Minestrone, Quick and Easy!

It’s that time of year when the weather turns cooler, that we turn towards a hot bowl of soup.

Today I had a craving for minestrone.


This soup is so easy and does not take long at all!

I started by heating olive oil in my soup pot, and tossing in onion and garlic.  Saute until slightly tender.

Then I poured in chicken stock, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes with the juice.  Next in the pot is the orzo.  Salt and pepper, and a little sugar and stirred it all together.

Brought the soup to a simmer and reduced the heat to slowly cook the orzo.  Then I added cayenne pepper, turmeric, onion powder.

When the orzo was just about finished I added pinto beans, I like to rinse and drain the beans.  And just before serving  I tore up some spinach and tossed it in too!  Stir to heat the beans and spinach and serve.

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Serve each bowl topped with grated Parmesan, a delicious glass of wine and a slice of hot buttered and crusty bread!

3 T Olive Oil

1 medium onion, chopped and diced

1 clove garlic, chopped finely

32 oz carton of Chicken Stock

8 oz can of Tomato Sauce

15 oz can of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes

15 oz can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup Orzo

Dash each of Onion Powder, Turemic and Cayenne Pepper

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp sugar

About 1 cup of torn spinach, more if you’d like!

Heat olive oil in your soup pot, add the onion and garlic, sautee until slightly tender. Pour in the chicken stock, diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce.  Bring to a light boil and reduce the heat to a light simmer.  Add the orzo, and spices including salt and pepper to taste, add sugar.  Stirring often.  When the orzo is just about done, add the beans and torn spinach.

Total cooking time is around 30 minutes.  Cheers friends, live well!
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A housecleaning schedule??

I have read, with excited interest, various pins on Pinterest regarding a cleaning schedule.

Monday do this, Tuesday do that.  I have even given it a try, it never works for me. It makes complete sense to block out time each day to do a few household chores. If we have a schedule, we will stick to it and chores will get done right?

Yea well not for me. I’ll get an invitation to dinner, or I’ll be too tired, or something…

I sit down Sunday evening with my planner and notebook and make a list of things that didn’t get done on the weekend and everything that needs done for the week. I love crossing off chores as they’re completed through the week.

Yea I still have an evening after work where I’m too tired or I meet someone for dinner but I just pick one thing from my list that needs done, finish that small chore and cross it off!!

Towards the end of the week, I usually have a small panic attach after reading over my list, and then I’ll start highlighting the most important chores. It’s my way of giving myself the evil eye and a warning that I better get moving or else!!!

And by Friday if I still have items on my list, which by the way…..I always do, I just save it for the weekend.

Now, I’m single living with just my pup, that does not shed by the way, I don’t have small children that live with me but I do have grandchildren. So yea it’s a little easier for me to keep things tidy.

Life is way to short to worry about cleaning that doesn’t get done! There are friends and family to hang out with, hobbies to enjoy, dogs to walk, yanno?  I still love a clean spotless house, my house is picked up and neat but it might not pass the white glove test…..and that’s okay with me.

If those cleaning schedules work for you, that’s great!  I’m envious that those planners work for you and wish they did for me.

Live healthy and happy!!!  Follow me on my Facebook , click on the link on the sidebar, you can also follow me on Instagram at kims_pictures.

Shopping at the Dollar Store

Some people wrinkle their noses at the mere mention of shopping at the dollar store. If that’s you, have you given any of the dollar stores a chance??  Dollar Store, Dollar General, they’re all pretty much the same.  Okay, sure one store has everything marked at $1 and the other might be a little bit more but it’s still extremely a buck or two!!

And if you’re like most of us these days, you have to do what you can to save.  The older I get, the wiser I become and the cheaper I get too!!! I’d love to retire in about 10 years so I’m super careful about how I spend my money.

When I need wrapping paper, gift bags, tissue paper or bows and ribbon, I’m heading to the dollar store. The selection is usually really nice, but for Christmas it’s the best value for your ….. dollar!!

Dollar store holiday  Dollar store holiday 2
Holiday decor, ornaments, and crafts; seriously you can’t beat it!!! Sure it’s not Pier One or Pottery Barn but with a little imagination, spray paint, and glue you can have some super cute decor!!!

Dollar store holiday decor

Anytime I need paper plates and napkins for a party or girls night I hit a dollar store. They have a variety of colors and for holiday gatherings the selection is usually  quite nice.   Same thing for party items; straws, balloons, crepe paper and tablecloths, you can make out like a bandit!!

Dollar store cards     Dollar store phone tablet section

I get my doggie poop bags, trash bags, batteries…. Oh and the hardware section isn’t bad either, be sure to check it out.  Certainly isn’t your top name brand tools that you want from Sears but nails for pictures, screw drivers, etc for just your basic home needs, it’ll work!!

Dollar store pet section

Candles, tape, picture frames.  Need to organize closets and drawers? Foil baking pans and freezer containers?  Stop at the $ store first! You’d be amazed at what you can find and make work!!

Dollar store candles  Dollar store organization 2  Dollar store kitchen

I like to shop for little stocking stuffers, especially for the grandkids. And for gift bags for adults , if you’re looking for little things to add to the gift you can surely find some things that will work.

Dollar store toys

Lucky for me there’s one of these little treasure stores beside my grocery store so it’s easy to make a run through before I hit the big store.

So, next time you need to shop, stop at one of the many dollar stores in your area first.

Live well friends!!