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.

Source Article

Interior Design Best Selling Books

Holly Becker writes Decorate: 1000 Professional Design Ideas for Every Room in Your House. In this book, top designers come together to share over 1000 tips on how you can change your room and do it to meet your budget. You can get inspiration from the beautiful colored examples in the book, photos of bathrooms, bedrooms, kitchens, parlors, as well as checklists, shortcuts, and cost cutting methods, so that you will be sure to find something in there that meets your eye as well as an explanation of how to make it possible in your own home.

Christine Lemieux writes Undecorate, a book that heralds a brand new kind of style that seeks to push aside the stuffy professional styles of today and bring their own personality into their home. The book profiles about twenty homes all over the nation and shows how it came to be the way it was by tying it in with the owner’s particular personality. Following the interests of car fanatics who turn their master bedroom into an air stream trailer to a couple that makes their house a log house, to someone who creates and English manor, to a variety of other kinds of strange creations that reveal the personality of the builder, this book will show you how to accomplish the same feat.

Domino: The Book of Decorating, written by Deborah Needleman is a book that offers step by step guides to decorating your rooms. No matter what styles you prefer, the book will have something in that vein as well as tips on how to mix and match styles, too. The Domino team contributes their own personal design efforts so you can see how they transformed their own rooms and in what kinds of styles they decided to work in. This is a great book if you are interested in redoing a room in your house.

My Passion for Design by Barbara Streisand is a beautifully illustrated persona tour of the great star’s homes and collections. From the Broadway stage, television and film stardom, her work as a director, and her work in the recording studio, Barbara has been an iconic figure with an extraordinary voice and immense talent. Now, in her first book, Barbara gives readers a glimpse into the taste that has inspired her beautiful home. This book focuses on the architecutre and construction of her home and contains many photographs of rooms she decorated herself. Other illustrations include the gardens she planted on her California coastal land. She gives us a look into the world of on of the most beloved stars.

Charlotte Moss Decorates: The Art of Creating Elegant and Inspired Rooms by Charlotte Moss gives a singular vision through a beautiful collection of her acclaimed rooms. Moss has led a celebrated career in the interior design world. Her book offers readers a glimpse into the methods behind her magic. For each room that is featured, Moss breaks the numerous stages of the design process, revealing storyboards and sketches developed for each project. Each chapter offers a dose of decorating advice and includes recommendations for her favorite flowers and fragrances.

Source Article

Garden Gazebos – A History

The word "gazebo" has always conjured up an image of a circular garden pavilion in my mind. The walls and roof are made of white lattice and the wooden floor is polished a vivid red. The sun is always shining and for some reason, the time period is always around the 19th century, with people drinking tea and eating scones. Gazebos have several names eg pagodas, summerhouses, screen houses pergolas and arbors. Their popularity has risen and fallen nearly as often as the tides. At the moment they are experiencing a popularity resurgence as people crave the illusion of peace that they bring.

Their existence can be traced back thousands of years to the earliest gardens all around the world. They did not start start out as garden structures, but were built as towers or lanterns on the roofs of houses. Their only aim was to provide the owner with spectacular views of the neighborhood and surrounding areas. It was only years later that they were built on the ground as havens of peace and pavilions from which one could admire one's garden.

The earliest known gazebos were in Egypt about 5000 BC. They belonged to royalty who believed their gardens to be paradise on earth. They also believed that they could take their gardens with them into the afterlife. In order to do so they had to have the layout for the garden depicted in a mural in the tomb. The earliest mural that has been found in a tomb dates back to 1400 BC. Some historians and archaeologists have speculated that Egyptians used the gazebos as small temples to commune with their gods.

Gazebo-like structures were built in Rome and ancient Greece. They were built to resemble small temples, often complementing the larger temple dedicated to their gods. The building material of choice was marble. As Rome's population increased and space became an issue, the rich and important in society began building summerhouses along the Mediterranean coasts. Gazebos featured most prominently in these coastal getaways.

