Monday, November 23, 2015

Getting Ready

Well it's Thanksgiving week. Since we have hosted for the past 30ish years I'm not in a panic, the house is getting its final cleaning and the turkey is thawing in the fridge.  I'm using the same plates and tableware as I always do, I'm not one to fuss over tablescapes.  The ornaments at our table are the faces of our loved ones.  I swear, the older I get, the less all the fuss means and the more it's all about my family. There will be some loved ones missing this year, eldest daughter and her sweet husband can't make it, but hope to come for Christmas. There are a few more who can't make it for various reasons, they will be missed but hopefully we will see them around the table soon.
I am so thankful for all we have.  Our home, our family and the love around the table.  I hope you are able to spend some special time with loved ones this week too :)

 I will admit, my head is all wrapped up in Christmas already.  I am slowly getting some decorations up, and this year I have been asked to participate in a Holiday Home walk with some other beautiful bloggers. 

I'm so excited, it's my first time doing this so I hope you'll come in and say hello when it happens.  I probably won't post again until after Thanksgiving, so I'll just say right now that I hope that this is a time to count your blessings and hug your loved ones. Enjoy the feast, enjoy the day and enjoy the festive season that begins right now!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Soup Weather

It's a cold and rainy November day here. I'm sipping coffee and listening to some Christmas tunes on Pandora, (don't judge).  The one good thing about this kind of weather is that it gives us a chance to  make some real live comfort food and for a lot of us that means soup!  
This time of year I start longing for some new recipes, the old favorites are good, but new favorites are a must, and this soup is a new favorite.   
I hit up my favorite source for new recipes, Pinterest of course, and found this Tortellini and Sausage soup.  Really quick and easy and soooo good.  I made a few adjustments based on what I had on hand.  The original recipe calls for Italian sausage,  I had regular old mild sausage and it was delicious.  I cut the salt in half , used low sodium and home made unsalted chicken broth and in my opinion it was still a little too salty. I also used pesto in place of the chopped basil because pesto is chopped basil right? I served it with home made bread and butter and it was a meal fit for a king.  It's ready in about 45 minutes. Here is the recipe with my adjustments and changes.  I hope you enjoy this, it's going to be on the menu a lot around here :)

Tortellini, Spinach and Sausage Soup

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 lb mild pork sausage (or Italian sausage)
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (or crushed tomatoes)
32 oz. Chicken broth
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil (I used pesto instead and it was delicious!)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 package tortellini
1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan over med-high heat. Heat olive oil  and add diced onion.  Saute until onions are soft.
2. Crumble sausage and garlic with the onion. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
3. Stir in tomatoes, chicken broth, basil and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Let soup simmer for 20-30 minutes.
4. Add tortellini and spinach and simmer for about 10 minutes, until pasta is tender. Salt to taste.
5. Serve with shredded Parmesan.

This made enough for the two of us to have leftovers for Lunch and dinner the next night.  I found that the pasta absorbed a lot of the broth overnight so we ended up adding another can of chicken broth to the leftovers. It was just the right amount to bring it back to soupiness.  

What is your favorite soup? Have you tried any new ones lately?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Autumn Warmth

Even with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I hadn't spent much time decorating the house for Autumn.  I had gathered my little pile of pumpkins and gourds and tossed them in a vintage tool chest on the buffet in the dining room.  They were starting to look a little tired, or I was getting a little tired of the look, so when Stacey contacted me to participate in a Thanksgiving vignette party it was just the kick in the pants that I needed to get off my duff and start digging for a fresher look.
 I headed for the dungeon basement and started digging.  I had actually forgotten about the brown transferware tureen I had, and that candle left over from last years Christmas clearance sales.  I had a bit of last years foraged bittersweet tucked away too, along with an old frame and some faux ivy in my craft stash.
I brought my Boston ferns inside last night, (good thing because it was 23 degrees outside last night!) and tucked a few sprigs in a clear glass vase along with the bittersweet.  Those are not two things I would normally put together but they seem to be working.  I like the green, brown and orange color scheme. The green brings a little bit of freshness inside :)
Bright and beautiful, thanks Stacey!
Be sure to go visit these other bloggers for more inspiration :)