Author Archives: Nancy Wolff

Clocks are turned back, the days are getting shorter and it gets dark so early. It’s the time of year when soup is often on the menu, whether for lunch or dinner. I love soup and these fabulous fall soups are my favorite. Nothing better than warm, nourishing soup on a cold autumn day.fabulous fall soups

 

Cheddar Ale Soup
T
his soup is so easy and delicious, perfect for a fall day.fabulous fall soups

 

Pork, Bean and Kale Soup

I have an ongoing goal to eat healthier and make good food choices. It’s not always easy but my goal is to eat right 80% of the time! I have a wonderful cookbook called Eating Well in Season – the Farmers’ Market Cookbook. The recipes are divided into seasons of the year and focus on what food is fresh during each season. If you are looking for a hearty winter soup, this pork, bean and kale soup is perfect. It’s delicious and nutritious and uses foods you can find in your farmer’s market this time of year.

 

Cream of Carrot Soup
We had a good carrot crop this year. I love the taste of fresh home grown carrots and one of my favorite ways to use them is in this wonderful Cream of Carrot Soup. It’s a perfect soup for a wet, chilly fall day. I’ve been making this recipe for years and it freezes well although if you are planning on freezing it I would add the light cream later. This soup does not need to be blended but I have one of those wonderful emersion blenders, which I love to use! So before adding the cream I puree the soup. I hope you enjoy this recipe!fabulous fall soups

 

Amazing Turkey Soup
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holdays  and one of the best things about Thanksgiving is the leftover turkey! I look forward to making this soup every year. You can also make it with leftover chicken as well.fabulous fall soups

 

The Soup Doctor’s Egg Drop Soup
You may have heard of the Cake Doctor before, a series of cookbooks where every recipe is based on a boxed cake mix. My husband is the Soup Doctor! He can take a plain package of Ramen Noodles and turn it into an amazing egg drop soup with just a few simple ingredients. Perfect for those lunch or dinners where you just want a quick, delicious meal.

 

Black Bean and Sausage Soup
Cool autumn days are the perfect time to enjoy a bowl of hearty black bean and sausage soup. The combination of sweet Italian turkey sausage, jalapeño peppers and fresh cilantro gives this black bean and sausage soup a distinctive flavor. If you have any leftovers they are easily reheated in the microwave or can be frozen for later use. Serve along with a leafy green salad and a loaf of bread and your have a meal!fabulous fall soups

 

Irish Yellow Broth
Autumn comes all too quickly. Much as I hate to see summer go the fall is one of my favorite times of year. Fall in Vermont is so enjoyable; the days are still fairly warm and sunny but the nights are cold. When there is a slight chill in the air I enjoy making simple soups for lunch. One of my favorite soups is this Irish Yellow Broth. The steel cut oats not only add nutrition but they give a creaminess to the soup. Usually I leave out the cream and the soup still tastes delicious! Next time you’re looking for a fabulous fall soup try this Irish Yellow Broth. I’ve shared the recipe several years ago but it’s worth repeating. I enjoy this soup whether it’s the beginning of fall, the middle of winter or early spring! It’s simple to make and delicious! This soup is definitely one of my top fabulous fall soups!Simple Soups, Irish Yellow Broth

 

Tomato Soup From a Can
Perhaps when you think of tomato soup from a can you think of Campbell’s. Isn’t that what we grew up with? Comfort food at it’s finest is tomato soup served alongside a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s also a quick and easy meal. However, did you know you could make your own tomato soup? I have a wonderful recipe from my mother for a tomato soup that can be canned for later use. Perhaps you didn’t have a garden last year. You can also enjoy homemade tomato soup with ingredients you probably have on hand in your pantry.fabulous fall soups

 

Chicken Pot Pie Soup
When the weather cools off in Vermont and there is a constant chill in the air my thoughts turn to simple soups I can make. This Chicken Pot Pie Soup is a favorite in our family and it is so easy to put together. If you have leftover chicken in your refrigerator this is a great way to use it up while at the same time making a delicious meal.  The soup tastes just like the filling of a chicken pot pie; in fact you can also thicken the soup up a little more and top it with a crust for a delicious chicken pot pie. However you enjoy this simple soup it is bound to become a favorite in your family!fabulous fall soups

