Monthly Archives: November 2012

Ginger’s Hot & Hearty Soup (A Real Meal Deal)

After all the leftovers, I know you are ready for a change.  Nothing fits the bill this time of year quite like a pot of homemade soup.  Here’s a family favorite in my house all year long, but especially in the chill of cold weather. And best of all….IT’S EASY.  You pretty much just set it and forget it until suppertime.  And with leftovers, you can enjoy it for at least 2 meals in one week.


GINGER’S HOT & HEARTY SOUP (budget friendly & time saver)

Hot & Hearty Soup
It’s A Real Meal Deal


2 quarts beef broth

1 quart water

1 lg. can tomato sauce

1 can tomato paste

1 lg sweet onion (diced)

3-4 cups potato, cut into large bite size chunks

2 cups carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

2 cups green beans (frozen or canned – drained)

2 cups corn niblets (frozen or canned – drained)

1 lb, lean ground beef (cooked, crumbled & drained).  Use chunks of stew beef if preferred.

 ½ TBSP Italian seasoning

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. oregano

2 tsp. garlic (minced)

½ tsp. celery seed

Salt & pepper to taste


In a large slow cooker, start building your soup by placing all ingredients into the crock, except the ground beef.   Stir well to incorporate.  Set the slow cooker on low, cover with lid and allow to cook for a couple of hours before adding your cooked and drained ground beef.  Reset cooker to low temp setting, cover and allow to cook slowly for 4-6 more hours (or until vegetables are really tender and broth is thickened as desired).  Stir occasionally to keep everything moving and cooking well.

Serve with hot cornbread or crusty bread.

*Add more water or broth for a thinner soup base. 

**Add more herbs & seasoning if desired

***Add any other vegetables you may want (spinach, kale, turnips, dried beans)


Exchange beef broth for chicken broth and beef for chicken, turkey or pork.


Enjoy your at home world!



Happy Thanksgiving – 2012




Chicken Pot Pie and Vegetable Beef Casserole

‘Cause none of us are Martha or Paula
with a stage ready kitchen and an unlimited budget

This post marks the first in The Real Meal Deal recipe shares. WooHoo! Did you think it would never come? I wondered myself. *wink* Busyness sometimes just catches us up and entangles us to a degree. And that is why this sharing feature is such a great thing for all of us at home women. Because, let’s face it. Most of us are busy…make that very busy in our corner of the world.

I’m happy to share 2, yes TWO of my family’s favorites with you today. Both are easy and freezable for convenience. Both are tasty and satisfying. Both are easy to modify, customize to your taste and budget friendly. Both are a real meal deal.

I apologize that there is not a photo for the Chicken Pot Pie. I made it recently but just had a complete brain drain and forgot to snap the shutter.  Hey…it happens to the best of us.

I hope you will enjoy these real meal deals, share this post, and please comment on the post here, in the At Home Woman Facebook community and on Twitter.

Happy Cooking!



Chicken Pot Pie


1-1/2 lb. cooked chicken (cut into chunks)

1-1/2 cup  potatoes (peeled & diced)

1-1/2 cup carrots (peeled and diced)

1-1/2 cup green peas

 1 small onion (finely chopped)

½ cup celery (finely chopped)

2 cups chicken gravy (homemade or pre-made)

1 can cream of celery soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

2 tbsp milk or cream

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp. thyme

1 tsp. rosemary


1-1/2 cup self rising flour

1/2 cup corn meal mix

1 cup + 2 tbsp. buttermilk

Garlic powder, paprika and parsley to top crust with


Directions:  In large pot or skillet,  sweat potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery in butter until tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.

In large saucepan, make or heat chicken gravy.  Add cream soups, milk/cream and herbs, heating throughout while whisking to make mixture smooth.   If gravy seems too thick, add a little chicken or vegetable broth until desired consistency.  Stir cooked chicken and  vegetables into gravy mixture.  Pour filling into generously sprayed baking dish.

In mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal and buttermilk to make a smooth batter. Pour evenly over the chicken & veggie filling.   Sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika and parsley.  Bake in preheated 350* oven for approximately 35 minutes or until crust is brown and done throughout.

Serve hot.  Enjoy the comfort and praise you get for a delicious meal. Only you will know it was easy as pie.



Easy, Tasty, Just plain ole’ DELISH!

Vegetable Beef Casserole

1 lb. Ground beef

1 lg. Onion (chopped)

1 small can Mushrooms (drained) or fresh, sliced mushrooms

2 cups Green Peas & Carrots (frozen).**

3 cups Brown Gravy (prepared)

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 package Egg Noodles (approximately 4 cups uncooked)

2 cups shredded cheese (your choice of kind, I like to use a blend)

Black pepper to taste.

**Can sub 1 cup broccoli florets & ¾ cup diced carrots or 2 cups frozen stir fry or mixed vegetables for peas & carrots.

Directions:  Brown ground beef in large skillet with chopped onion.  Drain.  Return to skillet on medium high heat.  Add brown gravy and cream of mushroom soup.  Stir to incorporate and heat throughout.  Add mushrooms and veggies.  Stir in.  Let simmer, covered, on low for approximately 15 – 20 minutes.

Spray a deep casserole dish generously with cooking spray.  Cook egg noodles according to directions and drain.  Layer cooked noodles into casserole dish. Pour and spread meat mixture over noodles.  Top with cheese.  Bake in preheated 375* oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with warm crusty bread and a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal.


….IT JUST FITS.  No ifs, ands or buts about it.

