I have to laugh at some of the photos I take.  Even after nearly two years of having my DSLR camera, I still struggle to get it to work the way I want.  Case in point.  Here is a picture of my breakfast yesterday morning.

steak 002

I have no idea what the hell setting it was on.  But I switched the dial around and this was my second picture:

steak 003

I think I like the second one better, no?! Open-mouthed smile

I took my rest day on Thursday, so yesterday I decided to do the stairmaster – I did 30 minutes of that, then abs on the balance ball.

78 floors

I bring soup for my office on Friday’s, which I have dubbed Souper Friday!  This time around I made this sausage, potato bean soup.  I did make some changes to the original recipe though.  No onions, thank you very much. Crying face

Hearty Sausage, Potato and Bean Soup


  • 1 lb ground beef (I used ground sirloin)
  • 1 lb ground sausage
  • 1 large onion, chopped (no thanks)
  • 2-3 large carrots, chopped (I used 3)
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped (I used 3)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 2)
  • 2-3 potatoes, cubed (I used six white potatoes)
  • 4 cans (or about 8 cups) beans, drained and rinsed (any, I used black & garbanzo) (I used one can of black beans, drained)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (I used 28 ounce can)
  • seasoning salt (Johnny’s) or salt, to taste
  • lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder, or more to taste (I used a teaspoon)
  • 6 cups chicken stock


In a large (6 qt or bigger) dutch oven or soup pot, brown the sausage over medium-high heat. (Don’t worry about cooking it through, that can happen later!). Remove to a plate and set aside.

If your meat was very lean and there’s not much grease in the pan, pour in a little olive oil and then sauté the onions, carrots and celery until soft and starting to brown a but. (Make sure you stir occasionally and scrape up all the good bits off the bottom of the pan… that’s where a bunch of flavor comes from!)

Stir in the garlic and cook for a minute or two until very fragrant.

Dump in the rest of the ingredients, including the meat you browned earlier, stir well, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least an hour.****

steak 007

I would caution that using a teaspoon of chipotle pepper makes this quite spicy, so tone it down a notch if you can’t handle the heat.  Everyone in my office raved about the soup – the Italian sausage gives it a complex flavor and of course you all know I love my shit spicy!  I actually found chipotle pepper at T.J. Maxx of all places!

steak 017

**** I cooked this on Thursday night and it simmered for nearly 3 hours.  I put it straight into the crock pot when I got to work.  At 10:30, I checked on it, and my potatoes were still hard as rocks.  I ended up having to scoop them out of the soup, microwaving them, and putting them back.

So check out my Soup Loot!  I charged $3 a person, and I made $30 bucks.

soup loot

So I spun the meat wheel at the 50% off discount section.  I ended up getting 8 sirloin steaks for $12.20!

steak 018

And Rhonda, I totally thought of you because for the first time they had 50% off cheese!  I bought a slice of herbed brie and a container of mini mozzarella balls, that I then tossed in olive oil and seasonings when I got home – each one cost me $2.10!

steak 019

I ended up spending $26 of my $30 soup loot – but check out how much I saved!

steak 006

I quickly made some mashed potatoes and pan seared the steak in our cast iron skillet.  I ended up adding 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan after I took the steaks out, and split that between our plates – a super simple, yet delicious pan sauce.

steak 020

So do you want to know reason 2,922 why I love Tony?

He made me pumpkin cornbread!

I love corn bread.  I am sure I’ve talked about it on the blog before, but when I worked in Chicago, at least 2-3 times a week I’d walk the 10 blocks to Heaven on Seven and fork over $2.50 cents for a square of their jalapeno corn bread.  It was moist, flavorfully spicy.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Tony?  He’s not a corn bread fan.  At all.  Scones and corn bread would not be his selection if he were stuck on a desert island.

But he was listening to a pod cast and someone was talking about adding pumpkin to corn bread so that it wasn’t dry – it kept it moist.  Tony adapted this recipe, although he left out the molasses because we didn’t have any, and he added about a cup and a half of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Cornbread


1 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 large eggs
1.5 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8×8″ cake pan.  Tony baked his in our cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, brown sugar, and cornmeal; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, lightly beat the eggs, and then stir in the pumpkin, oil, and molasses.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until combined, and then pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

steak 012

This is amazeballs.  If you love pumpkin, and you love corn bread, this is the recipe for you.  And suprisingly, it’s not overly pumpkiny.  I called it “holiday corn bread!”  Thanks Tony!!

So I’ve had a lazy morning so far, which I don’t mind a bit.  I have to run some errands, make some bread for my SIL and maybe Tony and I will rent a movie tonight.

Tomorrow I am meeting my sister and Mom at my Mom’s church for their holiday sing concert, then going to Piggyback Tavern for lunch – can’t wait!  Smoked meat, North Carolina sauce and tacos?  Um, count me in!

Have a great weekend – “see” you on Monday. Open-mouthed smile