Soup-Inspired Christmas Party

Not to brag, or anything, but I got right on that New Year’s resolution to host more dinner parties. As a matter of fact, I hosted one the night before that post was published (Ba-ha-ha. Delayed publishing. Just one of the many tricks of the blogger’s world.)

A few months ago, I offered to host my Faith Club’s annual Christmas party. At this time, our group was fairly small–we regularly had about 5-6 women. Well, over the past few months, as word spread about our group’s awesomeness, more and more people began to join us. We now have about 12 regular attendees. I started to get a little nervous thinking about all these people dining in my one-bedroom apartment, but knew I could make it work.

Luckily, a few people couldn’t make it that night. (Just kidding, ladies, we missed you!). It was a tight squeeze, but with the help of my mom’s card table and some borrowed folding chairs, we all fit around the table!

Looking Christmas-y

Definitely a tight fit!

I spent the day cleaning, setting up chairs, moving furniture, and cooking. I found some empathy for mothers who complain about their house not staying neat for very long. Every time I turned around, there was stuffing from another chew toy, dirty clothes, or tennis shoes strewn around the room.

It's amazing how much havoc two little pups can manage in such a short amount of time.

Looking guilty...

Since I have yet to purchase any Christmas dishes (next year, I’m snapping up a set of Target’s plastic plates early!), and my Fiestaware is about as far from Christmas-colored as possible, I went the paper plate route. (I know, I know. Not exactly fancy.) And, with nine place settings on a teeny-tiny table, there wasn’t much room to get fancy with the decor. However, I did dress the table up with some patterned napkins, and Christmas-y drinkware.

Notice the patterned napkins (and the paper plates!)

Then came the food. I decided to go the soup/salad route. I provided two soups, while friends brought salads, bread, and desserts. We ended up with quite a delicious spread. And, I must say, my soups were pretty popular. I made two choices–one, a veggie-based soup, and the other, a cheesy, creamy-based soup. (But, you know me–they’re both healthy and low-cal!)

So, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to introduce… (drumroll, please…)…

Sharing Closet Space’s new Recipes page

I plan to post about our hits and misses on recipes throughout the year, but I know it can be hard to find exactly the post you’re looking for when you’re searching through a blog. So, I wanted to create a resource for you. Come back to the this page any time to find recipes (or links to recipes) of some of our favorites.

All in all, I was very pleased with my dinner party. Yes, someday I’ll look back and remember how everyone had to sit in their chair at an angle because nobody’s legs could fit under the table. But that’s life in a one-bedroom apartment for you… and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (18.7-oz each) tomato with basil soup
  • 1-2 cans water
  • 1 bag (approx. 5 cups) frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 bag (approx. 3 cups) frozen zucchini & yellow squash
  • 2 cups cooked pasta (I used small shells)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • french fried onions (optional)

Combine all ingredients except onions in slow cooker. Heat until serving temperature. If desired, serve with onions sprinkled on top!

Nutrition information (per serving, without onions): 109 calories, <1g fat, 22g carbohydrates, 4g protein

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Cheesy Cauliflower Soup

Serves: 2 (I tripled the recipe for my Christmas gathering)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C chopped onion
  • 3 oz. pared potato, diced
  • 1 C each, water & skim milk
  • 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash each white pepper and ground nutmeg (I used black pepper and ground ginger–because that’s what I had!!)
  • 1 C frozen cauliflower, cooked until tender-crisp
  • 2 oz. 2% American cheese
  • 1 Tbs chopped parsley

In 2-qt. saucepan combine onion & potato; add water, cover pan, and bring liquid to a boil. Cook over high heat until potato is tender-crisp, 5-7 minutes.

In small bowl, combine milk & flour, stirring until flour is dissolved. Stir milk mixture into potato mixture; add salt if desired, pepper, & ginger and mix well. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is smooth and thick, 5-10 minutes. Add cauliflower, cheese, and parsley to saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese is melted and cauliflower is cooked through, 2-3 minutes.

Nutrition information (per serving): 228 calories, 4.5g fat, 14g protein, 35g carbohydrates

Delilah’s Baby Sister

If you follow me at all on Facebook (or if you know me in real life), then you have probably already heard our big news. On Oct. 30, 2011, B, Delilah, and I welcomed a new baby into our family: a ten-week old, 4.02-lb. Yorkie puppy named Nora.

