Crock Pot Steak Gumbo


I know it's smack dab in the middle of summer. However, soup is still my go to staple this time of year (or any time of year for that matter). I love soup, stew, bisque...it all sings to my soul. It's the mac and cheese to my heart. The peanut butter to my jelly. The whipped cream to my cocoa.

Okay, I'm getting carried away. But, I really do love a bowl of soup-y goodness. I also love melt in your mouth steak. So, I got busy in the kitchen and made Steak Gumbo. I'm not really sure what inspired that combo other than I wanted these two culinary treats that would make our tummy's sing for joy. The best part is that it got the husband stamp of approval!

It's a super easy recipe that could be doubled for freezer meals -or- like in our case, used for lunch the next day. I love a good bowl of leftover goodness.

Anyway, here's the recipe if you are so inclined....

Crock Pot Steak Gumbo

1 lb. Steak Tips (Stew Cut)
4 Cups of Gumbo Vegetables (can be found in the freezer section)
16 oz. Diced Tomatoes
16 oz. Tomato Sauce
16 oz. Chicken Broth
1/2 Teaspoon Creole Sesoning
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Seasoning
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Salt
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper (to taste)
Shredded Cheese (for garnish)

In a large skillet, lightly brown meat for 2-3 minutes or until all sides are seared. Add to crock pot. Then add diced tomatoes (including juice) on top of the meat. Add tomato sauce, gumbo veggies, chicken broth, then seasonings. Set crock pot on highest setting for 4 to 5 hours. Garnish with cheese, and enjoy!

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Book Love: Veil of Secrets



Wow! I inhaled this book from Shannon Ethride and Kathryn Mackel. I think it was better than their last collaboration together (To Know You). I plowed through it in about three days, which is saying a lot considering this stage in life! ;)

The characters were very real. I felt like I was watching 24 meets Law & Order, only in book format. There's a bit of a mysterious background to each character, and as you watch their stories unfold you learn to hate and love them all at once.

I really struggled with Melanie, the wife/mom in the story. As the plot progresses, you can see how her selfishness over the years have played out in the lives of her husband and daughter. And just when you think she can't do any more harm...she does. However, Melanie does redeem her story, her life, and eventually finds courage to face the "skeletons in the closet" or so to speak.

There's also a deep psychological ribbon throughout the story with an intense focus on faith and forgiveness. This was an excellent read for mature readers due to the nature of the content. I would give it 5 stars!

Many thanks to the kind folks at Book Sneeze for allowing me to review this novel in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Bloom {Five Minute Friday}






Bloom.

It's a popular catch phrase in many circles. "Bloom where your planted." Or in some circles, I've heard "Bloom where God sends you.". For me, both phrases can be applied. Whether it's learning the ropes of motherhood or trying to be the best wife possible...I have much to learn. Always growing, and changing.

But, to bloom? That requires more than just accomplishing a duty. It means allowing the Son to do it's work on us. It means being pruned by His hand. It means growing pains and tears. It may even lead to times of thirst during drought and starting to wither, and wonder whether or not He will ever answer our prayers.

In order to bloom, we have to endure the weather. Be it storms or sunny weather, each season gives us what we need in order to blossom beneath His care.

The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Psalm 92:12

Linking Up: Five Minute Friday

Color {Wordless Wednesday}




"Color is the language of the poets. It is astonishingly lovely." ~Crown

Linking Up: Here, here & here

Favorite Shows To Watch {Over and Over Again}




The only thing that I like better than binge reading novels over the weekend is to watch a plethora of my favorite shows. There's nothing like chilling out with Josh, yummy dessert and a good tv binge.

So, I have to ask. What are some of your favorite shows that you could watch over and over? Here's my list:

I Love Lucy: Whether it's stuffing herself with chocolate, nearly falling to her death from a balcony, taking too much medicine and thus becoming tipsy...She will always be my favorite comedian.

Gilmore Girls: I stated watching Rory & Lorelei about six years ago. I just recently re-watched most of the series. Rory is my favorite character followed closely by Snookie. Lorelei makes me angry. Not to mention, it has all the qualities of a perfect "ongoing chick flick." There's coffee talk, book talk, fights, romance, crazy boyfriend shenanigans, and sprinkles of drama (of course). I just wish Stars Hollow was a real place, because I would love to eat pancakes at Luke's Diner.

Friends: I didn't fall in love with this sit com until I was married. We spent many evenings watching their antics, and I came to one conclusion it is the BEST SHOW EVER. I love the ridiculous plots. The humor. To me, each character is vital to the show which makes it unique. You love 'em all despite their quirks (Chandler's my favorite in case you are wondering).

Monk: How can you resist the charms of an OCD detective? Quirky, funny, and well, he's just charming.

Everybody Loves Raymond: I love the snarky come backs between each family member. I love the sarcasm. And I really love the constant competition between Ray and Robert.