Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

I hope you are enjoying today and making memories with your family. Our day is quiet with no big plans. We are, however, counting down the weeks until our son comes home from Afghanistan. Twice is enough! Hear me, Uncle Sam?

Gale Wall, Independence Day, Gale Wall Photography

It's been too long since I've shared anything here. I've been putting in long hours on my photography business. Last night I took a quick trip through the gardens before the sun said goodnight.

Gale Wall, Independence Day, Gale Wall Photography

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Hamburger Soup

It has been a long while since I've posted on this blog. Why? Life!

Spring arrived... according to the calendar but not the weather. We had a little more snow and I wanted something to warm our tummies. {I love soup 365 days a year}

This is such an easy basic soup that really hits the spot with a hunk of bread or crackers.

Hamburger Soup, Gale Wall

2 # of hamburger (I use one pound each 85/15 and 90/10)
Diced small yellow onion
1 heaping TBS minced garlic (minced garlic in a jar)
1/2 to 1 TSP garlic powder
1/2 to 1 TSP onion powder
6 oz tomato paste
3 cans of diced tomatoes (salt free for me)
12 oz frozen mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, green beans and green peas)
1/2 of 12 oz frozen green beans
1/2 of 12 oz frozen corn
1/2 of 12 oz frozen green peas
1/2 of 12 oz frozen green lima beans
Water: as much as you need
Salt & Pepper to taste

Hamburger with onion and garlic. Drain.
{I cook in my large stock pot to save on dirty dishes}

Tomato paste, garlic & onion powder. Incorporate.
Diced tomatoes.
Frozen vegetables.
Water: as much as you need.
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Simmer a couple of hours.

Hamburger Soup, Gale Wall

Friday, June 8, 2012

Baked Mostaccioli

I made this last week using the pasta sauce recipe previously posted. YUM. I love pasta.

Ingredients needed, in addition to pasta sauce:

1 # box of Mostaccioli pasta [or Penne]
16 oz Ricotta [your choice of whole or low fat]
1 1/2 C of Shredded Italian blend or Mozzarella
1 1/2 C of Shredded Cheddar [I used Sharp]

Cook your pasta sauce. I cooked mine 3 hours.

Note: reserve 1 cup of sauce for topping.

Cook your pasta al dente and drain into a large bowl.

To the pasta:
Crumble in Ricotta. [or scoop out small spoon portions - helps distribute evenly]
Add 1/2 cup of each shredded cheese.
Add pasta sauce [remember to reserve 1 cup]

Pour into baking dish [dishes].
Top with remaining sauce.
Top with remaining shredded cheeses.

If baking immediately bake at 350* for 1 hour.
If refrigerated, let sit at room temp 30 minutes and bake until hot & bubbly.
If frozen, thaw and bake until hot & bubbly.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Pasta Sauce

I'm making baked mostaccioli today. No pics cause it's not ready yet. Here is my basic pasta sauce recipe. I use ground beef or italian sausage depending on what dish I am making. I also tweak it for shrimp and grits. The house smells yummy!


  • 1 # of beef or italian sausage
  • 1/2 vidalia [or yellow] onion, diced
  • 2 TBS minced garlic [jar]
  • 2 large cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 regular can of diced tomatoes [no salt]
  • 2 TBS basil [dried]
  • 2 TBS oregano [dried]
  • 1/2 TSP black pepper
  • 1 TSP onion powder
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS tomato paste

Cook the beef [or sausage] with the onion and garlic.
Drain fat.
Add the tomatoes, paste and spices.
Simmer on low for an hour or two.

Canned tomatoes may differ in acidity, adjust sugar to taste.
Dried spices differ by brand and age, adjust to taste.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Southwest Chicken Stew

No time to cook... and my corner of Kansas is going to be cool this week. Not that I let warm weather keep me away from a good soup.

This is made in a crock-pot.

8 to 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained [reserve juice]*
1 jar mild chunky salsa*
1 can fat free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 or 1/3 cup diced onion
1 TSP dried Parsley
1 TSP Onion Powder
1 heaping TBS Cumin

* to spice it up a bit substitute one or both:
Rotel instead of diced tomatoes
Medium salsa instead of mild

In a large bowl mix everything but the chicken. Ladle about 1/2 on the bottom on your crock-pot. Layer your chicken and add the remaining mixture on top.

Cover and cook on low about 6 hours. As you stir the chicken will shred.
If it is too soupy uncover and cook on high about an hour to thicken.
If too thick add your reserved tomato juice.
This all depends on the amount of water that cooks out of your chicken.
4 - 6 servings

Options for serving:
  • with saltine crackers
  • with tostito chips or strips
  • with a piece of good bread
  • with a squeeze of lime juice
  • ladled on a bed of basmati rice
  • topped with shredded cheese
  • diced cilantro wilted into each serving
  • sour cream 
You could also cook this in the oven until the chicken is done and serve the chicken whole with the mixture as a side accompanied with a salad.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Peach Bread

I'm not a fan of a lot of sweets but this is yummy.

Peach Bread

Preheat oven to 350*
Grease a loaf pan or mini pans

1 Cup flour
1 Cup sugar
1 Stick butter or margarine
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup peeled, mashed peaches [about 2 to 3 depending on size]

Cream sugar and butter.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Add peaches.
Add flour and baking soda.

Pour into greased pans and bake for 45 to 60 minutes until done.

For smaller pan sizes begin checking at 30 minutes as ovens vary.

Confession: I slathered a little butter on mine :)

[Edited from questions received]


Friday, April 27, 2012

Tart treat

Higher temps are coming...

2/3 Cranberry juice
1/3 Pineapple juice
Splash of lime (big in 1/4 wedge)

Just eyeball the portion according to the size of your glass.