Killing Snakes and Puttin' Out Fires....

Pretty much sums it up for the next two months. Did y'all know basketball people don't take holiday breaks? Like...AT ALL? Four dogs, six cats and a conglomeration of chickens don't, either. We are shifting into high gear, just about the time the holidays come along and SHIFT INTO HIGH GEAR. Poor planning on someone's part.

Meals around here get sketchy. Four nights a week the closest to a dining table we'll get is the console in my car. Therefore, we have to think fast and recyclable and as I get ready to dump another can of something into the cans from last night....I'm smiling. They'll never know.

Dinner last night, per The Not Nice Kid's request, was this Hearty Tomato Soup (courtesy of Mz Jean across the street) and pigs in a blanket. Plain old cocktail smokies wrapped in canned crescent rolls and dipped in mustard. Win! Got this.

Hearty Tomato Soup

2 T butter
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 t paprika
1-1/2 t dried basil
6 oz cream cheese, room temp
1-1/4 cup milk
2 cans condensed tomato soup
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

Saute onion and garlic in butter for two minutes. Add paprika, basil, and cream cheese and stir (Mz Jean uses a whisk, I can't get that to work) until the cream cheese is softened and mixed with the other ingredients. Gradually incorporate the milk and stir until smooth. Add soup and diced tomatoes and heat through.

Everyone loves this, and no one cares it comes out of a bunch of cans. I tend to use olive oil instead of butter, and sometimes smoked paprika.

And then....

The next night? Add some dried Italian seasoning and either another can of tomatoes, or a small jar of marinara sauce. Boil a bag of cheese ravioli and sauce it up, throw in a salad that you have dressed with the Good True Dressing and some bread and TaDa!! You are once again a hero.

Should you have the time...

...and it's really not very much time, wow your people with this Failproof Pizza Dough that makes real cheese sticks. This is a two-hour project, start to finish, because it only has to rise once. The mixer and your dough hooks do the work.

Your people will love you. I promise.