Barefoot in the Kitchen

A friend of mine just started a recipe link-up and I’m quite excited to join her endeavor!  In honor of the new liturgical season, I’m posting the recipe from our meal last night.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

Tastes just like my summer garden!

Tastes just like my summer garden!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: ~45 minutes

Servings: 8-10 (depends on your favorite bowl size)


  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil (I prefer refined)
  • 4 large carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • medium onion, diced
  • 4 cups homemade chicken broth (store bought works too)
  • 2-4 cups water (depends on your taste)
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • oregano, garlic powder, salt & pepper (to taste)


  1. Chop carrots, celery and onions.  Heat coconut oil in a large soup pot.  Saute carrots, celery and onion in coconut oil until soft or onions turn translucent (about 5-10 minutes).
  2. Add broth, water and diced tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.
  3. Add zucchini and spices, let simmer on low at least 20 minutes.
  4. Serve alone or with a thick slice of bread (I hear beer bread is a delicious option!)

Verdict: Last night I was short on time, so I let the veggies saute and simmer for less time and we ended up with crunchier veggies.  Ryan really liked it, but I prefer my soup veggies to be more cooked.  You can let the soup simmer longer according to your preference.  You can also add extra veggies for variety.  Kale is especially good (make sure to simmer for about 10 minutes).

Check out more recipes at Hannah’s blog!


7 Quick Takes (vol. 5)


I’m not sure if my hormones are going psycho, or God is trying to tell me something, because Kristen Howerton’s adoption story caused a flood of tears last night.  It’s hard to imagine waiting years to adopt a child from another country (not to mention being in Haiti during the earthquake), but at our current rate of procreation I have to wonder if my perspective is changing.  Thoughts still developing on that one…


I had to laugh this week when I read my friend Ana’s blog post and realized that we both made the same Chia Seed Energy Bar recipe from Wellness Mama.  Do trends exist on the internet or what?  Since chia is all the rage right now, I thought I’d join in the fun and post my attempt as well.

My ingredients: white chia seeds, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate chunks – pulsed in a food processor. Done.

Chewy goodness

Chewy goodness


 Should I purchase this Groupon for an online photography course?  I’ve thought a lot about taking a class to help me better use my digital camera – I just assumed it would be in a face-to-face setting!  Back in high school I learned how to use and appreciate manual camera settings.  At this point, my eye can usually catch a good photo opt when the conditions are right.  But I would like to have the ability to take a great photo in any situation.  This might be a good skill review…


 Speaking of photography, here are some shots from a Downton Abbey Tea Party hosted by a donor for the college students (remember, my family lives on a college campus) last weekend.  We were invited to dress up and enjoy conversation over heirloom china.  The host couple greeted us in character as Lady Grantham and Mr. Carson.  It was so much fun – I can’t wait to find another excuse to have a tea party!

1930s bridal china

1930s bridal china

Downton Abbey tea party

1911 baptism gown

1911 family baptismal gown

Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes, Lady Grantham

“Mr. Carson”, “Mrs. Hughes”, “Lady Grantham”


 The rest of my weekend was spent pondering an article, Virginity: New & Improved, by Elizabeth Esther.  It was so intriguing that I read through ALL the comments and began a discussion on the topic with Ryan.  (What Saturday night is complete without a deep theological discussion on the marital union?)  You can find a synopsis of comments here, should you fail to have three hours to invest in reading them yourself.

In some ways, I resonate with EE’s personal story and distaste for the “purity culture.”  But reading the comments helped to me realize how insulating my Catholic upbringing was against some of the crazier purity notions.  I signed the True Love Waits pledge card and heard all about losing the stickiness on your “tape” if you sleep around.  I just never got the impression that virginity was my greatest virtue.  It seemed more like a gift one tries to protect until one is married.  Chastity is more important because it’s a virtue that never ends, and everyone is called to practice it.


 My husband is right – there is nothing quick about my Quick Takes!  How do you all figure out seven different topics to discuss in one post?!  Uncle!!  The next take is brought to you not by me.  Because I am out of stuff to say.


With Valentine’s Day approaching, a suggestion for the that special geek in your life: Check out the slightly odd, but ever entertaining, gifts at ThinkGeek.  (This website has been geek-husband approved.)

Tasty magical beast.

Tasty magical beast

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!