Garden Patch Soup Recipe

Every year as summer draws to a close I find myself looking ahead to heating up the kitchen and filling the house with the wonderful aromas of hearty soups and stews.

It is enjoyable to change our meal planning from lighter summer menus to traditional autumn foods. Eating seasonally means enjoying certain foods when they are at their ripest and freshest. Autumn is the height of harvest time for many fruits and vegetables.

At the end of summer, the gardens are loaded with ingredients for creating tasty, one-pot meals such as Garden Patch Soup.

This soup is full of nutritious and flavorful vegetables. It has been a restaurant customer favorite soup for well over twenty years. That’s right. For over 20 years my restaurant customers have counted on this soup being featured every fall. The restaurant never quits serving customers favorite recipes.

The soup recipe calls for beef, but you can use chicken or pork or you can leave out the meat altogether, adding more beans and veggies. Left-over chili can be substituted for the beans.

So as you can see, this soup recipe is wonderfully flexible. The recipe has as many variations as there are cooks but regardless of how you choose to tweak the recipe, it will be delicious.

The soup you make from this successful restaurant recipe will keep you and your family warm, healthy, full, happy and thankful for the Fall bounty as the weather turns cool.

Enjoy your restaurant soup recipe and the company of those you share it with!

Garden Patch Soup

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

2 quarts water

2 1/2 tablespoons Au jus seasoning mix (or to taste)

2 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

2 1/4 teaspoons chili powder

14 ounce can of tomatoes, chopped

7 ounce can tomato sauce

8 ounces whole kernel corn or 8 ounce can with liquid 3 cups of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, zucchini, peppers, celery or whatever you like and have available)

1/3 head cabbage (1 1/2 cups), coarsely chopped

8 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or left-over chili)

Instructions:

Heat water to boiling in a soup pot

While water is heating, brown the ground beef and onion in a skillet

When water comes to a boil, add all the seasonings, tomato, tomato sauce, corn with liquid, beans and your vegetable choice

Drain meat mixture and add the meat to the soup pot

Bring back to a boil and simmer until vegetables are crisp tender

Add the cabbage and remove the soup from the heat

Let sit for a few minutes to cook the cabbage

Correct the seasoning

Enjoy your soup and the great fall season.

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10 Tips For Using Antique Mirrors In Your Victorian Decor

Antique mirrors can add a very special touch to your Victorian decor. Use lighting to create an illusion of space and add an element of warmth to that décor.

The surface of a mirror is reflective so by using the correct lighting in the room you can create a beautiful illumination. The antique styling of the mirror helps create the room atmosphere.

Antique mirror glass is made by placing a metallic deposit onto the glass. This method has been used since the 16th century. Over the years it's not uncommon to find the surface wearing slightly. That's okay as it adds some character

Here are 10 tips for using antique mirrors in your home décor:

1. Find your favorite piece of art in the room. Could be a painting, a sculpture, a photograph, or any other type of art. Place your mirror on the opposite wall which will reflect the image and create an interesting room dynamic.

2. To add depth to your room paint one wall a deep dark burgundy or green, or another Victorian color. Then take your antique mirror and hang in directly in the middle of the wall. Add candle wall sconces and wow!

3. If your room is on the dark side then hang your mirror near the window. The natural light will reflect off the mirror and make the room brighter.

4. Your Victorian entrance will look perfect with an ornate mirror above the corner table that holds a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Fresh is perfect but silk certainly works.

5. Antique dining rooms look great with a mirror above the side board. It will not only complete the mood it will make the room look bigger.

6. If your room has a fireplace then place your mirror opposite to create a visual effect. And when the fireplace is flickering you get an amazing effect.

7. Consider grouping together several mirrors that are all different shapes and sizes to make a focal wall display. You can mix different styles and finishes too. Create a sophisticated display or a shabby chic look.

8. You can use a beautiful mirror in a Victorian kitchen. Add it the wall across from your counter space. Consider using more than one mirror to create an effect of largeness.

9. Place your mirror above a piece of furniture. It will instantly draw the eye away from the furniture. Hang above a table, a dresser, or even a sofa.

10. If you have bookcases that are half wall height hang your mirror above them and then place candles on the top of the book case. When the candles are lit they will illuminate the light and the flicker of the candles is so romantic.

