Wednesday, March 28, 2012

GPS and A Life Lesson

Our GPS has a great sense of humor.  Every trip that we go on and use our GPS for we end up in funny places.  She (yes, it is a she or least that is what the voice is set to right now) likes to take us off the freeway on to country roads that are serious back roads.  She also likes to help us tour places we wouldn't normally go through.  Honestly I think she just does these little detours when I am in the car with my hubby.  I think she may have a thing for him and be a little jealous of me because we only seem to go on these little "detours" when I am in the car with him.  I think she senses my presence and decides "I'll teach them by sending them on a wild goose chase."  Some great examples of her sense of humor include taking us through a cemetery to get to a major zoo, a detour through an abandoned part of a major city, and a long trip down a road named "Deep Cut Road."  I mean, seriously, who lives on Deep Cut Road?  Isn't that a bad horror movie waiting to happen?  Anyway, my point is our GPS which is supposed to keep us on track and get us to our destination in the quickest, most efficient route leads us astray.  She is a little flawed.
Last week we went on a little "Spring Break" of sorts.  We went with my hubby on his trip back to Cincinnati.  It was a Spring Break in the sense that we were away from home, we got to do some sight-seeing, and we spent our last night there in an indoor water park courtesy of our tax refund, but I am a tough home school mom and we took our school with us to work on during the day while my hubby was working.  We left a little late on Tuesday evening and we were hoping that our GPS wouldn't really lead us on any wild goose chases because we were tired and looking forward to a nice, easy, uneventful trip to our hotel.  Of course our GPS had different plans for us.  We had to make a pit stop (with 2 kids who doesn't have to make a pit stop?) and as we got back on the highway our GPS was soon leading us in a different direction.  The route she had marked was for us to jump over to a different highway and take it down into Cincinnati.  What we didn't know about her new route was that it would lead us down some serious back roads.  You know the kind where you hear dueling banjos?  The one road we went down was seriously called "Deep Cut Road."  Enough said.  My hubby and I had a whole conversation about why our GPS always tends to lead us in the wrong direction to get us to the right destination.  It is oddly amusing to see where her sense of humor will lead us next.
So the next day I was in the hotel room with the kids working on their school work with them and I was thinking about our adventures with our GPS.  I knew there was some kind of parallel to life in general and our GPS adventures.  I figured it out while I was doing my daily devotions, funny how God gives you the answers you are looking for at just the right moment.  My walk with Christ is like the GPS.  I get on the right path - reading my Bible, studying my Bible, praying, applying the things I am learning, attending church, and winning the battle against sin.  Then something comes up - I oversleep or something and I don't get a chance to study my Bible - and one thing leads to another and I get off my path.  Getting off the path happens so quickly and one step off of the path, leads to two steps, and before I know it, I feel lost, overwhelmed, and burdened.  These are all feelings the devil tries to bury me under so that I feel unworthy.  Once I realize I am off the path, I quickly turn to God and ask for help to get back on the right path and help to stay on the right path.  God takes me by the hand and leads me right back to His path for me.  God is good, merciful, Holy, forgiving, and most of all He is seeking us, calling us, looking for us so that He can lead us down His path.  He knows that His way is best and He knows we will stray from His path, but He is always there with open arms waiting for us to come back.  Once I am back on the correct path, my destination becomes clear and I can focus on it.  I know where the checkered flag is and I just have to keep following the right route.  I have to look to God for the answers and not the world.  The world will lead me off the path of God and leave me feeling empty, but God never does.  His path is the only path for me.  I never thought I would get all of this insight from a GPS with a sense of humor, but I did and I am glad I did because now I know I need to focus my attention on staying on the correct route (path), be aware of detours and bunny trails, and set my eyes on the checkered flag.

Monday, March 26, 2012

I've Been Tagged


I was recently tagged by Pamela over at Pamela's Heavenly Treats, how exciting this is, I have never been tagged for anything!
Who is up for a fun get to know you game?

Here are the rules:
You must post rules
Answer the 11 questions presented to you by your tagger.
Create 11 questions to ask the bloggers you plan to tag.
Tag 11 people and link them in your post.
Let them know you tagged them.