Persian gazebos were inspired by Islamic architecture and referred to as "kiosks". These forms of gazebos could be anything from colored tents to elaborate 2-story structures with marble columns and golden seats. As Persia suffered from very hot summers, many gazebos were built across pools or streams so that the cool water would help regulate the temperature inside. Pagodas were also used as tombs for their owners.

Pagodas in China were elaborate and ornate. In Japan they were called teahouses and were used for their Tea Ceremonies. They were considered as places to rest, meditate, and achieve spiritual harmony as well as being ideally situated to admire the beauty of the garden. Japan's view of the pagoda is very much in line with the western view as places of peace and quiet reflection away from the main house. In the late 18th century the architecture of Chinese pagodas became very fashionable in Europe and turned up all across the continent.

The Renaissance saw gazebos become popular structures in monasteries where they were used as shrines and places of worship and meditation. During this time the Italians developed belvederes, which were similar to gazebos in structure. The difference was that they were built inside other buildings, usually on an upper level where there was a good view. Belvederes also became popular in monastery gardens as shrines and places of meditation.

The first time that the word "gazebo" was used was in 1752. William Halfpenny and his son, John, wrote it in a book called, "New Designs for Chinese Temples". The origins of the word are still a mystery. Etymologists have speculated that William, in a playful mood, added the Latin ending -ebo, as in videbo, meaning "I shall see", to the word gaze, to get the meaning "I will look".

Modern gazebos can be found in many public places, as well as private homes. In public parks they often serve as open-air theaters where musical concerts or dances can be held. Charity dinners can be held on pleasant summer nights. There are a variety of activities that can take place within a large public pagoda.

Designs are limited only by the imagination of the designer, and a range of materials can be used. The most popular material is wood; redwood and cedar are particularly good for covering outdoor spas and hot tubs. Belvederes are still popular designs today and are often attached to houses as sun rooms.

Gazebos can be designed to meet a variety of needs. They make beautiful structures for wedding receptions and can be used in gardens to guide vines and other creepers. Folding pavilions can be used for picnics and other outdoor activities to shield you from the sun. Beautiful, versatile and easy to manage as a do-it-yourself project, gazebos have a rich history and a long and peaceful future.

Recommended sites:

http://www.gazebocreations.com/cs_InfoPages.aspx?CategoryID=207

http://www.amishgazeboshop.com/acatalog/gazebo_history.html

Source Article

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.

There are so many interesting ways to hang a mirror that will enrich your room while illuminating it and making it appear larger. And with such a great selection of mirrors available all you need to do is set your budget and start shopping online.

Antique mirrors are the perfect addition to a Victorian décor. Follow these tips and you'll find the perfect mirror for your room.

Source Article

Important People for House Building

For those who are engineers, architects or interior designers, house building is definitely a fun process for them. They would understand the process and how it is done. They are the ones who have control over the whole building. During this process, there would be so many people who are involved. Of course, the owner of the house would be one of them but there are other people who are concerned too. They all have their own duties and responsibilities with the house. They may work separately in their areas but they work together to build a perfect house for the owner.

Here are the important and needed people who are involved in the house building and their responsibilities:

• Engineer: Provides the structure design of the whole house; in-charge of providing the structure from the floors to the roof; works together with a work supervisor and a site supervisor

• Architect: the most important person in house building; gets the ideas from the clients and they are the ones who puts it into paper; are knowledgeable with guidelines and legal requirements that are related to your building so they are hired to avoid any legal issues; could pick out the workers for the area

• Contractor: they are the ones who watches all the workers and labourers at the site; supervises their work to ensure that they are doing their job well

• Mason: in charge of the construction of the whole house; in charge of building walls and other construction

• Carpenters and Painters: One of the most needed people during the building process; they are the ones who provides the doors, windows, cabinets and other woodworks that you need; paints walls, ceilings, etc

• Electrician and Plumber: Every house must need a good source of water and electricity so they are the ones who would fix the lines and pipes to have good water supply and electricity connection

All of these people are needed during the house building. So there are really a lot of people when you go to the site. They all must do a good job to be able to build a strong and nice house. They all must agree on things and cooperate with each other so the house would look nice. All of them have one goal. Their goal is to be able to build a home where a person or a family would be able to live comfortably.

