Creamy Vegetable Soup
{A hot lunch for cool weather}

Creamy veg soup was inspired by necessity - the need for a hot lunch to carry to work.  The ingredients were  selected from a nearly bare vegetable tray in the fridge.  Creativity was required 😼

It’s simple.  You look in the fridge for orphan vegetables, quantities too meager to produce a good side dish at dinner. I had onions (I always have copious quantities of onions), three garlic cloves, mushrooms, two carrots, one yellow squash and a handful of green beans. 

(The bowls aren’t glorious but’s what I have at work so…..this is as photogenic as it gets)


Get those vegetables soft by slowly simmering in a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a knob of butter.  Salt and  pepper liberally then add a few shakes of dried oregano and basil.  I tipped a few tablespoons of A/P flour in the veg mix and gently combined.  Slowly add milk or Almond milk and watch it thicken up.  

I also added some vegetable broth because it got to be a little too thick.  
Oh, I saw a saved container of short grain rice in the fridge too so I added that as well.


For dinner we had a freshly made loaf of French bread so I cut off a few slices to take for lunch.  They don’t give us much in the way of heat in our offices so hot substantial soup is a blessing.
If you prefer to add a protein to the soup you could always toss in some chicken, beans or tofu.

 Lovely lunch, wish I had brought some cheese too.

Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series. 
Check out the link up HERE and join in if you can.  Also linking up with Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking.

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It snowed in Tylertown, Mississippi !

My husband's family adopted me so I will say our cousins instead of his :-)

We have made a couple of trips to Tylertown for visits in 2009  and 2010 but we weren't there for this recent snow event.  Check this out!


I think the houses look great with a white frosting.


Looking contemplative from the warmth of the house, observing solid precipitation.


Thanks to cousin Lee Ellen for sending these photos.


Meanwhile it was 29 degrees here this morning and we did not get snow.


The bird bathes were frozen over and we had frost across the field but no snow.  Aja loved it. She's a cold weather creature so our morning walk was very fast paced.

Just wanted to share Lee Ellen's photos of Tylertown.  One day we may retire to a place where we get a dusting of snow but that's a few years off for now.

Happy Monday!

Eggplant Sliders...... almost

Interesting week, weather-wise.  On Tuesday evening we were able to sit outside enjoying a good dinner as the temperatures were Springlike.   Seriously, we were in short sleeves the temperatures were so nice.  We had the Thermacell on because of the mosquitoes so it was certainly warm enough for those blood suckers.  Then today, Thursday, I am wearing a scarf and pea coat to ward off the cold damp temperatures.  North's hot, cold, cool, hot again in a 2 week span.

We planned a hearty meal for a cold night and decided to have Eggplant Parmesan, zucchini and homemade bread.  Yup - lots of carbs but it's also all natural, homemade chow.  I made enough for two dinners a lunch.


The lunch was meant to be eggplant sliders but I didn't' get to the grocery store for Hawaiian rolls.  Those little things are so good.  (Putting it on the list to look for a copycat recipe)  We usually take our lunch as it's preferable to fighting lunch time crowds and also it's cost effective.  Plus there are crazy holiday shoppers out there now and the traffic is maddening.

Our workplace break rooms are blissfully quiet and empty this time of year.


I have a few meals to share coming up, an update on books and a new acquisition, a Kindle Fire.  There is definitely a learning curve when all you've used are Apple products for 4 years.

Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series. Check out the link up HERE and join in if you can. Also linking up with Beth Fish Reads for Weekend Cooking.

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Butternut Squash Soup

I'm fairly well pleased with the little things in life....such as the abundance of butternut squash in the market.  Yes!  It's so good roasted with apples and carrots and the leftovers make a fine soup.  Doug grilled a beautiful fillet of Golden Tile fish so I roasted veggies to go along for a side.


The bonus for me was getting to use the food processor, I love that appliance, maybe best of all, but I don't get to utilize as much as I'd like.  Maybe the new year will have me setting goals to let the processor act as the work horse for chopping, soups and sauces. 

Anyway, after we enjoyed the roasted veg I dropped it in a processor and blitzed away until it was nearly smooth.  Next time I will make it smoother.  The taste was good, but it needed more broth.  So I'll do that next time.


Butternut and Apple Soup

4 cuts Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
1 shallot, peeled and quartered
1/2 yellow onion, quartered
4 sprigs rosemary
a little bit of olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
1/2 cup cream or Half-n-Half

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Peel and cut up veggies and arrange on rimmed baking sheet. Toss on rosemary and season with salt and pepper.  Now drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and mix up.

