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Where else would YOU be?

I just had an Ah Ha! Moment while l was standing at the stove stirring Deluxe Mac and cheese. Not all macaroni cheese is created equal.. when l really need comfort food l go for the Mac and Cheese deluxe option. It’s the packet that comes with a tin of cheese sauce! I dread to think what it is made of before it goes Into that can, But gosh it’s so good!

I have had a head ache for three weeks, l keep waiting for the next symptom to tell me “Something is wrong go to the Dr. ” but so far I’ve been able to ignore it, but yesterday l went to physio and had a sook! I said “It’s probably nothing but can we rule that out first?” I keep my stress in my shoulders always have… but when l find my shoulders are so tight and up near my ears well it’s time to see someone. And let’s face it May was a pretty stressful month.

I tried to make excuses, maybe l need a new pillow, maybe it’s this new bra, blah blah blah… she took one poke at me and said “Oh dear!” For half an hour she poked, prodded and massaged and then did some ultrasound therapy, and reports, “You have two very large trigger spots (knots!) In your shoulder and the base of your skull” so, see! I wasn’t making it up I am sick!! But she also said 3 week headaches are not normal and that my body seems to be fighting off something else. So if it’s not much better by Tuesday I should see a GP and ask them for tests. We’ll see.

But last night l walked out and l could move, and for a little while l felt almost normal. She said “Go home and rest with a heat pack on your neck and shoulders and don’t do anything else” so l did, but oh my gosh by the time it was bedtime l was in the worst pain and l really just wanted to die, l had a fever, I had pain everywhere and wondered how my husband could possibly believe I’m not sick…do I not look sick?

All my life when l get in uncomfortable places l imagine where else I could be.. one time l was really sick almost hospitalised and l was hallucinating l was in Japan with the cherry blossoms, another time l was in South Africa watching the wild life.

When I spent so much time in hospital with Star Son we talked about where we would rather be and where we still want to go… running away from real life is what l do.

Maybe that’s why l am such an avid reader, maybe that’s why l like to write to escape, and those tear jerky movies that l love to re watch!! “Bridges of Madison County” and “Under the Tuscan Sun” and we can’t forget “Eat prey love” all goes with my “Escape theme”its one I’ve used my whole life.

So this week when I feel like crap, my husband in planning a camping trip for the three day long weekend, honestly it’s the last thing l feel like doing BUT l need to do it to break this cycle. I’m almost 100% certain once l get started I’ll love it.

Today l forced myself out of the house with daughter number 1 and two of the Grandchildren, it was hard but l did it and rewarded myself with Mac and Cheese. As l stood here stirring the Mac and Cheese l listened to the back ground noice, Tim McGraw singing “On my Mamas porch” and then my family theme song “Family” (it’s on shuffle play) and l listened to child, 3, 4 and 5, they’re playing some game online, they’re in a group, and sitting in the same room telling each other “Brother look out behind you! J go back and save A! We’re going to make this I’ve got you” and l smiled, if only they were so good together in real life, and then came the waft of well cooked macaroni and hot gooey cheese sauce.. and I wondered

“Where else would I want to be?”

They is my family, they might be crazy but they is my family!!

One week home..

Today was a week since Star Son got out of hospital. A busy week of catching up with his family, nieces, nephews, sisters, brother and brother-in-law. Lots of noise and movement, very different from the hospital environment.

It’s also been a week of waiting, each day we get a phone call from a nursing agency to tell us “The nurse will be visiting between 10 and 1pm” that was the biggest window sometimes it’s just an hour window, it’s ok though, we have no where else better to be except yesterday… we’ll come back to that.

Each day a nurse arrives, the first one was here the longest, l felt sorry for her, she got a bit panicky about the pump “It’s a new model l don’t know how this works, l need to read instructions.” So we waited in silence and let her read. Then she didn’t know how to open the pump, we found her a key, and then she couldn’t get the drip feed to start, l didn’t want to rush her or Interfere, so l quietly mentioned l had the Hospital in Home direct number saved in my phone if she needed guidance. They talked her through it and an hour and a half later she left.

Star Son was angry, angry he had to wear the stupid pump, angry that she took so long, he was hating on life, l calmed him down gave him an icy pole and sent him back to bed.

