Author Archives: Judith

About Judith

Judith is a retired Reading Resource Specialist with a Masters in Education. She is a published author and also a regular columnist with monthly articles in Pink Magazine and other publications. She and her husband Bill live on Hilton Head Island and, when not sailing their 36ft. yacht Serenity, they both volunteer at The Deep Well, Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls Club on a regular basis. For many years they have also sponsored and produced a children's educational TV program called The Reading Room which is aired on WHHI each week and which is supported by their educational no-advertising web site, www.readroom.com.

“Sneaky Soups”

How, you may ask, can soup actually be sneaky? Well, I am an “add too” fan so stay tuned and I will share with you some really neat ways to make wonderful homemade soup to warm your little heart on a cold winter day.

  1. Potato Leek Soup

Start with 2 cans of potato soup. I use Campbell’s Cream of Potato. Add 2 1/2 soup cans of 2% milk. Add the extra 1/2 can to create more liquid. Bake 2 red potatoes in the microwave. Clean and finely chop all of the white part of a big leek. Chop your potatoes finely leaving on the skin. Put 1 Tbls. of butter or marg. in a medium saucepan and saute the leek and chopped potato. Put all ingredients in the pan and cook at a low simmer until all combined and hot. I like to add salt, pepper, a bit of garlic salt and a little dried parsley. If this seems too thick, add just a bit of vegetable broth. Remember, homemade soup is soup that you made at home!

2. Vegetable Soup

Start with 2 cans of any kind of vegetable soup you like. I like Progresso. If you buy the kind that does not take extra water, add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Now, get creative. Chop fresh vegetables and microwave until al dente, use froxen peas and carrots, add a bit of corn to all of this, add any other veg. you like. Final sneaky trick-add a couple of hands full of cooked pasta and you have Minestrone.

3. Tomato Bisque-Same formula-Start with 2 cans of soup and add an extra 1/2 can of liquid. (I always add milk even if the can calls for water.) Add a can of drained chopped or finely diced canned tomatoes. This may sound icky, but I like Bisque of Tomato slightly sweet so I add a packet of Sweet and Lo. (Family secret.)

4. Make your own “Chicken” Noodle Soup-I am a vegetarian so all of my recipes are either vegetarian or pescaterian, so I start this with 4 cups of vegetable broth. Cook 2 QUORN ‘chicken’ breasts in the microwave and chop one finely and put the other in your food processer and almost puree. Add this to the broth. Next just use your own taste buds. I add some sauted green onion, and the usual salt, pepper, garlic salt and dried parsley. Finally add any pasta you like. My grandson likes the little stars so I buy them at Trader Joes. He also likes spirals. I like flat cut noodles. What do you like?

It is very easy to make any of these soups your won or to devise other sneaky ways to make canned soups seem like homemade-which they are, right? Last but not least-add some warm French bread with butter. I have tried garlic bread with these soups, but just the regular warm slice French bread is the best. Mmmmmm!

PS-QUORN is the #1 selling vegetarian product in England. You can usually find in most stores with the other veg. products in the freezer. They make all sorts of products. I like them and I also really like Morning Star Farms.

Make Today A Good Day!

Cold, snowing, raining, foggy, windy, no place to go, mad at the kids, home alone with bad TV, no face book friends…….What else could go wrong??? Well, what could be wrong is attitude. There must be something to do that is productive, and uplifting. I read my tablet or a book. I walk outside, regardless of weather, I call someone I know, I do a laundry or re-arrange my stuff just for fun, and so on and so on.

All I am saying is that only YOU are responsible for what you make of each day that is given to you. Get out of bed, take a shower, get dressed and face it.

Corny, Corny, Corny!

Yes, I just LOVE corn. Or, a my Grandmother from Georga used to say, “I just yen me some carn in any way ya’ll can fix it!” OK, so here are three really yummy corn recipes from that old cook book “Sharing Recipes” I scored as a Thrift Shop find.

