Thursday, December 23, 2010

What to do with your leftover ham

Ok, so I'll admit, Ben and I are doing things a little bit backwards this year. We ate ham for Thanksgiving and we are finally going to cook our turkey for Christmas Eve dinner. In trying to use up the leftover ham, I stumbled upon a delicious recipe for ham soup. Seriously, it gets five stars from me, I forgot how good the soup was in between each bite. Here it is:

Ham and Potato Soup

3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

  1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, carrots, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.
  • I recommend using the white pepper instead of the regular ground black pepper because it works so well with the other flavors in this soup. And although I typically use "Better Than Bouillon," I think the crushed bouillon granules work really well.
  • Feel free to add other vegetables to the soup. I like adding carrots because they make the soup heartier and add color. You can even omit the meat, making this a creamy vegetable soup.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs or grated cheese

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Another Trip to Idaho

At the beginning of December, I went back to Idaho with Remy for my sister's baby shower. Inevitably, I forgot my camera, so I only have a few pictures others were willing to share with me.

It was my first time flying with a baby, and boy was it an adventure! Ben and I figured flying would be much easier than me driving by myself for six hours, especially with a baby, so when my mom offered to pay for half of the flight, we took her up on it. Our flight out of Salt Lake City was early in the morning, so after getting loaded up, we headed off to the airport and Remy fell back asleep. Inexperienced me though, didn't know that both the stroller and carseat have to go through the x-ray machine. So I had to wake Remy up and take him out of his carseat to get through the security checkpoint. Although it was inconvenient, I LOVED the family friendly line which was considerably shorter than the regular lines.

Remy fell back asleep before we boarded, and then woke up while we were descending. He was still so tired and fussy, he cried until we landed. So yes, I was one of those moms, on the airplane with a crying baby. Flying back was a little bit easier. I got to the security checkpoint and felt like a pro, breaking down the stroller, putting the carseat on the belt, and keeping up with the traffic. One man, however, must have thought that I wasn't going fast enough when about a foot and a half of space appeared on the belt between me and the person in front of me. Much to my surprise and chagrin, he cut in front of me! I guess he needed to get somewhere much faster than me. Remy did much better on the second flight. He cried during take-off, but fell back asleep until Ben picked us up in Salt Lake.

During the trip, I helped my mom get ready for the baby shower (no pictures, sorry). My sister had a tea party theme, so we had a buffet of treats and sweets, along with tea, hot chocolate, and mulled cider to drink. It was fun to see some of my friends from Idaho and catch up.

We also happened to go shopping at the mall while I was in Idaho. My mom bought me my birthday present...these fabulous snow boots:
I love the color, don't you? She also bought Ashley her birthday present, which was the same boots in red. :) While at the mall, we went to Williams and Sonoma, my mom's favorite store, and Caitlan my sister wanted to wear Remy in my Moby Wrap. Remy seemed to enjoy it as well, since we put him facing outward for the first time.

One of the most important things Remy and I did during our trip was to visit my grandfather, who is 94 years old. He lives my Aunt Sherron, since my grandmother passed away this summer. We made a special trip on Sunday to visit him, and Remy took to him immediately. It was amazing to see Remy smile at my grandpa, and sit on his lap like I used to do when I was little.

Four Generations
(Remy wearing his Christmas sweater outfit my mom bought for him).

Remy and I were ready to go home by the time the weekend was over. We missed Ben and wanted to get back to him and our daily routine. However, we enjoyed our visit with friends and family.

Three Months!

Remy hit his three month mark this week, and he is certainly growing up. He has gotten much better at holding his head up and can sit by himself on the couch (propped up of course). During his tummy time he can hold his head up for short bursts, and will switch his head from side to side. He also has started drooling and loves to put his hands in his mouth. Recently, his hands have "discovered" each other and he will hold them grasped together. He also has become much more aware of his surroundings, and will look intently at anyone or toys that are put in front of him. And now, he prefers to sit facing outward so he can see what is going on. Today, I put him in his Bumbo chair, and he does so well sitting by himself.

Remy in his Bumbo chair

Remy is much more social and will "talk" through his coos and cries. We have had a couple conversations with me asking questions and pausing long enough for him to answer back. Remy loves to smile now, and he is learning what to smile at. If I do something new, he won't know how to respond until I smile and laugh. Then he smiles and tries to laugh, but hasn't quite gotten the hang of laughing yet, so he'll give himself the hiccups instead.

He'll sleep some nights for six hours at a time, and those are my favorite.

We sure love the little guy and can't wait to see what new developments await next month. :)

Friday, December 10, 2010