Roast for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.  You can use the convection feature on your oven if you have it to speed things up.

Serve as a side dish or if you want to get right to the soup making, place all ingredients except rosemary into a food processor or blender.  Pulse until smooth, or as smooth as you'd like it.  Some folks like texture in this soup.

Add the vegetables to a pot with warmed broth and milk.  Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
Serve with warm bread. Great lunch.  

Next time I will thin it out more but it surely was tasty to dip bread into a hot bowl of this soup.

 Linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Souper Sunday. The linkup is HERE.

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Ramblings about Pizza, Bonne Maman Jam, Books and more...
{The unexciting happenings at our place}

Reading and Watching:  Everyone has different taste when it comes to movies and books.  Obviously.  We just watched Hitman's Bodyguard and oh my, it was hilarious.  If you know anything about Samuel L. Jackson you will know the language is liberally laced with MF.  Because that's Samuel Jackson.  But it was a good laugh and we enjoyed it.  Waiting on Longmire season 5 and should get it in a few days.   Books - I just finished Catch me if you Can and it is 80% accurate with the movie.  Planning on starting up with a new (to me) author very soon - Michael Connelly.  He's been on my radar for a while.  Currently I have 7 books lined up on the Kindle.

BlackEcholongmire-robert-taylorHitmans-Bodyguard-2017-movie-poster (1)Catch_Me_If_You_Can_2002_movie

Pizza....I love pizza.  My favorite is at B.J.'s Pizza on St George Island but it's 2 hours away. (insert frowny face)

This giant slice of pizza here is from Momo's located in Tallahassee.  They advertise slices as big as your head and as you can see, it's very large.

 I left the fork on the plate as a point of reference on size.  Artichoke and mushrooms for me, Doug gets a different combo each time - sometimes pepperoni or mushrooms or sun dried tomatoes.

LuckyA jammy win from Bonne Maman!  I wasn't expecting a package but arrived home to find this surprise.  I love this jam, it's the best in regard to quality and consistency so....lucky me :-)  I need to make some English Muffin Toasting Bread for a delivery system for the jam,


Thankful - I am always thankful for my family and our good health. I will never have enough years to share, plan, play and enjoy their company.  Looking forward to making more memories. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Missing the ones who are no longer with us.

Craving: Crab cakes and grits. I could make this, it just requires planning. My husband makes excellent cheese grits and I usually fry crab cakes for a dinner but grilling them may be an option next time. This beauty of a sandwich was had at Boss Oyster in Apalachicola. Florida.


I am sharing this with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series. Click HERE to see this week's linkup.  What is going on in your part of the world?  Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating.

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Fish Chowder to warm your bones

Quite a while back we decided to make a fish stew, the Mediterranean style with tomatoes. It was good but I have been craving a milk based version it is. Once again we saved leftover grilled fish. This is great for saving money as well as having a variety of white firm fish in the chowder.

Evidently if you make a milk or cream based soup it's called chowder. I learned this surfing the web for different takes on the "recipe."


Easy as can be and it made a great dinner. I had made a baguette earlier in the day just to go with this chowder, splendid combination and definitely comfort food. Next time we may make it a seafood chowder and toss in some bay scallops.

Fish Chowder

2 cups onions
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/2 cup white wine (optional - we used Chardonnay)
3 peeled and chunked Yukon potatoes
a bay leaf, salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 1/2 cups cream (or Half-n-Half)
1 1/2 pounds white firm fish


Saute onions in olive oil or butter. When they are soft add wine and turn up the heat until it reduces. Add potatoes and seasonings. The potatoes should be barely covered as they simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Since I didn't have enough wine left to cover them I used vegetable broth. You could use chicken broth if you'd rather.

Heat the cream in a separate pot, be careful not to boil. By the way, Half-n-Half will boil quicker than real cream - consider that a warning! Just get it to steamy, not simmer and definitely not boiling. Now add the cream and the fish to the potato mix and cook another 10 minutes.

That's it. Add salt and pepper to your taste once it's served. This is a good chowder, we will be making it again.

I am sharing this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series and Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series. Click HERE to see this week's linkup.

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Vegetarian Korma and a spider story

Man..... has it really been 11 days since I updated my everyday/foodie/life blog? Guess so.  It's been bookish posts lately and reading and cooking.  And bread making. Coming off such a nice time at the bayside has me dreaming about sitting by the water.....and not updating my online journal.

