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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good afternoon everyone...

Grab your coffee and a seat
and let's chat awhile...

Well, here it is April 24 and what a crazy spring this has been.
One day the sun is shining and it's beautiful
with temps in the high 70's/low 80's
the next it dips down in the low 40's.
Cant's keep up with it and my furnace and air conditioner
have no idea what they are supposed to be doing.

So when temps dip down and I start to feel the chill my mind
automatically goes to warm homemade soups.
I love soup - almost any kind
I do have my favorites.

This past week we had a few of those miserable, grey, rainy
spring day that call for added warmth
from the inside.
And, so....
I turned to my soup recipes.
My daughter - in- law, J. gave me a recipe for
Beef Barley Soup
that we all love.
And so it was to be...

Beef Barley soup for dinner...
Along with some nice hot homemade cornbread, mmmmmm.
( I still have to practice food shots)

It's very simple to make and sits in your crock pot
blending all the flavors of all the ingredients together
all day - unattended by you.
How much easier can that be?
And, believe me I want EASY PEASY
or else I'm liable to pass it right by.

And to make it even easier
Papa and I buy our 3 - 5 lbs. of onions and
chop them up and freeze them.
Then you just grab what you need and away you go.
No chopping today....
Then, of course, easy ready chopped garlic you
squeeze out of a bottle.
(Now we're really talking easy)

The rest of the ingredients are just as "hard"
canned diced Italian seasoned tomatoes (your seasoning is done),
canned beef broth and
a bag of frozen chopped soup vegetables.
All the work is done for you.

All you have to do is brown the ground beef and onion together.
Place it in the crockpot
Along with the rest of the ingredients
and season to your taste.

Now those of you who know me will not believe this but....
I am growing my own herbs.
So I, me, mwah, actually went outside and picked from my
very own pots.....
then I chopped it up and added it to my soup.
(Believe me...I did do that...)

Then the main ingredient

Now, just place your lil' ole crockpot on low and let it do it's thing
for 6 hours
(high - 4 hours)
completely able to tend to itself -
How much easier can you get?

And how much yummier???
We even had enough leftover for our lunch the next day.
So, next time you have a grey, rainy, chilly day
warm your insides up with this delicious soup.
You won't be disappointed.

Beef Barley Soup Recipe

1 lb ground beef              
2 cans beef broth             
1/2 cup chopped onion   
1 clove garlic                 
1/2 cup chopped celery  
1/2 cup sliced carrots     
1/2 tsp dried basil           
1 pkg frozen mixed vegetable
5 cups water
1 can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup quick barley

Now, I tweaked this recipe a bit and I'll tell you how. I did not use the celery or carrots as there
was enough in my frozen veggies.
I also chopped up my own fresh herbs instead of using dry ones.
I add oregano to almost everything - I just love it.....

Instructions for recipe:
In a 4 quart sauce pan brown meat.  Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender.  Drain.
Transfer to crockpot.  Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and turn to high for 4 hours or
low for 6 hours.  If it becomes too thick you may add more water.

I like to serve it with hot homemade (Jiffy) cornbread.
Man oh man, nothin' better.

What is your favorite comfort food you turn to when it gets
cold and rainy?

                                                                                            Lovin my life in Carolina,

P.S Thank you J for the recipe......