He’s been eating much better, we sat down as a family complete with a note pad and pen and made a list of every meal we have cooked or wished to cook, separated them into different section, so “chicken” “beef” “pork” “vegetables” “assorted” (things like carbonara and ravioli) and then l asked each individual person “do you like, love or hate it” there are three camps in my house “I hate that NOT eating it!” (Yeah she’s 27!! Her 5 year old daughter’s got more bravery!) And then there’s the camp “Well l don’t love it but I’ll give it a try!” And then there’s Middle Son-24 years old “It doesn’t matter I’ll just eat it!” Bless his cotton socks! So now we have a list of meals l or any of them can cook and beside each meal initials of who WILL eat it… menu planning just got so much easier. Tonight Star Son and his Gal had a date night, they missed there 17 month one while he was in hospital. Madams 27 and 5 were out somewhere so we put aside the “meatloaf” idea because everyone loves Mumma’s meatloaf and Son in law had never had meatloaf till he met my eldest girl. And we asked the only child home “do you want a steak sandwich?” He’s a carnivore of course he did!! Star Son is home in his environment with his familiar foods and drinks he’s starting to look good.

Saturday nurse S on her second visit to us removed his stitches and we got to have a good look at his knee. It looks good!

Two little stitches gone!

Also on Saturday we had my cousin’s Surprise 50th birthday party. I had warned her daughter if he was not home l would not attend, so it was kind of a relief to be able to attend, there were plenty of sitting spaces for him. And best of all only one child and daughter in law and beautiful Grandbaby was missing, we like to party together!

Me, Eldest girl, Middle Son and Madam 27.

Added in Star Son and the always smiling Breeza.

Cheeky monkeys.

My grade 4 school teacher was a special guest of honor he took one look at Madam 27 and said “Oh you MUST be Kim’s daughter!” Everyone says we look alike.

Also present was my bestie.

30 plus years of friendship love her to bits!! Saturday was a good day.

Sunday the nurse took blood from his PICC line, still keeping an eye on his Blood levels. He went to see his football team play, he came home miserable, so we chatted and l asked “Was it hard watching them play without you?”

He said ” No Mum it was cold and boring” Exactly my thoughts most weeks.

Monday l had a date day with my cousin she’s off on long service leave so we planned to go to the movies for her birthday, but the Surgeon wanted a blood sample take early in the morning before his appointment today. Times like this l wished that window of “The nurse will visit…” was a bit longer.

We had to get Miss 5 to school then get Star Son in the car and down to the Clinic, through all the peak hour traffic, it’s just a walk in and sit and wait appointment but we had to be home by 10am and my Cousin and l had to be at the cinema by 10am as well. We just scraped it in.

Star Son was nervous about the blood test because those nurses are not allowed to touch his PICC line so they had to do it the regular way and after his veins collapsing on the 16th May, he was worried it would happen again. Thankfully the Nurse was in and the tube half full before he realised but the look of relief on his face was immense. We got back in the car and just turning into our street when my cousin drives up from the other direction, so it was literally, jump out of Madam 27’s car, help him into the house, torrential rain making his crutches a slipping hazard and then jumping into her car and going, and wouldn’t you know it.. that one day the nurse was there closer to ten than eleven! We made it though. And as selfish as this next bit is going to sound.. it was just so nice to sit and enjoy a movie and a laugh with my cousin! Not worry about pills schedules or nurses coming, or drip pumps beeping.

Today we had our 8 week check up with the Surgeon. I’m always hopeful for good news but the “good blood nurse” warned us the results might not be back. They were AND not only that THEY WERE GOOD!!!! His blood count is down to 45!! When we left hospital they were 70 and they told us anything under 100. So to hear they have halved again, l wanted to do a happy dance and hug and kiss him. Oh and have l told you how cute his Surgeon is?? McDreamy!

So now after all our happy news we are waiting again.. next Tuesday we have an appointment with the ID (Infectious diseases) Clinic, and we are praying they will be suitably impressed and remove the PICC line, he’ll then go on oral antibiotics, which will mean two daily pills and no nurses!! We are feeling hopeful for that, also he has been asked to take away one of the crutches and start using his knee to weight bare more. Its all looking really positive.

And that’s where l love you and leave you for this post.. my pillow calls and lm learning to listen to it.

