Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Loaded Beef and Barley Soup

I am sorry it has been so long since making an appearance here!  I was off from work all last week and was just enjoying my family.  We are still in a deep freeze here in NY.  We have had the coldest winter in ages!  We have so much snow on the ground we are running out of places to put it.  I am praying for a gradual warm-up so we do not have any flooding. 

Soup is our favorite go-to meal around here.  It has been a little over a month since we started our real food journey.  I went to the doctor for a follow-up visit and got some good news.  I am down 10 pounds!  My doctor has cut my blood pressure medicine in half!  In 6 months if my blood pressure is still good she will take me off of it!  Some of my vitamin levels were off but that is normal for me this time of the year.  The whole family feels so much better! 

My stomach problems are gone!  My headaches are gone!  Soon my weight struggles will be a thing of the past as well. 

Loaded Beef and Barley Soup

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large stalk celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
9 cups water
4 cups organic beef stock
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
1/3 cup dried kidney beans, rinsed and picked over
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Heat oil in a large stock pot (large enough to hold everything) over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery and carrots, cook for about 5 minutes or until softened slightly.  Add water, stock, barley, beans and spices.  With the stove on high heat bring this mixture to a simmer.  Reduce the heat so you keep the soup at a simmer.  You do not want to boil because the veggies will be mushy.  Cook the soup for 2- 2 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.  Add more water or stock 1/2 cup at a time.

My family raved about this soup all day.  My son had about 4 bowls of it...shhhh don't tell him it was loaded with veggies.  This soup is sure to satisfy even your pickiest of eaters.  Have a blessed evening!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, an a Full Night's Sleep {Book Review}

"Order-loving Rachel Randolph and her laid-back mother Becky Johnson might be opposites in some ways, but there’s one thing they both want to figure out: why is life so hectic and draining? Through interviews with friends and lots of research, they determine the most common stressors that mess with a woman’s mind. Together, they cook up a plan to live a less depleted and more nourished life.

The wise and witty co-authors of the heartwarming We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, Becky and Rachel share their successes and failures as they make peace with their imperfect bodies, create living spaces they love, get wiser in their relationships, tame jam-packed schedules, settle into God’s love, and more. In short, they stumble and journey together toward a life that better nourishes them—body, mind, soul, and spirit.

With humor, honesty, and faith, this mother-daughter duo offers a breath of fresh air for readers of all generations and life-stages who find themselves drained, discontent, or discouraged—and know there has to be a healthier alternative."

Becky Johnson is the author, coauthor, or collaborator of more than forty books. She’s a natural storyteller who has inspired and entertained audiences for years. Most recently she co-authored We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook alone with a blog by the same name with her daughter, Rachel Randolph. She and her husband, Greg, live in Denver, Colorado. Website/blog: Laugh Cry Cook

Rachel Randolph writes and speaks with humor and honesty about parenting a toddler, young married life, and her mostly plant-based cooking adventures. Rachel is married to Jared, a high school football and baseball coach. They live near Dallas, Texas with their son, Jackson. Nourished is her second book. Website/Blog: Nourished Mama


Are you starved for some nourishment in your life? Imagine this...you are running on empty and feeling very stressed.  I know this is not the case for many of you!!  Of course I am joking about that.  I have not come across another woman who has not stressed over things from time to time.  This book covers stressors in our lives like: schedules, body images, negative self-talk (one that I struggle with often), food, fitness, friendships, marriage, parenting and your spiritual life.  This list says to me that us women tend to stress about a lot of things in our lives. 

Part 3 of the book: Nourished Bodies, Nourished Selves was my favorite section of the book.  The Chapter 7 title is "At Home in Our Own Skin" was one that really struck home for me.  My whole life I have had such a horrible view of myself.  Especially my body image.  I was picked on a lot in high school because of my weight.  It became easier to pick myself apart with the others than to sit there quietly taking it.  I have mentioned before here that my husband and I are now on a journey to rid our bodies of junk.  This chapter fit right in to that change we are trying to make.

I found myself laughing out loud hysterically at many of the parts of this book.  I could relate to exactly what they were saying.  The words reminded me of conversations I have had with my good friend Jen (who by the way is moving out of state).  Reading this book made me feel as if I was sitting with a good friend chatting over a cup of coffee.  We laugh, cry and talk about anything and everything.  I highly recommend this book.

I did receive a copy of the book from Flyby Promotions in exchange for this review and post.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Home Monday!

We are getting a ton of snow dumped on us today.  So that means...SNOW DAY!  I am thankful I do not have to go out and drive in it just yet.

So I thought since I have a few free moments I would participate in Happy Homemaker Monday.

The weather outside is...

On the breakfast plate this morning... Sliced bananas with Greek yogurt topped with homemade granola.  Drizzled with raw honey.

As I look outside my window...  my wonderful husband and daughter shoveling the driveway out.

Right now I am... trying to keep warm.  Something about the glow of candles warms me up!

As I look around the house... snow, snow and more snow.  We stayed in yesterday and I was able to clean the house.  So with an unexpected day off today I can relax a little bit.

On today’s to do list... really nothing much.  I will probably vacuum and mop.  I am working on laundry as well.

Currently reading... I have a few books on my Kindle I have been reading.  One is a book about Amish customs and history for review.

On the TV today... We have nothing on at the moment.  My husband is off today because of court tonight.  IF court is still in session.  We will see how it goes as the day goes on.

On the menu this week... We are on week 2 of our Real Food journey which means no processed foods!  We are feeling SO much better.  Today we are having something with chicken.  The rest of the week is up in the air.

What I am creating at the moment... Nothing much at the moment.  I am so tired when I get home from work I haven't picked up any crafting. 

New recipe I tried or want to try this week... Best Oven Baked Chicken Wings from 100 Days of Real Food. 

Favorite photo from the camera... the snow is still falling!

From Scripture...