Beefy Cabbage and Vegetable Soup

I love a hearty, homemade soup on a cold winter day. This is the best version of a copycat that I’ve been able to come up with for one of our favorite soups from Athens’ (a Greek restaurant in Franklin, Indiana). It’s full of vegetables and just really, really, good.

P1010324 I looks like a lot of ingredients, but it can be cooked in one pot, which makes for easy cleanup.

P1010325 I cooked the ground beef in a cast-iron skillet – my favorite to fry anything in. (This belong to my Grandmother. I love having her skillets, it brings back wonderful memories of her cooking every time I use one of them.)

P1010326 P1010327 Dice the carrots and onions in small pieces and the cabbage is diced into bigger pieces.

P1010328 This is the end product….DELICIOUSLY SCRUMPTIOUS.

In the pot of ground beef cook these ingredients together:

  • 1 lb Ground Beef (I used lean ground beef so it didn’t need drained -this would be good with ground lamb, or ground turkey as well)
  • 1 tsp Tiger Sauce (or other mild flavored hot sauce if you can’t find Tiger Sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Take your Ground Beef mixture and add:


  • 4 medium/large Carrots – medium diced
  • 1 medium/large Yellow Onion – medium diced
  • 3/4 head of Cabbage – large diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic – finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup each frozen – corn, baby Lima beans and green beans (if the green beans are in large strands break them into thirds)
  • 1 can Northern Beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 large can (1qt) Tomato Juice
  • 1 Beef Bouillon
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika (I have a current obsession with Smoked Paprika)
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper
  • 1 large Bay Leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring the soup to a boil then turn it down to medium-low and simmer until all of the vegetables are nice and tender, about 30 minutes. The longer it simmers the better the flavors meld so be patient…it’s worth the wait.





Real Techniques Makeup Brushes

I have a new obsession with makeup. I’m not really sure why, maybe it’s because I’m getting older and have decided I should do something to look a little younger. Maybe I’m just trying to relive some of my youth, but, whatever the reason I’ve discovered some really great application brushes.

Nicola and Samantha Chapman, Nic and Sam as they call themselves, are sisters and makeup artists and they’ve started their own line of makeup brushes – Real Techniques.

I’ve tried foundation application with my fingers and with those little bitty wedge sponge things, but, neither really work the foundation in so it doesn’t look caked on. Their brushes are synthetic, not tested on animals and 100% cruelty free. They don’t need anything special to clean them, just a little baby shampoo (don’t blow dry them though because the heat can melt the adhesive used to make them). These brushes are super soft, they don’t lose bristles, they have an engraving of what they’re used for on each brush, and they are really reasonably priced.

I was reading one of my favorite magazines – Real Simple – and they had these brushes listed. Which got me to wondering if they really were “that” good. Yep…they are. I LOVE theses brushes.

Real Techniques Foundation Brush

Real Techniques Core Collection Set
The Pointed Foundation Brush found in this set of four Face brushes with a travel case along with a  Detailer Brush,Buffing Brush, and a Contour Brush.

My skin just isn’t as elastic as it used to be and these brushes really do get all-over facial coverage. I’ve found the Buffing Brush that comes in the collection is really good on the lower jaw and upper neck area to blend the foundation perfectly into the skin. It really helps me to get a more natural look. I’m so afraid I’m going to end up with the “old lady” look. You know the one, the foundations just a little too dark and really looks out of place  compared to the lighter skin on the neck and chest area.  I’m not anywhere near that stage in my life and I don’t want to look like I am either.

I also bought the Travel Essentials Set which has Essential Foundation Brush, Multi-Task Brush, Domed Shadow Brush and the Real Techniques Starter Set for you eye makeup application. This set includes: base shadow brush, deluxe crease brush, accent brush, fine liner brush and a brow brush.

Then I discovered they sell them in the Kohls stores (also on-line but the minimum free shipping it too expensive – I think) and bought a few single brushes.

Blush Brush, Stippling Brush, and lastly on of the coolest things ever, their silicone liner brush.

I absolutely LOVE this eye liner brush. It’s made from one single piece of silicone with a very small but very soft point to it. You can have a eye line very close to the lashes or you can continue to build it up all with this one little brush, and it wipes completely clean after each use.

These girls have a fantastic web site also. The have all sorts of videos of different application techniques using their brushes along with their favorite makeup. They do a great job of making everything very simple and explain why they’ve chosen certain types of makeup for specific applications. They even have a section for Halloween or Costume makeup styles. There website is very clean and organized which is another reason why I like it so much.

If you’re looking for some new, fun makeup brushes I hope you give these a try~Bam

(I used’s links for these brushes – but they are sold at Kohls and several other on-line retailers as well)




Apple Crisp

There’s nothing like warm, apple crisp right out of the oven. The smells of cinnamon, and baked apples just make my mouth water. Yum-Yum!

We were given a fruit basket for Christmas and had an over abundance of apples. I don’t like wasting fresh fruit and debated on what I could make. Apple cake, pie, or crisp. Crisp won out, it’s easy and quick to whip up. I wanted to make it a little healthier than regular crisp that’s full of flour and sugar and here is what I came up with. I used almond flour instead of all-purpose flour and molasses instead of sugar – almond flour is gluten free and molasses is sweet and offers some nutritional value.

P1010313 Golden and Red delicious apples, pecans, almond flour, flax seed, molasses, quick cook oats, sugar, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, butter.

P1010314 All of the apples are peeled and then diced.

P1010315 This is the crumb mixture. I chopped the pecans to small into pieces (if you like your crisp a little crunchy feel free to leave them in bigger pieces).

P1010316 The apple mixture goes on the bottom of a lightly sprayed baking dish. The crumb mixture goes on top of the apples, and lastly I added some small, diced pieces of butter before putting it in the oven.

