Monthly Archives: January 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup Bowl

This blog will contain lots of information, including great recipes that I absolutely love.  If I don’t love it, you won’t see it here!

This recipe comes from my son, Shawn.  He’s very creative, and this one’s from scratch.  Who doesn’t love a recipe that was an awesome accident that turned out fabulous?

Here goes….

Stuffed Pepper Soup Bowl

Stuffed Pepper Soup Bowl

Stuffed Pepper Soup Bowl

You will need for the mashed potato base:

1 Bag of Red potatoes

1 bar (8oz) Neufchatel Cream Cheese

1/2 stick of butter

1 tsp or more Lawry’s Season Salt

Quarter the potatoes and cook in salted water until tender.  Drain and add softened cream cheese and butter.  Beat with mixer until you lose the chunks, and add Lawry’s salt.  Add more if you need it.

For the soup you will need:

1lb ground turkey

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 jar of spaghetti sauce, 1/2 jar of water

2T worchestershire

1T minced garlic

2 green peppers, chopped

Salt, pepper, garlic, chili seasoning and red pepper flakes (about a teaspoon of each, give or take some)

Saute turkey with the chopped green peppers until cooked through.  Add the seasoning.  Meanwhile, heat your crock pot or stock pot and add the spaghetti sauce with 1/2 jar of water.  Add the tomatoes/green chilies. worchestershire and garlic.  Throw in your meat mixture and stir.  If you’re using a crock pot, heat on low for approximately 5-6 hours.  If you’re using a stock pot, heat on low for about an hour, covered.

To serve, put a couple of large spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, make a lil well and add your stuffed pepper mixture on top.  Garnish with your favorite cheese.  (I used parmesan)

And voila!  You have a delicious, hearty soup served over the creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever eaten.

How many does it serve?  My guess would normally be 6, but I like such large helpings, I’m gonna say 4!

Thank you Shawn.  I’ll be making this many many times!

Enjoy!

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Do you “Facebook”?

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into taking a break from facebook.  Being a non-committal kind of person, I don’t really want to delete it entirely, but I do find myself getting increasingly aggravated by it.  Of course I’m generalizing, because facebook is the sum of it’s parts, in this case the people who post on it.

I get tired of the complaints, the bragging, the need for attention.  Things like, “Send prayers, my cousin’s fiance’s daughter’s best friend is having surgery on her big toe tomorrow”.  Or maybe, “I’m off to my summer home for a month.  Glad to be able to get a way from these horrible winters here in Pittsburgh.  So blessed.”  Yep, that’s the kicker.  Make sure you add that “blessed” word.  Because somehow  you aren’t “blessed”  if you’re reading their post and stuck in Pittsburgh for the duration of winter.  How bout, “my car broke down and  I just spend my last $1000 on a new 50 inch TV”.

You’ll have your funny videos, weather and school closing posts, and blow by blow events that happen during the day.  “Just made yummy soup, watching football, cleaning the house, etc”.

To make it interesting, we can all “comment” on those posts.  And we can say whatever we damn well please.  But we must be careful, those people are our “friends”.  Yep, people we haven’t seen since high school.  People we’ve hunted down and friend requested, neighbors and co-workers.  If you say what you really feel, you just might find yourself de-friended.  Yep.  Without warning somebody can take what you say, twist it around in their head to somehow be judgmental, get the wrong idea (or the right idea as the case may be), and block you.  You can no longer see what’s going on in their life.  You can’t see the photos of their magical trip to Cancun, their kids straight A report card or hear about the bad service they received at McDonalds.  And just like any friendship, you’ll be left dumbfounded.  You’ll explain to yourself in your head….”well, I was gonna block THEM anyway, they just beat me to it”.  Have we ever truly been sad to be “blocked”?  I know I haven’t lost any sleep over it.

Now I must admit, I”m guilty of a few of those posts.  I’ll post a picture and wait for the replies.  I’ll check back a hundred times.  And then I’ll get an attitude. Hmmm, I post things in reply to their hard times, their beautiful life….why can’t they post something about mine.

And then it hits me…..facebook is very much a narcassistic game.  We believe that there is a world out there that actually gives a shit about our highs and lows.  It’s true, maybe somebody loves when you have good times, and secretly loves when you have bad times.  Of course they’ll never admit it.  Think about it, have you ever checked facebook and read about somebody having a rough day?  Have you thought, “oh, that poor thing, hope it gets better” (at least that’s what you post).  Or you really thought, shut the fuck up already.  You complain every day.  I think you might deserve it.