Source Article

Interior Designer Dorothy Draper – Inferior Desecrator?

The actual profession of interior designer is credited to a woman named Dorothy Draper, who was commissioned to decorate all thirty-seven floors of the Hampshire House hotel in 1937 Manhattan. Even though renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright called her an “inferior desecrator,” Ms. Draper had decorated scores of offices, restaurants, hospitals, and even a car for Packard (in 1952) and an airplane interior for Convair (the 880) before she died in 1969.

Ms. Draper also left a legacy through a number of books, as well, including a string of books on entertaining etiquette, some of which have recently been reprinted to help modern socialites entertain guests and be the life of their parties. In a way, Dorothy Draper was the Martha Stewart of her day, offering tips on a wide variety of issues to her eager readers.

Although Dorothy Draper is no longer a household name, she had an enormous effect on American interior design ideas in her day, and though she had her detractors (like Frank Lloyd Wright and others), there’s no denying that she was the one who made the profession of interior designer possible for all those who came after her.

Much of Ms. Draper’s work hasn’t survived to the current day, but you can still see some of Ms. Draper’s work in various places around the country. For instance, there are still Dorothy Draper chandeliers hanging in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. For a less prosaic look into Ms. Draper’s influence, just look for the blue-and-orange facades of the many Howard Johnson restaurants that still dot the countryside from coast to coast. Their color scheme was first suggested by Dorothy Draper.

The science of interior design has come a long way over the past seventy years. Today, it’s a multimillion dollar industry, and incorporates aspects of environmental psychology, and architecture, as well as product and furniture design to create spaces that work well and are esthetically pleasing to their owners.

Source Article

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.

Source Article

Home Decor Tips – Ideas and Solutions for Uneven Walls and Existing Tiled Walls

Asking for wiring and cables to be concealed inside walls is always a risk. You run the risk of poor workmanship with wires that don't lie flat inside and the walls bulges out in an ugly track across the wall. Here're some home decor tips with creative ideas for uneven walls:

A fast and easy option would be to lay over the wall with a wall board. You'll lose only a few inches of space, and once the board's painted over, you'll get a smooth surface that matches the other walls in your interior.

A fun and funky option would be to commission a plaster artist to create a textural surface or even a wall mural. The basic material can be plaster or a more durable marble-resin finish. In one instance, the home owner's love of the sea inspired an artist to create a free form wave mural for the living room that evokes Spanish architect Gaudi's melting buildings as much as it does waves lapping the shore.

An important point to note is that both treatments, the wall board and the textual finish, are removable. This is important, as should you ever have to locate a fault in the electrical cabling, you can heck or remove the wall quickly. Textured finishes can be repaired and repainted, so no expensive remodeling will be needed.

If your room is covered with existing ceramic tiles, you should not try to paint over with ceramic paint since these paints are hobby craft paints and can be costly for such a large area. The result may also be unsatisfactory as you have never attempted such a DIY project.

One solution for unsightly tiled walls is to have the contractor cover the wall with gypsum board. You'll only lose a few inches in terms of depth. And you can then have the wall coats painted to match the other walls.

If you decide to keep the tiled wall, make it more prominent in your décor scheme by playing up the texture with furniture, So if you've got rust colored tiles, teak, rattan and ethnic accents would work well. Keep also to pale cheerful colors in the fabrics – banana yellow, aqua and cream are good choices. This will counter the dark wall and floor and keep the look light and airy.

Source Article

House Insurance Offers: Tips on Getting Better Quotes and Discounts

It might take some time for you to do some research, but you really do want to be careful when evaluating house insurance offers. How do you know which company is right for you? What about the policy? Does it include everything you need? Is it right for your home and property? What about the contents of your home? All of these questions must be answered before you sign any contracts.

Always check the financial stability of any company you are considering and consult consumer sites to read reviews and ratings. Also, keep in mind that you might not necessarily need the traditional insurance type. There are newer, modern solutions such as “peer to peer models”. This is an ideal system for those who have trouble getting affordable insurance the traditional way.

