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Feature Friday: Scrumptious Meatball Soup

Motherhood is probably in the “top 3” of most terrifying things I can imagine.  This list goes something like this:

  1. Walking on the wooden boardwalk over Foz do Iguaçu (Iguacu Falls).  I did it once because I was forced to (I was 5 or 6 at the time).  It was so terrifying that it scarred me for life.  I have been petrified of heights ever since.
  2. Being stuck on a roller coaster upside down.   I have no basis for this, it’s just something I have spent an odd amount of time thinking about.  I have an overactive imagination.
  3. Motherhood.

I’ve heard people say it’s just something that comes naturally, but I’m sorry… that’s bull.  Being a rockstar mother does not come naturally.  It takes an amount of energy, patience, and love that is not inherent to parenthood…  it takes work.  Of course I don’t know this from personal experience, but I know it from watching her.  I know it from watching my older sister, Nani.

Nani is a rockstar mamacita.  I am completely serious.  I don’t know how she does it.

There are three of them; three adorable, beautiful, well-mannered munchkins that demand her time.  There’s soccer practice, baseball practice, basketball practice, church activities, homework, 4 H – and these are only the kids’ activities!  Have I mentioned she’s also going to school?  Yes, I know.  She’s insane.  But she pulls it off.  Not only does she pull it off… she looks GOOD DOING IT!  (Seriously, the girl is gorgeous… hence the beautiful munchkins 🙂 )

Nani is a firm believer in the power of the crock pot.  When I moved into an apartment in college, that was the first thing she got me.  It is a magical appliance that I have grown fond of over the years, and I can see why it would be a mother’s best friend.  With Nani’s packed schedule, dinner gets thrown in first thing in the morning and then devoured before running off to evening activities.

While we were visiting a few weeks ago, I snapped some pictures of her scrumptious spicy meatball soup.  It is super easy and ideal for a busy weeknight!

The ingredients were frozen meatballs and corn, canned (the Rotel kind w/ green chilies – undrained) diced tomatoes and black beans (drained and rinsed), and chicken broth.  Everything went into the crock pot in the morning.  After a full day of playing/catching up, all we had to do was serve the soup.  No fussing with cooking AND there was still a delicious meal to be had.  See what I mean?  ROCKSTAR!

The soup came out flavorful and with a bit of a kick.  She served dinner with croissants that were perfect for absorbing the liquids after you were done fishing out the meatballs.

Ian and I both had seconds!

What Nani doesn’t know, is that this post is only the first.  She has two more crock pot recipes that I’m determined to have her share with me.  One is a spagehtti sauce recipe and the other is for her famous beef stroganoff.  Over the next few visits we make, I hope to snap a few shots of her working her magic, so stay tuned!

Scrumptious soup and phenomenal company, can you ask for anything more?

Te queiro, hermanita!  Te echo de menos!



Beans and Corn Salad

Beans, beans, the magical fruit…  we’ve been trying to incorporate more of them into our diet.  The problem is that I hate having to soak them for hours and it requires more foresight than I usually care to have.  To solve this problem I’ve been cheating and buying canned beans.  I stick them in a pot with some water and a bay leaf and warm it up that way.  It just gets old constantly serving beans in such a bland manner…  Thankfully, there’s this great tool called the internet with billions of solutions!  I searched my fail-safe site and found a promising recipe.

I’m infamous for buying fresh produce and then not using it before it spoils.  Fresh herbs are often a victim of this habit.  Determined not to let that happen with this recipe, I decided to try cilantro in a tube.  One good thing to know is that one of these tubes yields about 1/2 cup of “blend.”

What I loved most about this recipe was that it didn’t require any cooking.  All I needed was a cutting board and a bowl.  I made it ahead of time and then threw it in the fridge to mingle.  It wasn’t too spicy and it had a nice combination of flavors.

I haven’t been having luck making brown rice (more on this later) so I just had the salad on its own with a tuna salad sandwich for lunch.

Very easy and light.  I have a feeling this will become a regular on our summer menu!

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