hamburger soup... the easiest soup you will ever make!

This is a recipe my mom has made for years, and has always been one of our family favorites... an ultimate comfort food! I like to think of this as a MAN soup... as it seems to be one of the more satisfying soups for the men in my life! :o)

The simple name and ingredients hardly give a hint of the amazing flavor in this easy soup! Thanks Mom!

Hamburger Soup Recipe

1-2 pounds ground beef
2 large (48oz) cans V8 juice
3/4 of a head of green cabbage, chopped into large pieces
2 cups frozen corn
various spices, to taste (i.e. onion powder, garlic powder, salt & pepper, red pepper flakes, etc.)

Brown the beef in a large skillet and drain off fat.

Place cooked beef, V8, cabbage, corn and spices into your crockpot. Cook on Low for 8-12 hours. Serve with a little shredded cheese on top, if you'd like! :o)

I usually use Spicy V8, because my family likes spice, and that decreases the amount of extra seasonings I need, but feel free to use any!


cloth diapering?? Help please!!

We're starting a new adventure in our family. Or rather, I'm starting a new adventure in our family! :o)

Due to many factors, our finances being the most pressing - of course, we are about to begin...

cloth diapering. (duhn duhn duhn duuuuuhn...)

I never thought in a million years, that I would be saying those words. I am not a green mama. Don't get me wrong, I love our planet (or rather - the God that created it!)... I prefer to feed my family as much organic, natural foods as possible and I try not to take what God has given us for granted. I'm just not that into weighing every little thing I do with how it will affect our planet.

Honestly? I believe that He will come long before the earth dies from our mis-use. But that's beside the point. I am not a green mama. Never have been, never will be. Hate me if you want. It's not gonna change.

I am, however, a money-conscious mama. And life is hitting us hard right now. I just can't stand spending $20+ a week on diapers anymore! Now, I'm not saying I will never use disposables. In fact, I will use them at least a few times a week, I'm sure. But I will not depend on disposables. I will do my very best to use cloth as much as possible, so that I can help save every penny possible for our family!

The hardest part so far? Ordering the diapers. I understand that you have to take a hit in the beginning in order to see the savings down the road. But this $100 I have spent so far hurts. Bad. And I'm pretty sure I'm not done with the initial spending for this new endeavor in our lives.

What did I decide to use? These fabulous gDiapers! I have used them a few times (with their original flushable-liners) and am excited to try their cloth version. I ordered them today, so have yet to try this whole thing out, but I am excited! (I think?!)

Now, I need your help. Please please PLEASE give me any and all advice you can think of!! What more do I need to buy? How do I store the dirty dipes between washes?? How do I best wash them? What was I thinking when I decided to do this?!????

Thank you and Goodnight!! :o)

blackberry cardamom scones

I ate half the batch in less than an hour. I had to take a special trip into my husband's work, to take him some, so that I wouldn't eat them all!

Now, I don't normally post recipes that are not my own, but I am so in love with these scones... I just had to share them!

I wish you were here eating them with me. Seriously, I plan to make these every time I have company for the rest of my life!! (I know, I know... "The best laid plans...", right?) :o)

Anyways, here's the link (oh and I used blackberries instead of blueberries because that's what I have in my freezer!):


My version:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • ⅓ cups Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • ½ cups Butter, Cold
  • 1-½ cup Frozen Blueberries
  • ½ cups Buttermilk
  • 1 whole Egg
  • Sugar For Sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 4oo degrees.
2. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.
4. With pastry cutter, cut in cold butter, until it is the size of small peas..
5. Stir in frozen berries.
6. In small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine buttermilk and egg.
7. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until combined.
8. Using a little extra flour if necessary, knead dough 10 times. Dough will be sticky.
9. Shape into circle on lined baking sheet and press into a 12 inch circle with fingers, sprinkling with a little more flour if necessary in order to shape it.
10. Using a pizza cutter or large knife, cut into 12 wedges.
11. Sprinkle top with sugar.
12. Bake for 20 or 25 minutes until top is golden brown.


