Monday, March 19, 2012

Creamy Tomato Soup

I found this recipe on Epicurious and it's so good I had to share. I've always been a Campbell's Creamy Tomato Soup kind of girl and I have never been able to find a healthy homemade comparison I liked just as much...until I made this. I made a few tweaks so the recipe below include my changes.
The original is here

Cream of Tomato Soup
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 cup half and half

1 cup chicken broth
1/2 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 small can tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups tomatoes, chopped (fresh or canned)

Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the onion is softened but not browned. Sprinkle the flour over the butter mixture and continue to stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, half and half, chicken broth, bay leaf, sugar, and salt and continue to cook and stir until slightly thickened. Stir the baking soda into the tomatoes. Add the tomatoes to the milk, and bring just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and put through a strainer (or use an immersion blender to smooth the soup.) Taste and correct seasonings. Reheat before serving.

**I added pepper and basil. Nothing original but the combination made the soup perfect!


Monday, March 12, 2012

I miss Bob

Who's Bob?  Bob is the only good thing that existed living at my old apartment.  He was our maintenence man.  And oh, how I loved him.  He called Toby "Killer."  Ha!  It still makes me giggle.  Come to think of it, I don't think he ever really knew Toby's name.  Anytime he saw me, he asked how "Killer" was.
Anyway, about Bob.  He could fix anything.  It was pure greatness.  And it was always fixed in a timely fashion.  Complete with a dog treat on the counter for "Killer."  And beyond that?  It never cost me a dime!  Sometimes I miss those days.  Specifically, I missed those days Saturday night. 
Onto the story... 
So, as you know, I have 2 puppies.  They have new nicknames.  I'd like you to meet:    

I came home after celebrating my friend Lee's birthday.  The puppies were NUTS so I let them out of the pen and all 3 furballs (Toby included) were having a great time running around.  Party for all, that's how we roll at "Casa de Jen." 
Anyway, I was sitting on my couch as I watched the puppies climb the stairs, thinking when in the world did they learn to do that???  I swear Toby teaches them things when I'm not home.  I knew nothing was really on the floor so I wasn't too concerned.  As I got up, I heard a door close.  I thought, that's funny, they must really wanna go to bed!  (Their crates are in my spare bedroom upstairs.)
Yeah...too easy.  It was my bedroom door they closed.  How?  I heard them wrestling, I'm guessing they bumped the door and shut it.  And oh, by the way, it has a lock.  THAT WAS LOCKED. Uhm yeah. 
Picture this:  2 puppies crying inside the locked door.  One dog barking outside the locked door.  One human sitting outside with the annoying barking dog with a stack of bobby pins and tools I still can't name googling "how to unlock a locked door without calling a locksmith."
I kid you not.  One hour later...I looked at my phone and it was 3am.  How did that happen???  (Daylight savings time is a b-i-t-c-h.)  I finally caved and called a locksmith.  30 minutes and $275 later, all was well and all 3, (yes, all 3) pups were happy and calm as clams in my lap.  I swear, sometimes I think I my calling as a writer on a sitcom.
Happy outcome, expensive night.  The silver lining (other than all pups being okay?) was the fact that the $275 WASN'T my bar tab!  I'm such an adult :o)     

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I will admit I don't know enough about this issue.  But from what I do know, I 100% support Kony2012.  Please join me in the attempt to disarm the world's worst war criminal. 

If you haven't seen this video, please do.  It's worth the 30 minutes of your day.

God Bless,

Puppy Photo Shoot

I had a different post scheduled for today but I have to postpone it simply because I saw this picture and could not wait to share it with ya'll!  (I'm trying really hard to balance the dog vs. non-dog posts.  So far, the dogs are obviously winning.)
Can these two BE any cuter??? I don't think so. 
For the record, a puppy photo shoot was not my idea.  I received an email from Paws in the City last week asking if I could bring the pups to this local photographer so we could start networking these lil furballs.  
Teresa is amazing at what she does and took some fabulous pictures in a matter of minutes.  This is the only one I've seen so far and I can't wait to see the rest! 
Brinkley is all girl and loves the camera. :o)  The chair?  Not so much.   But put some pearls and a tutu on the little diva and she is ready to go! 
Billy is 100% boy.  He loved Teresa's husband (poor lil guy clearly needs some male bonding time) and was more concerned about the camera than taking an actual picture, ha!  Any time he wasn't in the shot, he was on Teresa's lap checking out the contraption pointed at his sister.  Such a protective brother. :o)  
If you're interested in adopting, or know someone who is, please e-mail me at

Monday, March 5, 2012

Puppies vs. Babies

I need to stop referring to the puppies as "the babies."  At least in public. 
I stopped at the store on my way home Friday while on the phone with a friend.  I know somewhere in there I mentioned the word "babies" and when I hung up, the lady in line behind me asked how old they were.  (I'm sure ya'll know where this is going.)
Not thinking anything of it, I told her 10 weeks and we started talking about sleep patterns and how time consuming it is to take care of "such little things."  She asked me if they were getting used to sleeping apart and I admitted since I was sick all week, I just let them sleep in the same crate so I could rest.
Oh, the judgement. 
I have never seen horror on someone's face until I saw the look this lady gave me.  It was quickly followed by "they sleep in a crate?!"
Yikes, Judgy Judgerson.  Yes, they do.
I was about to be extremely offended until I realized she was talking about babies.  As in, human babies.  (Her cart full of diapers, formula, and baby wipes should have been my first clue.) 
I can only imagine the look on my face when I told her "Oh my God.  I'm so sorry, I thought we were talking about puppies!!"  She let out a small laugh (thankfully) and said "Holy Hell, I was about to ask which parenting books you read." 
We blamed her lack of sleep and my heavily medicated state (complements of the worst sinus pain I've ever had) as reasons why we probably shouldn't be talking to anyone about anything.
Moral(s) of the story: One, the main difference between puppies and babies is puppies sleep in a crate and babies sleep in a bassinet.  Two, puppies are not babies.  Do not refer to them in public as babies.  And three, puppies cost less than babies. In one trip to the store, about $97.38 less.  So if you can't afford a baby, get a puppy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Life with 3 dogs...

I took this video a little over a week ago when Toby started to acknowledge the fact that Billy and Brinkley did, in fact, exist.  This is the first time they ever "played" together. :o)  Please ignore my cheesy commentary (I hate it!) but the video was too cute not to share.  Enjoy! 

PS- As I post this, they are chasing each other around barking but moving too fast for me to video, go figure!  I'll work on that tomorrow.
PPS- These sweethearts will be available soon.  If you're interested, please e-mail me at