7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 200)

— 1 —

Another Minor Revisions episode, another day of highs and lows fit for a Norse saga. I had this vision that for Quick Takes I would do a rundown of all my thoughts on the show (which I had not seen until it aired live tonight), as well as highlighting some of my favorite tweets from the rollicking #MinorRevisions stream. But seeing as how I can barely keep my eyes open from sheer exhaustion, how about if I save that for another post and give you a list of my favorite recipes instead? You LOVE that idea? Great!

Here it is, my early Christmas gift to you: five guaranteed-delicious meals from the “if Jen can do it, you can too!” files:

— 2 —

I never cease to be amazed by how much my children love this spinach soup recipe. I don’t know if I have ever made enough to have leftovers, since they devour it as soon as it’s ready. And this is not a case of me feeding the children a 100% healthful diet with no sugar and only whole foods so that they like things like spinach soup because they don’t know any better. These are candy-and-ice-cream-eating, Doritos-as-the-occasional-main-course-for-lunch kids, and they still can’t get enough of it. Here’s the recipe, modified from a card I got from Central Market:

Spinach Soup

1 box (about 5 oz.) baby spinach leaves
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pt half and half
1 can chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter (optional)
2 tablespoons flour (optional)
Nutmeg to taste

Brown the garlic and onion in oil or butter until translucent. Add spinach and stir until cooked down. Add chicken broth to blender then put in spinach mixture and blend. (Or, if you have a hand blender, WHICH YOU SHOULD, you can just leave it all in the pot and blend it with that.)

If you’d like to thicken it, heat the butter until melted, add the flour, and then add to the soup. (I skip this step, and it’s a little thinner, but still good). Add half and half and nutmeg to taste, stir, and cook on low for a few minutes.

— 3 —

Crock Pot Jambalaya

I found this one while trolling AllRecipes.com for their highest-rated recipes, and it’s been a huge hit with our family. It’s not the cheapest dinner to make since it involves a few different kinds of meat, but if you serve it with rice you can make it go a long way. We usually get about three family dinners out of one batch. It’s one of my husband’s all-time favorite meals. Recipe here.

— 4 —

Man-Pleasing Chicken

Joe trembled in fear when he heard that I was going to try another recipe from Pinterest. I think he had mild PTSD from my last attempt, and gently suggested that maybe we could just order pizza that night. Luckily for him I persevered, insisting that the ladies on Pinterest seemed really insistent that this one was actually good. It turned out to be the best chicken dish I’ve ever made, and even lived up to its name when Joe agreed. Recipe here.

— 5 —

The Fulwiler Rum Cream

I posted this one last year, but since I lie awake at night worrying that there might be one reader out there who missed it or has forgotten about it, I am compelled to post it again. It’s Joe’s unique drink that he spent weeks perfecting, the perfect concoction for sitting in front of the fireplace on a cold night. (And I have confirmed that the “double booze Fulwilers” did NOT accidentally call for twice the alcohol this time.)

1 cup of ice
4 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup half & half (or heavy cream)
2 Tbsp chocolate syrup
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp coconut cream
2 Tbsp cherry juice from a jar of marischino cherries
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 to 3 shots dark rum (light rum is an acceptable alternative)
1/2 shot coffee liqueur (such as Kahlua)

Blend it all together and prepare yourself for the awesomeness!

— 6 —

Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

A thousand five-star reviews on Allrecipes.com can’t be wrong: this is one amazing roast. And it’s easy! Especially if you can put some little hands to work peeling the potatoes, you can have it in the crock pot in a snap. I can usually plan for this to be enough food to cover two family meals, which helps makes the cost of the meat easier on the budget. Recipe here.

— 7 —

And one final homemaking tip from Martha Stewartwiler over here:

Do NOT store your Advent candles in the attic all summer.


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  1. says

    thankyouthankyouthankyou for all of those recipes! I dread trying brand new ones without someone else taking a whack at it first 😉

  2. says

    Hahaha!!! Love, love, love #7!!! And #5 looks so yummy, but I would have to make it “virgin” because I’m a total lightweight and can’t even finish a glass of wine. :-) But pretty much anything containing sweetened condensed milk is a win in my book!

  3. says

    Well, I for one am VERY glad you reposted the Fulwiler Rum Cream recipe because I’m a relatively new follower. And that sounds exactly like a drink that must be drunken (dranken? drunk?) over these upcoming holidays.

    I’m also looking forward to trying the spinach soup, but let’s be honest. It was the grown-up beverage that hooked me.

    Thanks for hosting!

  4. says

    LOL, I thought those candles were handmade by your kids! Our Chanukah candles made by my kids look exactly like those, except we have more colours.