Do you look at a person that isn’t a “friend” and stalk them?  Do you check out their photos?  Do you want to know about them, without actually “friending” them?  Yep, I”m sure you do.

Have you ever seen a post on a friends page, recognized the name and thought, “I wanna be friends with them”?  I”m sure you have.  I have.

I wonder what kind of people post what they post.  Have you thought that you liked a person, but after reading their stupid post reconsidered?

I wonder what they’re looking for. Sympathy, jealousy, consideration?

My life is a relentless question mark.   I don’t understand a lot of things.  I often wonder how and why and who.  I guess it’s interesting to me to think about those things.

Isn’t it ironic that “facebook” rarely has anything to do with being face to face?  It is however a book.  Many times our “friends” are an open book, and we’re free to sit back, turn the pages and be privy to their entire life, day in and day out.  We know what they find funny, what irritates them and what is so important that they have to p0st it for the world (or at least the people they consider “friends” ) to see.

I guess I’m glad I still get to make the decision to read it or blow past it.

You could probably say, “I’m blessed”.


So you think you could do better?

I’m constantly in awe of and getting rather irritated by fans of sports teams.  Yes  I’m from Pittsburgh, home of Super Bowl Champion Steelers,  Stanley Cup Champion Penguins and up and coming, soon to be after a very long hiatus, World Series Champs, The Pittsburgh Pirates.

Having said that,  I do not and never pretend to know why the hell each player has problems performing.  Why didn’t they catch that easily catch-able ball?  What in the world made them throw that interception?  How did they not see that huge puck flying past their right leg? And why didn’t the coach play this or that player?  Whyyyyyyyy?

What boggles my mind is the amount of “fans” that seem to know everything.  And not because they’ve actually played that game professionally.  Maybe they’ve never even ATTEMPTED to play the amateur game .  Somehow they know, or at least they THINK they know.

And don’t get me started on how much money they’re making, playing lousy like they are.  Really?  How has that ever mattered?  I’m not taking money out of my savings account to pay  their salary.  Nobody makes me pay the big $$ to buy tickets to one of their games.

I guess it’s true with a lot of things in life, really.  We’re constantly reminded of how our President is screwing up.  Each and every one of them has been scrutinized horribly.  I’m not sure why anyone would want to run office.  You gotta have some pretty thick skin.

I don’t want to be president.  I don’t want to play professional sports  (I couldn’t at this point of my life even if I wanted to).  I appreciate the amount of time, energy, money and everything else that goes along with being in the public eye.

If my “team” doesn’t make the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’ll be a longer winter, but I’ll get by .   If we don’t get to the Super Bowl, we still have some good football to watch, just not as nail biting.  If the World Series isn’t in the cards (there’s a joke in there),  there’s always next year.

And when our President is finished with his or her term, we’ll vote another poor soul into office.

Hope they like sports….


Signs

I’m a believer in “signs”.  I believe if something is supposed to happen and it doesn’t, or an event gets in the way of the direction you’re heading, there’s a reason.

I turned 50 about a month ago, and my daughter bought me about 6 or 7 balloons for the surprise party that my children had planned for me. Two mylar balloons and 4 latex.  We brought the balloons home from the party and put them in the corner of our living room.  They’ve been there close to a month.  Now if you know anything about balloons and helium, you know that helium stays longer in the mylar balloons.  I’m sure there are reasons for that, probably something to do with porosity, but it’s not important enough for me to look up, so I’ll just go with that.

Getting back to the “signs”.  It appears that I have record breaking latex balloons.  These babies do not want to die.  They refuse to deflate.  They are floating proud.  One of the mylar balloons has all but deflated, lying helplessly on the floor.  And the other mylar, still filled but slowly losing it’s energy, it’s “mojo” so to speak.

And yes, I’m referring to balloons as having “mojo”.

Like me.

And so I look at this revelation, these somewhat innocent, inflated decorations and think to myself, “this is MY life”!  I’m down 50 years, with 50 more still to go.  But not quite 50, as that mylar is deflating as well, albeit at a much slower pace.  Yet I still have those incredible “Ripleys Believe it or Not” latex balloons defying all odds.  Eluding the inevitable.  Standing proud among their known rivals.

I opened my email this morning and found a delivery from my mom.  Strangely, it contained a story from Chicken Soup for the Soul, Daily Inspirations.  Mom preempted the story with her own thoughts, specifically the idea that “signs” are all around us.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about for my first excerpt as a new blogger.

But I guess all the signs were there….


It’s a new day

It’s official.  I’m a blogger.  Never thought I’d say that with such conviction.  My thanks to my awesome son, Shawn for helping me pick the new name and my friend Dominique who always has my back.  You are God!