The Weekend Toss

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Weekends are for rest, relaxation, reading and favorite recipes!

Today I’m making TERESA’S YUMMY VARIATION OF EVERYBODY’S CHEESEBURGER SOUP.  click on the recipe title and it will take you to a Weekend Toss from December of 2014 for the recipe (last item on the post)  This time I left out the brown sugar, used two cans of diced tomatoes and used a combo of Cheddar, Colby, and Monterey Jack with a bit of Philly – I also doubled the cheese this time – hope I don’t regret that!

Some may not consider this official soup weather yet, but I felt the slightest nip in the air yesterday evening and that makes it official.  So, go ahead, make soup!   .

While the soup is simmering I am going to rest  write this blog post and maybe do a few things around the house.

Currently reading:

Simply Tuesday by Emily P. Freeman from Chatting At The Sky

Love The Home You Have by Melissa Michaels from The Inspired Room

These are both great books and are speaking to me where I live and where I need to live.  They are timely for me and may be for you as well.

100_4468We recently went on a relaxing weekend to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill where we sat around the fire pit roasting marshmallow’s and listening to the beautiful sounds of mountain music as played and sung by my nephew and a friend.  I don’t have a video of that evening, but there are a few videos posted on their Facebook page, The Mountain Sound.  Click here for one of my favorites!  I may be a little biased.  My nephew is the one in the hat. They have a CD coming soon if you would like to hear more of their music.  They have several original tunes as well.

Hoping your weekend is relaxing and filled with grace,

Teresa

Weekend Toss

So, if you read my last post, just let me assure you that this week has been better, although there was a hairy stretch today while making soup.  Recipe below.

I have been busy finalizing shopping and what little bit of decorating I have done. There is a link-up next week I might join for a Tour of Christmas decorations hosted by the Nester, who gave us permission to Undecorate.  If I link up it will probably be either Monday or Tuesday.

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My Christmas Theme this year centers around Silent Night.  The words to that song have really been jumping out at me this year.  I plan to write more about that next week.  I really want to focus on the Holy Infant this year rather than all the hustle and bustle.  His tenderness , the love’s pure light.  So, join me next week as I take a day to reflect on this song and how it can impact your Christmas season.  Probably towards the end of the week.

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You may be interested in reading about Simple Gifts to Encourage The Soul by Emily over at Chatting at the Sky. Maybe some of them would be your favorites too!

Also, in the decor department you may want to check out Laura’s Kitchen renovation and Christmas Decor.  She has recently moved to a new home and has been sharing her renovations.  She has great taste and does everything on a budget, so we can all know that it’s not unrealistic to redo a room or two.  I think you will enjoy her style.

Speaking of decor, I finally painted the inside of my front door, which has sported various shades of sample paints for the past three years.  It is now all one color that may or may not last for the next three years.  Time will tell.  For now it works.  You may remember when I wrote about my Favorite Colors on Decor to Adore, that I mentioned my new favorite shade of Pink was Fruit Shake by Benjamin Moore and that pink might show up in my future decor.  Well, it has.  Not Fruit Shake though, but a color that is very close.

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It reads a little more sugary pink in this picture than it actually is.  In person it is what I call a grown-up, sophisticated pink.  I combined three samples I had – they were Glidden colors mixed with Olympic paint from Lowe’s.  The colors were: Pink Ballet Slipper (too pale), Deep Coral (too dark) and Red Grapefruit (Just right).  I didn’t want to buy a whole quart of the Red Grapefruit and by experimenting I found that mixing the three together was pretty close to the Red Grapefruit.  It was the shade my husband liked the best (my favorite too) so we went with it and now my door is all one color.

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I feel much better knowing this door has finally found it’s place in the world of color. In the above picture you can also see bits of my Christmas decor.  I put up a little four foot tree and decided that was just enough.

