Saturday, June 11

the best potato soup you'll ever have

Hi there folks! In an effort to avoid studying, and while I am waiting til 10am so I can buy Big Gig tix to see Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance, I am posting the promised recipe and book review. 

*** This soup is one of my favorite meals ever, and my husband is the best at making it. We originally found a recipe similar to this years ago, but have since tweaked it to make it our own. You will enjoy it --- I promise :) 

Creamy Potato and Green Chili Soup

Ingredients: {we ALWAYS double this recipe so we can enjoy leftovers!!!}

4 medium potatoes
1/2 lb green chilis, frozen and chopped
1 medium onion
2 tbsp butter
1 can cream of mushroom soup
16 ounces chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper {omit if you don't want spice, or if you like it spicy like us, double the amount!}
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded


Cube potatoes into 1 inch squares and place in a 4-quart pot. Slice onion and pour in chicken broth and add enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 minutes.
*** don't be concerned if your potatoes stick to the bottom a bit. Whether they are peeled or not, some will stick. While it's best to stir a little bit here and there, you do NOT want to scrape the burned part off the bottom of the pan while the soup is cooking. Just leave that layer be, otherwise you will get burned flavor in your soup.

Add the remaining ingredients except for 1 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of flour. Mix the remaining milk and flour; pour into soup mixture and simmer for another 30 minutes. Top with shredded cheddar cheese {and crumbled bacon if you'd like!} and serve with crackers, bread, or cornbread.

Makes 4 servings.

If you make this, let me know! I hope you like it :) We had a rainy/gray day here last week and it was perfect for that day!

On to the book review...

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

It is 1937 in Shanghai, China, and two sisters, Pearl and May, seem to have it all. Riches, beauty, fashion, fun, boys... until their father reveals to them that he has lost all his money {and their savings} gambling. In a deal with a local gang, he has sold them as brides to some men from Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the war between China and Japan begins, and they find themselves torn between staying in a war-ridden country and heading to an unknown country to fulfill their duty of the arranged marriages. The trials these two face are numerous and insanely difficult. But through it all, they have each other.

This book addresses issues like the effects war has on people and a country, discrimination, social and family heirarchies, secrets meant to protect loved ones, and the roles fate and destiny have in our lives. 

It's a good and intriguing read. If you have a sister, the intense bond the two main characters share will remind you of the competitive yet loving relationships you most likely share with your sister. 

Aaaand Lisa See just released her follow-up to this book! So I am really looking forward to that :) And for those of you who are counting, that was book #8 for me for 2011. My goal is 12 books this year :) I'm thankful I got 8 finished before I started school! Because who knows when I'll get the chance to read my final 4!!!

Have you read any good books lately?
Cheers :)

Thursday, June 9

been missing you :)

Hello, friends!!! {new and old :) }

I apologize for my blogging hiatus --- seems to be a problem of mine lately! It has been crazy in my life lately! Neighbor issues {to put it mildly}...which I didn't want to vent about here, so I kind of avoided my blog altogether I suppose. Apologies --- I hope you forgive me :)

I had my LAST day of work on May 27th! With that last day came a lot of mixed emotions. I felt sadness that I wouldn't be working where I did anymore --- because I have never had a job where I learned so much and also made such incredible friends. I love my Rose girls deeply :) They are such a wonderful team, and I will miss them dearly. Another aspect to moving on from one chapter in life is the fear that you won't be able to maintain those bonds you made previously. I sincerely hope I am able to remain friends with these crazy girls, because my life wouldn't be the same without them!

While I was sad, I have to admit that it was also pretty awesome to be done with work! I was eagerly anticipating the start of PA School! Some days my nerves got the best of me, but I knew I was working toward the career I want. For those of you who don't know, PA is Physician Assistant. They are comparable to NPs {Nurse Practitioners}, and work with physicians in any setting you could possibly imagine. Chances are really really good that you have seen a PA at least once in your Doctor's office, and you probably didn't even know it {often people assume PAs are MDs}! Anyhoo :)

I had orientation last Thursday and Friday, and then really got into my classes on Monday! I have successfully made it through my first week, and it was HECTIC! But exactly what I signed up for :) Anatomy is I.N.T.E.N.S.E. Along with my other 3 lab partners, we have a total of 10 weeks to dissect a human cadaver from head to toe. Did I mention it's face-paced? Thus far it has been an incredible experience. Body bits and formaldehyde aside, it's super fun! I am pretty excited to have the opportunity to do this. All of my new classmates {class of 44, 38 girls : 6 guys} are awesome, and I think we're going to be a tight-knit crew, whether we like it or not, here pretty quickly! 

So I will be mad crazy woman busy, immersed in anatomy, for the next 9 weeks. And I'm sure my "summer" will fly by in a flash! But I think blogging gives me a minute to slow down, organize my thoughts, and put things into perspective. So I hope I take the time to do it :)

Along with the start of PA school came a sad goodbye --- to cable television, on demand, and my dvr. If you know me, you know I'm a girl who has MY SHOWS! In the last 2 years while my husband has been diligently studying to become a doctor, I have been working 3 nights/week as a CNA...and then not a whole lot else. Which gave me lots and lots of time for mah showwzzz. I love TV. Like seriously. But I knew that once I started school: A) I wouldn't realistically have the time to watch tv. B) If I did find the time to watch tv, then that meant I was using it as a distraction tactic. And that = fail. So I decided to get rid of it all together. Yeah like we don't even have our digital converter set up. I literally haven't watched tv since May 31st. I feel like a recovering addict or something...

So that's a little update in my life! The dogs are definitely pissed that I'm in school for 9 hour days, because up to this point they have been ridiculously spoiled when it comes to having mom or dad at home with them. With Tyler home at night, and me home at day {I worked nights, remember?} they rarely had to be alone! So they are coping by being leechpuppies as soon as I come home from school and digging up the backyard while I'm gone. Thank goodness our backyard sucks and only has rocks, dirt, and that poor poor tree {the one Penny destroyed last summer...}. So I don't really care if they dig. 

But I just wanted to update everyone since I got a few comments from friends along the lines of "Where the hell have you been on your blog?" and "I miss reading your blog!" :) I'm alive and well, just busy! 

I did finish reading the book Shanghai Girls last night, and I also want to share our INCREDIBLE {I simply cannot be modest in this instance} potato green chili recipe with you. I have been craving it, and my wonderful husband made it for me for dinner last night! What a catch :) So stay tuned for my recipe and book review post tomorrow!

What have YOU been up to this summer?
Cheers to our new experiences :)