Here are the questions Pamela asked me:
1. What is your favorite color?  Pink - I never used to like pink that much, but as I embrace my inner girly girl I am loving pink.
2. How did you get started with blogging? I decided that I spent way too much time on a certain social network site, but I still wanted a place to share my thoughts, ideas, recipes, crafts and updates with my friends and family so I started my blog.
3. What is your favorite TV show?  The Biggest Loser - it is inspiring to see what people can do.
4. What is your favorite dessert?  Cheesecake - I love the delicious creaminess of cheesecake and as a bonus it comes in about a zillion different flavors.
5. If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go? I would go back to Disney World, I am pretty sure I could live there and not get tired of it.  I would also take the occasional Disney Cruise because it was an awesome experience and you get pampered from the moment you step into the cruise terminal.
6.  If you were stranded on an island, who would you want with you? I would take my hubby and my kids.  I love them that much!
7. What is your style of fashion? Simple - jeans and t-shirts most days, but I like to dress up sometimes too.
8. What color is your hair? Dark brown - I keep trying to dye it lighter, but it always turns out dark so I guess I am destined to have dark brown hair unless I want to cough up the money to get it done at the salon and I just can't part with that much money right now.  
9. What season do you most like?  I love fall - I love the cool, crisp autumn days, the falling leaves, and pumpkins.
10. What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas - the birth of our Savior is precious.
11. What is your favorite book?  I love to read and love books of all different genres so it is hard to pick just one.

Here are the questions I am asking other bloggers:
1.  Do you do any crafting?  What kind?
2.  What is your favorite meal to cook?
3.  What is your earliest memory?
4.  What is your favorite vacation spot?
5.  What kind of music do you listen to and why?
6.  Coffee or tea?
7.  What do you do on your birthday?
8.  What is your favorite place to shop at?
9.  Why did you start your blog?
10.  What is your favorite topic to blog about?
11.  How long have you been blogging?

And the blogs I'm tagging are:

(My apologies if you've already been tagged!)
Please make sure you visit these wonderful blogs!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Double Duty Tip for Twosday

A double duty tip for Twosday...get it, double duty, two instead of Tues.  I crack me up.  I am corny like that sometimes or it could be a lack of good sleep since the whole evil plan of Daylight Savings Time.  Anyway, I have a great double duty use for a kitchen tool you probably already own.  Last month I was helping my sister-in-law frost cupcakes for my nephew's Cub Scout graduation.  She was making the last of the cupcake batter when I got there.  When it was time to pour the batter into the wrappers, she got out her ice cream scoop.  What?  Of course I was like, um, didn't know we were having ice cream right now.  She said, no silly, I figured out that an ice cream scoop of batter is the perfect amount for the cupcake wrappers and once the cupcakes come out they are not over flowing and they have the perfect little shape for frosting.  Duh, me!  I never thought of that.  So ever since I saw her do that, I have been using my ice cream scoop to fill cupcake wrappers before I bake them.  She was right, it is the perfect amount, no guessing needed.  Thanks for the tip Jess!  That got me thinking....
A Double Duty Ice Cream Scoop
Saturdays are the days I typically fix pancakes because I double or triple my batch and they take a while to cook.  I had an idea, if the ice cream scoop is the perfect amount of batter for cupcakes, would it be the perfect amount for blueberry oat pancakes too?
A scoop of Blueberry Oat Pancakes
It is much to my delight!  It makes the perfect size pancakes for my kids, not too much for Baby Bear who eats like a bird and just right for 2 pancakes for Buddy Bear without over stuffing him.  The pancakes also turned out the right size for hubby and me to have 3 and not have to go and put on our stretchy pants.  :)  So my double duty tip for Twosday is try using an ice cream scoop the next time you have a batter to make either into cupcakes, muffins, or pancakes.  One scoop of batter perfectly fills the cupcake wrapper without overflowing it and one scoop of batter makes a nice size pancake.
Pancakes in the pan after using the ice cream scoop

