Category Archives: Recipes


Beef Vegetable Bean Soup

You know if you like beans thats a good thing because they are so good for you too!  High in fibre and no fat.   Now I seem to have some kind of fascination for beans.   You guys have more beans that we do in Canada so it seems I’ve been stocking up over the summer.  In the summer when its hot we tend not to make too many comfort foods that I might put beans into, but I do love them in salads.  Well today I made such a salad and opened up a lovely can of navy beans for it.  halloween-and-soup-0441It was at that time that I discovered I had this “collection”  (2 cans are not in the picture because I used them today).  Now I didn’t want to pull out all the packages of split peas, yellow and green and whole beans and lentils I have in this “collection” for the picture.  

On the back of a can of butter beans was a recipe for Beef Vegetable Bean Soup.  Sooooo because it was a rainy and dismal day thats what I was making for dinner.  That would take care of 2 cans of beans, 1-1/2 cans for the soup, the rest for a couple days work of salad.   I’m home this weekend busy making soaps and jewellery for my Christmas sales coming up.   So I made the soup.  Last week we made Taco Soup.  This is a bit similar but has these wonderful beans in them.  In the place of curry powder which I was out of I added some Taco seasoning mix. 


1 lb. lean hamburger

1 onion (diced)

1 can butter beans + I had 1/2 can navy beans opened so added them also

1 16oz stewed tomatoes

1 can tomato soup, undiluted

1 can of corn

2-3 tsp. curry powder (I used some Taco seasoning)

salt and pepper to taste


Fry up the beef for about 5 minutes and then add the onions.  halloween-and-soup-017 Cook until the onions are softened.  halloween-and-soup-018 Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, stir and cover.  Continue cooking for 1 hour on low stirring periodically.


This really turned out so yummy.  It was so easy too.  After I took the picture I wondered how this soup might taste with a some grated cheese … and a tablespoon of nonfat sour cream?  Wanna know?  DELISH!!  



Today I’m driving an hour north to my mom’s.   We are going to the Sugarplum Craft Sale at the Nottawasaga Inn.  This has become an annual event.  I’m taking some soup for her.  She has a container and it seems to be going back and forth between us.   This week I had dinner at her place and it came back to me again and  with leftovers.  Now that its time to take it back to her I’ve put in some Beef Vegetable Bean Soup.  Try it and if you do let me know what you think.  Whew.  I’m down 2 cans now.

You know…the butter beans have 6 gm of fibre in 1/2 cup.  That sounds like a lot!

Have a lovely day.    Judi



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Taco Soup and Cornbread

Taco Soup


A couple of Saturdays ago it was one of those fall Saturdays, a bit crispy and sunny outdoors and warm and cozy indoors.  The fireplace was on and it felt like some comfort food.  The Love Bunny and I made Taco soup.  The recipe was filled with the yummiest ingredients and was easy to make. 

Wholesome yum and it kept getting tastier as the flavours mellowed with the leftovers we enjoyed that week…with sour cream!   halloween-and-soup-053

This is the Taco Soup recipe.


  • 1 lb lean group beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 (15 1/2 ounce) cans mild chili beans, undrained
  • 1 (14 1/2 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (14 1/4 ounce) can corn, undrained
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasong mix
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Brown beef with onions and then drain the fat.  Add all the ingredients except the cheese breaking up the tomatoes.  Bring this to a boil.   Lower temperture and simmer for about 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.   Serve in individual bowls topped with the shredded cheese…and sour cream if you dare!..YUMMY

Along with it we made Cornbread in a heavy skillet.   It had corn in it and cornmeal and green chillies.  The soup and cornbread were delish together.  halloween-and-soup-030

Here is the Cornbread recipe I used.

Mexican Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal, preferably yellow

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
1 can corn
2 tablespoons minced onion
1-1/4 cups buttermilk ( I used milk and soured it with a tablespoon of vinegar)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon bacon drippings

Preheat oven to 375°F.
Melt bacon drippings in an 8- or 9-inch skillet or pan. Set in the oven to heat while you mix the cornbread batter.

Combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir in cheese and chiles.

Separately, beat together the milk, water, oil and eggs and corn. Stir in the dry ingredients just until moistened.

Pour batter into hot pan and bake at 375°F for about 50 minutes or until top is a nice, soft brown and the middle seems done.  Don’t overcook though.  Allow to cool and turn onto plate. 


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Toss In and Its a Dish

First off what happened to  ???  and look what happened yesterday afternoon!!!! Snow and it was on 32F. Yikes.  Thats not what what I heard on the radio on the way to work!!!    But I’m hoping this was just for fun and the nice weather will return today…

Do you ever wonder what in the world you should make for dinner??? I do. 

In the fridge you have bits and leftovers of this and that and do you wonder what to do with them?    Do you pull them out and then start cooking up something wondering what you’ll have at the end?  I do.

and I did.  I took a picture of the bit of uncooked squash from Thanksgiving, baby carrots, onions,  an almost full carton of chicken broth.  I also had a large chicken breast.