Before you do anything you need to have a good look at your room and analyze where you'll get the most benefit from your mirror. You also want to make sure the angle of the mirror does not result in an unattractive scene or cause a glare. …

Herb Garden Ideas

Fresh herbs are the ultimate when it comes to cooking and many people now a days want them. What better way to enjoy fresh herbs in your kitchen than ones that are just minutes old. There is no deep dark secrets when it comes to growing herbs. In fact herbs are really very easy to grow and you don't need a large space to grow them in either. Most herbs can be grown in an area no bigger than a window box. Actually a window box would be an ideal place to grow a kitchen herb garden. There is enough room to grow parsley, basil, sage, or cilantro and it can all be in a compact container just outside the kitchen door.

Many herbs can even be grown on the window sill of a sunny window in the house. The trick is to keep the herbs picked and to start new ones before the plants start to get too woody. Basil is an excellent window plant. When growing herbs inside or out remember two things the first is herbs do not like a lot of fertilizer and most herbs like moist soil but it needs to dry quickly wet soil will do most herbs in.

How about a strawberry jar herb garden plant the top with a tall herb such as dill and then fill in the side with creeping plants like oregano, creeping thyme, or creeping rosemary. They will grow out the sides and hang down. just remember to keep the creeping plants trimmed to keep producing new leaves. You may substitute the plant in the top with something else such as sage if you like.

When planting herbs such as cilantro and basil it is good to do succession plantings maybe about 3 weeks apart so that you will have fresh leaves throughout the growing season. Cilantro and basil will go to seed quickly if not picked often and the flowers removed.

The main thing most herbs have in common is that they do not like wet feet and really do not need fertilizer as I mentioned earlier. Fertilizer will change the growth habits of the herbs and effect it's strength and flavor. Good soil will provide all the nutrients necessary to grow a productive herb garden. Also be careful what you plant as some herbs can become rather aggressive and take over the whole area chocking out everything else. Mint is a perfect example. Mint is very invasive so if you want to grow it I suggest that you grow mint in a container and never in the ground.

A good herb garden will pay big dividends in as your family and friends will enjoy the great taste coming out of your kitchen. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you are using fresh homegrown herbs to feed them.

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How to Select the Best Kitchen Appliances for Your Home

Choosing the right kitchen appliances for your home can be a hectic task, especially when you have so many different brands to choose from. It’s a major undertaking that requires pre-planning before you enter the nearest home improvement store.

Kitchen appliances need huge investment, so it is important to shop with caution. Amongst all, stainless steel appliances are the ones that catch our hearts. But, they are expensive compared to ordinary kitchen utensils. However, these appliances can last for decades and provide great value for the price. While relying on cheap products can be back breaking, they need frequent servicing, and the repair charge can even surpass the cost of expensive steel appliances.

Before taking any hasty decisions, make sure that you consider your budget, size of your kitchen, and the right appliances to suit your kitchen needs. We have mentioned afew factors that every consumer needs to consider before walking into a kitchen appliance store.

Budget and Layout

The primary factor that influences any buying decision is the budget and layout. Whether you are planning to refurbish your existing kitchen on design a new one, you’ll need appliances to remodel your cookery. The allocated budget greatly impacts your decision. So before making a purchase, prioritize cost and functions over aesthetics. An expensive cooking appliance may flaunt an appealing design, but you might end up revamping your entire kitchen, which is both costly and time-consuming.

Lifestyle and Functions

Before spending your savings on kitchen appliances, configure different specification to ensure that they are the right fit for your family’s lifestyle. The products you buy should circle the way you live and entertain. Consider how you are using your appliances currently, and how would you like to use it in the future. Don’t grab anything just because they look fancy or trendy! Instead, look for the functions that are essential for you.

And, if you want your kitchen to stand out add different and useful appliances such as ice maker, warming drawer, or even a large capacity oven. Besides that, consumers can also explore the internet and find the right products to serve the purpose.

Finishing

After narrowing choices of products based on functions and budgets, consider the finishes to compliment the look of your kitchen. Stainless steel is the prominent choice for today’s modern individuals; they look classy and stylish, are durable and easy to clean. You can also make custom kitchen appliances with custom cabinetries to suit your requirement. They might come with a slightly expensive price tag, but they can completely alter the perspective of people towards your kitchen.

A major benefit of selecting high-end products is that they are created with a distinct vision to coordinate with different kitchen styles. They will serve as a reliable kitchen companions, and flaunt an illumination that will catch everyone’s heart.