In other news, today, I made Cheeseburger soup which is going to be yummylicious. So, you will want to try this one.  I call it:

 TERESA’S YUMMY VARIATION ON EVERYBODY’S CHEESEBURGER SOUP

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You will need the following:

  • 2 pounds ground beef ( the leaner the better for your health)
  • 1 large sweet potato cubed 1- 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 5-6 med potatoes cubed 1- 1 ½ inch pieces
  • 1 med – lg onion chopped
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes – drained (optional)
  • 2-3 cups kale chopped, stems removed (optional)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (I used 4 cubes of Dorot frozen)
  • 3-4 cubes of frozen basil (I used Dorot) = 4 tsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 T brown sugar (or honey, if you prefer)
  • Mustard, Ketchup and Worcestershire – a few squirts of each for a little added interest – I added these to my hamburger as it was browning – probably 1-2 T of mustard, ½ c of Ketchup and about 5-6 dashes of Worcestershire.
  • 8 cups of Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups of any cheese you prefer ( I used a combination of Velveeta, cream cheese and cheddar – (approx. slightly less than ¼ box Velveeta, ½ block of cream cheese and ½ bag of shredded cheddar – so that may be a little more than two cups – you can’t go wrong with cheese – use as much or as little as you like).
  1. I chopped the potatoes and covered them with 4 cups of chicken broth and cooked long enough to make them firm tender – I added one cube of garlic and one of basil to add flavor and a little salt and pepper as they were cooking. When finished I transfer all, including liquid to my crock-pot.
  2. While the potatoes were cooking, I sautéd my onion in butter with 2 cubes of the garlic and 2 of the basil. When the onion was starting to get tender I transferred it to the crock-pot.
  3. I then used the same skillet to brown the beef – I added salt, pepper and all the condiments mentioned above and the brown sugar.  When the hamburger was almost done I added the diced tomatoes.  I then transferred this to the crock-pot.
  4. I then added another 4 cups of chicken broth.
  5. In the stockpot I used for my potatoes, I melted about 4 T of butter then added my chopped cheeses and the two cups of heavy cream. I started out on med heat and then turned to low, stirring almost constantly.  I also added a cup or two of my broth off the soup just for extra liquid to keep the cheese from sticking. I added the final garlic and basil cube to this mixture and some pepper.  Once the cheese was melted I added this to the crock-pot and gently stirred to blend all ingredients.
  6. I cooked on high for 1 ½ – 2 hours, then added the kale and turned to low and allowed to simmer on low for 2-3 hours. Once the Kale is tender and flavors are blended it is ready to eat.  But can be left on low for several hours until ready to serve.  Kale is similar to cabbage in flavor, but much milder – it is full of vitamins and adds a much better texture to soup than spinach – it holds together better and the taste is milder.  It really does not make the soup taste weird and it is a good way to add some vegetables.  So use it already!

I just kept checking and adjusting seasonings as I went, but pretty much following the above steps seemed to have a good balance on spice and flavor.

I plan to serve it with Mrs. Schubert’s Yeast Rolls.

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SOUP NOTES:  I doubled the recipe from what most called for, so that we could share with my parents and have leftovers.  I have a large (at least 6 qt crock-pot and it was full to the brim.  If you don’t have a large crock-pot, then just use a large stockpot and simmer on the stove.) If you don’t need this much, then just do half the ingredients more or less.

Also, you could chop the potatoes and add them to the crock-pot with the chicken broth and seasonings and cook them a few hours, then when they are tender, brown your meat and onions and add the other ingredients. (You could also do the onion and hamburger together.)  This would have saved me a lot of time and extra clean-up, but for some reason I like to make things hard on myself.

I would still recommend doing the cheese sauce separate and then adding it to the soup as it helps the cheese melt better.  Also, some people do a flour rue to help thicken the soup – I opted not to do this, as I don’t mind the broth being a little thin – it is so full of flavor that it doesn’t have to be thick.