 

Best Ever Cheeseburger Soup
Fall has come to Vermont and the weather is much cooler now, it’s the perfect weather for this best ever Cheeseburger Soup! We can’t always enjoy a yummy cheeseburger for lunch instead mix up a batch of this delicious soup. This Cheeseburger Soup is similar to potato soup but even more satisfying. I haven’t tried freezing this soup as it is usually consumed within a day or two! Pair it with a fresh salad and you have a complete dinner.fabulous fall soups

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Are you anxious about the approaching holidays? Are you rushed and feel like there is just no time to get ready? Perhaps it’s your turn to host this year, wondering what you can do to get ready?countdown to Thanksgiving

 

Years ago I read an article that included several steps that you can take to get ready for the big day, whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas or another family gathering. I wrote a few notes on an index card, placed the card in with my recipes and have used the advice every year since then. By following these steps the countdown to Thanksgiving will be seamless.countdown to Thanksgiving

 

First of all figure out the guest list. How many people will actually be coming for the big meal and find out if there are any sort of food allergies.

 

Have your guests help out by contributing a dish or a dessert. Be specific, ask your aunt to bring her wonderful creamed onions or your sister to bring her delicious cherry pie for example. Tell everyone you’ll do the turkey and let your guests bring the sides. Allowing others to contribute will help the countdown to Thanksgiving be easy. Once everyone has decided what they are going to bring you can fill in the missing items.countdown to Thanksgiving

 

Purchase your turkey ahead of time. If you are planning on cooking a fresh turkey place your order 2-3 weeks in advance.

Prepare and assemble any dishes ahead of time. Baked goods and piecrusts can always be made ahead of time and placed in the freezer.

 

The Saturday before Thanksgiving shop for your perishable food. If you have a separate dining room you can even set the table ahead of time. Get out all your china, servicing dishes and various serving utensils.countdown to Thanksgiving

 

Making a stuffing from scratch. On the Monday before Thanksgiving cut up the bread into cubes and place in a plastic bag. If your turkey is in the freezer take it out and put in the refrigerator to thaw.

 

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving cook, peel and mash your sweet potatoes, cover and refrigerate. Chop the onions and celery for the stuffing and refrigerate.

On the day before Thanksgiving prepare the stuffing and refrigerate. Cook the giblet broth for your gravy. Prepare the cranberry molds and refrigerate. Make the creamed onions. If you can, set the table and arrange the centerpiece. Bake any pies or desserts on the menu.countdown to Thanksgiving

 

Thanksgiving morning add the liquid to the stuffing and stuff your turkey. Start roasting the turkey so it will be done 30 minutes before you plan to eat. Set out a few nibbles for your company, this will help tide everyone over until dinner is ready.

 

By following these simple steps the countdown to Thanksgiving will be smooth and stress free. Most important remember what Thanksgiving is all about. It’s not about the turkey or the special dessert, but it is about the family and friends gathered around your table. Be thankful for each person gathered around your table and enjoy the daycountdown to Thanksgiving

I’ve mentioned before the wonderful cooks that are in my husband’s family. I love visiting my mother-in-law because she is always trying new recipes and passing them along. On one of our visits my mother-in-law gave me this Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip. It sounded delicious and even fairly healthy! The only ingredient that wasn’t completely good for you was the blue cheese! When we had company recently I decided to mix up a batch and see how it went over.Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip

 

It was a big hit and there wasn’t any left at the end of the evening. I served it with pita chips and baked tortilla chips. I’m sure you could also serve it with vegetables as well.Blue Cheese and Artichoke Dip

This Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip is a winner! Try it the next time you need an appetizer, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip

 

Ingredients:

1 can artichoke in water, drained

¼ cup scallions, chopped

½ tsp. minced garlic

2 oz. blue cheese

1 Tbsp. parsley

¼ cup plain yogurt

 

Directions:

Combine all the above ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Place into a serving container and serve with pita chips, crackers or vegetables.

