the upcoming months like...try a new soup recipe every week, get started on Christmas decorations early, make a list of Christmas movies we want to watch and actually MAKE TIME to do it, work out at least 3 times a week (it puts me in a much better mood), have people over more often, call my friends (I'm SO bad about this).  I'm hoping to make some positive changes in my life.  And if these soup recipes are any good, I'll share them with you.

I hope you have a wonderful week and take a moment to count your blessings, not your troubles. XO