Our Garage Sale aka Letting Go

I’m squeezing this post in while Fisherman is taking a much needed nap after a hectic three days. (Today is his birthday and I took him out for lunch. It’s a beautiful day and we sat outside at a restaurant by the river, but the food gave me a stomach ache.) The next few days we expect will be equally as hectic. It’s hard getting rid of a household of furniture, deciding what to keep, what gets donated, what gets sold. 

I’m throwing up some pictures that aren’t edited or even watermarked. I just don’t have time and besides, if someone wants to ‘steal’ my photos of my garage sale, they can have them ;).

We were fortunate to have lovely weather, which is saying a lot considering how Mother Nature has treated the Northeast this year. We had a steady flow of people, with Friday being the better of the two days, but on Saturday at the 11th hour one person bought two armoires, our huge sectional and a chaise, aka a fainting couch. Whew!! 

I would have liked to keep this jewelry hutch, but I just don’t have the room. I hope to have Fisherman build me a jewelry case where I can actually SEE what I have, otherwise I find I wear the same jewelry day in and day out.

garage sale

I went to the cabin last week and brought back some things from there. As you can see, it’s a lot more rustic than what we had at our primary home. The idea of living somewhere full time with boat paddles and canoes as decor just doesn’t float my boat (no pun intended).

garage sale tips

Long after our sweet Bubbles passed away, we kept this bed because it’s so darn pretty! With the addition of maybe a piece of mirror or glass, I can see repurposing it as maybe a holder for toiletries or barware if you have the counter space.

garage sale

We didn’t sell the vase or the pictures, but the rest of these items sold. Can you say gold overload?? It’s funny how our tastes change isn’t it? I find about every 5-7 years I’m looking to try something different. How about you?

garage sale

Everything here sold except for the tray in the foreground. That’s been donated. We did two Goodwill runs today. Felt good :). Notice the tissue holder? Another cabin transplant from my nightstand.

IMG_5971

These little guys were kinda cute and if we didn’t sell them I would have taken them with us to the cabin. I was a little sorry to see Moe, Larry and Curly go! 

IMG_5972

Remember this rug? It’s an Ikea rug that I painted on both sides to make it reversible. Sold it for $13, and believe it or not the buyer STILL wanted a discount! Geez Louise…

IMG_5973

Here’s a poster we had on the gate with some of the items we were selling inside the house. On the second day we brought out the leopard chairs and the bench and they sold. Here’s a tip: if you want to sell something, DON’T keep it in your house if possible, even if you’re having a moving sale like we were. People feel weird about going inside sometimes. 

We sold everything except that table in front of the sectional, art work and an oriental rug. Pricier items are a tough sell at moving sales so I’m going to look into dealers once we get settled. 

garage sale

Here’s a picture of our bedroom at our last house. We sold everything you see here, except the chandelier. I’m not parting with that, even though I have no place to put it at the cabin :(. The armoire in the top right of the picture above faced the bed. It didn’t actually come with the nightstands, but isn’t it interesting how they match? 

The town we live in has pretty strict rules about signs so we couldn’t do as much as we would have liked, but overall we are happy with the results. I’ve read lots of tips about how to have successful tag sales, such as place similar things together, put up yellow signs, have a ‘free’ box, make sure everything is clean, have plenty of tables to display things, etc., but the best tip of all is to know WHY you’re having the sale. Are you looking to make money or do you want to just get rid of things? Maybe a little bit of both? Whatever it is, price accordingly and always remember MOST people will ask for a discount no matter how low the item is ticketed at. Remember my knee surgery in February? Well, I was given a cane that I NEVER used so I ticketed it at $5, and yes, the buyer wanted a discount. I didn’t give it though because sometimes it’s just too darn ridiculous already, but naturally she took it. 

