Ravioli Soup Recipe

I was visiting Lorilee at CRACKLEBERRY COTTAGE the other day and discovered her recipe for RAVIOLI SOUP.

I made the soup Tuesday night and it was WONDERFUL! Very tasty! My husband had a second bowlful! I broiled some garlic cheese bread and made a small salad to go along with it.

Lorilee’s recipe is as follows…then in BOLD are my modifications for what I had on-hand.

The recipe is another from Once-A-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg.


1 pound ground beef (1 POUND GROUND TURKEY-Italian Style Jennie-o)
1/ 4 cup soft bread crumbs (1/2 cup smashed Ritz Crackers…I thought I had bread crumbs in the frig…was wrong)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (grated 3 Cheese Blend – Parmesan, Asiago & Romano)
3/4 teaspoon onion salt (NONE…I don’t use onion salt)
2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves (2 cloves) (I used 4 cloves-love, love, love garlic)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion (I used one large onion)
1 28-ounce can Italian-style crushed tomatoes in puree ( I used Diced…ME TOO)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste (I only had a small can of sauce)
1 14 1/2 can beef broth (I used 32oz of Fat Free Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth)
1 cup water (no water as I used more broth)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
(I used 3 teaspoons of a blend of dried herbs from my garden that consists of Basil, Oregano, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, and Italian Parsley)
1 12-ounce package plain ravioli without sauce
salt (I didn’t use any salt)
parmesan cheese for serving

Cook the ground beef in a large pot until browned, about 15 minutes. (I ADDED THE ONION AND GARLIC 1/2 WAY THROUGH THIS PART) Drain the fat. Combine remaining ingredients except frozen ravioli and additional parmesan cheese. Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Thaw and cook ravioli according to package directions until just tender. Drain ravioli; add to soup. Salt to taste and serve with parmesan cheese.

Wednesdays Ramblings ~ Hobby Farm Home

I picked up a copy of the March/April 2009 Hobby Farm Home magazine and was flipping through it last night. Big sigh. Am sharing some things I really like from it ~

Page 8 ~ Hobby-farm real estate around the country. I soooo would love this house and make it into a B&B!

History in the Making $340,000…historic, 3-story limestone house in Scandia, Kansas. Farmstead that was settled in 1868 with a house that was built in 1900 by a blacksmith, Charles H. Herrman, a native of Sweden. 15 rooms with 8 bedrooms and 4-1/2 baths ~ 3 bedrooms on 3rd floor with private baths. A dairy barn, corn crib and carriage house are situated alongside the house on 11 acres.


Page 10 ~ From the General Store ~

Eggstra Seating An Egg Gathering Stool is an old-fashioned milking stool that traditionally performed double-duty by securing eggs from the hen house in the specially designed holes. You can find it at Victorian Trading Company. Or just make one yourself out of scrap lumber. 🙂


Page 17 ~ Country Fare ~

Soup Spoons ~ Jonathan’s Lazy Spoons. Unique spoons, spatulas and ladles, handcrafted from cherry wood, have notched handles, so they can rest securely on the side of the pan, rather then taking up space on the counter or stove.

They’re found at Jonathan's Wild Cherry Spoons.


Page 18 ~ Country Fare ~

No-Towel Drying ~ Ditch the towel and don a pair of Grab & Dry Gloves. Made from highly absorbent terrycloth, the gloves have a soft, waterproof lining to keep hands dry and stretch to fit most hands.


Page 22 ~ Mad about Maple

Granny’s Maple Puddings (looks like Yorkshire Pudding with maple syurp! OMGosh! I’ve gotta try this recipe!)

6 oz Flour
generous pinch of salt
2 Eggs
1-3/4 cups Milk
1 bottle pure maple syrup
sour cream


Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well. Whisk in flour, salt and milk to make a very smooth batter of pouring consistency. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, take a metal muffin tin and pour a tiny amount of light vegetable oil (less then a teaspoon) into the base of each individual muffin. Heat the oven to 400F and pop the muffin tin in to heat up the oil.

When the oil is hot, give the batter a quick stir and then fill each muffin place with batter to almost full.

Hurry the tin back into the oven for 35-45 minutes-try not to open the oven door for the first 30 minutes, but check on them after that. Muffin trays vary in size, and your cooking time will vary accordingly. They should come out of the oven when they’re golden brown and risen.

Serve hot with pure maple syrup and sour cream. Serves 6 (two puddings per person).

Chicks in the City by Cherie Langlois ~ page 50.

Article on raising chickens in the suburbs/city.

Love it…as I’ve been mulling over the idea of getting 3 laying hens for fresh eggs. There is enough room in the backyard for them…and they can eat the buggies in my garden during the summer. I just want 3 hens, no bubbas as I don’t want to subject the neighbors to crowing at all hours…although if their stupid dogs can bark all night long, I don’t know why I should care about a rooster crowing.

