Soup (recipe!), community, and open adoption {31 days of The Life Poetic, day 20/21}

roasted corn soup Last winter, one of our friends did a series of Sunday Soup Nights where she and her husband cooked a batch or two of soup in the crock pot and invited a mish-mash of friends and neighbors over to hang out over dinner together.

It was a yummy dinner-y version of my Ice Cream Sundays that I used to do at our last house. I haven't quite gotten in a groove with something consistent like that since we've been in our current place, which has been, ack! almost two years.  But it was fun to sort of "pass the baton" and see another friend host regular community gatherings like that for a while, stepping outside their comfort zone, and welcoming others in with open arms.

One of my favorite memories of Soup Nights was the week when Brody's birthmom randomly texted me that she was in our neck of the woods (she lives about an hour away) for the evening. I immediately invited her to join us at Sarah's house for Soup Night. Seeing her there and connecting with friends from our little community just seemed so natural. Our kids love her (and so do we).

I don't write about it too much but we've had an amazing experience with our open adoption. It was awkward and unusual at first, not surprisingly, but in the last four years we've grown to love our get-togethers with both of Brody's birthparents. A spontaneous, natural hangout was particularly special though.

Five years ago, when we began our adoption journey, I didn't know what to expect or what the future of our family held. Now, seeing where God has brought us so far has me convinced that this was exactly the path our family was meant to take. Sarah and her husband are in the early stages of their own adoption journey and I'm excited to see things unfold for them.

If you're looking to cook up some hearty comfort soup for your own community or family, here's one of my favorite soups that Sarah made for us.

roasted corn soup 2

Sarah's Creamy roasted Corn Soup
Ingredients
  • 2 bags of frozen corn (we use Trader Joe’s Roasted Corn) (set aside and save 1 cup for garnish)
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 1 sweet onion, diced small
  • 2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 stick of butter (salted)
  • 32-64oz of veggie/chicken stock
  • One cup of heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bacon/shredded cheese/corn (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. Defrost corn if already roasted. If not, simply dump it out onto a rimmed cookie sheet and roast in a preheated oven (I do it at 425*). Stir and remix every 5 minutes or so until the corn has some nice brown spots. Set aside a cup of corn for garnish
  2. Chop onions, leeks and thyme.
  3. Cook onions, leeks and thyme in three tablespoons of butter for about five minutes until onions are translucent. Do not brown. Add corn- don't be afraid to add more butter (up to 1 stick)!
  4. Sauté the veggies together for 1-5 minutes. Let the corn to soak up all those yummy flavors.
  5. Add stock till it covers the corn. Use your discretion. If you want a thicker soup just barely cover the corn. If you don’t want a super thick soup add more stock.
  6. Bring this to a boil. Once at a boil turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. If using a immersion blender (I have this model and love it), blend in the pot until creamy smooth. If using a blender, ladle out the soup into blender and blend in batches. Once it is all blended smooth, put it back in the pot and whisk in the heavy cream. You do not need to add the whole cup if you don’t want to. Just till the soup is at the consistency you’d like. Bring soup back up to heat before serving, or transfer to crock pot..
  8. Enjoy!

roasting corn

 

sautéing corn and veggies

yum, creamy roasted corn soup

Thanks, Sarah, for sharing this yummy recipe with us.

Linking up with Beth's Sunday Soup Night at Red and Honey.

Affiliate links included, thanks for your support!

the life poetic 250pxThis is Day 20/21 of 31 Days of the Life PoeticView the other posts in this series here.

If you’re new here, you might want to consider signing up for email updates or for my (bi-)monthly-ish newsletter.

 

3 Little Things {5.10.14} + homemade lemon-lime sports ade recipe

Untitled Friday may have come and gone, but here I am to share a few things making me happy this week... as I link up with Amy of MomAdvice. (What always makes me happy? The three pictured above, especially at the beach.)

3 Little Things

1.  New worship song... by Phil Wickham-- Over All-- it's a great addition to all the Dustin Kensrue we've been listening to.