  5. says

    I just laughed out loud at your candles. One is bowing to Jesus, I think. (See, your candles are extra holy.) And the two on the left look like they’re having a conversation.

  6. says

    I’m not saying you’re a liar, but I don’t think my five kids would eat soup that has spinach and onions in it – oh the horror! But I will give it a try and report back :)

    Again, great show last night!!!!

  7. says

    Ok, so this was a perfect 7 Takes.

    1) I’m gonna try the spinach soup tonight for the Beadboys, who love soup and in the past year have rejected the spinach omelets they used to eat.

    2) I have half a can of sweetened condensed milk in the fridge, and I was wondering what to do with it. Now I know! That drink might make up for the fact that today the weather is miserable and I probably can’t go to my beloved quilt class tonight.

    3) Those candles are why I switched to pillar candles a couple of years ago (that, and how quickly they burn down). White pillar candles with purple or pink ribbon around the base, because I never remember to buy the pillars in advance, and instead roam the streets of NYC on the second or third day of Advent, looking for any store that sells candles.

  8. says

    You can’t convince me I’ll get my kids to eat any of that, but then, I obviously face some picky challenges you just don’t have (we have some “discerning eaters” in a BIG WAY). That said, I clipped this post and plan to use it in desperation, probably within a week. :)

    And the Advent candles? I relate. All too well…. :)

  9. says

    These recipes looks awesome and come at the perfect time. I was just lamenting to my husband that I feel like I’m cooking the same things over and over and need to liven my kitchen up a bit.

    The candles? Yeah. Not if you live in Texas. Learned that one year with some pretty gold Christmas tree shaped candles that my MIL gave me that “were too pretty to burn”. Not after a summer in the attic! Those things were ugly gold flecked amoebas that got tossed instead of torched.

  10. says

    My husband and I don’t eat meat super often, mostly as a budgetary thing, but partly for health reasons, so I feel like I spend the entire winter making soup! I can’t wait to try your spinach recipe; thanks for sharing! Also, I just read last week’s post about the liquefied Pinterest disaster…now I’m dying to know what the recipe was =)

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Jennifer!

  11. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting the Spinach Soup recipe!!! I used to live off of homemade Cream of Spinach soup during the winter and then I discovered I was lactose intolerant and couldn’t eat it anymore. I’ve been pining for a good dairy-free Spinach soup. :)

    • says

      FYI, this recipe isn’t dairy free, it’s got a pint of half & half and some butter in it.

      But you maybe could to a potato/spinach version. Pureed up, a couple of diced potatoes should both thicken the soup and give the impression of creaminess.

  12. says

    I may have to try the rum cream recipe–with or without the double alcohol.

    Happy advent, and merry Christmas!

  13. Anna says

    Those candles made me laugh since that happened to me when I was teaching high school. My classroom’s heater/ac unit was lame and could only be turned on and off with a pair of scissors jammed into a spot where the knob used to be. No thermostat, so in cold weather I just left it on all night so it wouldn’t be frigid in the morning. But it got so hot that I walked in to my Advent candles drooping down sadly over the wreath.

  14. says

    I had that happen to my Advent candles last year, although not stored in the attic, I live in the Caribbean so don’t store anywhere. Last year I sat comfortably in the knowledge that I had enough candles left over from the year before and did not even bother to check anything until I took out everything on the Friday before the first Sunday of Advent. My candles were molted, melted and molded into the holder, themselves and some of my wreath. A couple of the candles are still there even this year because I didn’t have the time last year or the patience this year to deal with it.

  15. Christine says

    oh gosh..the candles. Hilarious.
    Because I almost burnt down out home and surrounding woods…I never ever have an open flame anywhere.

  16. says

    Love the recipes and can’t wait to try them! I had a quick take about MY fatigue, too. I think age has something to do with it and running around after my other 5 children while pregnant has most to do with it.

    I need to find your due date. We were due about a week or so from each other last time. but I think you’re farther along than I am this time (I am 9 weeks along today!!)

    Love your quick takes. Thanks for keeping it going every week (even though I don’t participate every week :) )

  17. says

    See, you partied twitter style last night and still put this post up in time. I partied twitter style last night and didn’t get my post up until 2 p.m. You win the internet for sure.

    I want some of that spinach soup something fierce. All I need is every single one of the ingredients and I’ll be set!

  18. says

    It might be that I’m just finishing a post at almost 2 am, but I can’t stop laughing at that picture of the candles. Please tell me that’s a picture from November and that you’ve been lighting your deformed candles for family prayer time every night!

  19. Jane says

    When we moved to Florida, I learned quickly about storing Christmas candles (or Christmas anything) in the attic!