Page 102 ~

10 Good Reasons to Keep Chickens
1 ~ Scratching…Watching chickens as they scratch around in the dirt looking for morsels is very soothing.
2 ~ Roosting…Every evening at dusk, the flock makes its way tot he coop to huddle together for the night.
3 ~ Crowing…The day hasn’t officially started until a rooster announces its arrival.
4 ~ Motherhood…Hens are wonderful mothers and tenderly take care of their babies.
5 ~ Snuggling…Hand-raised chickens can be affectionate pets that snuggle in your lap for petting.
6 ~ Baby Chicks…Few things are as cute and innocent-fun to hold-as a baby chick.
7 ~ Gallant Roosters…Roosters are the epitome of chivalry, calling the hens to partake in their food discoveries and refusing to eat until the ladies have arrive.
8 ~ Pest Control…Free-roaming chickens spend the whole day working to keep down the bug population.
9 ~ The Shuffle Dance…It’s fun to watch roosters do this special cha-cha to impress their hens.
10 ~ Fresh Eggs…Nothing tastes better than fresh eggs!


Page 104 ~ Planting on Your PC

This sorta caught my eye…you can have a free 30-day trial, and if you like it, $25/year.

Garden Planning Tool ~ lets you plan out your garden online…enables backyard gardeners of all levels to easily design the perfect fruit and vegetable garden. It’s easy to draw out your garden plan and decide how best to plant it. The GrowVeg.com planning tool clearly shows how much space plants require and how to group them for maximum success, removing the need to look up planting distances and crop families. Will even send email reminders for planting seeds or transplanting seedlings; can be tailored to your climate zone which helps calculate frost dates and planting times.

Time to Plan Your Garden! ~ Sparks, NV



Even though it’s still January and in the middle of winter…I can’t stop thinking about my garden! I’m getting itchy and twitchy! I want dirt under my nails!

In between the rains last week and the snow over the weekend there was a brief break in the skies and the sun came out. I rushed out back and busied myself with my raised garden beds. Checked the soil, threw on some leaves, newspaper and grass that was mulching in a corner and some of Starbuck’s coffee grounds. Did you know that all Starbucks have a bucket near the door that have spent coffee grounds for free?! 🙂 If you’re anywhere near UNR…the Student Union Starbucks has more then plenty.

Last year was my first garden in the raised beds we made…and there were no wormies in the soil then. I dug around and found lots of wormies in my beds. 🙂 Eat and poop my little ones!

Here are the plans for and what the raised beds looked like before I took it apart and made it smaller. PLANS FOR RAISED BEDS

The BEDS BROKEN UP INTO TWO instead of one massive bed.



While over at ECLECTIC CULTURE FARM I found a great site called Local Harvest ~ Real Food. Real Farmers. Real Community!

LOCAL HARVEST ~ Nevada (I linked to the Nevada part of the site…it’s country-wide though.)

Here is a little closer to home ~ NORTHERN NEVADA & EASTERN CALIFORNIA

There are lot of local farms listed where you can buy from…also a shop page to buy seeds, gifts, and whatnot.

My mouth is watering over the HEIRLOOM TOMATO SEEDS! Are those the most beautiful lip-smacking things ever?! I’m all ah-giddy!


I’m going to start my seeds soon…last year I planted most of my seeds right into the ground. But I think I’ll start my peppers and tomatoes inside this year…I harvested a bunch of seeds before eating them. 🙂 Hatch Green Chiles and Heirloom Maters….yummmmmie!

After some doing some online research I found that you can start your seeds in almost any type of container as long as it is at least 2 to 3 inches deep and has some drainage holes.

The seeds should be started in a soilless growing mix that is made up of fine, moist and spongy blend of sphagnum moss, vermiculite and perlite. You can mix your own, using 1/3 vermiculite, 1/3 perlite, 1/3 milled sphagnum moss. This mix hardly contains any, if any, nutrients. Start feeding the seedlings with a weak fertilizer solution several weeks after they germinate…they’ll need to be fed weekly until it’s time to transplant them into the garden.

After the wee plants are 6-8 weeks old, they can be transplanted into larger pots with a coarser growing mix with up to 20% garden soil or compost…that will help the plants get ready for garden life.

Here is a cool schedule I found ~ WHEN TO START YOUR SEEDS from The Gardner’s Supply Company online site.





WASHOE COUNTY CALENDAR ~ if you live in a different county than Washoe, just click on the drop-down menu and it will let you click on your county!

A Great Link for Teachers ~ SCHOOL GARDENS PROGRAM.


