yesterday, a trip to the mailbox yielded a ginormous stack of bills (boo) and a fun, unexpected box addressed to both girls (yay!). the teen ripped the box open to reveal a birthday card for me, a bag of sweet treats for her, and a third bag, addressed to the bean. we left it untouched and brought it home to the bean right away.
she's definitely her mother's daughter, because she zeroed in on the card first:
and then she pulled the tissue paper out of the bag to reveal this adorable little handmade monkey, created with lots of love by her auntie, my cousin/MOH r.
isn't it adorable? i never knew cousin r had such domestic skillz in her. well, okay, maybe i did, but it's pretty cool to receive tangible evidence of 'em. hee!
speaking of domestic skillz, i made dinner for the first time in quite a while. you see, we'd had so much leftover pulled pork and sliced bbq brisket from the bean's birthday bash that the hub and i ate it pretty much all week long. with the teen at her dad's, i got a nice little rest from the kitchen, and i was actually pretty happy to stand in front of the stove and create something from scratch again after the long break.
the bean seems to have developed quite the taste for soup. while on our cruise, she'd enjoyed my cup of cream of wild mushroom soup, and MIL likes to pick up a bowl of broccoli cheese soup from nearby coco's for her. she loves that stuff. can't seem to get enough of it.
and while i was unsuccessful at finding a copycat recipe for that exact soup, i did find another broccoli cheese soup recipe that looked and sounded easy enough. so i decided it would make a lovely dinner on a cool soCA autumn evening.
i melted butter and whisked in some flour to make the roux:
poured in a couple of cups of fat-free half-and-half:
stirred in two cups of vegetable broth:
and let it simmer and thicken for about 20 minutes.
next, i tossed in some fresh broccoli, a shredded carrot, and some sauteéd chopped onion.
when the broccoli was tender, i scooped it out and pureéd it up and then poured it back into the soup. i tossed in handfuls of shredded cheddar and stirred it until it melted, making the soup even thicker and heartier.
damn, a renegade floret. i'd already tossed the food processor (well, okay, the baby food maker, if you want to get technical about it) into the sink, so i just left it.
the true test:
and she loved it! whee! what a great way to sneak in some fresh veggies in her tummy. she ate the entire serving i gave her, and then plopped into my lap as the hub and i had ours a little later and enjoyed a bit more. awesome.
nothing wrong with being sneaky, right? it's all for her own good, anyway.