I had some extra time after grocery shopping and weekly meal prep this afternoon, so I said to heck with it and dragged the rest of my Christmas decorations out!
After adding red ornament accents to the new mantle, and hanging the stockings with care…
I turned my attention to the tree.
Ben and I are still rocking my pathetic Charlie Brown Christmas tree from my first apartment right out of college, but what it lacks in fullness and height, I make up for with cute and meaningful ornaments.
Someone around here thinks non-themed trees are tacky, but I think they’re fun! While no ornament matches the other, they all have a significant meaning.
From the kicking Rockette’s ornament I picked up when my Mom and I saw them last year, to the plump penguin I bought because it reminded me of Ben’s obsession with ‘em (true story) I think they make the tree cheery and personal.
I set up the decorations while Ben supervised from the couch. Poor guy is a kind of a hot mess.
Today he was diagnosed with an ear infection that includes torturous ringing in one ear.
Do you think I could cut my ear off with our sharp bread knife?
Babe? Could you stop humming?
I. Am. Irritable!!!
I feel so bad for him!! Plus, I, uh, sort of owed him from last year…
I made a warm and comforting batch of soup to supplement the cozy new decorations, and help Ben’s thoughts shift from his ear to his taste buds: Vegetable Beef & Barley Soup!
This soup was incredibly easy to make and so hearty, yet light. I chopped up all the vegetables in my food processor and pretty much just threw them in a pot with ground beef, broth and barley.
Beef & Barley Soup
1lb lean ground beef
1 small onion, processed or chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 baby carrots, processed or chopped
3 ribs celery, processed or chopped
1-14.5oz can petite diced tomatoes
1-14.5oz can cut green beans, drained
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
58oz beef broth, divided (4-14.5oz cans)*
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup barley
salt & pepper
- Heat a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic, and season with salt & pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Add carrots and celery and continue to cook under carrots are tender, about 3-4 more minutes.
- Add in tomatoes, green beans, corn, 3 cans beef broth, basil, bay leaf and barley. Season with more salt and pepper. Bring soup to a boil then place a lid on top, lower the heat, and simmer for 60 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
- Add a couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce and season with more salt & pepper to taste before serving.
*If making ahead of time, you may need to add the extra can of beef broth before heating back up, as the barley will have soaked up the remaining broth.
To supplement, I crunched on some Wheat Thins dunked in Sabra Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. It’s weird because I hate roasted red pepper, but this flavor of hummus is one of my #1 faves!
In other news…
I SAW BREAKING DAWN ON FRIDAY!!!! It was soooooooo good!!!
Seriously, my heart is still a wee bit aflutter from all that Edward. I went with my Mom and am planning on seeing it again next weekend with a girlfriend. Fellow Twihards – thoughts?!
I’ve heard it both ripped to pieces and also adored by film critics, but I personally loved it. Plus the soundtrack was awesome.
All that said, I think the final movie will be the very best of the series.
Also, as some of you have already noticed, IGE got a facelift – whee!!! My developer and I have been working out a few kinks since Friday, when it first launched, but I could not be more happy with the new design and layout. It’s been a long time coming and I am so, so thrilled.
I’ll give you the “grand tour” tomorrow, as well as some new things you can expect to see in the near future!
With that, I’m out! Gotta locate, and hide, that bread knife…
What are you “nerdy” about?
I am a huge Twilight nerd (which is weird because I do not usually get into things like this at. all!) Also, I used to collect rubber stamps. Right.