Baked Corn

2 cups corn-fresh or canned

1 tbsp. flour

3 Tbsps. sugar

2 eggs

A dash of salt

3/4 cp. milk (I use 2% )

1/4 cp. margarine melted

Blend all ingredients with your blender and pour into a well greased baking dish (I grease with marg.) Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. Serve this with anything that needs a hearty side or take it to a gathering and watch is disappear!

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2. Corn Fritters-Not totally healthy I grant you, but boy are these good!

1 cup sifted flour

1 1/2 tspn. baking powder

1 Tbsp. sugar

Dash of salt

1 egg

1/4 cp. milk (I use 2%)

1/2 cp. corn (Fresh or canned)

Drop into deep fat and shake in a bag of powdered sugar when done. PS You don’t really have to do this. I drop this mixture by tablespoon full into a pan with just enough melted marg. to give flavor and keep from sticking. Press down with your spatula and cook one side until brown. Watch it carefully. Flip and brown the other side. I serve these with just about anything, but traditionally they are served with fried cat fish. Not so much here. I pan grill talapia, serve the corn fritters and green beans. MMMM.

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3. Sweet and easy Corn Pudding

  1. 2 cups corn
  2. 1 Tbsp. flour
  3. 3 Tbsps, sugar
  4. 2 eggsDash of salt
  5. 3/4 cp. milk (I use 2%)
  6. 1/4 cp. butter or marg.

Place all ingredients in a blender (or not) and pulse for 10 seconds. Pour into a well greased (I really mean it!) baking dish, dot with butter, and bake for 45 minutes at 375. This is not really meant as a dessert even though it is called pudding, but goes well with baked chicken or veggie Field Roast.

Although corn is a starchy veg. it is actually quite healthy. It has lots of natural fiber. Watch portions!

T- Shirt Stuff Keeps Rollin’ In

Some cat lovers complained about all of the “Dog” quotes so here are a few “Cat” slogans to make up for it.

A Good Book, A Cat On My Lap, Life Is Sweet!

Real men can and do love cats.

No, I am not shedding, it’s my cat.

If the earth was actually flat, cats would have pushed everything off of it by now, right?

Keep the T-shirt fun going. Love it!

Stop Dragon Your Feet!

Stop “Dragon” your feet and read a book. This is just one of the ways to beat the “I am so sad at home” blues.

Adventure: Clive Cussler is very hard to beat. He has written sooo many books and most of them are in series so if you don’t like one genre there are at least five others. Favorite? The Oregon Files series

Just for fun: I have read them all from book one to the next to last. I have ordered the final and it has not come yet. Yes, of course I mean the Stephanie Plum series starting with One For the Money and going on to I believe it is book 24 or 25. All of them are a hoot and you will actually laugh out loud prticularly at Lula and Connie!

Westerns: Western books come and go but I have a friend who is a real fan of the genre and he swears that there is still nothing better than Zane Grey and Louie L’Amour. Oldies but goodies my friend says.

Gentle Fiction: Has to be the Mitford series. Any of the Amish books are good too. (Kingsford)

Read to the kids: Boy, I really love The Magic Tree House series. Mary Pope Osborne is excellent and her husband also writes companion books that tell true historical facts surrounding each of her fiction stories. These are “read aloud” stories in my opinion. Stuff happens that is fun to talk about with your child. (Magic School Bus not so much. Too much detail for the average child.)

Cook Books: Yes. some people (Me!) actually read cookbooks for fun and try new recipes on their long suffering significant others over and over again. Best source for cookbooks that are really interesting? Thrift shops, of course!!

So, quit “dragon” your feet and READ!

Get Out!!

It’s cold, foggy, and dreary today. This is the perfect time to NOT sit in front of the TV/fireplace/computer etc. Take the opportunity to get off your butt and go outside. Bundle up if you need to do that. I will be in my warm hat, zip up the front Lands End padded coat, and warm pants. We are going stick hiking on the Cushwa Trail next to the C&O Canal!

PS-My warm hat is an “Agnes” hat from Despicable Me and stick hiking means we take our hiking sticks a la Bilbo Baggins.