Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ready for FALL!

I am SO ready for Fall!  While I never have been the kind of person who is bothered by the weather, for some reason this year all the rain, gloom, and humidity has really made me lazy.  Just want to sit and read.  Not that that is a bad thing, but I am anxious for the crisp, cool mornings and the wonderful colors when the leaves change. 
Finally got out all my Fall decorations last Sunday when the weather was cool and it rained all day.   It was also the perfect day to make my favorite Vegetable Beef ( or no Beef ) Soup.  I have posted this recipe in the past, but this time I remembered to take some photos of the process - and made it a little differently than in the past.

Vegetable Beef ( or No Beef ) Soup

1 lb. lean ground beef, browned and drained.  BUT...I use one package of soy crumbles.   They are easy, on hand in the freezer, and we do not notice the difference as the soup cooks all day and takes the taste of the other ingredients.
1 14-1/2 ounce can of stewed tomatoes
1 15-1/2 ounce can of tomato sauce (I use a can of diced tomatoes instead of sauce.)
1 packet of dry onion soup mix
1 10-1/2 oz. can of beef broth( I use vegetable broth.)
1 15 oz package of frozen mixed vegetables ( and any other leftover veggies that are in the refrigerator!)

Mix all together in a slow cooker.  Stir in one soup can of water.   Cook on low temperature for 8 to 12 hours.  Enjoy with a loaf of crusty bread.

I made this yesterday before breakfast.   It was a raw, rainy day and we ventured out only to go to a great presentation on The First Ladies at the Cultural Center here at Willow Valley.   We spent the afternoon reading, watching a great old movie ( The Lady Vanishes, 1938), and enjoying the scent of a good soup simmering for our supper.   This meal makes enough for 6 dinner sized servings.  I put the remaining soup in freezer containers and am all set for the next cold and chilly day - just reheat in the microwave and enjoy.

This recipe is a great crock pot choice - and I spray the crock with non-stick spray just to make clean up easy.
The difference this time was that our neighbors were leaving for a trip and gave us all these home grown tomatoes from their garden.   I chopped up the tomatoes and used them instead of the can of stewed tomatoes in the recipe.
They were so fresh and juicy - I had to sneak a few pieces to taste!
This is where the NO BEEF comes in - I use these vegetable/soy crumbles and they are wonderful in this recipe.  Everything cooks for so long and absorbs the flavors that you would never know it was not ground beef.  I use this product in Chili as well - but not in Lasagna as you notice the difference in that dish.
Mixed vegetables...
Tomato sauce...
Broth - I use Vegetable Broth, and I use more than the recipe calls for...I like a lot of broth!
Then add one packet of Onion Sip mix...
Then mix it all together, cover, and cook all day.   It is so comforting on a cold and rainy day, perfect with some crusty bread and a nice glass of wine!  Since it is just the two of us I freeze the leftovers and they reheat well for a quick and easy meal some other day!

While the soup was cooking I started the Fall decorations...and of course, the EAGLES football had to be on display for the first game of the season!
Changed out the tray ( anybody else loving using trays???) and  added pumpkins, little apples, and my leaf candle holder.
Always like to add a seasonal touch to this book of poetry...
Some more apples ( love that plate, it used to sit in my kitchen window and caught the more kitchen window so I use it here...), pumpkins, and still some sunflowers for September.
I changed out the lighter pillows to a darker tone for Fall/Winter and added this leaf pillow I found at Ross a few years ago.
Love my reader statue ( Thank you, Joanne!) and always add something to her to celebrate the season.
Dining table...still a work in progress.  The leaf placemat was a "there is just one, it is a great price" at Pottery Barn last year.
Added some faux mums near the front door...

Some fall colors in the foyer and stuck some leaves into the Powder Room wreath...
Can't forget to add a little Fall to the outdoor table...yesterday it was finally dry and cool enough to enjoy lunch outside!
And lastly a Fall wreath to greet visitors!  We will enjoy this one until October 1...when it will be time for the Halloween decorating to begin!

Do you decorate for the Fall ?  I have cut way back on what I do, but still trying to simplify.   Any tips for me ?  Have you tried the soup recipe?  Thank you so much for stopping by Our New Vista - please leave a comment - and have a Fabulous Fall!


  1. I'll have to try out that recipe if I get a chance!
    Your fall decorations look beautiful, Ann. I don't tend to decorate until a week or so before Halloween, but love the idea of doing something simple. Your idea of using a tray would work well... I feel a Pinterest session coming on!

  2. Thanks, Sarah....I am trying to simplify. I have a bunch of Halloween items and I kind of just tuck them into the leaves and pumpkins. Hope you try the soup - have a fabulous Fall!


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