Monday, February 26, 2018

February Fun

The fact that January is National Soup Month was completely lost on me until I saw Pen and Prosper's post celebrating it near the end of the month. I am a fan of soup and have a handful of homemade favorites that my family likes. In discussing this with P & P's Jennifer Brown Banks, she suggested I share a recipe on my blog.  So I thought, why not? Better late than never, right? So if you're hungry for soup, I invite you to try it. :)

Santa Fe Soup 

A friend shared this recipe with me and it's become a family favorite. When the whole gang visits, I double or triple it.

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 packages ranch dip/dressing mix
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Rotel tomatoes (or other brand tomatoes with chilies)
  • 3 cans beans - your choice, a combination of kidney, black, northern, or pinto
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 small package frozen corn (1 can works too)
  • shredded cheddar cheese 
  • sour cream
  • tortilla chips

Brown ground beef or turkey, drain. In large soup pot, combine cooked beef/turkey, water, taco and ranch seasonings, and both cans of tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Drain beans and add to pot, then add corn. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. When serving, top with sour cream and cheese. Some like to eat it like soup, some like a dip with tortilla chips - either way, it's delicious!

Black  History Month 

I did remember that February is Black History Month, so I'm not totally out of the calendar loop here. :D  The Underground Railroad and those who made it happen have always been an interest of mine. So imagine my delight when I learned that Harriet Tubman frequently visited southern New Jersey, just minutes from where I grew up.

Harriet often worked in Cape May, NJ, a shore resort town, to earn funds to help rescue friends and family. It's exciting and sobering to learn that I've walked the same streets as Harriet did. When history becomes more alive like this, learning interesting tidbits and such, I appreciate it more. If you like, you can read the full article here in Cape May Magazine. Many thanks to my cousin Edie for sharing the link!

Winter Reading

What does your winter reading list include? I'm always reading several books, and this month the stack includes Laura Frantz's The Lacemaker, You've Already Got it! by Andrew Wommack, and Rosanna White's The Lost Heiress. I'm also rereading Switch on Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf - you might recall January's post, Training Your Brain where I mentioned it.

I recently finished These Healing Hills by Ann Gabhart. Ann stopped by for this post in November to share about her latest release, but I hadn't had a chance to read it then. I've enjoyed all of Ann's books, and this one was no exception. Here are a few of my thoughts about it:

This story had me staying up way too late to finish chapters! But I'd say that means Ann Gabhart wrote another good, engaging story.  I enjoyed reading about and learning the history of the Frontier Nursing Service. I also enjoyed getting to know the characters, Francine, a "city girl" and Ben, the "country boy". The secondary characters were fun too, and added much, from Woody and Sadie to Granny Em and Betty. In addition to being rich in history, this book reflects some of the struggles we all face at times - decisions, direction, and following our heart. I give it two thumbs up! I'd enjoy seeing another book that continues Francine's and Ben's story.

Are you a fan of soup? Do you have a favorite you enjoy during the winter months? Have you come across any great tidbits in relation to Black History Month? What's on your reading list for February?  

Happy writing,



Photo credit: Pixabay


  1. We have a lot of historical sites and battlefields near us.
    Not a big fan of soup but I do like a good clam chowder.

  2. The Sante Fe soup sounds delicious although I'd have to substitute a lot of ingredients.

  3. I would sooo try that soup if hubby would go near it. Sounds awesome. As for reading, I've been in a non-fiction rut for a while. I did get a Fanny Flagg book for Christmas and that was a hoot - as she always is! I loaned it out and can't remember the title right now. Ugh. Great post.

  4. I'm keeping your recipe. I love soup and I'm always looking for new ways to make it.

    How exciting to know you live in a place someone like Harriet Tubman visited. This is when time travel would be so handy.

  5. I love my husband's awesome chili! The two books I'm reading now are Invitation to Silence and Solitude by Ruth Haley Barton, and Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray. Terrific reads for Lent.
    Blessings, Karen!

  6. Awesome how where you live is connected to Harriet Tubman. I used to like to make soup too, but not worth it for just one. Loved seeing your reading list.

  7. Alex,
    NC does have many historical sites, doesn't it? I'll post another kind of recipe sometime! :)

    If you try it with the subs, let me know how it is! :)

    Maybe you could win over your hubby - it's really quite good. :)

    Let me know how you like it, okay? :) Love that kind of history.

    Martha Jane,
    You'll have to share the recipe with us sometime! :) Sounds like you have a great reading list. :)

    It's a tasty recipe, isn't it? With just my husband and I, I've taken to freezing the surplus when I cook. :)

    Happy writing,

  8. Thanks for the soup recipe, sounds yummy! And thanks for the link to the article on Harriet Tubman. I enjoyed reading it very much. I've been reading about the role Ulysses Grant, his family, and others in southwestern Ohio played in the Underground Railroad. It's a fascinating read, too. To think we in different ways have walked some of the streets where these people carried out amazing rescues. Always sobering and inspiring...

  9. Hi Karen - I do enjoy soup ... and now am occasionally having chowder ... as I'm in Canadaland. But a thick soup is delicious ... though I love gazpacho and cold lettuce soups in the summer ... I'm glad I'm having lunch shortly! Cheers Hilary

  10. This sounds like an amazing soup! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Kenda,
    You're welcome! If you give it a try, let me know if you like it.:) That does sound like good reading. I may need to check it out.

    Soup is good for the body and soul, isn't it? :) Yes, I imagine you are getting to try new things at the new place. Hope lunch was good!

    It is quite yummy. You're welcome! :)

    Happy writing,

  12. Yes, I love soup. However, the canned varieties and the packet soups all contain wheat flour. I am gluten-sensitive. Hubby makes the best chili. I use Tostito scoops in place of crackers.

  13. February flew by but I did try a new soup: lasagna soup. It okay. I want to try your soup!

  14. Cecelia,
    I'm sure your hubby's chili is wonderful! :) Hope you both are feeling better now.

    Haven't heard of that one. It sounds different. :O Let me know if you try it and like it, okay? :)

    Happy weekend,

  15. I'm a huge soup fan. I make a taco soup similar to this recipe. My new obsession is lemon chicken orzo. (Now I think I need to make a batch tomorrow, lol.)

  16. I love soup. I have been a vegetarian for the past couple years and just this winter discovered how easy it is to make soup in my crock pot. I have been doing a lot of experimenting. Yum! :)

  17. Tara,
    Going to have to try the Orzo recipe. Sounds yummy! Hope you got to make it! :)

    The crock pot is a wonder, isn't it? Use mine all the time. :)

    Happy writing,


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!