Potato Fennel Soup

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This is one of my all time favorite soups! Believe it or not, it was a mistake recipe when I attempted making the recipe a friend had given my from her Ecuadorian mother-in-law.

It was an awesome mistake and I’ve made it over and over again since then. I’ve tweaked it a bit since, and probably because I keep forgetting exactly what I used in the ingredients but that’s why I’m writing this post and documenting the recipe this time! There’s one major issue I have with this soups and that’s that there is never enough! It’s too good I want an endless supply lol.

The biggest mistake I used with the initial recipe was star anise. I thought her recipe called for Anise seeds, and looking all over I only found star anise so I grabbed it. I was told the oil would turn red, and it wasn’t and then realized it was supposed to be annatto seeds which are VERY hard to find in stores and had to be purchased online in a big bottle.

That was an amazing mistake though because although I didn’t get the red tinted and flavor I was wanting, the anise added amazing flavor to it.  Anise is fennel family, and super healthy too.

I tried making it again and bought actual anise which I boiled and emulsified and well… it’s just amazing and I’m going to show you the ingredients and steps below…

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Add some vegetable oil to a large stock pot, and add some seeds. Simmer on low or they’ll burn and POP right out of the pot (watch your eyes!) Those sucker’s hurt when they hit you soaked in hot oil.

Simmer just until they heat up and the oil turns bright reddish orange then fish out all of the seeds from the oil and discard because they aren’t supposed to be consumed they’re just for flavor.

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Chop up a quarter of the anise or fennel body (the white part), some scallions, and some green onion whites.

Add to the boiling oil and simmer until they start to get alittle tender. Then add in some vegetable stock about halfway up the pot and bring to a boil.

Then peel and chop up about 5 small red potatoes into small pieces that we will be adding to the pot to boil along with the anise and other root veggies we added.

Bring to a boil for 30 minutes.  You need the potatoes and veggies to be tender enough to use an emulsion hand blender and blend into a soup consistency.

The emulsion hand blender I have I got at my local grocery store and it was maybe $30 at most but so worth it!

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Blend all of the ingredients in the pot until smooth broth.  The more potatoes you add initially the thicker it’ll be but I like it too be thin for this soup.  This mends all of you the boiled ingredients together into a nice flavorful broth.  At this point I usually add a bit of salt and pepper and also 2 scoops of sour cream before blending.

Then add additional cut up cubed peeled potatoes that will stay whole pieces in the soup.

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Simmer the potatoes in the broth for another 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender.  I also add some of the leaves from the anise as well for flavor and looks.

When done, put a large hunk of 5 blend Italian shredded cheese or mozzerella in a bowl and pour soup over it.

This is the #1 must have ingredient to make this soup one of the most addicting soups I’ve ever had.

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*tip, you can omit the Annatto seeds all together, or add less for less of an orange color.  Also you can add some milk to the soup to adjust flavor or texture as needed.

Enjoy!

If you made it, let me know what you think!

 

 

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Daily Goodie Box July 2019

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We are well into Summer now and I don’t know about you but I’ve been super busy!

I had to find time to review this for you guys but at last here it is. There are some really cool items in this month’s box.

The first item is going to come in handy because I’ve had this  horrible Summer cold that doesn’t want to go away. There’s nothing better than some hot tea with lemon & honey to help clear my throat.

Tipson – Organic Tea
https://www.amazon.com/tipson

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Que Bella – Detoxifying Intense Black Peel Off Mask
https://www.quebellabeauty.com/product-page/que-bella-professional-detoxifying-intense-black-peel-off-mask

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Napz – All-Natural Sleep Solution
https://www.napz.com/

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Essential Oxygen – Organic Brushing Rinse
https://essentialoxygen.com/products/organic-brushing-rinse/

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Ode To Clean – All-Purpose Wipes
https://odetoclean.com/products/ode-to-clean-wipes

Spudsy – Sweet Potato Puffs
https://spudsy.com/collections/sweet-potato-puffs

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CURAD – Quick Stop Bandages
http://curad.com/quick-stop/

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Bakery On Main – Cranberry Almond Maple Granola
https://bakeryonmain.com/shop/cranberry-almond-maple-granola/

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And it’s more than just free samples, these are full size items in some cases!