I know I have a lot of notes etc, but this is really a very easy recipe and it would be hard to mess it up.  You can add or delete ingredients as you wish to suit what you have on hand and your taste.  Some people use carrots and celery; one recipe used corn.  As long as you are using the broth, beef, potatoes, cheese and seasonings, you’d have to be pretty incompetent to mess it up.  Cheese makes everything taste great.  I hope you try this soup and I hope you enjoy it!

I looked at several recipes online and Pinterest and then took elements from all of them to suit my taste and pantry. I found that they were all pretty much variations on each other.  Edie’s has the mustard, ketchup and Worcestershire and I thought they added interest.  I looked at Edie’s Cheeseburger in Paradise Soup, from Life in Grace, also Taste of Home and Buns in My Oven and Easy Cheeseburger Soup from Chocolate, Chocolate and More, which is the one I have pinned on Pinterest.

That is all for today – check back next week for more decorations and Silent Night reflections.

Savoring His Grace,

Teresa

Weekend Toss (November Edition)

Hello friends!  I have been quiet this month after the frenzy of writing almost every day in October.  I haven’t gone away, just resting and organizing the office space in my kitchen.  Which is a story in and of itself about why I no longer have an office.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed yet, it is Christmas time, even though Thanksgiving is still days away.  I have one friend who put her Christmas tree up on November 2.  I love her love of the season.  I haven’t even decided if I am going to put up a tree this year.  And, no, I am not a scrooge.  I actually love the Christmas season, but sometimes the hustle and bustle wears me out and I need to retreat and just be simple and remember the Shepherds Abiding.

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One thing that is a big part of the season is gift giving.  In our families we don’t go overboard and usually keep it simple.  It’s more about the fellowship than it is the gift giving.  We do purchase a few gifts and what not.  This year I am going to do most of my shopping online to avoid much of that hustle and bustle.

There are always giveaways this time of year and I want to share one with you today which is the reason I popped in during my time of blog rest.  The sign up for the giveaway ends Monday, November 17 at midnight.  It makes me wish I had young children because it is a great book give away.  Eight books for children that center around the theme of Christmas.  It will make a wonderful gift or gifts if you have several children on your list.

My friend LeeAnne G. Taylor is hosting the giveaway on her blog.  If you click over to her site all the details will be there on how you can enter the give away.

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In other news, I have also taken a personality test (again).  I do this once in a while as an assessment tool.  I almost always come out the same type.  I sometimes waffle between two similar types, which is actually true to my type.  Go figure!

I have more to share with you about my personality type, but I am still processing what I want to say (which is also true to my type).  Anyway, I thought you might want to have some fun this weekend and check out who you are.  Just keep in mind that we are fearfully and wonderfully made by a creative God and he probably has us in way more than 16 basic personality categories.  I took a shortened version of the Myers Briggs on this site:  16 Personalities. Go ahead click on the link, take the test, then come back next week and read about my results and we’ll discuss our personalities.  I am curious as to what your type is.

If you want to take a longer version of the test so that it is a little more in-depth you can go here.  It will take you a little longer, but I think I like this one better. If you should get two different types, then read both carefully to see which of the two you most identify with.  You may also want to wait a few days and take one of the tests again.  Your mood at the time of the test will affect your answers.    Years ago, I tested as an extrovert, but a lot of that type did not really match who I know I am, the introvert part makes much more sense.  The “N” and I think the “F” has always been consistent.  Sometimes now my J and P are a little confused. Part of this could be how I interpret the meaning of the questions, especially on different tests.

Whatever your type, have fun taking the test and seeing how it explains who you are. I’m sure that at least one of the personality types hates this kind of testing and you know who you are, so no pressure!

There is talk that we could see some of this by the end of the weekend:

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Enjoy what is left of your weekend.  Off to figure out supper.

Have a grace-filled weekend,

Teresa

Prompted By The Nester

This Weekend Toss post is part of a Write 31 Days series hosted by The Nester.  Today I was inspired to take some impromptu pictures of vignettes around my house.  The Nester’s theme this month is Vignette Me so who better to be my inspiration for noticing the vignettes all around my home.

