3 Days of Soup: Day 2, Cheddar & Potato Soup

Here’s another quick and easy soup leading up to the big day. Potatoes! Nothing says comfort like potatoes.


Cheddar & Potato Soup 

Sauté 1 diced onion in 4 T butter. Add ¼ cup flour, 1 t dry mustard, and ½ t cayenne; stir for 3 minutes. Add 4 cups chicken broth, 1½ cups diced carrots, and 1½ cups diced potatoes; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 2 cups half-and-half and 3 cups grated cheddar cheese; cook for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serves 6.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    It was so cold here in northern Georgia yesterday that this soup would have been so perfect! It looks delicious!!

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3 Days of Soup: Day 1, Roasted Beet Soup

How about you? Do you have simple soups in mind prior to the big day? I do.


Roasted Beet Soup

Wrap 3 beets individually in foil and roast for 1 hour at 400°F. Let cool, then slip off outer skins and dice. Sauté 1 diced onion and 2 cloves minced garlic in 2 T olive oil. Add 8 cups vegetable stock, 2 cups shredded cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, and the beets; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add 2 T red-wine vinegar, 1 t sugar, 1 T lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Serves 8.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Mmmmmmm, beet soup sounds delicious and warming! I think root veggies make the richest soups and they work puréed as well for a creamy texture.

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  1. Terry Steinmetz says:

    What a lovely arrangement!

  2. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love mums and these arranged in an acorn squash are the perfect fall table addition for Thanksgiving!

  3. Sharon D. says:

    I enjoying your photos very much Mary Jane. Just beautiful! The squash really makes this arrangement.

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Ornamental kale grows well down here in the cooler Florida winter. The colors are stunning sometimes as this photo so beautifully shows!

  2. sharon d. says:


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Favorite Food

What’s missing on this plate?


P.S. There are no correct answers, only mouth-watering possibilities.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Mac n cheese made with quinoa pasta shells! I would also make a basic vinaigrette with lemon juice, cold press olive oil, s/p, and a dash of good mustard to dress the salad.

  2. CJ Armstrong says:

    Baja Chipotle grilled chicken breast with poblano pepper, garlic and onion! YMMMMMMMMMM!

  3. CJ Armstrong says:

    Okay . . . and a little Southwest style ranch dressing on the salad, with some grape tomatoes.

  4. Cathy R says:

    `Fish almondine’ with parmesan-roasted garlic dressing on the salad!

  5. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Grilled and smoked salmon that we caught/bought, lightly buttered & grilled homemade rolls. Oh, and my son & dil to be with us! Travis (son) always grills & smokes the salmon either when we visit them in CT.or when here in the UP of MI. Now I miss both the food & my family!

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Go ahead and say it. “She’s weird.” Of all the yummy things I could eat for breakfast, I have a favorite that I’ve been eating, ummm, pretty much almost every day lately. (I do ruts well.) On days when I feel like I have a bit more time for prep, I double the amount I make so I can eat it for lunch or dinner later that day with maybe some baked chicken breast or smoked kokanee (from the Okanagan language referring to land-locked lake populations of sockeye salmon—thanks to my husband, who put a winter’s supply in our freezer).

“What is it?” you ask.


My breakfast starts in the chicken coop. Even though it’s still early out, my hens have eggs for me. (I’m probably eating an egg laid the day before but this time of year it’s cold enough to leave the eggs until my morning visit to the coop.) After feeding my girls, I head next door to my year-round greenhouse (really an unheated hoop house that’s still supplying us with summer-y things like green peppers and lettuce) to grab a pocket full of kale, some arugula, one carrot, some parsley, and a sprig of rosemary.

Back in my kitchen, I drop the egg into a saucepan on the stove for a soft-boiled egg. While that’s cooking, I chop the greens and herbs up along with 2 cloves of fresh garlic and one apple. Slices of carrot go in next and then a few spoons-full of baked butternut squash. (I cook a butternut squash every week to add to just about everything I eat—love that stuff!) Last comes a big dollup of what’s known as the guardian of intestinal health, sauerkraut—the real deal, not the pasteurized store-bought stuff.

With a cup of plain white tea in hand (sometimes I add a bit of fresh cream straight from my cow), I sit down to eat my power breakfast—all of it homegrown. Savory for breakfast? You bet. Sauerkraut? I actually go to bed at night excited to wake up the next morning and eat it all over again. I warned you. Weird. But hey, if you’re up for trying it, I think you’ll agree, yum! Oh, and HEALTHY (all in CAPS with at least ten exclamation marks)!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, that is a power breakfast! I think I could join in minus the garlic and sauerkraut. Sauerkraut and most fermented foods just do not appeal to me at all. And could we switch out a cup of decaf coffee for the tea? Oh, and yes, please, please for some fresh cream from your cow!! What time is breakfast served??? Me and Delta got a bit of a way to get there on time!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I love the idea of an all winter, unheated hoop house…would that I could…if only…lucky you! Fresh is always better, especially when it’s grown by your own hands.

    And there is something to be said for routine. I believe they have done studies showing that those who eat the same~nutritious~meal (be it breakfast, lunch or dinner) each day were more likely to stay trim throughout their lifetime. Some people are fastidious about exercise & often have similar results, look at Jack Lalanne.

    And just yesterday, I read an article about a little village in Greece where the residents often live Healthy lives well into their nineties & often a bit beyond. Seems word has gotten out & now reporters & such are flocking to their small town to flesh out the reason for such longevity. One of the locals took them on a week in the life sort of tour & it appears as though most of the villagers’ eat the same meal for dinner, almost exclusively, everyday. And MaryJane, some of the foods they mentioned are the very same things you are eating for breakfast & lunch…And, all their veggies were hand picked from their home~grown gardens.