3.54 am!

The alarm will go off at 4:00am. The taxi will be here at 4:30am and our flight leaves at 6:30am! We’re off to Far North Queensland to a sleepy resort town called Mission Beach. Remind me to tell you about the time we accidentally discovered Mission Beach and how we all left our hearts there.

So on the first Anniversary of my 50th Birthday and planning a mini getaway, of course I would choose Mission! Today we leave for five glorious days and apparently the weather is going to be superb!

I’ll be back later! With photos and updates!

The Great Pizza Bake off…

  Last night Tuesday, we decided to make Home Made Pizza. One of the school holidays recently my Star Son had some “homework” he had to “Construct Pizzas” and that included making the base from scratch and then he could chose from a list of toppings and he had to write a report about it. As I normally do I threw myself into that challenge and we had great fun, he made a Hawaiian Pizza and I made a dessert Pizza, with chocolate, marshmellows and starwberries with whipped cream, it was very rich! Here is the post fom then… https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/school-homework-assignment-school-holidays/
Which I wish I’d found yesterday bcause I made my own pizza bases again but a different recipe.


Rolling out the dough


The Bloke decided to make his version in his Webber Q and I would make my vegetarian (with chicken sausage and chicken meat) in the oven, to see if one cooked better than the other..here they are waiting to be cooked mine is the front one, the Boys had “Meatlovers”

  Chicken and Veg in the oven.
Meatlovers with half egg in the Webber.

So the end result was… The oven semed o cook it quicker, but they both looked and smelled and tasted amazing.

The dough recipe I used was….

NO YEAST PIZZA DOUGH

2 1/2 c. flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder (if using baking soda use half and omit salt)
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. oil
3/4 to 1 c. water

Mix dry ingredients. add 3/4 cup water and oil. Stir until it forms a ball. If dough is stiff, add more water.
The dough will be soft, not sticky. Knead on a floured surface for 3-4 minutes.
Bake at 400°F for 15-25 minutes.

Sorry I cant remember which website I found it on, I just googled “No yeast pizza dough” l also ( as I typically do) changed the recipe slightly.. I added beet instead of the water, maybe thats why our base was light and fluffly.. Not sure but Star Son gave the pizza base a 10/10 so I won!! He didnt like the Bloke’s topping giving it a 3/10 because typically he just eats Margarita Pizza, I need to work out whats on that and make him his own next time and we didnt have mozzerella cheese, so ours was not as cheesy as a pizza place, next time l’ll invest in some of that. We three all agreed though that we would try making them again and try different toppings, I think the Bloke has a Seafood pizza in mind and I’ll work on some other vegetarian ideas.. So watch this space!

If you make your own pizza dough and its a sure thing, I’d love you to share your recipe with me or even topping ideas!!

Wednesday already? wow!

This week seems to be flying by or maybe I have just been super busy..

So on Monday I told you about how I am starting detox and getting back into my Daniel Plan, well, when I am focused I become determined and so I am going along well, yes I have a “detox headache” but I am trying to ignore it and remind myself it’s just the crap escaping from my system.

Monday I spent the day in solitude which I LOVE and I got some art done.. oh boy did I ever..

So Monday was a busy day because I got the house work and all the laundry up to date also.

Tuesday- NO COFFEE!! and breakfast is always an issue for me, I’m always starving but I’m basically lazy, but I forced myself and so I had a Green Smoothie and Quinoa with a drizzle of maple syrup. For morning snack I had a banana and for lunch I had a salad and a small can of Tuna.. afternoon snack I had an orange and a few pieces of popcorn and I smashed my water requirement out of the park and because Squish and I had gone down town for a trip to the Post Office (We mailed a letter to Trisha Faye!!) to buy more stamps. So I also got my 10,000 steps done for that day too.

Last Night I had Bible study and normally I would make a plate of something to take but since I couldn’t eat anything anyways I brought a packet of chocolate biscuits to share.. I didn’t eat any I am proud of me, and only drank water! YAY! We are studying the Book of Proverbs, so as usual some great conversations.