You can right click any of the images and open in a new tab to see a larger version.

Blue glass vignette in the kitchen.  You will  notice the roof of my little dilapidated garage showing through the window behind the blue bottles.  The blue vintage sugar and creamer set was a gift from my cousin.  The windows were found at antique shops.  the white ceramic vase with blue flowers in the bottom, middle photo is from Slovakia and was a gift from my sister when she lived there.
Blue glass vignette in the kitchen.  You will  notice the roof of my little dilapidated garage showing through the window behind the blue bottles.  The blue vintage sugar and creamer set was a gift from my cousin.  The windows were found at antique shops.  the white ceramic vase with blue flowers in the bottom, middle photo is from Slovakia and was a gift from my sister when she lived there.

 

Music Room vignette.  1.  Looking through the doorway to the left of our small entry into the music room.   2.  Chairs in the music room, with blue pillows, stained glass window and open door on the book hutch that found me.  3.  chair by stained glass window, softened for effect.
Music Room vignette. 1. Looking through the doorway to the left of our small entry into the music room. Yes, I have a cows head hanging above the door.  She needs a name, any ideas?   2. Chairs in the music room, with blue pillows, stained glass window and open door on the book hutch that found me. 3. chair by stained glass window, vintage mirror hanging on door.

 

Vignette in the Living Room - Collections on Shelves: room - crocks, books turned backwards, bow ties from a friends estate and match boxes from my Dad's collection
Vignette in the Living Room – Collections on Shelves: crocks, books turned backwards, bow ties from a friends estate and match boxes from my Dad’s collection

 

Sweet Vignette in the living room of found objects: pink leaf dish (I heart leaves), sweet little birds, depression glass lid that has lost it’s container, pretty embroidered scarf, basket with doily and mirror ball.
Street Roll Vignette. Why yes, I have lived on all these streets! I decided I needed to embrace all the moves and give them a place of honor.  I like to think that our adventures in moving have taken us down roads less traveled, hence the title of my street roll.
Street Roll Vignette. Why yes, I have lived on all these streets! I decided I needed to embrace all the moves and give them a place of honor.  I like to think that our adventures in moving have taken us down roads less traveled, hence the title of my street roll.

 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

Sunday Vignette: Reading lamp, table with Bible and devotional book.  You can see my blue bottle tree through the window.  The lamp is not my normal taste, but it came from the estate of a family friend, so I keep it for now.
Sunday Vignette: Reading lamp, table with Bibles and devotional book and a copy of A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman. The lamp came from the estate of a family friend. You can see my blue bottle tree through the window. Also part of the house next door.

What kind of Vignettes do you see in your home? They are practically everywhere if you just look for them.

Vignetting in grace,

Teresa

Trees and Roof-line Vignette across the street from my front porch.  See? Vignettes are everywhere.
Trees and Roof-line Vignette across the street from my front porch. See? Vignettes are everywhere.

Click the images below for the Nester’s Vignette Me, Prompted to Write, or to check out other Write 31 Day participants.

The Nester who inspired me to check out my vignettes.
The Nester who inspired me to check out my vignettes.
My 31 Day series
My 31 Day series

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Prompted By Bloggers III (Weekend Toss)

Prompted button.1Today’s post is Part of a 31 Day writing series where I will choose moments from my life and let them be my writing prompt for the day. On Weekends, I do a Weekend Toss, which is a combination of links to blogs I have enjoyed, or random updates and sometimes a scripture for Sunday. Today I am sharing the links to other bloggers from the #Write31days group. You will find a variety of topics from various categories. I hope you click on the buttons below from their series and check them out.    Please leave them a comment to let them know  you stopped by. Feel free to tell them I sent you. For all the post in my Prompted to Write series, click the prompted button.  To visit the blogs below, click on the image.

