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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Monday, September 23, 2013

Making Cabbage Chowder Part II

Cabbage Chowder recipe

Video Part I

Sharon Making Cabbage Chowder Part I

Cabbage Chowder recipe

Video Part II

Sharon's Hearty Cabbage Chowder

This is a real comfort food! So delicious and I'd rather have it than chicken soup when I'm sick.

Sharon’s Hearty Cabbage Chowder

3 Tbsp melted butter
2 ½ cups chopped cabbage
1 chopped large Potato
1 ½ cup water
1 Chicken Bouillon Cube
2 cups Milk
1 cup Shredded Swiss Cheese

Combine butter, cabbage, potato and water in a large pot. Cover and cook on low 20-25 minutes. Add more water, bouillon, milk. Cover, simmer 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cheese. Stir till cheese melts.

For YouTube video:

My Acorn Squash Soup

  • Sharon's Acorn Squash Soup
2 whole Acorn Squash
  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped or squashed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper, freshly cracked, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/4 stick butter
  • 2 cans chicken stock, low-sodium (or use regular and leave off the salt)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sage, dry
  • 1/4 tsp fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 cup milk, or 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the squash in half on the equator and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut a flat spot on each end so the squash will sit flat. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and arrange the squash, cut side up. To 3 of the squash halves, add a peeled, squashed garlic cloves in each half. Drizzle with olive oil and season with 1 tablespoon each of the salt and freshly cracked pepper. Roast in the hot oven on 350 until very tender and starting to caramelize and collapse, approximately 45mins-1hr. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, use a spoon to remove the squash from the skin. It easily scrapes out. Reserve the roasted shallots and garlic with the squash. This can be done ahead.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and the butter of the butter over medium-high heat and when the butter is starting to foam, add the raw diced onions and garlic clove and saute until they are starting to caramelize, about 5 to 6 minutes. Deglaze with the chicken stock and stir to remove any food. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the milk. Bring to a low boil and turn off the heat. Add the squash. Stir to combine, then puree with a stick blender or put parts in the blender. I use my Vitamix blender. The mixture will be very thick. Add in the cayenne, salt/pepper and the herbs. Stir in the cream and Worcestershire sauce and heat slowly over medium-low heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and turn heat to low just enough to keep it warm. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

Fifteen Bean Soup Today!

Our first cool day and it's October 1! So I'm ready for a hardy bean soup. Today I made Fifteen Bean Soup and fresh baked bread for supper. I put it in the crockpot.

Fifteen Bean Soup

1 bag of dry "Fifteen Bean Soup" beans, rinsed
Ham, cube some ham or throw in a left over ham bone
2 qts water (enough to cover the beans and ham/ham bone and then some)
3 large fresh tomatoes, washed, quartered and pureed in blender (or 2 cans diced tomatoes)
1 lg Vidalia onion, peeled and diced (spring green onions or a regular onion can be substituted)
2 stalks fresh celery, washed, diced (celery seed can be used as substitue if you have to)
Salt and pepper to taste

These next ingredients are ones that I pick in my herb garden, rinsed and chopped, but I'm guessing on the amounts.
1/2 tsp fresh Sage (more if you use dried Sage)
1/2-1 tsp fresh Oregano (more if you use dried Oregano)
1/4 cup fresh Basil
1/8-1/2 tsp fresh Thyme (more if you use dried Thyme)

Optional (if you have them)
1/2 cup fresh Cilantro
1/2 cup fresh Parsley
1/2 tsp fresh Rosemary

Rinse the beans and place in the water in your crockpot. Add your cubed ham, or ham bone. Rinse and chop your vegetables and add. Work up your fresh herbs and toss in. Salt and pepper to taste and you are ready to put the lid on your crockpot and let it slowly cook all day.

When ready to serve you can put some sour cream or hot sauce on the table and make some cornbread and you have a very filling meal.

Source: Me!

Variation that I use:

Bag of Fifteen Bean Soup (dried beans or make your own mixture)
1 packet of the Cajun Seasoning that came with the dried beans
Good handful of chopped green and red peppers and/or banana peppers
1 chopped onion diced
Diced ham
Juice of one lemon

Just add all the ingredients and put in the crockpot. I do it in the morning so it simmers all day.