bathtime for a beautiful baby boy

I don't even have words. I just can't stop taking pictures of this sweet, delicious boy... and I love sharing them with you! Enjoy and Goodnight!


slow cooker lemon-y chicken noodle soup

**UPDATE: Now you can also find this recipe here!**

I found a forgotten turkey in my freezer last week, so we decided to
go all out with a turkey dinner this past weekend. It was SO good,
but now there's the issue of leftovers... or more specifically:

What should we do with them to make them new and exciting?

This recipe is a great, simple and comforting way to use up your
leftover turkey or chicken!

Let's face it... Thanksgiving will be here before we know it!

Slow Cooker Lemon-y Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

8 cups chicken stock
3 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
Juice of 2 lemons
1 parmesan cheese rind*
1/2 package noodles - short or long and broken
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon oregano

Throw everything into your crockpot, stir to combine,
and cook on low for at least 4-6 hours (the longer the better!),
until soup is hot, rind is melted, and noodles are soft.

*If you don't already save your leftover parmesan cheese rinds...
PLEASE do! Toss them in the freezer and add them to your soups.
They add such a great layer of flavor to your soups!


fully loaded baked potato soup

Creamy, rich, flavorful...  smoky bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, green onions & sour cream...  It really doesn't get much better than a loaded baked potato with all your favorite fixings!

Unless, of course, you make this soup.  

This soup is amazing...  so totally satisfying and comforting. It's also a great way to use up leftover baked potatoes!

You can bake the potatoes fresh and let them cool to use for this recipe if you want.  I usually plan ahead for this soup by baking extra potatoes for dinner one night and then making the soup a day or two later!

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup Recipe 

8-10 small-medium baked potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds) 
2/3 cup flour
6 cups of low-fat milk
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 package bacon bits

Peel and coarsely mash potatoes. Discard skins.

Lightly spoon the flour into a large Dutch oven. Gradually whisk in the milk until well blended. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

Add mashed potatoes, spices, salt & pepper, and cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted. Turn the heat to low. Stir in the sour cream and bacon bits. Cook until thoroughly heated, being careful not to boil!

Serve topped with more shredded cheese and chopped green onions and bacon bits, if you'd like!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Pacific Natural Foods!


simply rustic chocolate truffles

Why do we spend so much on fancy truffles when they are so easy to make at home? Probably because we've never done it before! The trick to perfecting these incredibly simple treats is in the ingredients.

As with all recipes, but especially those with so few ingredients, the end result will only be as good as the ingredients you put into it. With that said, please use the best ingredients you can afford (but don't feel bad if - like me - you can't afford the very 'best')! Use good quality chocolate (I like bittersweet, but you could use any!), pure extracts or liqueurs (no artificial flavorings, please!!), and fresh heavy cream and butter.

Oh and as for the cocoa powder to roll them in... I use Hershey's Special Dark cocoa because it's just... well, prettier... but you can use what you want. You could even roll these in powdered sugar, finely chopped nuts or colored sugar if you'd like!

I like these to look very rustic... because it's more fun,
and because it simplifies the whole process.
And I am all about simple!
You could make perfect little round balls,
but really... would it taste any better??

Simply Rustic Chocolate Truffles Recipe

1/3 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons butter, diced
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon almond extract or other flavoring
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Stir in the butter until melted, and then stir in the chocolate chips, stirring constantly until melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat and stir in the extract or liqueur of your choice. (This is your place to play, so try something fun! I love everything almond, but I have also made these with peppermint schnapps and with hazelnut liqueur!)

Pour into a shallow bowl, cool and then cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours, until the chocolate is firm. Using a small spoon, scoop out chocolate, roll in cocoa powder and place in a waxed paper lined container. These will keep, covered in the fridge, for 2 weeks... if they last that long!

**UPDATE: For extra-creamy yumminess, take these out of the fridge at least 10 minutes before you plan to eat them!**



'nuff said.

almond fudge cream cheese bars

These bars are amazing! They have a thick, chewy almond sugar cookie bottom with a smooth, rich chocolate cream cheese top, and they look almost as great as they taste! Top them with toasted sliced almonds, if you have them, for extra wow! :o)

Sorry about the blurry picture...
It was the best I could do with my fussy baby today!

Almond Fudge Cream Cheese Bars Recipe

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tarter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat your oven to 350degrees F and grease a 9" sqaure baking pan, line it with parchment paper and grease the parchment.

Whisk together the first four ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy - about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Beat in the almond extract and then mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Press the dough evenly into the pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, until light golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the chocolate topping.

In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and oil over very low heat (or use a double boiler!), stirring constantly. Remove from the heat to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in the room-temperature cream cheese until smooth, and spread the topping over the cooled cookie layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until the chocolate is firm. Enjoy with a cup of strong coffee! :o)


with Photoshop again! :o)

Don't these pictures make you want to give him a bath every half hour?


crockpot beef stroganoff

This is one of my favorite comfort meals! And so cheap and easy to throw together, which is a huge recipe motivation for me these days! I also seem to always have these ingredients on hand (except for the mushrooms and fresh bread... like today!) so I can make this meal whenever we get a craving!

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff Recipe

1-2 pounds beef stew meat
1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10.75oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 cup sour cream

Place everything except for sour cream into your crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in the sour cream and cook on high for another 15-30 minutes.

Serve over egg noodles and make sure you have lots of good crusty bread to sop up all the sauce!

Oh, and obviously the mushrooms are optional, but please try it at least once with them in! They are so yummy, and I have served this meal to many mushroom-haters (including kids!) and they have all loved it!


eyes are the window to the soul...

And this boy's got some BIG picture windows!  :o)
There's so much concentration going on in there...  
I can't wait until he can share more of his spirit with us!


saturday stuff

Bath time, hair cuts and cuddles!

This sweet little boy used to pretty much hate bath time.
It turns out, he just likes his bath water a lot warmer
than I was making it! (He must have gotten that from me...
I love my bath water almost too hot!)

I would LOVE to know what Bjorn was thinking
when I took this next pic.

I'm thinking it might be worthy of a 'MckMama'-style
"Name That Photo Contest"!? :o)

While Bjorn was having his bath, Navy was getting a hair cut.
Let's just say he wasn't too thrilled about it! ;o)

And when they were done, the boys decided to have some
bonding time. I call this one 'Brotherly Love'!

Aren't they cute?? :o)


our little foodie!

Bjorn had his first 'real' food on Sunday! Bananas... yummmm!

We weren't planning on giving him solids yet, but as he was watching my mom and I make banana bread, we couldn't help but notice how intently he was following all the food! So, as we had just mashed up a bunch of bananas, we decided to give him a taste.

As you can probably see, he was pretty good with that idea!

He loved his first bite so much that we decided to keep on going and boy was he loving it! :o) I think we may have a little foodie on our hands!

At least we will if I have anything to do with it! I'm thinking roasted beet and parmesan risotto next... ;o)


rollover accidents

My baby rolls over now. All the time! From back to front.
But apparently front to back is so last month... and he won't do it anymore. Pretty much at all. Instead, he just gets upset!

Yep. We lay him down, he rolls over, he gets mad, we help him get back into position, and then the cycle immediately starts all over again. He loves to roll onto his stomach (in fact he does it almost as a reflex now... all the time!), but hates being there when he gets there. And he's not interested in continuing the roll to get back onto his back!

Did he forget what he used to do so well? Is it just too much to try to remember two fairly new skills at the same time? Or is he just so tired from all this new exercise his little body is getting?!?
Related Posts with Thumbnails