3 Hot and Creamy Soups You’ll Fall In Love With

Regular consumption of soup benefits more than the taste buds. Because of its high water and fiber content, it helps flush out harmful toxins from the body without being hard on the stomach. This is also the reason why it’s an effective dish to help one lose weight – the water it contains helps one fill up quickly compared to other food.

So whether you’re aiming to shed some pounds or simply love soup, here are 3 creamy soups you’ll definitely fall in love with:

Cheesy Corn and Potato Chowder

What you need:

3 1/2 cups chicken broth
3 cups peeled and cubed potatoes
2 cups milk
1 3/4 cups whole kernel corn
1 cup Mexican-style processed cheese food
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced green chiles
1/4 cup country-style gravy mix
2 tablespoons margarine
Melt margarine in a large pan over medium-high heat then cook celery and onion for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in potatoes, lower heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add corn and chiles and bring to a boil. Dissolve gravy mix in milk then stir into the pan. Lastly, add cheese then cook and stir over low heat until cheese is melted and mixture is thick and creamy.
Milky Mushroom Soup

What you need:

2 shallots, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup Portobello mushrooms
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Salt and black pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat then cook shallots, Portobello mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir until smooth. Gradually add chicken broth and cook, stirring, until mixture is thick. Add half-and-half, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir and heat through (do not boil).
Carrot-Curry Cream Soup

What you need:

1/2 kilogram carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large onion, diced largely
3 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pinch sugar
Salt and ground pepper to taste
Chopped roasted pistachios for garnish
In a large pan, heat oil then saute carrots and onion for 7 minutes or until slightly golden brown. Lower heat then stir in garlic, butter and sugar. Cook for 10 minutes then add curry powder. Pour in broth, allow to simmer, partially covered, until carrots are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in a blender until mixture is smooth. Return to pan, add half-and-half then heat through. Add salt and pepper if needed. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with pistachios.
Stay warm and full on a cold night with these delicious hot and creamy soup recipes!

Simple Waste Management Tips

Waste management seems like a fancy term. In the end, though, it’s just a way to describe what happens after you clean up around the house. After all, moving dirt and debris around isn’t effective. It all has to go somewhere, and it’s best to know where.

If you’re looking to build a better waste management plan, we have some advice for you. Many of these apply whether you’re a homeowner or you’re in the construction and demolition business.

A good first move is to reduce the amount of waste you make.

Recyclable or returnable products are one step. You could also cut down by not buying single-use items or anything that is individually-wrapped. Reusable bags and containers when shopping or for packing lunches or leftovers are ideal.

Food scraps can be useful.

Depending on the nature of the scraps, you can do two things. One option is to cook them. Yes, this can be done, and there are some great recipes out there. The other option, if you have a garden, is to use them as compost.

Remember that a plan is a process, not a singular event.

Plans are frameworks. They help us identify a starting point, an end goal, and the path that we take between those two points. In many cases, it also provides a structure that allows us to recognise progress as it occurs, so we don’t lose motivation due to believing nothing good is coming out of it.

The ability to perform a plan is necessary. It needs to be regularly evaluated, and sometimes changes and improvements are required. If you want to have a better waste management plan, you’re going to have to keep at it. It isn’t a one-time deal, but a constant commitment to improve the process.

When dumping your waste, be sure to sort properly beforehand.

This may not seem like a big deal at first. However, being diverted from a landfill can become a huge issue. When materials are not properly sorted, it delays their trip to their eventual destination – whether that is a recycling centre, an incinerator, or something else entirely.

Taking the proverbial scenic route just causes this problem. Instead, make sure you know where something is going and sorting them before making the trip. This may take a little time, but having containers or bins that are marked for easier sorting can help.

When possible, use sustainable materials. This is a more indirect method, but no less valuable.

What is a sustainable material? In simple terms, it’s something that is naturally available and isn’t of limited supply or easily renewed. For example, growing oak to the point where it is useful lumber can take years. In a fraction of that time, certain species of tree can produce viable timbers and grow back.

Using these materials won’t have much of an impact on your regular waste cycle. However, it does have an enormous impact on the overall planet. These materials are sustainable, meaning that their impact is small enough that the environment recovers more readily.

Why Should You Consume Assam Black Tea Daily?

Assam black tea is a noted variety of tea that is indigenous to Assam, the north-eastern state of India that is popular as one of the largest tea producing areas on the planet. The black variety is famous for its flavor, aroma and amazing health benefits. Read and know about some of the most important reasons why you should consume this beverage every day.

Healthier alternative

Despite the presence of caffeine, it is not as strong as coffee. Thus, its regular consumption does not have a negative impact on your sleep. It acts as a healthier alternative to coffee and does not cause nervousness, anxiety or sleeplessness unless consumed in excessive amounts. It is best that you have a cup in the morning and another in the evening, to keep health problems away.