Monday -Wednesday will be crazy busy this week and since I’m not one to schedule posts in advance you may not hear from me for a while. I promise I will try to stop by and visit but I’m sure you understand things are a little busy right now. Once the computer is set up at the cabin I hope to be back on track but until then wish us luck and I miss you all! 

 

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At The Hop!

 


Welcome to the Thursday Social Media Blog Hop!  We are so happy to be joining together to bring you the  bloglovin’ and social media Blog Hop to help grow our blogs.   It’s always a great idea to have many ways for friends to follow your blog. 

Last week was so much fun adding all of the social media sites, that we are going to continue with all the social media ways to follow!   More sites means more followers!  Friends can hop on over to visit your blog.   

A huge thank you to everyone who joined us last week.  We hope you made some new friends! 

 
Thank you for joining us in the huge blog hop blowout this week!  

 
 
 
 

Please follow each hostess, and leave us a comment so we can return the follow!   Please visit  at least 3 or 4 other links and share some bloggy love with your fellow bloggers!  



 


We have one more request!  Please return the follow of  those wonderful friends who take the time to follow you!  Pretty Please!!!
 



 



 
                                    Let's Connect Social Media blog hop
 
 


Please link up your bloglovin’ follow link.  To find your URL, just click on your follow by bloglovin’ button.  Copy and past the URL link.  That’s all there is to it!  

Thank you so much for joining us!  We hope you make many new friends and followers each week.  
 
 
 
 
 
                                                Hostesses:


Your Modern Family                                                           ref="nofollow"

Becky @ Your Modern Family                                      Doreen @  HouseHoneys  

 
                                                                       
  ref="nofollow"                                              My Photo

 

  Kathy @ Life on Lakeshore Drive                           Tammy @ One More Time Events




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Crispy Skin Pernil-A Puerto Rican Favorite

 

 

crispy pernil

Last week I told you about a class I attended at a local Puerto Rican restaurant and I promised I would share the fabulous recipe for Pernil, which is basically a slow roasted pork shoulder, but before I begin I’d like to share a little bit of history about this traditional dish. 

You would be hard pressed to find a Puerto Rican family on Christmas Eve that does NOT have this dish as the centerpiece of their table. There are many, many, many variations of this recipe and no right or wrong way with one exception: the pork shoulder must be cooked low and slow. Yes, from start to finish it takes a while, but it’s mostly unattended and can be prepped in advance, making it perfect for family gatherings and celebrations.

Some families use fresh ham in place of the pork shoulder, but pork shoulder is readily available and in my opinion produces a tastier roast.

Now let’s get cooking!

 

 

Pernil, aka Pork Shoulder
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 6-8lb pork shoulder, bone-in
  2. 1/2 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup lemon juice
  3. 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  4. 1/4 cup olive oil
  5. 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  6. 10 large garlic cloves, peeled
  7. 1 1/2 - 2 cups chopped cilantro (substitute parsley if you must)
  8. 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  9. 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  10. 2 tablespoons paprika (smoked if available)
  11. 6-8 teaspoons kosher salt depending on size of roast
  12. 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  13. 1-2 cups water
Instructions
  1. Rinse pork shoulder under cold water and then pat very dry.
  2. In a large roasting pan, place the pork roast skin side up directly on the pan. Use a sharp paring knife to cut slits into the skin and fat.
  3. Take about half of your garlic cloves and place them directly into the slits.
  4. Combine the orange juice, vinegar, olive oil, onion, the remaining garlic, cilantro (if using), cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper in food processor and puree into a smooth paste.
  5. With your hands rub the pork shoulder with the paste on all sides, making sure it reaches into the crevices.
  6. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let marinate at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
  7. When you're ready to cook the roast, remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature around 30-45 minutes to take off some of the chill.
  8. Pour the water into the pan.
  9. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  10. Cover roasting pan with foil and place in oven on lowest rack to bake for at least 5 hours or until very tender.You really can't overcook this dish. As long as the temperature remains low and the roast is covered, you're good to go.
  11. Once meat is done, remove foil from pan and let broil about 5 to 12 minutes. This will really crisp up the skin even more and make you a rock star.
  12. Place roast on a serving platter and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Serve with sweet plantains or rice.
Notes
  1. This is a recipe worth the time. Keep in mind most of it is unattended. You just need to know in advance that you want to make it, because letting the roast marinate for up to two days really makes all the difference.
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At The Hop!

