Do you ever do this? I'm in the store the other day, a small bulk food store and it doesn't look like they have anything I really need. I wanted pretzel salt and a certain type of flour. Suddenly, the clerk materializes out of nowhere and asks if I need help. I thank him and tell him I'm just looking, and then turn to leave. But then I see that he is now standing at the cash register, expectantly, or maybe just a little hopeful, that I will buy something. I feel bad, and so I look over the spices again. Surely, there is something here I am out of or could use more of? So I keep scanning the shelves of plastic containers. Finally, I spot a container of something I don't have and might be able to use, but it's only forty cents. Meanwhile, the man at the register is patiently and cheerfully waiting for me to ask a question or make a selection. Okay, there must be something else here- this could be a stocking-up trip. There is a gluten free cookie mix that I use to make cookies for a family member, and although it seems more expensive than it would be at my usual grocery store, I buy it. There. I just spent almost ten dollars on things I don't need so I wouldn't feel guilty about the nice man at the register. And I didn't get a single item on my list of things I really do need!
Our garden seeds are sitting by the window, waiting for some sunlight to make them burst to life. I love watching those hopeful seedlings emerge from the dirt, tiny green stems with microscopic leaves. We'll be planting peas outside soon. All we need is some drier ground. Also, uncovering the strawberries.
In the Kitchen: This is a soup I love to make in the slow cooker on Sundays. It cooks in just the perfect amount of time and is easy and low-prep. If you added a can of beans it would be similar to chili, but it's perfect just the way it is. The basic recipe is from the Fix It and Forget It Big Cookbook but it's versatile enough to add your own special touches.
2 lbs. ground beef, browned
1 small onion, chopped and sauteed in ground beef drippings
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 T taco seasoning
1 quart pizza sauce (you could also use tomato juice)
1 quart water
1-2 diced jalapeno peppers (optional)
Shredded mozarella cheese
Combine ground beef, onion, salt, pepper, taco seasoning, pizza sauce and water in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours.Top each serving with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream.