Sunday, October 7, 2012

Crock Pot Challenge Meal #7: Minestrone Soup

It won't last, but it's finally cool here in Atlanta.  The high temperature today wasn't even above 70 degrees.  That's a day after we were in the 80s.  Tomorrow will be a little chilly and then it will slowly warm up again.  But I think it's safe to say that we won't have any more 90 degree days.

Look at all of that veggie goodness!
With the cool weather, I'm so glad I have the Crock Pot Challenge to give us all these warm, tasty soups.  Tonight was Meal #7, Minestrone Soup from Skinny Taste. I had no idea we'd have a chilly night when I put together my 14-day menu, but I'm so glad we have a warm soup for Sunday Night Football watching.

Click on the link above for the full menu.  The only thing I didn't include was the Parmesan Rind because I forgot to add that to my grocery list and I don't keep one on hand.  I also used elbow pasta instead of small shells because, you guessed it, we had that in our pantry.  We were home all day and have been smelling the cooking soup for the past few hours.  My stomach hasn't stopped growling, even after a PB& J for lunch.

I'm glad I planned this soup for a day when we're home so I was here 40 minutes before we wanted to eat so I could add the spinach and zucchini.  (I didn't chop the spinach before I put it in the crock pot - oh well!)  The original blog post states that this soup can also be cooked on the stove top for 45 minutes before adding in the spinach and the zucchini.  If I chose to make this soup on a weekend, I'll probably do it that way instead of torturing us with the yummy smells all day.

As soon as Stephen took his first bite he said, "This is really good, it'd definitely a Keeper."  So there you have it, it's a keeper.  The recipe yields 6 hearty servings so we're each going to take some for lunch tomorrow and we'll freeze the rest.  It will be such a good, quick meal for another chilly day.

Minestrone soup typically doesn't have any meat in it, but I think one time we'll try some turkey meatballs in the soup, too.  We'll get even more servings out of it and it will be even more filling.  I love this soup!

Because more is going on in our lives than the Crock Pot Challenge, I wanted to share the biggest change I've made in my life since meeting Stephen.  I chopped off all my hair!  I haven't had short hair since 2006 and since then I've just let it grow.  Six years of growing it out and trims at the salon every now and then.  I loved having long hair, but I was pretty much over it.  It took so long to dry in the morning, it would get caught in my armpit when I was sleeping, Stephen would lay on it in bed and the ends were getting a little messy.  I had my appointment to color my hair already set so I added a cut to the afternoon.

 At the wedding of two, dear friends last month.
In the car right after my hair cut and color change!

I'm in love with the new cut!  I cut about 8 inches off - CRAZY!  I also darkened my hair a little bit with some auburn low-lights.  It's the Fall, I'm ready with shorter, darker hair!  In the picture above I had JUST walked out of the salon, so it will never look like that again, but this morning after I dried it it looked a little fuller, which is what I wanted.  The guy who cut my hair used a straight iron on it and I probably won't do that except for special occasions.

Walking by mirrors I still catch my self doing a double-take and I'm so used to playing with my hair and it's not there anymore!  I haven't gone for a run with short hair yet, or ever for that matter, I wasn't a runner back in 2006, so it will be interesting to see how I do with a mini, low pony tail.

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