Monday, September 23, 2013

Cooking For Fall Weather



Is there anyone besides me that isn't looking forward to Fall?   I've been trying to hang on to Summer to the bitter end.   I have discovered that I really like this hot, humid Southern heat!  So I sort of dread to see Fall coming.  Well, actually its not Fall that I am dreading, its what comes AFTER Fall! 
 
Anyway.... the one thing I do love is to cook soup in cool weather.  I love cooking soup in hot weather too, but it sure tastes better when the days are cool.  This morning felt like a vegetable soup kind of day.  I thought I would share my recipe (if you can call it that). 
 
 
 This is my own recipe, so it changes a lot but today this was what I put in it (except I forgot the home canned tomatoes and green beans until after I put all these ingredients in, so they are not in the picture).  
 
Vegetable Beef Broth
Original V8 Juice
Ground Beef
Vegetables of choice (I used potatoes, carrots, celery, corn, onion, green beans, tomatoes)
Pasta (optional)
Kosher Salt
Parsley
Italian Seasoning
 
 
I used fresh corn cut off the cob, because its what I had and because it tastes SO much better than canned or frozen!
 
 
I threw my chopped potatoes, carrots and celery in a bowl with the corn and then put it in a large stock pot with a cup of water and the beef broth.  Bring to boil and then simmer til vegetables are done. 
 
 
While the veggies were cooking I sauteed the ground beef and diced onion together.
 
Okay, time for a little bragging.  This is our own, raised on our farm, grass fed beef and it is the BEST ground beef you will ever eat.  It is so good that we grill hamburger patties and eat them like steak!   There is just enough fat to give the meat amazing flavor but not too much that it ever has to be drained off.
 
 
 This is what it looked like after I cooked it - with no draining.  I like my hamburger meat in my soup to be super small chunks so as I cook it in the skillet, I use a fork to break it up.  Add salt and set aside til vegetables are cooked.
 
 
Boil pasta til done and put in colandar to drain.  I don't ever add the cooked pasta to the soup pot as it gets over-done and I don't like that.  So, I set it to the side and we add a spoonful of pasta to our soup bowl if we want it.  I never cook much because usually we just want a small spoonful. 
 
 
Then, because it sounded really yummy, I made a pan of corn bread and had it cooking while I finished up the soup.
 
(Do you have one of these cast iron skillets?  If not, GET ONE!  They make the very best corn bread - it comes out crispy on all sides, which is how I love it!)
 
 
To finish up the soup, add the home canned green beans, tomatoes, V8 juice and cooked ground beef.  Add the desired amount of parsley and italian seasonings.  Bring to boil and let it boil briskly a few minutes.  Dish up into bowls, add a spoonful of pasta (if desired) and serve hot with fresh corn bread! 


 Hope you are having a very Happy Fall!  So far I have NO Fall decorations out and not sure I'm going to, although Eldon keeps reminding me of my scarescrow lady that I made last year that was ever so cute.  She's in the back of the horse trailer.... this I know because I opened the horse trailer recently in my quest to find the pitch fork and almost had heart failure when I saw a man (I mean lady) in there! 
 
So.... maybe the scarescrow will come out!
 
Happy Fall Y'all! 


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Home-Made Bread (and a Pfister Faucet Winner!)

 
 
 
I've been so happy to have a kitchen that I find myself doing a lot of baking.

 
  This morning I started bread dough and put it in the bowl to rise then went upstairs to my craft room  to work on a challenging (but very fun!) sewing project....  and an hour later came downstairs to my risen bread dough falling out of the bowl.  Whoops.
 
 
The wonderful thing about making home-made bread is that its pretty forgiving when it rises out of the bowl and then falls to the counter top! 
 

This is my favorite area of my kitchen.  This little baking counter is the perfect size, the drawers below hold my Bosch Mixer and all my baking utensils, the shelves above hold my mixing bowls, cookbooks, measuring cups and spoons and the counter is just exactly the right height for me.  And my grand-daughters love sitting right there on that red stool watching and helping me! 
 
 
And speaking of grand-daughters, my little Rosetta spends a couple hours with us on Monday mornings so her Mommy has some one-on-one school time with Jillian.  This week she hauled all these little chairs and stools to the porch, then brought her babies out and she sat...  singing away!  Isn't she the most precious little thing?
 
Okay, fine.  I know what you are patiently waiting for.... 
 
AND THE FAUCET WINNER IS:
 
Patty G! 
 
Check your email Patty, I've sent you information on choosing your amazing Pfister faucet. 
 
I hope you are all having a wonderful week.... what have you been baking in this beautiful Fall weather?  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pfister Faucet or Not? And A Give-Away!

 
 
Today I would like to tell you about my kitchen faucet!

When Pfister contacted me to see if I'd be willing to do an honest review in exchange for a faucet of my choice for my new kitchen I was so excited! 
 
I stewed over my choice for weeks.  They have some of the most gorgeous faucets I've ever seen.   I debated on whether or not to get a high arc gooseneck like this:
 
 
Pfister Avalon Faucet
 
A faucet with the pull down spray spout like this:
 
Pfister Hanover Faucet
 
 
One with the water handle right on the faucet like this:
 
 Pfister Treviso Faucet
 
 
Or what???? 
 
The only thing I was sure of was that I wanted the Oil Rubbed Bronze finish.  The way our kitchen sink sits in  the middle of the huge island open to the living room a beautiful faucet was a must.  I kept coming back to the Marielle.  It comes in several different variations but the one I chose has a combination of all the things I wanted:  high arc gooseneck, separate side sprayer, one water handle and matching soap dispenser. 
 

I love it.  And I mean, I absolutely love it.  Not only does it have all the features I want, but it is incredibly beautiful when you look at it from all the places you can see it:  the kitchen, the dining room, the living room and the upstairs!  It is the perfect compliment to my apron front sink and my butcher block counter tops. 


When I told Eldon about the opportunity to get a gorgeous Pfister faucet he said, "I need to see the specs before you choose anything.  It has to be a faucet with ceramic valves and seats."  So, he read the specifications on the Pfister faucets and was very impressed.  They've been making faucets for over 100 years and they know what they are doing.

 
When the faucet arrived and we removed it from the box we were both impressed with how heavy and solid it was.  When Eldon installed it using the enclosed instructions he said he was very happy that the instructions were specific to that faucet and not just generic for all faucets.  It made it very nice for installing.

 
He was impressed enough with the kitchen faucet that we purchased all Pfister for our bathrooms. 
 
One of the best things about the Pfister faucets is their lifetime warranty; not only in function but also the finish of the faucet.   
 
So.... in celebration of my gorgeous new kitchen and my beautiful Pfister faucet, which I highly recommend,  Pfister is offering you a free faucet of your choosing, up to a $300 value.
 
All you have to do is click here  to visit their site and take a look at all their kitchen and bathroom faucets.... THEN, come back here and leave me a comment telling me which faucet you love the most! 
 
 
 
 
Thats all you have to do to enter the give-away! (Please make sure your email or contact information is attatched to your comment so I have a way of contacting you if you win.)  If you are not in need of a new faucet, please enter the give-away anyway.... don't you think it would be a great gift for someone you love?!  (Smile!)
 
I would like to ask that you click here to visit Pfister on Facebook.  If you choose to like them on Facebook you will be given a lot of other opportunities to win a faucet. 
 
Hope your weekend ahead is perfect!  I'll be back next week to announce a winner!