I consider myself a pretty upbeat person. Happy, hopeful... a maker of lemonade from lemons. And FOR ME blogging is a platform for positive thought. But today is different.

This has been a very emotional week for me! I don't often write about heavy things on my blog... but I have been a little MIA visiting all of my dear blogging buddies.  I have not been faithful leaving comments. And I think you should know why. Thanks for giving me grace this week even without knowing it.

It has been a week of high highs and low lows... and a little in between too. I've become a little unraveled!

Yesterday we celebrated the wedding of my niece Jennie and her beloved Dave. What a glorious day! A joyous day with bittersweet moments. Jennie was exquisite, a true blushing bride. And Dave... oh I was so impressed! He stood at the alter, eyes full of love, fixed on his bride, a steady kind smile on his face and emotionally held her up through the entire service. Not an easy thing to do, for my niece lost her lovely mother to cancer a few years back and she (we) have been feeling this loss especially much this week. Jennie did not have a her mother during the most important time in her life. So Dave grew into a strong Godly husband right before our eyes at the alter and held her... all of us... together! 

Because of the wedding, I have a house full of family today.
 Being a recent empty nester,  I enjoy having more time to live by my own schedule and to spend with Bobby, but I come alive when StoneGable is filled to overflowing. When it is full of laughter, tears, love, food, games, talk and family. When all of my "chicks are in the nest"! 

Amidst all of this I had my 7th back procedure earlier this week. I have not shared this until now, but I suffer from arthritis in my back. I am way too young to be immobilized!  I will spare you the details, but this has been an extremely long journey. Although my disease is not curable I now have much relief! The back procedures knocks the stuffing out of me, but I am SO thankful for them. Hopefully, I can maintain the level of comfort and mobility I have now.

Today is 9-11 as I write my weekly commentary. Deeply grieved. That is the only words I have! I got up early to pray and remember and I am deeply grieved. But thankfully not hopeless. I just wonder how many precious people are hopeless today... May God comfort them and may they know how many share in their pain and uplift them still! 

Highs... and lows... life! In times like these I am so thankful for my faith, family... and Kleenex!

Now enough of my ramblings, let's talk food! Happy subject for sure! Lot's of Slow Cooker recipes this week. I'm feeling like Fall is in the air and want to make warm yummy comforting food!

Here's what's ON THE MENU...

MONDAY~ Slow Cooker Day
StoneGable Chili
Buttermilk Sweet Corn Bread

Recipe: StoneGable Chili
StoneGable chili  is a little sweet... a  little spicy. It certainly is a little different and delicious! I married a family recipe with a gourmet recipe I love. Serve it over rice and sprinkle some good cheddar cheese and crushed tortillas over the top. YUMMY! Pass the sour cream and chopped green onions too!
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large onions, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced finely
1 large green or red pepper, chopped
1 large can of stewed tomatoes
1 can kidney beans or black beans, rinsed and drained (I combine the two)
2/3 - 1 cup of catsup
1/2 -2/3 cups chili sauce
2 TBS chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
a sprinkle of taco seasonings from a packet (if I have it, I use it)

To make the slow cooker version, brown meat, onions and peppers. Add the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low.

Printable Recipe

Recipe: Buttermilk Sweet Corn Bread
1/2 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup white cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and add sugar and combine. Stir in butter.
Combine buttermilk and baking soda and stir into egg/sugar/butter mixture.

In a separate bowl combine cornmeal, flour and salt.  Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients in thirds.

Pour batter into pan. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean when tested.

Printable Recipe

Green Chile Chicken Casserole
Mexican Explosion Salad

Recipe: Green Chile Chicken Casserole
If you have been a dear reader for any length of time you probably know that I love Mexican food! So when I saw this muy bueno casserole at Gypsy Heart I had to give it a try. You will also want to spend some time perusing this great blog! So full of yumminess! For this recipe, click HERE.

Tilapia Milanese
Arugula Salad

Recipe: Tilapia Milanese
Tilapia is a wonderfully mild and delicious fish. Even better, it is so easy to cook! Tilapia Milanese is an upscale and simple recipe with a hint of lemon! YUMMY! To get this delicious recipe click HERE

Nani's Cabbage Soup
Beer Bread

Recipe: Nani's Cabbage Soup
My grandmother made this soup on top of the stove. It had that old world, cooked-all-day flavor and goodness. I have tweaked Nani's recipe to suite my busy lifestyle. I have a big slow cooker. Adjust the recipe to your slow cooker!
2 TBS vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large head of cabbage, rough chopped
salt and pepper
3-4 bone-in pork chops (I'm such a carnivore, 4 please!
1 can tomato soup
3 TBS butter
14 cup flour

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil and add onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Put onions in the slow cooker.