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And for tomorrow, Day 19 of this journey, I will leave you a scripture to ponder:

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Happy Weekending in Grace,

Teresa

Prompted By Bloggers II (Weekend Toss)

Prompted button.7Today’s post is Part of a 31 Day writing series where I will choose moments from my life and let them be my writing prompt for the day. On Weekends, I do a Weekend Toss, which is a combination of links to blogs I have enjoyed, or random updates and sometimes a scripture for Sunday. Today’s I am sharing the links to other bloggers from the #Write31days group. I hope you click on the buttons below from their series and check them out.  Today’s bloggers are from the Inspiration and Faith category.  Even though these are all from the same category, I think you will find that there is a variety of subject matter and writing style.  Please leave them a comment to let them know  you stopped by. For all the post in my Prompted to Write series, click the button, top left. These are all blogs that I have been visiting during the past 10 days.

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Reading in Grace,

Teresa

Prompted By Bloggers (Weekend Toss)

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Today’s post is Part of a 31 Day writing series where I will choose moments from my life and let them be my writing prompt for the day. On Weekends, I sometimes do a Weekend Toss, which is a combination of links to blogs I have enjoyed, or random updates and sometimes a scripture for Sunday.  I have decided to keep the Weekend Toss going, so today’s post will be links to other bloggers in the #Write31days group that I feel prompted to share with you. I hope you click over and check them out. I invite you to come back tomorrow for some Sunday inspiration.

I love to find new blogs to enjoy.  One of the exciting things about the 31 Days writing challenge is having so many blogs in one place.  They are organized into categories which makes it easier to find topics of interest.  Throughout the month of October, I plan to browse each category and find blogs to enjoy. I will highlight some of them here on Saturday’s.  This weeks featured blogs come from two different categories – House & Home and Simplicity & Organizing.

Each image used below was created by the blog owner of that blog as their blog button for the series.  if you click on the image it will take you to their blog.  I hope you enjoy your visits!

1.  It is only fitting that the first blog I feature is Nesting Place, as she is the hostess for this mega blog link-up.  I found her blog in 2008 and have been a follower ever since. She lets us know that our homes don’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.  In addition to her lovely home, she recently renovated a barn for hosting events.  I was lucky enough to be in this barn last Saturday with a bunch of writers.  Myquillen was a most gracious host and her sister, Emily Freeman along with Christa Wells were very inspiring and encouraging speakers. In her #write31days series, Myquillen shares how we can “create little moments” for our homes. And barns. With stuff we already have.

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2.  Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors is the queen of junk.  She can take what others would consider trash and turn it into functional junk.  Some of her stuff is amazing.  It makes me wish I knew how to use power tools.  Check out her dream box series, but be sure to check out her project tab as well, you will be impressed.

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3.   Restoration Spring is a new to me blog and I love Michelle’s 31 Day series, Home Recycled.  It is only day 3, but I am totally on board with what she is saying.  It resonates with me because I know exactly what she means.  If only I’d dare to get rid of excess.  I’m hoping this series will challenge me to let go and move on.

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4.  Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything is helping us be organized in 15 minutes a day.  I may not be able to do everything everyday, but I plan to keep this one on my radar, so that when I am ready to tackle some organization projects I’ll have her tips.  It’s early in the series, but so far I’m loving how she is breaking down the projects.

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5.  Jennifer Buell is sharing her experiences of finding balance among moving boxes.  Oh, Oh, Oh, I can sooooooooooo relate to this one.  I think I’m on address number 20 in 30 years of marriage.  She is talking, not just about the move, but the emotions and how she is finding balance in the process. Whether you have moved in the past, are in the middle of a move, or moving soon, you should be able to relate to all the boxes.

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6.  Ally over at The Bridge Builders Wife started a year long spending fast this past January. I saw an Oprah episode once where a couple had done this and have wanted to attempt it ever since, but alas, this has not happened.  I’m hoping reading about Ally’s journey will inspire me to at least try it for a month or two.  What about you – do you need some tips on how to quit spending?

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Reading in Grace,

Teresa