 

This blue cheese artichoke dip can be made ahead of time, which gives the flavors a chance to combine. Just chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip

 

Using the blue cheese in this dip was a perfect combination but now I’m wondering about using other types of soft cheese, for example Feta cheese or even herb flavored goat cheese? What do you think, would you make this blue cheese artichoke dip with blue cheese or something different?

 

The blue cheese flavor in this dip is not overpowering so if you are not a fan of blue cheese don’t be put off by this recipe, try it you might find you like it!Blue Cheese Artichoke Dip

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Welcome to the Simple Homestead Blog Hop!

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12 Things I Do Not Spend Money On

 

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Last weekend we had a houseful of company and we really wanted to go hiking. The weather was good but it was also the start of hunting season. In fact the first weekend in November is Youth Hunting Season. We wondered if it was safe to go hiking during hunting season or was hunting even allowed on the Appalachian Trail?hiking during hunting season

 

Hunting is allowed on all Green Mountain Club owned and managed lands, including the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail corridors in Vermont. Hunting is prohibited along approximately 900 miles of the Appalachian Trail through national forest lands, nationals recreation areas and on state lands and game lands. Hikers should be aware that the protected corridor is often narrow, averaging about 1000 feet wide. Even in areas where hunting is prohibited, hunters on adjacent lands may not know that they are near the trail. Hunters may inadvertently cross onto Trail lands or unknowingly fire toward the Trail. If you are planning to hike during hunting season it is important to be safe and be respectful of all trail users.hiking during hunting season

 

Before you go hiking be aware of the specific dates for hunting seasons.

 

Hunters often hunt during the early dawn and dusk hours. This is also when visibility is low. Plan your hike during the middle of the day.

 

Wear blaze orange clothing, which is visible from both the front and the back. Avoid wearing brown or white clothing, the colors of a deer. If you are hiking with a dog make sure your furry friend is wearing a bright bandana or a blaze orange vest.hiking during hunting season

 

You can avoid areas where hunting is legal during deer firearm season, which varies by state, but typically occurs during parts of the months of October, November, December, and January. During those months, you may want to hike in one of the five national parks crossed by the A.T

 

By taking a few precautions you can enjoy a wonderful hike. Be aware of your surroundings and be careful when hiking in valleys and near roads and trailheads.hiking during hunting season

 

We enjoyed a beautiful hike on Saturday; the only people we saw were a few other hikers. We all were wearing bright colors and did a lot of talking along the hike, which helped make our presence known to any hunters in the area.hiking during hunting season

 

If you are planning to hike during hunting season take these simple precautions and enjoy your time in the woods.hiking during hunting season

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These tortilla pizzas are a little different from your traditional pizza but every time I make them they disappear before my eyes! We have eaten them as a dinner paired with a salad but they would also be delicious served as a snack or an appetizer. The spread keeps well in the refrigerator so it’s so easy to whip up these tortilla pizzas for a snack for an appetizer for unexpected company. I’m also thinking the spread would be good with a little crabmeat added. Going to have to try that!tortilla pizzas

 

The total time is about 30 minutes and the recipe as written feeds about eight, unless you are serving it as a dinner in which case I would say it feeds four. I used whole-wheat tortillas slightly larger than the 7-inch flour tortillas. I’m sure you could also use corn tortillas for a slight variation. I’m sure no matter what type of tortillas you use for these tortilla pizzas you will be amazed at how delicious they are.

Tortilla Pizza

 

Ingredients:

 

¾ cup mayonnaise

½ cup Parmesan cheese

½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

½ cup red onion, minced

¼ cup minced green pepper

¼ cup minced red pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. dried basil

¼ tsp. Salt

1/8 tsp. Pepper

4 flour tortillas (7 inches)

 

Directions:

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.tortilla pizzas

 

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the tortillas. Place the tortillas on a greased baking sheet or on a pizza pan. Spread the cheese mixture evenly on the tortillas, you don’t want to spread it very thick just enough to coat the surface.

 

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until golden. The cheese mixture will puff up slightly.tortilla pizzas Cut into wedges and serve.tortilla pizzas They are best eaten as soon as they are cooked.tortilla pizzas The leftover spread can be saved for another day.

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