I cut all the veggies shown in the picture including one sweet potato, 2 stalks of celery and some garlic.  I fried them up in olive oil.

I removed the veggies and cooked up the cut up chicken .  I added the veggies and the carton of chicken broth.  I brought those to a simmer and then lowered the heat and covered them.  Along the way I added some celery salt, black pepper and poultry seasoning

I cooked them for about an hour and then added in about 1/2 cup of Orzo along with 1 cup of frozen french style green beans.   I mixed them and allowed them to cook for about another 1/2 hour.

The “soup” thickened up to become more “stewlike”.  It smells lovely and ohhhh yum it tastes very good.  I can taste the lovely squash and sweet potatoes with a hint of chicken.  Yum!  I surprized myself actually.  It’ll be delicious with some yummy bread.  Let your creations flow…..

Remember to read my last Friday’s post on my upcoming 200th post giveaway!!!!


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Busy Week & Outrageous Brownies and Sick!

Really tired….and didn’t realize it….

This week sure has been busy.  I am again facilitating Personality Dimensions to many first year student classes.    This week I have 5 of them scheduled.  Two yesterday, one today, one Thursday and one on Friday.  Each session is almost 3 hours.  On top of that my regular work is busy.  I sure put in my time with lecturing in that workshop, then getting the students oriented on  using PD cards  to determine their preferred Temperament style.  Then we have a mass confusion while I try to get them into groups to work on some questions, they present to the class and then I tie it altogether for them.  In between that I run from front to back,  to side to back to front to side of the class, clarifying what it is they are doing.  Its rather crazy I think but I love it anyway.

Anyway…. After  6 hours of that yesterday I couldn’t wait to get home to have a soothing cup of tea and put my feet up.  At the time it never occurred to me that I really got home 2 hours later than usual as a result and it was too late for me to be drinking tea if I was going to plan on sleeping that night…  caffeine…

So I was up most of the night, wandering  around and blogging and crawling back to sleep and walking…you know?  It was not much fun.  Today I dragged myself through another busy day catching up and then I had a another late Personality Dimensions workshop and got home 2 hours later again. .   Somewhere between feeling tired and wanting to relax I had chocolate on my mind.  Somewhere I forgot the reason why I was sleepy when I decided I would make the 10 minute each way walk to the store for “exercise sake”, to buy chocolate for the Outrageous Brownies I was going to bake.  Back at home I changed into comfy clothes and started melting chocolate only to realize I had no flour!!!  I changed BACK into my outdoor clothes  and walked  my sore feet to a closer convenience store to buy the flour….so that’s why I forgot to take pics of the process of making these brownies I wanted to share with you….especially to show you allll the chocolate going into it!  This is the Outrageous Brownies recipe   full of all goodness!  Try it and if you do be sure to come back and let me know what YOU think.  YUMMMMY!

But…this is how they look coming out of the oven.  At  9:45 p.m. last night this is finally how all my dishes look after I’d cleaned up after mixing the brownies.    and like this   and this   …just a helter skelter of a wash….  It’s a bigggg pan of chocolate a whole 36 oz of chocolate … 3 different kinds and nuts too!  AND I can’t dare have a taste tonight because… know…I’d be up half the night again.   You know…sometimes you just forget how tired you are until you are realllly tired.    Nite nite….

update…now I never did post that last night.  I was just tooo tired!  Today I brought in a big plate of the brownies to share at work.  Soon after my tiredness and headachy and achey feelings of this week sprung on me and I realized I’ve been fighting some kind of “bug” thats been going around at work.   I came home and have been sleeping it off all afternoon.  I’m sitting here for a minute sending these pics to you and back to bed I go.  Nite nite again….

Hope YOU have had a lovely day.



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Grilled Fruit – Yum!

I want to share a very delicious dessert “we’ve” made the last 2 weekends. The love bunny and I enjoy cooking together and we found this recipe but he has taken over making it and its sooo yum.  There are only a few ingredients and the process is quite easy.  We served it last night to friends who were over for dinner and they loved it.

The first time we made it only with peaches.  Last night we used a peach, a plum and a pineapple.


Your choice of one or mix of peaches, pineapples, plums

1 cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

(1/4 cup rum – optional) we added this last night and it added to the lovely taste but you didn’t taste the rum as rum.

Run your knife from the top all around the peach or plum to the beginning.  Holding the fruit in your hands, give a twist to free the fruit apart.  Take out the pit.  If using peaches you might choose to peel it but the plum skin doesn’t need to be removed.  If using pineapple take off the outer part of the pineapple.  Cut it in half lengthwise.  Then cut each half again lengthwhise.  Run your knife down the body of the pineapple to remove the core. 

