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Quick and Easy Meal

Here is a quick and healthy way to make soup.  I go to Trader Joe’s (or your local favorite store) and buy different  cartons (32 OZ) of their various vegetable soups. I use fresh vegetables bagged, or from the produce aisle, or farmer’s markert. Steam and  then puree them in a food processor.  For example, I sometimes get a bag of mixed broccoli/califlower and after steaming and pureeing, put them in a pan and add organic butternut squash soup. It seerves 3 to 8 people, depending on portions.
  If you want to skip the steaming part, make a red/yellow/orange pepper soup. I buy a 32 OZ carton of Organic Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper soup. I puree 2 or 3 peppers and put the puree in a pot on the stove, adding the carton of soup.  Just heat through and serve.
  You can steam and puree the veggies ahead of time, put them in a small container and refridgerate until almost serving time.  It takes around 5 to 10 minutes to heat up the puree veggies and soup.
  This is a wonderful starter  when entertaining, bound to get you rave reviews.  For a simple meal with the kids, add a sandwich or salad and you are done. 

Home Alarm tip

A construction contractor gave me this tip to prevent false alarms. Remove cobwebs from around your alarm sensor and get rid of any spiders near it. The movement of a web, or spider, in front of the alarm sensor can trigger a false alarm. Air rushing out of your heating and cooling vents can get those strands of webs moving. I also keep the vents near my ceiling dust free with a long duster.
  Remember, when you go on vacation to call your alarm company to give them your house/pet sitters’s phone #, in case there is a false alarm or possible break in.

Quick shortcuts with food for company

  Save on prep time and buy prediced ingredients.  Many grocery stores carry, fresh diced onions. Soups and other recipes call for a vegetable mixture called mirepoix, which can also be purchsed in the fresh food section.  Keep cream cheese on hand because it can be mixed with so many other items for a quick dip or hors’doeuvres.  Mixed thawed spinach (thawed in a flash in the microwave) or herbs with the cream cheese and serve with crackers or cut up veggies for drop in guests.
   For Ham Pinwheels: Take thin slices of ham, spread on cream cheese, plain or with herbs, then roll up the ham tightly with the shorter sides. Slice it about 1/4 in. thick for a lovely appetizer.
  Yummy French Bread appetizer: Cut a loaf of french bread into 1/2 inch slices. Spread with softened butter with a dab of mustard mixed in.  Top with Brie cheeze. You can also sprinkle paprika on some and Fines’ herbs or Herbs De Provence on others for more festive colors.  Broil theses just until the edges turn brown, maybe a minute or two.
  Quick stuffed mushrooms:   Remove the mushroom stems and dice them.  Add cream cheeze, chopped green onion and salami bits.  Mix together, and stuff the mushrooms. Cook on baking sheet for 10 min.s @ 375.  You can get creamed spinach in the freezer section and stuff the mushrooms with this for a variarion.
  Remember the classic, but easy artichoke dip. One can of chopped artichoke hearts.   3/4 cup of mayonaise. One cup of cheeze, can be parmesian, or whatever tickles your fancy.  You can add anything else, green chili, herbs, whatever.  Cook @350 for about 25 min.s
  Keep some high quality frozen appetizers in your fridge for drop in company, such as those from Trader Joe’s. In an emergency, Cut bread into rounds, top with cheeze and put under the broiler for a short time.
Enjoy the holidays!