Today I had Squish for the half day, Jasmin only works Wednesday mornings so Squishy and I had breakfast I made a fruit salad and sprinkled it with LSA (Linseed, Sunflower and Almond)  and more water.. I’m slowly getting the hang of the water thing. And then we went for a walk, I planned to do a LONG walk but my head was pounding so we did a “blocky” which was almost 2 kilometers so at least we did something.

Today I’ve drunk 2 liters of water and I’m almost up to my 10,000 steps I will have done that by bed time.

I’m tired today but I know it’s all part of the detox so I am not letting it worry me.. I need to go make my smoothies for today and tomorrow morning and take my vitamins, and this morning the scales tell me I’m down 2 kilos. I will recheck on Monday and confirm that, but it’s possible because when you eat bread and then drink water the bread absorbs the water… since I’ve had no bread but plenty of water, the water is actually flushing the crap out of my system! The vegetables help!!

Today I worked on this…

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I am re-doing it on a board, since I love the one in my journal so much.

But there are many layers so it’s slower going than a journal page because it needs to dry properly.. This will be the first of 50. I am also working on one a “Secret” for my son’s 21st. That leaves one more board free.. I am trying to slow down a little I have too many ideas of things I want to do.. so I’ll finish these two and then get more done!

This afternoon when Jasmin picked up Squish we went for a drive to a shopping center called “Water gardens” Jasmin’s engagement ring was there being adjusted she has skinny fingers like me. So we went to collect that and had a quick look in some shops and spoke about preliminary “engagement” party stuff. There was also an invite to Jasmin’s and Brett’s next Wednesday night to meet the “in-laws to be” we met them briefly the day she got engaged but she wants us to get to know each other so, we are having dinner.. I fear that my healthy eating plan might go astray that day, but I offered to take some food and that way I can take something I can eat.. I’m going to make Mini Meatloaves and Zucchini chocolate chip muffins, both will be “Daniel Plan” approved.. Zucchini muffin recipe is there.

So that’s me up to date I hope everyone is having a great week..

Weekend Round up…

Yehaw!! I sound like a Cowgirl.

My last post here was Thursday… I was sure I did one Friday.. Oh yes I did.. this is a day behind so it says the 23rd July… but it was actually my 24th!

Anyways..

Since then I have done NO ART! and very little house work. MY Bloke came home Friday night and said “Stop Cleaning!”

Friday afternoon Amber and Sweetpea came home and so the house looked “lived in” again.

On Saturday, Amber had free football tickets so she took Sweetpea and Star Son and her cousins and went to the football they left at about 11.00am so The Bloke and I had an almost “kid free” day, we had Squishy and so we took him to visit The Bloke’s Mum Tanny. Squishy is really getting the hang of this walking thing he did his best toddling along in the “retirement home” and all the oldies loved him, there was a chorus of “Oooh’s and Awww’s” as we toddled past! Funny he’s walking faster now that some of the inmates  err residents!  He fell asleep in the car on the way home so we dropped him off at his house his Dad was home from work by then.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was “child free” so we did a leisurely shop and booked ourselves a table at “The Station Bistro” its run by the parents of one of the Boys in Star Son’s football team so we try to give them support whenever we can… plus they make the best Parmas! We talked about going to the movies, so I googled whats on at THREE different cinemas and NONE of them had anything we would want to see… the only thing I would vaguely watch was “Jurassic Park” part 7 trillion and 34… but it was only screening through the day.. so we opted for a DVD, yes people we are THAT boring, we get a “kid free” afternoon and evening and we stay home do grocery shopping and watch a DVD.. I’m yawning as I type! He chose “The Hobbit” and I let him because A) he never watched TV or DVD and B) there was even CRAP in the new releases! C) I am always “trying” to be a wife of integrity so I let him chose. I played on my ipad!

Sunday of course is “Football day” and I tried very hard to pretend I like “Winter” and took this photo.. it fooled people on Facebook!

Needless to say it was so cold.. then I read a FB update from my Bestie who’s son plays in a different region and they were being SNOWED on!! Stuff that I HATE WINTER… today the radio DJ guy tells me “Cheer up Peeps we are 2/3’s through winter“.. light at the end of a very long dark tunnel.. We lost the game which was almost certainly expected, there is one tea each year and we can NOT beat them no matter what.. we played them and now we will be playing them again probably twice in the finals…*sigh* it’s kinda like that old saying “Always the bridesmaid never the bride” on the upside, he’s been playing football for this team for four years and three of those have been in the Grand Final, one of which they won! That’s more than A LOT of grown men footballers can say! The thing that makes me get all warm and fuzzy with the fat that I HATE WINTER and I spend a lot of time huddled in the cold, stinging rain, or frosty cold ice-covered mornings.. is that HE loves it and HE’s good at this sport.. so I shut up and stomp my feet a little harder to encourage the blood to keep circulating!!

