Irish Soda Bread


Hubby and his parents went to Ireland in 2007 and when he came back of course we  had to discuss the food!!! The one thing that he raved about most of all was the Soda Bread that they served at all the restaurants. It is a very simple bread. Very dense and filling. He said that his tour guide, actually a family friend who was driving them all over Ireland, told him that this bread has fed the people of Ireland for over 1000 years!  Of course, I had to scour the internet for recipes for this bread. I had to try it! I found one recipe that was good, but he said not exactly right. So I searched again. BOOM! Found the perfect recipe!

Fast forward from 2007 to 2009 when hubby and I got married. He was still so in love with what he had experienced in Ireland that I decided that we were going to have an Irish themed wedding. One of the things to be included was the Soda Bread. My BFF and her hubby were here from Indiana and together She and I made 12 to 14 loaves of this bread. 13 of them made it to the reception. The other loaf was devoured by the guys as we were slaving over the hot oven! The family friend who acted as tour guide while they were in Ireland is the brother of another family friend who is from Dublin but lives in Cullman. We asked him to speak at our wedding. It was very nice of him to deliver a very nice speech in his Irish brogue. We were very grateful. After he finished his speech he came up to me and said…”That bread is EXACTLY what we eat all the time  in Ireland, it is what I grew up on!” And then he said…”Do you think it would be possible for me to take a loaf home with me?” ABSOLUTELY!!! I was so flattered that a true Irishman loved my bread so much!

I have lost count of how many loaves of this I have actually made over the years! We love it with vegetable soup and my husbands Grandpa’s stew. I made it the other night along with Shepperd’s Pie. I will share the recipe for Shepperd’s Pie soon! This bread only has 4 ingredients and is SOOOOOOO easy to make! Here is how you do it!



2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups wheat flour

2 cups buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 450

In a large bowl put in dry ingredients, mix, and make a well in the center. Pour buttermilk in the well and mix until all ingredients are mixed together.( You can also just pour all ingredients into your kitchenaid and mix with your bread hook.) If mixing by hand in a bowl, it will be very sticky. Just form a ball with the dough and place it on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Sprinkle he top with a little bit of flour and just kind of spread it around over the top. Take sharp knife and cut a deep cross into the top of the bread. Cutting probably 2/3 of the way into the bread. It will look like this!


Bake at 450 for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 400 and bake for another 15 minutes. I usually make two loaves at a time and still bake for the same amount of time with two loaves on one cookie sheet.

Give this easy bread a try! It is soup season and this will go perfectly with any soup you are serving!






Now..on to Other News….

Whew…I am sure there are many many people who went through today suffering from sleep deprivation from watching the results last night! And I have to confess…I am one of them! But now it is time to move on! It is what it is…America has spoken…and it is time to press on…and what that means is….


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!! There are only 46 sleeps until Christmas! That means there are only 6 weekends to shop! I got an early start..but then didn’t keep the momentum up…but I need to pick it up and get this done!!! I am notorious for wrapping gifts in the early morning on Christmas. That.Will.Not.Happen.This.Year!!! Trying to get focused…get it done…and not be rushed and actually enjoy the holidays!!!

What do YOU do? Last minute? Plan and get it done early? Frantic and exhausted? Do you stress? Or no stress? Please leave me a comment and tell me about YOUR holiday happenings!!!

Can’t wait to hear from you,


Edge of My Seat

Sitting here..watching the results. I voted…as did much of the United States. Now we wait!  Nerves are on edge. We are watching from the edge of our seats! We have our is the same for everyone who has an interest and votes. But now…the results are coming in. I believe this is going to go down in history…for it appears that it is not unfolding as expected. Stay tuned……for tomorrow….hopefully…..we will know who will be the next President!!!!

It’s Not Over ‘Til It’s Over

I am so ready for this election to be over. I don’t share my views or my opinions about this election. I know where I stand. Not needing to share my opinion with everyone else. You know what they say….opinions  are like….********…..everyone has one. I have mine and you have yours. I just know that no matter what happens….God is in control! And I am more than happy about that! I just just know that I want what is best for our country! We have had so many people give their lives and their time for this country and I want to see it be great again!!!!

Please vote!!!!


Unstuffed Pepper Soup


Unstuffed Pepper Soup

2 lbs ground chuck

1 medium onion, chopped (you can cheat and use the frozen already chopped ones! 1 bag.)

2 bell peppers, chopped (you can cheat here too…use 2 bags!)

2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

1 14.5 oz can of beef broth

1 14.5 oz can of water (use the beef broth can)

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp Basil Paste (in the produce section at your grocery store)

1 bag of Minute Rice (The cook in the bag kind.) (I used Great Value Brand)

Brown the ground beef, onions and peppers in a dutch oven (or big soup pot).

I cooked it until it cooked all of the liquid away. There was not much fat left so I didn’t drain it. If you use ground beef or have much fat after it is browned you will want to drain before you add the other ingredients.

Add the remaining ingredients except the rice and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for a couple of hours.

Cook the rice according to directions. Drain and add to soup. Cook an additional 15 to 30 minutes.

We topped ours with parmesean cheese and some cheddar. Hubby added some oyster crackers to his too!



