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A contest winner and a winning recipe

I had my unbiased assistant draw a name from the hat and the winner of the fall give away is Robin S.! Since I know where you live, Robin, I will see that your prizes are delivered to you. It was fun to see who has been lurking around my blog. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks to all who entered the contest and thanks for reading and commenting.

I'm always happy when I find a new recipe that utilizes things that we have on hand. A couple of weeks ago friends from church gave us a large bag of green peppers from their garden. That same week Christy Jordan, the author of the Southern Plate blog and cookbook, posted a recipe utilizing green peppers. I tried it right away and both Rob and I really thought it was good.

Whenever I try a new recipe, Rob always asks how I changed the recipe. I do often change things to utilize what we have on hand or to make it more to our liking. The only thing I changed from the original recipe this time was to use bread crumbs instead of crushed saltines since I didn't have any saltines on hand. ๐Ÿ™‚ So, if you need a new, tasty crockpot recipe I would encourage you to try this one.

picture of Uptown Beef Patties


A fall favorite

There's still time to enter the fall give-away. I know some of you prefer not to make comments directly on the blog. You could still enter by emailing me if that would work better for you.

I realized recently that I had never posted the recipe for Cabbage Rolls. I've been making these for over 40 years and they are one of our fall favorites.

picture of Finished Cabbage rolls

Cabbage Rolls

12 large cabbage leaves
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 egg
1/4 tsp. thyme
1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Prepare cabbage leaves by parboiling or steaming in the microwave. Cut out the hard center "vein" of each leaf to facilitate handling. Combine the egg, rice, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, and hamburger. Place a portion of this mixture in each cabbage leaf and then fold the sides in and roll up. Fasten each leaf with one or two toothpicks. Place in a large kettle, skillet, or crockpot. Combine the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Pour over the cabbage rolls and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for one hour. If using crockpot cook for 6-8 hours on low. You may want to remove the lid for the last few minutes to thicken the sauce.

There are several ways that you can soften the cabbage leaves; by boiling, freezing, or steaming in the microwave. I like to put them in a glass pie plate covered with waxed paper and microwave for about two minutes.

picture of Steaming Cabbage

If you cut out the tough center "vein" the rolls will be easier to roll up without cracking or splitting. You will need to be careful to place the filling so it will be pretty well covered by part of the leaf.

picture of Removing Vein

picture of Filling Cabbage

Fasten securely with a toothpick or two.

picture of Fastening Cabbage

Do you have a favorite cabbage recipe?


Thinkin’ Pink

picture of Pink Stuff

We are thinking pink at our house this week! DD Megan and her husband Jim found out via ultrasound that baby #2 is a girl. We dearly love our two little grandsons, but are excited that there is going to be a little grand-daughter joining the family in the spring. Things are going well so far during this pregnancy and we would appreciate your continued prayers for Megan and baby girl.

For several weeks now I have been planning to host a give-away. Here is what is included:

picture of Fall Give Away

I had so much fun making my new fall table runner that I decided to make one of these insulated mats with the same turkey applique. The mat contains Insul-Bright which will deflect the heat from the table or counter-top and it is sized to fit under a 9" x 13" baking dish so you may find it will come in handy under a casserole this fall.

picture of Turkey Mat

The second item is this little holder for calling cards or loyalty cards. I saw the idea on Copper's Wife aka Cheryl's blog and thought it would be perfect for all those store loyalty cards that were making it hard for me to close my wallet.

picture of Card Holder

The final items in the give-away are a couple of knitted dishcloths. The winner can choose either two off-white or two blue, or one of each. ๐Ÿ™‚

To enter the contest leave a comment telling about your favorite fall food or tradition. I will enter your name into the hat. Comments must be received by Monday, October 24th to qualify.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you. ๐Ÿ™‚


Aunt Camille’s Bean Soup

I don't have an Aunt Camille, but I do think it is a pretty name. ๐Ÿ™‚ Aunt Camille is the aunt of a former co-worker, Lenora, who gave me this recipe. I love bean soup and have generally used either Great Northern Beans or Navy Beans for soups in the past. I had never tried the mixed beans before, but Rob and I both liked this soup a lot. I cooked a ham one recent Sunday and then decided to give this recipe a try using the leftover ham bone. Here is my adaptation of the recipe:

picture of Aunt Camille's Bean Soup

Aunt Camille's Bean Soup

1 meaty hambone (you could also use a ham hock)
1 16 oz. pkg. dry beans, mixed variety (mine included a packet of ham seasoning)*
6 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 ribs celery, sliced
15 oz. can diced tomatoes, including liquid
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt (I omitted this)
1/4 tsp. pepper
1-2 tsps. chili powder (I omitted this too)

Rinse and pick over the beans. Place in a large bowl or soup kettle and cover with cool water 2-3" above the beans. Let stand overnight. In the morning drain the beans and add fresh water to generously cover the beans in the soup kettle. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain the beans and then add the 6 cups of water, the ham bone, onion, celery, tomatoes, bay leaf, pepper, chili powder, if using. Simmer for about another hour or until the ham can be easily removed from the bone. Remove the meat and add back to the soup. Enjoy your delicious soup.

*I added some of the liquid which accumulated from baking the ham so I did not use the ham seasoning packet or add additional salt since the ham itself was salty enough.
If you cook the beans this way by changing the water at least twice you will remove most of the enzymes which can cause gassiness.

Here's a picture of the package of beans that I used:

picture of Mixed Beans

If you work all day you could soak the beans during the day one day and then cook them that evening and then refrigerate and finish up the cooking process the following day. You could also put the pre-cooked beans and other ingredients in the crockpot on the day of serving and let it cook on low.


Finished table runner and a recipe

I did finally finish up the fall table runner at the end of last week. Here's a picture of the completed project:

picture of Finished Turkey Runner

DH had one of those monumental birthdays last week and we had a little party to celebrate. One of the things I made for the party were these Spinach Balls. They go together quickly and are delicious.

picture of Baked Spinach Balls

Spinach Balls

6 eggs
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
1 6 oz. box of chicken stuffing mix
20 oz. of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained (I wring it out in a dish towel)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Add butter, stuffing mix, drained spinach, Parmesan, and pepper. Roll into balls (makes about 4 dozen). Bake at 350 degrees for 11-13 mins. Serve warm. Can reheat wrapped in foil at 350 degrees for about 10 mins.

picture of Raw Spinach Balls

These are quite tasty and something different for an appetizer.