A finished pancake


Friday, March 16, 2012

A Dessert Recipe from a Slacker

I admit it.  I have been a slacker this week when it comes to blogging.  I guess the upside of that is that I have gotten some things done that I have been putting off for way too long - entering grading in the computer, filing our paperwork (the paperwork mountain was huge), finding my craft table again so I have a place to work, delivering dinner to a church member, soccer evaluations, filling out my March Madness brackets, and planning for upcoming events.  So while I haven't been so busy blogging, I have been busy in real life with stuff that I just can't make exciting enough to write about.  I also tried to finish up my kid's craft tutorial that I promised I was working on this past Monday and it was a flop.  It didn't turn out right, it didn't work, and what was supposed to appear to be a shamrock, just wasn't.  So while I won't have a kid's craft tutorial for St. Patrick's Day, I have another idea for an Easter kid's craft tutorial rolling around in my head and we will have to see if that one works.  Anyway, today I have a quick and easy dessert recipe for you.  Once a month at my church we have a Ladies Scrapbook Night.  I love these evenings as it is a chance to get together and chat with the ladies while working on scrapping, which is my very favorite hobby.  Every month everyone who attends brings a snack to share.  Last month I won some Wilton Whoopie Pie Pans from one of my favorite blogs, Baby Loving Mama.  When I found out that I won the pan, my wheels started turning.  I knew that I will use them to make whoopie pies, but I had some other ideas too.  So my first idea was to make mini fruit cookie pizzas and that is what I made and took to my scrapbook night at church.  They were a hit!  Here is what I did:

Mini Fruit Cookie Pizzas
Makes 24 cookies
1 Whoopie Pie Pan (or any other shallow baking pan like the muffin tops pans)
2 Rolls of Sugar Cookie Dough
1 - 8 oz container of Strawberry Cream Cheese - softened
1 - 8 oz container of Philadelphia White Chocolate Indulgence Spread - softened
Mixed Berries (or whatever fresh fruit you like)
1.  Cut cookie dough into 12 equal pieces and press into Whoopie Pie pan which has been sprayed with cooking spray.  
2.  Bake the cookies according to package directions.  Note: You may have to adjust the time that you cook the cookies because they are in a different pan than what the baking directions call for.  I believe that I had to add 1-2 minutes to my baking time.
3.  When the cookies are done baking, set them on a cooling rack to cool completely.
4.  While the cookies were cooling, mix together the cream cheese and the white chocolate spread.

5.  Once the cookie are cool, spread the chocolate cream cheese mixture onto the cookies.

6.  Top the frosted cookie with as many or as few berries as you like (or whatever fruit you would like to use.  I suggest using fresh fruit because frozen fruit would thaw and then juices would run all over your cookies and make them soggy.).
This recipe could totally be customized to whatever you like - Tropical Fruit with shredded coconut and pineapple cream cheese instead of the strawberry, Strawberry Banana pizzas, Chocolate with chocolate chip cookies and M & Ms, etc.  The list goes on and on depending on what you like.  Have fun creating your favorite combinations and let me know what you try!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Thoughts for Monday

I know I should have a really good post ready for today, but I don't.  My weekend did not go anywhere close to planned (nothing bad, just plans kept changing) so I didn't get a "really cool" blog post written for today.  So I will post random thoughts instead because I mean really why should I keep them to myself :)

  • This week is a busy week - there is something going on every day.  I'm tired already.
  • Menu plan for the week - taco salad, fish with broccoli and couscous, shepherd's pie, crock-pot rotisserie chicken, bean burritos, and beef and noodles with mashed potatoes.  Menu is subject to change due to this cook's inability to decide what sounds good for dinner.  :)
  • Every time I blog and type out crock-pot as one word like this: crockpot, my spell check counts it wrong and gives me crackpot as a correct spelling which makes me giggle.
  • Daylight savings time screws up my schedule every spring and fall.  I don't like it and you can't convince me to.  I don't get it and I truly think it is the master plan of an evil genius to just mess with moms and screw up our schedules.
  • Projects I am currently working on include one for a blog tutorial, a cross stitch that I have been putting down and picking back up to work on over the last 10 years (its a pain and I always find a better project to do, but I am still determined to finish it), and multiple scrapbooks because I can't focus on just one scrapbook at a time.  I really should scrap chronologically, but I just like to create layouts when I have ideas for the pictures.  Can you tell I have focus issues?
  • Baby Bear is sick.  She had to go to the doctor.  She has bronchitis.
  • I really need to catch up on entering the grading in the computer.  The papers are graded it is just a matter of getting the grades in the program I use.
  • I am still looking for my I Pod charging cord.  I have torn apart and put back together several areas of my house in search of said cord, but have not had any luck.  I swear I can hear the cord laughing at me as it is hiding and I am sure I will find it in the most obvious spot and feel really dumb, but right now that spot is eluding me.
  • I have been pricing replacement I Pod charging cords.  They are as expensive as I thought they may be, but I can't bring myself to buy one just yet.  I have a few more places to look in my house for the cord that mocks me.
  • I could use a nap between Baby Bear being sick and not sleeping much and the whole Daylight Savings Time switch sleep has not been good here at our house.
  • Upcoming posts should include a kids craft tutorial, a dessert recipe, my family, double duty tips, and hopefully be a little better planned.  I'm trying here, but I warned you when I started this blog it would be completely random.  :)  Thanks for reading!  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes

Blogging for me is a lot of fun.  I have been trying to be very conscious of other blogs and leaving appropriate comments and letting them know they are doing great work.  As bloggers, that is the only way we know what we are saying is getting out there, comments.  That isn't my overall goal, my goal is just to put out the thoughts, recipes, projects, and home school stuff rolling around in my brain so that maybe I can get it out of my head and concentrate, but it is really nice to hear feedback through comments and know that someone other than your mom is reading your blog (sorry mom, nothing personal, I love you, thanks for reading my blog and be a loyal fan!).  Anyway, the other day as I was looking through blogs, I was reading one and it lead to another and I found myself staring at these delicious Peanut Butter & Jelly cupcakes over at Lady Behind the Curtain.  I knew that those had to go on my list of recipes to try and I had all the ingredients and the perfect occasion so I tried them.  The PB & J cupcakes were delicious and did not disappoint at all.  What I really fell in love with about these cupcakes was the peanut butter frosting.  You see I became addicted to chocolate when I was pregnant with Buddy Bear and then when I was pregnant with Baby Bear it was the combination of peanut butter and chocolate that I couldn't get enough of and I am still addicted to anything peanut butter and chocolate.  It is my weakness.  :)  So when I found the recipe for Peanut Butter Frosting at Lady Behind the Curtain, I knew it would be good, I just didn't know how good.  The PB & J cupcakes turned out excellent and I had left over Peanut Butter frosting because I always make extra frosting.  I really dislike running out of frosting in the middle of a batch of cupcakes and having to drop everything and make more.  As we were having the cupcakes after dinner (I had family over for dinner that night), my sister-in-law reminded me that I was going to her house the next day to help her frost cupcakes for my nephew's open house for graduating Cub Scouts.  I asked what kind of cupcakes she had baked and she started listing them, lucky for me chocolate made the list.  I got all excited and told her to stop by the store and buy some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups because I had an idea.  We used my extra peanut butter frosting to frost the chocolate cup cakes and then we put a piece of a Reese's Cup on top.  Those Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes flew off the cake stand the next day.  They were the first to disappear out of almost 100 cupcakes.  So the next week I volunteered to take some cupcakes to Buddy Bear's friend for his birthday party.  I made the Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes and dropped them off for the party along with Buddy Bear.  My hubby picked Buddy up from the party and said a couple of the dads that had ate the cupcakes declared them the best cupcake they ever had.  So while I can't take any credit for any of the recipes, I am to blame for combining the cupcakes with the frosting and Reese's Cups and I am glad they turned out so delicious.  I used boxed cake mix to make my cupcakes and I doubled the Peanut Butter Frosting recipe from Lady Behind the Curtain and then I cut apart some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and added them to the top.  I probably added a little extra peanut butter (I didn't measure it, I know gasp, but that was how I was feeling that day - throw caution to the wind and just add peanut butter) and then I added extra powdered sugar to make my frosting a little thicker, guess if I measured my peanut butter I wouldn't have had to add extra sugar...hee, hee, hee.  Hope you try them and let me know what you think.
The ingredients and Buddy Bear who just couldn't stay out of my picture.
Unfrosted chocolate cupcakes
A thickened peanut butter frosting
Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes
Special thanks to Lady Behind the Curtain for a great blog and terrific recipes!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Maybe We Should See Other People