Regardless of which type of system you go for, it is essential that you know the value of your property and contents. If the current market value of your home really isn’t very much, how much would it take to make repairs if it’s damaged in a fire or flood? How much would it be to completely build a new home? Like any other type of insurance, you should consider premiums VS deductibles when it comes to house insurance offers.

One way to get a discount and save money on your payments is to make your home as disaster-resistant as possible. For instance, you might be able to save on premiums by purchasing stronger roofing materials, reinforcing your roof, adding storm shutters, investing in sprinklers, modernizing your plumbing and heating, etc.

Item List for House Insurance Offers

Make a list of the personal, valuable items you want to insure. Don’t automatically assume that they will be included under general coverage. Personal property hat people tend to want coverage for in insurance policies include expensive collections, jewelry, art, furs, electronics, and so forth. Even if personal property is included in the homeowners insurance rate, it might not be enough, and there might be exceptions. Some people choose to buy extra protection for specific items of high-value.

If you already have home insurance and are thinking about looking for something more affordable, one thing you’ll want to do is review your current dwelling coverage to ensure that it is not below 80% of the full replacement cost of the home. If it is, then your current company might reduce the amount that it will pay you should you file a claim. Keep this in mind when you are looking for a new, better deal, or take the steps necessary to improve the value of the dwelling.

Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of home / property insurance and how house insurance offers work, it’s time to start doing research. One company that is currently becoming very popular is Lemonade. It offers a unique peer-to-peer type of solution and pays out claims VERY quickly. See if it is available in your state, and if so, see if you qualify for a Lemonade Insurance discount.

Source Article

Latest Interior Design Trends to Beautify Your House

Living in a beautiful house is a dream many of us cherish for long. However, only a few among us take steps in the right direction and realize the goal of beautifying the home. Those who do look for latest interior design trends so that the spaces can start looking charming and inspired corners are transformed completely. Such home owners want neighbors and relatives to take note of the interior designing work and thus, search for ideas in magazines, on the web and on TV etc. They also make sure the interior design trends fit well into the trends of the modern times and meet societal ethos.

Let’s look at some of features of latest interior design trends –

Latest trend don’t fade out soon

Latest trends in interior designing won’t change soon as they’re quite unlike those in the fashion and tech industries. Rather, they stay in there and gradually get to people and grow on people across societies. They will be in vogue for years and you can find houses accepting them and assimilating their virtues in a slow manner.

They blend traditional and modern ideas together

Latest interior design trends are not any unique discovery or concept; rather, they are a coming together of the merits of the traditional and modern ideas. For example, the use of wooden materials is growing across modern structures and it’s like going back to the classical touch. And home owners now prefer small yet cozy spaces which was norm during the 60s and 70s.

Greater use of natural materials and colors

It’s true that home owners today do a greater use of natural materials and colors in beautifying the interiors of their house. In fact, hand-crafted items are also a fad these days among people aspiring for beautiful home interiors. Similarly, the use of modern geometry and colorful texture is on the up in interior designing. Not to forger, the use of glass or other see-through objectives is rising up steadily for transforming the interiors.

A touch of nature in design

Calm and cosy atmosphere is the latest desire for home owners when they design the interiors of the house. They want the spaces to get a cleaner and greener look at the cost of flashy ornamentation and gaudy enhancements. Using greener and natural materials or options to bring in a touch of nature is surely the latest trend with interior designing. This is why wood and green carpets are used more these days in interiors.

Hand-crafted items more in demand

Let’s admit it straightway – people want classy look and feel. They can vintage furniture and accessories, preferably hand-crafted ones to grace the interiors. The focus is to lend the interior a dash of artistic craftsmanship through the use of items hand-crafted with perfection. So, you can feel the difference with the way customized furniture are used these days.

More natural light, less dark shades

As per latest interior design trends, the focus is shifted to more natural lights and less dark shades. So, only those objects and materials are used that bring in more light and take out dark shades. Similarly, home owners today prefer bold patterns, objects with smooth edges, accessories with soft edges and bright primary colors.

Source Article