Friday, February 27, 2015

Helpful Links and Creamy Bacon Mushroom Soup Recipe

We are getting back into the swing of normal life. At least, our brand of normal.

A week of school completed, which means one less to complete before the end of the school year. Good food is being eaten. Exercise is happening. Taxes are being compiled.

I switched working days this week, for the next 2 months. My regular sitter is spending two months in Hawaii with her sister who is having a baby soon. My pinch-hit baby sitter is in college and can only swing Tuesdays. So, I'm switching from Thursdays to Tuesday, working from noon to 5:00. It went so well this week. I was surprised. I got a ton done. I am looking forward to having the ends of my weeks more available than they have been for a year or so.

Since it is Friday, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite links from around the web this week. But, today I want to focus on three helpful links...

Amazon Smile. Shopping Amazon through Amazon Smile allows you to support your favorite charity just by shopping. A percentage of each of your purchases is donated to the charity you pick. It takes about 2 minutes to sign up, and then you simply shop Amazon through Amazon Smile. It works the same as Amazon.

Take Them a Meal. This website provides a convenient way to organize meals and other things (can do cleaning, babysitting, etc) for those in your life who need the help. Think new moms, or shut ins, or people recovering from surgery. This allows a broader audience than a say, a church sign-up sheet. I think it is about the best thing since soft spread butter.

Modern Mrs. Darcy's Daily Kindle Deals. Anne Bogel has this page on her blog, and she updates it every day. Each day she lists anywhere from 10-20 books that are on sale for your Kindle. Most of the books she lists are on sale for free to $3.99. Her list was the primary reason I could travel to Spain with materials to read, but without hauling any big tomes. I'm hooked. I scan her list everyday or so, to see if there is something listed that I'm wanting to read. Check it out.

Well, though I am desperately hoping for spring-just like all of you-I'm still stuck in winter-just like most of you. Which means that I am still filling our menu with soups. I think we are eating three over this period of two weeks.

One of my favorite soup recipes that I have discovered this winter is Creamy Bacon Mushroom Soup. It's pretty self-explanatory, and it's delicious. What's not delicious about mushrooms, bacon and cream? Even if you are dairy free, you must admit it sounds delicious...

It is quick to assemble, and tastes great with fresh rolls, and a salad.

Creamy Bacon Mushroom Soup
20 bacon strips (1-1/4 pounds)
2 pounds sliced fresh mushrooms
2 medium onions
6 garlic cloves
2 quarts heavy whipping cream
4 cups chicken broth
10 oz (2-1/2 cups) shredded swiss cheese
6 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 Tbsp water

-Cut bacon into 1/2” pieces. In a large (4-6 quart) pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until
crisp. Using a slotted Spoon, remove to paper towel, reserving 2 Tbsp of the drippings.
-Meanwhile, chop the onions. Slice the mushrooms (if not sliced). Mince garlic.
-In the reserved drippings, sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic until fragrant and tender. Stir
in the cream and broth. Gradually stir in the cheese until melted.
-In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir into the soup. Bring to a
boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the bacon and serve.

So, what are you predicting for March? In like a lion, out like a lamb?

You'd better eat your soup while the lion is roaring!