Hi Everyone! I hope you’re all having a great start to the Spring! Goodness knows we could use some warm weather, right?!! In case you haven’t heard, we have some big news! Click on over to here and see what’s been going on in our lives lately. Lots of changes in store, and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Now on to the HOP!


Welcome to the Thursday Social Media Blog Hop!  We are so happy to be joining together to bring you the  bloglovin’ and social media Blog Hop to help grow our blogs.   It’s always a great idea to have many ways for friends to follow your blog. 

 




Last week was so much fun adding all of the social media sites, that we are going to continue with all the social media ways to follow!   More sites means more followers!  Friends can hop on over to visit your blog.   

 


A huge thank you to everyone who joined us last week.  We hope you made some new friends! 

 
Thank you for joining us in the huge blog hop blowout this week!  

 
 

Please follow each hostess, and leave us a comment so we can return the follow!   Please visit  at least 3 or 4 other links and share some bloggy love with your fellow bloggers!  


 


We have one more request!  Please return the follow of  those wonderful friends who take the time to follow you!  Pretty Please!!!
 


 
                                    Let's Connect Social Media blog hop
 
 


Please link up your bloglovin’ follow link.  To find your URL, just click on your follow by bloglovin’ button.  Copy and past the URL link.  That’s all there is to it!  

Thank you so much for joining us!  We hope you make many new friends and followers each week.  
 
 
 
 
 
                                                Hostesses:


Your Modern Family                                                           ref="nofollow"

Becky @ Your Modern Family                                      Doreen @  HouseHoneys  

 
                                                                       
  ref="nofollow"                                              My Photo
  Kathy @ Life on Lakeshore Drive                           Tammy @ One More Time Events

 




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Brave Girls club

Have you heard of them?  I read about them over a year ago and subscribed to their daily uplifting emails, but today’s was so spot on I just had to share it with you. Considering what I wrote about in this post, I thought the timing of their email was perfect!

 

 

Your daily truth from the Brave Girls Club
Dear Gorgeous Girl,It’s a big life in a big world with big possibilities. One of the wonderful things about all of this is that what might SEEM like the end….is actually the beginning.Change is hard and endings are difficult and saying goodbye is painful. But it is all part of a big life in a big world with big possibilities, and every change, every ending, every goodbye is a step toward new and exciting things.Every change, every ending, and every goodbye is also proof of incredible experiences that if nothing else, taught us more about ourselves and others.We can also look back and be thankful, no matter what happened or how we ‘thought’ things might turn out. Things always turn out exactly as they are meant to.

As the old saying goes, “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened,” and know that happy and amazing things are ahead for you. Your best years have not even happened yet!

You are so very loved.

xoxo

 

 

Of course, saying goodbye to the business wasn’t painful or difficult, but saying goodbye to some of our workers…well, that was a different story.

There were hugs and tearful goodbyes…and we will miss them.

Especially Fisherman.

But soon it will become a distant memory, and they will either stay with the new owner and adjust to the inevitable changes that will take place or move on.

As we surely will. 

 

P.S. I encourage you to check out the Brave Girls club here and sign up for their daily inspirational emails. There’s a lot more they have to offer too so check it out.

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A Reason To Celebrate!

I have been hoping to write this post for about as long as I’ve had this blog. We have BIG news!! This weekend, on Saturday, March 29th, we sold our residential cleaning business that we’ve owned for 15 years!

CELEBRATE

It’s been a long time coming and I’m about as giddy as a girl on prom night! I wanted to let you all know long before this, but for obvious reasons I couldn’t. 