After Football it was a mad dash home to get changed, warm up and grab some food before running out the door to Jasmin’s for her first Tupperware party.. as much as I hate to and she most certainly would hate it- I have to admit she’s a “mini me” in the fact that any excuse for a “Party” and “WE” are there! It was fun and Amber booked a Party.. see I told ya “Any excuse…” and that helps Jasmin’s sales too..now I have to find some friends to invite.

Last Night I got some of my pile of pen friend mail done.. so that’s coming down in size thank Goodness.. I am terrible lately at letting it pile up… I’ve run out of International stamps so tomorrow Squishy and I are going to the PO.

Today is Monday and I am starting DETOX.. i know I know I keep threatening it.. but I got on the scales this morning and they yelled “Ouch, get OFF!” I am officially 78 kilos (171.961 pounds) my “GOAL Weight” is 67 Kilos.. (147.71) So I have some work to do!! Today I begin Green Smoothies and detoxing from Coffee, sugar, Dairy, Carbs. Detox is for three weeks and then I will think about re-introducing Soy Linseed bread back.

I am hoping to lose at least 3 kilos before we go on our trip.. so I can get into the photos without being too ashamed!

So I will be posting the Smoothies recipes and any Daniel Plan recipes that I use!!

Ok, house work is calling me, Sweetpea and Amber are off at Tweddle until Friday, I have a “Child free” day so I will clean the house and then get started on some art.

I almost forgot to tell you about that… I am doing a challenge with Brian Miller he’s started a FB group.. we are doing “50 paintings before 50″ if you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know I love me a good challenge.. so the Bloke worked it out, I need to do AT least one painting a week to get 50 before I turn 50 in October 2017… what a blubber mouth I am today.. I’ve told you my weight and MY AGE!! in one post!!  two things a woman supposedly never reveals… but then again no one has ever accused me of being a woman!!

See you next time….

The Year of New Recipes challenge- new recipe.

recipes

This original challenge was brought to you by :Reannonhttp://shewhorambles.com/category/a-year-of-new-recipes/

I must confess I’ve not been very good at keeping up with this one for a few reasons

A- My children are fussy little brats who resist change.. (Ohh to be footloose and fancy free I’ll eat whatever I WANT then!)

B- There’s been so much else going on, cooking has been the last thing to worry about.

So anyways, when I DO make a new thing I’ll share it with you. Recently Football Season 2015 started and that means football training 5.30-6.30 on Tuesday and Thursday which means I’d be home later than 6.45 pm, until the Bloke decided to go to work earlier and finish earlier on these days to save me the dramas with Babies of going to Football training, he’s a great bloke like that! (I guess it’s cheaper than buying a second car too!) Anyways by the time that idea came to fruition I had told the children (star Son and Amber and Sweetpea!) that I would be starting to use the slow cooker on those nights as it’s almost set and forget cooking. The first night I cooked a family favourite because “Star Son” is the most temperamental about food. He’s been known to walk in, see the slow cooker on the bench and declare right away “I’m not eating it” never mind what “it” was! So the first night I cooked Silverside (AKA- corned beef or corned brisket) This is a long time family favorite but I cooked it in the dreaded “Slow cooker” or SC, I have had this slow cooker sitting here for about 2 years and used it maybe a handful of times, because the children hated the “Stews” or as they called them “Spews”, so I am so glad I found this new recipe site, they cook everything and anything in their slow cookers!