Purchase Smart

When you are willing to purchase anything, it is more than essential to select the retailer wisely. Make sure that the salesperson you speak to knows about multiple …

Feng Shui Bathroom Basic Rules

Feng Shui Taboos for Bathrooms:

When buying a house or an apartment, make sure that the toilet is never facing or located next to the main door, facing the staircases or facing the dining room, or even in the dining room. Some websites recommend activating the energy in the bathroom by painting the walls in a green color, if the bathroom faces an Eastern or Southeastern direction. Do not activate energy in bathroom, what you can do – you can suppress bad chi.

If your bathroom located at:

If the bathroom is located in the Center, North East or South West of the home and flushing away your health, education, luck and relationships, you could place a full-length mirror on the outside of the bathroom door (not on the inside of the bathroom) to create an illusion that the bathroom is not there, and to deflect any energy that tries to escape through it. Make sure that mirror does not reflect the main door. The Center, North East and South West are earth energies. You can place a large crystal in each corner or to suppress bad chi by the metal energy, hang five-layered wind chimes or rod-metal wind chimes, or you can use a destructing Wood Element.

North:

A bathroom located in the North of the home flushes away your career luck. North is a water element. You can use an earth element to destruct bad chi, like a stone or you can use a Wood Element by placing a plant to suppress Water Energy.

East and Southeast: East and Southeast are Wood Elements. You can use a destructed Element Metal, a five-layered wind chime or a five rod-metal wind chime. To suppress the Wood Element, use a Fire Element, such as keeping the light on all the time.

South:

If a bathroom is located in the South, it belongs to Recognition and Fame lucks. You can use a destructive Water Element, or an Earth Element; i.e., a stone in order to suppress Fire Energy.

West and Northwest:

West and Northwest belong to Metal Energy and rules Descendants and Mentor lucks. To suppress Metal Energy, use a Water Element. To distract the Metal Energy, use a Fire Element.

If you have a bathroom on the second floor directly above the kitchen or front door: It could generate health and wealth problems, because bad energy poisons the entire kitchen. In order to remedy this issue, one must place Earth Elements in the corners of the kitchen to stabilize the energy, and then hang a crystal ball in the center of the room. You can also hang a small round mirror to the ceiling above the drain in the bathroom.

Note: Some Feng Shui practitioners recommend hanging round mirror to the ceiling above the drain to revert the downward effect. Recommended to use 3″ mirror.

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What Is The Best Flooring For Your Kitchen?

Some of the things to consider in a floor for the kitchen are the type of incidents and traffic that occur in a kitchen. There are some types of flooring that would not fare well in the kitchen arena. Kitchen floors deal with dropped eggs, spilled liquids, and other various messes.

One option is the hand-scraped, grooved, and other distressed flooring can be much more than just a statement of style. These types of flooring can help hide dings from jars hitting the floor as well as blending in with the general wear and tear a kitchen floor takes. There are styles that make it possible to easily do your own kitchen floor renovation because they can be clicked together and “float” in place without any nailing or gluing.

In looking at flooring, it is beneficial to have a kitchen floor that is slip resistant. It is important to also have a surface in the kitchen that is resistant to stains and scratches. If you have babies around, or are planning a family in the future, you may not want to choose vinyl for your kitchen floor. While some vinyl flooring emits relatively few volatile organic compounds (VOCs) there is still concern due to health issues and pollution where vinyl is concerned.

Stone or tile works very well in heavy traffic areas of the home, such as the kitchen. One of the most durable tiles is ceramic, which comes in various colors and styles. Ceramic tiles also have lots of options that can be sued for decorative designs and/or borders.

If you want to use limestone, remember it is a porous stone and must be sealed upon installation and then twice a year. Limestone is a natural stone and offers an Old World look to it, however, if the maintenance for it is not something you want to undertake, I would suggest finding another flooring material for your kitchen.

Wood is a great and popular choice for the floor in the kitchen. Upkeep is fairly minimal and it can create a wonderful warm look to your kitchen. You can match the color of the wood floor to the cabinets in the kitchen, or go for a lighter or darker shade compared to the cabinets. Wood flooring can be distressed as mentioned earlier, to help high the dings that may occur. Many of the pre-finished wood flooring options today can easily withstand heavy traffic and even water stains. There are also high-pressured plastic laminates which can be an alternative to the wood floor, but offer a similar look for less money.

Vinyl flooring can offer numerous styles and colors, either in tiles or sheets and is much less expensive. Cork is a versatile and durable material which is also available in various colors. Not only is it water-resistant, but can help reduce impact noise.