You can always go to their Facebook page daily and enter to win boxes and if course sign up for free online at http://www.dailygoodiebox.com

MAM Is your baby “Memeable” #MAMMeme contest

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Have you ever snapped a picture of baby giving you attitude or making a funny face? MAM wants to see your most “”memeable”” photos!

Submit a photo taken of your baby at just the right moment with #MAMMeme and #Contest and MAM will select three of their favorites to win a $100 MAM prize pack! For bonus fun, comment on any of the photos submitted with a caption you think matches the photo perfectly, and MAM will select three of the most accurate and hilarious responses to receive a $100 prepaid card!

Entries can be submitted at www.facebook.com/mambabyusa

As an added bonus for entering through my site, you have a chance to win $30 in MAM baby products! Enter below for your chance to win:

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Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019

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All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to go full steam ahead for a day of engaging activities and fun adventures at Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019.Children are invited to spend a day with their friend Thomas when the #1 Engine pulls into Arkville on August 9thDay Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019 is presented by Mattel.

This fun-filled event offers children and their families the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends™ series. In addition, they will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, and more.  The tour, now in its 24th year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019.

THOMAS THE TANK ENGINE™ TO VISIT ARKVILLE, NEW YORK ON AUGUST 9-10-11 AND 16 -17-18

Enter to win a family 4 pack of tickets to the ARKVILLE NY Ride, August 9th at 9 am ONLY.

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The New Jersey Event is on Sun, Jul 12-14, rides starting at 10:00 AM daily at Delaware River Railroad Excursions, 99 Elizabeth St, Phillipsburg, NJ.

This fun-filled event offers children and their families the opportunity to take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, star of the popular Thomas & Friends™ series. In addition, they will meet Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway and enjoy a day of Thomas-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, and more.  The tour, now in its 24th year, will make 37 stops across the U.S. and Canada and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019.

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WHO:                   Thomas the Tank Engine

WHAT:

  • 25-minute (approximate) ride with a talking Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Meet & Greet with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
  • Thomas & Friends Imagination Station featuring a variety of activities
  • ‘Passport to Adventures’ booklet for children to track their journey at the event and receive a special prize upon completion.
  • Thomas & Friends-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, and more
  • Storytelling, video viewing and live music, along with all of the memories

WHEN:                 Friday, August 9th, – Saturday, August 10th, – Sunday, August 11th

                                                Friday, August 16th, – Saturday, August 17th, – Sunday, August 18th

 

TIME:                    9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

 

WHERE:               Delaware & Ulster Railroad, 43510 NYS Route 28, ARKVILLE, NEW YORK 12406

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Tickets for Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019 are on sale now and available by calling Ticketweb toll-free at 866-468-7630, or by visiting www.dayoutwiththomas.com. Ticket prices are $20 plus tax for ages 2 and up (service charges and fee may apply).

For more information and directions, contact the (845) 586 – 3877 or (845) 586 – 2929 AND www.durr.org

More event dates and times below:

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Is Hello Fresh Worth It?

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Let me start off by saying this isn’t a sponsored post and I was not asked to review this by Hello Fresh. I’ve been getting Hello Fresh for quite some time now, so I figured others may be curious if it’s worth it for their families, and well, to see what’s in the box.

And how do they keep it from spoiling before it gets to you? Well, better said than read, so check out my thoughts on Hello Fresh this week…

The meats: Chicken, Ground Beef, & Pork Tenderloin.

Hello Fresh usually has some of the best tasting meats around.  Their spice packets and meat quality is why almost all of their recipes are fantastic and it keeps me coming back for more.

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Here is the first recipe that I cooked and promised to show. These were the bagged ingredients for this meal:

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Cheddar Chicken Fajitas: 30 min recipe

Figgy Balsamic Pork: 30 minute recipe

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The beef I received was an off color than usual and I was surprised as I never had a meat issue with them although I have received some old veggies. I’m still not convinced it’s spoiled, but rather be safe than sorry especially since I’m sick and congested right now so I can’t use the smell test.

I contacted them through the chat in the app and was given a credit back which was really helpful.  It’ll apply towards my next order.  For now, I plan to buy some beef from the store and cook up three Spaghetti Ragu as intended. Stay tuned!