Dear Indianapolis Colts,
Really?  Really?  You would really do this to me?  I am not a huge sports fanatic, but I have become a football fan.  I have learned about the sport, what to look for in the game, and how to yell at the TV at the appropriate times.  Okay, so maybe it was to bond with my hubby and figure out what he was so passionate about, but I still became a fan.  I loved you from the moment I started watching football.  You have been a great team, my home team, and you have always played with such good sportsmanship.  I have always stood by and kept watching even when it wasn't pretty and we both know that there were some pretty ugly times.  I hung in there and refused to stop rooting for you when almost everyone else did last season and people thought I was crazy for still believing.  Now?  You've gone too far.  Rumor has it that you will release Peyton Manning today and that my team, I can't take.  He is a wonderful quarterback, always professional, always displays good sportsmanship, and is an all around good guy.  I understand it is just a business decision for you, but for me the Colts won't be the same with out Peyton.  If you let him go, we are going to have to see other people and by see other people I mean I won't be cheering for you as loudly or as boldly and if it gets ugly again, I don't think I can keep rooting as much.  I know you are still a great organization and you have done a lot for the state of Indiana and I will always have a place for you in my heart, but without Peyton, I'm going to need some time to see other people.  I think I will be spending a little time with another team that has another Manning brother until Peyton makes an official announcement.  So Colts I would say its not you its me, but really it is you this time.  I hope that you wouldn't let go of someone with such a great record but if you do, we should see other people, you understand right?
Hugs,
Cassandra (who very rarely talks sports, but is a little upset about the possible departure of Peyton Manning from the Indianapolis Colts and who also promises to continue with normal, non-sports blogging in the very near future.)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I'm a Fine Feathered Friend

Last week I told you all of the Tuesday Blog Hop that I participate in over at Mom's Best Nest.  Mikki has a wonderful blog there and each week she chooses one of the blog participants that re posts the hop to be her Fine Feathered Friend.  This week I am honored and humbled that she chose me to be her Fine Feathered Friend and feature me as the Guest Host of her Tuesday Flock Together Blog Hop.  So be sure to check out the wonderful blogs that have linked up and participated in the blog hop and leave them some love by commenting on their blogs.  Again, a super, special thanks to Mikki for choosing me to be her Fine Feathered Friend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Great Curriculum Search

It's that time of year again.  That time of year that home school teachers either love or dread.  Personally, I dread it.  It is time to start looking for next year's curriculum.  I always put a lot of thought into picking curriculum and the process of picking a curriculum always seems to start the moment you unpack the books you bought for this year.  I find myself constantly looking through our books looking for the things I like and the things I don't like about the books we are using.  For the first few years of Buddy Bear's school I bought complete curriculum packages from a home school company and they worked okay.  The package had books that I did like and ones that I really didn't care for.  It seemed that each year I was changing something....the first year the history was too deep for us, I found myself editing a lot of lessons because they wanted me to give more (sometimes gory) details than my first grader was ready for.  Second grade had me editing health, a lot.  I couldn't believe exactly what they wanted me to teach my second grader, in my opinion a second grader has no business knowing that much detail.  This year for third grade, the company I had been using completely switched everything in the curriculum series we had been using and I didn't like the package they offered, so I created my own.  I stayed with our math and penmanship series.  I switched reading series and that failed so after about 2 months of daily battles, I went to the nearest teaching store and bought new books for our reading series and language arts and Buddy hasn't really complained since then.  We tried new science and history books this year by a publisher I had used for other subjects and Buddy seems to like them.  We stuck with the same company for health, but I definitely spend some time reading the lessons ahead of time to make sure they are appropriate.  Honestly picking a curriculum is one of the hardest parts of home school and sometimes it is overwhelming because knowing if you picked the right one tends to be a process of trial and error (at least it has been for me).  So as the spring is blooming, it is time to search for a curriculum for 4th grade (please pause as this sappy mom dries her eyes and has a hard time believing that Buddy Bear will be in the 4th grade this fall, he was just a baby or so it seems).  I ask around at our church to see what the other home school moms are using and what their reviews are.  I do research on the web for curriculum and for the reviews of the curriculum.  I order catalogs.  I talk to companies.  Right now, I think I finally have it narrowed down to 3 different curricula from 3 different companies.  Now I have to come up with a list of final questions to get answered and then I will continue to pray that we are lead in the right direction as we make our final choice (I wrote this from my point of view, but my hubby does help me and give his input).  I will order our new curriculum in June which will give me plenty of time to get ready for the next school year and get myself familiar with the material before it is time to teach it.  This year the Great Curriculum Search is easier because I know what I do not want and what does not work for Buddy Bear, but I really think it is easier because I am focusing on praying about it and seeing where the Lord leads me, not just what I will find.  Let the Great Curriculum Search begin....