I would suggest that before putting in a kitchen floor, you take the time to research the different types of flooring as well as considering your budget. …

Tips On Navigating Kitchen Showrooms

Today, the kitchen has become the heartbeat of the home. Indeed, in lots of new homes, the kitchen has been designed as the largest family based room in the entire house. The process of building or remodeling a kitchen could feel a little too overwhelming for many of us, beginning with the initial stages of planning; to our very first visit to the showroom; to the time our new kitchen appliances and accessories get delivered and finally installed.

Why Visit A ​​Showroom?

There are numerous advantages of physically visiting a showroom:

1. Get Great Ideas And Tips

Visiting several kitchen showrooms is a great step to take when you're planning a new kitchen or even a remodel. This is the place where you could get lots of tips and ideas on a variety of kitchen aspects. A showroom can offer you several remodeling tips and hints which could become very handy for a long period to come. This is especially useful if you are planning on a DIY job.

2. See Variety Of Models

Showrooms showcase models having diverse styles and varying colors. Visiting enables you to view the real colors and actually feel the different textures and surfaces of cabinets. In addition, the showroom kitchen professional will be at hand to offer you all the information that you may require.

1. Compare At Your Own Convenience

When using catalogs, precise comparison could actually become tricky because a number of products might be looking very similar on paper although they may be having different qualities. Yet, when you visit a showroom, it becomes very easy to physically compare the product prices against the attributes one by one at your own pace.

2. Get A Clearer Picture

Visiting several showrooms enables you to view a wide-range of products and a broad variety of styles plus designs. This could really assist you towards forming a clear picture of the way you wish to remodel or refurbish your kitchen. Moreover, in case you've got any questions, you will get an opportunity of seeking clarifications from your showroom attendant.

3. Possibility Of Obtaining Finance

Another advantageous feature that makes some showrooms very handy is that they could offer you kitchen redesigning professional services together with several reasonable financing options. Although, not too many that undertake this financing option, it yet remains a great advantage in case you're short of funds.

Whenever possible, try and visit a showroom that belongs to the Housing Industry Association (HIA). This is an Australian body that promotes industry standards as laid down by a National Code of Ethics. This particularly essential if you're going for any type of financing option.

With all these added information that you have now received, it becomes quite easy to make up your selections. Now, before heading out to the showroom, you could follow the tips below so that you go to the showroom well prepared:

& bull; Carry along with you any floor plans or blue prints that you got

& bull; Understand …

RTA Cabinets – The Best Choice in Kitchen Cabinets

The health and hygiene of a kitchen can be directly attributed to the kitchen cabinetry that it accommodates in its interiors. If handled in the right way, it can lend your kitchen a unique appeal combined with optimal durability and maximum functionality. But if not done in the right way, it can prove to be a disaster which you have to live with day in and day out. Therefore, it is wiser to invest in cabinets which offer a good solution to your storage space and are professionally designed for custom usage. Looking up designs and options for kitchen cabinets online is a good thing as the best deals and best discount kitchen cabinets are always available first on the web before anywhere else.

All-wood cabinets are a preferred choice of all homeowners as they are the sturdiest solutions that are available in the market. So many designs, shades and styles are available, that the customer is overwhelmingly spoiled by the choices. Going for the traditional customized kitchen cupboards designs are a thing of the past. Just search the internet and you can be amazed at the selection of ready-to-assemble kitchen cabinets for sale that are available for the new-age buyer. Giving your kitchen a makeover with a choice of RTA cabinets can bring alive your dream kitchen for you. These are ready-to-assemble kitchen solutions which are available from a number of dealers and manufacturers and are the latest fad for modern designer kitchen spaces. Easy instructions for assembly accompany every set if you attempt to do it by yourself.

These cabinets have been around for a while, but have recently come up with more modern and convenient designs which are easy to assemble and easy to maintain. With increasing popularity and demand, a whole lot of features and finishes have been added to the line to satisfy customer requirements. Shaker cabinets, ginger maple finish cabinets, the cherryville series, and the oak collection are only some of the most popular choices. If you plan to buy kitchen cabinets to refurbish your kitchen, you must consider these options which use nothing but the best quality wood and cam locks for giving you the best customized cabinets kitchen solution.

RTA kitchen cabinets are also very popular with homeowners because of the fact that they can be delivered to your doorstep in the shortest possible time. If remodeling experts are working at your place, you can even consider getting the set installed by them, without the headache and hassle of learning how to do it. However, even if you do not have such help at hand, assembling the cabinets by yourself is a very simple chore with user friendly instruction and guidance at your service.

The biggest advantage of buying kitchen cabinets online is the price. They are often sold as wholesale kitchen cabinets which come at a much lower price than the traditional customized ones. The key is to find the direct importer or manufacturer, and buy directly from them.