  Take a gallon size zip lock bag and add the honey, cinnamon and vanilla.  Sort of massage them in there to mix them.  Add the peach and/or plum halves and the pineapple, whatever fruit you are using into the ziplock bag and seal.  Massage the fruit gently in the bag so they are covered with the marinade mixture.  Let it marinate for at least an hour, we would allow about 3 hours.

Heat the grill and turn up heat to high to burn off and clean the grids and use a heavy brush to clean the grids.  Place the fruit right on the grill.  Allow them to cook approximately 10 minutes per side, basting periodically with the marinade reserving some of the marinade.  When fruit is hot and has softened some and just looks like its done remove to a platter.

  Cut the fruit into bitesize pieces.  Place on individual plates with a dallop of ice-cream on top and pour on a little of the reserved marinade.  Voila!  Thats it.  Deeeelish!


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Wednesday Started Out With Relish!

I was up at 7:15 this morning…vacation or not.  Its an overcast, cooler kind of day just perfect for making my relish.  Last night I left the zucchini, onions and salt to mellow until the morning.  I now know why.  See all the liquid it pulled out?   I rinsed and drained the liquid and added the red and green peppers and the cider vinegar and the spices.   That I boiled for about 20 minutes stirring periodically. 

This is how it looked before going into the boiled cans     

I processed them for about 10 minutes and  Voila!!  Zucchini, Pepper Relish.   Ohhhh I hear the lids popping in the kitchen.  mmmmmm    

I wish I could share some with you today. 

If you are interested in the recipe its here again but  I changed it up a bit.  For appearance as well as taste I added 3 medium size red peppers as well as the 1 green pepper called for.  I also added one diced large English cucumber.  I added some red chili pepper flakes for a little taste and to the 2 jars with the coloured lids I added more chili pepper flakes.

Now its raining out there.  A perfect day to start on another project…hmmmmmm…what will that be?  I hope your day is full of sunshine and relish of sorts.


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Monday After First Vacation Weekend

I had a really nice long weekend stateside.  We had a delicious fish fry dinner at the Village Inn on Friday night.    That area just loves their Friday fish fries.  You see signs up everywhere for them.   Actually though we had the baked fish with almonds on top and it is sooooo good.  Just perfect after a 3-hour drive.

Saturday turned out to be quite a nice day, after the rain stopped before the golf game.  While Marc golfed I went galavanting and found some wonderful vintage cross stitch and needlepoint kits.   I was so pleased with them.    I’m going to put them on etsy sometime this week.   Here are just 2 of them.  

Sunday it rained most of the day.  The hummingbirds were really acting up and actually we were quite entertained while we ate breakfast.  I filled their feeder on Friday night and on Sunday morning it was almost all gone!  It usually takes about a week for it to empty.  They were as good as squaking and chasing each other around       …they were buzzing around like honeybees.     Whenever one of them would sit on the perch for  a minute they didn’t even eat they were toooo busy being on the lookout ready to continue the chase.  I make more nectar and thought they might be behaving silly enough to sit on the perch while I held it up  

  They weren’t though.  I got tired of standing there and imagined them sitting on nearby branches shaking their heads at me.

After painting the Salon Cuts Teddy Bear chair a couple of weeks ago, I decided I would paint a birdhouse.  Some years ago I painted a number of them as gifts.  I attached a chair railing to the bottom and friends still have them in their garden or sitting in their kitchen.  This is what it looks like today   I hope to paint it during my vacation and I’ll share the picture with you.   I am only on Day 3 of 21 days so I should have some time. 

Tomorrow Son #2 and family and mom and I are going to her cottage which is 2-1/2 hours north of me.  They are predicting some iffy kind of weather but hopefully it’ll be warm and we’ll swim and won’t mind a little wet.  I made some goodies to take with us.  Grace made them a couple of weeks ago when we were at Marcs.  She gave me the recipe but I forgot to ask what they are called.  I’m callng them Grace’s Nutty Bars.  They are soooo yummy.   This is my favourite tin.  Although its a bit Christmassy    I’m using it to bring the Nutty Bars I made with Grace’s recipe to the cottage.   I’ve left you the recipe below.  Try them you will LOVE them I’m sure.  If you try them let me know what YOU think.  If you’ve made them before leave me a comment with their proper name.

Grace’s Nutty Bars

1 stick margarine

1 cup white sugar

1 tbsp vanilla

Club crackers about 1 sleeve.

Chopped almonds and/or hazelnuts.  I used both.   Chop them up into small pieces.

Line a cookie sheet with foil paper and arrange crackers on it.   It will take 2 cookie sheets.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add sugar.  Cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add vanilla.  Use a tablespoon to spoon the mixture all over each cracker.  Scatter the nuts over the crackers.  Bake at 350F for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and immediately place on cookie sheets to cool.   You’ll need to remove them right away or they’ll get stuck on the foil.  After cooling place in an airtight tin separating the layers with wax paper. 

Have a great sweet week!


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