    So sometimes boring can be Better~Best or even Beastly Healthy;-) As far as your Sauerkraut cravings go; I’m sure there are worse things to be addicted to:-) Enjoy!

  3. TJ says:

    I love it!! Looks delicious and healthy… especially the sauerkraut (I love all things fermented). Funny thing – the Israelites in the desert ate manna, right? Well the meaning of the word “manna” is “what is it?”

    “Manna?” you ask. Sounds pretty great to me!

  4. Oh, that looks so wonderful! I will have to have some sauerkraut with my breakfast.

  5. Karlyne says:

    It just ain’t breakfast without a fresh egg!

  6. Barbara Landry says:

    Fermented vegetables are the best. I have just started my sauerkraut. Can’t wait for it!

  7. Carole Hulsmeyer says:

    I love sauerkraut and for years made my own and gave it away for Christmas gifts. Getting too old for my husband and I to make it now. I really miss it. I don’t like the store-b0ught. Your recipe looks delicious, and I love everything that you put in it.

  8. Nancy Morrell says:

    Sounds wonderful to me! I love all of the above! Especially sauerkraut! Yum!

  9. Sharron Mills says:

    Looks great to me. Not weird at all. I am inspired all over again and as soon as I can get an organic cabbage will make some kraut. I can’t get the unpasteurized stuff here.

  10. Margrus kail says:

    I like sauerkrat but don’t have time to make it, if you can’t get it at the store where do you find unpasteurized sauerkrat

  11. RachelHP says:

    Collards, onions, and sausage every morning ❤️

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My Latest Favorite for Munching

I was sitting at my desk watching the snow fall and munching away on my favorite new snack when I realized, you might like to get in on this little secret.

Any snack food comparing themselves to the joys of “magical yoga pant material,” or “weird nail polish colors,” has made some pretty bold comparisons.

Well, guess what?

They know a thing or two.

Angie’s Popcorn!


I’m telling you, it’s delicious. We make a lot of popcorn at our house, but sometimes I’m craving popcorn in a place or at a time when I can’t get the popper out, melt the butter, etc. That’s when Angie saves me! (I can seriously munch on this snack, the kind of serious where I’ll find remnants in my scarf hours later.)

And P.S. The ingredients are simple, non-GMO, and all high quality. Sea Salt is my fav, but my girls and their daddy love the Sweet & Salty.


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I have seen this product in our local grocery store but never tried it. Next time I am there, i will pick up a bag and check it out. Popcorn is always delicious!

  2. Debbie Fischer says:

    I absolutely love popcorn, it is my favorite snack that I probably have everyday. Always looking for a new one to try, thanks for sharing.

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It Snowed!

While we slept, a blanket of snow quietly covered the Palouse.

Photo Nov 04, 8 35 18 AM

There is something to be said for the quiet calm of a first snow…

Photo Nov 04, 8 43 58 AM

… and the joys of interrupting it with the happiness of childhood! Happy first snow!!

Photo Nov 04, 7 47 59 AM

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Your farm looks so beautiful and peaceful wearing it’s first snow! There is something special about waking up and looking out the window at a blanket of white everywhere. As a child, I used to hope for snow on Thanksgiving. The late fall landscape of grasses and the last of the brown oak leaves just seemed so perfect with a white dusting while the kitchen was filled with the smells of baking turkey and pumpkin pie. In Virginia, we never had snow on Thanksgiving, but sometimes the frost was so thick and heavy, the early morn still had that glistening look to it!

    • Megan says:

      So true and I so agree! And yes, a thick frost is equally gorgeous with a beautiful glisten. Stella’s principal said in passing this morning, “Now if we could all be seven again.” The first snow does bring it out in us doesn’t it? Happy day, Winnie!

  2. connie-killarney says:

    Beautiful Pictures! I love pictures of snow! Here in West Tennessee it is truly a celebration if it snows each Winter! Winnie, I so enjoyed your beautiful memories as well!

  3. Debbie Fischer says:

    What a beautiful picture Mary Jane, and the girls seem to be enjoying the snow as well.
    We too woke to snow here in the Colorado mountains, but not our first snow, like our 3rd:-) Fall is gone and Winter is here, but that is fine as we love winter. It is cold here today so we have a nice fire going in the wood stove, hubby and I take turns stoking it as we go about our day.
    Thank you for always sharing such fabulous photos with us.
    Have a beautiful evening and stay warm.

  4. Terry Steinmetz says:

    Oh, the first snow! I can’t wait–probably in the next few days. I love to wake up to the white on the ground. I usually grab the camera and head around the property to take it all in & take special pictures. Then I send them to my grandgirls, who live in southern Indiana. We will share our happy memories together about when they have visited Grandma in Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the fun they had sledding, making snowmen & snow angels!

  5. lynnia says:

    Beautiful pics…@ almost 70 years old, I still stay up to gaze @ falling snow….falling onto the riverbank, and into the river…I am still able to view a bit of magic…..peace

  6. Debbie says:

    Oh, it’s just beautiful and your girls are darling! Just looking at these images makes me feel almost 7 again!!! Brrrr…… What a beautiful view you have looking out over the farmland… Ah….Time to break out the hot cocoa and marshmallows!!!
    Hugs to all!
    Deb ( beachfarmgirl )

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  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Hmmmmm, garlic? Maybe NOT! It looks so pretty and it does taste delicious, but this Farmgirl no can do. a friend of mine had a grandson that used to say, Mimi, I just can’t want it. That sums it up perfectly for me.

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