My Sweet Marie

Archive for October 2011

Thirty one years ago today, Denis and I got married in Annunciation church in Stoney Point,ON, before our family and friends. We got married on a Monday because my parents owned a restaurant and frankly, that was their slow day! It seems so silly to me today when I think of it! We inconvenienced so many just so Dad didn’t have the close the restaurant down for one day! Most of my siblings got married on a Friday for that same reason but no, I married on a Monday! Crazy!

Anyhow, some years we go all out for our anniversary, trips, expensive restaurants, wine and gifts but not this year! We decided to keep it low key this year and I made us a delicious dinner. Denis brought home a bouquet of flowers, lit some candles and poured the wine! We enjoyed a French Mushroom Soup, much like French Onion but with different mushrooms (Portobello, white, cremini)! Delicious! Then we had a chicken breast stuffed with ham and swiss and asparagus on the side! Wow, very yummy…and to make matters even tastier, I stopped off at a bakery and picked up only two cupcakes, a red velvet for me and double chocolate for Denis! Does that sound like a celebratory dinner to you?

So we have the evening ahead of us to just relax and enjoy each other’s company.  We’re headed out for a nice walk in this brisk weather and then come in and warm up with another glass of red! I think I’ll get out the wedding album and share a few giggles with Denis over some of the images, that’s always fun!

Denis, if you’re reading, I love you and am so happy I chose you to be my husband and you chose me for your wife! You’re all that I ever dreamed of and more!

All my love,

Sweet Marie

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The thing about turning 50 soon, is that I have been celebrating with a lot of people turning 50 as well! Many of my friends, their husbands and family are all hitting the 50 mark together! I like that I’m not alone in my ’50 journey’!

On the weekend we were gathered with the Ya-ya’s and their spouses the Yoo-hoo’s, together we are a bunch of Ya-Hoos! We were in Ann Arbor and unbeknownst to my hubby Denis, we celebrated his 50th! They made him wear a 50 necklace, to my surprise he did almost the whole weekend! They had him drinking from a mug with 50 all over it, and a shot glass with 50 all over it as well! He gladly participated, especially with the shot glass full of tequila! Can’t say he’ll remember it but we have the pictures in case he doesn’t!

Soon we’ll be celebrating another 50 with Anita’s hubby Tom. Time will tell how that goes! I’ll have to write to you about that when it happens as Tom is the comic relief in our group. He always has a smart joke or comment for us all to laugh at it. Where would be without laughter?

Everyone that I know that has turned 50 says “it’s just a number” but I wonder is it? People who are 50 seem more sure of themselves, more calm, is it that they know something I don’t? I’ll let you know the day I turn 50! I have almost 4 months left to my 40’s…I am living them up! I may crash and burn at 50 but I am going out with style or at least flare!(Or is that flame?)

My health journey continues, I am trying my best to lose this belly, it’s coming off slowly but I am not real good at resisting temptation. When chips are put out, I have a hard time not sampling, and you know you can’t eat just one! At Weight Watcher’s they tell you that it’s ok to have a treat but to just count it? So how many points for a bag of plain ruffles?

I will try to stay away from temptations from now on or at least try to control them, I don’t bring the stuff in my home so that helps a lot. Now if I only could convince Lays to stop making chips! If they put MSG on all their chips then I couldn’t eat any of them but no the plain ones are fine for me to eat! Isn’t it funny that I won’t eat something that I am allergic to but I’ll eat something even if I know it’s bad for my health? Hmmm…there’s an observation that may help me in the future!

Well folks, I think I’ll go have some veggie sticks and pretend they are chips!

My sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie

This is a great soup for the dreary cold days!I use turkey sausage as it’s a lot better for us! Low sodium broth too now folks!

Ingredients

  •                     1 pound Italian turkey sausage
  •                     1 clove garlic, minced
  •                     tetra of low sodium chicken broth
  •                     1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  •                     1 cup sliced carrots
  •                     1 (14.5 ounce) can great Northern beans, undrained
  •                     2 small zucchini, cubed
  •                     2 cups spinach – packed, rinsed and torn
  •                     1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  •                     1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown sausage with garlic.  Stir in  broth, tomatoes and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.
  2.    Stir in beans with liquid and zucchini. Cover, and simmer another 15 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
  3.  Remove from heat, and add spinach.  Replace lid allowing the heat from the soup to cook the spinach leaves.  Soup is ready to serve after 5 minutes.

Feeling a little south of border today? whip up this soup for your friends and/or family! It’s always a hit in our home!

Ingredients

  •                    1/2  shredded, cooked chicken(market deli chicken works well)
  •                     1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  •                     1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  •                     1 medium onion, chopped
  •                     1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  •                     2 cloves garlic, minced
  •                     2 cups water
  •                     1 liter tetra chicken broth or 4 cups homemade
  •                     1 teaspoon cumin
  •                     1 teaspoon chili powder
  •                     1 teaspoon salt
  •                     1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  •                     1 bay leaf
  •                     1 cup frozen corn
  •                     1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  •                     7 corn tortillas
  •                     vegetable oil

Directions

  1.  Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

This is a great soup with leftover pulled pork. Pork roast or ham will do too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans black beans
  • onion diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 stalks celery diced
  • carrot chopped
  • 1 cup corn(canned, frozen or fresh)
  • 2 cups of pulled pork
  • 1 can of tomatoes diced or whole
  • 10 cups of chicken or beef broth
  • 1 small can of diced chiles or a couple of jalapenos diced
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  1. Sautee the onion with the celery and carrot till translucent in olive oil.
  2. Add broth and tomatoes, chiles and cumin,bring to a boil.
  3. Add your beans and pork and corn.
  4. let simmer on low till all the flavors blend together, maybe an hour or so.
  5. enjoy with a few tortilla chips and perhaps a dollop of sour cream!

People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”

—  Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s Thursday and I am ready for the weekend! I have my bags packed, my passport ready, my GPS loaded with Glen’s address and I am ready to go! Problem is we don’t leave till tomorrow!

You see, we the Ya-Ya’s don’t get together nearly enough, frankly we could meet weekly and that still wouldn’t be enough for me! The Ya-Ya’s and the Yoo-Hoo’s are gathering this weekend for some much deserved R&R! We have no plans, but I am sure there’ll be some kind of tour of Ann Arbor, there will likely be some walking, probably a bit of drinking…just a bit now, remember the program? I know there’ll be cards as we,the Ya-Ya’s, need to even the score! Last time we gathered the guys beat us at hand & foot! That was not cool! Someone forgot to tell them that the girls are supposed to win!

I have made two pots of soup so I’m thinking that’ll be lunch or supper, who knows! I made a black bean with pulled pork and I made a creamy veggie soup! Those should cover the varied taste buds gathered this weekend! Knowing Paulette and Glen, there will be so much food, we could be gathered for a week and still have leftovers!

Last time we checked out the Fairy Doors in Ann Arbor, that was cool. wonder what Paulette has up her sleeve this time? I wouldn’t mind a bit of shopping…hint,hint, if you’re reading Paulette! The guys can find trouble somewhere I am quite sure! Last time they found some outdoor patios that served some extra special beers!

I really don’t know what this weekend holds for us, but I do know this for sure….there will hugs, giggles, nibbles and laughter all weekend long!

Happy Weekend folks!

Sweetest regards,

Sweet Marie