Nora

We’d been going back and forth for awhile with the pros & cons of adopting a second dog. On the one hand, we felt like Delilah could really use some company during the day while we’re both at work. But on the other hand, the needs of one puppy already added up, and to double that seemed intimidating. However, we finally decided that the good outweighed the bad (especially once B thought about how much less time he’d have to spend playing fetch with D on the living room floor if she had another puppy to play with her).

We ended up finding Nora on kansascitystar.com. She was living with a family on a farm in Versailles, MO. Since we were going to be out in rural-MO for a family wedding that weekend, anyway, we decided to stop by. Needless to say, she made the trip back to KC with us.

Delilah was a little unsure at first. Here they are meeting for the first time, sniffing one another from head to toe:

Checkin' each other out...

Delilah had to show Nora who’s boss the first few days. She made it her mission in life to stay between me and the puppy, and taught Nora a lesson or two about who her daddy was:

A little possessive there, D?

Now, however, they’re absolutely inseparable. S0 inseparable, in fact, that through teamwork they’ve managed to open Nora’s crate whenever we leave. This is how I found them when I came home from work the other day:

Cuddling with my sister...

We are so excited to have our two pups at home with us now. With the addition of Nora, dogs officially outnumber humans on B’s side of the family (puppies-8, humans-7), which should make Christmas a little interesting.

 

 

Brag Book

Fair warning: This post is the equivalent of a proud parent pulling a stack of photos out of their purse and expecting every else to be equally enthralled and captivated by their child. Fortunately for you, though, I truly am the proud parent of the most adorable bichi-poo ever to bound around the grasses of this earth. So, it seems only fair that I share the following with you:

This picture was actually taken over the summer–I believe I was instructing B in “the football hold”.

B has D in a football hold

Love when D comes back from the groomer’s–she has such an expressive face, and the bow is just too cute for words. Unfortunately, the trim only lasts about a week or so, and the bow survives even less time than that.

All Prettied Up

Delilah is an important part of our little family, and we include her in all major events. Here she is helping us celebrate my birthday. Don’t worry–I put her down before we actually started eating our spaghetti.

Mom's Birthday

My favorite time of the evening, and Delilah’s as well, I believe, is cuddling up on the couch. She often looks so darn cute we just can’t resist snapping a picture.

Cuddling with Mom

It's getting awfully late...

It's so warm...

I give up. I just can't keep my eyes open any longer.

The windowsills in our apartment are low enough that Delilah spends much of her time keeping an eye on the goings-on outside. Recently, when she sees something interesting, she brings one of her favorite toys up on the sill. Here she is with one of her best pals, Lion.

Look out here, Lion!

A newfound love of Delilah’s is a weekend afternoon spent at the dog park. Although she loves to say hi to other dogs, sometimes they can be a little scary since she’s only five pounds, so her dad is nice enough to keep her company.

Playing with Dad at the Dog Park

I snapped this picture last weekend at the dog park, and it wasn’t until I uploaded it to my computer that I noticed the airborne, mid-leap, mid-ear-flop that I’d managed to catch.

Sometimes I'm mistaken for a bunny, and I just can't understand why...

Thanks for appreciating and appeasing my love for my puppy and my need to share. We’re considering getting Delilah a little sister sometime soon (canine, not human), so if you know of any Yorkie or poodle-mix breeders in the KC area, please let me know!

Parenthood

“My husband and I are either going to buy a dog or have a child. We can’t decide whether to ruin our carpets or ruin our lives.”
  ~ Rita Rudner

B and I became first-time parents on June 5, 2010. No, you won’t see us featured on an episode of I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. It was actually a lot less complicated than that. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “It’s a Saturday and we have nothing to do today, B.”
B: “Yup.”
Me: (referring to a previous conversation) “I know we don’t actually want to get a dog until I move back to KC, but, you know, we could still go look at puppies today…”

And the rest is history.

Upon entering the door at Pet Land, I spotted the adorable little white-and-grey splotched furball who would soon become known as Delilah. 

Here’s our little punkin’ pie the first week we had her.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all smooth sailing with our baby. One week after adopting her, B and I woke up to a extremely sick puppy. After rushing her to the vet’s office (a scary car ride during which she was unresponsive), we found out she was hypoglycemic (apparently very common in small dogs). I guess there’s not much room for error when you’re 1.3 pounds. A weekend on an IV and $1600 later, she was a healthy, excitable, energetic pup again–with an interesting haircut.

Delilah, her grandpa, and her phenomenal haircut

Delilah now weighs in at a whopping 5.5 pounds (and we believe she’s full-grown!), and has a healthy appetite (especially when it comes to Goldfish crackers!).

For more on Baby D, check out her page.