Hamburger Soup (Pioneer Woman version)

This is one of my favorite hamburger soup recipes. I’m so happy that I gave this one a try, didn’t think I would ever find one I would like!

2-1/2 lbs. ground beef

1 onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 garlic cloves

1 (14-1/2 oz.) whole tomatoes, untrained ( I was diced tomatoes)

1 each yellow, red and green pepper, diced

4 carrots, sliced diagonally

5 large red potatoes, 1 inch chunks

3 c. Beef broth, more as needed

3 Tbsp. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 tsp. parsley

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Cook ground beef, onion, celery and garlic; drain. Add remaining ingredients. Stir together; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are done.

Serve with bread, rolls and cheese biscuits.


Creamy Potato Ham Casserole

1 (32 oz.) pkg. hash browns, thawed

1/2 c. butter, melted

1/4 c. onion, chopped

1 (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup, undiluted

2 c. sour cream

2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1 to 2 lbs. ham, diced

1/3 c. Italian bread crumbs

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees *

Spray a 9X13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Mix all ingredients together; stir well. Transfer to pan. Top with bread crumbs. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. 


This was my first time making this recipe. I absolutely love the flavor combination and most definitely will have it again and again and again! Another plus for this recipe is, my husband absolutely hates it! So more for me! Man, that makes me sound very selfish! Oh well! Enjoy!

1 cup olive oil

16-20 fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup fresh rosemary

4 tsp. garlic

1 tsp. salt

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

Italian Bread

Place oil and seasonings in a blender; cover and process until desired consistency. Transfer to a small bowl. Stir in balsamic vinegar.

Serve with torn bread chunks.

The recipe also said that you can put this over hot pasta.

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

 I received this book from Goodreads through winning a contest.


Reeling from a recent break-in, Emma wants a new place to live and discovers One Folgate Street, an architectural masterpiece: sleekly designed, with soaring ceilings. But there are rules for tenants. The house’s enigmatic architect likes to retain full control of the surroundings, mandating, among other things, no clutter of any kind. The space is ingeniously crafted to transform its occupants–and it does.


After personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. She instantly falls in love with One Folgate Street–and is strangely drawn to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the mysterious death of the houses previous tenant. While trying to untangle the truth from lies, Jane unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before…

My thoughts: I gave this book 5 out of five stars! 

The book blew my mind! It was excellent from the beginning to end! If you haven’t read it you need to… go get it now!

With that being said, I was a little skeptical on reading this book. I wasn’t for sure how I would like the chapters being parallel to each other. One chapter about Emma, the next about Jane. Can you see where I might have an issue?! The flow in writing style and alternating just added to the suspense and need to know more. I really felt as if I was each woman in the book. That’s how well it is written. The ending was not what I was expecting at all!

Again… go get it now!

Dead in the Pumpkin Patch by Connie Feddersen 

With her due date only two weeks away, Amanda is ready to do nothing more strenuous than decorate for Vamoose’s annual Festival of the Pumpkin. Nettie Jarvis has promised the mom-to-be all the pumpkins she can haul away. But when Amanda heads for Nettie’s homestead, she finds the old woman sprawled in the pumpkin patch. 

Though her Chief of Police husband warns her not to get involved, Amanda vows to unmask the ghoul who murdered the town’s biggest gossip. And when Nettie’s ghost is seen haunting the Patch, people begin to get edgy. The more things go bump in the night, the more Amanda knows she has a tricky one on her hands, and she’d better find the killer before the killer finds her…

My thoughts:  I enjoyed the books! This whole series was wonderful to me. The characters have grown so much…from the first meeting of Amanda Hazard and office Thorn in the first book , the fights and bickering between the two through the series, till now  Amanda and Thorn are getting ready to have a baby! Exciting ending in that front. Amanda being the Pumpkin Queen…from her outfit to her hair…why does she visit Velma? Her hair always ends in mess. Oh right for the gossip on the victim or suspect! Who will Amanda upset in this one or will she solve the crime and who done it before they do her in? Read it to find out!


MONDAY: Enchiladas / Refried Beans

TUESDAY: BBQ Meatballs / Boiled Potatoes / Corn / Bread and Butter

WEDNESDAY: Patty Melt / Fried Potatoes 

THURSDAY: Biscuits and Gravy 

FRIDAY: Leftovers 

SATURDAY: Autumn Soup / Saltine Crackers 

SUNDAY:  BREAKFAST:  Egg and Biscuit Sandwich / Hash Browns / Bacon     SUPPER: Mexican Casserole 


2017…A new year has started…I’m having a hard time getting myself going!

I have been thinking of all the things and ideas I would like to do this year…hopefully these ideas will help improve my life as well as my family!

I have worked on meal planning today! I got all of January figured out…happy dance and a pat on my back! Tomorrow after work, I will be working on grocery lists for these meals. I hope I can keep this up the whole year!

The husband and I have talked about painting some different colors in the house. We are also talking about redoing the laundry room. I’m really excited about all this, especially the laundry room, it has needed updates since we moved in five years ago! I also have so many ideas for other decorating and redoing other areas in the house. I have decided that I need to make goals for each month. If I don’t get all of them done in said month, I will move them to the next month at the top of the list. I will try to keep everything updated on here so you can see how I progress. 

Other areas I hope to make progress in are reading more books than last year. I realize I was busy with real life but holy moly I really slacked in this area! My MAIN area to progress in is to spend more time with my family! Sometimes I feel like I don’t get enough time with the kids or husband. Which is totally unfair to them! 

So here’s to a NEW YEAR with HOPE and DREAMS! Good luck to every one of you and I hope you have a successful year!

Easy Vegetable Soup


1 lb. ground beef

1 onion

1 (28oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (16oz.) frozen vegetables

1 (16oz.) kidney beans, undrained

1 (14 1/2 oz.) beef broth

1 envelope taco seasoning

1 garlic clove


Cook ground beef and onions; drain. Add remaining ingredients. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered, for 10 minutes.