You can read about the Silverside here: https://kimlhine.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/t-is-for/ It turned out beautifully and I was off to an Art class anyways so I didn’t care too much if he didn’t eat it. Then I get a Facebook notification that Amber had posted a video clip and tagged me, it was “Star Son” eating his dinner telling me how yummy it was…reluctantly he admitted it was “yum” and we could have that again. I wasn’t sure when the recipe called for a bottle of dry ginger ale.. but yum! So I mentally ticked that one-off and then asked him “What else would YOU like me to attempt to cook in the slow cooker? he suggested meatloaf… Another family favorite so I found the “SC” version which was basically the same as my version anyways. That too was a huge hit, and so I thought while I am on a roll I’ll ask him :what else?” and he suggested some “desserts” ha ha! So I said “well ok, I’ll make the desserts but you must have main courses too” So Amber joined the facebook group for “SC” and started finding recipes that would be classed as “kid friendly” and my friends I think I am a genius! Maybe I am speaking too soon, but… last night was the third and technically fourth or fifth (if you count the cakes) success I’ve had! So I am feeling pretty proud of myself..

Last night we had chicken enchiladas

recipe from here: http://www.slowcookercentral.com/recipe/shredded-chicken-enchiladas/ yummy!

Serves: 3-4 depending on how much you eat. mine made 12
Preparation Time: 5-10 mins
Cooking Time: 4-6 hours on high


INGREDIENTS

  • 6 chicken thighs
    1pkt taco seasoning
    2 cans diced tomatoes
    1 tblsp tomato paste
    2 cloves garlic
    Some oregano
    Mixed herbs
    Pack of tortilla wraps (mine made 12)
    Cheese
    Lettuce & sourcream for serving.
    You can add more spices for your tasting, this one isnt very spicey.

INSTRUCTIONS

Place chicken in the slowcooker, sprinkle taco seasoning all over the chicken.
Pour 1 can diced tomatoes on top of the chicken.
Add in the tomato paste, garlic & oregano on top & leave for 2 hours on high.
Mix everything around and leave for another 2 hours on high.
After that mine was a bit runny so i put a tea towel under the lid for about an hour and it was done.
Put the chicken in the tortilla wraps and roll up putting them in a baking tray. Mix together the other can of diced tomatoes and the mixed herbs, pour over the top of the wraps. Grate cheese and put it on top then in the oven on 180 degrees for about half an hour.
Serve on a bed of lettuce & sourcream on top!
Enjoy!!

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Chicken Enchiladas on a bed of salad!

Then while I was pushing my luck.. I also added a cake to the slow cooker.. once the meat for the Chicken enchiladas was cooked and I’d cleaned up I made the cake..

So the secret to the cake is it’s so easy!

You use two at least ingredients you can add more.. A packet cake mix and 250 mils of fizzy drink.. that’s it!! too easy!!

The first one I made was “Jaffa Cake” so chocolate cake mix with orange fizzy drink..I even made the icing with orange fizzy drink… yummy!! Hmm apparently I forgot to post that cake!

Last week in the A-Z challenge I was following (and still am) a blog called “SnapShotincursive” and she had this post:

http://snapshotsincursive.com/2015/05/03/eating-my-way-through-the-alphabet-letter-u/ She had cooked an “Upside down Pineapple cake” and immediately I wondered.. Can I cook that in the slow cooker? So yesterday I gave it a go! I used vanilla Cake mix, 250 mils of Apple Cider and I layered the bottom of the tin with canned pineapple. If you attempt this you need to add about a cup of water to the bottom of the SC  and add a teatowel under the lid to stop the condensation, Cook for 1.5 hours on high.. yummy!!  Now cooking in the slow cooker doesn’t give you a nicely browned cake but gee it’s moist!!

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I forgot to sprinkle the pan with sugar and cinnamon before I cooked it so I did that when I took it out of the pan!

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This one got a little bit of colour as well

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I didn’t dare put the cherries in it that would just be pushing the friendship boundaries too far!

The final result was YUMMMM! and “can I have more?”

So thank you Gail at :http://snapshotsincursive.com/about/ for the inspiration.

I also made us a huge pot of the mother’s vegetable soup..in this cold weather when I am trying to be healthy I love this soup… the CHILDREN HATE IT!! of course they do! So I always know I’ll have plenty, I just freeze it for lunches on cold days. And quick and easy dinners when the Children are not home or are having something else.

The star of this soup is the huge ham hock, and as you simmer it the meat just falls away from the bone and it’s just so good and filling and warm!! In the Photo of the “Pre cooked” soup my Star son thinks I am cooking with bird seed! but it’s just the dry soup mix!