Saturday, October 27, 2012

It's Fall • It's Winter • It's Soup Time!

I love this time of year if only to bring out my soup recipes and fill the house with the rich aroma of hearty soups. I love making soups - they're so nutritious, filling and the taste buds spring into action with each spoon full.  I make my soups in the crock pot - it's easy and dinner is waiting for you when you're ready to sit down for your evening meal.  Here's a 15 bean soup recipe that is a family favorite (I've tweaked my recipe from my mother-in-laws original).

2 Cups dried 15 multiple beans: SOAKED OVERNIGHT. Rinse and drain well
  (these are easy to find in most markets)
2 smoked ham hocks
  **if there isn't much meat on the ham hocks (there usually is enough) I'll add 1 Cup of chopped ham
1 chopped onion
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1-2 carrots - chopped fine
2 stalks of celery - chopped fine
1 T Worcheshire sauce
a few dashes of Tabasco sauce
1 bay leaf
3-4 T ketchup
cracked pepper
2 cans beef broth
water to cover ingredients if needed

Put everything into the crock pot on HI for 3-4 hours* and reduce to LOW for 5-6 hours* until the beans are tender and done.  I will cook the soup for a total of 9-10 hours. When soup is ready, take the ham hocks out of the soup and cut the meat off the bones to add back into the soup.
* Every crock pot's settings and temperatures are different - use your own judgement on temperatures and cooking time. Just note that dried beans can take a long time to cook through.

If made on the stove top - bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer until beans are cooked.
Serves 4 large bowls of soup

Crusty bread or rolls to soak up the soup's gravy and dinner is ready!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I got a whole lot of pimping to do......

Sorry folks, not that kind of pimping -- but a shout out for Marshall Karp and his fantastic books.

I've boasted about Mr. Karp's books in the past and I'm patiently waiting for the next installment about Lomax and Biggs - the L.A. detectives that banter with the best of them and always get their man (or woman as the case may be).  If you've never read his books - run (yes, run) to the library, book store or buy as an ebook and get started. They are fun, well written, they'll keep you laughing throughout and come with twist and turns crafted by a great story writer.

Marshall (we're on a first name basis - at least I am anyway) recently penned a couple of books with James Patterson (of which I am not a fan) but will read just because Marshall Karp co-authored the books, Kill Me If You Can and NYPD Red (the first in a series -- love first books in a series, feel like I'm ahead of the pack).

My pimping is done for now -- seriously, for a good time - read Marshall's books - they're killers!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

There's an Elephant in the Room

Scott is in India on a photo shoot for a large, exclusive clothing line (which will not be named) for their next catalogue. He's been sending some beautiful photos and snippet of stories of all that he is experiencing. These memories will take hours (or days) to tell once he's back home.