SEED SAVERS EXCHANGE ~ Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange members have passed on approximately one million samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners. They are a non-profit organization of gardeners dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.

A great write-up on THE THREE SISTERS GARDEN
~ The Three Sisters garden is a special way of growing corn, pole beans and winter squash, and its first use can be traced back to the Iroquois Confederacy.

GARDENING IN NEVADA ~ The Bartley Ranch Series. FREE CLASSES on Tuesdays starting 3 February through 31 March 2009.

Estate & Thirft Store Finds from the Weekend

Wanted to share some pretty neat finds…if I say so myself! 🙂

On Friday I found in the mail an ad to send away for Lasagna Gardening ~ A new layering system for Bountiful Gardens: No diggin, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! By Patricia Lanza. Was thumbing through it and put it onto the “maybe” pile as it was pretty expensive…four payments of $7, plus shipping.

Guess what I found Sunday afternoon at our local Savers store for $1.99?! Looks pretty good…but I would never pay $28 plus for it. So check to see if your local library or thrift store has it or maybe someone is selling a copy on Craigslist.

Note: This is a gardening book…not a cooking book! 🙂


The following all came from a local estate sale that was held at the south end of town. I picked up 3 metal flower frogs, a hanging scale, a book, a pretty cream/green/floral can, and another old brass hose nozzle (not pictured) …for $6.

A hanging scale from L.F. & C. of New York that goes up to 25 pounds.

Three small metal flower frogs. (I already had the pottery one)

A vintage tin can that’s cream with a floral print…probably for flour or coffee.

And a very cool book, Out on the Porch ~ An Evocation in Words and Pictures ~ With an Introduction by Reynolds Price. Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1992.

The porch…along with the kitchen is my “favoritest” part of the house!

It’s chock full of great pictures of porches in America with passages from books written by William Faulkner, James Agee, Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Mark Twain, Josephine Humphreys, Clyde Edgerton, Annie Dillard, and Rick Bass.

It was a summer of wistaria. The twilight was full of it and of the smell of his father’s cigar as they sat on the front gallery after supper…while in the deep shaggy lawn below the veranda fireflies blew and drifted in soft random.
– William Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom!

“Out on the porch…” The very words bring to mind a mood, a feeling, an image of a place to relax and enjoy a cool breeze on a warm night, a place for reading, rocking, and storytelling. Out on the Porch is a book for everyone who’s ever passed a shady veranda and felt inclined to stop and rest.”

The twilight was blurred and soft. Supper was almost ready and the smell of cabbage floated to them from the open hall. All of them were together except Hazel, who had not come home from work, and Etta, who still lay sick in bed. Their Dad leaned back in a chair with his sock-feet on the bannisters. Bill was on the steps with the kids. Their Mama sat on the swing fanning herself with the newspaper. Across the street a girl new in the neighborhood skated up and down the sidewalk on one roller skate. The lights on the block were just beginning to be turned on, and far away a man was calling someone.
-Carson McCullers ~ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

For Today ~ 26 January 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 26 January 2009

Outside My Window… Grey sky…snowing. Looks like a bit of wind too as the snow is sorta horizontal. Construction workers so bundled up they look like Randy from The Christmas Story. Hope that they have on some woolies under all of that.

I am thinking… I want to garden. Wish I had a diet Mt. Dew. Or a cup of hot chocolate. I still have to book a flight for a student interview. What the heck is that noise that is coming from down the hall?!

I am thankful for… for my space heater under my desk…it’s keeping my tootsies nice and warm.

From the kitchen… Will be chicken tacos. Was honey/mustard/garlic marinade chicken with steamed broccoli.

I am wearing… blue jeans, tennies, and a black turtleneck and a necklace made by safarisister on etsy…we bartered, her lovely jewelry for my soaps.

I am creating… an afghan using a new crochet stitch I taught myself on Saturday…using the yarn I started making a scarf with…the one that could have wrapped up four necks. ROFL!

I am going… to bundle up real soon as I have to take some paper work down to Admissions & Records.

I am reading… Merle.

I am hoping… that I don’t wish a pox onto our Governor…it’s real tempting at the moment.

I am hearing… the air system…it sounds like the ceiling is getting ready for take-off.

Around the house… I cleaned outside in between the rain and snow storms. Put more mulch on top of the garden. Cleaned up after the birds out front…they are very messy eaters. And cleaned out the spent fall flowers.

One of my favorite things… my space heater.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… learn more crochet stitches. Plan my garden.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Flower Frogs I bought at an Estate Sale this Saturday for $2.25 ~


The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook will take place each Monday.

Here’s how to take part:

1. Write up and publish your journal page using the questions/picture ideasI have listed below onto your blog. Be as descriptive as you can! This makes it more interesting to your readers. (You may cut and paste them for the purpose to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook.)