Settle in and indulge me for a few minutes and allow me to give you a bit of history…

Way back in 1999 I was working at Nordstrom in the Personal Shopping Department. I went to work in the fancy smancy store, wearing fancy smancy clothes and worked with fancy smancy customers…but one day I got it in my head that I wanted to own my own business.

I wasn’t exactly sure what type of business I wanted, but I knew I didn’t want to invest a lot but I wanted to make a lot. Oh, and I didn’t want to work 7 days a week.

Right off the bat, a lot of businesses were knocked out of the park. I looked at tutoring services, frame shops, sign shops, and too many others to remember. Most of them required long hours and not the income potential I wanted.

I was working with a broker at the time and he introduced me to the world of residential cleaning franchises and even though it wasn’t something I had given much thought to (I mean seriously…who grows up saying ‘I want to own a cleaning business when I grow up?) I knew this was the direction I wanted to go. I looked at several franchises before settling on the one I ultimately went with. At the time, they were a relatively small company (I was #25) but big enough for me to feel like they knew what they were doing, and I was right. 

So off I went to training, found an office space and hired my first cleaner. That’s when the *fun* began.

Monday’s are notoriously the worst day in this business, and every Monday my stomach was tied up in knots. I’m talkin’ multiple visits to the bathroom tied up in knots. TMI. But, true to my Capricorn nature, I persevered, and eventually things got better. They REALLY got better when one year after I opened my doors, Fisherman retired after 30 years with the same company and joined me. For a couple of years, we divided up the workload. Monday’s and Wednesday’s were my days, Tuesday’s and Thursday’s were his, and Friday’s we both went into the office. 

Before I go any further, let me explain one thing. It was always my intention to have the business for 5-7 years. When I started it, our daughter was 13 and I thought by the time she went off to college the business would be profitable enough for it to pay for her tuition but once she was finished I would sell it. Well, time has a way of getting away from us, doesn’t it? Before running this business, I never worked at one place more than 3 years, tops. That’s just how I roll. 

So…after a couple of years working the above schedule, I had a meltdown. I wanted out.

Fisherman, in his infinite wisdom, agreed to be the one to go into the office EVERY DAY and I began working primarily from home. Happy wife, happy life, as they say. This was actually a much better solution because all our employees are hispanic and the extent of my spanish is pretty much limited to ‘Ole’ and ‘Que Bueno’, but Fisherman is fluent in it. Choosing to run a cleaning business was truly one of those ‘what was I thinking’ moments, but as a wise friend once told me, if we knew what we’re getting into we wouldn’t do most of the things we do in life. Truer words were never spoken.

About three years ago we put our home of 26 years on the market. Once we finally sold our home after more than a year and a half, we were ready to sell the business. More than ready.

We moved into our current rental in the meantime in December, 2012. We knew when we moved there that we would HAVE to be out no later than March 31st, 2014 (TODAY!) because the landlord and his fiancĂ© would be moving in just prior to their wedding this May and they wanted some time to do some things to the home such as adding hardwood flooring before that.  When January of this year rolled around and we didn’t have an offer for the business, we started to get discouraged. We knew if we didn’t sell soon we would have to find another place to live and go thru the hassle of moving, not to mention by this time Fisherman was SO over dealing with the day to day stuff at the office also.

You might be wondering why we didn’t hire a manager? We actually did a few years ago and for a few months he was great. He always told us how much he loved the position and how he was learning so much until one Monday morning at 7:30 he texted Fisherman and said he was quitting. Out of no where! Yeah. He had issues. We were devastated because it takes a huge amount of time and effort to train someone, so we just decided at that point to do the work ourselves.