Source: Me!


Another variation that I made today:

Bag of 15 Bean Soup dried beans
1 packet of ham seasoning that came with the bean soup mix
Half a chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped onion
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced Spam
I added a tsp of dried oregano (or fresh), 1 tsp of dried dill (or fresh), 1 tsp of dried parsley (or fresh)

Source: Me!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall Decorating

It's that time again. Fall has come around. I love Spring, Summer and Fall. Winter, I endure. But I like to put out some seasonal decorations. It can be as little as a simple vase with some seasonal flowers on your dining room table to re-decorating your entire home. I have tried to hit the middle road. I'm not physically able to re-do an entire house because I'm particular. I have to have everything clean which means cleaning the decorations before organizing and storing them away. Washing silk flowers, tableclothes and napkins, doodads, etc can be too much for me. I have a couple of boxes of Fall decorations that include flowers, a wreath for the door, knick knacks. I try to reach the balance for me that decorates the house without causing too much work for me.

It's different for each person. You may LOVE to decorate your home for the seasons and get so much pleasure from the process that nothing is off limits. Or you may have little children and you are very conscious of wanting to make memories for them of each season. Or maybe you have older kids who help you decorate and it's fun for them as well as a teaching experience. Or maybe you're older and can't do as much or you have such limited storage that you can't store seasonal decorations. So it's all relevant to your lifestyle and your life. Make it right for you and your family! But I did want to inspire you with some ideas that I found on the Internet. I so appreciate those creative people who share their ideas on the Internet for the rest of us. I tried to find photos that represent the full gamut of decorating whether it's cheap, simple, expensive, over the top!

When you think of Autumn what comes to your mind? Let's make a list (of course, since I'm the one writing the post, it's MY list.)

Bright colors
Hot chocolate

Cinnamon flavored coffee
Chai tea
Winter squashes
Fall festivals
Cooler weather
Trips to the mountains
Colorful leaves
Picnics with Fall foliage in the scenery
Soups and stews

These are just some of the things that I think about and I try to incorporate them into my life each Fall. And while you do these things, be sure and take your camera along and snap some photos of what Fall means to you. Take it to the football game, take a photo of the picnic spread, take photos of the fall foliage whether it's in the park, your backyard or a trip to Maine. Take photos of your favorite coffee steaming on the counter, your 15 Bean Soup or the crafts you like at the local Fall Festival. Take photos of your family enjoying the season!

I want to take each room and make some suggestions for decorating. Again, I don't do all these and you may not either. But pick what sparks your imagination. And, some of you can and want to do it all! Go for it!

Your front entrance:
Basket of mums
Sheaf of wheat, corn or bale of hay with a scarecrow or a bundle of pumpkins

Entrance Hall:
Candy dish with fall candy (whether it's candy corn or just Hershey's kisses with orange foil wrappers)

Living Room:
Fall themed pillows on the couch
Fall arrangement on the coffee table
Fall scented candle
A Fall afghan draped over the easy chair

Dining Room:
Fall tablecloth and matching napkins
Use an Autumn patterned or colored china for placesettings on your dining room table
A Fall centerpiece with matching arrangements on your buffet or china cabinet
Colorful candles

And if you do have the space to store them, collect a set of Fall china. I have a pretty set. And it doesn't have to be expensive. Look for vintage china like these:

Change out your canisters to some that are Fall festive
Add a Fall vignette in a cozy corner of the countertops
Use Fall placemats and napkins at the bar or breakfast room table
A Fall centerpiece on the breakfast room table or on the bar
Use a Fall rug in front of the sink

Guest Bathroom:
Add some Fall scented guest soaps
A Fall arrangement on the back of the commode
Add a pretty candle to the countertop
Fall hand towels

A nice stack of Fall magazines
Fall flower arrangements
Candy dish full of Fall candies and tied with a Fall ribbon
Some Fall fashion pillows on the couch

I hope these give you some ideas. You can go as lightly or as heavy as you want with Autumn decor. some people even change their slipcovers and drapes for the season. More power to you. Now here are the photos that inspired me.

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