2. Copy the “permalink” from your “The Simple Woman’s Daybook” post, not the link to the front page of your blog. This will make it much easier for others to find instead of looking through the entire list of entries at your blog for your “daybook”. This will save time for all of us.

3. Come back here and add your permalink to Mister Linky.

Learning new Crochet Stitches ~ Clusters & Popcorn

Spent late afternoon Saturday teaching myself new crochet stitches from the book A to Z of Crochet ~ The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner (me) to Advanced Crocheter.

I know the single, double, half double, treble stitches…and now I’m pretty confident I know the Clusters stitch using double stitches, semi-confident about the Popcorn stitch. I’ve got the Popcorn stitch down pat going one direction, but it’s the return direction that has me fretting.

My progress on the Cluster Stitch ~ I would think it would make an excellent afghan.

Now onto the Popcorn stitch…first I made a single chain and then back again with a single stitch. Then I started the popcorn stitches…at first I skipped a stitch, popcorn stitch, then instead of skipping a stitch to start the next popcorn, I put it into the very next stitch. WRONG! LOL! I did half with the single stitches and then half with skipping a stitch. The skipping stitches turned out much better. So I started over again. Turned out great. Then it said to do a row of either a single stitch, half double, or double before starting the popcorn stitches again. This is where I faltered. Going back the stitches are doubled…so do I put in single stitches or two single stitches to every stitch? I’ll keep playing with this one until I’m more comfortable with it. Not really sure what you’d make with this stitch…I guess it would make a very cute hat.

For Today ~ 19 January 2009 ~ Simple Woman’s Daybook

FOR TODAY … 19 January 2009

Outside My Window… Sunny, very cold morning. I’m here at work on my day off ~ only for a while. But the construction guys are out back. Banging and beeping and hammering away.

I am thinking… My computer is awfully slow. Guess it wants the day off.

I am thankful for… my husband getting unemployment payments. He worked enough in all the temp jobs to received payments when not working. It’s not a lot, but will pay a few bills.

From the kitchen… BBQ Beef made in the crockpot. It turned out pretty good…will get 3 meals out of it. I found the recipe in the Raley’s ad last Wednesday. You take one beef chuck roast and cut it up into large chunks and place in crockpot. Peel and slice one large yellow onion and place on top of meat. Combine one jar of bbq sauce, 2 Tbsp of cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp of chili powder and 1 tsp of black pepper…pour over meat. Cover and cook on High for 4 hours or on Low for 8-10 hours. Remove meat and shred with two forks…you can return it to the onions and sauce or take the onions out.

First night I served it over a bowl of rice. Tonight we’ll have it as a sandwich in sourdough rolls. I’ll freeze the rest for later.

I am wearing… blue jeans, tennies, and a purple waffle thermal shirt.

I am creating… quilts.

I am going… to go buy bird seed and my nephew’s birthday present.

I am reading… nothing at the moment.

I am hoping… That the state does not vote for 6% paycut for us state workers…along with increase of $110 a month in insurance…along with a freeze of Cost of Living and Merit raises.

I am hearing… construction workers.

Around the house… it’s clean…we did some cleaning over the weekend.

One of my favorite things… a feather pillow and clean sheets.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week… finish cleaning the student files at work.

Here is a picture thought I’d share with you…

Some fabric I bought to make a quick cute quilt ~


The Simple Woman is the original home of The Simple Woman's Daybook.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook will take place each Monday.

Here’s how to take part:

1. Write up and publish your journal page using the questions/picture ideasI have listed below onto your blog. Be as descriptive as you can! This makes it more interesting to your readers. (You may cut and paste them for the purpose to participate in The Simple Woman’s Daybook.)

2. Copy the “permalink” from your “The Simple Woman’s Daybook” post, not the link to the front page of your blog. This will make it much easier for others to find instead of looking through the entire list of entries at your blog for your “daybook”. This will save time for all of us.

3. Come back here and add your permalink to Mister Linky.

The Lemonade Award

Karen from Homespun Simplicity has given me the Lemonade Award. (It’s a good thing I love lemons and lemonade! 🙂 )

This award is passed to bloggers for showing great Attitude and/or Gratitude.

LOL! I’m sure most of my friends would say I definitely have the attitude…sometimes I like to add vodka into my pink lemonade.

The rules of this award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.

Hmmmm…now to figure out who to pass this onto. Attitude and Gratidute….think, think, think.

Belinda of Sewing Sunsets
Sue of Perpetual Plum
Angela of Eclectic Culture Farm

I’m just going to name 3…and go against the rules, I normally don’t let them know as I don’t want people to feel obligated. 🙂