On Saturday, January 18th while having dinner Fisherman and I talked about our options. We knew time was running out so we decided to give hiring a manager another try, perhaps offer a percentage of the business so they would be more motivated, and spend more time at the cabin but still be involved but on a more limited basis. Two days later, that Monday, January 20th I got a call from the Corporate office saying they knew someone who might be interested in our business. While I was on the phone with them, my cell phone rang and it was the person they were speaking of. She wasted no time in contacting me after receiving my info, and within 10 minutes I knew she was the one.

Can you believe the timing?? 

For the last two weeks she’s been in training, and this Saturday we closed. Oh, and our landlord agreed to extend our lease two more weeks so we will be able to move without feeling stressed about it. We’re also going to have a moving sale in a couple of weeks. We have a house full of furniture and all of it has to go.

So here we are, at the beginning of a new life chapter with infinite possibilities before us.

We will be spending the next several months at the cabin, then we may do some traveling…whether that’s in an RV or the traditional way we’re not sure. If we didn’t think so before, this past winter has most definitely shown us we don’t want to spend winters in the Northeast if we can help it, so we’ll be looking for places we like and possibly buy another home (or rent). 

What are the odds that right up to the 11th hour that we would find someone to buy the business?! I can’t believe how lucky we got, but I have to say we TOTALLY deserved it, especially Fisherman who deserves to slow down a little and live up to his name a bit.

But just a bit. Y’all know I’ve got a huge ‘honey do’ list waiting for him at the cabin ;).

 

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A Puerto Rican Feast

puerto rican meal

My friend Donna gives new meaning to the word ‘foodie’, and she has more energy than a litter of puppies. She’s out almost every night during the week overseeing the local community college’s ‘Taste of Westchester‘ food program and it’s her job to recruit the dozens of restaurants who participate. Basically a restaurant agrees to demonstrate how to prepare some of their signature dishes and then serve up what they’ve made. Sometimes students get to prepare the food themselves which is always lots of fun, but at the very least you walk away with a full tummy and maybe even learn a bit about how to prepare a new dish.

Tuesday night my friend Debbie and I joined in on the ‘class du jour’ which was held at a restaurant that specializes in Puerto Rican cuisine. We started off with some delicious empanadas, then the chef, who is all of 20 years old, showed everyone how to prepare mojitos, and that’s Debbie waiting patiently in the wings to indulge.

 

needadrink

 

guava mojito

She made guava and mango mojitos and another one that I can’t remember…guess I had one too many ;).

The main course was pernil, which is a traditional Puerto Rican dish that has as many ways to be prepared as lasagna. 

pernil roast

But the one thing every good pernil will have is crispy skin.

pernil

Aside from the typical rice, a potato salad was made without the added use of an acid such as vinegar and I have to say it was pretty good. Hard boiled eggs were added which I love, and instead of using utensils to break them up, students used their hands.

potato salad

  

pernil2

 Have you ever made flan? I did many years ago using a recipe from Laura Groveman’s cookbook that I talked about in this post. While it was unbelievably good, I didn’t use a liner and it took about a decade to get the pan clean. When I sat down to eat this, I said I was only going to take one or two bites. Hah! It was soooooooo good I pretty much ate the whole thing. 

coconut flan

I will share the recipes for the flan and the pernil in a few days.  You will NOT want to miss them!

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At The Hop!



Welcome to the Thursday Social Media Blog Hop!  We are so happy to be joining together to bring you the  bloglovin’ and social media Blog Hop to help grow our blogs.   It’s always a great idea to have many ways for friends to follow your blog. 


Last week was so much fun adding all of the social media sites, that we are going to continue with all the social media ways to follow!   More sites means more followers!  Friends can hop on over to visit your blog.   


A huge thank you to everyone who joined us last week.  We hope you made some new friends! 

 
Thank you for joining us in the huge blog hop blowout this week!  

 
 
 

Please follow each hostess, and leave us a comment so we can return the follow!   Please visit  at least 3 or 4 other links and share some bloggy love with your fellow bloggers!  

 


We have one more request!  Please return the follow of  those wonderful friends who take the time to follow you!  Pretty Please!!!