2.  Inspired lunches... I finally made Aimee's tuna cheddar lunchbox bites and the've been a hit! So easy-- I made a double batch, froze them, and can pop a couple in each LunchBot and it will defrost by lunch time. Between that, getting back into the mode of making homemade granola bars (recipe pin here, from the amazing Healthy Snacks to Go cookbook) and diving into one of Katie's lastest gems, The Healthy Lunchbox, an eBook full of sandwich-less inspiration.

3.  100 Best Juices for Kids... My friend Jessica Fisher's latest book is all about kid-approved juices. I don't have a juicer (yet?) so I was excited to see that many of the recipes are actually smoothies, sparklies (juice + "bubbly water" as we call it), slushies and more. It's a perfect resource for the warm spring we're having and the summer ahead (yay!).

On a hot Saturday when David and a few guys were installing a new window in the girls' room I whipped up a batch of this faux Gatorade and they couldn't believe how "real" it tasted. I loved serving them something free of HFCS/food coloring/ETC, made with real fruit juice that hit the spot and quenched their thirst.

Check it out for yourself!

lemon-lime sports ade

Lemon-Lime Sports Ade

makes 1 quart

3 1/2 cups water 6 tablespoons honey syrup 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I used celtic sea salt)

Make the honey syrup by dissolving honey in water on the stove (medium heat) with a 1:1 ratio (3 Tbsp water: 3 Tbsp honey for this recipe). Before it's completely cool, mix in the sea salt and stir to dissolve.

Whisk together water, honey syrup + salt, and fruit juices in a pitcher. Enjoy chilled! Store in a covered jar in the fridge.

Weekly Surf Spots

  •  How to make chocolate peppermint lotion bars (or lip balm!) :: A Delightful Home ~ This is an old post but I just found out it's the recipe my friend Stacy used to make the homemade lip balm she send me that I adore!
  • Juices for Kids: Q & A :: Life as Mom ~ a great companion post Jessica wrote highlighting some FAQs you might have about juice to go along with her book.

What's making you happy this week?

Affiliate links included. Thank you for your support!

One bowl oatmeal blender pancakes {gluten-free}

You know how every now and then you find a recipe that is super simple to prep and deemed delicious by all family members? It's a home run! Well that's what these pancakes are in the Bennett house. oatmeal banana nut pancakes

Gluten-free pancakes made with coconut or almond flour never suited my preferences completely in their texture. But at soon as I tried this oatmeal-textured pancake I knew it would be a hit.

DSC_0001

I started with a recipe from Renee at FIMBY (who had herself adapted it from elsewhere), made a few changes to suit our preferences and we've been making it a few times a month at least since then.

IMG_7961

We've tried this recipe with a handful of variations and it's been tasty each time. Last night's version was banana pecan; pumpkin chocolate chip has been a favorite, too.

DSC_0003

Since I have an immersion blender, I just make it all in one bowl-- my batter bowl that has measurements on it-- starting with measuring the milk, and then dumping everything else in. The blender grinds up the oats nicely- you could probably also make this right in a high-powered blender if you have a Vitamix or BlendTec (I don't unfortunately), too, or blend it in a couple of batches if you have a regular blender.

oatmeal blender pancakes [print_this]

Oatmeal Blender Pancakes

recipe from GidgetGoesHome.com

makes enough for our hungry family of 5, about 2 dozen pancakes

  • 2 cups milk, preferably whole (or buttermilk)
  • 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2 bananas (broken into a few pieces) or 1/2 can of pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp. flax meal
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • few grounds of fresh nutmeg, optional
  • 2 Tbsp. maple sugar, optional
  • Optional add-ins: chocolate chips or chopped walnuts, or whatever else! (blueberries? pecans? go crazy!)

Mix all in large batter bowl and blend with immersion blender. Pour out about 1/4 cup of batter and cook on hot griddle (about 300 degrees F) until golden brown.

Serve with butter, and your choice of maple syrup, brown rice syrup or berry syrup (my kids loved it with elderberry syrup!). I also highly recommend it with bacon, so amazing.

[/print_this]

IMG_8489

If you're looking for a gluten-free (just make sure to get gluten-free oats) pancake staple, look no farther. We make this most Saturday mornings now and sometimes (like last night!) for dinner, too.