It’s the small victories that really make my day. Like the other day when I made the recently discovered recipe for “just like Panera” mac and cheese to rave reviews. You see, despite my long-practiced cooking skills, the blue box has been preferred to “oh, that’s not HOMEMADE mac and cheese, is  it Mom?” This has been a point of distress for me for a few years now. When Ben was young and uncorrupted, I always made mac and cheese from scratch. It’s really pretty simple, takes no more time than the box, and it tastes so much better. I thought. Then my little consumer became wise to the outside world and discovered the blue box, and the homemade mac and cheese ban was born.


When I found the aforementioned recipe (you make it in the microwave!!), I decided to give it a whirl. And the results were rewarding.


Then last night I made a soup of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. While my kids like carrots, they don’t generally eat them cooked. And broccoli and cauliflower reliably produce scrunched up noses and ugly looks from the boys. So what did I do, well, I called it Creamy Veggie Soup and topped it off with a little cheese. Ben ate two bowls for dinner and asked for more in his lunch today. As in, no peanut butter and jelly or ham sandwich, could I have more of that soup please? (Pause for the happy dance.)

So here is our new favorite soup recipe:

1/2 head broccoli

1/2 head cauliflower  (sometimes I get lucky and Chipains packages this up for me nicely)

1 large carrot, shredded

1 large potato, peeled and chopped

1 small onion

1 T butter

5-6 C vegetable or chicken stock (I like Kitchen Basics in the box)

1 C milk (I used whole milk because we happened to have some)

salt and pepper

Saute the onion in butter til soft, then add the broccoli and cauliflower, chopped into small pieces. After a minute or two, pour in the stock and add the carrots. Partially cover (the cauliflower can take on an off cabbage-y smell if you cook it covered) and let simmer until the vegetables are tender. Transfer to a food processor or blender, or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Then add the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some shredded cheddar if you like, but it’s yummy without, too.

With the weather feeling more wintry, we will be having many more soup nights. This one is definitely a keeper.