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Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets For a Great Kitchen Makeover

One of the more costly items in any kitchen remodel is the replacement of the cabinets. Many people face living with their present out dated kitchens simply because spending ten thousand dollars or more on new cabinets is simply not within their budget. However, there is a way that you can get that fresh new looking kitchen without having to replace the cabinets. Refinishing kitchen cabinets is a project that almost any homeowner can accomplish themselves for just a few hundred dollars and also face no lost time when it comes to the use of their kitchen.

If you look at your kitchen cabinets and the only thing you find you dislike about them is the finish, then you can easily remedy the problem. While the process is simple and easy, it does require quite a bit of work do be done properly. The doors will need to be removed from the cabinets, all surfaces cleaned, sanded and primed, along with the application of the new finish. Depending on whether you choose to refinish your cabinets by applying a new stained finish or a painted finish will determine the exact process you will follow.

Once you decide that refinishing your kitchen cabinets will provide you with the results you are looking for, you need to evaluate the condition of your cabinets to determine if they are structurally sound enough to last for several more years. Take a look at the cabinet boxes paying particular attention to the areas where they are joined at the corners. Insure that these joints are tight, or if not, make sure that they can be repaired and made tight once again. Check beneath the sink for any signs of water damage due to leakage from the plumbing supply or drainage systems. Now check that no doors are warped and all drawers operate smoothly and close tightly. If you find all these items to be satisfactory, then you can proceed with refinishing your kitchen cabinets.

To achieve the best results possible in this process, first take a trip to a local kitchen design center or home improvement store and choose a finish that you like. Obtain a sample of the finish color and head for your local paint store. I like to purchase materials for this product from a paint supply store because they will normally have employees that are knowledgeable about the exact products that will produce the best results. You will spend a little more money there, but you want the best quality paint, stain, and application supplies that are available if you want to produce great results. Remember, you are saving tens of thousands of dollars by not replacing your cabinets, so spend a little more to get quality materials.

In addition to purchasing high quality primers, paints or stains, and applicators, be prepared to take your time when you undertake this process. While there is nothing at all fun about refinishing kitchen cabinets, taking your time and completing each step thoroughly, will …

Why Tribal Rugs Are an Interior Decorator's Dream!

First of all, I will clarify what exactly a tribal rug is by giving you a simple definition.

Tribal Rug: A rug woven by nomadic or pastoral people based on traditional motifs woven with hand-spun wool. Tribal rugs were originally woven on wooden looms set up on the ground to be dismantled and reassembled while traveling. Normally a tribal rug will have a lower knot count and a geometric pattern verses the tightly woven symmetrical floral styles usually found in rugs produced in the larger cities. Older or antique tribal pieces will most often be woven with a wool foundation with plant based dyes. Tribal pieces would also include textiles woven to be used in daily life. This includes any pieces used inside or outside of nomadic dwellings or as animal trappings; functional or decorative. A few examples are: tent bands, saddle bags, salt bags, etc.

The above definition is from my Oriental Rug Definitions on my web site.

Here are a few quintessential tribal rugs just to give you a concept. All three of these pieces are different but still exude a certain classic tribal beauty and timeless appeal.

This first piece is a small 3 x 5 Persian Bijar. Bijar rugs are known as the iron rugs of Iran for the simple reason that their construction has proven them to be extraordinarily durable.

This particular piece was recently woven by Kurdish weavers in Iran. It is one of the most famous older Kurdish rug designs which is known as the Garros design.

I can see it as an entryway piece in a sleek modern interior or as an accent piece in a traditional living room.

In homes filled with antiques, tribal rugs work their magic every time. I have a number of books filled with famous, historic interiors throughout Europe and the US and it was not uncommon in these estates to mix and match tribal rugs from Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Russia.

This next piece is called a Serapi. This is an American (rug dealer's) term for the antique and more finely woven Herez rugs. As you can see, most tribal rugs have a geometric bent to their designs, even when based on floral motifs

I sold a similar piece to a client in Portland a few years back. The living room was huge and more like a great room which included a dining area and an open view of the kitchen. The wooden floors had a dark stain. The ceilings were high, there were two walls that were mostly windows, the kitchen had tons of chrome and looked like a chef's dream. This was a penthouse apartment in what is known as the Pearl in downtown Portland and the building was relatively new. The interior was quite contemporary but the client's furnishings were eclectic. We got the rug in place and it tied the whole room together and really brought it to life.

This last piece is one of my favorites. This is a Persian Luri. …