Jan 012006

Kitchen Fun with Carol

carol2007Happy New Year, everyone! It’s hard to believe that another year has gone by so quickly. Where does all the time go? It sure gives you a dose of perspective on your life and where it is headed. I’m not normally one to set New Year’s resolutions but the older I get the more important it seems set goals for where you are headed. This year I have decided to set some long-term goals for myself. In the past I’ve learned that goals need to be something that is very important in your life. I’ve also learned that changes in habits can take a while to take hold and you have to be patient (patience is something I’m always working on!). Here are some of the areas that I am going to work on this year:

Driving: Over Christmas break we took my twin boys to get their temporary driving licenses, otherwise known as their learner’s permit. So you can imagine what I will be doing once the snow and ice disappear! I’ll be teaching my two boys to drive and taking them to driver’s education classes. What an exciting time!

MaggieExercise: It’s easy to exercise in the warm months but the winter is hard for me. Maggie, our family dog, practically begs to be taken on a walk every night once it warms up. She will go and stare at her leash hanging up on the peg in the laundry room and cries. It is so pathetic that you can’t help but take her out for a walk. The winter is a different story. She is almost 14 and likes the snow but her bones do not appreciate the cold. I certainly understand her feelings! My bones don’t appreciate it either. My goal is to find an enjoyable physical activity for the winter months.

Mind: Last summer I joined a book club called the Page Turners. We meet on a monthly basis and talk about a book that we have read. My goal is to follow through and read the assigned book so that I can actively participate in the discussions. It’s all a matter of prioritizing my schedule. Here’s some of the books I will be reading this year: Captivating by John & Stacy Eldredge, Flabbergasted by Ray Blackston, In His Steps by Charles Sheldon, The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks, and Deadline by Randy Alcorn.

Last month I mentioned that I was going to focus on comfort foods in this month’s newsletter. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but a lot of comfort foods are full of carbohydrates and fat. This will not work with a goal of eating healthier in the New Year. There is one food that I think qualifies as a comfort food on a cold winter’s night. How about a hot bowl of soup, a hearty salad and some fresh baked bread? When planning my winter menu I always include a soup and salad night. It’s one of my favorite dinners of the week.

This issue of Chewin’ the News brings you two great soup recipes. Read more about them in the Bonus Recipes Section.

Bonus Recipes

ItalianMeatballSoupItalian Meatball Soup

This soup is one of my family’s favorite soups. One of our local grocery stores will occasionally have precooked meatballs for seventy-five cents a pound. You cannot make homemade meat balls for that price! And it makes this recipe even easier to make. The broth is rich and thick and full of vegetables. Give it a try!





Potato and Ham Soup

My mom and Dad have a large vegetable garden and they gave us a whole box of extra potatoes. I created this recipe to use up some of the potatoes so they would not go to waste. I’m also going to try some Twice Baked Potatoes. There are some great ideas from the October 2005 Chewin’ the News newsletter. We also love Loaded Baked Potato Soup for lunches.



Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner

Our winner this month is Kim from Surprise, AZ. Read how 30 Day Gourmet has helped make her life simpler and gave her more free time with her family.

Kim says:

I have loved freezer cooking for many years, almost fifteen- which is almost as old as my oldest son. I also have an 11 year old daughter, an 18 month old daughter, and a 4 month old son…quite a handful of children at times…I never could get up enough courage to do a one month session until this past September, and then I actually did 33 meals! What a sense of accomplishment! And the recipes were so easy to adjust to my famished family! The food was delicious, fresh, and best of all- homemade. I shopped and cooked for three full days, and was exhausted by the end of the third day, but I have been a happy camper for the past month and a half knowing I have ready made meals and free evenings with my husband and children. Thank you for making life simple- I cant wait to get back into the kitchen before the holidays so that I can be fully prepared for company this year!

We are glad you got up the courage to try a one month cooking session. It can be a challenge but it is well worth the effort.

Closing Comments from Carol

I hope you enjoy the soup recipes! There is nothing like a steaming hot bowl of soup on a cold winter’s night. Add a tossed salad and warm, fresh bread and you have a wonderful, homey meal. That’s the best in comfort food!

Do you have any recipes that you would like to share? I’d love to try and share them with everyone. You can post your recipes on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or click here to send me an email. Or do you have any other topics that you would like me to cover? Click here to send me an email. I enjoy hearing from you!

Have fun in your kitchen!


Carol Santee

Carol is the co-author of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and the author of 30 Day Gourmet’s Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites, Freezer Lunches To Go and Healthy Freezer Cooking eBooks. She is a computer information specialist and works for a computer software company.

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