Well, to get back into a routine let me share this easy peasy Indian meal.  Yes, I did use a jarred sauce but sometimes a good quality jarred product is just the ticket.  More on that in a minute.

Let me tell you how I almost drove off the road last week. :-)

I am not a fan of spiders. Not at all. Last week we were heading to the park, I pulled down the sun visor and surprise! This fairly large brown spider drops on to the steering wheel. A scant 7 inches between me and scary brown spider.  If I see a spider on the ceiling or floor or counter I am prepared. Quick intake of breath, then a solid object is applied to extinguish said spider.

No time for all that!  I see it land (plummet actually), involuntary screech as my hands leave the wheel. Scared Doug, and probably Aja too, but fortunately I recovered enough to pull on to a dirt driveway. I'm out of the car in a flash looking for this thing everywhere. It probably went into a gap in the steering column. Let's hope it doesn't crawl out one day and go up a leg of my jeans.  You'll hear me screaming on the moon if that happens., here is the Korma.  So creamy with the coconut and spices.


This is what I call a workday Korma because of the jarred sauce.  Sometimes you need a hot delicious meal on the table pronto.  There is still some chopping to do but I can get this served up in a half hour if I get right to it.  The key to convenience foods is using quality products.  Patak's is excellent, I love their sauces.


Vegetarian Korma

2 medium potatoes, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
4 cups chopped vegetables (I used onions, garlic, cauliflower, carrots, red bell pepper and peas)
1 can chick peas (garbanzos), drained
1/2 cup cashews, optional
Korma sauce


Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in ginger and garlic, and continue cooking 1 minute. Mix potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cashews, and 1/2 cup plain yogurt. Season with salt and curry powder. Cook and stir 10 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Toss in cashews now if you are adding them.
  1. Stir in peas, bell pepper, and sauce into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro to serve.  Serve with warm naan.


I am sharing this with Beth Fish's Weekend Cooking Series.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay............
{a pictorial post of our few days at the bay}

This photo below could sum up so much of our few days at the bay on St. George Island.

Relaxation.  I'm fairly sure we could live there. This was our dock at the rental and let me tell you, the water, sights and sounds were amazingly relaxing.


We had several good photo opportunities from this dock.


Each evening we were rewarded with beautiful sunsets. v3

The inside of the cottage was well appointed.  Nothing cheap here.  The furniture was in good shape, the mattress was fabulous, appliances in good condition...we wanted for nothing.  Not all rentals are this well kept up.  Wish we could buy it.

 This hearth was raised up, just enough for me to catch my foot several times when passing by.  For Aja it was a taste of home as we have brick floors throughout our downstairs living area. Aja wasn't a fan of the wooden floors but she slowly got used to it.



I loved the kitchen.


 Whiskey Creek boat landing.


Love them both!


 Our old girl was ready to go home.  You can see the Apalachicola national forest through the window.  This is a quiet drive home, hardly any traffic.


If we are lucky we can spend next Thanksgiving there but we will have to see how our annual leave situation works out.  We are also planning a trip to the mountains's all about balance.

That's all I have for today.  Happy it's Friday and looking forward to this evening. 

Tell me about one of your favorite mini vacations, I like getting ideas from other folks!

Homemade Potato Soup and Croutons

Slowly but surely I will get a few photos uploaded of our time at the bay side.  But today, I wanted to share a homemade potato soup and croutons. Perfect for cool weather, I highly recommend it.


I made homemade croutons and these were smashing in the soup.

There was a bit of leftover French loaf I made two days ago so I slather up two pieces with butter, crammed a bit of cheese in and made a rustic grilled cheese sandwich.

The ticket to success is letting this cool before cutting it into croutons. We were too hungry to wait :-)


Potato Soup 

14 ounces of Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
1 TB butter
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Simply boil the potatoes for 15 minutes until soft.  Drain and mash with a large spoon.  You will want some chunks in there.

Melt butter then add the onion, garlic and celery.  10 minutes should make then soft but not browned.  Add potatoes, milk and broth.  Add seasonings.  Simmer until it's the thickness you'd like.

I made this from a recipe in the Cottage Cookbook, one I had just received in the mail. Of course I adapted it a bit, I always do.   It's a lovely book.  I reviewed it Novel Meals.


I am linking up with Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday series.  Linkup may be found  HERE.  Join in, it's fun to share!

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Creamy Vegetable Soup <br>{A hot lunch for cool weather}</br>

Creamy veg soup was inspired by necessity - the need for a hot lunch to carry to work.  The ingredients were  selected from  a nearly bare...