 
                                    Let's Connect Social Media blog hop
 
 


Please link up your bloglovin’ follow link.  To find your URL, just click on your follow by bloglovin’ button.  Copy and past the URL link.  That’s all there is to it!  

Thank you so much for joining us!  We hope you make many new friends and followers each week.  
 
 
 
 
 
                                                Hostesses:


Your Modern Family                                                           ref="nofollow"

Becky @ Your Modern Family                                      Doreen @  HouseHoneys  

 
                                                                       
  ref="nofollow"                                              My Photo
  Kathy @ Life on Lakeshore Drive                           Tammy @ One More Time Events
 
 




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Buy It or Make It?

It’s not exactly news that everyone likes to save money, but if we subscribe to the ‘time is money’ adage, there are definitely times it’s worth it to spend a little more…and sometimes not.

The other day I was sifting through a magazine while waiting on line at the grocery store and came across an article that gave me the idea for this post. (Wish I could remember what magazine so I can give them credit!). I decided to come up with a few food items many of us use fairly regularly and evaluate them based on effort, cost and last but not least, taste.

storebought

 

 

Salad Dressing:

 

Effort: I talked about the virtues of making your own salad dressing in this post. Ok, yes, it’s a bit of an inconvenience to chop garlic or shallots and some herbs, but it doesn’t take that long and the dressing lasts a long time in the fridge.

salad dressing

Cost: Store bought dressing costs about 35 cents an ounce on average. If you make your own and you use extra virgin olive oil which costs about 60 cents an ounce, it’s cheaper to buy the store bought.

Taste: There are lots of store bought dressings that taste great, but I’ve yet to find a vinaigrette I like which is my dressing of choice.

Verdict: Make it! It’s a little pricier, but worth it. The store bought versions usually have lots of sodium added and it doesn’t take much time to fix your own. Plus, you can do it in a cute little mason jar and put it on Pinterest :).

Hummus:

 

Effort: Easy peasy to make. You can mash it yourself if you don’t have a food processor or if you don’t want to get it dirty. They’re such a pain to clean, aren’t they?

 

hummus

Cost: Garbanzo beans are about $2 a can and tahini is about $7 for a 16 ounce jar. The good news is you don’t need a lot. Maybe 1/4 which works out to about 88 cents. The rest is some lemon juice, salt and some spices. The bottom line: it costs about the same to make your own than to buy it.

Taste: Much better than the store bought stuff, so it’s worth the small effort to make it. 

Granola:

 

Effort: The effort is minimal. You basically buy whatever you like and toast it for a bit and you’re done.

granola

Cost: This is a tough one. There are so many ways to make granola and there are so many different varieties out there it’s really difficult to pinpoint exact cost but typically a 12 oz bag runs around $6.00. You can easily spend $10 or more on ingredients depending on what you buy. Pecans are pricey but raisins and oats, not so much.

Taste: I’ve made my own and I’ve gotten store bought and hands down, homemade is MUCH better and doesn’t have to contain all the sugar that’s typically added in the off the shelf versions.

Verdict: Make it!

Lemonade:

 

Effort: This is a no brainer. Squeezing lemons is a PITA. I won’t go into the fact that tasting along the way while everything is still tangy is awful and you definitely don’t want to do this if you have any paper cuts (ouch!).

homemade lemonade

Cost: Lemons cost around $1 each in our neck of the woods and store bought lemonade is about $3.50 a gallon. Nuf said.

Taste: The jury is still out on this one, but I personally don’t find the homemade lemonade to be any better than store bought. But maybe that’s just me.

Verdict: Buy it! Your paper cuts will thank you.

Soup:

 

Effort: Depends on the kind of soup you make. Yesterday I made some chicken soup simply by adding a chicken carcass into a pot with some stock, water and onions, but this cheese and broccoli soup admittedly was more time consuming.

cheese & broccoli soup

Cost: A quart of soup costs around $7. I bought the broccoli in the discount bin for $4, which was enough to make about 8 quarts. Huge difference, right?