If you were wondering why I didn't mention what I was choosing for Baby Bear for school in this post, it is because I have not started looking for her yet.  She will still be in preschool so we will most like just do unit studies and workbooks like I did for Buddy when he was her age, but the truth is I can only focus on one curriculum at a time.  So I will eventually decide what Baby Bear will work on next year, but not right now.

Friday, March 2, 2012

CJ's Italian Wedding Soup

I love soup. It is filling, warms you up, and just plain tasty.  It is a meal by itself or you can "make it all fancy" and have bread and salad with it.  Lately I have found myself cooking soup more often to save money on groceries, to stretch meals, because it is easy, and we have been BUSY.  I have been pretty motivated to save money on the grocery budget because whatever money is left in my grocery envelope at the end of the month, I get to move to my vacation fund envelope...woo hoo!  Soup is a great meal stretcher for our family of 4 because we usually fix one crock pot or stock pot of soup and it lasts for at least 1 main meal plus either lunch the next 2 days or another main meal the second night.  So anyway, one of my very favorite soups is Italian Wedding Soup.  It is so healthy and so filling.  I could eat it every day and I frequently make it and it is my lunch for an entire week...yep, that is how much I love it.  I really like the soup with the tiny little round noodle disks (I am sure there is a real name for the kind of pasta, but surprisingly being a pasta lover, I don't know what it is), but those little round disky thingamabobs (see there's the technical name) get to mushy and soggy for me and I don't eat over cooked mushy pasta.  Just the thought of over cooked, mushy pasta grosses me out something fierce.  I made over an Italian Wedding Soup recipe one day using what I had and here is what I have come up with...a bowl of warm, delicious, goodness.  :)  Warning:  My recipe is not exact because some things are just to taste...your taste and if that bugs you I am sorry, but I cook to taste, a lot.



CJ's Italian Wedding Soup
For the soup:
3 Tbsp. Chicken base (chicken bouillon) - feel free to use chicken stock too.
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 large diced onion
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger (buy a whole ginger root and store it in a bag in your freezer to keep it good, I always add a little bit to soups to give a kick to it and ginger is very healthy for you)
2 stalks of celery chopped
1 lb bag of fresh spinach leaves
Water to fill the stock pot (the amount will vary depending on the size pot you use)
Mini Farfalle noodles (again the amount is up to you depending on how many noodles you want in your soup)

For the meatballs:
1 lb. ground beef
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp. garlic salt
2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese (I will leave the amount up to you depending on how much you love cheese)
1 egg
1/3 c. bread crumbs

Extra Parmesan cheese for garnishing soup

1.  Fill the stock pot with water and add the chicken base (bouillon or stock).  Add the diced carrots, onion, celery, and ginger and bring to a boil.
2.  Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the meatballs and then roll into meatballs (the size of the meatballs depends on you - sometimes I roll out mini meatballs and sometimes I make quarter size meatballs).
3.  Drop the meatballs into the boiling soup and boil for 10-15 minutes.
4.  While the meatballs are cooking, I cook my pasta in a separate pan with a little chicken base in the water to help flavor the noodles.  I do this so I don't over cook my noodles, I can add the exact amount that each family member likes in their bowl, and if you leave the noodles in the soup (if there is any left) they absorb the broth and get mushy and soggy and just gross for leftovers.  It is a personal thing I guess, I just really can't handle overcooked pasta.
5.  In the last few minutes right before the pasta is done, I add the spinach to the meatball soup and let it wilt in.
6.  Once the spinach is wilted and noodles are done, drain your noodles if you cooked them separately and then I ladle a spoonful of noodles (or two) into each bowl.  Next I ladle the soup mixture over the noodles.  Then I top it with Parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!