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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Home is a resting place

"Home is among the holiest of words. A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world's perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of the day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded. Out of the homes of a community comes the life of the community, as a river from the thousand springs that gush out on the hillsides."
JR Miller

I came upon this quote the other day and it struck me. This is beautifully said and helps to capture what I'm hoping to accomplish here.

More and more, our heroes are facing battle on a daily basis. The hate is spreading and it's terrifying sometimes. So now, more than ever, my trooper needs to find peace at home. Our LEOs have to spend their shifts being hyper vigilant and that means that they're crashing that much harder when they get home.

It is a resting-place to which at close of the day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow.

I know my man needs a resting place to gather new strength for tomorrow. I'm sure yours does too.

What can you do today to help your LEO relax, refresh and gather strength to go back and do battle again tomorrow?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup

Today it snowed in Virginia.

Basically, that's the equivalent of the universe imploding.

So of course, hubby's shift got extended 3 hours and he came home cold and tired.

But how lucky is he that his lovely wife had the forethought to put soup in the slow cooker this morning! How thoughtful!

This recipe is the result of trial and error and several recipes mashed together. I love that the instant mashed potato flakes makes it extra thick! All the goodness of a baked potato with some broccoli to help you feel like it's healthy for you. Perfect!

Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup

1Tbsp minced garlic
3 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup water

4 cups chicken broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
Salt, pepper, basil, parsley -- to taste

1 cup half and half
5 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into small pieces
16 oz bag of frozen broccoli
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

In a large saucepan, sauté garlic in butter until slightly browned. Stir in for flour. Slowly stir in water. Heat and stir until thickened. Pour into 4 quart slow cooker.

Add broth, potatoes, instant potato flakes and seasonings to slow cooker. Cook on high 6-8 hours or low 3-4 hours, until potatoes are soft.

Add half and half, bacon, broccoli and cheese, cover and continue to cook for an additional hour.

Top with additional cheese and sour cream.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Rich Chocolate Cake -- with Mocha Frosting

...because sometimes your man (and maybe his wife. Ahem.) just needs a cake.
Things are crazy in the LEO world these days and the new year doesn't seem to be off to a great start. It's obvious my hero is carrying some extra stress and I'm sure the rest of them are too. Being extra vigilant on the job means they need extra relaxation at home.

Enter the chocolate cake!

I usually make my cakes from scratch, but I always have a few box mixes on hand. (They're great for cookies!). Tonight I grabbed one to whip up a cake. I can never leave well enough alone, so I added an extra egg, extra butter and some milk. Extra rich!

And the frosting is simple enough too:
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 Tbsp water
2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
Strong brewed coffee (cooled)

Beat the Crisco and water until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix powdered sugar and baking cocoa. Gradually add to the Crisco, along with vanilla.
Once blended, gradually add in coffee until frosting is desired consistency.

Now, please excuse me. I need to go eat half a cake before it all disappears.