Random Recipe: Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

This was damn good soup. I am not a fan of leftovers, and this soup not only was good the first night, it was good the second night. Rarely will you catch me eating leftovers. You cannot tell the difference between Day 1 and Day 2. The only caveat to this recipe is it says preparation time is 10 minutes, but in actuality you are actively doing something for the entire 30 minutes. It requires constant stirring, but it is worth it.

You will not be disappointed!

Creamy Wild Rice and Chicken Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup diced carrots
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup of cooked chicken, cubed
1 4.3-oz package of Rice-a-Roni long grain and wild rice (w/seasoning packet)
½ cup butter
¾ cup flour
2 cups half and half


In a large sauce pot over medium heat, saute celery and carrots in the olive oil for about 6 minutes..

Add the chicken broth, water, and chicken to the sauce pot. Bring to boiling, and then stir in rice (saving the seasoning packet for later). Cover and turn heat to low.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and then stir in seasoning packet until the mixture starts to bubble. Reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in flour, tablespoon by tablespoon, until it makes a thick paste. Slowly whisk in half and half until completely smooth. Continue cooking and stirring until it starts to thicken (about 5 minutes).

Stir cream mixture into the broth mixture and cook until heated through (about 10 minutes).

He keeps my world going

I recently saw a post on Facebook sharing a husband’s absolute adoration of his wife. They had just had a baby and were basically living in the NICU. His wife was in school and at the times their baby was sleeping she was writing papers for her classes, and he was in awe of what she was able to handle. I myself was in awe of her. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have your little baby need to be in the hospital for a long period of time, and basically living there with them while also trying to stay focused in school (or work if that is what you need to do).

Reading this on Facebook and reading a book on gratitude made me think about Chris and how hard it would be to do all this pregnant business without his daily help. There are some days that I come home from work and am extremely tired. I guess that is a given for being 34 weeks pregnant. When we come home from work the first thing I need is help taking my shoes and pants off (by the end of the day I cannot wait to take my clothes off). The second thing I usually need is food. Yesterday for example I was starving, and immediately he helped me get into comfy clothes and then made me toast — my go-to snack these days.

Then there is the most recent shift in my body. I can feel my pelvis shifting, an odd sensation, but what is more alarming is that when I get up literally every hour to pee, my body feels unmovable in bed. I have to wake him up and have him help me sit up, stand, and walk me to the bathroom. Without his assistance, I cannot get out of bed, and there have been numerous occasions recently where when I have stood up I start to collapse because of the pelvic pain. Ah, the wonders of pregnancy.

Now you might be reading this and say yes this is part of pregnancy — and you would be right. I am not complaining. I am acknowledging his patience and sharing my gratitude for an amazing husband who 99% of the time never complains. Yes, lately he says how tired he is because he has gotten up so many times in the middle of the night, and I say: “Save it. This is what I have been doing since last April.” Regardless, he has been my crutch, my shoulder, my lotion-to-belly applier, the one who dresses me, and even the one that lifts me out of the car when I get stuck, and most importantly my cheerleader.

While I will not lie, women are amazing. I do not know a man who could make it through 10 months of pregnancy. Yet, we sometimes forget that there are men that rub our backs, our feet, and tell us what troopers we are. Sure we are doing the heavy lifting, but it sure helps to have someone who keeps the rest of your world going. Thank you, Chris.

Random Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

I know fall is almost over and I need to get on board with the fact that winter is on its way. The leaves are mostly off of our trees, and it is getting colder every day. Even as fall leaves us and we move into winter, I still want all things pumpkin. I even joined the silly controversy and the rest of the world in getting a Starbucks red cup for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was worth it.

I also love me some yummy coffee cake. Of course I am addicted to my mom’s version (thank you Betty Crocker) so thought it would be fun to try a pumpkin version – why not right? It was okay. It has this ribbon-like swirl of pumpkin in the middle that is a bit strange for someone like me with food texture issues. If you like a strong pumpkin flavor then this is your kind of treat.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

1 cup of sugar
1 cup of canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Beat the sugar and oil together in a large mixing bowl. Then beat in the eggs. Beat in the flour and baking powder. Beat in just two of the tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Spread half of the batter across base of prepared baking dish. Open the can of pumpkin and stir in the remaining tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Spread the pumpkin over the batter. Spread the other half of the batter on top of the pumpkin. Gently swirl the three layers together with a knife.

Bake for about 40 minutes and enjoy!


So Mini Conk is breech and has been for a few weeks. I now have a few weeks to get him turned for delivery (6.5 weeks away from my due date). My OB said that some of the regular techniques were not okay for me to do because of some health issues, and so she suggested we try a Chinese technique called moxibustion.

Moxibustion uses “moxa” sticks made of dried mugwort leaves, and is burned near your pinky toe. Here is an excerpt from a natural acupuncture website:

“Indirect moxibustion is a popular form of increasing the body’s natural flow of energy at a certain point. One end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, is lit and held close to the area being treated for several minutes. Administering Moxa opens up the uterus to make more room for the breech baby to turn. Combined with an acupuncture treatment, moxibustion helps to increase fetal movement, and the effect of gravity will encourage the heaviest part of the baby, the head, to enter the pelvis as it shifts its position.”

Over the weekend we found a Chinese acupuncture clinic that would sell us the moxa sticks and we have been trying. It is the strangest feeling. It is like fireworks are going off inside of me while also feeling like the bouncy castle for the baby growing inside me. He moves like crazy. We started on Sunday and from what I can tell by how he is laying inside of me he still has not turned, so we will continue on this path and hope there is enough room inside there for him to turn so he can embark on joining us as gracefully as possible.

Bella and her Great Dane (George)

Sometimes you see something and it brings tears to your eyes. It reminds you of what you have and how much good there is in your life. This particular video brought tears to my eyes and made me think of perseverance, patience, and preciousness. Bella, is eleven years old, and cannot walk without assistance. She went from a wheelchair and crutches to a Great Dane, George. The connection between the two of them is precious.

Before you watch the video, I will tell you that Chris has a great love of Great Dane’s (he had one before we were married, named Belle) and so I have learned a lot about these gentle giants. I love watching this George with Bella – and that he is with her all day long.

Bella and her Great Dane.

Did you have tears?