Electronic Free Zone

Do you ever get tired of everyone around you having their face in some form of electronics? Maybe it’s a phone. It could be a laptop.  But it might be a tablet. Don’t get me wrong…I love my electronics too! But there are just some times that you need to spend time with the people who are around you and not be involved with your Facebook Page, your Twitter account or your Instagram! I have to confess that right now….I am on Twitter, but I don’t understand it so I don’t use it! I MAY have signed up for Instagram…but not sure and don’t use that either!!! I DO love Facebook and Blogher and reading the blogs that I love! I do love to play games on my Xbox 360! But there are times when we have a family gathering…I have to declare my house as an ELECTRONIC FREE ZONE! It is time to spend together at Mamaw’s house! Now, if we want to play an Xbox game TOGETHER as a family…(typically a Kinect game so we can be doing some moving, or we might play Monopoly or Cooking Mama) that is allowed because we are actually interacting with each other!!!

I know that I am not the only one who has issues going to family gatherings and holidays and you can’t really connect or have conversations because people have their face in their electronics!!!! I am sitting right across from you…trying to have a conversation….but you don’t even see that  because you are focused on your phone!!! GRRRRRR!!!!

There are times that I just want to have a basket on a table by the door and have everyone drop their electronics in it when they come in! That way there are no distractions and we can actually interact! And it isn’t just the kids! All are guilty! So tell me…how do YOU deal with this at your house????

Have a great weekend!







Hatred of Sound


I had not heard of this but one day my coworker told me that she read about it and she thought that it was something I needed to check into. She thought it was what my issue was. She.Was.Right.

This is how Web MD describes it…

Do nails on a chalkboard make you cringe? Imagine if a sound could make you panic or fly into a rage.

This is the case with misophonia — a strong dislike or hatred of specific sounds.

What Happens?

Misophonia, also known as selective sound sensitivity syndrome, starts with a trigger. It’s often an oral sound — the noise someone makes when they eat, breathe, chew, yawn, or whistle. Sometimes a small repetitive motion is the cause — someone fidgets, jostles you, or wiggles their foot.

For many of us..this is daily reality. There is a difference between just being irritated by a sound and feeling the need to run away from it or go into a rage because of it. I have not been officially “diagnosed” with Misophonia but after doing much research… I definitely have it. And I am coming to find out that there are many people who suffer with this.

I find that there are many “triggers”. They can be sounds or visual triggers. I have noticed that with me, the triggers affect me more when I am tired or stressed. It is the sound of someone chewing,  coughing, yawning, utensils scraping a dish while eating, smacking when eating and sometimes even breathing! Listening to Donald Trump doing his speeches and the long nasal breaths he takes…is almost too much for me!

Repeated motions also trigger me. Nail tapping, foot tapping, pin tapping, repeated motions with hands.

It is so hard to explain the effects. I can only describe it as..panic followed by rage! When it first starts it is a fast heartbeat and shortness of breath as if you are having a panic attack! Then it becomes flight or fight! The need is to just get away from it. But then when you can’t escape it….it becomes RAGE!!! This is all happening on the inside and most people don’t even know that you are having an issue! But internally you are secretly plotting how you can MAKE THEM STOP!

I think many times people don’t even know they  are making the eating noises or doing the repetitive motions and they certainly aren’t trying to irritate you! But if you are the one suffering with Misophonia you feel like they  are doing it on purpose! How can they possibly make that much noise eating and NOT KNOW?!?? I often wonder if smacking and chewing with your mouth open makes the food taste better. I will never know because I just can’t eat that way!

Many people find that they need to wear noise filtering headphones so that they don’t hear the trigger noises. I have not gone that far yet but I do find myself covering my ears sometimes to try to avoid the noises. And sometimes you just have to walk away! Leave the room, put some space between you and the trigger or just try to focus on something else!

There are many resources on the internet to get more information! Here is a good place to start!


Welcome to Manhattan


Although I live in the deep south….and love the food and the differences there are from here to where I grew up….sometimes I have to go back to my childhood and have some food from my memories! So some times that means Beef Manhattans! Or Turkey Manhattans…or chicken…or pork! When I was growing up…you just bought the boil-in-bag meats in the freezer section. Now it takes a little more effort because they don’t have those. I get roast beef in a can at either WalMart or Costco….Make some brown gravy with McCormicks gravy mix and then you can either toast the bread or leave it the way it is. You need to use a thicker bread, although just plain bread will work as well! You can also use a hamburger bun!

I like it with mashed potatoes…hubby likes it with french fries…either way is really good!!!! Make the sandwich…cut it in half….in the center place the fries or mashed potatoes…cover with gravy!!! Tonight we had corn on the cob…(from Indiana) and it was yummy!!!

It is always nice to have some comfort food to remind you of your childhood. What is your comfort food???

Let me know…

Love, Jo




Hello November!

Here it is….November already! And if you live in Alabama the calendar is the only thing letting you know this is true. Mid to high 80’s on the thermometer again today. Everything is so dry that I would be afraid to send a little boy outside with a magnifying glass these days! Some people will get that…some won’t! The days are definitely getting shorter but we are all ready for some cooler temps and some water falling from the sky!

We had a pretty quiet Halloween here last night. Grandbabies came to visit, only a couple of random Trick or Treaters and a long overdue visit with a sweet sweet friend and her daughter! My fur babies even got in on the fun by wearing their Halloween T-shirts!


They get more food around their bowls than in their tummies sometimes!

And what about those Cubs? I just happened to turn on the game tonight and couldn’t believe that they were doing so good!!! It is looking like they are going to take it to game 7 and it could be anybody’s series! Good Luck Cubbies!

Billy Ray Cyrus has a new CD out and here is the first single. I am really liking it! I hope you do too!

Video courtesy of Youtube!

This really makes me want to take a drive up to Tennessee to “Singing Hills” and spend some time chatting with BRC!!!

Happy November!