Salt and pepper the pork chops.

In the same skillet brown pork chops on both sides and add to the slow cooker.

Add cabbage and add just enough water to cover the cabbage. Stir in a can of tomato soup. Put on the lid and cook on low for about 6 hours. You want the cabbage to be soft but not mushy.

Remove pork chops from the soup. Let cook a little and pull meat off the bone. Cut or shred into bite-size pieces.

In a large skillet melt butter. Add flour and combine into a paste. Cook on medium heat for 3 minutes. Take 2 cups of soup broth and add to the skillet to make a slurry. Whisk to incorporate. Let thicken a little and add to the slow cooker incorporating it well. Add the pork chop meat and cook on high for 30 minutes.
Serve with crusty bread.
Printable Recipe

FRIDAY~ Company's Coming
Tuscan Pork Loin With Sage
Roasted Root Vegetables
Constructed Pear Salad
Pear Galette

Recipe:Tuscan Pork Loin With Sage
I love to cook with Marsala! I think it goes wonderfully with Fall flavors!
1 lb. pork tenderloin, sliced into 8 pieces
8 large sage leaves
2 slices very thinly sliced proscuitto
1 tsp olive oil
1 TBS butter
1 1/2 cup Marsala
salt and pepper
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Flatten each slice pork medallion between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Lay sage in the middle of each pork medallion. Cut each piece of proscuitto into 4 pieces. Lay one slice on top of each sage leaf and roll the pork up with the sage and proscuitto in the middle.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet, and add the pork roll-ups four at a time. Brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and brown the other four roll-ups.

Add Marsala and cook, scraping up brown bits. Simmer until it reduces by half. Return roll-ups to pan and simmer with sauce for 8-10 minutes until done.

Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables
I'll make extra for Saturday night. I could eat these every day. Any other leftover will be a delicious lunch!
4 yukon gold potatoes, diced in large chunks
4 large carrots, chopped in large pieces
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 small beets, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 turnip, peeled and rough chopped into large chunks
3 shallots with skin on
2 cloves of garlic, with skin on
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, prepare veggies. Put veggies on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with a good dose of olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Toss.
Roast in oven for 45-50 minutes until veggies are done through. YUMMY! Taste of fall!

Printable Recipe

Recipe: Constructed Pear Salad
This is a BEAUTY! And so full of fall's luscious flavors. Look for the recipe on Foodie Friday.

Recipe: Pear Galette
Pears are in season now and at their perfummy best. This gorgeous country dessert with a butter crust that is folded like a hug around a golden pear filling will have everyone asking for a second slice! I'm making a simple homemade vanilla ice cream. Find this ambrosial recipe by clicking HERE.

StoneGable Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Fresh Spaghetti
Ceaser Salad

Recipe: StoneGable Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
Bobby requested Chicken Cacciatore~ so of course it is ON THE MENU this week. I am making a big meal on Friday for company, so I want to cook an easy meal on Saturday! I am pulling out my slow cooker to make this easy and savory dish!
1 jar good Marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup prepared pesto (click HERE
 for homemade recipe)
4 TBS olive oil

1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
flour for dredging chicken

salt and pepper
4 chicken breast and 4 thighs
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 TBS flour
2 TBS water

2 TBS dry red wine

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and peppers and cook until translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a bowl.

Salt and pepper chicken and dredge through flour. Add remaining 2 TBS olive oil in the skillet and brown chicken on all sides.

Mix Marinara, cheese and  pesto together in a bowl. Put 1/2 the mixture in the bottom of a slow cooker. Top with onions, pepper, garlic, and then the chicken. Sprinkle chicken with sliced mushrooms and the remainder of the Marinara mixture.

Cook on low for 6-7 hours.  Remove chicken when it is done. Mix flour, water and wine together. Whisk into the sauce in the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes until sauce is thickened. Put chicken back into the sauce and heat through. Serve over spaghetti.

Printable Recipe

Recipe: Ceasar Salad
If you are a StoneGable dear reader you will know that Ceasar salad is served ON THE MENU quite often... with good reason! This is one of my best recipes. This is the best Ceaser salad ever!  For this company worthy recipe click HERE.

Chili Stuffed Baked Potatoes
Corn On The Cob

What's ON THE MENU for you...

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