Spaghetti Beef Ragu: 30 minutes

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Want to give it a try?

Save $40 off of your first box! Unlimited option choices and add on features too. With this deal your first order of 3 meals is less than $20 including shipping.

They do set you up for a monthly subscription (card required) but you can easily skip and unskip weeks if you stay on top of it like I do (you can skip up to 5 weeks in a row in one shot, even more once they open up the week. It’s like a set it and forget it). OR you can cancel immediately after your box delivers but I do enjoy getting them when I feel like it, so I keep mine going.

What else is in the box? I promised I’d share, so here is what’s in the envelope this week.  It changes weekly, and although I like to look, I’ve never actually gotten any of the items they’re trying to sell.  One subscription is enough for me a week lol!

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Make Canvas Factory Your Personal Artist!

A few weeks ago we went to Duke Farms in NJ to take in all of the beautiful scenery. There were so many awesome photos taken with my cell phone, especially in the Orchid Nursery that I had to make a photo out of it for my home.

I had ordered with The Canvas Factory before so I knew I wanted to go right to them to get the job done. Check out my previous post about them with the family image I did.

So here is the original photo I took with my Galaxy S9:

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And here is what I had made and shipped to me by The Canvas Factory:

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Look how vivid the colors are, with NO FILTER on this image! Their tag line is “bring your memories to life” which is so fitting. I cannot believe how amazing this came out at such a large size straight from my phone. This one I chose is the 18 in. x 12 in. (45×30 cm) which is only $24.50 + shipping. I got the “gallery wrapped” style, so the image wraps complete around the sides of the canvas.

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If you are felling artsy, but do not want to make your own image on a canvas, they have many styles of stock images you can have made. I prefer to take my own images though, so they’re one of a kind. I am so excited with how this came out, I am going to get 2 more of the exact same size of the other orchid images I took. I am sharing my other photos from the awesome Orchid nursery below, let me know which other 2 you think I should get printed to hand along with this one.

I have not hung it yet since I am waiting for the other 2, but this is how the size is, and also and up close of the canvas to see the texture (it is in a different lighting, but still looks awesome!).

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Up close: Look at the detail of the water that came through! It actually looks really wet but it is not.

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Which other 2 should I chose to display on my wall with this one?

 

Easy Online Will Making by Trust & Will

Ahhh.. Creating a will. One of the last things you ever want to do. Not only is it time consuming and a bunch of legal terms, but it is also talking about your possibly timely or untimely demise and something we really do not want to talk or think about. The fact is, it’s important. Especially if you have children.

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I have been following the Dave Ramsey program for a little over a year now, and one of the things he preaches is the benefits of having a Will.

Many of us, when we think of a Will, we think of old age and how we will divvy up our belongings to our loved ones. The fact of the matter is, a Will is much more than that, and anyone over the age of 18, especially anyone with a child or children need to start thinking about their Will now. Even better, don’t just think about it, get it done.

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A Will is there in case something were to happen to you to let your children go to whom you wish. Without a written, legal Will, there is a long process with the state in which probate court will need to be involved to decide the fate of where your children go. And who knows where they’ll wind up in the mean time…

There is an easy to use online program that literally makes creating a will a 10 minute thing. You can go to Trust & Will  and create a Trust, a Will, or just a document to specificity the guardians of your children should something ever happen to you and/or your spouse. You can do all 3 in one document for a discount as well.

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What’s the benefits of each? They break it down simply for you below;

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Once you have the document completed, you can choose to print it yourself, or to have the documents sent to you (or both). You have to get it notarized in order for it to become a legal document, so you’ll need a physical copy no matter what.

That seems to be the biggest issue for people, finding the right place or the time to get the documents officiated and notarized. Luckily, if you have a UPS store by you, you’re in luck. Simply go to their website and click services. You’ll see a notary public section where you can make an appointment. I found it extremely convenient that they have weekend appointments. All in all it should take no more than 30 minutes. And bonus? They provide the signature witnesses as well which is another annoyance to find witnesses available yourself.

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I was skeptical of it only taking 10 minutes, but honestly it did. It is such a simple process and my husband and I are happy to have this crossed off of our “adulting” to-do-list.

*Disclosure: I was provided product in order to review the item and give you my opinion of it.