First of all, for the exciting news: The winners of February’s Reader Appreciation Giveaway!!

The winner of the Top Commenter’s $10 Target Card was: Leanna!
The winner of the other $10 Target Card was: Christie!

Congratulations, Ladies!! Please email me your addresses so I can get your cards out in the mail.

And – I will be having a VERY EXCITING giveaway announcement at the beginning of next week. So stay tuned!!

Secondly, a few of you requested my Vegetable Soup recipe from Mom’s Birthday Dinner. There’s no magic formula – it’s quite delicious, but it’s pretty simple and without exact measurements, but here you go (and by the way, I doubled this recipe to feed our whole family, but we had a lot of leftovers also):

1 – 1.5 lbs Beef Tips (same thing as Stew Beef except it’s cut smaller)
2-3 large cans of whole tomatoes
1-2 Yellow Onions, Chopped
2-3 lbs. Potatoes, chopped into squares with peels left on
2 Beef Buillon Cubes
1 large bag of frozen mixed veggies (corn, peas, butterbeans, green beans, carrots, etc.)
1 large bag of frozen Okra
Salt and Pepper

Put the beef in the stock pot and cover with water. Cook the beef on medium while chopping veggies.

Chop onions and potatoes and cut the whole tomatoes into quarters. Put all into stock pot, including tomato juice.

Add buillon cubes, salt, pepper, frozen veggies and HALF of the frozen okra.

Simmer for a long time, stirring every now and then, until the meat and the potatoes are tender (it helps to steam with a lid on). Be sure and taste it every now and then for good health and to know whether you need more salt and pepper.

About 20 minutes before serving, add the rest of the okra.

Serve with cornbread.


Oh – and cornbread. Let me tell you. I consider myself a pretty decent cook – I follow directions well, so I have confidence in myself that I can make most things. However, I have made my great-grandmother’s cornbread recipe out of the family cookbook a million times and it always crumbles into a big pile. And is as dry as dirt, no matter how many sticks of butter I slather on it.

So on a weak whim one day, I bought a bag mix (GASP) at the store of sweet cornbread – just add milk and an egg. I made it and it was the most delicious, perfectest cornbread that I ever had.

And I’ve never gone back. Sorry, Great-Grandmother.

I would tell you the brand name of this wonderful cornbread, but I threw away the bag before the family arrived yesterday so they wouldn’t know of my terrible storebought sins.

Last note of the day:

Have you spent most of your life judging homeschoolers?

Then I have an event for you!!

Last year I blogged about my adventures of judging at the National Speech and Debate Tournament, and this year, the National Opens are here! It is being held in Trussville from March 16-19.

It is very interesting and quite fun (depending on what type you get – I recommend SPEECHES, because debates can be quite overwhelming unless you’re up for a big challenge), and is also a great way to view firsthand the homeschool culture if you’re considering homeschooling.

Oh – and if you’re a blogger, I PROMISE that you’ll get a good blog out of it.

They need over a thousand community judges. They explain everything that you have to do quite clearly and are very helpful with any questions. You only have to be there for a couple of hours, and you can pick your time slot from many available options.

And you might get a free notepad and pen out of it. Oh – and snacks in the judges hospitality room.

If you’re interested in more information, click here to go to the NCFCA Website. I’m judging on March 19th. Come join me!

Let me know if you’re interested or have any other questions about my experience. And be sure and go back to my post from last year for a better idea of what it is.

6 thoughts on “Recipes and Winners and Speeches, Oh My!!

  1. Wow I won! I can’t believe it. Thank you. I will email you my address shortly. Thank you again! I love your blog it brightens my day.

  2. Well, I’m disappointed I didn’t win, but I’ll live. Especially if I fix myself a bowl of vegetable soup with cornbread. (I use Jiffy Corn Mix BTW and it is delicious!)

  3. Congrats to the winners!!

    That recipe sounds really, really yummy! I have all the ingredients, too… I’m thinking of throwing this together in the crockpot tomorrow. ;o)

  4. I also use Jiffy Corn Mix, and last time I added a can of Mexicorn to it, and my family kept on and on about how delicious it was.

  5. The world’s best cornbead is the Callahan family recipe in the Treasures of the Isle Cookbook. I did give you one didn’t I? It is a must for you to cook (or you can’t be a real Callahan) and easy. LYB, kitty

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