P1010317 Apple Crisp with frozen vanilla yogurt – absolutely scrumptious!!

Here’s the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a pie dish with cooking spray (or for a richer flavor you could butter it – but that adds more calories).

Apple Mixture

6 medium apples (I used 4 golden delicious and 2 red delicious)

1/2 heaping cup of Almond Flour

1 heaping Tablespoon dark Molasses

Mix this together, pour into your baking dish and set it aside.

Crisp Mixture

2 Tablespoons ground flax-seed

1/4 cup oatmeal (I used quick cook plain oatmeal)

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 Tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Mix the crisp mixture and pour it on top of the apple mixture. Dice up 2 Tbsp of cold butter and sprinkle on the top.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until the apples are fork tender and it’s hot and bubbly.

Enjoy some fresh baked crisp!!~Bam


Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas!! That’s right? Not Happy Holidays?

CHRIST IS the reason for the season!! In recent weeks I’ve noticed more and more people are greeting others with “Happy Holidays” so as not to offend others. What about offending the Christians?

It really bothers me that a percentage of people see Christians as some sort of rogue, right winged, three eyed species. There is a large amount of Christian society doesn’t behave that way. We love people, feel bad for people, we have experienced humility just like every one else.

Isaiah 9: 6

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

God is a peace loving God who sent his only Son to be born as a human baby, live a peaceful life, and finally die a torturous death on a cross by the hand of Roman Soldiers.

Yes, this is America. We live in a ‘free’ country, with liberty to worship as we wish…we should be able to say “Merry Christmas” as we wish!!

Happy Holiday and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!~Bam

Oatmeal and PB2 Dog Biscuits

As you might have read, we’ve adopted a new puppy, a German Shorthaired Pointer a few weeks ago. He came down with a little cold. We took him to the vet and we had to start him on an antibiotic, which we wrapped in peanut butter. Man, let me tell you, HE LOVES peanut butter.

I decided to make him some dog biscuits. Here’s how I made them.

P1010295 A total of six ingredients, all natural, low sodium, low fat.

P1010297 Mix all of the ingredients until they are very crumbly but moist enough to stick together.

P1010298 Roll out the dough to about 1/2″ thick.

P1010300 I have a medium sized dog biscuit cutter.

P1010302 I got 18 biscuits out of this batch of dough.

1 3/4c whole wheat flour

3/4c quick oats

1 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp PB2 (powdered peanut butter)

1 large egg

3/4c + 2 Tbsp water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients until it’s moist and crumbly mixture, roll it into a ball and knead it for about three minutes.

Roll the dough out to about 1/2″ thickness and start cutting.

Bake the biscuits for about 30 minutes.

20141130_162541 20141130_162546 20141130_162539

Hope your four legged friend likes them as much as ours did~Bam

The 7 Irrational Behaviors of Black Friday


Great post.

Originally posted on Center for Advanced Hindsight:

Every day of the year, American shoppers act irrationally. On Black Friday, however, shoppers’ irrationality and wildness climb to dangerously high levels. Why does Black Friday lead shoppers to grab and fight, especially when the stakes are often as low as fifty percent off toasters?

Over the last few decades, social scientists have cataloged the many different factors that lead to irrational consumer behavior, and Black Friday touches on nearly that entire list.

Luckily though, if shoppers stay aware of how Black Friday is designed to make them irrational—and if they take breaks, eat snacks, plan ahead, and keep a clear mind—then they can avoid falling victim to the “holiday.”

Here are seven reasons shoppers become so irrational and committed to deals on Black Friday, as well as a few ways you can protect yourself.

Black Friday is like a hazing ritual

Black Friday shoppers are dedicated—they sacrifice sleep…

View original 834 more words

Thanksgiving Day Shopping

No! I truly do not understand where our sentiment has gone when ‘retail America’ thinks it is okay to shop on Thanksgiving Day.

This bothers me in so many ways. Here are just a couple. Firstly – what about the people who have to work for all of these stores that decide to open on Thanksgiving Day? I don’t know, I just feel it’s kind of selfish. If I worked retail I’m sure I would be really upset about not being able to spend a national holiday with my family. Secondly – Is there any Christmas gift that’s needed that badly? We should ask ourselves…”am I going die if I don’t get that perfect pair of shoes, great purse, shiny jewelry, or whatever it is that one MUST have??”

I understand that this is mainly an answer to consumer demand. Black Friday pandemonium has caused broken bones and even death from being trampled upon. All for the best Christmas gift at the best price. Well, what’s the true meaning of Christmas here?

I would love to start a survey of how long these well sought out, and fought for items even lasted. Did the recipient like it as much as the giver or what it a big let down?

‘Black Friday’ comes from an accounting term. Typically this is the one day of the year when retail stores are “in the black”, meaning their profit is higher than their expenditures. Thanksgiving Day is now referred to as ‘Gray Thursday’. I wonder how this effects profitability? One would have to believe also that with internet shopping open everyday, and accessibility to stores from all over the world would be affecting local store profits.

Even with all of this early shopping available, it’s still known that ‘Cyber Monday’ is where one will find the best deals on clothing, accessories and shoes.

I love being with family on Thanksgiving Day, eating a wonderful meal, hanging out and just catching up with everyone and watching football. It’s what I’ve done all of my life. Sure, as I’ve gotten older, lost grandparents, married, had a child, the family we’re with has changed slightly, but, the tradition has never changed. I guess I’m just a little sentimental that way.

I did do some early shopping on-line yesterday, but, even now that I’m home in my pajamas, watching football and relaxing on the couch, I will not be shopping. It’s a day to be with my family.

Just something to chew on – Happy Thanksgiving!~Bam