If you follow At Home Woman on Facebook, you know I’ve had a time trying to name the new recipe share feature that so many of you busy at home women have requested. I asked the social community to make suggestions and they came through with such great ideas. I couldn’t choose from all the good suggestions so I put it out there for a vote.  Still…I was not settled. It just seemed like nothing fit or made me say, Oh Yes! That’s it!

I’m a real believer that names have impact and can determine a course.  Whether it be naming a child, a pet, a business or in this case, a special feature or program, a name describes and endears you to the subject. It either grabs your attention or it leaves you feeling uninterested and detached.  I wanted this one to be a grabber, both fun and functional, with longevity and future potential for more. It just had to fit like a glove.  I know…I’m kinda over the top on this, I guess. But that’s ok.

Anyways, here I was, facing the promise of the feature rolling out this week and I had nothing. NADA! No name for the fabulous new feature designed just for you.  That is until this morning. I was thinking about what recipes to share with everyone first, when it hit me. I mean it almost knocked me down as I was refilling my java mug.  It was a real Aha moment and one of those “Why didn’t I think of that before?” kinda things.

It just fit! And very nicely with what this feature and At Home Woman is all about, I might add.

So without further delay or fan fare, I introduce you to……..


‘Cause let’s get real here.
None of us are Martha or Paula and none of us have
those camera ready kitchens with an unlimited budget.


….the newest At Home Woman feature, coming to you by popular request.  This will be a 2 -4 times per month category of blog posts that are aimed at helping you prepare tasty dishes and meals for your family without going broke or taking a toll on your patience. You can look for the first recipe installment to go live this week.

What do you think?  Does it fit? Please comment here and let me know how you like the name that was such a tough one to pull outta the hat.

I hope you enjoy and comment often on the recipes, the posts and the feature itself.  I hope you will request general and specific recipes you would like to see and make all kinds of suggestions for this feature. These posts are for you and often will be by you.

Please, try out what looks good to ya’, comment and share the posts with your friends.

Thanks so very much!  I really do appreciate each of you.


Love and peace as you enjoy your at home world.


Crushing On The Little Things

I guess I’m an odd duck when it comes to what makes me go weak in the knees and causes my heart to go ka-thump-ka-thump for my husband.  It’s not receiving a big box of candy, flowers or expensive jewelry.  It’s not exuberant displays of affection, candlelight dinners or any of the usual things that women seem to refer to when talking about what what turns them to mush for their mate.

No…for me, it’s the little day to day, week to week, month to month things.  It’s the things that many don’t even see or think about.  It’s the subtle courtship that my husband is so good at without even trying to be.

Some of you may know, my husband is a commercial truck driver.  His work takes him away from home and hearth 5 – 6 days a week.  Obviously, this makes our family and couple time together very valuable.  We just don’t have the time for the traditional ideas of romance.  There’s no room for hurt feelings, resentment or bitterness over a special day that is not celebrated in a cenventional way. Truth is, every moment becomes special and holds meaning when they are few.

Earlier this week, I had one of those weak in the knees, ka-thump moments.  Monday morning, I awoke once again to my soul mate being on the road and tending to the homefront without him physically by my side.  He had pulled out before daylight for his week of living in a truck while getting items and products that Americans want and need to their destinations.

I went to the kitchen to make coffee as usual. I use the filtered water from our fridge door for coffee because I like the way it makes coffee taste.  As I was standing there filling the electric perculator, my eyes were blankly looking at the in-door ice and water dispenser, watching the digital read out tell me the amount of water I was dispensing.

Without warning, my eye (and heart) was captured by the ice selection indicator light.  CRUSHED!  The light indicated that crushed ice was selected for the ice output.  Not cubed, but crushed! Now let me explain this.  My husband likes cubed ice.  I like crushed ice.  He knows this.  Before he had left that morning, he had set the ice to dispense crushed ice…..just for me!

And with that one small action, my heart fluttered and swelled and I began “crushing on him”.  Remember when you and your spouse were courting and how you had a crush on them in those early days? Do you remember how you adored those ever so subtle little things about them and those little things made you love the whole person? This is what I’m talking about.

Throughout that day and even now, I’ve been thinking about how he (my hubby) is often doing these types of little things and how I “crush on the little things”.

Brushing against me gently as we pass each other in a room, letting me cry and talk things out that are heavy on my heart and mind, saying a word of encouragement when I need it most.

The way he smells fresh from a shower, the way he looks when he’s concentrating on something, the way he holds our son close to his chest and plays with him even when his face shows me how tired he is, the way he speaks with sureness and puts thought into his words.

Loading the dishwasher for me after a meal, wiping his feet or removing his shoes before he comes in the house, looking at me over our son’s head with a twinkle in his eyes, running to the store for me so I don’t have to.

Wiping off the top of the wall by his shower because it is too high for me to reach, dishing out a bowl of ice cream for me while he’s getting his, starting my coffee  perking so it’s ready when I get up on the weekend, doing a load of laundry.

Calling from the road every morning to say “Good morning” and “I love you” to me and our son and every night to pray with us, speak blessings over us and say “Goodnight”.  And yes, switching the ice dispenser from cubed to crushed.

These are the kinds of little things that I really do totally crush on.

I totally crush on my wonderful, God-given husband too….more than I can possibly describe or put into words.  It’s more than like, more than adoration, more than love, more than appreciation, more than attraction.  As we say in the south, I’m stuck on him like honey on a biscuit.  Once joined together, there’s no seperating the two.

What about you?  Do you “crush” on your spouse? When was the last time you really looked at the one you share your life with and noticed those little things that made you love them in the first place? I’d love to hear your story.


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