Varied brews

You can find many varieties of Assam black tea online, and choose one that suits your taste. You can pick one that you would love to have every day. There is Assam Harmony, Assam Melody, Assam Silver Needle, Cream of Assam and more varieties each of which comes with its own, individual taste, flavor, aroma and unique benefits for the health. There are varied options, as there are flushes. There are Spring, Summer, Monsoon and Autumn flushes that you can pick from.

Wonderful flavor

The rich malty taste of this beverage makes it a favorite of many tea drinkers. The flavor is understandable, as it is made out of the dark green leaves from the Assamica (Camellia sinensis) plant. When the leaves are brewed, you can get bright red liquor having a malty, rich taste and a sweet aroma. It can easily blend with various other forms of black tea, and help produce brews of a more exotic variety. It makes a solid breakfast tea. If you feel that the flavor is too strong for you, add some milk to it to dilute its flavor.

Rich caffeine content

The amount of caffeine in Assam black brew is the highest, much more than all the other varieties and similar to that of coffee. Caffeine is very important for proper functioning of the body, and can boost the thyroid and adrenal glands. It can also ensure relief from various health problems such as obesity, high blood pressure, Osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer and more. It is also available in caffeinated variety from some Assam black tea manufacturer companies.

Powerful health benefits

This tea is packed with antioxidants, which can help retard the ageing process by combating the free radicals in the body, reduce the risks of cardiac disorders and even destroy cells that can cause cancer. It can also keep fatigue away, and improve your concentration – allowing you to focus better on your studies and work. The consumption of this beverage can also work well for your digestive system and provide you with relief from gas problems and other issues. Regular intake of this variety of tea can also help your body to cut down fat naturally.

Whimsical Wednesday: Spring Fashion

I love so many aspects of spring. It is undoubtedly my favourite season.
The sheer miracle of nature unfolding is so beautiful. I love my commutes to and from work during this season. Also, I really enjoy watching my cats as they perch in the windows on the lookout for squirrels and birds.
It’s a season of renewal and hope.
It is also a time for frivolity and fun. And that is especially evident when it comes to fashion. Time to put away the winter wool and don lighter ware. I’ve already been sporting my bronze sandals and jeans jacket.
I hope that you are enjoying the weather wherever you are.

Monitor Your Electric Bill to Save Money and Promote Green Living

I belong to a fabulous church that has an “Earth Ministry.”

I know, some people are rolling their eyes. It’s a little too “crunchy,” or as one friend said “Wickity Wack,” which means “uncool” in the Urban Dictionary.

But, I think it’s important to realize the impact we have on our environment and resources. In addition, the reality is that living in a “green” manner often yields frugal results.  

Anyway, back to my church’s Earth Ministry. We have a great woman, Amy, who emails challenges that I really enjoy.

Her latest admonition:  Be conscious of your electric bills. Amy encourages us to note the amount of electricity we are using by examining the number of kilo-watt hours (kWhs) on the bill.

If you live in Milwaukee, you can set up, or log into, your account at We Energies.  It is possible to print out reports that go back a few years and create graphs.

I took a look at my report this month and I’m not happy. Each day this month, I used 4.21 kWhs as opposed to the 2.90 kWhs last year. This translated to a near addition of 20 cents a day. I have to examine why this is happening. The plant light? Computer usage? I’m definitely going to be tracking my electric bill monthly seriously.

I’m going to start acting a lot like one of my uncles, who was known for always turning off the light behind him. He was forever reminding me to turn off the “juice.”

Thank you, Amy and Uncle Mike for your words of wisdom.

Indoor Plant Update, and the Cost to Operate Plant Lights

Six weeks ago, I received four kale leaves and four tufts of lettuce growing in a pot of dirt from my friend. She also gave me a standing 11-inch plant light that hovered over the plants, yielding a steady stream of light.

Unfortunately, I did not provide the lovelies with enough light.

I soon discovered that the plants need at least 14 hours of artificial light, preferably 16 hours, in the winter time. I was only giving them 10 to 12 hours. All of the lettuce died. Three kale leaves dried away.

I am happy to report that the remaining kale leaf is thriving and has developed beautiful little clusters at its base. The only misfortune is that it will not grow into an actual kale plant.

Still, I am so grateful for this “experiment.” I have learned a lot. If I am to grow herbs and vegetables indoors, I must have the proper equipment. I’m reading as much as I can about grow lights.

I was pleased to learn that operating plant lights are really not that expensive if you buy the right ones. To determine the operating costs per hour for a light, you need to add up all the wattage from your lights. Then, divide it by 1,000 to get the kilowatts used. That number is multiplied by the amount your electric company charges per kilowatt hour. Just check your last statement.

Equation:

(light wattage output / 1000) x electricity cost per kilowatt hour = Operating cost per hour operating cost per hour x hours used per month = Operating cost per month

Meanwhile, I thought I’d share a nice indoor garden (below) that is housed in the basement under grow lights. The blogger at Chiot’s Run is certainly successful.