Taste: I’ve tasted some pretty darn good ready made soups that can rival anything I’ve ever made, but some that were inedible like a borsht type I got the other day that was laden with salt.

Verdict: Definitely make it! Especially if you can get the base ingredients on sale. You’ll save tons of money and you can always freeze most soups successfully. 

Speaking of homemade items, did you see my Homemade Mozzarella post? It’s a great activity to do with friends, not to mention you end up with some awesome tasting cheese! And don’t forget to hop on over to my recipe page and have a look see at some of my favorites.

 

Photo Source 1-4 FoodNetwork

 

 

 

 

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Creamy Cheddar Broccoli Soup

Last week I bought a big ol’ honkin bag of broccoli for $4.00 from the discount bin. I’ve never done that before. I don’t know why because there are some great deals in there and a lot of the produce is perfect for making soup, so that’s just what I did. 

cheese & broccoli soup

One of my favorite things about making soup is how versatile and easy it is to make. It’s right up there with a frittata…almost anything goes! Just use what you have on hand. If a soup recipe calls for heavy cream, you can substitute milk or half & half. If it calls for vegetable stock, you can almost always substitute chicken stock or even beef stock. So even though I’m going to give you a recipe, take it with a grain of salt (no pun intended). In fact, this isn’t exactly the recipe I used because I had about five pounds of broccoli, but I’ve adjusted the amounts for ‘normal’ size ingredients so your results will be the same. 

Creamy Cheddar Broccoli Soup
A rick, creamy and delicious cheddar broccoli soup. Add a salad and some bread and you have a complete meal.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons butter
  2. 1 medium onion diced
  3. 1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
  4. 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  5. 3 tablespoons flour
  6. 3 tablespoons butter
  7. 2 cups fat free or regular half & half
  8. 4 cups chopped broccoli (I use almost the entire stalk except for the very tough ends)
  9. 1 cup shredded carrots (get the bag that's already shredded...much easier)
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  11. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  12. 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh nutmeg (optional)
  13. 1 bay leaf (optional)
  14. 2 1/2 cup sharp cheddar
  15. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Let's Get Cookin'!
  2. In a pot on medium-high heat, add your butter. When melted, add you chopped onions. When the onions have softened a bit, add your garlic, stirring for a couple of minutes. Add your carrots, broccoli and bay leaf, and again, stirring for a minute or two. Add your stock and bring to a low boil, then immediately lower your heat and simmer on medium, covered, for about 20 minutes.
  3. In a separate small saucepan, make your roux. Melt 3 tablespoons butter on medium heat, whisking constantly, then slowly add 3 tablespoons of flour, continuing to whisk. If you prefer your soup thick, add more roux (another tablespoon of each should do the trick).
  4. Pour the roux in the soup mix and slowly stir in your half & half and leave your pot uncovered and on low heat. Take out the bay leaf and season with the above spices, and add salt to taste.
  5. Optional: Using an immersion blender, liquefy the soup, or alternately place soup in batches in a food processor.
  6. Last but not least! Stir in the grated cheese and remove from heat immediately. Serve garnished with extra cheese and/or parsley.
Notes
  1. When chopping your broccoli, consider how you like your soup. Chunky? Then make your broccoli pieces larger and skip the immersion blender.
  2. This soup can be frozen, and believe me, that's exactly what I did because I ended up with enough to feed a small army. The best $4.00 I ever spent!
HouseHoneys.com http://www.househoneys.com/
If you love soup as much as I do, you may want to check out my delish Cauliflower Leek Soup or one of my all time favs, my grandmother’s Italian Wedding Soup.

So tell me, do you grab some produce from the bargain bins ever? What do you use it for? There’s usually a large quantity which can sometimes turn people off, so I’d love to hear some tips from you all.

 

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