Friday, June 19, 2015

FFF#21, 2015--I'm Exhausted....but What's for Dinner?

The last two days, I have been helping out at Cub Scout Day Camp.  This is the first year I have ever done it.  To tell you the truth, because of the number of boys I have at our house, I think the last 20 years has been cub scout day camp every day---maybe that is why I secretly hope never to have that calling.  I feel like it is my life, every day, all day.

Yesterday was fine.  I enjoyed my time and came home still able to put together dinner for guests.  But today (maybe because I also did the grocery shopping) I was wiped when I got home.  All I wanted to do was to sit and watch a movie or something that took no brain and no body.  I didn't even feel like I could manage dinner.  In the past (once upon a time when our family still ate cheese and Spike Spike, who is allergic to everything, wasn't a part of the family) I would just buy pizza and we would call it good.  Of course, that was totally more expensive and even though our budget was tighter, I justified it much more often because the little people just wiped me out.  Now however, Spike is allergic to everything, so eating out isn't a lot of fun because of the consequences for him, which then translates to me.  Not to mention, we are doing a much better job in the budgeting area and we just don't have the money to eat out.
OK this was just hilarious, and fitting!!

I was totally happy tonight however, when I spent $10.00, bought cheese, bread (remember that I make almost all of our bread products), and ham lunch meat, made grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup (homemade....I will include the recipe) and that was dinner.  Not only were the kids satisfied, they were ecstatic!  Why?  Because I bought cheese!!  Seriously!  A year ago April, I decided that if we really were all allergic to milk, then I shouldn't buy cheese either.  So I quit for six months.  I told the family that is how it was going to be.  Then we learned to eat our food without cheese.  When the six months was up, I really couldn't justify the expense to put it back into our diet.  Every once in a while, someone will super complain.  But I just stick to my guns and that is how it is. Today however, I caved because I needed a break and was totally exhausted.  Grilled cheese it was.  And the masses were ecstatic!!  Even Drew was alright and happy that we were $10.00 over the budget, when this morning he told me to stay within it, because I bought cheese.  Oh the magic of milk.  When it isn't a part of our daily diet, we are all happier and less itchy and less grouchy.  But on a special occasion, (like Mom is wiped) it is magic.  Magic, I tell you!

So here is my amazing tomato soup recipe.  I adapted a recipe I got off of Zis Boom Bah.  (This website is also magic!!  We have used it to help out kids see what they are eating and how it affects them.  There is a lot more to the website than I have time to manage, but I really like it and it is a great resource!!)  OK  I guess I didn't adapt it that much.  This is their recipe:

Tomato Soup

1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves of garlic
1 TBL oil
1 Cup of onion
3 1/2 C Vegetable broth (I use chicken)
56 ounces of tomato (I just buy the #10 can at Costco)
2 TBL fresh basil (I use dried because that is what I have)

(I also add 1/2 chopped red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder)

Saute the onion, garlic and pepper until tender
Puree the tomatoes and sauteed vegetables (because my kids won't eat it if it has chuncks)
Add all ingredients and cook for 5-7 minutes on high
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes (I don't usually do it that long--maybe 10 minutes)
Stir frequently.

Serve with is truly delicious.

This is the fastest, cheapest and easiest soup I have ever made, which makes it a winner in my book.  My kiddos love it, especially those who are allergic to corn and cannot eat the Campbell's kind.  It is fabulous with a sandwich and salad, for lunch or dinner, or even a snack and it packs up nicely in a thermos (if people still do that).  So tonight dinner took a grand total of 10 minutes, prep time included.  Throw in a bagged salad and you are good to go!

Good thing it isn't my night for the dishes, because they would be waiting when I woke up!

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